In order to develop the habit of accuracy in the pupil by means of slojd, it is essential that he should make his model as nearly as possible an exact likeness of his pattern, or - when the model has changed in shape and size-an exact copy of what it ought to be, as indicated by the geometrical construction, or complete drawing and given measurements. We very often hear people say that it is quite unnecessary to be so particular with the work, since, e.g., a flower-stick can be quite as serviceable whether it is a little shorter or a little longer. This is perfectly true on the assumption that the making of a serviceable flower-stick is our chief end in making it. In educational slojd, however, the principal object is not the article made, but the mental and physical benefits which accrue to the pupil by means of the work. In this case it cannot be unimportant that he should be exercised in the endeavour to execute something as well and as accurately as he is able to do it. For in this way his natural disposition to work carelessly is checked, while at the same time the degree of accuracy to which he is gradually accustomed will be of great advantage farther on in the series of models, when he has to perform such operations as mortising, grooving, dovetailing, etc, which call for no inconsiderable degree of accuracy in their performance. Though a pen-holder need not be of any exact size, this is by no means the case with the joints in dovetailing; and in making the former exact, the latter operation is rendered possible, or at all events easier. At the same time, we must not demand of the pupil work which is absolutely correct in all its details, for this clearly lies beyond his powers. The teacher must exercise his "tact" as an educator in determining the degree of accuracy which is to be demanded of every separate pupil in every separate model, and this being done, the teacher must unhesitatingly reject the articles which fail to come up to the required standard. But in order that the pupil may not be disheartened by repeated rejections, it is advisable not to insist on the repetition of the same model more than, at the outside, three consecutive times. If the pupil fails to succeed the third time, he should be allowed to pass on to the next model, and not required to return to the one he failed to make, until he has succeeded in making the other; this he usually does easily enough, owing to the increased facility he has gained by practice. If the pupil is permitted to pass over a model altogether without bringing it up to the required standard, it may encourage him in caprice, and counteract the development of habits of perseverance, the acquisition of which is of such great importance in life. Further, the general rule should be strictly observed that every article is to be executed as well and as beautifully as possible. In educational slojd it is much more important that what is made should be the product of good and conscientious labour, than that much should be produced. Therefore, whatever bears the impress of carelessness and haste must be rejected without mercy, lest the pupil fall into bad habits, and the educative influences of slojd be weakened. The question whether individual instruction or class-teaching should be adopted, comes also under the head of method in slojd-teaching. As the aim in educational slojd is totally different from mere mechanical instruction in the art of using tools and making articles, it may be laid down as a principle, that only in the degree in which the personal influence of the teacher reaches each individual pupil, can his influence be truly educative. And as human beings differ greatly from one another in natural disposition and other respects, instruction, in order to reach the highest degree of educative value, must be specially adapted to each individual. It is as easy to explain, point out, lead, and help too much as too little, and thus to check that mental development which can only be secured by systematic well-balanced effort This is, and this will continue to be, the disadvantage of class-teaching: - this term being assumed to mean, instruction during which all the pupils taking part in the lesson have their attention directed at the same time to the same part of the subject. This disadvantage can never be lost sight of, but in the case of several subjects of instruction, especially the purely intellectual subjects, it is counterbalanced to some degree, because, by means of class-teaching, the practical benefit is gained that a teacher can teach a larger number of pupils than he could teach individually. Slojd, however, does not belong to these subjects, because in it the teacher's powers are limited, to start with, by the number of pupils he can efficiently supervise at work; and it can speedily be demonstrated that he cannot, in class teaching, supervise more than by individual instruction, provided that in each case equally good results are aimed at. On the contrary, he may find that he cannot supervise so many. Another practical objection to class-teaching in cases where slojd is applied to educational purposes, is the impossibility of keeping the class together in the execution of their work. It follows either that the more backward pupils scamp their work or are allowed to pass over some of the models in the series, or else that the superior pupils are checked in their progress, and thereby prevented from doing as many exercises as they otherwise could have accomplished.*
Individual instruction, versus class teaching.
The leading question of method in educational slojd teaching ought to be less how much, or how many, as how well.
The age during which instruction can be received with advantage in any subject whatever is limited downwards as well as upwards by the work it involves. As regards slojd-car-pentry, children ought to have attained the degree of development which corresponds roughly to 10 or 11 years. Otherwise they cannot be expected to meet the demands made on the spirit of self-reliance during work. At the same time, as children of the same age differ greatly in point of development our guiding principle should not be the date of birth, but the mental and physical powers which the child has at command. What one child of nine years can accomplish with ease may be beyond the powers of another child of twelve. As regards the upward limit of age, it lies considerably beyond school years.