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training. They are better boys without any question. They are more manly and have wider vision, and we prefer them to the boys who are taught the trade without the school experience.
The industrial course seems to me to fill a long-felt want, because it takes up the "why" and "because" of the task of the boy. I have had several of the boys under my care and find this true. They seem to take more interest in the shop work than the regular apprentices. I regret that I did not have the chance to take a similar course while attending school.—A. Anderson, superintendent Bath Grinder Co.
It is the biggest boon that has ever come to the boys of Fitchburg. Since the opening of the course the employers are taking a more sincere interest in the boys, and the growing kindness of the employers is very manifest in many ways. The course is most commendable, and the boys who graduate from the high school after having followed the cooperative industrial course are bound to be our future foremen and superintendents.—Mr. H. Jennisen, manager of the Jennisen Co.
The boys of this course want a high-school education, and many of them could not take the course if they did not earn money to help out. Many more desire a higher mechanical education and can earn a part of the cost by taking the course, which gives them practical experience as well as money. Another important advantage of the industrial course is that the boys who take it are very popular, and are looked up to as leaders of the school and society. As a matter of fact, it has been easier for the past three years to get regular apprentices, or all-time boys, than before the industrial boys came to the shop.
There is no question that this course stimulates the boy to do his very best, gives him a brighter and wider outlook, and Increases his manliuess and efficiency.—Mr. Charles Fosdlck, superintendent of Fitchburg Steam Engine Co.
The discipline at the school helps the shop and doubtless that of the shop helps the school, both keeping the boy traveling along the right road all the time. The shop is benefited in that there are two boys in the course when there was only one before. This gives the prospect of two recruits at the trade, while there was only one under the old apprenticeship system.
After 33 years of experience, 23 years of the time as foreman, I would prefer this course, with its practical experience, to any technical course, without the practical experience that. I know of.—Mr. E. J. Tilton. foreman of metal planer and hydraulic press departments of Putnam Machine Co.
In my opinion, based upon contact and extended investigation, the benefits of this course to the boy who wishes to advance excel those given pupils through any other educntional course.—Mr. R. D. Redfern, secretary of Fitchburg Board of Trade and Merchants' Association.
We have these boys in our machine room, in our drafting room, learning the Bawsmlth trade, and in our office. All of them are doing nicely.
It is a great pleasure for us to uphold what we consider the best plan of education that has ever come to our notice for a boy of limited means, whose main object is to fit himself to earn a living at the earliest possible date. The boys are learning a trade and getting an education at the same time. Judging from their efficiency, we feel they have learned as much of the trade by alternating in the shop and school as other boys did under the old plan of apprenticeship by being all of the time in the shop. The boys whom we have in the shop will have an education at the end of four years, will have a trade, and will be earning as much as they would if they had served only their three years' shop work. They will have a foundation on which to go further than would be possible for a boy who had to start in with common-school education, and sometimes less.
There are a great many schemes of industrial education; all of them are good. They all help, but we believe this is the best of them all. The boy gets the benefit of actual contact with the students and faculty of the public-school system, which, to our mind, is a decided advantage over a private tutor. He learns to mingle with his fellows and sees life as it is in the school; then he goes to work in a commercial establishment where the activities of life are performed in a truly commercial way. The tools must be kept up to date. The foreman must give the boy enough individual attention to see that he knows what he is going to build and to see that he does it in a most efficient manner. It is the same with him as with any other boy or man that is hired in a commercial establishment. He must earn his way. as it is evident the business could not be founded on philanthropy. He, too, is surrounded by men who are masters of the art, and learns from them by observation and personal contact. When he finishes school he knows what he is going to do and knows what he can do. When the average boy who goes to the high school finishes his course and applies for a position he is asked what he can do, and his reply will probably be, "I don't know."
This course gives the manufacturer a thinking mechanic. It gives the boy of the laboring man a chance to become a thinking mechanic; gives him a chance with the education he obtains to become a manufacturer, if he has the energy and determination to carry him so far. It gives a man the education that enables him to think clearly for himself, and he does not have so many troubles that he can not overcome without assistance. It places him in position to compete with anyone. Manufacturers will tell you that they are constantly looking for men who are capable of taking " thinking parts" in overseeing and managing their business, and they do not always find what they are looking for. A system of education such as this can not fail to relieve this situation.
In conversation with men who have been to an institute of technology they have said, "Wish I had had this course, and I would have gotten more out of my tech." We feel very certain that the very great majority of taxpayers will get more for their money in this way than they received from the purely academic instruction that has prevailed.
In conversation with our superintendent of schools he tells us that while he does not know positively, he feels very certain that 100 of the 800 or more pupils who will start in our high school next year never would have gone further than the ninth grade, or the first year in high school, had it not been for this course. The fact that the boy is able to earn a certain amount of money, which helps his parents (and very often they need this help), makes it possible for them to allow him to spend the extra three or four years necessary to graduate, having in mind that when he graduates he will be as well equipped for life as if he had stopped going to school and spent his whole time learning the trade.—Mr. H. B. McDonald, superintendent Simonds Manufacturing Co.
STANDING OF THE INDUSTRIAL GRADUATES IN ACADEMIC SUBJECTS.
The success of the plan depends not alone on its merits in teaching the trades, but also in giving a general education. The results from this viewpoint can be determined by a comparison of the industrialcourse graduates with the other high-school graduates in regular courses. An opinion concerning their standing in the academic work is given by Mr. Charles T. Woodbury, the principal of the high school, and Mr. Joseph C. Edgerly, superintendent of schools of the city of Fitchburg. Mr. Woodbury says:
Among cooperative industrial students we have some excellent students, some average, some who do barely passing work, and a few failures. I see little difference in academic standing of pupils of the industrial course as compared with pupils of other courses. Some pupils who have done fair or poor work in other courses have done good or excellent work in the industrial. Some who have been failures in the other courses, or who have dropped out of school, have done fair work in the industrial.
Mr. Edgerly's evidence is as follows:
The boys have maintained good standing in- their classes at school. In July of last year I attended a convention at Castine, Me., of high-school principals and school superintendents of that State. I addressed the convention with reference to the work of this course in the Fitchburg High School. I read papers that had been prepared by members of the senior class. The papers or the essays which were selected were read verbatim as the boys had prepared them. They prepare such papers regularly each week. These essays were upon subjects connected with the shopwork of the boys. Many of those who listened to the reading said that such essays would have done credit to a class of seniors in any college. The training in English is practical, for the boys write upon topics which appeal to them.
It is extremely doubtful If 10 per cent of the members of these classes would be in school if this course had not been established.
WHAT THE BOYS THINK OF THE PLAN.
The opinion of pupils who have undertaken the work of the course is of considerable value. Certain questions were asked of boys in the school; a few of the replies are given. Following are three replies in answer to the inquiry, What induced you to select this course?
(1) "I selected this course as an advantage for future life. This course is instructive and profitable. The reasons in general are as follows: Because after I have graduated from the Fitchburg high school I will not be a loafer in the world. I will have a trade to fall back on."
(2) "I took this course because I always did like the machinist's trade and thought it a good chance to learn it and get an education at the same time."
(3) "I selected this course because I thought it would be of greater use to me than any other course in the high school."
Four of the replies in answer to the request, Please state in what particulars you are profited by the course, were:
(1) "It gives me money and helps me to be self-supporting. It gives us high-school boys a chance to show that we are not afraid of soiling our hands. It also gives us a liberal education."
(2) "I am profited by the course financially and have learned more in this course while I have been in it than all I learned in three years of regular highschool work."
(3) "If I had simply been apprenticed at a shop I might become a good machinist, but with our school work behind us I am sure we would have a great advantage over the plain machinist."
(4) "Through my association with practical men, thereby gaining practical knowledge along with the theoretical side at school."
Three boys thus answer the question, What do you intend to do after completing the course?
(1) "To follow it up and understand a little of the large study of mechanics."
(2) "When I have completed this course, I expect to go out as a draftsman, machinist, or boss machinist."
(3) "I intend to keep on with the trade that I shall have learned by that time."
At a meeting of the Merchants' Association of Fitchburg two of the boys of last year's graduating class made the following remarks about their course. One boy said:
I think at the present time not more than one-half to one-third of the students of the high school of this or any other city know what they are going to do when their school days are over. The other half either have to learn a trade or go into some store and there work some time before they can earn any sort of wages.
Now, with the industrial cooperative course there is a way In which a student may learn n trade which will give him a living if he wishes to follow it. This course is so arranged that if the student wishes to go away to some higher school he may do so and he has only to take up a foreign language outside.
I think that this course Is about the best thing for a boy, as it gives him the knowledge that he should have, also the shop practice that, even though he does not follow the trade, will come in useful to him in after life. I have heard many men say that if they had had the chance that we are having they would not be where they are now.
Another boy said:
When the manual training course in the high school was dropped it became necessary for me to elect a new course, and I elected the technical, not because I wished to, but merely as a poor substitute for what I had been taking. However, it was my good fortune not to have to start in that course, as the industrial course was started in this city at that time, and I elected it.
Immediately upon starting my work in the shop I felt the pleasure of really making something that was of commercial value. My work In the shop has consisted of drawing and tracing various parts of engine lathes, planers, driving-wheel lathes, steel tire turning borers, axle lathes, car-wheel borers, and hydrostatic wheel presses. I have been also figuring out trains of gearing to be used in connection with belt drives and various motor drives to give the desired feeds and speeds, and also the width of face and pitch of gears to use to transmit a given amount of horsepower.
At school we talk over the problems of the previous week which have come to each individual in the various shops. We receive instruction in mechanical drawing, including machine design, gearing, cams, etc., mathematics, including algebra, geometry, applied mechanics and trigonometry, chemistry, physics, English, business methods, commercial geography, and mechanism of machines.
Taking the theoretical side of problems which we are taught in school, together with the practical side which we receive In the shops, I believe any scholar completing the industrial course Is better equipped to earn his living than any other high-school graduate.
The cooperative industrial course of Fitchburg, now so co* "monly known as "the Fitchburg plan," in the five years of its op< ration has graduated three classes, with a total of 49 boys. It has enrolled in the five years 134 pupils. The yearly classes, with their enrollment, have been as follows: 1908-9, 34; 1909-10, 15; 1910-11, 30; 1911-12, 25; 1912-13, 30; total, 134.
In September, 1913, approximately 56 boys are taking this course.
The graduates for the three years were as follows: In June, 1911, 20; 1912, 10; 1913, 19; total, 49.
The occupations to which the boys have been assigned during the five years were as follows: Drafting, 8; iron molding, 4; machinist, 86; office work, 6; pattern making, 6; printing, 2; saw making, 10; textile work, 8; tinsmithing, 4; total, 134.
Those who have received diplomas are now employed to a great extent in the occupation elected by them during their school period or have gone to higher institutions to fit for teaching. The following table indicates their present employment:
Occupations of graduates.
The average wage of the graduates has not been determined, bu' no graduate is now working for less than $2 a day, and one is employed at his trade at a salary of $40 a week. They measure up well with their fellow workman, and from conversations with super intendents and foremen, the future of the boys now out in the world seems very promising.