By educational slojd is meant the application of slojd to educational purposes. Slojd is not to be confounded with the work of the artisan - a mistake which may easily happen if the distinction is not sufficiently strongly emphasized. Speaking generally, the 'slbjder' does not practise his art as a trade, but merely as a change from some other employment; and in the nature of the articles produced, in the tools used in their production, in the manner of executing the work, etc., slojd and the work of the artisan differ very decidedly the one from the other. Slojd is much better adapted to be a means of education, because purely economical considerations do not come forward so prominently as must be the case with work undertaken as a means of livelihood.
Educational slojd differs from so-called practical slojd, inasmuch as in the latter, importance is attached to the work; in the former, on the contrary, to the worker. It must, however, be strongly emphasized that the two terms, educational and practical, ought in no way to be considered antagonistic to each other, as frequently happens in popular language; for, from the strictly educational point of view, whatever is educationally right must also be practical, and vice versa. When the educational and the practical come into conflict, the cause is always to be found in the pressure of adventitious circumstances, e.g., the number of pupils, the nature of the premises, and, above all, pecuniary resources, etc. To make educational theory and practice coincide is an ideal towards which every teacher must strive. One man, perhaps, may be able to come nearer to this common ideal than another, but everyone, as he runs his course, must have this goal clearly in view, and in every unavoidable compromise he must endeavour to make what ought to be done and what can be done come as close together as possible.
The aim of education-id slojd.
What, then, is the aim of educational slojd? To utilise, as is suggested above, the educative force which lies in rightly directed bodily labour, as a means of developing in the pupils physical and mental powers which will be a sure and evident gain to them for life. Views may differ as to what is to be understood by a "cultured" or an " educated " man, but however far apart in other respects these views may lie, they all have at least one thing in common, i.e., that this much disputed culture always appears in its possessors in the form of certain faculties, and that therefore the development of faculty, so far as this can be directed for good, must enter into all educational efforts. This being the case, the influence of slojd is cultivating and educative, just in the same degree as by its means certain faculties of true value for life reach a development which could not be attained otherwise, or, at least, not in the same degree. Educational slbjd, accordingly, seeks to work on lines which shall insure, during and by means of the exercise it affords, the development of the pupil in certain definite directions. These are of various kinds. As the more important, it is usual to bring forward: 'pleasure in bodily labour, and respect for it, habits of independence, order, accuracy, attention and industry, increase of physical strength, development of the power of observation in the eye, and of execution in the hand. Educational slojd has also in view the development of mental power, or, in other words, is disciplinary in its aim.
The qualifications required in the teacher.
The Teacher of Educational Slojd.
That no one can teach what he does not know himself is a proposition the validity of which cannot be called in question.
It is equally incontestable that it is by no means sufficient to be in possession of a certain amount of knowledge and dexterity in order to follow with success the important and responsible calling of a teacher. Teaching is an art quite as difficult as any other, and for its practice certain qualifications are demanded which are far from being in the possession of all. The teacher must not only know what he has to communicate, but also how he ought to do it. Nor is this all; for if all instruction is in reality to be education, the teacher must rise from the instructor to the educator; he must not only understand how to impart knowledge and dexterity, but also how to impart both in such a manner that they make for the mental development of the pupil, especially with regard to moral training. But as we cannot give to others what we do not ourselves possess, it must necessarily follow that only he who is himself educated can have an educative influence over another. Therefore,(exactly in proportion to the educative aim of the teacher does his personality enter as an important factor into the work of instruction. Now, since slojd is to be regarded more as a means of education than a subject of instruction, in the common acceptation of the term, the first demand of all made upon the teacher who undertakes it must be that he should feel himself to be an educator, and strive without ceasing to improve himself as such. This, however, is not sufficient. To be a teacher of educational slojd, it is necessary to be familiar with its aims, and with the means by which these are to be attained. One of these means is the possession of what is called technical dexterity, i.e., dexterity in the right use of tools, and in the accurate production, by their means, of articles involving the exercises required by the particular kind of slojd in question. The importance of this dexterity must neither be over-estimated nor undervalued. Unfortunately one or other of these errors is frequently committed. On the one hand it is maintained that if a person can only prove that he possesses technical dexterity in sufficient degree, i.e., if he himself can produce good work, he thereby fulfils one of the most important requirements of a good slojd teacher. From this point of view the skilful artisan or "Slojder" would be the best teacher of slojd, because he can with justice be held to possess the best technical qualifications. Past experience, however, has shown that, as a rule, the skilful artisan or "slojder " is not the best person to fill the responsible post of the slojd teacher. This follows from the very nature of the case. The artisan has acquired his technical dexterity in a totally different way, and for a totally different purpose, from what is required in educational slojd. Technical dexterity is the principal thing with him. It is before every other consideration a source of income. In educational slojd, on the other hand, it is to be regarded only as one means among many whereby the teacher is able to bring an educative influence to bear on the pupils. The artisan who has great technical skill is too often tempted while teaching to use this skill in a way which may be for the advantage of the work with which the pupil is occupied, but is certainly not for the advantage of the pupil himself. His "instruction " consists not infrequently of work which he does for the pupil, with results which are excellent from the economical point of view, but which are very objectionable in their educational aspect. Partly for this reason and partly because the artisan often does not understand how to maintain really good discipline with children ; and because, moreover, he is unacquainted with the general principles which apply to all instruction, it has been remarked, that where instruction in slojd is concerned, even a very capable artisan often falls far behind the results attained by those who are in his opinion little more than bunglers, and who may be far inferior to him in technical dexterity. At the same time, it is by no means intended to convey the idea that the skilled artisan may not be a good teacher of slojd- provided he understands the difference between slojd and his trade, and is in possession of the other necessary qualifications -but it is maintained that in such a case it is less because he is an artisan than in spite of it, for the first condition is that he must renounce the traditions of his craft, and become penetrated by educational ideas.