Imágenes de páginas

full attendance till the fourth year of their operation-1916-17. The attendance during the first year totaled 6,292, distributed as follows: In mercantile occupations, 2,798; in clothing industries, 1,115; in other skilled industries, 489; in unskilled occupations, 1,890; total, 6,292. During the same year the total attendance at the compulsory continuation schools for boys, which had been in full operation for several years, was 36,037.

In an earlier chapter it was noted that the compulsory continuation schools for unskilled boys in Berlin reach practically all boys 14 to 18 years old who are not attending higher schools or continuation schools for skilled workers. It can not be said that the girls' schools will be as successful in reaching the girls of these ages. The reason is that these schools are only for employed children. A large number of girls in this age group are at home, without other employment than helping their mothers with housework, and are thus exempt from compulsory attendance. That the number is considerable is indicated by the comparison of the attendance figures for the girls' and boys' schools, as given above. In this connection it should also be taken into account that a much larger number of boys than of girls are free from the compulsory attendance requirement because they are in the higher schools and voluntary continuation schools. It is unfortunate that this considerable number who remain at home without employment should escape the excellent training of these schools. Another factor which will tend to keep the number of girls in compulsory continuation schools smaller than the number of boys is the provision that when a girl marries she is exempt from further compulsory attendance. A considerable number marry before reaching 18 years of age.

Girls engaged in unskilled occupations obtain in continuation schools a more valuable training than boys in unskilled occupations. The former are required to attend 6 hours per week, the latter only 4 hours. Half of the work for unskilled girls relates directly to housekeeping, with such subjects as sewing, dressmaking, remodeling, ironing, cooking, and study of foods, which are vitally related to the daily lives of girls and women. There is no such common interest of vital importance for unskilled boys around which to center any considerable amount of instruction; or, at any rate, the Berlin continuation schools for boys do not recognize such interest. Citizenship does not have the same appeal to the Berlin boy that dress and housekeeping have to the Berlin girls.

It was to be expected that the Berlin authorities, having made continuation school attendance compulsory for boys, would soon find that the voluntary plan for girls was inadequate. The voluntary continuation schools for girls in Berlin have rendered excellent service, and will continue to hold an important place in the educa

tional scheme of the city; but after years of successful operation the total annual enrollment, including many adult women as well as girls of all ages over 14 years, is 10,792. In a single year the compulsory schools gathered in 6,292 14-year-old employed girls. When the plan is in full operation these schools will undoubtedly furnish instruction to more than twice as many as were in the voluntary schools in 1912-13; and all of these will be under 18 years of age, while very many of the former were older. Berlin has found that voluntary continuation schools, like voluntary elementary schools, fail to reach effectively the majority of those who most need their help.



Every American student of vocational education in Germany has noted the difficulty experienced by the authorities in obtaining suitable teachers of industrial subjects. The difficulty has been more serious in the part-time or industrial continuation schools, attended a few hours per week by apprentices, than in the full-time higher grade industrial schools. The greater part of continuation school teachers have come from the corps of teachers in the elementary schools. Care has been exercised to choose, as far as possible, men who show natural aptitude for the work to be done, and who have made some preparation in the subject by attendance upon special technical or drawing courses in the higher industrial schools, like the Handwerkerschulen or Tischlerschule of Berlin, or by work out of school hours in commercial shops. They are men who are willing to teach from two to six hours per week in the continuation schools after completion of the elementary school day for the additional income which this extra work affords, or who are still more willing to be transferred to full-time work in the continuation schools, where the annual salary is 600 marks ($150) larger than in the elementary schools. It should be remembered that these men have gone through an extended course of training in preparation for elementary teaching. The standard of such training is completion of an elementary school course, three years in a preparatory school, and three years in a teachers' training school. Then follow a year of military service and two or three years of assistant teaching before the second or final examination for full entrance into the teaching profession can be taken.

The other source of teachers for the schools in question has been the industries themselves. Those who have come from this source have been, for the most part, master workmen with teaching ability who were willing to take a few hours per week from their shops to serve

as teachers of apprentices attending the continuation schools, or who have given up the practice of their trades altogether in order to devote their entire time to teaching this work.

The proportion of professional trachers to practical men in the corps of industrial continuation school teachers of Prussia has always been large. On December 1, 1912, there were 13,161 of the former and 3,015 of the latter. This does not take account of commercial continuation schools, of continuation schools for unskilled workers, or for girls, or of the schools maintained by guilds. By far the larger part of the above number are part-time teachers, giving not to exceed six hours per week of instruction, the men from the industries teaching only trade subjects, including drawing, and the professional teachers having charge of all the general subjects and a considerable part of the trade subjects. Among the teachers giving their full time to industrial continuation school work the proportion of practical men is much larger. There were 242 of these to 460 professional teachers in 1912. Prior to April 1, 1914, the full-time teachers were drawn chiefly from those who had first served in part-time work.

From the first the management of industrial schools, which is lodged in a department of the ministry of commerce and industry, has recognized that this method of selecting teachers was temporary, to be continued only till a more satisfactory plan could be worked out and put into operation. Most of the professional teachers lacked the technical and practical knowledge and the familiarity with the daily shop environment and conditions to make their teaching of greatest value to apprentices. On the other hand the practical men lacked pedagogical knowledge, and often failed to achieve desired results because of unwise methods. Many of them also were deficient on the theoretical side of their trade.

To remedy these defects short full-time courses, given usually in the summer, were established in different parts of Prussia. These courses were primarily for those already appointed to continuation school positions, and have been attended principally by these; though a few, also, who are seeking appointment attend.

This arrangement was a decided improvement, particularly in case of the practical men. Moreover, it seemed to embody all that could reasonably be required of part-time teachers, who at most would give only a few hours a week to continuation school teaching while continuing their regular work in Volksschule or shop the rest of the time. However, for Hauptamtlichelehrer, whose entire time was to be devoted to industrial continuation school teaching, more thorough and systematic preparation seemed desirable and justifiable. Furthermore, it was deemed wise to reduce gradually the part-time teaching, which in 1912 was two-thirds of the whole, and increase the full-time teaching.

In September, 1912, the ministry of commerce and industry announced that a Seminar Kursus, or teachers' training course, of one year's duration would be opened the following Easter in the Industrial Art School of Charlottenburg. The purpose of the course would be the preparation of full-time teachers for the industrial continuation schools. At first the course would be limited to three principal groups of trades, namely, the metal-working trades-machine making, instrument making, plumbing, and sheet metal working; the building trades-house construction, interior finishing, roof construction, and cabinet making; and certain industries in which ornament and design are prominent, as painting and interior decorating, bookbinding, and printing, and lithography. The announcement stated further that the entrance examination would be partly written and partly oral, and that both general knowledge and practical ability of candidate would be tested. Three classes of candidates would be admitted to the examination: (1) Artisans possessing a good general education and satisfactory practical experience, covering at least three years in the trade which they aspired to teach. Preference would be given to those who were already teaching part time in continuation schools. (2) Elementary teachers who had passed the second examination, who had made themselves familiar with the technic and tradė drawing of an important branch of industry, and, as far as possible, who had already had experience as part-time teachers in the industrial continuation schools. Those would be given preference who could furnish evidence of having had industrial experience. (3) Others possessing, in the judgment of the examining committee, qualifications equivalent to the above. Those candidates would be exempt from the practical part of the examination who had spent at least two years in one of the recognized Prussian middle (full-time) industrial schools, or the same length of time studying in an industrial art school a trade belonging to any of the three groups mentioned above. Teacher candidates would be exempt from the general examination; also other candidates who could present evidence of completion of a 9-year school course. The age limits of candidates would be 24 to 35 years.

This announcement aroused keen interest, especially among men already engaged in part-time continuation-school teaching, and 299 candidates presented themselves for the entrance examination to the new course. Four-fifths of these were artisans. Statistics showed that only 90 full-time teachers were needed in Prussia each year for the continuation schools of the three groups of trades which this course was to serve. It was decided to fill 30 of these places by promoting the best of the part-time teachers, thus encouraging efficiency among this important group of continuation-school workers. This left 60 places to be filled by graduates of the one-year course and 299 candidates for entrance to the course. It was necessary to elimi

nate five-sixths of the candidates, and thus avoid training men for positions which they could not hope to obtain. The sifting process is interesting. Among the candidates were found 18 practical men and 3 teachers whose qualifications exempted them from examination. Fifty were eliminated who did not measure up to the previously announced requirements. A large number of others were eliminated because their applications showed important mistakes in German grammar and composition, or whose submitted drawings were unsatisfactory. The number of teachers was now reduced to 31, but the practical men were still so numerous that the committee arbitrarily selected 36 whose general qualifications, judged by experience, applications, and drawings, were the best. This left 67 candidates to take the examination for the 37 remaining places in the training course. Fifteen places were won by practical men and 24 by teachers. No doubt the result was determined in some measure by the policy of the management to keep the number of teachers and practical men about equal in the course.

The general examination of the men from the trades (teachers were not required to take this) consisted of three parts: (1) An essay on "Experiences and Observations from the Life of an Apprentice,” for which three hours were allowed; (2) a test in arithmetic, largely in the applications of percentage; and (3) oral questions concerning the candidate's education, trade activities, experience in part-time teaching in continuation schools, birthplace, place of employment, personal interests and reading, and historical and scientific facts which should be common knowledge. The practical tests differed according to the trades which the men aspired to teach, the principal part of the test consisting in each case of making as carefully and accurately as possible a working drawing of some project connected with the trade. The oral part of this test was technical in character, but not difficult. For example, candidates for the builders' class were asked to explain how to make the different kinds of roof joints, and how simple arches, window openings, and doorways are constructed in building a brick wall.

The training course opened after the Easter vacation, 1913, with a faculty of 20 members, most of whom give only part time to this institution. Five of the number are directors of industrial continuation schools, two are lawyers, three are engineers, three painters and graphic artists, three master workmen, and the remainder are selected continuation-school teachers.

The curriculum is divided into four parts or groups of subjects. The first part consists of pedagogical and general subjects, which must be taken irrespective of the trade the student is preparing to teach. However, certain subjects are required of the practical men and not of the teachers, and vice versa, as will be noted later. The following

« AnteriorContinuar »