Monday, March 3, 2008

Industrial Education


The name most closely associated with Industrial Education is that of Booker T. Washington, the founder of the Tuskegee Institute. Washington espoused the philosophy that black people needed not only to learn academics, but to become skill in industrial labor, such as farming, carpentry, brickmaking, etc. to assure them a job when they returned to their communities. When he founded the Tuskegee Institute, he had his students do all the manual labor of building the buildings for the school, from digging the foundation to making and laying the bricks to installing the electrical fixtures. His critics, among them W.E.B. DuBois, claimed that he was contributing to keeping African-Americans subordinate to whites in the social order by training them to be manual laborers. Booker T. Washington felt that he was teaching his students not only self-reliance but "how to lift labour up from mere drudgery and toil, love work for it's own sake. to make the forces of nature - air, water, steam, electricity, horse-power - assist them in their labour." (Up from Slavery, Ch. X)