Thursday, July 12, 2012

The look of feeble-mindedness..?

Defectives, Feeble-minded: United States. Massachusetts. Waverly. School for Feeble-minded: Massachusetts School for the Feeble-Minded.: Sloyd Class.
Series: Social Museum Collection, Photo by William A. Webster 1903
It is truly amazing what you can find at Harvard. Do you really think these boys are defective or feeble-minded? Much of the stupidity present in academia stems from the failure to understand the relationship between the hands and the development of intellect. The judgment that skilled hands are not a matter of intelligence is a most anti-democratic notion, but one common to academia. More examples can be found here.
Manual Arts training was also seen as a way of dealing with truancy and children engaged in crime as shown in the photo above that was filed in the Harvard archives under crime, truancy and Sloyd. A crime greater than what these boys may have committed is our nation's failure to understand the role of the hands in the creation of character and intelligence.

Make, fix and create...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

That bias against manual work, and the bias against those who did the work, was also present in parents who wanted their children to do something considered professional. So many young people who would have been happy in what was then thought of as "a trade," were forced into other fields. And that prejudice still exists.

Mario

Doug Stowe said...

Most (if not all) parents want success for their children, and the bias against manual work means that less status is afforded those engaged with working with hands. These days, however, when it comes to money, many students would be far better off getting into plumbing than the liberal arts.