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cantile positions, as clerks and office assistants and salesmen, or more advanced manufacturing industries, such as certain metal goods manufactories and the better grades of jewelry shops.
A short business course, already common in city school systems, is placed at the beginning of the high school course. Its function is to make as alert, intelligent and efficient office and store employees as a two years' course at this age can produce, at the same time relating all subjects of instruction in such a way to the practical work as to make business life large with conscientious service and intelligent responsibility as well as with opportunity.
Parallel with the later years of the general course a more advanced business course performs a similar service for those who go into the business world at graduation.
The manual training department is chiefly of value to pupils who are to take up advanced technical work in higher institutions or as preparation for apprenticeship in the highest grades of mechanical industry. Parallel with this general course, the superintendent establishes short industrial courses of one or two years for those who are likely to drop out early. These courses prepare directly for intelligent practice of the trades and local industries in the same spirit as that which animates the other vocational courses.
The third and fourth years provide similarly for the needs of those who must get a living immediately after graduation, by entering the skilled trades.
In no case does the school attempt to produce skilled artisans. That is the work of the craft itself. It does, however, provide an invaluable practical introduction to the trades, together with a knowledge of the science and mathematics of trade processes, the history of industrial evolution, the elements of economics as related to industry, and the relations of industrial society to citizenship.
It is impossible, in this sketch, to go into details regarding the elementary manual training and gardening, which are made integral parts of the general course in primary and grammar grades.
Courses in domestic science and practice are established in the higher grammar grades, continuing through the high school grades. This course frankly undertakes to prepare girls for the home; teaching, besides the practical arts of the home, accounts, elements of chemistry, of botany, of decoration and design ; all with direct reference to home needs and occupations; besides the history of society, civics, and the elements of economics and sociology, with a view to giving a knowledge of the relation of the home and the family to society and its problems and progress.
This course is especially adapted to that large class of girls who are not preparing for teaching or for college, but who pass out of high school into a life of home leisure and social amenity, waiting for the inevitable. At no point in our educational practice is the lack of function more evident and more disastrous than here, where the homes are concerned.
The aim of this paper is mainly to sketch the remodeling of a school system in accordance with the vocational idea in such a way that the effects of the remodeling shall almost appear as the background of the picture. Is it not clear that a remedy has here been found for many of the ills that afflict our college preparatory courses ? Now that adequate approaches have been provided in the school toward the chief vocations other than the professions, large numbers of students who, under bygone conditions, struggled grimly on with work to which they were not adapted, now pass easily over into the special courses, relieving the general courses of a heavy incubus. Moreover, the same condition justifies the fixing of severer standards in the more abstract and technical courses, since the result will be to test the ability of all candidates for advanced work to profit by it, and to meet the needs of the professional courses, without putting those forced out to greater hardship than that of undertaking other work more suited to their capacities. There comes to be some science of aptitudes; and the avenues to those occupations which require long devotion to abstract studies and highly technical arts, will be justly and properly open only to those who show special fitness to enter them.
This automatic sorting out of pupils, the natural effect of the proper functioning of the several organs of the school system, is observable even in the upper grammar grades, where pupils who are unable to perform the intellectual processes rightly demanded of candidates for graduation and a high school course, slip easily into the textile or mechanical or business department, where practical and cultural aims work together for their highest good.
In all of the vocational courses the aim and spirit produce certain characteristic results. The children who take the textile course go into the mill with an intelligent attitude toward everything in it. They know it as a whole, and understand somewhat its relations to the outside world.
All of its processes interest them. Their intelligent outlook stimulates their ambition to advance in the mill, or, failing in that, to advance to a better occupation.
After leaving school such added culture and breadth of view as these children are to have in their lives are almost entirely conditioned by the spirit in which they do their work and their ability to rise. The result of the textile course is to make the practice of this occupation yield the largest possible returns in earnestness and ambition, with the consequent development of purpose and character and the certainty of advancement. A similar effect is characteristic of the whole series of vocational courses.
It has been proved by actual experience that vocational work of the character indicated keeps many children in school for some time longer. But, at the best, the period of schooling for the great majority is very short. The influence of the school in securing culture is so slight that it becomes imperative to shape the school work in such a way that the vocation itself shall be pursued in such an enlightened spirit that the worker shall gain culture in his work. He will certainly avail himself eagerly of opportunities for supplementary education out of work hours. Vocational work in school creates demand for such supplementary education.
An isolated so-called culture pursued through unrelated, unapplied subjects of a course of study cannot serve as the motive power to lift a sordid worker at a narrow task into a man and a citizen. True culture comes from the daily and hourly sense of the worth and dignity of one's own labors performed in a spirit of conscientious, because intelligent, willing, even if discontented and ambitious service. This kind of service is the natural outcome of a special training for efficiency in work, when accompanied by study and instruction planned to give that work its proper setting among the activities of men and the progress of civilization.
Examination Questions for the Vision of Sir Launfal
MAUD E. KINGSLEY
1. To what class of poetical composition does THE VISION OF SIR LAUNFAL belong? Point out those literary excellences which make the poem a model of its class.
2. What position does THE VISION OF SIR LAUNFAL occupy among Lowell's poems? Is it a “ typical” poem of its author? Give reasons for your answer. What position does THE VISION OF SIR LAUNFAL occupy in American Literature?
3. Give at some length the reason why The Vision OF SIR LAUNFAL is so widely used as a school text for English work.
4. Explain the title and describe in detail the arrangement of the poem.
5. Explain the purpose of the preludes. Show the extent to which the first eight lines of Prelude I describe the author's treatment of his poem. Express in your own words the elusive thought of these lines.
6. What medieval legend was the inspiration of this poem? Relate the legend briefly, and describe in full the manner in which Lowell has adapted it to modern ideals and principles of conduct.
7. Have you read any other poems which have been inspired by this legend? If you have read any such poems, show how they have differed in treatment from the one under consideration.
8. Write a carefully prepared paper on the subject, “ The Influence of Nature in Her Different Aspects Upon the Human Mind," paraphrasing lines 9–20, 57–68 and 80-93. Write another on the subject, “Earth Gets Its Price for What Earth Gives Us,” paraphrasing lines 21-32.
9. Describe the manner in which the poet leads up to his description of a June day. Enumerate all the details which enter into the composition of this marvelous word picture. Are these details all true to your experience of the manifestations of nature in June?
10. On what is the figure in lines 33-36 founded? in lines 57-60? in lines 91-93? II. Express in plain language each of the following lines :
The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice.
As Sir Launfal made morn through the darksome gate.
12. Comment on the manner in which the poet formally introduces his theme after so long a prelude. What is the significance of What wonder?
13. What effect does the picture of lines 109, 110 produce? What picture does line 113 bring to your mind?
14. Show how the simile of line 115 is expanded into metaphor in lines 119–127. Express the poet's meaning in literal language.
15. Mr. Lowell has been criticised for placing an old feudal castle against a background of typical American scenery. What would be appropriate scenery for the setting of a feudal castle in the North Countree"?
16. Show that the structure of lines 128-139 suggests the action of the narrative.
17. From this point relate briefly the story of the entire poem. What moral lesson does the poem teach? Point out at least two passages which might serve as texts for this moral lesson.
18. Treating the legend and Lowell's application of it as an extended allegory, give the symbolic meaning of the following features : The Holy Grail, the young knight, the leper, the frowning castle, the coin tossed arrogantly to the leper, the mouldy crust humbly shared, the Being Beautiful, the transformed castle.
19. Point out the contrasts between the two preludes. For what change in the gay young knight does Prelude II prepare you.
20. Describe in very literal language a frozen brook, and compare the details of your description with lines 181-210. Study these lines carefully, and select those passages which seem to you to exhibit the most graceful touches of fancy. 21. Paraphrase lines 211–224.
What effect is produced by putting together lines 211–224 and the stanza included in lines 225-232?
22. Enumerate all the details which enter into the composition of the word picture of lines 240-249. What effect does it produce upon you? Is it as true to nature as is the description of the day in June? What is the poet's purpose in introducing lines 264-272?
23. The Vision of Sir LAUNFAL is full of striking Anglo-Saxon verbs and epithets. Make lists of ten each, and discuss the exact