The age of the pupiit.
* On certain occasions it is advantageous to demand the attention of all the pupils at one time, e.g., when the teacher wishes to explain the properties of a tool and the method of using it, or wishes to examine all the pupils together. These, however, are special cases, which ought to he quite independent of the slojd-work itself.
The number of pupils who can be managed individually by one teacher at the same time varies considerably, and is influenced partly by the teacher's general efficiency, partly by his special efficiency, and partly by the stage at which the pupils are. The teacher who is unaccustomed to teach slojd will probably be unable at first to manage with ease more than from 6 to 8 pupils, especially if they are beginners; later on the number may be increased to 12, and by degrees, under favourable conditions, to 15, 18, or at most 20.* No teacher, however, ought to let his desire to increase the number of his pupils induce him to take more at one time than he can manage in a thoroughly satisfactory way.
The number of the pupils.
The Time given to Instruction.
A slojd lesson ought not to last less than an hour and a half, or more than two hours and a half. It ought, if possible, to intervene between hours devoted to intellectual instruction, because it offers a wholesome variety for mind and body. Slojd by artificial light should be avoided as much as possible. It is desirable that every pupil should receive three lessons a week. They should be given every other day, and if the pupils have gymnastics on the intervening days, it will secure, to some extent at least, the necessary physical exercise on a rational basis.
The length and the distribution of the lessons.
The days are past, in Sweden at least, when it was regarded as a degradation of the rooms devoted to intellectual instruction to use them for slojd teaching. Since "practical" slojd has been forced to make way for educational slojd, and the importance of the latter has been more and more recognised, no thoughtful teacher can think that his class-room loses dignity because manual labour is carried on in it. In many schools where space is limited, slojd must, at first at least, be given a share of the school-room. Where this room is large enough, and where the slojd-teacher's spirit of order is sufficiently strong to make him keep his department always tidy, this combination may be made without special inconvenience. It is advisable to place the slojd-benches and the tool-cupboard at one end of the room. The removal of desks to make temporary room for benches should only be permitted when such an arrangement is unavoidable.
The use of the schoolroom/or slojd.
* This has been proved by observations made in the elementary schools in Stockholm.
The use of the school-room for the double purpose of intellectual work and slojd is not, however, to be recommended when circumstances permit of separate rooms being fitted up. Different arrangements are required for the two branches of instruction. A description of the general arrangement required in a room devoted to the purposes of educational slojd carpentry follows. This description is based on experience gained in the teaching of slojd up to the present time. It must, however, be borne in mind in this connection, that the conditions in an elementary school in the country and in a school in a large town or in closely-populated manufacturing districts, vary according to circumstances.
As regards the former, we must, as a general rule, be less exacting in our demands; in the latter, on the contrary, arrangements may be made which shall meet fully the educational requirements of a good slojd-room. In an ordinary elementary school in the country, where there may not be more than from eight to twelve pupils requiring instruction at the same time, a slojd-room measuring 16 ft. in length, 13 ft. in breadth, and 10 ft. in height, will be large enough. It should be situated on the ground-floor. The walls should be wainscotted, and the room should contain three or four double, or six or eight single, benches; cupboards for tools, models, and finished articles; a grindstone, a chopping-block, and, if turnery is included in the course, also a turning-lathe. If the room is kept locked between lessons, the tools may be disposed round the walls instead of being kept in a cupboard. The wood required should be stored in some place adjoining.
The slojd-room in ordinary country school*.
In a large school, where opportunity is given for making the arrangements for slojd teaching as complete as possible, the following directions may be found useful: -
The slojd-room in large schools.
Situation. - The slbjd-room (not "work-shop") should open from a lobby either on the ground-floor or on the top storey. It should never be situated in the basement. If it is on the ground floor, care should be taken that it is as far as possible from the other school-rooms, that the noise may not disturb the pupils in the latter. If a slojd-room is situated above a school-room, it should be furnished with a double floor, with an intervening layer of sawdust to deaden the noise.
Area. - To accommodate 20 pupils at one time, the room should be about 50 ft. long and 23 ft. broad. This will give adequate space for 20 separate benches (placed in 5 rows), a turning lathe, a saw-bench, grindstones, chopping-blocks, cupboards for tools, models, and finished articles, and a rack for wood. Wood ought not to be suspended from the roof if this can be avoided, partly because it is unsightly, and partly because it gives unnecessary trouble. The space between the benches ought to be about 2 1/2 ft.
Height - The slojd-room ought to be from 12 ft. to 15 ft. high.
Windows. - The slojd-room should be well-lighted by large and properly placed windows. The area of window surface is generally reckoned as 25 to 30 per cent, of the floor area. If the slojd-room is on the ground floor, windows should, if possible, be placed in three of its walls. If it is on the top storey it is better to let the light enter by sky-lights than dormer windows.