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Manual and Industrial Training

Models of manual training or industrial education were created in Europe and imported to the United States in the nineteenth century. The first U.S. implementation of this training was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and it quickly became a dominant paradigm in secondary education. The idea was that it would produce skilled but compliant workers for growing U.S. businesses. This entry looks at the history of this type of education in the United States.


Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746–1827), a Swiss educator and reformer, is considered to be the father of manual training (industrial education). In his system of education for children, he combined manual training and work with a general education. Interest in manual or industrial training, however, didn't develop in the United States until ...

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