Slike strani

be fascinated for a time by military goings-on. But probably participation in military drill and make-believe wars is the best way to help him to grow through the martial stage and leave it permanently behind, except when he may be called upon to defend his country.

Many men who have had military training in student days have been asked whether military drill awakened in them a longing for war, and the responses have always been in the negative. Most of those who have given testimony have maintained that military training in school had no influence one way or another on their interest in or opposition to war. The causes of war lie in other directions than in military training in schools and colleges. Political rivalry, overpopulation of nations, economic struggle, commercial greediness, the love of conquest, the passion for dominion, personal quarrels among the rulers of mankind, suspicion of the motives of neighboring peoples-these, rather than military discipline in schools and colleges, are the causes of war. Of course, if a boy is trained to prepare for war as a profession, he may wish to have an opportunity to use his training but in such a case it is professional ambition that is creating an itch for war. One may wish to engage in war because he can make his living or gain glory thereby. But military training during the highschool age is not at all likely to develop the wish to follow war as a profession.


Culture as an Aim in Education

and spiritual values above food, clothing, shelter, automobiles, dances, intoxicating beverages, jewels, or any other object or instrument for the gratification of vanity or sensuous desires. Such persons have greater stability and must, in the long run, get more from life and make more out of it than do those who place no value on anything that does not immediately yield gratification of physical or sensuous appeal. We need in these days, when physical indulgence is becoming a kind of mandate, to exalt nonphysical and nonmaterialistic values in daily life. On college campuses, activities of an intellectual, esthetic, and social character that flourished twenty-five years ago are disappearing because students take no interest in them.

Values That Yield More Lasting Pleasure

Those who have put forward culture as an aim in education with religious zeal have performed a service of value to mankind but they have made a mistake in maintaining that it cannot be secured. unless one becomes entirely detached from contemporary life. We need to retain the nonmaterialistic element in culture as an aim in education, but it must concern present-day life. There are social, ethical, esthetic, and spiritual values in contemporary as well as in ancient life. We will stand a better chance of wooing the individual away from the pursuit of physical indulgence if we can lead him to see that there are values that will yield more lasting pleasure than sensuous gratification. Complete detachment from presentday life has not been able to prevent people from

HERE has been a great deal of vapid, pursuing materialistic aims in life, but we might


be able to retard their rush towards physical indulgences if we could make them see that all about them lie interests which, if cultivated, will free them from bondage to sensuous gratification.


of Education

ethereal talk about culture as an end to be aimed at in elementary, secondary, and collegiate education. The claims made for culture have often been bombastic and also fantastic. But there has been one highly commendable note running through the perfervid pleas for culture, The United States Commissionership which note has not been endorsed by many people because of their reaction against the proposition that a child can be got ready for contemporary life best by keeping him immersed in the products of ancient life. The point that is worthy. of endorsement is that education should free the individual from absorption in materialistic objectives in daily life. He should be led to dwell upon matters that are not determined by or connected with physical indulgence of any kind. He should be lured into an appreciation of nonmaterialistic interests. He should be made to feel before his formal education is terminated that there is something worth while that is not concerned with the gratification of physical needs.

There are persons who place social, esthetic,

HE RESIGNATION of John J. Tigert as Commissioner of Education for the United States has more than temporary or personal significance. Mr. Tigert regards the presidency of the University of Florida as more desirable than the commissionership of education for the entire nation. The University of Florida is a reputable college, but it is not one of the leading educational institutions of the United States. If Mr. Tigert had forsaken the commissionership for the presidency of Harvard, Yale, Columbia, or Chicago, his decision would not have caused much comment probably; but when he quits the commissionership for the presidency of a small state

university in Florida, the inference is inevitable that the commissionership must lack attractive or holding qualities.


Mr. Tigert is not the first commissioner who has resigned to accept what would appear to be a subordinate position. Mr. Claxton, now superintendent of schools at Tulsa, left the commissionership for a university place in the South. doubtedly, both Mr. Claxton and Mr. Tigert could have retained the commissionership if either one had wished to hold it in preference to a university position. So far as is generally known, both gentlemen resigned of their own accord, because they found other places, seemingly of much less prominence, more to their liking.

The Commissioner Should Be the Leader The United States Commissioner of Education does not enjoy opportunities for leadership in education commensurate with the prominence and importance of the position. Presumably the commissioner of education is the educational leader of the nation. He heads up the entire educational system. As a matter of fact, he is not a leader. About the only role he plays officially in the educational work of the country is to collect and disseminate data concerning the operation of education in one or another section of the country. He cannot say, as commissioner of education, whether educational procedures are sound or unsound, or whether they should be encouraged or discouraged. He cannot conduct experimentation to determine whether any innovations should be made in respect to courses of study or methods of organizing schools or of teaching any of the branches of instruction. He plays a neutral role officially in the educational work of the country, except as the gathering and distribution of information may be of service in helping people in one section of the country to understand what is taking place in other sections. It must be acknowledged, though, that the publications of the United States Bureau of Education do not play a very important part in directing educational progress throughout the country or even in stabilizing educational procedures.

The United States Commissioner of Education is the Cinderella among the federal officers. The Commissioner is never looked upon as an important person officially. He is subordinate to the heads of other departments of government. Fortunately, the commissioners of education during recent years have been able personally to win favorable attention in Washington and to secure for the commissionership of education a certain degree of respect; but the point is that they have been compelled to secure recognition because of

their personal qualities and not by virtue of the dignity attached to the office of commissioner. Undoubtedly, Mr. Claxton and Mr. Tigert abandoned the office of commissioner because they grew weary of the task of maintaining the dignity and importance of the commissionership of education by personal effort.

The United States commissioners of education are doomed to a life of poverty unless they have sources of income outside of their salary. Unfortunately, perhaps, men who can fill the office acceptably are not blessed with large private means. The men who have held this office have always been engaged in educational work before their appointment, which is tantamount to saying that they have been poor men, judged by the standards of income in Washington. Men who have large private resources do not teach in universities or serve as superintendents or principals of schools. When a university man or superintendent is chosen to be United States Commissioner it is practically certain that he is dependent for his maintenance upon what he can earn. The office of commissioner has never paid a man enough so that he could live comfortably in Washington, and he has been compelled to add to his salary by engaging in other pursuits, principally by giving addresses throughout the country. Of course, he has contributed to educational advancement in increasing his income in this way; but no other head of a department in Washington finds it necessary to spend a large portion of his time and energy lecturing out in the field. Forced to Economize

The commissioners have been obliged to exercise strict personal economy in order to make ends meet. William T. Harris used to carry a portable bath tub about the country on his lecture tours because he could not afford to take a room with bath at a hotel. It is not known whether later commissioners have been obliged to economize quite so rigidly as Commissioner Harris was compelled to do, but the salary paid by the government has been inadequate to meet the expenses of a very modest, unpretentious life in Washington.

Is it any wonder, then, that men resign from the commissionership to accept inconspicuous educational positions? How long must what should be the chief educational office in the world go begging for a leader? Is there any solution of the problem except to place education on a par with other governmental functions, and make the leader a member of the President's Cabinet, enjoying the dignity, importance, and powers that are enjoyed by any other cabinet member?


The Trend of Literature in the
Field of Education

In the last twenty-five years books dealing with
child nature and child training have so increased
that this may be truly called the age of the child

NYONE who would attempt to keep abreast of all the book and periodical literature concerning children that is constantly pouring from the printing presses could not doubt that this is the age of the child. For every book about child nature and child training that appeared twenty-five years ago, there are probably at least one hundred books that are appearing at the present time. Practically every publisher, it seems, thinks that it is worth while to publish one or more books that deal either with the traits of the young or with their upbringing. It must be that most parents, teachers, social workers, and probably some laymen are reading books on childhood and youth, or else publishers would have to go into bankruptcy.

The Growing Consideration of Child Nature Formerly it was quite generally thought that scientific methods could not be applied to the investigation of human nature, especially child nature. One used to hear twenty-five years ago that the human mind, at least the child mind, was so immaterial that it could not be weighed or measured or tested by any kind of scientific technique. What a change in respect to this matter has come over the world during the last two decades! Now there is more scientific prying into the secrets of the human mind, and particularly the mind of the infant, the child, and the youth, than into any other secrets of the universe probably.

The most alluring field for the scientist now is the mind of the infant. Many men and women in America are exploring this field. A distinguished scientist, Dr. Arnold Gesell, of Yale, has just published an important contribution to scientific literature dealing with Infancy and Human Growth (The Macmillan Company, New York). The author is both a doctor of medicine and a doctor of philosophy (doctor of psychology would be more appropriate) so that he has been able to secure and evaluate data regarding both the

physical and the mental aspects of child development. He regards infancy as the most important period in human life and he presents data and some argumentation in support of his view-but he is not the only scientist in America who believes that during the period of infancy the indivizual acquires reactions or attitudes that play a dominant role throughout his entire career.

Dr. Gesell's book well illustrates the modern method of securing and organizing facts pertaining to child nature. There are descriptions of the techniques adopted for securing responses from young children for purposes of observation and measurement. The data are presented and their trend or meaning is shown in graphic form. There are photographs of infants illustrating certain traits discussed in the text. While the book will perhaps be of interest and value primarily to students of child nature and child development, it should at the same time be intelligible and practically helpful to parents who have had some training in psychology, physiology, and biology. Dr. Gesell has a happy faculty of presenting scientific data in an engaging style.

Psychology of Infancy and Early Childhood

Dr. Ada Arlitt of the University of Cincinnati has aimed in her Psychology of Infancy and Early Childhood (McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.) to present in an organized, condensed form what is known to-day regarding the mental traits and development of young children. The author summarizes neurological, physiological, and psychological data and then makes some practical applications for parents and teachers. Her book covers the entire field in a summary way. differs from the Gesell book in that the former presents the results of original observation and experimentation, while the latter summarizes what has been observed by workers in several fields. Dr. Arlitt holds to the view that Dr. Gesell emphasizes that the preschool age is the most significant age in the whole cycle of human


life. Both Dr. Gesell and Dr. Arlitt show that very early differences among children are manifested in the rate of growth and in the intensity of various mental traits.

To help confused and distressed parents to solve their problems, writers everywhere are busy preparing books of counsel and guidance. These practical books are always an outgrowth of the experiences of their authors and their fundamental philosophy of life. A person who has tender, sympathetic feelings advises parents to deal gently with their children, while a hard-boiled individual tells parents that if they do not lay on the rod their children will become as they should not be.

Most of these practical books on child training set forth ways and means of guiding a child so that he will acquire habits of honesty, obedience, industry, charity, sympathy, good-will, self-control, cheerfulness, ambition, trustworthiness, selfreliance, courtesy, sincerity, loyalty, and so on. Sixteen years ago, Mrs. Sidonie Gruenberg published a book along this line and entitled it Your Child To-day and To-morrow. Mrs. Gruenberg is a keen observer who was up against the problem of training children of her own and her book proved to be both interesting and helpful to other parents. It has gone through two editions, and a third has just been issued (J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia). It has been revised and entirely reset.

In the Field of Habit Training

A decidedly original book in the field of habit training has just come from the press of the Macmillan Company-Adventures in Habit-Craft, Character in the Making. The author, Henry Park Schauffler, has endeavored to apply the project method to moral teaching. He asked a large number of parents to say what sort of habits they would like to have their children acquire, and he found that there was agreement regarding a considerable number of habits. He then went to work to see how he could awaken an interest in the children under his care in gaining these habits. He did not rely upon the customary method of simply telling children that they ought to be honest or loyal or obedient or anything else. He got them to work on each habit with a view to achieving the thing through "hand-craft." In this way he induced children to utilize what he calls a habit-model that symbolizes or, as he says, "visualizes" any habit that is being studied.

Then with the assistance of this concrete symbol, they acquire understanding and appreciation of the habit, and then the wish to acquire it fol

lows naturally. The author has had the co-operation of parents in noting the effect of this method of teaching children and he maintains that the results have been very marked and exceedingly gratifying.

We in America are more active than people in any other country in conducting experiments upon children and in writing about their nature and their needs. The English people are, however, becoming constantly more interested in problems of child training, as reflected in the books that are appearing in this field. Their books are not as elaborate as ours, though; they treat child nature and child training in a more summary way than we do.

The English Trend

A sample of English books is found in Dr. Elizabeth Chesser's Child Health and Character (Oxford University Press, New York). The author covers the whole field of child care and child training in about 36,000 words. English writers do not present the physiological, biological, and psychological grounds for their practical recommendations as fully as American writers commonly do. Dr. Chesser is undoubtedly familiar with the scientific data relating to the development of childhood and youth, but she thinks it unnecessary to present the data. She simply tells her readers how children should be cared for in order to avoid common illnesses and how they should be trained to avoid twists and entanglements in character.

Anyone who has anything to do with training children is casting about incessantly to find good reading for them. A child who can do his own reading can be kept out of mischief if he can have a book adapted to the level of his interests and comprehension. Even the toddler will cease his toddling if someone will read a fairy story or a Mother Goose rhyme to him. Years ago twenty of them-Frances Olcott, who was at the time head of the children's department of the Pittsburgh Carnegie Library, decided that it would be serviceable to teachers and parents to publish a guide dealing with suitable reading for children, and so she prepared The Children's Reading. She has just brought out a revised edition of this work in which she has included modern books for the young of all ages. One who is charged with the task of selecting reading for the young will find this guide very helpful. Books are grouped according to the ages for which they are best adapted; and they are also grouped according to their character, as fables, myths, ballads, romances, poetry, fiction, biography, travel, history, religion, etc.-M. V. O'S.

Your Every-day Problems


This department will be devoted to an informal discussion of problems arising in the every day life of principals and superintendents. The following are excerpts from letters that have been received recently by the director of this department. Similar inquiries are invited, and should be addressed to Dr. John Guy Fowlkes, Department of Education, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.

Teachers' Meetings

Several inquiries have been made recently as to the desirability of teachers' meetings. Questions concerning possible benefits that may come from teachers' meetings, the frequency with which they should be held, by whom teachers' meetings should be conducted, the days of the week on which teachers should convene, hours of the day at which meetings should be scheduled, where meetings should be held, whether meetings should be compulsory, and the relation of teachers' meetings to the general school program, are some of the questions that have been asked most often. The experience, testimony, and products of the best administrative officers indicate most clearly that teachers' meetings should be among the most important events on the school calendar. FurFurthermore, a study of teachers' meetings shows that frequency, conductor, place, time, and type of teachers' meetings are dependent upon the attitude of all concerned, as well as upon the established purpose of the teachers' meetings.

Some of the Fundamental Principles Plans and formally announced schedules for the entire year should be available from two to six weeks before the school year opens. The first teachers' meeting, which should come on either the Thursday, Friday, or Saturday before the opening day of school in September, should be fixed and announced at the close of the preceding school year in May or June, as the case may be. However, since the questions indicated above have appeared so often at even the late date of August twenty-fifth, it is probably advisable to discuss some of the fundamental principles of teachers' meetings.

Teachers' meetings fall into two general types-first, those meetings held for the purpose of presenting and discussing problems common to

the entire teaching force, or to a large portion thereof, and second, those meetings held for the purpose of presenting and discussing problems common to a relatively small group of teachers particularly interested in some particular problem or problems in a narrowly selected field or division. It often happens that teachers' meetings for small specialized groups develop from the meetings held for the larger groups. Meetings for a larger group should be reduced to a minimum, since they either must usually be centered around matters of routine or general inspirational material.

The Time of the Meeting

It is generally recognized that Monday and Friday should be avoided for teachers' meetings. Some superintendents and principals find it quite satisfactory to hold teachers' meetings immediately after school, while others are emphatically opposed to this time. In some localities it is customary to dismiss school one period before the daily school session closes and hold the teachers' meeting during this last period. Still again, it is sometimes found most satisfactory to hold teachers' meetings at night. It seems that if at least a small part of the teachers' meetings can be devoted to social and recreational activities, some acceptable hour in the evening is most preferable.

In keeping with sound principles of administration, the ultimate responsibility for teachers' meetings lies with the superintendent of schools and teachers' meetings should be conducted by him or by duly appointed proxies. However, there are many teachers' meetings that should be immediately administered by building principals, department heads, or by designated individuals who are peculiarly equipped to conduct a conference on some subject within a specialized field. If

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