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With regard to the wage-earner and breadwinner wanting to know what his child is doing, they always say that. Tell him his child is laying the foundation of a well-formed character, is a real little man already, and later on he will take up the other work and be fit for any business. What is going to be done in the manual training work? Let the children study good drawing and penmanship, that is plenty of training until they are fourteen years of age, and then they may start a little higher in a special course if they like.
BROTHER JOHN WALDRON, S. M., Clayton, Mo.: We have been discussing whether it is advisable or not to introduce manual training into our schools. I would like to say a few words about the situation which would confront us should the force of circumstances compel us to give it a place in our program of studies. Two problems present themselves for solution: The first, one of finance or of administration, would be to find ways and means for carrying on the work. Now, I am convinced that the obstacles in the way of furnishing manual training schools would not be nearly so great as many of us seem to fear. I firmly believe that for every $50.00 that goes into the manual training equipment of the public school we could do the same work with $5.00 and meet the same requirements. For the lessening of expenses there could be an interchange of grades. Let us suppose that the sixth, seventh and eighth grades of three adjoining schools have the same course of manual training. Let the three parishes combine, leaving for instance the equipment and care of manual training in the sixth grade to St. Mary's that of the seventh to St. John's, and that of the eighth to St. James'. In the larger cities such groups would be feasible, especially where the three centers would not be too far apart.
The second problem would be to obtain the efficiency of our teachers for such work. When it became a question of taking up shorthand and typewriting some years ago the same difficulties were urged, and yet are we to-day afraid to match the products of our commercial departments with those of other schools doing similar work? I think not. If we are compelled to put our hands to manual training I am quite confident our teachers will rise to the occasion and meet all demands made of them.
REV. P. P. CRANE, St. Louis, Mo.: I think some of us may decidedly differ with the speaker who discussed Father Boyle's paper, asserting that the ideal of Catholic education is simply the formation of character. I think that the vast body of Catholic educators are not only making strong characters of our boys and girls, but are fitting them for the work of secular life. The ideal of Catholic education is, first to build a strong character, but not that alone, but to fit our boys and girls for the battle of life.
REV. J. H. SCHLARMANN, J. C. D., Belleville, Ill. I should like to know the position of the trade-unionists on this point, because the mechanics out in the workshops can best tell us whether it benefits the apprentices to have gone through a course of manual training. Last summer I had occasion to attend a course of social lectures given at Oberlin, Ohio, by Professors Ceysar and Wolfe. Prof. Wolfe in one of his talks touched on manual training. He said: "Now you gentlemen here are trade-unionists, you are mechanics, and you can give me some practical information on this point; you must know what the advantages of manual training are to the mechanics in the workship." All the mechanics there were trade-unionists. One of them, a foreman in some machine works, who had over a hundred men under him, said: "In my opinion the boy who goes to the workshop without having gone through a course of manual training is the better man for the foreman." The professor then asked the following question: "Would you rather have a young man, who has gone through a course of manual training in a school or one who did not take the course?" The answer was: "Give me the boy who did not take a course of manual training, because the young man who had manual training thinks he knows too much and will take no advice."
I think I have voiced the opinion of these practical men of the trade unions on this question.
REV. H. C. BOYLE, Pittsburg, Pa.: I want to say how much I regret that the discussion did not take a practical turn; that is, that the principle was not accepted as established. Most of the comments dealt with it and not with its practical working out. The principle has already come in for a great deal of discussion at former meetings of the Association, and my paper accepted it for present purposes as a conclusion at which practically every educator had arrived. I had hoped that the priests here to-day would discuss the question of how it is going to get into the schools. It was with that end in view that I, perhaps rather rashly, suggested that the public school centers could be taken advantage of, and that the children could be sent from parish schools to these centers. I thought that would be a daring enough suggestion in an assembly of this kind to arouse a great deal of discussion. I happen to know of two or three dioceses in this country where the question of sending children out to public schools for manual training is being seriously considered.
The Father from Belleville urged some very good objections to industrial training if they were warranted by conditions in all sections of the country. But they are not. The practical results that corporations through Pennsylvania, through my own section of Pennsylvania, have achieved are against his contention. The officials in the Pennsylvania Railroad shops at Altoona will not accept boys as apprentices in their shops unless they have finished the industrial training course in the local high school. The Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company,
at East Pittsburg, fosters and encourages industrial training in the town in which it operates. The policy of these corporations is dictated in this matter by the known practical efficiency of industrial training, and not by any theory about it.
Another point raised during the discussion that I would like to touch upon is the question of moral character. It seems to me that every time opposition is aroused at these meetings some one is bound to base it on the contention that the Catholic schools are here to educate men morally and spiritually. They are; that is their prime purpose. But how that should militate against industrial training, any more than it does against arithmetic or geography or the other branches of the school course is beyond my seeing. Industry is reckoned as the ally and not the enemy of moral character. Germany excels all other nations in this matter of industrial training in the schools, and there are no complaints of which I am aware of the moral character or the Catholicity fashioned under its influence.
TUESDAY, JULY 5, 1910, 4 P. M.
The Superintendents' Section was called to order by the Very Rev. Chairman Connolly, V. G. After prayer the Chairman gave a brief resumé of the history of this Section.
On motion, the chair appointed a Committee on Rules and another on Nominations. Rev. O. B. Auer and Bro. Waldron were appointed the Committee on Rules and Rev. E. F. Gibbons, Bro. Victor and Rev. P. J. McCormick were named the Committee on Nominations.
The paper, "Systems of Promotion," was read by Bro. George Sauer, S. M. It was informally discussed. After prayer the meeting adjourned.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 6, 1910, 4 P. M.
The Section was called to order by the Very Rev. Chairman. After the opening prayer, Brother Edward, F. S. C., read an interesting paper on "The Personal Power of a Teacher in the Highest Grades of Our Parochial and High Schools." As on the day previous, the paper was informally discussed by several members. The Committee on Rules presented the following report:
We recommend (1) that the secretary of this Section be instructed to compile a directory of superintendents and inspectors of schools, (2) that attendance at the business or executive ses
sions of this Section be restricted to the members whose names are officially enrolled.
The report was adopted.
BRO. JOHN WALDRON, S. M.,
The Committee on Nominations proposed the name of Rev. A. E. Lafontaine for chairman and Brother Victor for secretary. On motion the report was adopted, and the secretary was instructed to cast the ballot for the candidates named.
On motion of Brother Waldron a committee was appointed to gather statistics concerning our schools and report at the next annual meeting. The chair appointed the Rev. Chairman and Secretary, Rev. C. Wienker, Brother John Waldron and Rev. A. V. Garthoeffner. After prayer the meeting adjourned.
R. W. BROWN,