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German Industrial Education and Its Lessons for the United States

Excerpt from German Industrial Education and Its Lessons for the United States The purpose of the present study is to ascertain in what ways we in the United States may develop industrial education so that it may be of the greatest service to industry and to industrial workers, as well as to the whole people. The economic viewpoint and economic aspects have dominated the pedagogical, and the practical outcome has at all times been kept to the fore. Industrial education for the masses, for the rank and file of the workers, has been the chief concern. I have not concerned myself with agricultural nor with commercial education, however important these fields may be. Industrial education for girls and women has been taken up but slightly. In the United States we lack large practical experience with industrial education for the mass of workers. Of all countries, Germany has had probably the largest and most fruitful experience with such education and has most to teach us. To learn at first hand from German experiences, I spent the summer of 1911 investigating industrial education in Germany. The cities visited were selected with a view to their importance industrially and include a number of the chief industrial centers in various lines of manufacture. The following cities were visited: The city State of Hamburg; Leipzig, Dresden, Chemnitz, and Plauen in Saxony; Munich in Bavaria; Mannheim, in Baden; and Berlin, Magdeburg, Frankfort on Main, Coblenz, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Elberfeld, Barmen, Dortmund, Essen, Duisburg, Crefeld, Munchen-Gladbach, Rheydt, and Aachen, in Prussia. Numerous industrial schools of all grades were visited, a large proportion of which were in operation. Inquiries were made of school directors and teachers, and members of school boards, as to the organization, methods, and results of the schools. The relations of the schools to and their results on industry, and the attitude of industrial employers to them, were especially investigated. In almost every city the chamber of industry was visited and inquiries made of these bodies, which are the best fitted of all to represent the opinions of the masters. In addition, a considerable number of school reports and other printed data were collected, of which one could learn only when on the ground. It may be questioned whether German experience is likely to be largely useful to us in the United States, on account of our differences, economic, political, and temperamental. In Part II I shall note some of the economic differences. The psychological and political differences are well known. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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