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Hampton Negro Conference. Number III. July 1899.

1899VA-State-Hampton_Proceedings (59).pdf

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activity and in no other way. If the will is to receive its right training in school life some form of activity must be provided. The teacher's will, however, controlling the child as he works, will not accomplish the result. It must be the child's own will in the work.


It was thoughts such as these which made it evident to those studying educational problems that the schools must provide for actual doing. Every child in every school should have the opportunity to use his hand, his will, and his mind together. Manual training came thus into the curriculum, and sewing is one phase of it.


This branch of manual training has great possibilities in the schools. It comes or should come close to the interests of childhood. As yet most of the schools have not seen all it may include. Watch a little child learning a new stitch which will help him construct an interesting article. The whole child is in it as the stubborn little fingers are put in place and the will power brought into play. His whole body shows his lively interest and he overcomes difficulty after difficulty in his road to success. Give this same child a set of models to make which have been arranged by the teacher, apart from the interest of childhood, and he will become fatigued and instead of utilizing his own will, the teacher will have to step in and by urging, perhaps even scolding, keep him at his tiresome task.


In early years the child should not be allowed to do fine sewing. Basketry, weaving, netting and coarse sewing were all steps in culture taken by primitive people and can well be utilized for the schools. The articles should be simple in construction and should, if possible, be completed in one short lesson. They may deal with home, play, or school. Boys can be interested as well as girls, and flags, sails, tents, fishnets, etc., come close to their hearts. The teacher must ever consider the work a little child should do and not require it to be too difficult or too accurate. The result may not yield a fine exhibit for the end of the year; probably it will be quite the reverse from the stand-

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