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Creative Impulse in Industry by Helen Marot

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it is. But the intention of these industrial schools is to train
the children in the acceptance of processes and methods which are
established. Nowhere, in no country, has this intention been so
successfully realized, because nowhere has it been so successfully
organized as in Germany through its continuation school system. And
nowhere as in Germany are the people so successfully subjected to
an institutionalized life as it has been worked out in the light of
modern technology and business.

* * * * *

There are other and special reasons why the best of industrial
education experiments in America have not met with greater
hospitality. The average American parent still believes that a boy
"rises" in the industrial world, not as they once thought through his
ability as a workman. The men of their acquaintance who have been
successful, have attained wealth and position, not as a rule through
their mastery of technique or their skill in a trade; they have not
come by their promotion merely on account of good workmanship, but
through influence. It might be that they had had their "chance"
through a relative or successful business man, or it might be that
they "got next" to a politician, who required no other qualification
than "smartness." A boy in a telegraph or a lawyer's office has a
better opportunity to reach influence than a boy in a workshop.
The scholastic requirement for such advancement as these vocations
contemplate, is provided for in the established school program of the
lower grades. A certain display of a few historical and literary
facts beside a facility in reading, writing, and arithmetic are the
qualifications which average parents believe are the necessary ones
for their children's advancement. And, taking the situation in general
as it is, they are right, and will be as long as the whole social
system discounts productive effort and rewards exploitation of
productive enterprise.

Obviously false from an educational point of view as these school
standards are, they are true to the facts, to the actual situation
which the parents have to face. The wave of popular opposition to a
reorganization of the schools for a preparation of the children for
factory life expresses the original conception of popular education
among sovereign people. The common school system exists, it is still
assumed, to fit the children to rule their own lives; to give them
an equipment which will protect them from a servitude to others. Its
ability to do this had not been questioned a generation ago and,
theoretical as its original intention is to-day, its traditional
purpose to develop the power of each child to govern his destiny,
holds over. If training children to read, write and count, training
them in facts relating to history and language, did not, as it had
been hoped, lay the world at the feet of the children, training them
in factory processes, parents felt competent to declare, laid the
children at the feet of exploiters. That is where in any case, in
the light of common experience, they might expect them to land. To
reorganize the schools with that possibility in mind was for the
parents a surrender of their gambling chance.

The promoters of industrial education, with some success, have made it
clear to the community generally that parents were giving heavy odds
in their gamble, but these promoters would have made this more obvious
to parents if they could have shown that the assets accruing from the
new school curriculum increased more materially than has the wage
earning capacity of their children. The results for individual
children are not sufficiently striking to advertise the departure, and
if they were, the departure would not warrant the endorsement of the
community on the ground of the higher wage, as wages are fixed by
competition. They are advanced by a general increase in productivity.
But the increase that occurs through more efficient methods in
productive enterprise is not a real increase; it does not relatively
affect the social or economic position of the wage earner.

In the last analysis, the wage return is not an educator's criterion,
in spite of the pragmatic recommendation of the Cleveland Survey. The
Survey's recommendation for a reorganization of the school system is
based on the belief that the school is, or should be, an integral
expression or reflection of the life of the community; that to
function vitally it must be contemporaneous with that life, as are all
serviceable institutions. As a school reflects the life of a community
it enriches the experience of the children and endows them with the
knowledge and power to deal with environment. When a school system
disregards, as our established system does, the entire reorganization
of the industrial world, it stultifies growth and cultivates at the
same time an artificial concept of life, a false sense of values.
The German system of industrial education has recognized the
reorganization of the industrial world, but this recognition has meant
the sacrifice of individual life and development; it has come to
mean in short the prostitution of a people and the creation of a

None of our industrial educational systems or vocational guidance
experiments disclose the full content of the industrial life nor do
they give the children the knowledge or power to deal with it. The
general dissatisfaction with these school movements is that they
neither prostitute the schools in the interest of the employers nor
endow the children with power to meet their own problems. The training
in technique which they supply has a bearing on the every day life
around them which stories of Longfellow's life have not. But that
technique, divorced as it is from its purpose, its use or final
disposition, is as valueless as a crutch for a man without arms.
An elaboration of technology through instruction in the general
principles of physical science, industrial and political history and
the aesthetics of industry only emphasizes the absence of the
really significant factors. The conspicuously absent factors in all
industrial educational schemes are those which give men the ability to
control industry. No work in subject matter is educational which does
not in intention or in fact give the person involved the ability to
participate in the administration of industry, or the ability to judge
the extent of his mastery over the subject. Industrial educational
schemes, even the best of them, leave the pupils helpless before
their subject. As they furnish them with a certain dexterity and
acquaintance with processes and a supply of subject matter necessarily
more or less isolated, the pupils gain a sense of the power of the
subject to control them, rather than an experience in their power to
master the subject. The industrial school emphasizes the fact that the
administration and disposition of wealth production is no concern of
those versed in the technique of fabrication.

Many educators appreciate the lack of content provided by industrial
school systems as, with weak emphasis, they undertake to embroider the
system with history and aesthetics of textiles or other raw material
which the workers handle, or introduce the story of past processes.
As this furbishing of impoverished industry fails dismally to add
content, it succeeds in emphasizing the actual poverty that exists.

Dr. Stanley Hall makes the suggestion that books on the leading trades
should be written to stimulate the interest and intelligence of the
young who are engaged in industry or preparing to become the wage
earners of the trades. In speaking of "the urgent necessity now of
books on the leading trades addressed to the young," he says;[A] "The
leather industry, particularly boot and shoe manufacture, is perhaps
the most highly specialised of all in the sense that an operator
may work a lifetime in any one of the between three and four score
processes through which a shoe passes and know little of all the rest.
Now the _Shoe Book_ should describe hides and leathers, tanning,--old
and new methods, with a little of the natural history of the animals,
describe the process of taking them, of curing and shipping, each
stage in the factory, designating those processes that require skill
and those that do not, and so on to packing, labeling and shipping,
with descriptions showing the principles of the chief machines and
labor-saving devices, at any rate so far as they are not trade
secrets; it should include a glance at markets, prices, effects of
business advance, depression and strikes, perhaps something about
the hygiene of the foot, about bootblacks and what is done for them,
history of the festivals and organizations from St. Crispin and the
guilds down, tariffs, syndicates, societies, statistics, social
conditions in shoe towns, nationality of operatives,--all these
could be concisely set forth to show the dimensions, the centers of
interest, the social and commercial relations of the business, etc.
What is not yet realized is that all these things could and should be
put down in print and picture, almost as if it were to be issued as a
text-book or a series of them; all of this could be done to bring out
the very high degree of culture value now latent in the subject. Just
this is what pedagogues do not and will not see, and what even shoe
men fail to realize; viz., that the story of their craft rightly told,
would tend to give it some degree of professional and humanistic
interest and dignity which the most unskilled and transient employee
would feel. It would foster an esprit de corps, pride in membership
and above all an intelligent view of the whole field that would make
labor more valuable and more loyal. This material, once gathered,
should be used in some form in all industrial schools and courses in
towns where this industry dominates. It would bring a wholesome sense
of corporeity, historic and economic unity, would give a touch of the
old guild spirit and more power to see both sides on the part of both
employers and workmen. Nothing is so truly educational in the deepest
psychological sense of that word as useful information vitalized by
individual and vocational interest."

[Footnote A: Stanley Hall, Educational Problems; p. 624.]

Dr. Hall's idea of a Book of Industry might have emanated from the
heart of Mr. Carnegie. With the same benign detachment he seems to
have mused at his desk about the shoe industry and the people engaged
in it. It would not take more than a passing acquaintance with the
girls and men in shoe manufacturing towns to know that if there was
established a village library equipped with the history of shoes,
the aesthetics of shoes, shoe economics, shoe technology, and shoe
hygiene, not one of the girls or men who worked in the shoe factories
would darken its doors to read about shoes. They would not for this
simple reason; the workers' "individual and vocational interest" does
not exist. They would say that they already knew more than they cared
to about shoes. No literature could add culture or dignity to the
job of stitching vamps for all the working hours and days of a wage
earner's year, while there is no experience of cultural value in
the occupation, divided as the making of a shoe is into some ninety
operations, and distributed among ninety workers. Dr. Hall's
suggestion that a Shoe Book be written is a good suggestion but he
must supply a better basis for a reader's interest than industry has
given him, that is, industry as it is now administered. He cannot
impose culture or dignity through books on a trade which is
prostituted by business for profiteering. If the purpose of the Shoe
Book was to create the glamor that was intended around the present
day arrangement of making shoes, it would be a false contribution in
schoolroom equipment; it would be as pernicious as other literature
that introduced an artificial note into a real and living experience
like industry.

The most romantic account of shoe making will do nothing to bridge the
gulf between capital and labor as Dr. Hall seems so confidently to
believe it should. The problem is not so simple or so easily disposed
of. As Dr. Hall himself says: "As long as workmen are regarded as
parts of the machinery to be dumped on the scrap heap as soon as
younger and stronger hands can be found, the very point of view
needful for the correct solution of vocational education, is
wanting."[A] Dr. Hall recognizes some evils which are inherent in the
present scheme of industry and which are antagonistic to growth,
but neither he nor any of the advocates of the German methods of
industrial education make provisions in their educational schemes for
eliminating the aspect which contemplates the dumping of workers on
scrap heaps. None of the advocates view the equipment of workers for
industry in terms radically different from the terms in which they
are viewed by business men; they offer them technique and matter of
insignificance and indirection; they make no suggestion or move
to open up the adventure of industry for the worker's actual
participation in it; they accept the organization of industry which
excludes their participation as an unalterable fact; even unalterable
as an experience in the prevocational schemes of education.

[Footnote A: Stanley Hall--Educational Problems, p. 632.]

National, state and local campaigns have been carried on in America
during the last fifteen years for the protection of childhood and
youth. They have been on the whole successful in their purpose to
get children out of factories and stores and into schools. It was
an embarrassment to the pioneers in the campaign to find that the
children were against them; that they preferred factory or commercial
life to the schools. The evidence of this preference was their
wholesale exodus from schools when they reached an age where they were
acceptable to employers or where they were not prevented by law. Back
of the exodus, universal as it is, there is an urge of elemental
force. A common accounting for it, the nearest at hand, is that
parents of working class children are penurious; or that they are too
ignorant to understand the deteriorating effect of factory life on
children; or that they are too hard pressed in their physical needs to
consider the best interest of the children. This reason given for the
failure of the schools to supply children with matter of interest or
significance to them, explained only why children did not want to stay
in school; it did not explain their eagerness to enter industry. None
of the reasons accounted for the zest of the children for wage earning

The failure of the schools to hold the children gave educators who
recognized the artificial character of school curricula, their best
reason for introducing matter relating to industrial life. The
children's preference was indeed a valuable indication where reality
or real subject matter would be found. The change off from old school
subject matter to instruction in methods of industry was a logical
experiment. But the movement for industrial education was not inspired
by a watchful sympathetic observation of children's needs; it was in
line with the general theory, more or less accepted, that schools
should be a reflection of the children's environment; it was in line
with the demand of employers for efficient workers either equipped for
specific processes or adaptable to factory methods.

If the promoters of industrial education had been observers of
children from twelve to fourteen and sixteen years, they would have
found that as they left school they were eager not for skill in
technical processes, not for wages, not for greater freedom of
association in adult life, not for any of these alone, but for all of
these as they were a part of the adventure of the adult world in which
they lived. "We have neglected to study the most vital thing in the
situation, namely the zests of the young ... we have not taken account
of the nature of the great upheaval at the dawn of the teens, which
marks the pubescent ferment and which requires distinct change in the
matter and method of education. This instinct is far stronger and has
more very ostensive outcrops than in any other age and land, and it is
less controlled by the authority of school or the home. It is a period
of very rapid, if not fulminating psychic expansion. It is the natal
hour of new curiosities, when adult life first begins to exert its
potent charm. It is an age of exploration, of great susceptibility,
plasticity, eagerness, pervaded by the instinct to try and plan in
many different directions."[A]

[Footnote A: Stanley Hall--Education Problems, pp. 544-545.]

Children of this adolescent time would respond more readily to school
instruction, related to the adult activities which held their
interest and connected in some way with their own conception of their
functioning in the adult world. Courses of study in processes of
industry and practice in the technique of those processes would have
actual bearing on the environment of which they were eager to be a

But instruction in mechanical processes and practice in technique of
manufacture are the husks of industry when divorced from the planning,
the management, the examination of problems, the determination of the
value of goods in their use and in their place in the market, the
division of labor throughout an enterprise, the relation of all
persons involved to each other and to the product. The schools with
their industrial education courses do not undertake to supply their
young people with an opportunity to plan; they are true reflections of
factory existence as they eliminate all the adventure of industry, the
opportunity for experiment and discovery; they do not satisfy the high
impulse of young people to be of use, to be a part of the world of
work. The spirit of the schools is preparation for something to come;
the spirit of the children is in the present, and the present pressing
impulse of adolescence is to share adult responsibilities.

The impulse of youth to take its place in adult life is exploited by
industry and repressed or perverted by a system of education which
fits the children into a system of industry without giving them the
insight and power to effect adjustments. The actual job in a trade has
satisfying features which the school lacks. It pays wages. That fact
for eager children is estimated beyond its purchasing power. For
them it is an acknowledgment, a very real one, that they have been
admitted, are wanted in the big world where they are impelled by their
psychic needs, to enter. It places them more nearly on an equality
with the older members of their family and entitles them to
consideration which was not given them as dependent children. They
learn shortly of how little account they are to the boss employer but
they are establishing all the time a new basis of contact and a new
place in their personal relations; they are establishing it because
they have economic value in the world outside of home as well as in

The industrial schools and the old type of schools are both adult
schemes of getting children ready for adult life, not by experiencing
it, but by doing certain things well so that they can be entrusted to
do later on, what adults in their wisdom have decided that they are to
do. But they fail to prepare children for the future as they fail to
supply the children's present urgent needs. They use the period for
ulterior purposes; purposes ulterior to the period of growth with
which they are dealing. As they use this period for another time than
its own, in effect they exploit it. Without consciousness of the fact
so far as the children are concerned, the schools exploit this period
of growth as effectively as the employers reap the profits of child
labor. Employers as beneficiaries have more reason than the schools
for diverting youth from its own purposes, as they are under the
necessity of a price system which is competitive. The schools as
well as industry use up the placticity of youth; they kill off the
eagerness of children to explore and plan, and cast it aside for more
consequential ends.

The consequential ends in America, we have seen, have been less
clearly defined than in Germany. Within a year, the United States has
become conscious as a nation of place and power, conscious that it is
to play a part with the other states of the world. In playing this
part, will it retain its role of servant of the people, or will it
assume with its new world dignity the role, if not of master, then of
leadership? If still servant, will it serve more efficiently than it
has our dominant institution, industry? If the silent partnership
between business and the state is strengthened, will not the promoters
of industry be in a better position than before to appeal through the
state, through the patriotism intensified by our newly acquired world
position, for a more universal and a systematized adaptation of
workers in industry? The schools in their disinterested capacity,
disinterested, that is, in the profits of production, it would seem
could be used most effectively toward this end. German manufacture
made that clear to American manufacture before the war. It also must
be remembered that it was Prussian pride for imperial position that
inspired the complete and efficient surrender of the German schools to
the needs of the German manufacturers.

America is, of course, "different." All peoples are. But so is our
position in the world different from what it was. Our position is not
now, nor could it be, the German position. Our past is different,
and that will continuously have its effect on our future. But we are
facing a great period of change, and the strongest forces in the
country are the industrial, and the strongest leaders are the
financiers. What the financiers and industrial managers most want is
efficient, docile labor. The German system of education, in spite of
the fact that we are different, might conceivably have that effect on
the youth of this country. Under the pressure of industrial rivalry
after the war, under the pressure of an imperial industrial policy, it
may be that the people of the country will yield to the introduction
of a scheme of education which it has been proved elsewhere can fit
children better than any other known scheme into a system of mass

It is clear that industry could set up models of behavior more
successfully in the name of education than in its own, and to the
extent American children come up to these models the more employable
they would be from the standpoint of business. If the pressure is
sufficiently strong the people may yield to the introduction of a
system of compulsory continuation schools similar to those of Germany.
If they do, I believe they will eventually fail. But there is danger
through loss of energy and loss of purpose in their introduction. Is
it impossible for us to hold to our native experimental habits of life
and attain standards of workmanship? Is it possible to realize the
full strength of associated effort and at the same time advance wealth

Germany's industrial supremacy was due, as Professor Veblen shows,
to the fact that machine industry was imposed ready-made on a people
whose psychology was feudal. The schools of Germany, an essential part
of her industrial enterprise, were organized on the servility of the
people. We now know what building as Germany has built her educational
and industrial system on the weakness of a people means. We are in the
process of discovering whether in sacrificing the expansion of her
people she can secure a permanent expansion of her Empire. It would
seem the better part of statesmanship in America after the war to
build industrially on the strength of our people and not on the
weakness of another. It is the business of educators to point out the
danger and to discover whether efficiency may not be gained in the
country by giving children in their adolescent period the impulse for
production and high standards of work, not for the sake of the state,
but for themselves, for the sake of the community,--out of love of
work and for the value of its service.



As capital and so far labor have failed to make industry an expansive
experience it becomes, as Professor Dewey has pointed out, the
business of educators concerned with the growth of individuals to
cultivate the field.

If educators regard opportunities for growth with sufficient jealousy
they will not wait for industry to emerge with a new program, or
system of production; they will initiate productive enterprises
where young people will be free to gain first hand experience in the
problems of industry as those problems stand in relation to their
time and generation. Their alliance should be made with engineers and
architects and the managers of industry who have made themselves,
through experience and training, masters of applied science and
the economics of production. Engineers, not under the influence of
business, are qualified to open up the creative aspects of production
to the workers and to convince them through their own experience that
that there are adventurous possibilities in industry outside the
meagre offerings of payday. Mr. Robert Wolf is one of the engineers
who is ready for the venture. He told the members of the Taylor
Society that "scientific managers have not been scientific enough in
dealing with this very important subject of stimulating the thinking
and reasoning power of the workman, thereby making him self-reliant
and creative." In describing the field in which practical engineers
should operate, he laid stress on their giving large space to the
originating, choosing, adapting power in men and the direction of it
into positive constructive channels; to men's self-consciousness of
their place in the great scheme of things.

This conception of the field of operation for engineers also described
the field for educators. The latter have failed to seize the chance
in the present industrial arrangement for the development of "the
originating, choosing power" in the working man because they have been
obsessed by the business appreciation of the working man's power of
adaptation. It is because they labor under this obsession that they
turn industrial education into industrial training whenever they
include industry in their curricula. Educators know that there is
adventure in industry, but they believe that the adventure is the rare
property of a few. They believe this so finally that they surrender
this great field of experience with its priceless educational content
without reserving the right of such experience even for youth.
They know, as we all do, that industrial problems carry those who
participate in their solution into pure and applied science; into the
market of raw materials and finished products; into the search for
unconquered wealth. They know that the marketing of goods is an
extensive experience in the world of men and desires. They are not
alone in their lack of courage to admit that limiting this experience
perverts normal desires and creates false ones. For the sake of
education it is to be hoped that such engineers as Mr. Wolf may
overcome the timidity of educators, and that, in conjunction with men
capable of productive enterprise, they will undertake to give young
people an experience which is not tagged on to industry under the
influence of profits, but which is inspired by the desire to produce
and the opportunity to develop the inspiration.

Before establishing a system of industrial education like Germany's,
or extending the makeshift attempts which have been introduced here in
the United States, it would seem well to undertake experiments which
would stimulate the impulses of youth for creative experience,
which would give them an industrial experience where the motive of
exploitation is absent and where the stimulus was the content which
the production of wealth offers. Such experiments would entail the
organization of workshops in connection with schools in which the
workshop experience was translated and extended.

Such workshops would be financed independently of the schools. They
would not be financed on a basis of profits, but the capital invested
would draw a legal rate of interest. The enterprise would be under the
direction of managers competent in technological processes, in the
estimate of costs, and the organization of the work on a basis of
productive efficiency. The working force would be a corps of young
people who had received their elementary school certificates and their
certificates for employment together with the necessary complement of
adult workers for the successful development of the plant. The working
force would be paid the market rate of wages. The juvenile members of
the force would be paid on a half-time basis as they would work in
alternate shifts in the shop and in the school, so that work in the
shop would be continuous and would run on full time. The exchange of
shifts between the shop and school would occur daily or weekly or
semi-weekly, as it was conducive to the health and the intellectual
experience of the children and to the needs of production in the
organization of the shop.

The workshop would be devoted to the production of some marketable
article or articles which are simple in construction. The selection of
the product would not depend upon technical processes of construction
to furnish educational subject matter. Educationally speaking, the
acquisition of technique is a factor, but not a primary one, in the
modern scheme of production. The primary factors are those which have
universal significance, that is which are common to all industry, the
relation of labor, of mechanical equipment, of raw material, of the
finished product to the whole and to each other; the relation of the
market to productive effort and an effective organization of all of

The technical processes or their acquisition are of educational value,
because they furnish the necessary experience for the evaluation and
appreciation of workmanship; or would furnish a basis for such a
valuation if the educational factors which are common to all industry
were matters in which all the workers participated and were matters
which they understood. It may be that there are certain mechanical
processes which have universal technical significance and on that
account would have special educational value, but even if those
processes were determined and selected for industrial instruction and
acquisition, it would not imply that those who acquired them were
industrially educated. They would be industrially equipped to act as
efficient factory attachments, but the acquisition of processes, even
the fundamental ones we have had ample opportunity to discover, do not
inspire creative interests and desires.

Because educational content in modern factory work is not accessible
to the mass of workers, we have fostered the illusion that the
educational subject matter of industry was inherent in the technical
process of fabrication. As we have fostered this illusion, we have
missed the educational principle applicable to the craft period,
as well as to the present, that the condition of the educational
requirement, is that workers' participation in productive enterprise
coincide in the long run with creative intention and accomplishment.
This central requirement of industrial education means that
individuals learn to function with conscious creative intention in the
environment in which they live and that their learning furnishes a
basis for critical and informed evaluations in industrial activity. In
the craft period the creative intention required the worker's mastery
over every process of his craft. In this machine age of associated
enterprise the creative intention requires the ability to associate
with others in the administration of industry as well as to take the
place of an individual in the routine of factory work

For the reasons I have just stated the educational experiments I am
suggesting could cover advantageously one of the many industries
which are generally classed as unskilled, and almost any one of these
unskilled routine industries would serve as well as another. Almost
any one of the so-called child labor industries could be made over
into opportunities for young people to experience the stimulating
effect of associating with others in a productive effort, and gain the
impetus which the stimulation supplied to pursue their subject matter
far afield in general mechanics, science, economics, geography,
history and art.

For the educational purposes of the experiment the selection of the
industry would not be made on the ground that the technical processes
of one required greater intellectual activity than another; neither
would the selection depend upon whether or not the industry chosen
offered young people better chances than another for entrance to a
trade where jobs, comparatively speaking, drew fair rates of wages,
or the economic conditions were in other respects superior. The
experiment would in no sense be a trade preparation but an experience
where the enterprise of production was opened up and the possibilities
of creative life were realized in association with others, so far as
the conditions and time allowed.

The industrial basis for selection of such experiment should hinge,
first, on whether or not the young people could function in the
industry advantageously to themselves educationally speaking and
to the industry socially considered: that is, whether or not the
productive processes were in line with the capacity of adolescent
children and the product was of social value; second, whether the
product could be introduced successfully in the market and the
enterprise become self-supporting.

At the present time, a proposition for the promotion of such an
educational experiment is being worked out. Wooden toys have been
chosen as the article for manufacture, because, first, the models were
sufficiently simple in construction to make the work practical for
young people who make up the workshop staff; it is practical for the
majority of the staff to range in age from 14 to 17 years. Second, the
work done by Caroline Pratt on children's playthings has disclosed the
fact that the present toy market is below grade from the point of view
of the service of toys to children. The market does not supply the
children with the sort of material and the sort of tools they require
in their play schemes. Therefore, the product chosen has a legitimate
social claim on the market. However, it would be valid, though not so
interesting, if a certain sort of paper box which filled a legitimate
trade need had been selected and a paper box factory had been set up
as the basis of the experiment. As a theoretical illustration of my
general thesis, paper boxes would serve better than wooden toys,
because the latter product, as it is conceived, covers special
intellectual content. But the particular sort of content is not a
fundamental requirement for the educational purpose of the experiment.
However, as the experiment is actually being planned in connection
with wooden toys, I shall use the plan, as far as it is worked out,
as my illustration. I shall refer later in discussing the school
curriculum to the special intellectual content which the manufacture
of these toys will represent.

After I set down the details of the experiment, which is now being
planned for a workshop and school concerned with the production of
play materials, I am hoping that educators and industrial managers may
readily make the application to other lines of industry. The plan is
tentatively confined to a two years' course. It may be found that two
years is too long a time to confine the pupils to the work and the
problems of the shop. It may be found in the first year that the
pupils will be interested in following some of the problems not
in relation to their work and in that case they would break their
connection with the shop.

The working staff of the Toy Shop will include forty young people
(twenty at work at a time in the shop) from 14 to 17 years who have
received their working certificates and have left school with the
intention of going to work. It will include also six or seven adults
who will do the work on machines too heavy or unsafe for children to
handle and who will help to supervise and direct the children in
their tasks. The shop itself will equal the best of shops in point of
equipment, safety and sanitation. It will not, however, like many of
the best, elaborate these basic features in ornamental expenditures.
The shop will present itself to the young workers as sustaining the
best and most essential standards in use, but like all other problems
connected with the shop, the best will always be presented as a
temporary achievement which with sufficient attention can be improved.
An important source from which improvements may be expected is the
staff of workers who are in constant contact with the plant. In other
words, nothing will be offered the workers in the spirit of final
achievement, and the suggestion of completeness will be avoided. The
opportunity to test out and appreciate the standards will occur in the
shop experience, and the chance to achieve or experiment with other
standards will be reserved, as I shall show presently, for the school
hours. This will be the case with methods of work and with shop
organization. During the hours in the shop the workers will be
occupied wholly with their special tasks as they would be in any other
shop, that is in any shop which had due consideration for the labor
force; as much consideration as it usually has for the economy and the
protection of the mechanical force would be considerable.

The workers may acquire the technique of all or of several of the
processes. Their general facility in technique may contribute to their
productive value in the shop or their mastery over several processes
may have its educational value for them in relation to the industry as
a whole; they may to advantage shift from one process to another to
relieve the strain of routine work. For the sake of production and for
the sake of the educational value to the workers, the shifting of the
workers from one process to another will be a matter of experiment.
But the workers will not be shifted from one construction process to
another for the sake of learning all the processes because skill
in all the processes is not a requisite either of education or
production. The experience in the shipping of goods and in the
handling of raw materials, in the installation of power, in the
upkeep of the equipment and the general care of the factory will be
participated in by all the workers in their turn, according to the
requirements of the industry.

While there will be adjustment of the workers, and trials as to the
place of each will be made in the shop, intensive experiments in shop
organization, like other shop problems, will be carried out in the
school. This arrangement will serve the educational and the productive
purpose, as experimentation should not be limited by the requirements
of the shop, but by the requirements of industry at large. The school
will be indeed the workshop laboratory where problems which originate
in the shop can be taken over for analysis and solution. These
concrete shop problems will represent required school subjects as the
progress of the shop and the success of the enterprise depend upon
their solution.

Among these required subjects are:

_First: The Technical Problems of Manufacture_, such as (a) the
receiving and the storing of stock; (b) making out orders for
stock from shop orders and bills of materials; (c) planning
operation and routing work; (d) standardizing materials and
simplifying operations; (e) the elimination in loss of time in
waiting for material; (f) the division of labor; (g) advantages
and disadvantages of supervising in certain operations; (h)
machine versus hand work and quantity production; (i) preparing
and routing shipments; (j) making out bills of lading; (k) study
of friction, loose belts, improper oiling, tool cutters and saws.

_Second: Keeping the Financial Accounts and Estimating Costs._ (a)
Making out bills of materials; (b) calculating costs of material
from bill; (c) calculating board measure and unit cost of direct
labor and indirect labor; (d) calculations of power used by each
unit of machine power; (e) calculating pay roll; (f) making out
business forms, such as billing goods, invoices, calculating
discounts; (g) paying bills by check, note and draft; (h) business
correspondence; (i) banking, depositing money, obtaining money on
notes, discounting notes, drawing notes, balances of check books
and checking up cancelled vouchers and obtaining bank balances;
(j) time and call loans; (k) calculations and payment of interest
on capital; (l) maintenance of sinking fund.

_Third: Up-keep of the Working Force, Buildings and Equipment._
(a) Heating, ventilating and lighting of the factory in relation
to its effect on the workers; (b) valuation for each worker of his
own physical condition and expert advice in regard to nutrition
and other physical needs; (c) care of motors and mechanical
equipment, care of belts, saws and cutters; (d) efficient
installation of motors, sectional drive and individual drive;
(e) disposition of sawdust, etc., study of exhaust fans and
construction operation and function.

_Fourth: The Economics of the Enterprise._ (a) The market of the
raw material--the study of the market in relation to grades, to
cost, to transportation, to quantity in cost of purchases, to time
of purchase; (b) manufactured product; selection of models
in relation to their use and their art values; their cost of
manufacture; relation to the selling price; the relation of cost
to quantity and quality; (c) the relation of the rate of wages
paid in the shop to rates paid in similar industries, to cost
of production, to needs of the workers; (d) necessary margin of
income over expenses for the up-keep of the plant, for its
extension, for the maintenance of the sinking fund and possible
contribution to the expense of the school; (e) the economic value
of the school to the work of the shop.

_Fifth: Art and Service._ The shop will not depend upon the pupils
in the school for models, but will welcome models which come from
the pupils as evidence that the shop experience is a stimulating
one. But it will be recognized that the pupils will have little to
offer on account of their inexperience and that there is a world
of designers from whom to draw and the shop is eager to command
the best models which are obtainable. There will be a Jury for the
determination of models to be manufactured. This Jury will
receive certain instruction on the subject of toys, and will be
responsible for making further study of the subject. But as has
been pointed out for the last ten years by Caroline Pratt, who
has given the subject scientific attention, toys are the t
of little children which, they use in their effort to become
acquainted with their environment, which they use in schemes of
play, and which are in fact efforts on their part to try out and
experience the adult life into which they are thrown.

Because this is true and the market is unsupplied with toys of
serious value to children, the subject will be a matter for
development and the introduction in the market of models which
will serve the purpose of children in their play will be
considered a matter of social importance and demand the serious
consideration of the Jury. This Jury will be composed of the
workers in the shop, the manager of the shop, an artist, and
one or two people who have given the subject of toys careful
attention. Discussion of the Toy Jury on submitted toys will
center around, first, the value of the toys as tools to the
children in their schemes of play, and second, around the art
value. Both these points will entail much examination and thought.
The first will involve fundamentally the subject of education,
and the second, the technique of art as it is expressed through
drawing, color and design, but the decision in regard to
models for manufacture finally can not rest on either of these
fundamental points. It will hinge on whether or not the models
selected are practical for production and whether they can be
marketed at a price which will cover cost of manufacture.

The attention of the pupils will be directed to the factory and
school buildings and the importance of making them a pleasant
workplace and an acquisition to the neighborhood in which they are
situated. The problem of noise from machinery and dirt and
dust from fuel will be taken up as subjects demanding generous

_Sixth: Literature and History._ Authentic accounts and
inspirational stores of industrial life, especially of the lumber,
the woodworking, and the toy industry will be gathered by the
pupils and the teachers. Special excursions, investigations, or
general observations casually or unexpectedly made by the pupils
and teachers will be turned to literary use or historical record.
The pupils will be given full opportunity to write out statements
of facts they have discovered or to write stories or plays
or poetry which are inspired by the subject matter they have
gathered. These literary productions will not be called for as
exercises in the art of writing or of fact-recording, but as
contributions toward the equipment of the school. The books
which are collected as well as the original compositions will be
submitted to critical analysis and accepted as accessions to
the library if they come up to standards in authenticity and in
literature. The teachers as well as the pupils will submit new
books or other matter and before they are accepted, they will be
subject to the same critical analysis as the material submitted by
the children. This analysis will be the literary experience and
training as it will be participated in by all the pupils who are
interested in this expression of their work.

Not all of this school work is incident to the success of the shop, if
we measure success by usual business standards. But it is all incident
to the development of a creative impulse in the individual, and it
is incident to the development of industry as a socially productive
enterprise. The fact that the school and shop work represent the
planning and the decisions, that they demand knowledge and experience,
does not signify that the young people will assume to carry more
responsibility than they are capable of, or that more will be
expected of them than they are equal to. It does not mean that their
insufficiency will not be recognized and admitted. On the contrary
the accumulated knowledge and experience of the adult workers and the
teachers will be appreciated by the pupils as they have the chance
to make real and full evaluations. All the members of the staff will
carry on the work in the shop as producers and learners and it is
hoped they will carry on the work in the school in the same spirit.
Young people will stand in the relation of partners as well as pupils
to the adults associated with them. If the school and the workshop
experience gives its pupils a regard for high accomplishment it will
be unnecessary to stress the fact that as responsible members of
the working staff the learners are not on a footing with the expert
workers. The teachers or shop managers will help the younger members
to gain the knowledge and facility which they have acquired as fellow
members of an enterprise In which all have a common interest The
participation of the young members in the enterprise will be great or
small depending upon their achievement of standards. For instance, in
the case of office work whether the individual children are entrusted
with the correspondence, bookkeeping or banking, will depend upon
whether or not they have achieved the adult standards in the shop
for such business details. But standards in business accounting, in
estimating costs, in planning operations, and in technique, will not
be maintained as they usually are in industrial schools for the sake
of the training, but for the purpose of carrying forward successfully
the actual work with which the shop is concerned. While the
educational experience is concerned in part with appreciation of
workmanship, creative inspiration in modern industry will never be
a common experience until the workers gain an understanding and
recognise the significance of their special enterprise in relation to
other industrial enterprises and to the business of wealth production
as a whole.

If the school experience is educational, the interest of the pupils in
subject matter will not end with the solution of their shop problems
or with their experience in industry. The above outline of tentative
school subjects representing as they do the solution of the problems
of a specific industry signifies merely the starting point of an
adventure for young people in the serious affairs of adult life. There
will be a large margin for choice in the election of subjects in which
individual children will care to specialize but these subjects will
be related more or less directly to the industry. The pupils will
doubtless be freer in the second year than in the first to choose
where they want to specialize as they will have had time in which to
establish their ground work.

But the election of studies in a two years' half-time course will not
admit of flights very far afield of the subject in hand and of the
problems originally set up. Those children who find that their
participation in a productive enterprise is an enriching experience
may elect to follow some special leads in science, in the past
and present history of manufacture and commerce, in economics, in
literature or in art. The intention of the school is to open up
opportunities for such expansive expressions of the concrete
experience as time and the capacity of the pupils admit, provided
that the expression has its valid relation to the promotion or the
enrichment of the enterprise of which they are responsible members.

Certain pupils, we will say, will elect to carry further than others
the testing of fuel, of heating and ventilating. Others may be
concerned with experiments in power. A subject possibly will become
of such absorbing interest to a pupil that he will want to experiment
with the one he elects for its own sake and without relation to the
problems in the shop. His interest may carry him into pure science,
unattached to any problem in hand. In such cases the pupil should
be given a chance to test out his interest; he should be placed on
probation in relation to his elected subject and if his interest
holds and is sufficiently serious he will be advised to give up the
school-shop work and follow the lead his interest has taken in some
other place or school.

Indeed the value of the experiment will rest on discovering whether or
not it holds the interest of the pupils, or how and where it diverts
it. The experiment is launched on the assumption that the normal
adolescent child is concerned with the responsibilities of adult life;
especially it is assumed that he is concerned to function creatively,
to associate with others in productive work, to help supply such
fundamental needs as the housing, feeding and clothing and the
pleasures of the world demand. It is assumed that the desire for
experience in pure science, in art for art's sake, comes _before_ as
well as after this period when the need for social contact is, it is
again assumed, the dominating emotion. We have no scientific proof
that any of these things are true, but we have sufficient evidence to
justify an experiment.

Whether or not it is possible for modern industry to offer young
people a proper chance for making their social adjustments is also a
question which I hope this experiment may help to answer. We can do no
less than use the conditions of industry as they present themselves
to us as our basis for a trial. I have started with the belief that
possibly the division of labor and scientific methods of management
if handled by the workers in conjunction with engineers and people of
experience can be made the instruments of associated life. If there is
ground for this assumption it will be important to induce the young
people who enter the school and work shop to give their industrial
experience a fair trial and to postpone the pursuit of pure science or
art for its own sake.

The subject matter taken up in this school can be subjected to a
formal school classification, under such regular academic headings
as Mathematics, Science, Economics, Geography, History, Reading,
Composition and Drawing. While these subjects will be experimentally
rather than academically pursued, it will be a matter of small moment
and short time for pupils to makeup deficiencies which the traditional
school courses require. This is true because the pupils will have had
first hand experience with the subject matter in which the ordinary
school child is trained or hears about. The free pursuit of their
studies will give them a familiarity and speaking acquaintance with
the subject matter with which the traditional school is avowedly
concerned but which it handles and guards as though it were the
custodian of some precious, but insubstantial matter, belonging to a
world somewhat attenuated.

It is the intention of this educational experiment to bring down the
great enterprise of industry, so far as it is possible to its real
character and to high accomplishment, and in so doing to give the
young people the experience of the industrial adventure and full
achievement, lest they become the subjects of those who control the
movements of industry and determine the character of its advance. The
practical test of the experiment briefly outlined would be: (1) Was
the creative impulse aroused? (2) Were standards of workmanship
discovered and sustained? (3) Was a broad as well as a working
knowledge of subject matter acquired? (4) Did the children approach
established methods in a spirit of hospitality and of inquiry as to
their validity? (5) Did the problems create sufficient interest to
arouse the desire and will to reject faulty methods, and introduce
others of greater service? (6) Was the enterprise a productive one
from the point of view of the market and an educational one from the
point of view of growth?

Such experiments educators and engineers would enter together and
together enjoy in reality the development of creative effort, which
is their profession. Such productive educational experiments in the
absence of profiteering would give meaning to the early years of
industrial life which now lead the children nowhere. They would give
the young people, as the experiments come up to the test, the spirit
for the adventure of industrial life, the courage and desire for
solving the pressing issues of their time.

If the claim made by employers were true, that from 95 to 99 per
cent of the working force is without productive impulse, that this
condition of development represents, as they say it does, the "native
limitation" of the men who work, industry as a progressive enterprise
is doomed and high hopes for civilization are without foundation.

If the position of employers is true and the limitations of
individuals are as final as they have determined, there is nothing to
do except perfect the mechanical responses of men. This preeminently
would be the business of employers and not of education which is
concerned with the growth of the individual. On such a basis, it is
inconceivable that educators would concern themselves with preparing
people for industry. If, however, these limitations are not native,
but are due to some incompatibility between the institution of
industry and the interest of the labor force, then the limitations of
workers and of industry are a matter of paramount importance in the
field of education.

As I have said before there is a common supposition among people who
are not employers of labor, that such features of industry as the
mechanical devices of modern technology and the division of labor in
factory organization, are in their nature opposed to the expansive
development of the people involved; that these features of apparent
intrinsic importance to mass production, are antagonistic to
individual growth and to the interest of workers in productive effort.

Without question, it is the business of educators to determine whether
such features of industry as machinery and the division of labor are
fundamentally opposed to growth or whether they are opposed only
in the way in which they have been put to use and directed. We can
discover whether or not these features are opposed only as the people
concerned have the chance to master them and undertake, through their
experience, to turn them to account.

Because industry has been impersonalized and the mechanics of
associated effort in industry worked out in such large measure, it
is to-day possible to conceive of spiritual as well as physical
association in productive enterprise. A difficulty in the way of this
conception, aside from the business complex, is our habit of thinking
exclusively of creative effort as an individual expression. In
describing the individual expression we would say that a man may
create a machine but that when men jointly produce one they work. The
creative act is in the conception of the machine in conjunction with
its construction, and the conception, after our habit of thinking,
is an individual and isolated achievement. As a matter of fact it
frequently is. A man may create a machine if he conceives it and
constructs it or if he conceives and directs its construction. Those
he directs, those who do the work of construction alone, do not
participate in the creative act, as the creative act is the
concentrated intellectual and emotional expression and effort to
produce an article or idea. The creative impulse is concerned with the
transforming of a concept or some material into an expanded concept or
a new object. The creative impulse itself finds its satisfaction in
the process of completion and loses its force when the concept or
object is produced. The use of the concept or object created is not a
characteristic of the creative but of the social impulse. A man who is
interested in the use or application of a product, the value it has
for others, possesses the social impulse as well as the creative. One
impulse is intensive and the other extensive.

But the creative effort is not _necessarily_ an individual matter.
It may be possible for a group of people to associate cordially and
freely together with a single creative purpose and endeavor. It may be
possible for each worker to experience the joy of creative work as
he takes part with others in the planning of the work along with the
labor of fabrication. It is a creative experience or dull labor as
his association with others in the solution of the problem is freely
pursued and genuine, or as it is forced and perfunctory.

My justification for making this assertion will be recognized by every
one who has had the opportunity to attend shop meetings of a newly
organized trade union. These meetings are unique as they disclose the
force in a productive group, and the value of giving the individuals
engaged in routine work the opportunity to pool their common
experience and pass judgment on methods of work. Whatever decisions
these workers come to, none are fully realized or freely pursued under
conditions which industry imposes. But in the course of shop meeting
discussions, it becomes clear to an observer that methods of work is
as absorbing a topic as the relation of the work to the wage. The
routine which is the apparent result of the division of labor, becomes
under discussion a matter of technical import. The workers' knowledge
of labor saving devices and their resources for inventing new ones are
as expert as is the business man's knowledge of how labor cost can be
saved. This matter under discussion is of high interest and concern.
There is an integrity in the concern which evidently springs from
experience and the suppressed interest in perfecting methods and the
inter-relation of the workers in a shop. The vitality and intelligence
of these machine tenders may well inspire the agitator who addresses
their meetings to curse a system which withholds full knowledge of the
workshop and blocks the opportunity for eager workers to try out new
schemes born of intensive experience and failure to function in the
fullness of their capacity.

Industry offers opportunities for creative experience which is social
in its processes as well as in its destination. The imaginative end of
production does not terminate with the possession of an article; it
does not center in the product or in the skill of this or that man,
but in the development of commerce and technological processes and
the evolution of world acquaintanceship and understanding. Modern
machinery, the division of labor, the banking system, methods of
communication, _make possible_ real association. But they are real and
possible only as the processes are open for the common participation,
understanding and judgment of those engaged in industrial enterprise;
they are real and possible as the animus of industry changes from
exploitation to a common and associated desire to create; they are
real and possible as the individual character of industry gives way
before the evolution of social effort.

We speak of interdependence in industrial enterprise as though it were
some new thing. The early interdependence had its roots in the common
knowledge and use of an inherited technology, where property was
common in the common use of it. Interdependence due to modern
technology has increased, and the interdependence which characterizes
our own time is economic. The tools of industry as well as the natural
resources are owned, and only by application to the owner can a man
live or labor. However disastrous that ownership has been to past
generations, it has bound men together in their use of what we
ironically call labor saving devices; devices which have not saved
labor in the interest of labor.

Out of this close association of men in industry have grown our
national and international business corporations and our national
and international labor unions. These corporations and unions are
transforming local and provincial relations into cosmopolitan
acquaintanceship. The recognized value of the acquaintance is in
the extension of knowledge of people through their use and wont of
material things, of the ways and means of life outside limited and
personal areas. The acquaintanceship does not imply friendship
or sympathy or understanding among men or nations, it does not
necessarily result in wisdom, and to date, it does not result in a
larger social spirit. The acquaintanceship is based not on mutuality
of interest, but rather on rivalry and misinterpretations.

While our institutional life is an acknowledgment that interdependence
is a necessary factor in modern wealth production, we still measure
the strength of a man, or a society, or a nation, and say of all that
they are strong or weak as they are able apparently to stand alone. We
have not yet discovered that a desire to stand alone in an enterprise
where people are of necessity dependent, is a weakness and that our
ability to cooeperate with others in such an enterprise is a measure
of our strength, "From a social standpoint dependence denotes a power
rather than a weakness; it involves interdependence. There is always
danger that increased personal independence will decrease the social
capacity of an individual. In making him more self-reliant, it makes
him more self-sufficient; it may lead to aloofness and indifference.
It often makes an individual so insensitive in his relation to others
as to develop an illusion of being really able to stand and act alone,
an unnamed form of insanity which is responsible for a large part of
the remediable suffering of the world."[A]

[Footnote A: John Dewey--Democracy and Education, p. 52.]

This provincial desire of individuals to stand apart and prove to
themselves and to others that they are exceptional people is a
primitive ambition in conflict with the actual facts of a present day
society where interdependence is a law of living. This conflict is
kept alive by the industrial motive of exploitation of people and of
wealth. Exploitation precludes sympathy as it precludes growth. "For
sympathy--as a desirable quality is something more than mere feeling;
it is cultivated imagination for what men have in common and rebellion
at whatever unnecessarily divides them." And further, Professor Dewey
remarks: "It must be borne in mind that ultimately social efficiency
means neither more nor less than capacity to share in a give-and-take
experience. It covers all that makes one's own experience more worth
while to others and all that makes one participate more richly in the
worth while experiences of others."[A]

[Footnote A: John Dewey--Democracy and Education, p. 141.]

What Professor Dewey says in reference to the growth of children and
adults is as abundantly significant in its application to society.
"Normal child and normal adult alike ... are engaged in growing. The
difference between them is not the difference between growth and no
growth, but between the modes of growth appropriate to different
conditions. With respect to the development of powers devoted to
coping with specific scientific and economic problems we may say
the child should be growing in manhood. With respect to sympathetic
curiosity, unbiassed responsiveness, and openness of mind, we may say
that the adult should be growing in childlikeness."[A]

[Footnote A: John Dewey--Democracy and Education, p. 59.]

As America and the greater part of Europe have been for over a century
devoting their attention to coping with specific scientific and
economic problems, is their manhood due to appear? Is the raw,
immature character of present day association and interdependence to
be enriched by sympathetic curiosity, unbiased responsiveness and
openness of mind? In the midst of this world war I venture no
prediction on the appearance of manhood. But clearly there is a line
of action for educators to pursue. Clearer than ever before it is
evident that it is the business of educators to see that schemes of
education are introduced which do not fit children into a system of
industry that serves either Empire or business, but a system that
serves whole-heartedly creative enterprise as it might be pursued in
the period of youth as well us in adult life. Within the past century
and particularly in the past generation we have made brave efforts at
cooeperation, but our failures to realize the spirit of cooeperation are
as notorious as the efforts themselves. The effort to work together in
industry has been brutal rather than brave. We shall account for this
brutality in industry and recognize why the spirit for cooeperation in
other fields has failed, as we distinguish between a puerile desire
of individuals to express themselves and their impulses for creative

As industry through the ages has changed from the isolated business
of provisioning a family to the associated work of provisioning the
world, it has blazed a pathway for relationships which are socially
creative. But art in social relationships will not be realized until
a passionate desire for the unlimited expression of creative effort
overcomes inordinate desires of individuals for self-expression.
Art in living together is possible where the intensive interest of
individuals in their personal affairs and attainments, in their social
group, in their vocation, in their political state, is deeply tempered
by a wide interest and sympathetic regard for the life of other
groups and people. Art in social relationships is contingent on broad
sympathies and extended relationships, and it is contingent as well
on ability to work for social ends while remaining in large measure
disregardful of the personal stakes involved. Because of our inability
to lose our personal attachment for our own work, because of what it
may yield us in personal ways, the world never yet has experienced the
joy and creative possibility of associated effort And because it has
not we have still to experience art in social contact.

In group work there may be as much power to release emotional and
intellectual creative force as in individual work; there may be
more--we do not know. There is a tendency we do know in isolated,
individual creative effort, _unless highly charged with creative
impulse_, to cultivate personal equations intensively, limit
relationships, and circumscribe vision. As the movement of our time
is toward world acquaintanceship, the desire of individuals to limit
their experiences for the sake of intensifying them, signifies from a
social point of view as well as a personal, a neurotic tendency. There
is a common and false supposition that the neurotic temperament is
induced in the world of art. It is true that an art environment
attracts people whose creative impulse is feeble or not sufficiently
strong to sublimate the desire for intensive personal excitation.
Such people choose art associations _because_ they are limited to
individual expression and not because of the overpowering necessity to
do work which is creative. As the era in which we live represents a
struggle for associated work and common interests and its highest
concept is opposed to limited interests and autocratic rule, we may
well give our best endeavor to realizing creative impulse in the field
of associated effort, in the hope that the field of art will be some
day coextensive with life, and that its expressions will not be
confined to the limited world of sculptors, painters, musicians and

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