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tion in one portion affects all the rest. They are realizing the
consequent need on the part of each to see and continually
to think the whole in order rightly to think one's own part.
As the science is developed in terms of which to do all the
necessary thinking, what is now obvious in the case of the
school or the orchestra will become equally obvious in the
case of all group-labors.

Enough has been said to indicate the curriculum solu-
tion. On the thought side, workers are to be taught as
though they were to work in all parts of the organization.
This will mean not only full intellectual studies relating to
all aspects of the work, and systematic observation of all;
but also some opportunity to work in all portions of the field.



82 THE CURRICULUM

To work means to bear participative responsibility of some
kind, which will differ according to the nature of the work.
Sometimes he will work at a thing quickly learned on the
operative side, or one requiring no special operative skill;
in such case he may well bear full responsibility. In other
cases, involving specialized skill which requires long prep-
aration, he may serve as a helper to the skilled operative so
as to bear enough responsibility for acquiring the generalises
necessary insight and appreciation.

So far as public education takes care of this training, it
may leave the individual on the semi-specialized level, a
generalist within some broad occupational field. Carried
thus far his training is practically complete. Usually the
final specialization will be left until the individual is em-
ployed in the occupation itself. Understanding the whole,
he will quickly master his specialty. But it cannot usually
take place in any school. It usually must take place in the
occupational situation where he is to work, as directed by
technical specialists employed for the purpose.

Occupational education must concern itself largely with
the preparation of workmen and managers far right mental
attitudes toward the work. The general technical intelligence
referred to must constitute much of the basis for these right
mental attitudes. The manager as a generalist among
trained specialists actually does but a small portion of the
total group-task. But seeing the whole and thinking the
whole, as he does his small part, he feels himself doing the
whole. Just so it is with the fully enlightened specialized
worker. Let him as he works at his minute task have a clear
intellectual vision of the total group-task. With his discern-
ment of interdependences, and of the way his labor is con-
cerned in and supports all the rest, he too feels his power and
his responsibility to extend outwards to the farthest limits
of the group-labors. In his consciousness, the specialist may



SPECIALIZED TRAINING OF GROUP-WORKERS 83

feel himself a master about as fully as the generalist. The main
difference between the laggard specialist as a slave and the
vigorous specialist as a master is in having or not having the
intellectual vision of the work as a whole. The one feels his
personality and his responsibility to be as small as his petty
task. To the other, both are greatly magnified since his
vision of the group-labors becomes his vision of his own
labors.

At Beverly, Massachusetts, in their part-time shop school,
where they are training machinists for the United Shoe
Machinery Company, they have equipped a small shop with
all the kinds of machines used in the large factory. As the
boys are trained, they pass from machine to machine so as
to become proficient in the entire range of labor to be found
within the large factory. In both school and factory, they
are bringing each of the workmen to a full understanding of
all of the labors performed in the shop. This same width of
industrial training is attempted in all well-developed in-
dustrial schools. Apprenticeship contracts usually specify
that the boy shall be moved about from one kind of work to
another so as to have an opportunity to master all of the
processes.

Under the so-called "Taylor System " of scientific manage-
ment, all the thinking is done by specialized officials in the
"planning-room." Decisions are there made as to what is to
be done every hour during the day by every man in the
shop. Instructions are typewritten, and sent out to the
workmen. The latter are not expected to do any thinking or
judging or deciding; this is all done for them; they are only
to obey orders.

This system is looked upon by many factory managers
as the most perfect that has yet been devised. It puts science
in the saddle. Yet the system is not popular. Where it is
tried, it is frequently abandoned. It usually breaks down,



84 THE CURRICULUM

we are told, because most labors are so complicated that
the planning-room cannot foresee all contingencies; and
therefore cannot make provision for all necessary coordina-
tions. It takes responsibility for thought and initiative off
the men. When instructions are deficient or obscure, work
has to stop until further orders are received. Where instruc-
tions to different workmen are contradictory, the plan gives
them no power to adjust matters. The relative failure of the
Taylor System seems to result from insufficient attempt to
enlist the intelligence and initiative of the men. The system
claims that both managers and men are working under the
control of science; yet, as a matter of fact, this science is
mostly visible only to the management; and is little or not
at all visible to the men. They see only the orders. The sys-
tem represents a halfway step, however, toward actual and
inevitable scientific management. Science rules in the
planning-room; it must also rule in the consciousnesses of
the workmen.

The human element

Recently there has been an awakening qn the part of
leaders of organized industry as to the far-reaching signifi-
cance of the human element. The independent tradesman
did not have to manage men; he had no such problem. It
has arisen with organization, where men work in groups,
and where the generalist must be in part the director
at least the leader of the specialists; where he must play
upon them and through them as does the conductor of an
orchestra.

Of large occupational organizations, it is education that
has most fully recognized the need of taking into account
the human element. In a school system, for example, the
pupils are the ultimate workers. Using the terminology of
the factory, the teachers rank as foremen. It is their busi-



SPECIALIZED TRAINING OF GROUP-WORKERS 85

ness not to do the work that educates, but to get it done by
the pupils. In doing this, they must know the pupils: know
their varying mental capacities, their interests, their apti-
tudes and abilities, their states of health, and their social
milieu. They must know how to arouse interest; how to
motivate them from within; how to adjust the conditions
of the work to child-nature; how to keep up an abundant
physical vitality in the children; and how to employ com-
munity influences for vital stimulation of the pupils.

Now come the leaders of scientific management in industry
and commerce and proclaim their recognition of the human
factor as a great and revolutionizing discovery. Superin-
tendents and foremen in factories must know their men,
their psychology, aptitudes, interests, motivating influ-
ences, etc., so as to be able to stimulate them to the greatest
desirable degree of productivity. It has been found that
arbitrary driving will not work with men any more than
with pupils. The driving force must lie within the will of the
worker. The foreman must adjust conditions of work, wages,
factory sanitation and comforts, opportunities of promo-
tion, of social recognition, etc., so that this inner driving
force will awaken naturally and of itself within the worker.
The foreman must be able to read the nature and needs of his
men as fully as the teacher reads his pupils. He needs to be
proficient in practical psychology, practical sociology,
industrial hygiene and sanitation, and other human studies
that are at the same time technical studies for him.

In the relations of foremen, managers, etc., to their men,
the greatest single source of coordination is a large ground of
common understanding, community of thought, and mutual
confidence in the motives actuating both sides. Where all
are informed as to the controlling science, where all have
access to all the facts relative to the economic and other vital
affairs of the group, in ways otherwhere specified, these



86 THE CURRICULUM

grounds of mutual confidence and understanding are se-
curely laid. In the bitter antagonisms of labor and capital,
the need is being voiced by both sides. One of our well-
known captains of industry is reported recently to have said:

If capital and labor do not get together in the right spirit, the
future of America is doomed. If they do not come to see that the
interests of each are inseparably bound up with the interests of
the other, and that each must be mutually recognized and re-
spected, then capital's resources are doomed, just as the workers'
prosperity is doomed.

One cannot exist without the cooperation of the other. To drive
this stupendous fact home to each of these two forces, to make
each know that it is but the complementary force of the other, and
not an antagonistic force, is the most vital problem before the
United States to-day.

Let the officers of this company understand that there is never
to be another strike in our company, that every man is to be
treated as a partner and not as an enemy or an underling. . . .

Now, to be partners, to cooperate intelligently and effec-
tively, to be able mutually to recognize and respect the inter-
dependent interests of the other, etc., these things imply
that all must have access to the same body of facts; and that
all have the trained powers of mind necessary for rightly
interpreting and judging of those facts. As yet, taking the
industrial world in general, neither of these things has been
provided for. And so long as this is the case, industrial
antagonisms, occasionally flaring forth into actual warfare,
will and must continue. But just as the industrial leaders
are now calling on the schools for remedying technical
weaknesses on the side of labor processes, so they must like-
wise depend upon the schools to provide much of the train-
ing needed for those other weaknesses on the side of the
human factor. Neither side is now consciously trained for
mutual understanding. Both sides are equally in need of ex-
tended training, that has community of thought, and outlook,
and valuations, as its conscious purpose.



CHAPTER X

SOCIAL ASPEGTS OF OCCUPATIONAL TRAINING

ONE hears much nowadays concerning "occupational
efficiency." But the term may refer to either of two widely
different conceptions. One may take the short and narrow
view, and conceive the term as meaning only "high material
productiveness." The degree of efficiency in such case is to
be measured by the amount of economic product. Beyond
this, it does not go. It leaves the product in the hands of
the producer without further inquiry.

On the other hand, the term may refer to "high efficiency
in the promotion of the general human welfare." The degree
of efficiency is to be measured by the quantity of human
service. Whereas the narrow view looks at the material
product as the finished product, this humanistic view sees
the finished product only within those human results that
arise from the use of the economic product. The latter is a
means; not an end. Not unnaturally this is the view that is
coming to be preferred by the world at large. Even though
labor because of great technical knowledge and skill may
turn out a large product, if that product falls into only a
few hands where it is selfishly misused so as to produce or
to permit continuing human ill-fare instead of welfare, then
the occupation cannot be looked upon as efficient in any
desirable way. In terms of human service, it is inefficient.

Efficient management of the social factors is as vital as
technical efficiency. The economic mechanism is to be
operated by society in general for the sake of maximum
human service. This task is immeasurably more compli-
cated than operating a lathe or a locomotive or raising a crop



88 THE CURRICULUM

of corn. If technical training is needed for the latter, cer-
tainly then technical training of all people for the effective
operation of our vast economic mechanism is much more
needed.

Division of labor has created the problem. To see this,
let one first think of our country civilized as at present and
producing as much as possible of the things used to-day
but without any division of labor. Within such a situation
vocational education would be highly desirable. But it
would be only for technical information and skill. There
would be no need for training in the social aspects of occu-
pation because there would be no social aspects. Production
would be wholly individualistic; and distribution non-
existent. Each worker would receive in proportion as he
produced neither more nor less. Each would have in pro-
portion as he earned. There would be no economic mechan-
ism to be operated by society; and consequently no need of
community training in the technique of operation.

But specialization of labor has introduced social inter-
dependency. Each produces one thing; and this not for
himself alone, but for all the group. In return each receives
from the others that portion of their product which they
have produced for him. The obverse side of division of labor
is the organic interdependence of the group. The individu-
alistic situation disappears in proportion as specialization
appears. In the degree in which the group is divided for the
performance of specialized labors, it must be united for any
effective cooperative distribution of the fruits of those labors.
Without the latter, the purpose of the divided labor is
defeated.

This cooperation of specialists demands general under-
standing on the part of all as to the common ends; of the
means of attaining them; and a disposition to obey the
social dictates. It seems that each member of society needs



OCCUPATIONAL TRAINING 89

to be informed as to the total occupational situation: the
working conditions that are supplied to all classes of special-
ized workers; the relation of these to right standards; the
productivity of the various occupations; the distribution of
the products; the nature and mode of operation of the eco-
nomic mechanism necessary for accomplishing all of the
social purposes. And along with information, he also needs
social attitudes and valuations. The social studies of our
schools, the history, geography, literature, economics, etc.,
have the large and inadequately recognized task of develop-
ing both information and attitudes. The ends demand a
program of large proportions that has been mostly unrecog-
nized and unattempted.

The conception that the labors of an industry are to be
supervised by those who are served is really as old as indus-
try itself. It was formerly done by the consumer's accept-
ance or rejection of the product. If it did not suit him, he
went elsewhere. This plan is operative still. But industries
have grown large and complex. Competition is eliminated
through price agreements, or division of the field. Often
one cannot now go elsewhere for supplying his needs. Proc-
esses and products have grown so complicated that he can
no longer judge of quality of commodities or justice of
prices. He cannot know whether he ought to go elsewhere
or not. Should he do so, being unable to distinguish the
better from the worse, he still cannot know whether he is
improving matters. Men are coming to see that a kind of
intelligence and a mode of supervision of the services of
others that worked well in a simpler economic age can no
longer serve our purposes. New conditions demand new
methods.

Public-service labors are coming to be supervised by the
public through public-service commissioners, committees
of city councils, the United States Interstate Commerce



90 THE CURRICULUM

Commission, etc. These representatives of the public keep
a continuous oversight over quality, quantity, costs of serv-
ice, etc. Year by year this community supervision is aug-
mented and strengthened; and freedom to serve or not as
dictated by self-interest is diminished. Each year sees the
extension of this supervision to hitherto unsupervised occu-
pational fields. For some time it has been accepted as a
matter of course, in the case of railroads, express companies,
telegraph and telephone companies, city traction, gas, and
electrical supply companies, the work of plumbers as regards
sanitation, of carpenters and electricians as regards fire
protection, etc. More recently the supervision is being
extended to food and drug manufacture and distribution,
the milk-supply, packing-house industries, the handling of
perishable foods, etc.

But all useful specialized labors are public-service labors.
It becomes ever more difficult to draw any line of division
between industries that are to be socially supervised and
those that are to be left only to the control of individual
self-interest. The logical end of the process is the extension
of social supervision to all that serve and the suppression
of all that do not serve. And all social movements set
strongly in that direction. Where done wisely and justly,
its influence is salutary both to industry and general com-
munity.

Whether the supervision does good or harm to the occu-
pations, and thus to the community itself, depends upon the
quantity of sympathetic occupational enlightenment em-
ployed by the public in the supervision. Where present in
sufficient degree, a community can maintain a high charac-
ter of service while keeping costs on a level that is just to all
concerned. On the other hand, ignorant or mercenary super-
vision can diminish or destroy the power of an industry for
service, and thus do harm both to industry and community.



OCCUPATIONAL TRAINING 91

To require of a railroad, for example, a high character of
service, but at the same time to keep the rates so low that
necessary expenses cannot be met, may injure or destroy
the service that the supervision is intended to improve.

The supervision at bottom must be performed by the men
and women of the general community. They may delegate
legislative and executive action so far as these are required.
But they must first know what they want their representa-
tives to accomplish before they can delegate the responsibili-
ties; or check up the work to see that the right things are
done. There must be informed public opinion and right
community attitudes and valuations. While this community
mind may partly control through governmental mechanism,
in the main it doubtless must act difectly in influencing the
acts of its specialized members. When all members of an
industry know what is expected of it, and when they know
that the public knows, and that the public will be instantly
aware of any missteps that they may make, this is the
situation that crystallizes into "social conscience." It is
this that will supervise and exercise social control. One can
appreciate the relations by noting the analogous "grammar
conscience." It is not necessary to employ legal machinery
for enforcing the laws of grammar. To know what is right
usage, and to know that one's associates will instantly
detect and silently condemn any deviations therefrom, is
enough to hold the well-informed individual pretty close
to the straight and narrow paths of grammar. In the same
way it is public knowledge of an occupation that through
public opinion must directly and indirectly supervise that
occupation. And education must confer the necessary en-
lightenment, social attitudes, and occupational conscience.

The acceptance-rejection method of supervision of early
days was of a democratic type. Everybody knew products,
processes, and social relationships sufficiently to supervise;



92 < THE CURRICULUM

and on the basis of this knowledge, through accepting or
rejecting the products everybody was continually engaged
in the task of supervision. Each did it for himself, however.
Special training was not needed. Cooperative and system-
atic methods of diffusing the necessary intelligence were
not needed. In one fundamental aspect that was a day of
industrial democracy. Except as labor was purely individual,
each served all, and all supervised each. The present is
asking nothing more. It is asking only for new methods
that can be as effective for present-day conditions as the
older methods were for the old days. One of the major
differences must be in the mode of diffusing the necessary
enlightenment. As much as in the old days, all need now to
understand products, processes, and occupational relation-
ships. But the knowledge cannot be picked up incidentally.
What could formerly be well enough done without the help
of the schools can no longer be accomplished in any such
unsystematic and incidental way. A school task always
arises when the incidental method breaks down in the face
of complicated conditions. The economic revolution of the
past few decades has in this manner created an educational
task of gigantic proportions.

One has but to examine the newer courses of study and
textbooks to note the growing realization of this task.
Industrial Studies of the United States, Commercial Geography,
Industrial History, Makers of Many Things, Wheat-Growing
in Canada, United States, and the Argentine, How the World
is Fed, Clothed, and Housed, Diggers in the Earth, The Farmer
and his Friends, The Book of Wheat, Book of Cotton, Book of
Corn, The Story of Sugar, Story of Oil, Leather Manufacture,
such occupational books are rapidly finding place in
schools everywhere. The movement indicates a realization
of the need of enlightenment as the basis of occupational
adjustment in a democracy.



OCCUPATIONAL TRAINING 93

One finds a complete list of occupations in the reports of
the Census. They are classified into nine major fields as
shown in the accompanying table :

Men Women

1. Agriculture, forestry and

animal husbandry 10,851,702 1,807,501

2. Manufacturing and me-
chanical industries 8,837,901 1,820,980

3. Trade 3,146,582 468,088

4. Transportation 2,531,075 106,596

5. Domestic and personal

service 1,241,328 (25,000,000)

6. Clerical occupations 1,143,829 593,224

f. Extraction of minerals . . . 963,730 1,094

8. Professional service 929,684 735,885

9. Public service (not else-
where classified) 445,733 13,558

Geography divides the world up into a few grand divi-
sions; these grand divisions into several score countries and
states; and then presents the situation in each country one
after the other. In the same way, in acquiring an under-
standing of the world of occupations, we may well divide
it into nine grand divisions; divide the latter into several
score occupational fields; and then present studies of the
important ones. As in the geography, it is possible to group
related divisions, and study many cognate occupations at
one time. Much can be done on the basis of type-studies,
where a single occupation studied intensively can be used
to reveal the situation in several similar fields. It is also
possible to view and study the whole occupational realm at
once by considering single aspects one after the other; as
for example, wages, hours of labor, seasonal fluctuations,
profits, desirability of different vocations from a hygienic
point of view, social desirability of different occupations,
etc. When these methods of attacking the problem are



94 THE CURRICULUM

considered, it is not so formidable as may at first sight
appear.

What are the things that people need to know for super-
vision of occupational groups? Let us here mention seven
things :

1. They need definite knowledge of the human needs that
are to be ministered to by the different occupations.

2. They must know definitely the character of occupa-
tional service required for meeting the needs fully and
without waste.

3. They must know the extent to which any occupational
group is actually delivering the required character of
service.

4. They must know what material and other facilities are
needed by each occupation for performing service of
the kind required.

5. They need to know the extent to which the community
is actually providing the needed facilities.

6. They need a knowledge of technical processes only suf-


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Online LibraryJohn Franklin BobbittThe curriculum → online text (page 7 of 22)