Manual Training Schools in America.Report as inadecuate

Manual Training Schools in America. - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

John Runkle, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), viewed the Moscow Imperial Technical School exhibit at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876 and saw the Russian method of manual training as the answer to the dilemma of combining theory and practice in engineering instruction. On August 17, 1876, shops in which all the mechanic arts needed by prospective engineers would be taught were established at MIT. As a result of the publicity provided by Runkle, manual training schools took root across the United States. The two most influential were in St. Louis (Missouri) and Chicago (Illinois). At Washington University, Calvin Woodward established the Manual Training School. His method of organizing instruction was so attractive that the St. Louis public schools took up manual training. At the time of its inception, the Chicago Manual Training School was the only independent educational institution of its kind in the world. Due to opposition from traditional educators who subscribed to faculty psychology (the theory that the brain consisted of faculties that could be strengthened through mental training) and who controlled the content of public education, manual training took hold first in private schools and at the elementary education level. Forces contributing to the demise of manual training were its association with the discredited theory of mental training, the novelty effect, and the increased demand for skilled workers and vocational education. (Contains 15 references.) (YLB)

Descriptors: Educational Development, Educational History, Industrial Arts, International Educational Exchange, Mechanical Skills, Postsecondary Education, Secondary Education, Vocational Education

Author: Schenck, John P.


Related documents