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Improvements in Hawaii's Schools
A Plea for the Trade School
TIII3 GARDEN ISLAND. TUESDAY, A PHI I,. 2't. 1010
By a Kauai Teacher
I have been in the schools of Hawaii for t lie
past six yearn, after having taught in several
of the states. A study of the conditions of
these sehools, in comparison withothers, has
brought out some facts which, I think, may he
of use in the adjusting of our schools.
First in many of our schools nt least one
third of the pupils are in the first grade, and
probably two thirds are in the first three
grades. In my school more than two thirds
are in the third grade and below. This is
largely true of all the schools out of Honolulu,
where I think, the percent is somewhat less.
This significant fact should be taken into
consideration and the "why?" of it investi
gated. My observations have brought out these facts.
1. The poorest teachers (of which we have
too many) are often assigned to these first
grades because, "they can't teach any thing
else." The truth is that the first grade is the
hardest grade in school and requires more
teaching ability, more knowledge of the appli
cation of educational principles than any other
grade in school.
As a consequence a child often remains in
the first grade t wo and three years. The second
grade may claim him for two years more and
the third for an equal length of time since his
foundation is poor and incentive for work un
awakened. He is now getting near the time
for quitting school and going to work. He
will be "too old" before he reaches the fifth
grade and thus leaves our schools after, per
haps, eight years, a disgrace to our educational
system. In all schools, the world over, there
are some such cases, but in Hawaii they are
far in majority. I am speaking from an ex
perience of the rural schools in the Islands.
So our first need is better teachers in these
Again we need more material for primary
work. A a truly primary teacher expressed it,
"We are given our course of study and a school
Law and told to teach." This is slightly over
drawn. However, most of our teachers are
directly from Normals where they have had
everything to work with and are capable of
accomplishing much more with appropriate
a. Scissors for paper cutting, etc.
b. Sets of supplementary readers for
the lower grades.
c. Boxes of water color and colored
These are only a few suggestions.
This work should be systematized by a prim
Each Island, I think, should have a Super
visor of Primary Work. The principals should
supervise the higher grades, say from the
fourth up, and the Supervisor plan and system
atize the primary work according to the best
methods used by experts in this work. Few
principals are good primary teachers in the
first place and, if they were, they .aire too
crowded for time to do what should be done.
Again, if principals could do this work, .each
school would have a system of its own instead
of all the schools being systematized in this
We are paying out large sums of money for
teachers (Supervising Principals) to go from
school to school, remain a short period, give
the teacher a grade and pass on. Most of the
teachers never know what grade they have
(except on Oahu), consequently never benefit
by the judgment placed upon their work. I
have taught on three islands and find it much
the same on each. If this same amount of
money was spent on some one to direct the
work of the primary teacher (who are largely
in the majority) some definite work for good
would be accomplished. Unless something is
done in this line almost two thirds of our
pupils will continue to leave school about the
fourth grade and those that remain may have
poor foundation work.
This year t had no one who was really a
primary teacher so I put a lady who had
taught in the higher grades in a California
school into one of tlie first grades. She real
ized she needed help and suggestions in prim
ary work and asked the Supervising Principal
to help her, at which she replied; "You know
more about this work than I do." This was
entirely true as the teacher has had normal
training but still she is graded by the Super
vising Principal. This is not true of this is
land alone but was the same in a greater or
less degree on the other islands.
I taught primary work a number of years
myself and uuder Supervisors who knew irhat
ire nhould do and helped uh do it, I know just
what could be done with these schools in that
line with the right people in charge of the
There are people who have specialized in this
line that could be got and it would change the
whole outlook of our schools.
BY KKSSETll V. BHYAS
Any school system is successful only in so
far as it continually changes to meet the social
and industrial need of its own community.
The fact that certain children are better adapt-
ed to "handwork" than to "hcadwork" has been
so well recognized as to need no further argu
ment. The curriculum of the schools should
be adapted to meet the. needs of the pupils who
are essen tally handworkers as well as the needs
of the head workers. In other words our school
system must answer the demands of the rank
and file. All pupils in our public schools are.
equal; all have a right to an education. For
a long period of time we have flung our school
house doors ostensibly open tall but in reality
we have; been educating only a part.
We have been educating all our pupils along
uniform lines or at least we have been offering
them all the same kind of cducal ioual facili
ties. The children to whom our academic edu
cation was acceptable have profited, but what
has become of the rest? We cannot treat all
individuals to the same kind of educational
stimulus any more than we could expect them
all to wear the same kind of clothing or like
the same food.
Because of the almost universal prevalence
of strictly academic or classical education to
the exclusion of industrial training a certain
proportion of our pupils have been robbed of
what is in justice their right, that is a right to
an educational opportunity which meets their
own specific, individual needs.. The boy who
is endowed with mechanical ability has as
much right to demand that his talent be foster
ed and cultivated as has the boy who is des
tined to become a lawyer or statesman to de
mand an education which will lit him for his
profession. The boy who has to go to work at
an early age without the advantages of a high;
er education has a right to ask that while he
is in school his education shall be such as will
fit him with a definite means of earning his
The foregoing statement does not mean that
the boy whoMakes up an industrial or voca
tional course is unfitted for or should be de
prived of all academic work. The idea of
turning out mere workers or skilled human
automations by means of complete systematiz
ation or standardization is not the work or
idea of a trade school. The trade school is not
destined to become a school for apprentices as
certain industrial magnates would have it.
Our ideal of a public school system is one
that will train efficient workers who are also
caiable of appreciating the culturtl and civic
aspect n of life; men who enjoy arts, literature,
and recreation and who are able to consider
intelligently all the political and social pheno
mena surrounding Ihem. Our trade schools
should give all its pupils a well rounded de
velopment according to the ability of the indi
vidual to receive what is offered.
The need of industrial education in public
schools has been felt all over the world and as
a result trade schools have been established.
Every State in our Union boasts of these in
stitutions. We are aspiring to Statehood. Why
do we not keep jtace with the times and show
that we are alive? We are proud of our public
schools which have done such good work in the
past and are doing it so well now. Yet an
alarming number of our young people leave our
schools Ihe moment they arrive at the legal
age. Two questions present themselves: why
do they leave? What can we do to reduce our
school "mortality" and strengthen our Terri
torial, industrial efficiency?
Many pupils leave our schools because their
needs are not met there. The boy who is "hand
minded" or has mechanical tendencies while
being trained on academic lines, endures school
as long as he must and no longer. He hates
school because he has no motive for being there.
His daily lessons become more and more irk
some until he becomes a truant and is counted
a "bad" boy, when he is really a "good" boy
just bursting with energy misapplied or not
applied at all. The result is that he leaves
school just as soon as he can, unfitted for any
thing ami a standing reproach to our educat
ional methods. Statistics show that most of
these boys who leave school in Hawaii are
Hawaiian or Chinese.
How to check this tide of uneducitc I boys
finds its answer in the Trade School. Here
the boy not only gets his English, Arithmetic,
Language, etc.. but also the thing that he
needs. His pent up energy and ability is recog
nized, turned in the right direction and trained
until he is proficient in his chosen line, lie
has a motive for being in school. He has a joy
in the performance of the thing for which he
is fitted. He emerges from the Trade School
not to join the ranks of the unemployed, but a
man who can oiler his services to the commun
ity as an expert in his liner He can say to the
world: "I am equipped. 1 am ready, (iivc me
the work to do." With the pressure of present
day conditions the lack is not of work but of
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KAUAI GARAGE CO.
U k i MhM in
VAliJii d i'fti i
Coprrltfbt rfUtm4. 1S1T
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Our Cases are filled with new and
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. We are always pleased to show
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We are now incorporated under
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Alexander Young Bldg.
skilled workers. Our trade schools can help
supply the workers.
Our sugar ami pineapple industries, our
growing automobile business, ami our big
naval station call for thousands of mechanics
and tradesmen. Why must we import them
when we can educate our own? (live the boys
of Hawaii a chance. Only lusmall proportion
of iliein become business, literary, or prfes
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