Slike strani

gineering teaching deans and heads of departments should assume greater responsibility in this matter.

(15) Better results may be obtained if the lines of authority and responsibility of engineering staff members are carefully defined. Separate engineering facilities with definite powers and responsibilities seem desirable in all except the very small land-grant instiutions.

(16) The name agricultural college as used to designate certain land-grant institutions seems to be detrimental to the interest of engineering alumni and staff members of such institutions. It is recommended that the name of such land-grant institutions be changed to “ State college."

(17) It has been estimated that $30,000,000 per year are being expended in the United States for engineering education. The landgrant institutions in which are enrolled one-half of the total engineering students of this country are spending only slightly more than $10,000,000 per year, or only about one-third of the total. The governing boards of land-grant institutions must realize that inadequate support for engineering education will necessarily affect unfavorably the quality of instruction and the other services of these colleges.

(18) Except in a very few institutions no encouragement is given to the engineering staff to build up research or extension. Both these types of work should be emphasized to a much greater extent than they are at present.

(19) Cooperation between the land-grant engineering colleges and the State and United States Government departments should be improved. The land-grant engineering colleges have been most helpful in nearly all cases in connection with the highway programs of their States, but the State highway departments have rarely reciprocated. Effective cooperation exists between a considerable number of land-grant engineering colleges and the United States Bureau of Public Roads, the United States Bureau of Standards, the United States Office of Education, and the United States Bureau of Mines. There is much room, however, for closer contacts between the landgrant engineering colleges and all of the technical bureaus of the United States Government.

(20) The land-grant engineering colleges are cooperating to an increasing extent with the industries and utilities of their localities. Eight of these institutions are solving industrial problems which are national in scope, are receiving considerable sums for cooperative research, are attracting large numbers of students from States other than their own, and are recognized as research and training centers in certain engineering fields. With proper support and encouragement this number can be increased.


Chapter I.-Objectives

There is good reason to believe that home economics will make more rapid progress in defining its objectives and in creating the means for their attainment than was the case of some of the other more recent special fields of higher education. The basis of this belief may be discovered in tendencies that are apparent in the statements of landgrant college home economics objectives and in the discussions that constitute a part of the Proceedings of the Association of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities. From these sources it seems that a definition of objectives is being evolved in terms of a type of college education rather than in terms of specific skills and subject-matter information.

Home economics personnel recognize more fully perhaps than does the remainder of the academic world the apparently disorderly conditions that have existed in their field. They have attempted most seriously and intelligently to regularize and standardize their objectives and the means used to attain these objectives without abandoning faith that home economics provides a new and creative instrument to higher education. Their task involves the definition and segregation of an area of educational endeavor.

As compared with the traditional fields established in the higher educational world, they have had a very short period in which to work out their problems. By 1900 only nine land-grant institutions, Iowa State College, Kansas State Agricultural College, South Dakota State College, Oregon Agricultural College, Agricultural College of Utah, Colorado Agricultural College, Michigan State College, Ohio State University, and Montana State College, had courses in “domestic economy.” Work in home economics in 33 of the institutions has been started since that date. This is a very brief time in which to isolate and to create subject matter, to devise organizations, train staffs, and formulate purposes in terms of a college standard that has itself been revolutionized during the past 15 years.

The day has long passed when any single and specific area of learning can maintain a monopolistic claim to provide the only knowledge and medium through which higher education may be

[ocr errors]


acquired. The ancient languages and mathematics had to make room for scientific education and, in turn, pure science has, during the past two generations tended to break down into a series of specialties that gain life and vigor by reason of appeal to interest in the application of the scientific method to various life activities. Thus colleges of engineering, agriculture, education, and of commerce and business have developed as respected faculties of the colleges and universities.

Home economics objectives described for the purposes of this survey indicate quite clearly that in the minds of many leaders in this field, home economics is conceived in terms of utilization of another area of human interest and activity to develop the attitudes and abilities that are supposed to result from college education. This viewpoint makes home handicraft skills incidental to and mere instruments of a wider purpose. The accomplishment of the homeeconomics mission can not, therefore, be measured by comparison of the cooking and sewing of its graduates with the facility in similar accomplishments acquired by other persons in household practice. Important as is ability to manage the material and social affairs and relationships of the home, the conception of home economics as a medium and incentive for college education merely takes advantage of the interests and family ideals of women to induce them to acquire the social and scientific attitudes that characterize any well-educated person. Even the gainful occupations for which preparation is offered are regarded to a considerable degree not as ends in themselves, but as means through which the individual becomes a member of the intellectual classes. When home activities and relationships are thus regarded as a medium that may be utilized to provide a college education, selection of subject matter, development of skills, and methods of teaching are controlled by quite different principles than would be the case in trade training or education to a station in family life.

However, a national survey of home economics in the land-grant colleges and universities of the United States will not present a true picture of the status of home economics in these institutions by recording the interpretations of the most advanced home economic leaders and the embodiment of these interpretations in the methods and curricula of a few land-grant colleges. The judgments of the entire group of college home economics staffs in regard to the objectives of their work must be examined critically and an attempt made to relate these judgments to inferences that may be drawn from the organizations set up in the colleges for the administration of homeeconomics instruction, from the character of the staff, from the courses and curricula offered, and from the student product.

Aims and Objectives The responsible heads of home economics work in 43 land-grant colleges described their conceptions of the objectives and aims of college home economics for use in connection with this survey. It is impossible to arrange this group of statements in systematic and logical form and to report consensus of opinion upon the basis of clearly defined expressions of objectives. Nevertheless it is possible to derive from the statements four main tendencies or conceptions in interpretation of purposes. Somewhat roughly these objectives may be designated as (1) the development of handicraft skill in the operation of home keeping; (2) the development of home managers capable of handling the labor, the financing, and the social relationships that arise in the family unit; (3) preparation for specific gainful employment; and (4) utilization of interest in home and family activities and relationships as a medium through which scientific and social education may be provided in combination upon the college level.

Upon the basis of the statements of objectives reported for the purposes of this survey, it seems that two or more of these purposes may, and do quite frequently, exist side by side in a single institution in more or less contradictory and illogical relationship.

The handicraft objective.—No institution admits to-day that the major objective of its home economics work is that of developing handicraft skill in the operations of home-keeping. Long after creation of good cooks, home dressmakers, and housekeepers by teaching skill in household operations and by imparting rule of thumb information is recognized as an inadequate objective for college home economics the practices derived from this conception may survive and the objective itself persist in an obscured form. Most frequently this obscurity arises from the addition of well-recognized and respectable academic requirements that bear an attenuated relationship to subject matter prescribed to attain the old objective. Thus, since cooking involves chemical changes, since pattern making requires knowledge of measurements, curves, and irregular volumes, and since a house must be provided for housekeeping, it would easily be possible to attain academic standing for home economics by insisting that science be taken through organic chemistry, that mathematics be pursued through solid trigonometry, and that the elements of architecture should precede the course in house furnishing. Yet the cooking, sewing, and household work might be modified in only the slightest degree by all these additions and the essentially home economics instruction might remain upon the same old handicraft level. Home economics leaders fully recognize this fact and are mak


ing considerable progress toward integrating abstract science and home economics application. The fact that the contributing sciences are highly departmentalized for purposes other than those of use to the divisions of application such as education, agriculture, engineering, and home economics, frequently makes such adaptation difficult. The extent to which integration of the science and the application of home economics has proceeded must be sought in the methods used and courses offered rather than in statements of objectives by college home economics teachers.

The family unit objective.—Examination of the statements of objectives by home economics departments shows that more than twothirds of the statements are determined by desire to provide education that will serve the purposes revealed by more or less conscious and thorough-going analysis of the family. It is significant to note the emphasis given to development of attitudes within, and toward the family and home as contrasted with the emphasis upon isolated, specialized bits of information and skills that characterized the handicraft objective. Assuming that the activities of the home provide a worth-while area of educational effort the handicraft objective was derived by analysis of the very limited and somewhat obvious manipulative processes that go on in the normal household. The family unit objective, on the other hand, is based upon recognition of wider and more varied home activities, but still depends for validity upon the adequacy of the activity analysis process as a means for determining the objectives of home economics instruction. Thus, the handicraft objective is subordinated to objectives derived from analysis of the home in its economic aspects, of the family as a social unit, and of the family as an element in larger social groupings.

The home economics objectives in land-grant colleges that center about home and family concepts are for the most part statements of the purposes of instruction based upon analysis of a variety of family activities and relationships. Thus we have “better understanding of child training and more intelligent use of family finance," "application of sciences and arts to problems of the household,” “ the place of the home in good citizenship building.” The

” family unit objective in home economics instruction is undoubtedly a fruitful and rich concept and affords opportunity for wide and serious intellectual effort. Whether the statement of this objective is merely a theoretical and pious hope or whether it is a real and practical purpose can be determined only by examination of courses and curricula offered as means of attaining this objective.

This discussion of the family unit objective would be inadequate if attention were not called to some of the dangers and deficiencies that arise from too exclusive dependence for determination of pur

« PrejšnjaNaprej »