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Hampton Negro Conference. Number III. July 1899.

1899VA-State-Hampton_Proceedings (58).pdf

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school curriculum any more than other trades. It was pushing aside more important studies. Still more serious was another accusation that the work was at times positively injurious to little children from its demand for fine work and over-neat adjustment at an age when neither eye nor brain were in condition for them.

While thoughtful minds were engaged in balancing the value of and objection to sewing in schools, an important educational movement was gaining force and demanding attention. The movement was to change the attitude toward sewing and show that it might be an educational medium.


The impression had been increasing that education had not accomplished all that had been promised for it. It developed reflective powers but often left the student inefficient when he entered the world of workers. Gradually the idea gained strength that feeding the mind without giving it an opportunity to digest, assimilate, and utilize what it had received clogged the powers. Education had consisted too much in pouring in information with the hope that these facts might sometime be utilized. It lacked the equally important provision of active utilization of knowledge. It had failed of attaining its full object. The solution came from many directions that the doing side of life needs training as well as the thinking side. This was the important factor that had almost been left out of education.


The brain has motor as well as sensory cells. A complete education requires the culture of the whole brain—the motor as a well as the sensory. Mental power comes through doing as well as thinking. The study of important factors in race development brought ethnologists to a like conclusion,—that is, the positive use of hand labor as a means of developing the brain. Civilized nations have obtained their culture through the work of the hand assisting the development of the brain. Ethical science tells the same story. Sermons, maxims, etc., are only of avail as they lead to the active doing of good. Taking thought of itself will not add one cubit to our stature. A strong, active will is absolutely essential to the uplifting of an individual. It is the important factor in success in life. It is trained through

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