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Hampton Negro Conference. Number III. July 1899.

1899VA-State-Hampton_Proceedings (60).pdf

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point of an outside observer. The beauty of the exhibit will be the child's own will, his very self, imprinted on every object produced by his hand. One of the most beautiful exhibits I ever saw was a loan collection. Each child during the school year had made his little articles with a purpose of usefulness in the world, which had immediately on completing the article, been carried into effect. At the end of the year the school had little to show, but borrowed back the articles the children could collect. It was a rare exhibit—no chance for selected articles. Each child was represented by the article he had made.


The steps of the work must be thought out by the children. Side by side with the training of the hand goes the training of the brain, not apart in another section of the being, not in another sphere, unconnected with the work in hand, but in the work itself. The mind must be thinking about the work the hand is doing. Another important thing is the training of the judgment. Let the child decide for himself whether the work is good or bad. At first a beautiful model may not result, but gradually the judgment will improve and the work with it. The ability to distinguish good hand work brings a desire to produce it.


It is necessary that the teacher should have a high ethical aim. On this depends the educational value of the work. If the aim is simply to complete good models, the building of character through the hand will be small. The powers developed depend on the contents of the aim. If the object is to make the children efficient for good in the world the teacher must study their characteristics and interests. She must see to it that the child's own will power is at work, and that he has thought out for himself every step in connection with the article in hand. He must have a purpose in the making which can be carried out, so that gradually he will come in touch with the world of workers and desire to land a hand. If the teacher works with this spirit she will find the children in her classes growing into active, thoughtful helpers.


The sewing must be part of all the school branches. The textiles on which the work is done may be an aid in this correlation. The way things are made is of intense interest to childre

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