When the missionaries established schools and seminaries (i.e. the female seminaries, as well as Lahainaluna, Hilo Boarding School, Punahou,) they included teaching of the head (‘common’ courses, the 3Rs,) heart (religious, moral) and hand (vocational training, manual labor.)
Lahainaluna was designed first, “to instruct young men that they may become assistant teachers of religion;” second, “to disseminate sound knowledge embracing literature and science;…”
“… third, to qualify native school teachers for their respective duties; fourth, “it is designated that a piece of land shall be connected with the institution and the manual labor system introduced as far as practicable.” (Westervelt)
Later, shortly after the University of Hawaiʻi started (1907,) short courses or ‘special lectures’ of education of “less than college grade” were offered in agriculture as ‘extension’ work.
Nationally, the Cooperative Extension Service was created in 1914 with the passage of the Smith-Lever Act (but it excluded Hawaiʻi.) UH developed its own version of an extension program, which was the basis of a successful appeal to Congress after several years of struggle for Hawai‘i’s inclusion in the Act in November 1928. (CTAHR)
Again, nationally, the Smith-Hughes Act (1917) was “An Act to provide for the promotion of vocational education; to provide for cooperation with the States in the promotion of such education in agriculture and the trades and industries …”
“… to provide for cooperation with the States in the preparation of teachers of vocational subjects; and to appropriate money and regulate its expenditure”. (The law wasn’t effective in Hawaiʻi until March 10, 1924.)
“That for the purpose of cooperating with the States in paying the salaries of teachers, supervisors, or directors of agricultural subjects there is hereby appropriated for the use of the States.”
“(T)hat the controlling purpose of such education shall be to fit for useful employment; that such education shall be of less than college grade and be designed to meet the needs of persons over fourteen years of age who have entered upon or who are preparing to enter upon the work of the farm or of the farm home; that the State or local community, or both”.
“(S)uch schools or classes giving instruction to persons who have not entered upon employment shall require that at least half of the time of such instruction be given to practical work on a useful or productive basis, such instruction to extend over not less than nine months per year and not less than thirty hours per week”. (Smith-Hughes Act, 1917)
Two types of full-time day classes in vocational agriculture were organized in Hawaiʻi. ‘Type A’ classes (primarily for upper elementary and intermediate grades) are those in which pupils spend approximately half of their school time in the classroom where they receive Instruction in English, mathematics, hygiene, geography, vocational agriculture and other subjects.
The remaining time was spent in the field where the pupils do all of the work on a class project in sugar cane or in pineapple production. Field work is closely supervised by the teacher of vocational agriculture, but all money earned was divided among the boys in proportion to the time they work. They also had a home project.
Under the ‘Type B’ plan (typically for high school students,) pupils did not use a portion of the school time for field work. Practical experience was gained through extensive home project programs. Classroom instruction in agriculture is under the teacher of vocational agriculture, but academic subjects were taken with other pupils of the school under regular teachers of these subjects.
Some schools incorporated the program into their curriculum. Then, the 1967 session of the 4th Hawaii State Legislature resolved that “it is of great urgency to the citizens of this State, adults as well as youths, that there be developed a comprehensive state master plan for vocational education.” A ‘State Master Plan for Vocational Education’ was prepared the next year.
Its introductory comments included, “Technologically-induced shifts in job opportunities have imposed new career training demands. The rapid opening of new fields of knowledge has changed the very nature of work itself; the priorities shifting from muscle power to mental powers.”
“We witness a tremendous shift from production-oriented jobs to service jobs; we must now have a corresponding emphasis on the development of the required communicative and social skills.” (Master Plan, 1968)
“Given the apparent inadequacies in education and the accompanying human tragedy and waste, and given the extremely tight local labor market and the desperate long-term need for more educated, more highly trained manpower, there would seem to be a good deal of prophetic wisdom in the expansion of the Community College occupational training programs.”
Recommendations for the Master Plan included: “1. The main responsibility of the DOE in the K-12 programs should be provision of basic and general education. The DOE programs should provide for exploratory and pre-vocational experiences. …”
“2. Vocational education at a secondary school level should be seen as an integral part of total education. At the Community College level, general education should be an integral component of vocational education.” (Master Plan, 1968)
The community college system was brought into being. It replaced the technical schools that had existed previously.
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