Difference Between Classical Education And Industrial Education

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What is the best approach to education that will develop the black community in the best way possible? A question often pondered and debated in the early 1900’s. The debate being between classical education and industrial/agricultural education. Classical education focuses on the teaching of sciences, history, language arts, mathematics, and literature. Whereas vocational education focuses on the preparation for work and job skill. Two of the most famous black leaders at this time took very different positions on this. Booker T Washington believed the best way to develop the black community was through industrial education. Washington believed black people would be more respected if they accumulated property and wealth, which could be done…show more content…
He states, “If we make money the object of man-training, we shall develop money-makers but not necessarily men; if we make technical skill the object of education, we may possess artisans but not, in nature, men.” (Du bois 1) This was his problem with the industrial approach. This approach was making black people into workers, laborers, but not necessarily giving blacks full potential to live life fully. “Education must not teach work, it must teach life” (Du Bois) He mentions that blacks have always been intelligent and just were unable to prove it because obstacles such as slavery got in the way. It is wrong to think that blacks were just put on the earth to endorse hard labor. He believes that god has created us all equal, and that blacks should get equal treatment in education too. He argues that Washington fails to stand up for political and civil rights and higher education of blacks. He gives examples of black abolitionist, like Alexander Crummell, and James McCune Smith, these men were college educated men, which made them into the great leaders they are. Black men can become great leaders through attending schools and college universities. “A university is a human invention for the transmission of knowledge and culture from generation to generation, through the training of quick minds and pure hearts, and for this work no other human invention will suffice, not even trade and industrial schools” (Du Bois

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