|Bookbinding for Beginners
by Florence O. Bean - Assistant in Manual Arts - Boston Public Schools
Published by School Arts Publishing Company 1914
A final test of the pupil's efficiency lies in his ability to plan and
carry to completion an original project. Originality does not consist
in making an article never heard of before, but in adapting to
one's specific needs, principles and processes already learned
through class instruction.
A fitting close to a course in elementary book-binding is such a
problem. If pupils choose to make -articles such as the
memorandum pad or the hinged covers which have already been
taught, they should be accepted as original work, provided that
each pupil selects the size and proportions himself, and does not
depend on the teacher to repeat the instruction in detail. Yet
more credit should be given one whose originality extends further
as in the case of a boy who made for his father's use a holder for
conductor's checks, or the one who made a mount for telephone
An articles constructed should be such as are appropriately made
|of the materials used. Models, such as are sometimes made of cardboard, to be constructed later of different
materials should be excluded from this course.
It is by no means essential or desirable that originality be held in abeyance until the end of the course but rather, it
should be fostered during each succeeding lesson. The pupils who work more rapidly than the average of the class
may always have on hand an extra piece of work to be done when the regular assignment has been completed.
The adaptation of any problem to a specific purpose should always be considered an opportunity for the
development of class originality. For example, a principal may want several portfolios in which to keep a particular
kind of papers; or a set of hinged covers to hold a "Course of Study" may be desired for each teacher's desk. These
should be considered class problems and worked out as such.
It should be continually borne in mind that the object of the course is the development of the child. When he is
conscious of the ability to make an article of intrinsic value a long step has been taken. "To help the pupil to help
himself" is the highest aim of education.
Some of these problems may be given, especially in older classes as "team work." The class may be divided into
sections doing specific parts of the work under a foreman. This method is a good one when the aim is the output or
when an insight into the construction of articles in large quantities is desired.
The border-line between educational handwork and technical bookbinding has now been reached, and it is not the
writer's purpose to cross it. If this book of problems assists others in solving the quest for interesting and
educational handwork, its mission will have been accomplished.
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