ERIC Number: ED543238
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1913
Reference Count: N/A
The Elementary Industrial School of Cleveland, Ohio. Bulletin, 1913, No. 39. Whole Number 549
Hailmann, W. N.
United States Bureau of Education, Department of the Interior
In his report for the year 1908, Dr. Andrew S. Draper, commissioner of education of the State of New York, established the fact that current school systems still confine themselves too exclusively to preparation for professional life; that, even where they have consented to consider the claims of commerce and of certain technical pursuits, the aim lies toward preparation for positions of management and control; and that neither in the elementary schools nor elsewhere do the trades and the industrial life of the people receive adequate attention. It is gratifying to note that this inadequacy is more and more keenly felt and that efforts to supplement it are becoming more and more pronounced among public-spirited citizens, among employers and workers, parents and educational leaders. These needs are met in the form of private and public trade schools, apprentice schools, continuation schools, industrial schools, and in a variety of provisions for so-called vocational guidance; most hopefully, however, in distinct propositions and experiments looking to a reorganization of the public school with a view of meeting this need without loss, but rather with gain, to other vocational interests and to general liberal culture. Among these experiments, the Elementary Industrial School of Cleveland challenges more than passing interest, not so much because of vastness of plan or results, but because of the direct bearing of its work upon certain fundamental shortcomings and traditional one-sidednesses of current systems. Its organization was hastened by certain statistical data that indicated that children enrolled in the first grade of the elementary schools for the 10 years between 1892-93 and 1901-2, three out of ten went no further than the fourth grade, four out of ten withdrew before reaching the fifth grade, five out of ten failed to enter the sixth grade, six out of ten failed to reach the seventh grade, while practically three out of every four were lost to the school before attaining the eighth grade. This data showed that for schools of Cleveland as a whole, 95% of those entering first grade leave without finishing high school. Analysis revealed that in the majority of instances, these failures were due not so much to lack of ability on the children's part, but rather to failure to consider the needs of hand-minded or practical-minded children on the part of the current system in its one-sided attention to the language-minded and imaginative, in its excessive reliance upon the imagery of words and abstractions rather than upon the actualities of concrete life, both in learning and in doing. If such children are to be afforded an opportunity to make the best of themselves, they must be approached from the side of the practical; they must learn by doing. Thus alone can they be led to the "cultural," to the discovery of the inestimable value of knowledge, of science, of art, and even of the pursuit of these for their own sake. Thus alone can the school hope to place them in full possession of their human inheritance, to reach and to stir into full self-active life every phase of their mental constitution. Such considerations led the school authorities to undertake the establishment of an Elementary Industrial School in the fall of 1909, as an experiment in the direction indicated. Primarily, the means of suitable differentiation in the course and character of the work with the beginning of the seventh grade, it was to afford practical-minded "dullards" opportunity to find themselves and thus to open a way for checking the flood of waste from apparently hopeless retardation and failure, and incidentally, perhaps, for closer adjustment of the school system as a whole to the needs of the new industrial age. (Contains 1 footnote.) [Best copy available has been provided.]
Descriptors: Elementary Schools, Career Guidance, Vocational Interests, Industrial Education, Industry, Vocational Education, School Schedules, Curriculum, Student Attitudes, Dropouts, Dropout Rate, Student Needs
United States Bureau of Education, Department of the Interior.
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: Department of the Interior, United States Bureau of Education (ED)
Identifiers - Location: Ohio