Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mr. James MacAlister, Philadelphia, 1885

Mr. James MacAlister, superintendent of schools, Philadelphia, 1885:
"The conviction is gradually obtaining among the members of the Board of Education [of Philadelphia], and in the public mind, that every child should receive manual training; and that this feature must ultimately be incorporated into the public education. What is this but the realization of the principles which every great thinker in education has insisted upon, from Comenius, Locke, and Rousseau, to Pestalozzi, Froebel and Spencer!"
Charles H. Ham:
The most striking effects of Manual Training long antedate its introduction to the schools. For thousands of years, in every shop where the humble mechanic wrought; at every fireside where the domestic arts obtained a foothold; in every field where a step forward was made through the invention of some less crude implement of husbandry than the one that preceded it, the mind and the hand expressed their joint struggle towards the achievement of that skill in useful things which constitutes the very kernel of civilization.
Charles H. Hamm:
...manual training, educationally, is the blending of thought and action. The thought that does not lead to an act is both mentally and materially barren. For as it confers no benefit upon the human race, neither does it profit the mind that conceives it. Nay, more. An unprolific thought exhausts the mind to no purpose, as an unfruitful tree cumbers the ground. It follows that the integrity of the mind can only be maintained by the submission of its immature judgments to the verification of things. Hence the correlation of thoughts and things is as necessary to mental and moral growth as the application of the principles of abstract mechanics to the arts of peace is essential to human progress.

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