If a school is seriously preparing its pupils for trade life, the following points need special thought: (i) The teacher cannot give her best service unless she knows the class of work and the requirements of the trade for which she is preparing her students. She must have practical workroom experience, either as a wage earner or as a part of her preparation for a trade teacher, if she hopes to be of true value to her classes. (2) The course of sewing which should be given in a trade class must cover all of the stitch forms and the principles of construction,. and should also give much of the application which will be demanded of such a worker in the market. Discussions of the methods used in various workrooms should accompany the lessons. (3) The conduct of the class should reproduce as nearly as possible that of the regular workrooms; skill and speed should be required. The girls should be taught to think quickly, to understand directions and to be reliable.
The difference between manual training, technical and trade instruction is not always understood. The explanations which follow give some of the principal differences in these fields.
The Manual Training School gives handwork with the idea of utilizing, its power in developing or educating the individual that the hand and mind may be trained together and each help the other.
The Technical School aims to help those who already know something of a certain class of work and wish more scientific or theoretical knowledge of it. It does not purpose to take the place of apprenticeship, for the technical schools in their highest development prepare the foreman rather than the apprentice. Handwork is given to explain the science rather than to fit a student to be a trade worker. The night technical schools, numerous throughout the country, often are, in reality, supplementary trade schools. Some, however, of the so-called technical schools partake more of the nature of the manual training schools.
The Trade School is designed to prepare apprentices for a particular trade. The decadence of the old apprentice system has taken away the possibility of an adequate training for the young wage-earner in the ordinary work-shop. The trade school aims to take the place of this older form of education by supplying an economic instruction in the practical work of various trades. The trade school proper is, therefore, an enlightened apprenticeship. The main object is to help the wage-earner to become self-supporting in some direct occupation. Such schools may give all day work or they may assist those who are employed in workrooms during the day by offering supplementary instruction.