Slike strani



The National Government.-While American education is exclusively under the direction of the individual States, so that its organization and administration are determined by their school laws, the Federal Government has in certain limited ways concerned itself with education. Education for the home has specifically been. aided (a) by the Federal legislation which established the landgrant colleges in 1862, and has since contributed to their development, for in certain of these institutions collegiate education for the home first took shape (see Part I); (b) by Federal grants for agricultural research, from which benefits have arisen for home education, especially through the scientific study of nutrition; (c) by the work of the United States Department of Agriculture in nutrition investigations; (d) by the services of the United States Bureau of Education, particularly in the newly organized Division of Home Education; and now (e) by the adoption of the Smith-Lever bill, which provides liberal Federal aid to State systems of extension teaching of agriculture and home economics (1914). Other legislation directly involving education for the home is now pending in Congress (pp. 179, 181).

The States and education for the home.-Education for the home will primarily turn on the provision made for it in the school laws of the various States. There is, therefore, presented in this chapter a statement of State legislation in relation to education for the home. Section 1. GENERAL TENDENCIES IN STATE LEGISLATION AS TO EDUCATION FOR THE HOME.

(The following discussion is based on the data presented in Sections 2 and 5.)

Authorization and requirement of education for the home in public schools.-Education for the home is specifically authorized as a subject of instruction in the schools of approximately three-fourths of the States. All of the New England States; all of the Middle States except Delaware; all of the Southern States except West Virginia, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama; all of the Central States except Missouri and South Dakota; and all of the Mountain and

Pacific States except Wyoming and Colorado have in one way or another authorized the teaching of household subjects in their elementary school or high school, or in both. Thirty States have authorized the teaching in elementary schools, and 33 States in secondary schools. (Table 1, p. 42.) Formal recognition by the State government of household arts as a suitable subject of instruction has therefore taken place very generally throughout the whole country save in a block of adjoining Southern States, a similar block of Mountain States, and a few other scattering Commonwealths.

Sometimes the authorization is in terms of manual training; sometimes one or more household subjects are specifically mentioned in the list of statutory subjects to be taught in the public schools; and sometimes local school authorities are authorized by statute to levy necessary taxes, as for manual training, including domestic science, or for household arts. In the absence of such declaration, State approval may be assumed from legislation offering State financial aid in the introduction of home economics.

The enabling legislation may make provision for its own effective administration, as in the New Mexico statute of 1912, which not only authorizes the instruction, but provides for a course of study and a special assistant to the State superintendent to encourage industrial education. The present vocational education movement, as well as the manual training movement, is reflected in the permissive legislation regarding elementary and high schools, but appears more distinctly in the legislative provision for teaching household subjects in the industrial and vocational schools of 23 States. (Table 1, p. 42.)

The progress of agricultural education is one of the most striking features of this vocational movement, and preparation for rural homemaking is almost uniformly a feature of the programs of agricultural education. Up to the present 22 States have authorized the teaching of household arts in the rural public schools. (Table 1, p. 42.) This educational union of agriculture and home economics is especially illustrated in the laws establishing special secondary schools of agriculture, such as the Wisconsin county "schools of agriculture and domestic economy," the district agricultural schools of Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Virginia, the State agricultural schools of New York and Vermont, the "rural high schools" of Idaho, and the vocational "schools of agriculture, mechanic arts, and homemaking" of New York. Almost invariably the statutory provision for special schools of agriculture requires that instruction in domestic science shall be provided for girls.

In addition to the legal provision for domestic science in schools of certain types, it is significant that four States at least (Table 1, p. 42) Oklahoma, Louisiana, Indiana, and Iowa-have made an outright requirement of the teaching of domestic science in the

public schools, and a fifth, Massachusetts, requires (1904) manual training in the elementary and high schools of cities of over 20,000 population. Oklahoma in its constitution, adopted in 1907, charges the legislature "to provide for the teaching of the elements of agriculture, horticulture, stock feeding, and domestic science in the common schools of the State "; Louisiana, in 1910, provided by law that "instruction shall be given in all elementary and secondary schools in the principles of agriculture or horticulture and in home and farm economy "; and Indiana and Iowa took similar action in 1913. Washington requires either domestic science, manual training, or agriculture in its eighth-grade examinations; so that household-arts teaching is practically compulsory in the elementary school.

Such a legislative fiat does not create the trained teachers, revised courses of study, and other necessary conditions of the new education, but it does give expression to public conviction and it raises up new educational standards for a whole State, to which individual communities are seeking as rapidly as possible to attain. Such permissive and mandatory legislation, while not yet carried into effect, is by no means to be classed with the ordinary dead legal letter. It states the normal requirement to be expected of communities; it encourages petitions for such instruction by local voluntary organizations to local school boards, and it spurs hesitant school officials into action. One favoring item in the forward movement for agricultural education has been the readiness of legislatures to authorize, if not require, this teaching. Home economics has largely enjoyed the same advantage; and, clearly, every Commonwealth ought now not only to clear the way for such teaching from all impediments (for the absence of statutory permission may be an obstacle in securing local action), but ought to take positive measures to expedite teaching for homemaking. This encouragement of household arts in education may take the form of direct mandate that the subject shall be taught, or, as has so often been done in securing desirable readjustments in local school systems, the State may offer a financial grant toward the expense of the innovation. State aid for manual training and the more recent State aid for vocational education have both directly facilitated the local introduction of household-arts instruction. There is something inherently attractive about an undertaking in which some one else pays one-third, onehalf, or two-thirds the expense, and the proposal to do something that you would like to do anyway becomes irresistible under such circumstances.

State aid for education for the home.-State aid to the local school unit toward the cost of domestic science may be classified, first, as regards the grade of school receiving aid. In 11 States-Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey. North

« PrejšnjaNaprej »