Sylvia L. M. Martinez
Manual training garnered great appeal in America's public schools from 1870 to 1900. Although attempts at manual training in schools stretch back to Antebellum America, it was not until the need arose for a skilled workforce in the industrial economy that there was widespread support for such an educational reform. Nevertheless, the economic impact of manual training was secondary to reformers who were most concerned with the social breakdown of values surrounding family and work. Proponents argued that manual training made education relevant and practical, a way to educate the mind through the hand while developing a moral character for work. Accordingly, manual training offered a pedagogical reform that promised to enlarge the intellectual and moral enterprise of schools and prepare youth with habits of industriousness. The introduction of manual training in America occurred at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition where the Moscow Imperial Training School showcased its model of ...