- VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE. Vocational guidance is interpreted as the effort of teachers, or others entrusted with work connected with teaching, to study the aptitudes and capacities of young people m school or college, or else where, with a view to placing them in the trades or professions for which they seem best adapted. Those who do this work are not necessarily teachers of these trades or profes sions, but they must be familiar with the gen eral character of them and the opportunities *hich they offer. They must also be in close touch with those who are doing the actual teach ing, or giving die vocational training, which is of course to be distinguished from vocational guidance.
The importance of guiding youth wisely in the selection of a career has been recognized in all ages, but as an organized system, worked in connection with schools, It is of comparatively recent growth. The Germans may, perhaps, be said to have begun systematic work with it. The horizontal stratikation of society over there, where following in the footsteps of one's father is the usual thing, made the task simpler than in the United States where there is a ver tical stratification, and the ideal of all is to rise to die top. In the struggie to get up which ensues the usual idea is to get away from the tratrunels of ancestral tradition, and to try to find strccess in far different fields. Under such a system where every youth is given a free choice and where the ideal of a Lincoln, or an Edison, or a Carnegie, is constantly held up as a possibility, it is but natural that thou sands should enter the struggle to rise higher, and that but few would succeed. Young people try to enter trades and professions for which they are ill-adapted and have no capacity, or which are already crowded by competition. The result is that by way of contrast, Germany, by guiding, if not virtually dictating, the trades and the walk of life into which the youth should go, presents cases of fewer misfits, less wreck age and a larger number of slcilled workmen.
In spite of the fact that the opponents of the German system point out that it is essentialty undemocratic, that it cramps freedom of choice and opportunity, and is a contributing factor to the deadening grind which seemingly leads to a greater number of stticides among young peo ple, this is felt to be a lesser evil than the lack of skilled worlanen and the frightful num ber of failures which result from the f ree-for all policy of Atnerica which permits so many thousands to enter trades and professions for which they are not fitted.
As early as 1881, Lysander S. Richards pub lished a book on guidance entitled (Vocophy.)' After a lapse of some time the subject was again talcen up, and with increasing vigor, dtrr ing the first two decades of the Wth century. A bureau for vocational guidance was estab lished in Boston in 1908. In other places similar efforts were made by teachers and others, par ticularly in the schools.
Closely following the vocational guidance movement came one paralleling it and calling for vocational teaching and training, so that the two have worked hand in hand. School boards, special committees in colleges, business and indrustrial firms and organizations, clubs and religious associations gave the subject their attention. Legislatures of many States appro priated considerable sums for its promotion.
Advocates of vocational guidance maintain that it should begin in the lowest school and continue through college, and even into the business and professional world. The teacher should seek to find out the aptitudes and ca pacities of pupils and develop them to the end that the best along such lines in a pupa should be developed. The student should be guided in an intelligent choice of elective studies. A.s the pupil progresses the work of guidance should go into the hands of a counsellor or group of counsellors who make a business of guiding students and of studying the qualities required by and the opportunities in the variotas trades and professions.