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Title: Rural Life and the Rural School
Author: Kennedy, Joseph, 1858-1937
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                        RURAL LIFE
                    AND THE RURAL SCHOOL


                      JOSEPH KENNEDY


                  AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY

                        W. P. 2.


This volume is addressed to the men and women who have at heart the
interests of rural life and the rural school. I have tried to avoid
deeply speculative theories on the one hand, and distressingly practical
details on the other; and have addressed myself chiefly to the
intelligent individual everywhere--to the farmer and his wife, to the
teachers of rural schools, to the public spirited school boards,
individually and collectively, and to the leaders of rural communities
and of social centers generally. I have tried to avoid the two extremes
which Guizot says are always to be shunned, viz.: that of the "visionary
theorist" and that of the "libertine practician." The former is
analogous to a blank cartridge, and the latter to the mire of a swamp or
the entangled underbrush of a thicket. The legs of one's theories (as
Lincoln said of those of a man) should be long enough to reach the
earth; and yet they must be free to move upon the solid ground of fact
and experience. Details must always be left to the _person_ who is to do
the work, whether it be that of the teacher, of the farmer, or of the
school officer.

I am aware that there is a veritable flood of books on this and kindred
topics, now coming from the presses of the country. My sole reasons for
the publication of the present volume are the desire to deliver the
message which has come to fruition in my mind, and the hope that it may
reach and interest some who have not been benefited by a better and more
systematic treatise on this subject.

By way of credential and justification, I would say that the message of
the book has in large measure grown out of my own life and thought; for
I was born and brought up in the country, there I received my elementary
education, and there I remained till man grown. Practically every kind
of work known on the farm was familiar to me, and I have also taught and
supervised rural schools. These experiences are regarded as of the
highest value, and I revert in memory to them with a satisfaction and
affection which words cannot express.

If there should seem to be a note of despair in some of the earlier
chapters as to the desired outcome of the problems of rural life and the
rural school, it is not intended that such impression shall be complete
and final. An attempt is made simply to place the problem and the facts
in their true light before the reader. There has been much "palavering"
on this subject, as there has been much enforced screaming of the eagle
in many of our Fourth of July "orations." I feel that the first
requisite is to conceive the problems clearly and in all seriousness.

If these problems are to be solved, true conceptions of _values_ must be
established in the social mind. Many present conceptions, like those of
the _personality_ of the teacher, _standards_ for teaching,
_supervision_, school _equipment_, _salary_, etc., must first be
_dis_-established, and then higher and better ones substituted. There
will have to be a genuine and intelligent "tackling" of the problems,
and not, as has been the case too often, a mere playing with them. There
will have to be some real statesmanship introduced into the present
_laissez-faire_ spirit, attitude, and methods of American rural life and
rural education. The nation in this respect needs a trumpet call to
action. There is need of a chorus, loud and long, and if the small voice
of the present discussion shall add only a little--however little--to
this volume of sound, there will be so much of gain. This is my aim and
my hope.





CHAPTER I. RURAL LIFE                                           9

     A generation ago; Chores and work; Value of work; Extremes; Yearly
     routine; Disliked in comparison; Other hard jobs; Harvesting;
     Threshing; Welcome events; Winter work; What the old days lacked;
     The result; The backward rural school; Women's condition
     unrelieved; The rural problem must be met; Facilities.

CHAPTER II. THE URBAN TREND                                    19

     Cityward; Attractive forces; Conveniences in cities; Urbanized
     literature; City schools; City churches; City work preferred;
     Retired farmers; Educational centers; Face the problem; Educational
     value not realized; Wrong standard in the social mind; Rural
     organization; Playing with the problem.


     The building; No system of ventilation; The surroundings; The
     interior; Small, dead school; That picture and this; Architecture
     of building; Get expert opinion; Other surroundings; Number of
     pupils; It will not teach alone; The teacher; A good rural school;
     The problem.

CHAPTER IV. SOME LINES OF PROGRESS                             38

     Progress; In reaping machines; The dropper; The hand rake; The self
     rake; The harvester; The wire binder; The twine binder; Threshing
     machine; The first machine; Improvements; The steam engine;
     Improvements in ocean travel; From hand-spinning to factory; The
     cost; Progress in higher education; Progress in normal schools;
     Progress in agricultural colleges; Progress in the high schools;
     How is the rural school?


     Rural schools the same everywhere; Rural schools no better than
     formerly; Some improvements; Strong personalities in the older
     schools; More men needed; Low standard now; The survival of the
     unfittest; Short terms; Poor supervision; No decided movement;
     Elementary teaching not a profession; The problem difficult, but
     before us; Other educational interests should help; Higher
     standards necessary; Courses for teachers; The problem of
     compensation; Consolidation as a factor; Better supervision
     necessary; A model rural school; The teacher should lead; A good
     boarding place.


     The process; When not necessary; The district system; The township
     system; Consolidation difficult in district system; Easier in
     township system; Consolidation a special problem for each district;
     Disagreements on transportation; Each community must decide for
     itself; The distance to be transported; Responsible driver; Cost of
     consolidation; More life in the consolidated school; Some grading
     desirable; Better teachers; Better buildings and inspection; Longer
     terms; Regularity, punctuality, and attendance; Better supervision;
     The school as a social center; Better roads; Consolidation coming
     everywhere; The married teacher and permanence.

CHAPTER VII. THE TEACHER                                       77

     The greatest factor; What education is; What the real teacher is; A
     hypnotist; Untying knots; Too much kindness; The button
     illustration; The chariot race; Physically sound; Character; Well
     educated; Professional preparation; Experience; Choosing a teacher;
     A "scoop"; What makes the difference; A question of teachers.

CHAPTER VIII. THE THREE INSEPARABLES                           88

     The "mode"; The "mode" in labor; The "mode" in educational
     institutions; No "profession"; Weak personalities; Low standard;
     The norm of wages too low; The inseparables; Raise the standard
     first; More men; Coöperation needed; The supply; Make it
     fashionable; The retirement system; City and country
     salaries--effects; The solution demands more; A good school board;
     Board and teacher; The ideal.


     Imitation; The country imitates the city; Textbooks; An
     interpreting core; Rural teachers from the city; A course for rural
     teachers; All not to remain in the country; Mere textbook teaching;
     A rich environment; Who will teach these things?; The scientific
     spirit needed; A course of study; Red tape; Length of term;
     Individual work; "Waking up the mind"; The overflow of instruction;
     Affiliation; The "liking point"; The teacher, the chief factor.

CHAPTER X. THE SOCIAL CENTER                                  114

     The teacher, the leader; Some community activities; The literary
     society; Debates; The school program; Spelling schools; Lectures;
     Dramatic performances; A musical program; Slides and moving
     pictures; Supervised dancing; Sports and games; School exhibits; A
     public forum; Courtesy and candor; Automobile parties; Full life or
     a full purse; Organization; The inseparables.

CHAPTER XI. RURAL SCHOOL SUPERVISION                          127

     Important; Supervision standardizes; Supervision can be overdone;
     Needed in rural schools; No supervision in some states; Nominal
     supervision; Some supervision; An impossible task; The problem not
     tackled; City supervision; The purpose of supervision; What is
     needed; The term; Assistants; The schools examined; Keep down red
     tape; Help the social centers; Conclusion.


     The real leader; Teaching _vs._ telling; Enlisting the coöperation
     of pupils; Placing responsibility; How people remain children; On
     the farm; Renters; The owner; The teacher as a leader;
     Self-activity and self-government; Taking laws upon one's self; An
     educational column; All along the educational line.

CHAPTER XIII. THE FARMER AND HIS HOME                         152

     Farming in the past; Old conceit and prejudice; Leveling down;
     Premises indicative; Conveniences by labor-saving devices; Eggs in
     several baskets; The best is the cheapest; Good work; Good seed and
     trees; A good caretaker; Family coöperation; An ideal life.

CHAPTER XIV. THE RURAL RENAISSANCE                            160

     Darkest before the dawn; The awakening; The agricultural colleges;
     Conventions; Other awakening agencies; The farmer in politics; The
     National Commission; Mixed farming; Now before the country;
     Educational extension; Library extension work; Some froth; Thought
     and attitude.

CHAPTER XV. A GOOD PLACE AFTER ALL                            169

     Not pessimistic; Fewer hours of labor than formerly; The mental
     factor growing; The bright side of old-time country life; The
     larger environment; Games; Inventiveness in rural life; Activity
     rather than passivity; Child labor; The finest life on earth.




It is only within the past decade that rural life and the rural school
have been recognized as genuine problems for the consideration of the
American people. Not many years ago, a president of the United States,
acting upon his own initiative, appointed a Rural School Commission to
investigate country life and to suggest a solution for some of its
problems. That Commission itself and its report were both the effect and
the cause of an awakening of the public mind upon this most important
problem. Within the past few years the cry "Back to the country" has
been heard on every hand, and means are now constantly being proposed
for reversing the urban trend, or at least for minimizing it.

=A Generation Ago.=--Rural life, as it existed a quarter of a century or
more ago, was extremely severe and indeed to our mind quite repellent.
In those days--and no doubt they are so even yet in many places--the
conditions were too often forbidding and deterrent. Otherwise how can
we explain the very general tendency among the younger people to move
from the country to the city?

=Chores and Work.=--The country youth, a mere boy in his teens, was, and
still is, compelled to rise early in the morning--often at four
o'clock--and to go through the round of chores and of work for a long
day of twelve to fifteen hours. First, after rising, he had his team to
care for, the stables were to be cleaned, cows to be milked, and hogs
and calves to be fed.

After the chores were done the boy or the young man had to work all day
at manual labor, usually close to the soil; he was allowed about one
hour's rest at dinner time; in the evening after a day's hard labor, he
had to perform the same round of chores as in the morning so that there
was but a short time for play and recreation, if he had any surplus
energy left. He usually retired early, for he was fatigued and needed
sleep and rest in order to be refreshed for the following day, when he
very likely would be required to repeat the same dull round.

=Value of Work.=--Of course work is a good thing. A moderate and
reasonable amount of labor is usually the salvation of any individual.
No nation or race has come up from savagery to civilization without the
stimulating influence of labor. It is likewise true that no individual
can advance from the savagery of childhood to the civilization of adult
life except through work of some kind. Work in a reasonable amount is a
blessing and not a curse. It is probably due to this fact that so many
men in our history have become distinguished in professional life, in
the forum, on the bench, and in the national Congress; in childhood and
youth they were inured to habits of work. This kept them from
temptation, and endowed them with habits of industry, of concentration,
and of purpose. The old adage that "Satan finds some mischief still for
idle hands to do," found little application in the rural life of a
quarter of a century ago.

=Extremes.=--Even with all its unrecognized advantages, the fact remains
that farm life has been quite generally uninteresting to the average
human being. There are individuals who become so accustomed to hard work
that the habit really grows to be pleasant. This, no doubt, often
happens. Habit accustoms the individual to accommodate himself to
existing conditions, no matter how severe they may be. A very old man
who was shocking wheat under the hot sun of a harvest day was once told
that it must be hard work for him. He replied, "Yes, but I like it when
the bundles are my own." So the few who are interested and accustomed by
habit to this kind of life may enjoy it, but to the great majority of
people the conditions would be decidedly unattractive.

=Yearly Routine.=--The yearly routine on the farm used to be about as
follows: In early spring, before seeding time had come, all the seed
wheat had to be put through the fanning mill. The seed was sown by
hand. A man carried a heavy load of grain upon his back and walked from
one end of the field to the other, sowing it broadcast as he went. After
the wheat had been sown, plowing for the corn and potatoes was begun and
continued. These were all planted by hand, and when they came above
ground they were hoed by hand and cultivated repeatedly by walking and
holding the plow.

=Disliked in Comparison.=--All of this work implies, of course, that the
person doing it was close to the soil; in fact, he was _in_ the soil. He
wore, necessarily, old clothes somewhat begrimed by dirt and dust. His
shoes or boots were heavy and his step became habitually long and slow.
Manual labor too frequently carries with it a neglect of cleanliness.
The laborer on the farm necessarily has about him the odor of horses, of
cows, and of barns. Such conditions are not bad, but they are
nevertheless objectionable, when compared with the neatness and
cleanliness of the clerk in the bank or behind the counter. We do not
write these words in any spirit of disparagement, but merely from the
point of view at which many young people in the country view them. We
are trying to face the truth in order to understand the problem to be
solved. It is essential to look at the situation squarely and to view it
steadily and honestly. Hiding our heads in the sand will not clarify our

=Other Hard Jobs.=--The next step in the yearly round was haymaking.
Frequently, the grass was cut with scythes. In any event the work of
raking, curing, and stacking the hay, or the hauling it and pitching it
into the barns was heavy work. There was no hayfork operated by
machinery in those days. When not haying, the youth was usually put to
summer-fallowing or to breaking new ground, to fencing or splitting
rails,--all heavy work. No wonder that he always welcomed a rainy day!

=Harvesting.=--Then came the wheat-harvest time. Within the memory of
the author some of the grain was cut with cradles; later, simple reaping
machines of various kinds were used; but with them went the binding,
shocking, and stacking, all performed by hand and all arduous pieces of
work. These operations were interspersed with plowing and threshing.
Then came corn cutting, potato digging, and corn husking.

=Threshing.=--In those days most of the work around a threshing machine
was also done by hand. There was no self-feeding apparatus and no
band-cutting device; there was no straw-blower and no measuring and
weighing attachments. It usually required about a dozen "hands" to do
all the work. These men worked strenuously and usually in dusty places.
The only redeeming feature of the business was the opportunity given for
social intercourse which accompanied the work. Men, being social by
instinct, always work more willingly and more strenuously when others
are with them.

=Welcome Events.=--It is quite natural, as we have said, that under such
conditions as these the youth longed for a rainy day. A trip to the city
was always a delightful break in the monotony of his life, and a short
respite from severe toil. Sunday was usually the only social occasion in
rural life. It was always welcome, and the boys, even though tired
physically from work during the week, usually played ball, or went
swimming, or engaged in other sports on Sunday afternoons. Living in
isolation all the week and engaged in hard labor, they instinctively
craved companionship and society.

=Winter Work.=--When the fall work was done, winter came with its own
occupations. There were usually about four months of school in the rural
district, but even during this season there was much manual labor to be
done. Trees were to be cut down and wood was to be chopped, sawed, and
split for the coming summer. Land frequently had to be cleared to make
new fields; the breaking of colts and of steers constituted part of the
sport as well as of the labor of that season of the year.

=What the Old Days Lacked.=--There was little or no machinery as a
factor in the rural life of days gone by. In these modern times, of
course, many things have made country life more attractive than
formerly. Twenty-five years ago there was no rural delivery, no motor
cycle, no automobile; even horses and buggies were somewhat of a luxury,
for in the remote country districts the ox team or "Shanks' mares"
formed the usual mode of travel.

=The Result.=--It is little wonder that under such circumstances
discontent arose and that people who by nature are sociable longed to go
where life was, in their opinion, more agreeable. Even with all the
later conveniences and improvements, the trend cityward still continues
and may continue indefinitely in the future. The American people may as
well face the facts as they are. It is difficult if not impossible to
make the country as attractive to young people as is the city; and
consequently to reverse or even stop the urban trend will be most
difficult. Indeed, some of the things which make rural life pleasant,
like the automobile, favor this trend, which probably will continue
until economic pressure puts on the brakes. Even now, with all our
improvements, the social factors in rural life are comparatively small.
Here is one of our greatest problems: How to increase the fullness of
social life in rural communities so as to make country life and living
everywhere more attractive.

=The Backward Rural School.=--Although the material conditions and
facilities for work have improved by reason of various inventions in
recent years, the rural school of former days was frequently as good as,
if not better in some respects than, the school of to-day. Formerly
there were many able men engaged in teaching who could earn as much in
the schoolroom as they could earn elsewhere. There were consequently in
the rural schools many strong personalities, both men and women. Since
that time new opportunities and callings have developed so rapidly that
some of the most capable people have been enticed into other and more
profitable callings, and the schools are left in a weakened condition by
reason of their absence.

=Women's Condition Unrelieved.=--With all our improvements and
conveniences, the work of women in country communities has been relieved
but little. Farm life has always been and still is a hard one for women.
It has been, in many instances, a veritable state of slavery; for women
in the country have always been compelled to do not only their own
proper work, but the work of two or three persons. The working hours for
women are even longer than those for men; for breakfast must be prepared
for the workmen, and household work must be done after the evening meal
is eaten. It is little to be wondered at that women as a rule wish to
leave the drudgery of rural life. Under the improved conditions of the
present day, with all kinds of machinery, the work of women is lightened

[Footnote 1: There is an illuminating article, entitled "The Farmer and
His Wife," by Martha Bensley Bruère in _Good Housekeeping Magazine_, for
June, 1914, p. 820.]

=The Rural Problem Must Be Met.=--I have given a short description of
rural life in order to have a setting for the rural school. The school
is, without doubt, the center of the rural life problem, and we are
face to face with it for a solution of some kind. The problems of both
have been too long neglected. Now forced upon our attention, they should
receive the thoughtful consideration of all persons interested in the
welfare of society. They are difficult of solution, probably the most
difficult of all those which our generation has to face. They involve
the reduction of the repellent forces in rural life and the increase of
such forces and agencies as will be attractive, especially to the young.
The great problem is, how can the trend cityward be checked or reversed?

What attractions are possible and feasible in the rural communities? In
each there should be some recognized center to provide these various
attractions. There should be lectures and debates, plays of a serious
character, musical entertainments, and social functions; even the moving
picture might be made of great educational value. There is no reason why
the people in the country are not entitled to all the satisfying mental
food which the people of the city enjoy. These things can be secured,
too, if the people will only awake to a realization of their value, and
will show their willingness to pay for them. Something cannot be secured
for nothing. In the last resort the solution of most problems, as well
as the accomplishment of most aims, involves the expenditure of money.
Wherever the people of rural communities have come to value the finer
educational, cultural, civilizing, and intangible things more than they
value money, the problem is already being solved. It is certainly a
question of values--in aims and means.

=Facilities.=--Many inventions might be utilized on the farm to better
advantage than they are at present. But people live somewhat isolated
lives in rural communities and there is not the active comparison or
competition that one finds in the city; improvements of all kinds are
therefore slower of realization. Values are not forced home by every-day
discussion and comparison. People continue to do as they have been
accustomed to do, and there are men who own large farms and have large
bank accounts who continue to live without the modern improvements, and
hence with but few comforts in life. A greater interest in the best
things pertaining to country life needs to be awakened, and to this end
rural communities should be better organized, socially, economically,
and educationally.



In the preceding chapter we discussed those forces at work in rural life
which tend to drive people from the farm to the city. It was shown that,
on the whole, up to the present at least, farm life has not been as
pleasant as it should or could be made. Some aspects of it are
uncomfortable, if not painful. Hard manual labor, long hours of toil,
and partial isolation from one's fellows usually and generally
characterize it. Of course, there are many who by nature or habit, or
who by their ingenuity and thrift, have made it serve them, and who
therefore have come to love the life of the country; but we are speaking
with reference to the average men and women who have not mastered the
forces at hand, which can be turned to their service only by thought and

=Cityward.=--The trend toward the cities is unmistakable. So alarming
has it become that it has aroused the American people to a realization
that something must be done to reverse it or at least to minimize it. At
the close of the Revolutionary War only three per cent of the total
population of our country lived in what could be termed cities. In 1810
only about five per cent of the whole population was urban; while in
1910 forty-six per cent of our people lived in cities. This means that,
relatively, our forces producing raw materials are not keeping pace with
the growth and demands of consumption. In some of the older Atlantic
states, as one rides through the country, vast areas of uncultivated
land meet the view. The people have gone to the city. Large cities
absorb smaller ones, and the small towns absorb the inhabitants of the
rural districts. Every city and town is making strenuous efforts to
build itself up, if need be at the expense of the smaller towns and the
rural communities. To "boom" its own city is assumed to be a large and
legitimate part of the business of every commercial club. This must
mean, of course, that smaller cities and towns and the rural communities
suffer accordingly in business, in population, and in life.

=Attractive Forces.=--The attractive forces of the city are quite as
numerous and powerful as the repellent forces of the country. The city
is attractive from many points of view. It sets the pace, the standard,
the ideals; even the styles of clothing and dress originate there. It is
where all sorts of people are seen and met with in large numbers; its
varied scenes are always magnetic. Both old and young are attracted by
activities of all kinds; the "white way" in every city is a constant bid
for numbers. In the city there is always more liveliness if not more
life than in the country. Activity is apparent everywhere. Everything
_seems_ better to the young person from the country; there is more to
see and more to hear; the show windows and the display of lighting are a
constant lure; there is an endless variety of experiences. Life seems
great because it is cosmopolitan and not provincial or local. In any
event, it _draws_ the youth of the country. Things, they say, are
_doing_, and they long to be a part of it all. There is no doubt that
the mind and heart are motivated in this way.

=Conveniences in Cities.=--In the city there are more conveniences than
in the country. There are sidewalks and paved streets instead of muddy
roads; there are private telephones, and the telegraph is at hand in
time of need; there are street cars which afford comfortable and rapid
transportation. There are libraries, museums, and art galleries; there
are free lectures and entertainments of various kinds; and the churches
are larger and more attractive than those in the country. As in the case
of teachers, the cities secure their pick of preachers. Doctors are at
hand in time of need, and all the professions are centered there. Is it
any wonder that people, when they have an opportunity, migrate to the
city? There is a social instinct moving the human heart. All people are
gregarious. Adults as well as children like to be where others are, and
so where some people congregate others tend to do likewise. Country life
as at present organized does not afford the best opportunity for the
satisfaction of this social instinct. The great variety of social
attractions constitutes the lure of the city--it is the powerful social

=Urbanized Literature.=--Most books, magazines, and papers are published
in cities, hence most of them have the flavor of city life about them.
They are made and written by people who know the city, and the city
doings are usually the subject matter of the literary output of the day.
Children acquire from these, even in their primary school days, a
longing for the city. The idea of seeing and possibly of living in the
city becomes "set," and it tends sooner or later to realize itself in
act and in life.

=City Schools.=--The city, as a rule, maintains excellent schools; and
the most modern and serviceable buildings for school purposes are found
there. Urban people seem willing to tax themselves to a greater extent;
and so in the cities will be found comparatively better buildings,
better teachers, more and better supervision, more fullness of life in
the schools. Usually in the cities the leading and most enterprising men
and women are elected to the school board, and the people, as we have
said, acquiesce in such taxation as the board deems necessary. Cities
endeavor to secure the choice of the output of normal schools,
regardless of the demands of rural districts. Every city has a
superintendent, and every building a principal; while, in the country,
one county superintendent has to supervise a hundred or more schools,
situated too, as they are, long distances apart.

=City Churches.=--Something similar may be said with respect to the
churches. In every city there are several, and people can usually go to
the church of their choice. In many parts of the country the church is
decadent, and in some places it is becoming extinct. Even the automobile
contributes its influence against the country church as a rural
institution, and in favor of the city; for people who are sufficiently
well-to-do often like to take an automobile ride to the city on Sunday.

=City Work Preferred.=--Workingmen and servant girls also prefer the
city. They dislike the long irregular hours of the country; they prefer
to work where the hours are regular, where they do not come into such
close touch with the soil, and where they do not have to battle with the
elements. In the city they work under shelter and in accordance with
definite regulations. Hence it is that the problem of securing
workingmen and servant girls in the country is every day becoming more
and more perplexing.

=Retired Farmers.=--Farmers themselves, when they have become reasonably
well-to-do, frequently retire to the city, either to enjoy life the rest
of their days or to educate their children. Individuals are not to be
blamed. The lack of equivalent attractions and conveniences in the
country is responsible.

=Educational Centers.=--As yet, it is seldom that good high schools are
found in the country. To secure a high school education country people
frequently have to avail themselves of the city schools. Many colleges
and universities are located in the cities and, consequently, much of
the educational trend is in that direction.

=Face the Problem.=--The rural problem is a difficult one and we may as
well face the situation honestly and earnestly. There has been too much
mere oratory on problems of rural life. We have often, ostrich-like,
kept our heads under the sand and have not seen or admitted the real
conditions, which must be changed if rural life is to become attractive.
Say what we will, people will go where their needs are best satisfied
and where the attractions are greatest. People cannot be _driven_--they
must be attracted and won. If "God made the country and man made the
town," God's people must be neglecting to give God's country "such a
face and such a mien as to be loved needs only to be seen." Where the
element of nature is largest there should be a more truly and deeply
attractive life than where the element of art predominates, however
alluring that may be. How can country life and the country itself be
made to attract?

=Educational Value Not Realized.=--People generally have never been able
to estimate education fairly. The value of lands, horses, and money can
easily be measured, for these are tangible things; but education is very
difficult of appraisal, for it is intangible. Yet it is true that
intangible things are frequently of greater worth than are tangible
things. There are men who pay more to a jockey to train their horses
than they are willing to pay to a teacher to train their children. This
is because the services of the jockey are more easily reckoned. The
effects or results of the horse training are measured by the proceeds in
dollars and cents on the racetrack, and so are easily realized; while
the growth in education, refinement, and culture on the part of the
child is difficult indeed to measure or estimate. And yet how much more
valuable it is! The jockey gives the one, the teacher the other.

=Wrong Standard in the Social Mind.=--In some rural communities the idea
exists that a teacher is worth about fifty dollars a month--perhaps not
so much. This idea has been encouraged until it has been too generally
accepted; and in many places the notion prevails that if a teacher is
receiving more than that amount, she is being overpaid, and the school
board is accused of extravagance. The rural school problem will never be
solved until the standard of compensation is readjusted. There are many
persons in the cities, who, for the performance of socially unimportant
things, are receiving larger salaries than are usually paid to
university professors and college presidents. Thus, the relative values
of services are misjudged and the recompense of labor is not properly
graded and proportioned. Unless there is, quite generally, a saner
perspective in the social mind and until values are reëstimated, the
solution of the rural school problem and indeed of many problems of
rural life is well-nigh hopeless. Before a solution is effected
sufficient inducement must be held out to more strong persons to come
into the rural life and into the rural schools. These persons would and
could be leaders of strength among the people.

=Rural Organization.=--Until recently there has been little or no
organization of rural life. Communities have been chaotic, socially,
economically, and educationally. Real leaders have been wanting--men and
women of strong and winning personality. The rural teacher, if he were a
man of power and initiative, often proved to be a real savior and
redeemer of social life in his community. But leaders of this type
cannot now be secured without a reasonable incentive. Such men will
seldom sacrifice themselves for the organization and uplift of a
community except for proper compensation. If teachers--or at least the
strong ones--were paid two or three times as much as they are to-day,
and if the standards were raised accordingly, so as to secure really
strong personalities as teachers, country life might be organized in
different directions and made so much more attractive than at present,
that the urban trend would be arrested or greatly minimized.

=Playing with the Problem.=--The possibilities of the organization of
rural life and rural schools have not yet been realized; as a people we
have really played with this problem. It has taken care of itself; it
has been allowed to drift. Rural life at present is a kind of easy
social adjustment on the basis of the minimum of expense and of
exertion toward a solution. We have not realized the value of genuine
social, economic, and educational organization with all the activities
in these lines which the terms imply. We have not grappled with the
problem in an earnest, scientific way; we have never thought out
systematically what is needed, and then decided to employ the necessary
means to bring about the desired end. It may be that the problem will
remain unsolved for generations to come; but if country life and country
schools are to be made as attractive and pleasant as city life and city
schools, the people will have to face the problem without flinching and
use the only means which will bring about the desired result. The
problem could be easily solved if the people realized the true value of
rural life and of _good_ rural schools. Where there is a will there is a
way; but where there is no will there is no possible way. Country life
can be made fully as pleasant as city life, and the rural schools can be
made fully as good as the city schools. Of course some things will be
lacking in the country which are found in the city; but, conversely,
many things and probably better things will be found in the country than
could be found in the city.



This chapter will have reference to the one-room rural school as it has
existed in the past and as it still exists in many places; it will also
discuss the rural school as it ought to be. It is assumed that, although
consolidation is spreading rapidly, the one-room rural school as an
institution will continue to exist for an indefinite time. Under
favorable conditions it probably should continue to exist; for, as we
shall see, it has many excellent features which are real advantages.

=The Building.=--The old-fashioned country schoolhouse was in many
respects a pitiable object. The "little red schoolhouse" in story and
song has been the object of much praise. As an ideal creation it may be
deserving of admiration, but this cannot be asserted of it as a reality.
The common type was an ordinary box-shaped building without
architecture, without a plan, and, as a rule, without care or repair.
Frequently it stood for years without being repainted, and in the midst
of chaotic and ill-cared-for surroundings. The contract for building it
was usually awarded to some carpenter who was also given _carte blanche_
to do as he pleased in regard to its construction, the only provision
being that he keep within the amount of money allowed--probably eight
hundred or a thousand dollars. The usual result was the plainest kind of
building, without conveniences of any kind. If a blackboard were
provided in the specifications (which were often oral rather than
written), it was perhaps placed in such a position as to be useless. In
the course of my experience as county superintendent of schools, I once
visited a rural school in which the blackboard began at the height of a
man's head and extended to the ceiling, the carpenter probably thinking
that its one purpose was to display permanently the teacher's program.

=No System of Ventilation.=--No system of ventilation was provided in
former days, and in some schoolhouses such is the condition to-day.
Nevertheless, within the past fifteen years, there has been a gratifying
improvement in this direction. It used to be necessary to secure fresh
air, if at all, by opening windows. In some sections, where the climate
is mild, this is the best method of ventilation; but certainly, in
northern latitudes where the winters are long and cold, some system of
forced or automatic ventilation should be provided. It may not be amiss
to assert that it would be an excellent plan to decide first upon a good
system of ventilation and then to build the schoolhouse around it.
Without involving great expense there are simple systems of ventilation
and heating combined which are very efficient for such houses. In
former times, and in some places even yet, the usual method of heating
was by an unjacketed stove which made the pupils who sat nearest it
uncomfortably warm, while those in the farther corners were shivering
with cold. With new systems of ventilation there is an insulating jacket
which equalizes the temperature of the room by heating the fresh air and
distributing it evenly.

It is strange how slowly people change their habits and even their
opinions. Many are ignorant of the fact that in an unventilated
schoolroom each child is breathing over and over again an atmosphere
vitiated by the air exhaled from the lungs of every child in the room.
The fact that twenty to forty pupils are often housed in
poorly-ventilated schools accounts for much sickness and disease among
country children. Whatever it is that makes air "fresh," and healthful,
that factor is not found under the conditions described. Changes in the
temperature and movement of the air are, no doubt, important in securing
a healthful physiological reaction, but air contaminated and befouled by
bodies and lungs has stupefying effects which cannot be ignored.
Frequent change of air is essential.

=The Surroundings.=--The typical country schoolhouse, as it existed in
the past, and as it frequently exists to-day, has not sufficient land to
form a good yard and a playground appropriate for its needs. The farmer
who sold or donated the small tract of land often plows almost to the
very foundation walls. There are usually no trees near by to afford
shelter or to give the place a homelike and attractive appearance. Some
trees may have been planted, but owing to neglect they have all died
out, and nothing remains but a few dead and unsightly trunks. There is
usually no fence around the school yard, and the outbuildings are
frequently a disgrace, if not a positive menace to the children's
morals. If a choice had to be made it would be better to allow children
to grow up in their native liberty and wildness without a school
"education" than to have them subjected to mental and moral degradation
by the vicious suggestions received in some of these places. Weak
teachers have a false modesty in regard to such conditions and school
boards are often thoughtless or negligent.

=The Interior.=--Within the building there is frequently no adequate
equipment in the way of apparatus, supplementary reading, or reference
books of any kind. There are no decorations on the walls except such as
are put there by mischievous children. The whole situation both inside
and out brings upon one a feeling of desolation. Men and women who live
in reasonably comfortable homes near by allow the school home of their
precious children to remain for years unattractive and uninspiring in
every particular. Again this is the result of ignorance,
thoughtlessness, or negligence--a negligence that comes alarmingly close
to guilt.

=Small, Dead School.=--In many a lone rural schoolhouse may be found
ten to twenty small children; and behind the desk a teacher holding only
a second or third grade elementary or county certificate. The whole
institution is rather tame and weak, if not dead; it is anything but
stimulating (and if education means anything it means stimulation). It
is this kind of situation which has led in recent years to a discussion
of the rural school as one of the problems most urgently demanding the
attention of society.

=That Picture and This.=--Let us now consider, after looking upon that
picture, what the situation ought to be. In the first place, there
should be a large school ground, or yard--not less than two acres. The
schoolhouse should be properly located in this tract. The ground as a
whole should be platted by a landscape architect, or at least by a
person of experience and taste. Trees of various kinds should be planted
in appropriate places, and groups of shrubbery should help to form an
attractive setting. The school grounds should have a serviceable fence
and gate and there should be a playground and a school garden.

=Architecture of Building.=--No school building should be erected that
has not first been planned or passed upon by an architect; this is now
required by law in some states. A building with handsome appearance and
with appropriate appointments is but a trifle, if any, more costly than
one that has none. Art of all kinds is a valuable factor in the
education of children and of people generally; and a building, beautiful
in construction, is no exception to the rule. Every person is educated
by what impresses him. It is only within the last few years that much
attention has been given to the necessity of special architecture in

Men of intelligence sometimes draw up their own plans for a building and
then, having become enamored of them, proceed to construct a residence
or a schoolhouse along those lines. If they had shown their plans to an
architect of experience he would probably have pointed out numerous
defects which would have been admitted as soon as observed. Neither the
individual nor the district school boards can afford, in justice to
themselves and the community they represent, to ignore the wide and
varied knowledge of the expert.

=Get Expert Opinion.=--Expert opinion should govern in the matter of
heating and ventilating, in the kind of seating, in the arrangement of
blackboards, in the decorations, and in all such technical and
professional matters. Every rural school should have a carefully
selected library, suited to its needs, including a sufficient number of
reference books. The pupils should have textbooks without delay so that
no time may be wasted in getting started after the opening of school.
The walls should be adorned with a few appropriate and beautiful

=Other Surroundings.=--On this school ground there should be a shop of
some kind. The resourceful teacher would find a hundred uses for some
such center of work. The closets should be so placed and so devised as
to be easily supervised. This would prevent them from being moral plague
spots, as is too often the case, as we have already said. There should
be stables for sheltering horses, if the school is, as it should be, a
social center for the community. There should be a flagpole in front of
the schoolhouse, from the top of which the stars and stripes should be
often unfurled to the breeze.

=Number of Pupils.=--In this architecturally attractive building, amid
beautiful surroundings both inside and out, there should be, in order to
have a good rural school, not less than eighteen or twenty pupils. Where
there are fewer the school should be consolidated with a neighboring
school. Twenty pupils would give an assurance of educational and social
life, instead of the dead monotony which often prevails in the smaller
rural school. There should be, during the year, at least eight, and
preferably nine, months of school work.

=It Will Not Teach Alone.=--But with all of these conditions the school
may still be far from effective. All the material equipment--the total
environment of the pupils, both inside and outside the building--may be
excellent, and still we may fail to find there a good school. Garfield
said of his old teacher that Mark Hopkins on one end of a log and a
pupil on the other made the best kind of college. This indicates an
essential factor other than the physical equipment.

I remember being once in a store when a man who had bought a saw a few
days previously returned it in a wrathful mood. He was angry through and
through and declared that the saw was utterly worthless. He had brought
it back to reclaim his money. The merchant had a rich vein of humor in
his nature and he listened smilingly to the outburst of angry language.
Then he merely took the saw, opened his till and handed the man his
money, quietly asking, with a twinkle in his eyes for those standing
around, "Wouldn't it saw alone?"

Now, we may have a fine school ground, or site, with a variety of
beautiful trees and clumps of shrubbery; we may have a playground and a
school garden; we may have it all splendidly fenced; the schoolhouse may
have an artistic appearance and may be kept in excellent repair; it may
be well furnished inside with blackboards, seats, library, reference
books, good textbooks, and all else that is needed; it may be
beautifully decorated; it may have twenty or even more pupils, and yet
we may not have a good school. It will not "saw alone"; the one
indispensable factor may still be lacking.

=The Teacher.=--"As is the teacher, so is the school." Mark Hopkins on
the end of a log made a good college, compared with the situation where
the building is good and the teacher poor. The teacher is like the
mainspring in a watch. Without a good teacher there can be no good
school. Live teacher, live school; dead teacher, dead school. The
teacher and the school must be the center of life, of thought, and of
conversation, in a good way, in the neighborhood. The teacher is the
soul of the school; the other things constitute its body. What shall it
profit a community to have a great building and lack a good teacher?

If we were obliged to choose between a good teacher and poor material
conditions and environment on the one hand, and excellent material
conditions and environment and a poor teacher on the other, we should
certainly not hesitate in our choice.

=A Good Rural School.=--Now, if we suppose a really good teacher under
the good conditions described above, we shall have a _good_ rural
school. There is usually better individual work done in such a school
than is possible in a large system of graded schools in a city. In such
a school there is more single-mindedness on the part of pupils and
teacher. These pupils bring to such a school unspoiled minds, minds not
weakened by the attractions and distractions, both day and night, of
city life. In such a school the essentials of a good education are, as a
rule, more often emphasized than in the city. There is probably a truer
perspective of values. Things of the first magnitude are distinguished
from things of the second, fifth, or tenth magnitude. This inability to
distinguish magnitudes is one of the banes of common school education
everywhere--so many things are appraised at the same value.

=The Problem.=--We have tried in this discussion to put before the
reader a fairly accurate picture, on the one hand, of the undesirable
conditions which have too often prevailed, and, on the other, of a rural
school which would be an excellent place in which to receive one's
elementary education. The reader is asked to "look here, upon this
picture, and on this." The transition from the one to the other is one
of the great problems of rural life and of the rural school.
Consolidation of schools, which we shall discuss more at length in a
later chapter, will help to solve the problem of the rural school, and
we give it our hearty indorsement. It is the best plan we know of where
the conditions are favorable; but it is probable that the one-room rural
school will remain with us for a long time to come. Indeed there are
some good reasons why it should remain. Where the good rural school
exists, whether non-consolidated or consolidated, it should be the
center and the soul of rural life in that community--social, economical,
and educational.



=Progress.=--The period covering the last sixty or seventy-five years
has seen greater progress in all material lines than any other equal
period of the world's history. Indeed, it is doubtful if a similar
period of invention and progress will ever recur. It has been one of
industrial revolution in all lines of activity.

=In Reaping Machines.=--Let us for a few moments trace this development
and progress in some specific fields. Within the memory of many men now
living the hand sickle was in common use in the cutting of grain. In the
fifties and sixties the cradle was the usual implement for harvesting
wheat, oats, and similar grains. One man did the cradling and another
the gathering and the binding into sheaves. Then came rapid development
of the reaping machine.

=The "Dropper."=--The most important step was probably the invention of
the sickle-bar, a slender steel bar having V-shaped sections attached,
to cut the grass and grain; this was pushed and pulled between what are
called guards, by means of a rod called the "Pitman rod," attached to a
small revolving wheel run by the gearing of the machine. This was a
wonderful invention and its principle has been extensively applied. The
first reaping machine using the sickle and guard device was known as the
"dropper." A reel, worked by machinery, revolved at a short distance
above the sickle, beating the wheat backward upon a small platform of
slats. This platform could be raised and lowered by the foot, by means
of a treadle. When there was sufficient grain on this slat-platform it
was lowered and the wheat was left lying in short rows on the ground,
behind the machine. The bundles had to be bound by hand and removed
before the machine could make the next round. This machine, though
simple, was the forerunner of other important inventions.

=The Hand Rake.=--The next type of machine was the one in which the
platform of slats was replaced by a stationary platform having a smooth
board floor. A man sat at the side of the machine, near the rear, and
raked the bundles off sidewise with a hand rake. A boy drove the team
and the man raked off the grain in sufficient quantities to make
bundles. These were thrown by the rake a sufficient distance from the
standing grain to allow the machine to proceed round and round the
field, even if these bundles of grain, so raked off, were not yet bound
into sheaves.

=The Self Rake.=--The next advance consisted in what is known as the
"self rake." This machine had a series of slats or wings which did both
the work of the reel in the earlier machine and also that of the man
who raked the wheat off the later machine. This saved the labor of one

=The Harvester.=--The next improvement in the evolution of the reaping
machine--if indeed an improvement it could be called--was what is known
as the "harvester." In this there was a canvas elevator upon which the
grain was thrown by the reel, and which brought the grain up to the
platform on which two men stood for the purpose of binding it. Each man
took his share, binding alternate bundles and throwing them, when bound,
down on the ground. Such work was certainly one of the repellent factors
in driving men and boys from the country to the city.

=The Wire Binder.=--Another step in advance was the invention of the
wire binder. Everything was now done by machinery: the cutting, the
elevating, the binding, and even the carrying of the sheaves into piles
or windrows. There was an attachment upon the machine by which the
bundles were carried along and deposited in bunches to make the
"shocking" easier.

=The Twine Binder.=--But the wire was found to be an obstruction both in
threshing and in the use of straw for fodder; and, as necessity is the
mother of invention, the so-called twine "knotter" soon came into
existence and with it the full-fledged twine binder with all its varied
improvements as we have it to-day.

=Threshing Machine.=--The development of the perfected threshing machine
was very similar. Fifty years ago, the flail was an implement of common
use upon the barn floor. Then came the invention called the "cylinder";
this was systematically studded with "teeth" and these, in the rapid
revolutions of the cylinder, passed between corresponding teeth
systematically set in what is known as "concaves." This tooth
arrangement in revolving cylinder and in concave was as epochal in the
line of progress in threshing machines as the sickle, with its
"sections" passing or being drawn through guards, was in reaping

=The First Machine.=--The earliest of these threshing machines
containing a cylinder was run by a treadmill on which a horse was used.
It was literally a "one-horse" affair. Of course the first type of
cylinder was small and simple, and the work as a rule was poorly done.
The chaff and the straw came out together and men had to attend to each
by hand. The wheat was poorly cleaned and had to be run through a
fanning-mill several times.

=Improvements.=--Then came some improvements and enlargements in the
cylinder, and also the application of horse power by means of what was
known as "tumbling rods" and a gearing attached to the cylinder. All
this at first was on rather a small scale, only two, three, or four
horses being used. But improvements and enlargements came step by step,
until the ten and twelve horse power machine was achieved, resulting in
the large separator that would thresh out several hundred bushels of
wheat in a day. The separator had also attached to it what was called
the "straw carrier," which conveyed both the straw and the chaff to
quite a distance from the machine. But even then most of the work around
the machine was done by hand. The straw pile required the attention of
three or four men; or if the straw were "bucked," as they said, it
required a man with a horse or team hitched to a long pole. In this
latter case the straw was spread in various parts of the field and
finally burned.

=The Steam Engine.=--Then came the portable steam engine for threshing
purposes. At first, however, this had to be drawn from place to place by
teams. The power was applied to the separator by a long belt. Following
this, came the devices for cutting the bands, the self-feeder, and
finally the straw blower, as it is called, consisting of a long tube
through which the straw is blown by the powerful separator fanning-mill.
This blower can be moved in different directions, and consequently it
saves the labor of as many men as were formerly required to handle the
straw and chaff. About the same time, also, the device for weighing and
measuring the grain was perfected. The "traction" engine has now
replaced the one which had to be drawn by teams, and this not only
propels itself but also draws the separator and other loads after it
from place to place. In all this progress the machinery has constantly
become more and more perfect and the cylinder and capacity of the
machine greater and greater. Not many years ago, six hundred bushels in
a day was considered a big record in the threshing of wheat. Now the
large machines separate, or thresh out, between three and four thousand
bushels in one day. Such has been the development in reaping machines
from the sickle to the self-binder, and in threshing machines from the
flail to the modern marvel just described.

=Improvement in Ocean Travel.=--A similar story may be told in regard to
ocean traffic and ocean travel. Our ancestors came from foreign lands on
sailing ships that required from three weeks to several months to cross
the Atlantic. I am acquainted with a German immigrant who, many years
ago, left a seaport town of Germany on January 1st and landed at Castle
Garden in New York City on the 4th of July. The inconvenience of travel
under such circumstances was equal to the slowness of the journey. In
those days leaving home in the old country meant never again seeing
one's relatives and friends. If such conditions are compared with those
of to-day we can readily realize the vast progress that has been made.
To-day the great ocean liners cross the Atlantic in a little more than
five days. These magnificent "ocean greyhounds" are fitted out with all
modern conveniences and improvements, so that one is as comfortable in
them and as safe as he is in one of the best hotels of the large cities.

=From Hand-spinning to Factory.=--Weaving in former times was done
entirely by hand. Fifty years ago private weavers were found in almost
every community. Wool was raised, carded, spun, and woven, and the
garments were all made, practically, within the household. All that is
now past. In the great manufacturing establishments one man at a lever
does the work of 250 or 500 people. This great industrial advancement
has taken place within the memory of people now living. And similar
progress has been made in almost every other line of human endeavor.

=The Cost.=--Very few people realize what it has cost the human race to
pass from one condition to the other in these various lines. Hundreds
and thousands of men have worked and died in the struggle and in the
process of bringing about improvements. Every calamity due to inadequate
machines or to poor methods has had its influence toward causing further
advancements in inventions for the benefit of mankind.

=Progress in Higher Education.=--Let us now turn our attention to the
progress that has been made in the field of academic education. It is
true that many of the great universities were established centuries ago.
These were at first endowed church institutions or theological
seminaries; but the great state universities of this country are
creations of the progressive period under consideration. General
taxation for higher education is comparatively a modern practice. The
University of Michigan was one of the first state universities
established. Since then nearly every commonwealth, whether it has come
into the Union since that time or whether it is one of the older states,
has established a university. There has been a great development of
higher education by the states. No institutions of the country have
grown more rapidly within the last thirty or forty years than the state
universities. They have established departments of every kind. Besides
the college of liberal arts there are in most of them colleges or
schools of law, medicine, engineering in its several lines, education,
pharmacy, dentistry, commerce, industrial arts, and fine arts. The state
university is abroad in the land; it has, as a rule, an extension
department by which it impresses itself upon the people of the state,
outside its walls. The principle of higher education by taxation of all
the people is no longer questioned; it is no longer an experiment. The
state university is relied upon to furnish the country with the leaders
of the future--and leaders will always be in demand, for they are always
sorely needed.

=Progress in Normal Schools.=--While the state universities have been
enjoying this marvelous development, nearly every state has been
establishing normal schools for the professional preparation of
teachers. The normal school as an institution is also modern. As an
institution established and supported by state taxation it is, as a
rule, more recent than the universities. Forty years ago many good
people regarded the normal school idea as visionary and its realization
as a doubtful experiment. Indeed in one western state, as late as the
eighties, its legislature debated the abolition of its normal schools on
the ground that they were not fulfilling or accomplishing any useful
mission. To-day, however, no such charge of inefficiency can be made.
The normal schools, like the universities, have proved their right to
exist. They have been weighed in the balance and have not been found
wanting. It is now generally recognized that those who would teach
should make some preparation for that high calling; and so the normal
schools in every state have demonstrated their "right of domicile" in
the educational system. It is now generally recognized that teaching,
both as a science and as an art, is highly complicated, and that, if it
is to be a profession, there must be special preparation for it.
Consequently the normal schools of the country have had a wonderful and
rapid development from the experimental stage to that in which they have
well-nigh realized their ideals. School boards everywhere look to the
normal schools for their supply of elementary teachers.

=Progress in Agricultural Colleges.=--Similar statements may be made
concerning the agricultural colleges of the country. They are modern
creations in the United States; and with the aid of both the state and
the national government they have come to be vast institutions, devoting
themselves to the teaching and the spreading of scientific farming among
the people. Here there is a vast work to be done. On account of the
trend of population toward the cities, and on account of the vast tracts
of country land lying idle, scientific agriculture should be brought in
to aid in production and thus to keep down the cost of living. The
agricultural colleges of the country have a large part to play in the
solution of the problems of rural life.

=Progress in the High Schools.=--A similar development characterizes the
high schools of the country. Education has extended downward from above.
Universities everywhere have come into existence before the
establishment of secondary schools. Not only are the universities, the
normal schools, and the agricultural colleges of recent origin, but the
high schools also are modern institutions, at least in their present
systematized form. The high schools of the cities constitute to-day one
of the most efficient forms of school organization. At the present time
the better high schools of the cities are veritable colleges--in fact
their curricula are as extensive as were those of the colleges of sixty
years ago. Vast numbers attend them; their faculties are composed of
college graduates or better; they have, as a rule, various departments,
such as manual training, domestic science, agriculture, commercial
subjects, normal courses, etc. In addition to the traditional curricula,
the high schools, like the universities, normal schools, and
agricultural colleges, have kept pace, in large measure, with the
material progress described in the first part of this chapter.

=How Is the Rural School?=--We have described the progress that has
been made in various fields of the industrial world and also in several
kinds of educational institutions. At this point the question may, with
propriety, be asked whether the rural schools have generally kept pace
in their progress with the other and higher institutions which we have
mentioned. We believe that they have not. The rural schools have too
often been the last to attract public interest and to receive the
attention which their importance deserves.

[Illustration: A neglected school in unattractive surroundings]

[Illustration: A lonely road to school. No conveyances provided]

[Illustration: A better type of building with some attempt at

[Caption for the above illustrations: THE ONE-ROOM SCHOOL]



=Rural Schools the Same Everywhere.=--The one-room country school of
to-day is much the same the whole country over. Such schools are no
better in Michigan, Wisconsin, or Minnesota than they are in the
Dakotas, Montana, or Idaho. They are no better in Ohio or New York than
they are in Minnesota or Wisconsin, and no better in the New England
states than in New York and Ohio. There is a wonderful similarity in
these schools in all the states.

Nevertheless, it may be maintained with some plausibility that the rural
schools of the West are superior to those farther east. The East is
conservative and slow to change. The West has fewer traditions to break.
Many strong personalities of initiative and push have come out of the
East and taken up their abode in the West. Young men continue to follow
Horace Greeley's advice. Sometimes these young men file upon lands and
teach the neighboring school; and while this may not be the highest
professional aim and attitude, it remains true nevertheless that such
teachers are often earnest, strong, and educated persons.

Not long ago I had occasion to visit a teacher's institute in a
northwestern state, in which there were enrolled 350 teachers. Some of
these were college graduates and many of them were normal school
graduates from various states. One had only to conduct a round table in
order to experience a very spirited reaction. Colonel Homer B. Sprague,
who was once president of the University of North Dakota, used to say
that it always wrenched him to kick at nothing. There would be no
danger, in such a body of teachers as I have referred to, of wrenching
oneself. I have had occasion many times every year to meet these western
teachers in local associations, in teachers' institutes, and in state
conventions; and from my observations and experience I can truthfully
state that they are fully as responsive and as progressive as the
teachers in other parts of the country.

=Rural Schools no Better than Formerly.=--Notwithstanding all this, it
is probably true that the rural schools of to-day are, on the whole, but
little better than those of twenty years ago. About that time I served
four years as county superintendent of schools in a western state. As I
recall the condition of the schools of that day I feel sure that there
has been but little real progress. Indeed, for reasons which will be
stated later on, it can be safely asserted that in some parts of the
country there has been a deterioration.

About thirty years ago I had the experience of teaching rural schools
for several terms. Being acquainted with my coworkers, I met them
frequently in teachers' gatherings and in conventions of various kinds.
If my memory is to be trusted I can again affirm that the teachers of
those days do not compare unfavorably with the rural school teachers of
the present time. And if the teacher is the measure of the school, the
same may be said of the schools.

Nor is this all. About forty years ago I was attending a rural school
myself. I received all of my elementary education in such schools and I
am convinced that many of my teachers were stronger personalities than
the teachers of to-day.

=Some Improvement.=--It is not intended here to assert or to convey the
impression that there has been no progress in any direction in the rural
schools. It is the personnel of the country school--the strength and
power of initiative in the teachers of that day--that is here referred
to. Although there has been some progress in many lines it has not been
in the direction of stronger teachers. The textbooks in use to-day in
various branches are decidedly superior to those used in former days,
although some of these older books were by no means without their points
of strength and excellence. Indeed, I sometimes think that textbooks are
often rendered less efficient by being refined upon in a variety of ways
to conform to the popular pedagogical ideas of the day.

It is no doubt true also that there has been, in the last thirty or
forty years, much discussion along the lines of psychology and pedagogy
and the methods of teaching the various branches. The professional
spirit has been in the air, and there has been much writing and much
talking on the science and art of teaching. But it must be confessed
that, while this is desirable and in fact indispensable, much of it may
be little more than a mere whitewash; much of it is simply parrot-like
imitation; much of it is only "words, words, words." Far be it from me
to underestimate the value of this professional and pedagogical phase of
the teacher's equipment. Nevertheless, when all is said and duly
considered, it is personality that is the greatest factor in the
teacher. A good, sound knowledge of the subjects to be taught comes
next; and last, though probably not least, should come the professional
preparation and training. Without the first two requisites, however,
this last is worth little. It is a lamentable fact that, in almost every
section of our country, there are persons engaged in teaching rural
schools, who are not only deficient in personal power but whose academic
education is not such as to afford an adequate foundation for
professional training.

=Strong Personalities in the Older Schools.=--As an example of strong
personalities I remember one teacher who in middle life was recognized
as a leader in his community; another one, after serving an
apprenticeship in the country schools, became a prominent and successful
physician; a third became a leading architect; a fourth, a lawyer; a
fifth went west and became county judge in the state of his adoption; a
sixth entered West Point Military Academy and rose rapidly in the United
States army. These instances are given to show that many of the old-time
country teachers were men of force and initiative. They became to their
pupils ideals of manhood worthy to be patterned after. These all taught
in one neighborhood, but similar strong characters were no doubt engaged
in the schools of surrounding neighborhoods. What rural school of to-day
in any state can boast of the uplifting presence of so many men teaching
in one decade?

A. V. Storm, of the Minnesota Agricultural College, says:

     "But we lack one thing nowadays that these old schools possessed.
     Twenty or thirty years ago the country schools were taught for the
     most part by men. Such men as Shaw and Dolliver, and a great many
     other leading men of to-day, were at one time country school
     teachers. They exercised a great influence upon the pupils. They
     were the angels who put the coals of fire upon the lips of the
     young men, giving them the ambition that made for future greatness.
     The country schools now are not so good as they were twenty years
     ago. The chief reason is that their teachers are not so capable."

=More Men Needed.=--To secure the best results, there should be fully as
many men as women teaching in the rural schools. One hundred years ago
both city and country schools were taught by men alone. Now the rural
schools and most of the city schools are taught by women alone. There is
probably as much reason against all teachers being women as there is
against all teachers being men.

=Low Standard Now.=--Thirty or forty years ago about half of the
teachers were men and half women, both sexes representing the strong and
the weak. Very many of the schools of to-day are under the charge of
young girls from eighteen to twenty years of age who have had little
more than a common elementary education. Some have just finished the
eighth grade and have had a smattering of pedagogy or what is sometimes
called "the theory and practice of teaching." This they could have
secured in a six weeks' summer school, while reviewing the so-called
"common branches." These teachers are holders merely of a second grade
elementary, or county, certificate, which requires very little
education. Almost any person who has taken the required course in
reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic, grammar, geography, history, and
hygiene of the elementary school can pass the usual examination and
obtain a certificate to teach. In some states the matter is made still
easier by the issuing of third grade county certificates, and even, in
some cases, by the giving of special permits. Indeed, the standards are
usually so low that the supply of teachers is far beyond the demand.

=The Survival of the Unfittest.=--Such is the standard which prevails
extensively throughout the country in respect to the qualifications of
rural school teachers. As inferior goods sometimes drive out the better
in the markets, so poor teachers holding the lowest grade of certificate
will sometimes drive out the better, for they are ready to teach for
"less than anybody else." The men and women of strength and initiative
are constantly tempted to go out of the calling into other lines of work
where progress is more pronounced and where salaries or wages are
higher; and so the doors of the teachers' calling swing outward. The
good teachers will desert us, or refuse to come, and the rural schools
will be left with what might be called the survival of the unfittest.

=Short Terms.=--Add to the foregoing considerations the short terms of
service which prevail in rural schools and we have indeed a pitiable
condition. The average yearly duration of such schools in most states is
about seven months--sometimes less. This leaves about five months of
vacation, or of time between terms, when much that has been learned is
forgotten. Under such conditions how is it possible to give the children
of these communities an education which is at all comparable to that
afforded by the city?

=Poor Supervision.=--Then, again, there is often little supervision of
country schools. When a county superintendent has under his inspection
from fifty to two hundred schools, it is utterly impossible for him to
give to each the desired number of visits or to supervise and
superintend the work of those schools in a manner that can be called
adequate in any true sense. Sometimes he can visit each school only once
a year, or twice at most, and, even then, there may be two different
teachers in the same school during the year; so that he sees each of his
teachers at work probably only once. What can a supervising officer do
for a school or for a teacher under such circumstances? Practically
nothing. The county superintendent is usually elected to office by the
people and frequently on a partisan ticket. This method of choosing
naturally tends to make him give more attention to politics than he
otherwise would think of giving. So the supervision or superintendency
of country schools is too often slighted or neglected--and who is to
blame? Of course there are many exceptional cases, but the exceptions
only prove the rule.

=No Decided Movement.=--The whole movement of the rural school, whether
it has been backward or forward, has been too frequently without
definite or pronounced direction. It has moved along the line of least
resistance, sometimes this way, sometimes that, in some places forward,
in other places backward. Time, circumstances, and chance determine the
work. School problems have been settled by convenience and
circumstances. The whole situation has been one of _laissez faire_. It
is only within the past few years that people have become awakened to
the situation. They are beginning to be impressed with the progress that
is being made in all other lines, not only outside of the schools but
also in the fields of higher and secondary education. The rural school
interests have at last begun to ask, "Where do we come in?"

=Elementary Teaching Not a Profession.=--There has been as yet no real
profession of teaching in the rural or elementary field. In about one
third of the schools there is a new teacher every year; so that every
three years the teaching force in any given county is practically
renewed. A _profession_ cannot be acquired in a day, or even in twelve
months. The work to be done is regarded as an important public work, and
the public is concerned in its own protection. Hence in every true
profession there is a somewhat lengthy period of preparation and a
standard of acquirements which must be attained. In other words, a true
profession is a closed calling which it is impossible for everyone to
join, and which only those can enter who have passed through a severe
preparation and have successfully met the required standard. School
teaching in the country is too frequently not a profession. It can be
entered too easily; the required period of preparation is so short and
the standard is placed so low that young and poorly prepared persons
enter too easily.

=The Problem Difficult, but Before Us.=--What shall be done? The problem
is before the American people in every state of the Union. The people
themselves have become aroused to the situation, and this itself is
encouraging. Much has been done in some states, but much will be left
undone for the attention of coming generations. The masses of the
people can be aroused only with difficulty. The education of an
individual is a slow process. The education of a family, of a community,
or of a state is slower still. The education of a nation or of a race is
so slow that its progress is difficult of measurement. Indeed, the
movement of the race as a whole is so imperceptible that it leaves room
for debate as to whether humanity is going forward or backward.

=Other Educational Interests Should Help.=--The higher institutions,
including the state universities, the agricultural colleges, the normal
schools, and the high schools, should all join hands in helping to
remedy conditions. Society has already, in large measure, solved the
problems in the higher educational fields; those institutions have been
advanced to such an extent that they have almost realized their ideals.
The rural population has helped them to attain to these high standards.
As one good turn deserves another, rural communities now look to these
interests for aid in the struggle to overcome the difficulties which
confront them.

=Higher Standards Necessary.=--But before the rural schools can ever
hope to make the desired progress, higher standards must be set by
society, and the teachers in those schools must attain to them. The
United States, as a nation, is far behind foreign countries in setting
such a standard. In Denmark and elsewhere a country school teacher must
be a normal school graduate. A few national laws in the way of
standardization both in higher and lower education would produce
excellent results. The old fear of encroachment upon state's rights by
the national government has too long prevented national legislation of a
most beneficial kind in the educational field.

=Courses for Teachers.=--In every normal school in the United States
there should be an elementary course of study extending at least three
years above the eighth grade, and the completion of this course should
be required as a minimum preparation for teaching in any school in the
country. This is certainly not asking too much. Pupils who complete the
eighth grade at fourteen or fifteen years, and then go to a normal
school, would complete this elementary course at the age of seventeen or
eighteen; and no person who has not reached this age should assume the
responsibility for the care and instruction of children in any school.

=The Problem of Compensation.=--Were such a standard adopted as a
minimum, salaries would immediately rise. (We do not often call them
"salaries" but _wages_, and probably with some discrimination.) If it is
said that teachers of such qualifications cannot be secured, the answer
is that in a short time things would so adjust themselves that the
demand would bring the supply. Salaries in the country must be higher
before we can hope to secure any considerable number of teachers as well
equipped and with as strong personalities as those found in the cities.
It may be necessary for us to pay more than is paid in the city; for if
a teacher has two offers at $65 a month, one from a city and one from
the country, she will, without doubt, accept the city offer every time.
True, she will have to pay more for room and board in the city;
nevertheless she will prefer to be where there are the most
opportunities and conveniences, with probably a better prospect for
promotion. And who can blame her? It is probable that, in many
instances, country districts will have to pay five or ten dollars a
month more than the city if they wish to secure equally strong teachers.
A country district can really afford to pay more than the city in order
to get a good, strong teacher; for taxation in the country is usually
lighter than it is in the city. In the city there is taxation for
lighting, for paving, for sidewalks, for police protection, and for
various other conveniences and necessities. The country is free from
most of such levies, and it could, therefore, afford to pay a little
more school tax in order to secure its share of the best teachers.

=Consolidation as a Factor.=--In the solution of the school problem
consolidation will do much. This is being tried in almost every state of
the Union and is working in the direction of progress with great
satisfaction. We shall treat of this more at length in a later chapter.

=Better Supervision Necessary.=--Not only must we have better teachers
in the country, but we must have more and better supervision. There is
no valid reason why country superintendents should be elected on a
political platform. It is the custom everywhere to choose city
superintendents from among the best men or women anywhere in the field,
inside or outside of the state. Such should also be the practice in
choosing county superintendents. Then, too, a county should be divided
into districts and more assistance given the county superintendent in
the supervision of schools. In other words, supervision should be
persistent, consistent, and systematic; visits should be more frequent.
In the city a superintendent or principal has all his schools and
teachers either in one building or in several buildings at no great
distance apart. In the latter case he can go from one to another in a
few minutes, staying at each as long as he thinks necessary. Little time
is lost in travel. The opposite condition is one of the difficulties of
rural supervision, and it must be overcome in some satisfactory way.

=A Model Rural School.=--It would be a good plan for the state to
establish in each county one model rural school. Such schools might be
maintained wholly or in part by the state, and they would become models
for all the neighboring districts. Children are always imitative, and
people are only children of a larger growth. Most people learn to do
things better by imitation; and so these model state schools would serve
as patterns to be studied and copied by others.

=The Teacher Should Lead.=--The school should be the mainspring of
educational and social life in the community; hence, only such teachers
should be employed as are real originators of activity in rural schools
and in rural life. The teacher should be a "live wire" and should be
"doing things" all the time. He should be the leader of his community
and his people.

=A Good Boarding Place.=--A serious difficulty connected with teaching
in the country is that of securing a good boarding place and temporary
home. This may not be a troublesome problem in the older and
well-established communities, but in the newer states and sparsely
settled sections the condition is almost forbidding. Half the enjoyment
of life consists in having a comfortable home and a good room to
oneself. This is absolutely necessary in order to do one's work well,
especially the work of the teacher. Some of the experiences which
teachers have been obliged to go through are almost incredible. Almost
every teacher of a country school could give vivid and pathetic
illustrations and examples of the discomforts, the annoyances, and the
trials to which a boarder in a strange family is subjected. The question
of a boarding place should be in the mind and plan of every school board
when they employ a teacher for their district. It is they who should
solve this problem for the teacher by having a good available home
provided in advance.



Much has been said and written in regard to what is generally known as
the "consolidation of schools." Men and women interested in the cause of
popular education have come to feel that the rural schools throughout
the country are making little or no progress, and public attention has
therefore been turned to consolidation as one of the possible means of

=The Process.=--As the name implies, the process is simply the bringing
together and the fusing of two or more schools into one. If two or more
communities, each having a small school of a few children, conclude that
their schools are becoming ineffective and that it would be advantageous
to unite, each may sell its own schoolhouse, and a new one may be built
large enough for all and more centrally located with regard to the whole
territory. They thus "consolidate" the schools of the several districts
and establish a single large one. In many portions of the country the
rural schools have, from various causes, grown smaller and smaller,
until they have ceased to be places of interest, of activity, and of
life. Now, a school, if it means anything, means a place where minds
are stimulated and awakened as well as where knowledge is communicated.
There can be but little stimulation in a school of only a few children.
The pupils feel it and so does the teacher. Life, activity, mental
aspiration are always found where large numbers of persons congregate.
For these reasons the idea of consolidating the small schools into
important centers, or units, is forcing itself upon the people of the
country. Where the schools are small and the roads are good, everything
favors the bringing of the children to a larger and more stimulating
social and educational center.

=When Not Necessary.=--It might happen, as it frequently does, that a
school is already sufficiently large, active, and enthusiastic to make
it inadvisable to give up its identity and become merged in the larger
consolidated school. If there are twenty or thirty children and an
efficient teacher we have the essential factors of a good school.
Furthermore, it is rather difficult to transport, for several miles, a
larger number than this.

=The District System.=--There are two different kinds of country school
organization. In some states, what is known as the district system is
the prevailing one. This means that a school district, more or less
irregular in shape and containing probably six to ten square miles, is
organized into a corporation for school purposes. The schoolhouse is
situated somewhere near the center of this district and is usually a
small, boxlike affair, often located in a desolate place without trees
or other attractive environment. This school may be under the
administration of a trustee or of a school board having the management
of the school in every respect. This board determines the length of
term; it hires and dismisses teachers, procures supplies and performs
all the functions authorized by law. It is a case where one school board
has the entire management of one small school.

[Illustration: A frame building and adequate conveyances]

[Illustration: A substantial and well-planned building]

[Caption for the above illustrations: TWO TYPES OF CONSOLIDATED SCHOOLS]

=The Township System.=--The other form of organization is what is known
as the township system. Here the several schools in one township are all
under the administration of one school board. There is not a school
board for each schoolhouse, as in the district system, but one school
board has charge of all the schools of the township. Under certain
conditions it has in its power the locating of schoolhouses within this
general district. The board hires the teachers for all the schools
within its jurisdiction, and in general manages all the schools in the
same manner as the board in the district system manages its one school.

=Consolidation Difficult in District System.=--The process of
consolidation is always difficult where the district system prevails.
Both custom and sentiment cause the people to hesitate or refuse to
abandon their established form of organization. If a community has been
incorporated for any purpose and has done business for some years, it is
always difficult to induce the people to make a change. They feel as if
they were abdicating government and responsibility. They hesitate to
merge themselves in a larger organization, and hence they advance many
objections to the consolidation of their schools. All this is but
natural. The several communities have been living apart educationally
and have been in a measure strangers. They have never had any occasion
to meet in conference, to exchange thought, and to do business together;
hence they fear and hesitate to take a leap in the dark, as they
conceive it, and to embark upon a course which they think they may
afterwards regret. Consolidation frequently fails because of false
apprehensions due to a lack of social organization.

=Easier in Township System.=--It is quite otherwise where the township
system exists. Here there are no separate corporations or organizations
controlling the various schools. The school board administers the
affairs of all the schools in the township. Hence there is no sentiment
in regard to the separate and distinct individuality of each school and
its patronage. There are no sub-districts or distinctly organized
communities; a whole township or two townships constitute one large
district and the schools are located at the most convenient points to
serve the children of the whole township. The people in such districts
have been accustomed to act together educationally as well as
politically, and to exchange thought on all such situations. Hence
consolidation, or the union of the several schools, is a comparatively
easy matter.

=Consolidation a Special Problem for Each District.=--It will, of
course, be seen at once that, in a school township where there are
several small and somewhat lifeless schools with only a few children in
each, it would be desirable for several reasons to bring together all
the children into one large and animated center. This process is a
specific local problem. Whether or not such consolidation is advisable
depends upon many conditions, among which are, (1) the size of the
former schools, (2) the unanimity of sentiment in the community, (3) the
location of roads and of residences, (4) the distance the pupils are to
be transported, and other local and special considerations. The people
of each district should get together and discuss these problems from
various points of view and decide for themselves whether or not they
shall adopt the plan and also the extent to which it shall be carried.
Much will depend upon the size of the schools and everything upon the
unanimity of sentiment in the community. If there is a large minority
against consolidation the wisdom of forcing it by a small majority is to
be questioned. It would be better to let the idea "work" a while longer.

=Disagreements on Transportation.=--The problem of transporting pupils
is always a puzzling one. Many details are involved in its solution and
it is upon details that communities usually disagree. Most enterprises
are wrecked by disagreements over small matters. Even among friends it
is the small details in mannerisms or conduct that become with time so
irritating that friendship is often strained. Details are usually small,
but their obtrusive, perpetual presence is likely to disturb one's
nerves. This is true in deliberative bodies of all kinds. Important
measures are often delayed or killed because their advocates and
opponents cannot "give and take" upon small points. Almost every great
measure passing successfully through legislative bodies and, in fact,
the settlement of many social problems embody a compromise on details.
Many good people forget that, while there should be unanimity in
essentials, there should be liberty in non-essentials, and charity in
all things. Many people lack the power of perspective in the discussion
and solution of problems; for them all facts are of the same magnitude.
Large things which they do not wish are minimized and small things are
magnified. A copper cent may be held so near the eye that it will
obscure the sun. Probably there has been no difficulty greater in the
process of consolidation than the problems involved in the details
concerning the transportation of pupils.

=Each Community Must Decide for Itself.=--The particular mode of
transportation must be determined by the conditions existing in each
community. In some places the consolidated school district provides one
or more busses, or, as they are sometimes called, "vans"; and these go
to the homes of the children each morning in time to arrive at the
schoolhouse before nine o'clock. Of course, in this case the pupils
living farthest from the school must rise and be ready earliest; they
are on the road for the greatest length of time. But this is one of the
minor discomforts which must be borne by those families and their
children. All cannot live near the school. Sometimes a different plan of
transportation is found to give better satisfaction. The parents may
prefer to bring their own children to school or to make definite
arrangements with nearby neighbors who bring theirs. There is no one way
which is the only way, and, in fact, several methods may be used in the
same district.

=The Distance to Be Transported.=--If pupils must be transported over
five or six miles, consolidation becomes a doubtful experiment. Of
course, the vehicles used should be comfortable and every care should be
taken of the children; but six miles over country roads and in all kinds
of weather means, probably, an hour and a quarter on the road both
morning and evening. It could, of course, be said in reply that six
miles in a comfortable wagon and an hour and a quarter on the road are
not nearly so bad as a mile and a quarter on foot at certain seasons of
the year.

=Responsible Driver.=--Another point upon which all parents should
insist is that the transportation of their children should be performed
by reliable and responsible drivers. This is important and most
necessary. Under such conditions there would be no danger of children
being drenched with rain in summer and exposed to cold in winter, for
the vehicles would be so constructed as to offer protection against
both. There would also be no danger of the large boys bullying and
browbeating the smaller children on the way, as is often done when they
walk to school over long and lonely roads; for all would be under the
care of a trustworthy driver until they were landed at the door of the
schoolhouse or the home.

=Cost of Consolidation.=--The cost of consolidation is always an
important consideration. Under the district system one district may be
wealthy and another poor, the former having scarcely any taxation and
the latter a high rate of taxation. It is usual that, in such cases, the
districts having a small rate of taxation are unwilling to consolidate
with others. This is one of the difficulties. Consolidation will bring
about uniformity of taxation in the whole territory affected. This is an
advantage in itself. If the old schoolhouses are in good condition there
will be somewhat of a loss in selling them and in building a large new
central building. This is another situation which always complicates the
problem. If the old buildings are worthless and if they must be replaced
in any event by new buildings, then the time is opportune for
considering consolidation.

Even after the reorganization is effected, and the new central building
located, the cost of education, all things considered, is not increased.
It is undoubtedly true that a larger amount of money may be needed to
maintain the consolidated school than to maintain all the various small
schools which have previously existed. But other factors must be taken
into account. The total amount of dollars and cents in the one situation
as compared with the total amount in the other does not tell the whole
story. For it has been found that, everywhere in the country, there is a
larger and better attendance of pupils in the consolidated school, that
more pupils go to school, that they attend more regularly, and that the
school terms are longer. Therefore the proper test of expense is the
cost of a day's schooling for each pupil, or the cost "per pupil per
day." Measured by this standard education in the consolidated school is
no more expensive than in the unconsolidated schools; indeed it is
usually less expensive. It is a good thing for society to give a day's
education to one child; then education pays as it goes, and the more
days' education it can offer, the better.

=More Life in the Consolidated School.=--No one can deny that in this
larger school there can be more life and activity of all kinds, and a
much finer school spirit than was possible in the smaller schools.
Education means stimulation and where a great many children are brought
together and properly organized and graded there is a more stimulating
atmosphere and environment.

=Some Grading Desirable.=--In these consolidated schools a reasonable
amount of grading can be secured. It may be true that in some of the
large cities an extreme degree of grading defeats education and the true
aim of organization, but certainly in consolidated rural schools no such
degree of refinement need be reached or feared. Grading can remain here
in the golden mean and will be beneficial to pupils and teachers alike.
The pupils thus graded will have more time for recitation and
instruction, and teachers will have more time to do efficient work. In
the one-room rural school one teacher usually has eight grades and often
more, and sometimes she is required to conduct thirty or forty different
recitations in a day. Under such conditions the lack of time prevents
the attainment of good results.

=Better Teachers.=--It is also true that, where a school is larger and
attains to more of a system, better teachers are sought and secured by
the authorities. As we have already said, the cities are able to bid
higher for the best trained teachers, so the country districts suffer in
the economic competition. But the consolidated school being organized,
equipped, and graded, and representing, as it does, a large community or
district, the tendency will be to secure as good teachers as possible.
This is helped along by the comparison and competition of teachers
working side by side within the walls of the same building. In such
schools, too, there is usually a principal, and he exercises the
function of selection and rejection in the choice of teachers. All this
conduces to the securing of good teachers in the consolidated center.

=Better Buildings and Inspection.=--Similar improvements are attained in
the building as a whole, in the individual rooms, and in the interior
equipment. Such buildings are usually planned by competent architects
and are more adequate in all their appointments. All things are subject
to inspection, both by the community and the authorities. It is natural
that such inspection and criticism will be satisfied only with the best;
and so the surroundings of pupils become much more favorable to their
mental, moral, and physical well-being than was possible in the isolated
one-room school building.

=Longer Terms.=--The same discussion, agitation, inspection, and
supervision will inevitably lead to longer terms of school. Whereas the
one-room schools usually average six and a half months of school per
year, the consolidated schools average over eight months. This is in
itself a most important gain.

=Regularity, Punctuality, and Attendance.=--The larger spirit and life
of the consolidated school induce greater punctuality and regularity of
attendance. When pupils are transported to school they are always on
time, and when they are members of a class where there is considerable
competition they attend school with great regularity. There are many
grown-up pupils in the district who would not go to the small schools,
but who will go to a larger school where they find their equals; and so
the school attendance is greatly increased. We have, then, the
advantages of greater punctuality, greater regularity, and more pupils
in attendance.

The school spirit is abroad in the consolidated school district; people
are thinking and talking school. It becomes the customary and
fashionable thing to send children to school.

=Better Supervision.=--There is also much better supervision in the
consolidated school; for, in addition to the supervision given by the
county superintendent or his assistants, there is also the supervision
of the principal, or head teacher. This is in itself no small factor in
the making of a good school. Good supervision always makes strongly for

=The School as a Social Center.=--Other effects than those above
mentioned will necessarily follow. The consolidated school can and
should become a social center. There should be an assembly room for
lectures, debates, literary and musical entertainments, and meetings of
all kinds. The lecture hall should be provided with a stage, and good
moving-picture exhibitions might be given occasionally. There, also, the
citizens may gather to hear public questions discussed. It could thus
become a civic and social center as well as an educational center. All
problems affecting the welfare of the community might be presented here;
the people could assemble to listen to the discussion of political and
other social and public questions, which are the subjects of thought
and of conversation in the neighborhood. This is real social and
educational life.

=Better Roads.=--Not only does consolidation tend to all the above
results but it does many other things incidentally. It leads to the
making of better roads; for where a community has to travel frequently
it will provide good roads. This is one of the crying needs of the day
throughout the country.

=Consolidation Coming Everywhere.=--Consolidation is now under way in
almost every state of the Union and wherever tried it has almost
invariably succeeded. In but very few places have rural communities
abandoned the educational, social, and civic center, and gone back to
their former state of isolation and deadly routine.

=The Married Teacher and Permanence.=--In order to make the consolidated
school a success, the policy will have to be adopted in America of
building, at or near the school, a residence for the teacher, and of
selecting as teacher a married man, who will make his home there among
the people whose children he is to teach. Such a teacher should be a
real community leader in every way, and his tenure of service should be
permanent. Grave and specific reasons only should effect his removal.
With single men and women it is impossible to secure the permanence of
tenure that is desirable and necessary to the educational and social
welfare of a school and a community. This has been demonstrated over and
over again, and foreign countries are far ahead of us in this respect.
Such a real leader and teacher will, it is true, command a high salary;
but a good home, permanence of position, a small tract of land for
garden and field purposes, and the coming policy everywhere of an
"insurance and retirement fund" would offer great inducements to strong
men to take up their abode and cast their lot in such educational and
community centers.



=The Greatest Factor.=--Now, although we may have a beautiful school
campus, an adequate and artistic building, a library, laboratories and
workshops with all necessary physical or material appointments complete,
we may yet have a poor school; these things, however desirable, will not
teach alone. The teacher is the mainspring, the soul of the school; the
"plant," as it may be called, is only the body. A great person is one
with a great soul, not necessarily with a great body. Hence it is that a
great teacher with poor buildings and inferior equipments is
incomparably better than great buildings and equipments without a
competent teacher.

=What Education Is.=--Education is essentially and largely the
stimulation and transformation of one mind or personality by another. It
is the impression of one great mind or soul upon another, giving it a
manner of spirit, a bent, an attitude, as well as a thirst for
knowledge. This is too often lost sight of in the complexity of things.
Many people are inclined to think that educational equipment and
machinery alone will educate. There is nothing further from the truth.
Mark Hopkins would be a great teacher without equipment; buildings,
grounds, apparatus, and laboratories will not really educate without a
great personality behind the desk. There is probably nothing more
inspiring, more suggesting, more stimulating, or more transforming than
intimate contact with great minds. Thought like water seeks its level,
and for children to come into living and loving communication with a
great teacher is a real uplift and an education in itself.

As a saw will not saw without some extraneous power to give it motion,
neither will the gun do execution without the man behind it. The
locomotive is not greater than the man at the throttle, and the ship
without the man at the helm flounders aimlessly upon the sea. Just so, a
great personality must be behind the teacher's desk or there cannot be
in any sense a real school.

=What the Real Teacher Is.=--The true teacher is an inspirer; that is,
he breathes into his pupils his spirit, his love of learning, his method
of study, his ideals. He is a real leader in every way. Children--and we
are all children to a certain extent--are great imitators, and so the
pupils tend to become like the teacher.

The true teacher stimulates to activity by example. Where you find such
a teacher, things are constantly "doing"; people are thinking and
talking school all the time; education is in the atmosphere. The real
teacher is, to use a popular phrase, a "live wire." Something new is
undertaken every day. He is a man of initiative and push, and withal he
is a man of sincerity and tact. While he is retrospective and
circumspective he is also prospective--he is a man of the far-look-ahead

=A Hypnotist.=--The teacher is in the true sense a suggester of good
things. He is an educational hypnotist. The longer I continue to teach
the more am I impressed with the fact that suggestion is the great art
of the teacher. Hence the true teacher is the leader and not the driver.

=Untying Knots.=--A man once said that the best lesson he ever learned
in school was the lesson of "untying knots." He meant, of course, that
every problem that was thrown to the school by the teacher was "tackled"
in the right spirit by the pupils. They investigated it and analyzed it;
they peered into it and through it to find all the strands of
relationship existing in it. It would be easier, of course, for the
teacher under these circumstances merely to cut the knot and have it all
done with, but this would be poor teaching. This would be _telling_, not
teaching. This would lead to passivity and not to activity on the part
of the pupils. And it may be said here that constant and too much
_telling_ is probably the greatest and most widespread mistake in
teaching. Teachers are constantly cutting the knots for children who
should be left to untie them for themselves. To untie a knot is to see
through and through a subject, to see all around it, to see the various
relations of its parts and, consequently, to understand it. This is
solving a problem; it is _dissolving_ it; that is, the problem becomes
a part of the pupil's own mind, and, having made it a part of himself,
he understands it and never forgets it.

This is the difference between not being able to remember and not being
able to forget. In the former case the so-called knowledge is not a part
of oneself; it is not vital. The roots do not penetrate beneath the
surface of our minds; they are, as it were, merely stuck on; the mental
sap does not circulate. In the latter case the knowledge is real; it is
alive and growing; there is a vital connection between it and ourselves.
It would be as difficult to tear it from us as it would to have our
hearts torn out and still live.

=Too Much Kindness.=--An illustration of the same point appears in the
following incident. A boy who owned a pet squirrel thought it a kindness
to the squirrel to crack all the nuts for it. The consequence was that
the squirrel's incisors, above and below, grew so long that they
overlapped and the animal could not eat anything. Too many teachers are
so kind to their pupils that they crack all the educational nuts for
them, with the consequence that the children become passive and die
mentally for want of activity. The true teacher will allow his pupils to
wrestle with their problems without interruption until they arrive at a
conclusion. If some pupil "goes into the ditch" and flounders he should
usually be allowed to get out by his own efforts as best he can. Here is
the place where the teacher "should be cruel only to be kind."

=The Button Illustration.=--Another illustration may help to bring to us
one of the characteristics of the really good teacher. When children, we
have all, no doubt, amused ourselves by putting a string through two
holes of a button and, after twirling it around between our thumbs,
drawing it steadily in measured fashion so as to make the button spin
and hum. If the string is drawn properly this will be successful;
otherwise it will become a perfect snarl. This common experience has
often seemed to me to typify two different kinds of school. In one,
where there is a great teacher "drawing" the school properly, you will
hear, incidentally, the hum of industry, for all are active. A school
which may be thus characterized is always better than the one
characterized by silence and inaction. A little noise--in fact a
considerable noise--is not inconsistent with a good school, and it
frequently happens that what we call "the silence of death" is due to
fear, which is always paralyzing.

=The Chariot Race.=--Still another illustration may help to make clear
what is meant by a good school and a good teacher. Lew Wallace, in his
account of the chariot race, makes Ben Hur and his rival approach the
goal with their horses neck and neck. He says that Ben Hur, in getting
the best out of his steeds, _sent his will out along the reins_. A
really spirited horse responds to the throb of his driver's hand upon
the rein. A good driver gets the best out of his horse; he and his horse
are in accord and the horse takes as much pride in the performance as
the driver does. This is analogously true of a good school.

The schoolroom is not a complete democracy--in fact, it is not a
democracy at all in the lower grades; it is or should be a benevolent
autocracy. The teacher within the schoolroom is the law-making body, the
interpreter of the laws, and the executor of the laws. The good teacher
does all this justly and kindly, and so elicits the admiration, the
respect, and the active support of the governed. He sends his will out
along the reins. Some schools--those with great teachers in charge--are
in this condition; they are coming in under full speed toward the goal,
guided by a master whose will stimulates the pupils to the greatest
voluntary activity. Other schools, we are sorry to say, illustrate the
conditions where the reins are over the dashboard and the school is
running away, pell-mell!

=Physically Sound.=--What are some of the characteristic attributes or
traits which a masterful and inspiring teacher should possess? In the
first place he should be physically sound. It may seem like a lack of
charity to say, and yet it is true, that any serious physical defect
should militate against, if not bar, one from the schoolroom. Any
serious blemish or noticeable defect becomes to pupils an ever-present
suggestive picture, and to some extent must work against, rather than
for, education. Other things being equal, those who are personally
attractive and have the most agreeable manners should be chosen. Since
children are extremely plastic and impressionable, and so susceptible
to the influence of ideas and ideals, beauty and perfection should,
whenever possible, be the attributes of the person who is to guide and
fashion them.

=Character.=--A teacher should be morally sound; he should "ring true."
One can give only what one has. A liar cannot teach veracity; a
dishonest person can not teach honesty; the impure cannot teach purity.
One may deceive for a time, but in the long run the echo of what we are,
and hence what we can give, will be returned. It is often thought that
children are better judges of moral defects and of shams than are grown
people; but, while this is not true, it is nevertheless a fact that many
children, in a short time, divine or sense the true moral nature of the
teacher. Children appreciate justice and will endure and even welcome
severity if they know that justice is coupled with it. They are not
averse to being governed with a firm hand. If pupils are allowed to do
just as they please they may go home at the close of the first day,
saying that they had a "lovely time" and liked their teacher, but in a
very few days they will tire of it and begin to complain.

=Well Educated.=--We need not, of course, contend at any length that a
teacher should be well educated, in the academic sense of the word. In
order to teach well, one must understand his subject thoroughly. It is
quite generally held that a teacher should be at least four years in
advance, academically, of the pupils whom he is to teach. Whether this
is true or not in particular cases, the fact remains that the teacher
should be full of his subject, should be at home in it, and should be
able to illustrate it in its various phases; he should be free to stand
before his class without textbook in hand and to give instruction from a
full and accurate mind. There is probably nothing that so destroys the
confidence of pupils as the lamentable spectacle of seeing the teacher
compelled at every turn to refer to the book for verification of the
answers given. It is a sign of pitiable weakness. If a distinction is to
be made between knowledge and wisdom a true teacher should be possessed
of the latter to a considerable extent. He should also have prudence, or
practical wisdom. Wisdom and prudence imply that fine perspective which
gives a person balance and tact in all situations. It should be noted
that there is a policy, or diplomacy, in a good sense, which does not in
any way conflict with principle; and the true teacher should have the
knowledge, the wisdom, and the tact to do and to say the right thing at
the right time and to leave unsaid and undone many, many things.

=Professional Preparation.=--In addition to a thorough knowledge of
subject matter every teacher should have had some professional
preparation for his work. Teaching, like government, is one of the most
complicated of arts, and to engage in it without any previous study of
its problems, its principles, and its methods seems like foolhardiness.
There are scores, if not hundreds, of topics and problems which should
be thought out and talked over before the teacher engages in actual work
in the schoolroom. When the solutions of these problems have become a
part of his own mind, they will come to his rescue as occasion demands;
and, although much must be learned by experience, a sound knowledge of
the fundamental principles of education and teaching will always throw
much light upon practical procedure. It is true that theory without
practice is often visionary, but it is equally true that practice
without any previous knowledge, or theory, is very often blind.

=Experience.=--In addition to the foregoing qualifications the teacher,
in order to be really masterful, must have had some--indeed
considerable--actual experience. It is this that gives confidence and
firmness to all our procedure. The young lawyer when he appears at the
bar, to plead his first case, finds his knees knocking together; but
after a few months or years of practice he acquires ease, confidence,
and mastery in his work. The same is true of the physician and the
teacher. Some successful experience always counts for much. School
boards, however, often over-estimate _mere_ experience. Poor experience
may be worse than none; and some good superintendents are willing, and
often prefer, to select promising candidates without experience, and
then train or build them up into the kind of teachers they wish them to

=Choosing a Teacher.=--If I were a member of a school board in a
country district where there is either a good one-room school or a
consolidated school, I should go about securing a good teacher somewhat
as follows: I should keep, so to speak, my "weather eye" open for a
teacher who had become known to some extent in all the surrounding
country; one who had made a name and a reputation for himself. I should
inquire, in regard to this teacher, of the county superintendent and of
his supervising officers. I should make this my business; and then, if I
should become convinced that such a person was the one needed in our
school, and if I had the authority to act, I should employ such a person
regardless of wages or salary. If after a term or two this teacher
should make a satisfactory record, I would then promote him,
unsolicited, and endeavor to keep him as long as he would stay.

=A "Scoop."=--Sometimes there is considerable rivalry among the
newspapers of a city. The editors or local reporters watch for what they
call a "scoop." This is a piece of news that will be very much sought by
the public and which remains unknown to the people or, in fact, to the
other papers until it appears in the one that has discovered it. This is
analogous to what I should try to do in securing a teacher: I should try
to get a veritable educational "scoop" on all the other districts of the
surrounding country. The only way to secure such persons is for some
individual or for the school board to make this a specific business. In
the country districts this might be done by one of the leading
directors; in a consolidated school, by the principal or superintendent.
If it is true that "as the teacher so is the school," it is likewise
true that as is the principal or superintendent so are the teachers.

=What Makes the Difference.=--It will be found that a small difference
in salary will frequently make all the difference between a worthless
and an excellent teacher. It is often the ten or fifteen dollars a month
additional which secures the prize teacher; and so I should make the
difference in salary a secondary consideration; for, after all, the
difference amounts to very little in the taxation on the whole

=A Question of Teachers.=--The question of teachers is the real problem
in education, from the primary school to the great universities. It is
the poor teaching of poor teachers everywhere that sets at naught the
processes of education; and when the American people, and especially the
rural people, realize that this is the heart and center of their
problem, and when they realize also that the difference, financially,
between a poor teacher and a good one is so small, they will rise to the
occasion and proceed to a correct solution of their problem.



In the preceding chapter we discussed the type of person that should be
in evidence everywhere in the teaching profession. Such a type is
absolutely necessary to the attainment of genuine success. In rural
schools this type is by no means too common, and in the whole field of
elementary and higher education it is much more rare than it should be.
Because of the frequent appearance of the opposite type in colleges and
in other schools, the teacher and the professor have been often
caricatured to their discredit. There is usually some truth underlying a
caricature; a cartoon would lack point if it did not possess a
substratum of fact.

=The "Mode."=--Now, there is often in the public mind this poorer type
of teacher; and when an idea or an ideal, however low, becomes once
established, it is changed only with difficulty. The commonplace
individual, the mediocre type of man or of woman, is by many regarded as
a fairly typical representative of what the teacher usually is; or, as
the statistician would express it, he is the "mode" rather than the
average. The "mode" in any class of objects or of individuals is the
one that occurs oftenest, the one most frequently met with. And so this
inactive, nondescript sort of person is often thought of as the typical
teacher. He has no very high standing either financially or socially,
and so has no great influence on the individuals around him or on the
community in general. This conception has become so well established in
the public mind, and is so frequently met with, that all teachers are
regarded as being of the same type. The better teachers, the strong
personalities, are brought into this same class and must suffer the

=The "Mode" in Labor.=--This same process of classifying individuals may
be seen in other spheres also. In some sections of the country it is the
method of estimating the worth of laboring men; all in the same class
are considered equal; all of a class are reduced to the same level and
paid the same wages. One man can do and often does the work of two or
three men, and does it better; yet he must labor for the same common

=The "Mode" in Educational Institutions.=--The same is to a great extent
true of the popular estimate of educational institutions. In the public
mind an institution is merely an "institution." One is thought of as
doing practically the same work as another; so when institutions come
before legislatures for financial recognition in the way of
appropriations, one institution is considered as deserving as another.
The great public is not keen in its discriminations, whether it be a
case of educational institutions, of laboring men, or of teachers.

=No "Profession."=--The fact is that, in the lower ranks of the
teachers' calling, there is really no _profession_. The personality of
many who engage in the work is too ordinary to professionalize any

=Weak Personalities.=--This condition of affairs has grown partly out of
the fact that we have not, in the different states and in the country at
large, a sufficiently high standard. The examinations are not
sufficiently extensive and intensive to separate the sheep from the
goats. The unqualified thus rush in and drive out the qualified, for the
efficient cannot compete with the inefficient. The calling is in no
sense a "closed" profession, and consequently in the lower ranks it is
scarcely a profession at all.

=Low Standard.=--There is also established in the public mind a certain
standard, or test, for common school teaching. This standard has been
current so long that it has become quite stable, and it seems almost
impossible to change it. As in the case of some individuals when they
become possessed of an idea, it is almost impossible to dispossess the
social mind of this low standard.

=The Norm of Wages Too Low.=--In regard to the wages of teachers it may
be said that there is fixed in the social mind also, a certain _norm_.
As in the case of personality and of standard qualifications, a certain
amount of wages has long been regarded as representing the sum which a
teacher ought to receive. For rural schools this is probably about fifty
dollars a month; in fact, in most states the average wage paid to rural
school teachers is below that amount. But let us say that fifty dollars
is the amount that has become established in the popular mind as a
reasonable salary. Here, as in the other cases, it is very difficult to
change ideas established by long custom. For many years people have been
accustomed to think of teachers receiving certain salaries, and they
refuse to consider any higher sums as appropriate. This, of course, is
an egregious blunder. The rural schools can never be lifted above their
present plane of efficiency until these three conceptions, (1) that of
personality, (2) that of standard, and, (3) that of wages, are revised
in the public mind. There will have to be a great revolution in the
thought of the people in regard to these inseparable things.

=The Inseparables.=--The fact is that, (1) strong personalities, (2) a
high standard of qualifications, (3) and a respectable salary go hand in
hand. They rise and fall together; they are reactive, one upon the
other. The strong personality implies the ability to meet a high
standard and demands reasonable compensation. The same is true of the
high standard--it selects the strong personality and this in turn cannot
be secured except at a good salary. It may be maintained that if school
boards really face the question in earnest, and are willing to offer
good salaries, strong personalities who are able to meet that high
standard can always be secured. Professor Hugo Münsterberg says: "Our
present civilization shows that in every country really decisive
achievement is found only in those fields which draw the strongest
minds, and that they are drawn only where the greatest premiums are
tempting them."[2]

[Footnote 2: Psychology and Social Sanity, p. 82.]

=Raise the Standard First.=--The best way, then, to attack the problem
is, first, to raise the standard. This will eliminate inferior teachers
and retain or attract those of superior qualifications. It is to be
regretted that we have not, in the United States, a more uniform
standard for teaching in the common schools. Each state has its own
laws, its own standard. It would not, we think, be asking too much to
provide that no person should teach in any grade of school, rural or
elementary, in the United States, unless such person has had a course
for teachers equivalent to at least three years of work in the high
school or normal school, with pedagogical preparation and training. In
fact, a national law making such a uniform standard among the teachers
in the common schools of the country would be an advantage. But this is
probably more than we can expect in the near future. As it is, there
should be a conference of the educational authorities in each state to
agree upon a standard for teaching, with a view to uniform state

=More Men.=--One of the great needs of the calling is more men. There
was a time when all teachers were men; now nearly all teachers are
women. There is as much reason for one condition as for the other.
Without going into an analysis of the situation or the causes which make
it desirable that there should be more men in the teaching profession,
it is, we think, generally granted that the conditions would be better,
educationally, socially, and every other way, if the number of men and
women in the work were about evenly divided.

=Coöperation Needed.=--Educational movements and influences have spread
downward and outward from above. The great universities of the world
were established before the secondary and elementary school systems came
into existence. Thought settles down from leaders who are in high
places. We have shown in a former chapter that the state universities,
the agricultural colleges, the normal schools, and the high schools have
had a wonderful development within the last generation, while the rural
school has too often lagged perceptibly behind. The country districts
have helped to support in every way the development of the higher
schools; now an excellent opportunity presents itself for all the higher
and secondary educational influences to unite in helping to advance the
interests and increase the efficiency of the rural schools.

=The Supply.=--The question is sometimes asked whether the right kind of
teachers can be secured, if higher salaries are offered. There can be
no doubt at all on this point. Where the demand exists and where there
is sufficient inducement offered, the supply is always forthcoming. Men
are always at hand to engage in the most menial and even the most
dangerous occupations if a sufficient reward, financial or otherwise, is
offered. For high wages men are induced to work in factories where
mercury must be handled and where it is well known that life is
shortened many years as a consequence. Men are secured to work long
hours in the presence of red-hot blast furnaces and in the lowest depths
of the holds of ships. Can it be possible that with a reasonable salary
the strongest kind of men would not be attracted to a calling that has
as many points of interest and as many attractions as teaching?

=Make It Fashionable.=--A great deal depends upon making any work or any
calling fashionable. All that is needed is for the tide to turn in that
direction. It is difficult to say how much salary will stop the outward
tide and cause it to set in the other direction; but one thing is
certain, we shall never completely solve the rural school problem until
the tide turns.

=The Retirement System.=--Strong personalities will, then, help to make
teaching attractive and fashionable, as well as effectual. There is a
movement now becoming quite extensive which will also add to the
attractiveness of the teacher's calling. A system or plan of insurance
and retirement is now being installed in many states for the benefit of
teachers who become incapacitated or who have taught a certain period of
time. This plan gives a feeling of contentment, and also a feeling of
security against the stress and needs of old age, which will do much to
hold strong people in the profession. The fear of being left penniless
in later life and dependent upon others or upon the state, induces,
without doubt, a great many persons to leave a calling so poorly paid,
in order that they may, in more generous vocations, lay something by for
"a rainy day." The truth of this is borne in upon us more strongly when
we remember that teaching is different from law, medicine, or other
professions. In these vocations a man's service usually becomes more and
more in demand as he advances in years, on account of the reputation and
experience he has gained; while in teaching, when a person arrives at
the middle line of life or after, school boards begin to say and to
think, that he is getting too old for the schoolroom, and so they seek
for younger talent. The consequence is that the good and faithful public
servant who has given the best years of his life to the education of the
young is left stranded in old age without an occupation and without
money. The insurance and retirement fund plan is a movement in the right
direction and will do something to help turn the tide of strong
personalities toward the teachers' calling.

=City and Country Salaries--Effects.=--The average salary for rural
school teachers in one state I find to be $45 a month. In that same
state the average salary of teachers in the city and town schools is $55
a month. Now, under such conditions, it is very difficult to secure a
good corps of teachers for the rural schools. If the ratio were reversed
and the rural schools paid $55 a month, while the cities and towns paid
only $45, there would be more chance of each securing teachers of equal
ability. Even then, teachers would prefer to go to the city at the lower
salary on account of the additional attractions and conveniences and the
additional facilities and opportunities of every kind for

In the state referred to, the average salary of all teachers in the
common schools was $51 a month. It is utterly impossible to realize a
"profession" on such a financial basis as this. Forty-five or fifty
dollars a month for rural teachers is altogether too low. This must be
raised fifty, if not one hundred per cent, in order that a beginning may
be made in the solution of the rural school problem. Where $50 a month
seems to be the going wage, if school boards would offer $75 and then
see to it that the persons whom they hire are efficient, an attempt at
the solution of the problem in that district or neighborhood would be
made. Is it possible that any good, strong, educated, and cultured
person can be secured for less than $75 a month? If in such a district
there were eight months of school this would mean only 8 x $25, or $200
more than had been paid previously. For ten sections of land this would
mean about $20 a section, or $5 a quarter section, in addition to what
they had been paying with unsatisfactory results.

This sum often represents the difference between a poor school and a
good school. With a fifty-dollar teacher, constructive work was likely
lacking. There was little activity in the neighborhood; the pupils or
the people had not been fully waked up. There had not been enough
thinking and talking of education and of schools, enough reading, or
talking about books, about education, about things of the higher life.
Under the seventy-five-dollar teacher, wisely chosen, all this is

=The Solution Demands More.=--Instead of $75, a community should pay to
a wide-awake person, who takes hold of a situation in a neighborhood and
keeps things moving, at least $100 a month. With nine months' school
this would mean $900; and it is strange, indeed, if a person in the
prime of life who has spent many years in the preparation of his work,
and who has initiative and push, is not worth $100 a month for nine
months in the year. To such a person the people of that neighborhood
intrust their dearest and priceless possessions--their own children. If
we remember that, as the twig is bent the tree is inclined, there need
be no hesitation about the value of efficient teaching during the
plastic period of childhood. In fact, it may easily be maintained that
the salary should be even higher than this. But, if this be so, how far
are we at present from even a beginning of the solution of our rural
school problem!

=A Good School Board.=--A good school board is one whose members are
alive to their duties and wide-awake to the problems of education. They
are men or women who have an intelligent grasp of the situation and who
will earnestly attempt to solve the educational problems of school and
of life in their community.

=Board and Teacher.=--If a poor teacher and a good school board are
brought together the chances are that they will soon part company. A
good school board will not retain a poor teacher longer than it is
compelled to do so. A poor school board and a good teacher will also
part company, for the good teacher will not stay; he will leave and find
relief as soon as possible. Under a poor school board and a poor teacher
nothing will be done; the children, instead of being educated, will be
de-educated. Quarrels and dissensions will be created in the
neighborhood and a miserable condition, educationally and socially, will
prevail. If a good school board and a good teacher join hands, the
problem is solved, or at least is in a fair way to being solved. This
last condition will mean an interested school, a united neighborhood, a
live, wide-awake, and happy community.

=The Ideal.=--It is as impossible to describe a successful solution of
the problems of any particular school as it is to paint the lily, the
rose, or the rainbow. All are equally indescribable and intangible, but
nevertheless the more real, potent, and inspiring on that account. Such
a situation means the presence of a strong life, a strong mind, and a
strong hand exemplifying ideals every day. This is education, this is
growth, this is real life.



=Imitation.=--There are two processes by which all progress is attained,
namely, imitation and invention. Imitation is found everywhere, in all
spheres of thought and of action. Children are great imitators, and
adults are only children grown up. Imitation, of course, is a necessary
thing. Without it no use could be made of past experience. When it
conserves and propagates the good it is to be commended; but the
worthless and the bad are often imitated also. As imitation is necessary
for the preservation of past experience, so invention is equally
essential in blazing new paths of thought and of action. It is probably
true that all persons are more prone to imitation than to invention.

=The Country Imitates the City.=--The rural schools have always imitated
the city schools, as rural life attempts to imitate city life. Many of
the books used in rural schools have been written largely with city
conditions in mind and by authors who have been city bred or city won.
These books have about them the atmosphere and the flavor of the city.
Their selections as a rule contain references and allusions without
number to city life, and give a cityward bent; their connotation and
attitude tend to direct the mind toward the city. As a consequence even
school textbooks have been potent aids in the urban trend.

=Textbooks.=--It is not urged that the subject matter of textbooks be
made altogether rural in its applications and references. The books
should not be completely _ruralized_; nor should there be two sets of
books, one for the country and one for the city. But there should be a
more even balance between the city aspect and the rural aspect of
textbooks, whether used in the country or in the city. If some of the
texts now used were rewritten with the purpose of attaining that
balance, they would greatly assist the curriculum in both country and
city schools. There is no reason why city children should not have their
minds touched by the life, the thought, and the activities of the
country; and it is granted that country children should be made
conscious and cognizant of the life, the thought, and the activities of
the city. There is no more reason why textbooks should carry the urban
message, than that they should be dominantly ruralizing.

=An Interpreting Core.=--The experiences of country children are of all
kinds; rural life, thought, and aspirations constitute the very
development of their consciousness and minds. In all their practical
experiences rural life and thought form the anchorage of their later
academic instruction. This early experience constitutes what the
Herbartians term their "apperception mass"; and children, as well as
grown-ups, can interpret new matter only in terms of the old. The
experiences of the child, which constitute his world of thought, of
discourse, and of action, are the only means by which he grasps and
interprets new thought and experience. Consequently, the texts which
rural children use should make a strong appeal to their apperception
mass--to their old stock and store of knowledge. It is the textbooks
that bring to the old knowledge new mental material which the teacher
and the textbook together attempt to communicate to the children.
Without an interpreting center--a stock and store of old knowledge which
constitute the very mental life of the child--it is impossible for him
to assimilate the new. The old experiences are, in fact, the mental
digestive apparatus of the child. Without this center, or core, the new
instead of being assimilated is, so to speak, merely stuck on. This is
the case with much of the subject matter in city-made texts. It does not
_grow_, but soon withers and falls away. It is, then, essential that the
textbooks used in rural schools should have the rural bent and
application, the rural flavor, the rural beck and welcome.

=Rural Teachers from the City.=--A great many teachers of country
schools come from the city. A number of these are young girls having,
without blame on their part, the tone and temper, the attitude, spirit,
and training which the city gives. Their minds have been _urbanized_;
all their thoughts are city thoughts. The textbooks which they have used
have been city textbooks; their teachers have for the most part been
those in or from the city. It can scarcely be expected that such
teachers can do for the rural districts all that ought to be done. Very
naturally they inspire some of the children with the idea of ultimately
going to the city. This suggestion and this inspiration are given
unconsciously, but in the years of childhood they take deep root and
sooner or later work themselves out in an additional impetus to the
urban trend.

=A Course for Rural Teachers.=--What is needed is a course of
instruction for rural teachers, in every state of the Union. In some
states the agricultural colleges have inaugurated a movement to this
end. In such colleges, agricultural high schools, and institutions of a
similar kind in every state, a three-year course for teachers above the
eighth year, specially designed to prepare them for rural school
teaching, should be established. Such a school would furnish the proper
atmosphere and the proper courses of instruction to suffuse the minds of
these prospective teachers with appreciation and love of country life
and rural school work.

=All Not to Remain in the Country.=--It is not contended here that all
who are born and brought up in the country ought to remain there for
life. Many writers and speakers preach the gospel of "the country for
country children," but this cannot be sound. Each one, as the years go
by, should "find" himself and his own proper place. There are many
children brought up in the country who find their place best in the
heart of the great city; and there are many brought up in the cities who
ultimately find themselves and their place in the country and in its
work. While all this is true it may still be maintained that the proper
mental food for country children is the life and the activities of the
country; and if this life and these activities are made pleasant and
attractive a larger percentage of country children will remain in the
country for the benefit of both country and city.

=Mere Textbook Teaching.=--Many teachers in the country, as well as in
the city, follow literally the textbooks provided for them. Textbooks,
being common and general, must leave the application of the thought
largely to the teacher. To follow them is probably the easiest kind of
teaching, for the mind then moves along the line of least resistance.
Accordingly the tendency is merely to teach textbooks, without
libraries, laboratories, and other facilities for the application of the
thought of the text. Application and illustration are always difficult.
It frequently happens that children go through their textbooks under the
guidance of their more or less mechanical teachers, without making any
application of their knowledge. Their learning seems to be stored away
in pigeonholes and never used again. That in one pigeonhole does not
mix with that in another. Their thoughts and their education in
different fields are in no sense united. Pupils are surprised if they
are asked or expected to use their knowledge in any practical manner. A
man who had a tank, seven feet in diameter and eight feet high, about
half full of gasoline, asked his daughter, who was completing the eighth
grade, to figure out for him how many gallons it contained. She had just
been over "weights and measures" and "denominate numbers" of all kinds.
After much figuring she returned the answer that there were in it about
seven and one half gallons, without ever suspecting the ridiculousness
of the result.

=A Rich Environment.=--The country is so rich in material of all kinds
for scientific observation, that some education should be given to the
rural child in this field. Agriculture and its various activities
surround the child; nature teems with life, both animal and vegetable;
the country furnishes long stretches of meadow and woodland for
observation and study. Yet in most places the children are blind to the
beauties and wonders around them. Nature study in such an environment
should be a fascinating subject, and agriculture is full of
possibilities for the application of the thought in the textbooks.

=Who Will Teach These Things?=--But who will teach these new sciences or
open the eyes of the child to the beauties around him? Not everyone can
do it. It will require a master. Teaching "at" these things in a dull,
perfunctory way will do no good. It would be better to leave them
untaught. We have, everywhere, too much "attempting" to teach and not
enough teaching, too much seeming and not enough being, too much
appearance and not enough reality.

An example will illustrate the author's meaning. Some years ago an
experienced institute conductor in a western state found himself the
sole instructor when the teachers of the county convened. He sought
among the teachers for someone who could and would give him assistance.
One man of middle age, who had taught for many years, volunteered to
take the subject of arithmetic and to give four lessons of forty minutes
each in it during the week. This was good news to the conductor; he
congratulated himself on having found some efficient help. His
assistant, however, after talking on arithmetic for ten minutes of his
first period, reached the limit of his capacity, either of thought or of
expression, and had to stop. He could not say another word on that
subject during the week! Now if this is true of an experienced
middle-aged teacher of a subject so universally taught as arithmetic,
how much more true must it be of an instructor in a subject like
agriculture. It should not be expected that a young girl, eighteen or
twenty years of age, who has probably been brought up in the city and
who has had the subject of agriculture only one period a day for a year,
can give any adequate instruction in that branch. She would be the butt
for ridicule among the practical boys and girls in the country who
would probably know more about such things than she. She would,
therefore, lose the respect and confidence of pupils and parents, and it
would really be better for her and for all concerned not to attempt the
teaching of that subject at all. What is worth doing at all is worth
doing well. A little instruction well given and well applied is worth
any amount of "stuff" poorly done and unapplied.

=The Scientific Spirit Needed.=--There is great need of teachers who are
thoroughly imbued with the scientific spirit. In the country especially
there is need of teachers who will rouse the boys and girls to the
investigation of problems from the facts at hand and all around them.
This should be done inductively and in an investigative spirit. Our
whole system of education seems somewhat vitiated by the deductive
attitude and method of teaching--the assuming of theories handed down by
the past, without investigation or verification. This is the kind of
teaching which has paralyzed China for untold generations. The easiest
thing to do is to accept something which somebody else has formulated
and then, without further ado, to be content with it. The truly
scientific mind, the investigative mind, is one that starts with facts
or phenomena and, after observing a sufficient number of them,
formulates a conclusion and tests it. This will result in real
thinking--which is the same as "thinging." It is putting _things_ into
causal relation and constructing from them, unity out of diversity. To
induce this habit of thought, to inspire this spirit of investigation
and observation in children is the essence of teaching. To teach is to
cause others to _think_, and the man or woman who does this is a
successful teacher.

=A Course of Study.=--There should be in every rural school a simple and
suggestive course of study. This should not be as large as a textbook.
The purpose of it is not to indicate at great length and in detail
either the matter or the manner of teaching any specific subject. It
should be merely an outline of the metes and bounds in the processes and
the progress of pupils through the grades. The course of study should be
a means, not an end; it should be a servant and not a master. It should
not entail upon the school or upon the teacher a vast complicated
machinery or an endless routine of red tape. If it does this it defeats
its true aim. Here again the country schools have attempted to imitate
the city schools. In all cities grading is much more systematized, and
is pushed to a greater extent than it is or should be in the country.
Owing to the necessities of the situation and also to the convenience of
the plan in the cities, the grades, with their appropriate books, amount
of work, and plan of procedure, are much more definite than is possible
or desirable in the country. To grade the country schools as definitely
and as systematically as is done in the city would be to do them an
irreparable injury. The country would make a great mistake to imitate
the city school systems in its courses of study.

=Red Tape.=--It sometimes happens that county and state superintendents,
in performing the duties of their office, think it necessary to impose
upon the country schools a variety of tests, examinations, reports, and
what-not, which accomplish but little and may result in positive injury.
To pile up complications and intricacies having no practical educational
value is utterly useless. It indicates the lack of a true conception of
the school situation. Such haphazard methods will not teach alone any
more than a saw will saw alone. Behind it all must be the simple, great
teacher, and for him all these things, beyond a reasonable extent, are
hindrances to progress.

=Length of Term.=--In very many country districts the terms are
frequently only six months in the year. This should be extended to eight
at least. Even in this case, it gives the rural school a shorter term
than the city school, which usually has nine or ten months each year.
But it is very probable that the simplicity of rural school life and
rural school teaching will enable pupils to do as much in eight months
as is done in the city in nine.

=Individual Work.=--Individual work should be the rule in many subjects.
There is no need, on account of numbers, of a lock-step. In the cities,
where the teacher has probably an average of 35 to 40 children, all the
pupils are held together and in line. In such cases the great danger is
to those above the average. There is the danger of forming what might be
called the "slow habit." The bright pupils are retarded in their work,
for they are capable of much more than they do. In such cases the
retardation is not on account of the inability of the pupil but on
account of the system. The bright ones are held back in line with the
slow. This need not be the case in rural schools. Here, in every subject
which lends itself to the plan, each pupil should be allowed to go as
far and as fast as he can, provided that he appreciates the thought,
solves the problems, and understands the work as he goes. I once knew a
large rural school in which there were enrolled about sixty pupils,
taking the subjects of all the grades, from the first to the eighth and
even some high school subjects. In such classes as arithmetic the pupils
were, so to speak, "turned loose" and all entered upon a race for the
goal. Each one did as much as he could, his attainments being subjected
to the test of examination. The plan worked excellently; no one was
retarded, and all were intensely busy.

="Waking Up the Mind."=--The main thing in any school is not the amount
of knowledge which pupils get from textbooks or from the teacher, but
the extent to which the mind appropriates that knowledge and is "waked
up" by it. Mr. Page in his excellent classic, _The Theory and Practice
of Teaching_, has a chapter called "Waking Up the Mind" and some
excellent illustrations as to how it may be done. The main thing is not
the amount of mere knowledge or information held in memory for future
delivery, but the spirit and attitude of it all. The extent to which
children's minds are made awake and sensitive, and the extent to which
they are inspired to pursue with zest and spirit any new problem are the
best criterions of success in teaching. The spirit and method of attack
is all-important; quantity is secondary. If children have each other, so
to speak, "by the ears," over some problem from one day to the next, it
indicates that the school and the teacher are awake, that they are up
and doing, and that education, which is a process of leavening, is
taking place.

=The Overflow of Instruction.=--On account of the individual work which
is possible in the country schools, what is sometimes called the
"overflow of instruction" is an important factor in the stimulation and
the education of all the children in the room. In the city school, where
all are on a dead level, doing the same work, there is not much
information or inspiration descending from above, for there is no class
above. But in the rural school, children hear either consciously or
unconsciously much that is going on around them. They hear the larger
boys and girls recite and discuss many interesting things. These
discussions wake up minds by sowing the seeds which afterwards come to
flower and fruit in those who listen--in those who, in fact, cannot help

I remember an incident which occurred during my experience as a pupil in
a country school. A certain county superintendent, who used to visit the
school periodically, was in the habit, on these occasions, of reading to
the school for probably half an hour. Just what he read I do not even
remember, but I recall vividly his quiet manner and attitude, his
beautiful and simple expression, and the whole tone and temper of the
man as he gathered the thought and expressed it so beautifully and so
artistically. This type of thing has great influence. It is often the
intangible thing that tells and that is valuable. In every case, that
which is most artistically done is probably that which leaves its

=Affiliation.=--In some states, notably in Minnesota, an excellent plan
is in vogue by which the schools surrounding a town or a city are
affiliated with the city schools in such a manner as to receive the
benefit of the instruction of certain special teachers from the city.
These teachers--of manual training, domestic science, agriculture,
etc.--are sent out from the city to these rural schools two or three
times a week, and in return the country children beyond a certain grade
are sent to the high school in the city. This is a process of
affiliation which is stimulating and economical, and can be encouraged
with good results.

[Illustration: A Christmas gathering at the new school]

[Illustration: A school garden in the larger center]

=The "Liking Point."=--In the teaching of all subjects the important
thing is that the pupil reach what may be termed the "liking point."
Until a pupil has reached that point in any subject of study his work
is mere drudgery--it is work which is probably disliked. The great
problem for the teacher is to bring the child as soon as possible to
this liking point, and then to keep him there. It is probable that every
pupil can be brought to the liking point of every subject by a good
teacher. Where there is difficulty in doing this, something has gone
wrong somewhere, either on the part of the pupil, his former teachers,
his parents, or his companions. When a pupil has reached the liking
point it means that he has a keen relish, an appetite for the subject,
and in this condition he will actively pursue it.

=The Teacher the Chief Factor.=--The foregoing observations imply again
that the teacher, after all, is the great factor in the success of the
school. He is the "man behind the gun"; he is the engineer at the
throttle; he is the master at the helm; he is the guide, for he has been
over the road; he is the organizer, the center of things; he is the
mainspring; he is the soul of the school, and is greater than books or
courses of study. He is the living fire at which all the children must
light their torches. Again we ask, how can this kind of person be found?
Without him true education, in its best sense, cannot be secured; with
him the paltry consideration of salary should not enter. Without such
teachers there can be no solution of the rural school problems, nor,
indeed, of the rural life problems. With him and those of his class,
there is great hope.



During the past few years we have heard much of what is called the
"social center," or the "community center," in rural districts. This
idea has grown with the spread of the consolidation of schools, and
means, as the name implies, a unifying, coördinating, organizing agency
of some kind in the midst of the community, to bring about a harmony and
solidity of all the interests there represented. It implies of course a
leader; for what is left to be done by people in general is likely to be
done poorly. There is no doubt that this idea should be encouraged and
promoted. People living in the country are of necessity forced to a life
of isolation. Their very work and position necessitate this, and
consequently it is all the more necessary that they should frequently
come together in order to know each other and to act together for the
benefit of all. "In union there is strength," but these people have
always been under a great disadvantage in every way, because they have
not organized for the purpose of united and effective coöperation.

=The Teacher, the Leader.=--There is no more appropriate person to bring
about this organization, this unification, this increased solidarity,
than the public school teacher of the community; but it will require the
head and the hand of a real master to lead a community--to organize it,
to unite it, and to keep it united. It requires a person of rare
strength and tact, a person who has a clear head and a large heart, and
who is "up and doing" all the time. A good second to such a person would
be the minister of the neighborhood, provided he has breadth of view and
a kindly and tolerant spirit. Much of the success of rural life in
foreign countries, notably in Denmark, is due to the combined efforts of
the schoolmaster and the minister of the community church.

=Some Community Activities.=--Let us suggest briefly some of the
activities that are conducive to the fuller life of such a social
center. It is true that these activities are more possible in the
consolidated districts than in the communities where consolidation has
not been effected; but many of them could be provided even in the small

=The Literary Society.=--There should be in every school district a
literary society of some kind. This of course must not be overworked,
for other kinds of activities also should be organized in order to give
the change which interest demands. In this literary society the interest
and assistance of the adults of the neighborhood and the district, who
are willing and able to coöperate, should be enlisted. There are in
every community a few men and women who will gladly assist in a work of
this kind if their interest can be properly aroused. There is scarcely
any better stimulus to the general interest of a neighborhood, and
especially of the children in the school, than seeing and hearing some
of the grown-up men and women who are their neighbors participate in
such literary work.

=Debates.=--An important phase of the literary work of such a society
should be an occasional debate. This might be participated in sometimes
by adults who are not going to school, and sometimes by the bigger and
more advanced pupils. Topics that are timely and of interest to the
whole community should be discussed. There is probably no better way of
teaching a tolerant spirit and respect for the honest opinions of others
than the habit of "give and take" in debate. In such debates judges
could sometimes be appointed and at other times the relative merits of
the case and of the debaters might well be left to the people of the
neighborhood without any formal decision having been rendered. This
latter plan is the one used in practical life in regard to addresses and
debates on the political platform. The discussions and differences of
opinion following such debates constitute no small part of life and
thought manifested later in the community.

=The School Program.=--A program or exhibition by the school should be
given occasionally. This would differ from the work of the literary
society in that it would be confined to the pupils of the school. Such
a program should be a sample of what the pupils are doing and can do. It
should be a mental exhibition of the school activities. There is
scarcely anything that attracts the people and the parents of the
neighborhood more than the literary performances of their children,
younger and older. Such performances, as in other cases, may be
overdone; they may be put forward too frequently; they may also be too
lengthy. But the teacher with a true perspective will see to it that all
such extremes are avoided, for he realizes that there are other
activities which must be developed and presented in order to secure a
change of interest. These school programs occupy the mind and thought of
the community for some time. The performance of the different parts and
the efforts of the various children--both their successes and their
failures--become the subjects of thought and of talk in the
neighborhood. It acts like a kind of ferment in the social mind; it
keeps the school and the community talking and thinking of school and of

=Spelling Schools.=--For a change, even an old-fashioned spelling school
is not to be scorned. Years ago this was quite the custom. An entire
school would, on a challenge, go as a sleigh-ride party to the
challenging school. There the spelling contest would take place. One of
the teachers, either the host or the guest, would pronounce the words,
and the visiting school would return, either victorious or vanquished.
A performance of this kind enlists the attention and the interest of
people and schools in the necessity of good spelling; it affords a
delightful social recreation, stirs up thought and wakes up mind in both
communities, by an interesting and courteous contest. Such results are
not to be undervalued.

=Lectures.=--If the school is a consolidated one, or even a large
district school, a good lecture course may be given to advantage. Here,
again, care must be taken that the lectures, even if few, shall be
choice. Nothing will kill a course of lectures sooner than to have the
people deceived a few times by poor ones. It would be better to have
three good lectures during the year than six that would be
disappointing. These lecture courses may be secured in almost every
state through the Extension Department of the various state
institutions. Recently the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North
Dakota have entered into an arrangement whereby they will furnish any
rural or urban community of these states with good lecturers at a very
small consideration. Excellent lectures can be secured in this way on a
great variety of subjects, including those most interesting to rural
communities and most helpful in all phases of farm life. These might be
secured in the winter season when there is ample time and leisure for
all to attend.

=Dramatic Performances.=--In the social centers where the conveniences
admit, simple dramatic performances might be worked up or secured from
the outside. It is a fact that life in some country communities is not
sufficiently cheered through the agency of the imagination. The tendency
is for farmers and farmers' families to live a rather humdrum existence
involving a good deal of toil. On the secluded farms during the long
winter months, there is not much social intercourse. It has been
asserted that the isolation and solitariness in sparsely settled
districts are causes of the high percentage of insanity in rural and
frontier communities. It is good for the mental and physical health of
both old and young to be lifted, once in a while, out of the world of
reality into that of the imagination. All children and young people like
to play, to act, to make believe. This is a part of their life, and it
is conducive to their mental and social welfare to express themselves in
simple plays or to see life in its various phases presented dramatically
by others.

=A Musical Program.=--If the teacher is a leader he will either be able,
himself, to arrange a musical entertainment, or he will secure some one
who can and will do so. All, it is contended, can learn to sing if they
begin early enough; and there is probably no better mode of
self-expression and no better way of waking up people emotionally and
socially than to engage them in singing. The importance of singing, to
secure good and right emotional attitudes toward life and mankind, is
indicated in the saying, "Let me make the songs of a nation and I care
not who makes her laws." The importance of singing is recognized to a
much greater extent in foreign countries, notably in Germany, than in
America. In Germany all sing; in America, it is to be regretted, but few
sing. There should be a real renaissance in music throughout the
country. As an aid in the teaching of music and of song, that marvelous
invention, the "talking machine," should be made use of. It would be an
excellent thing if a phonograph could be put in every school. Children
would become acquainted with the best music; they would grow to like it,
as the weeks, months, and years roll on. This machine is a wonderful
help in developing an appreciation of good music.

=Slides and Moving Pictures.=--In the consolidated schools, where there
is a suitable hall, a moving-picture entertainment of the right kind is
to be commended. The screens and the lantern enable us, in our
imaginations, to live in all countries and climes. The eye is the royal
road to the mind, and most people are eye-minded; and the moving picture
is a wonderful agency to convey to the mind, through the eye, accurate
pictures of the world around us, natural and social. The community
center--the school center--should avail itself of all such inventions.

=Supervised Dancing.=--Even the supervised dance, where the sentiment of
the community will allow, is not to be condemned. It is much better to
have young people attend dances that are supervised than to attend
public dances that are not supervised; and young people, as a rule,
will attend one or the other. The practical question or condition is one
of supervision or no supervision, for the dance is here. The dance
properly supervised, and conducted in a courteous, formal way, beginning
and closing at the right time, can probably be turned to good and made
an occasion for social and individual culture. The niceties and
amenities of life can there be inculcated. There is no good reason why
the dance activities should be turned over to the devil. There was a
time and there were places where violin playing was turned over to him
and banished from the churches. Dancing is too old, too general, too
instinctive, and too important, not to be recognized as a means to
social culture. Here again the sane teacher can be an efficient
supervisor. He can take care that the young people do not become
entirely dance-minded.

=Sports and Games.=--The various sports should not be forgotten.
Skating, curling, and hockey, basketball, and volley ball, are all fine
winter sports; in summer, teams should be organized in baseball, tennis,
and all the proper athletic sports and games. Play should be supervised
to a certain extent; over-supervision will kill it. Sometimes plays that
are not supervised at all degenerate and become worse than none. All of
these physical activities and sports should be found and fostered in the
rural center. They are healthful, both physically and mentally, and
should be participated in by both girls and boys.

It is probably true that our schools and our education have stood, to
too great an extent, for mere intellectual acquisition and training. In
Sparta of old, education was probably nine tenths physical and one tenth
mental. In these modern days education seems to be about ninety-nine
parts mental. A sound body is the foundation of a sound mind, and time
is not lost in devoting much attention to the play and games of children
and young people. There is no danger in the schools of our day of going
to an extreme in the direction of physical education; the danger is in
not going far enough. I am not sure that it would not be better if the
children in every school were kept in the open air half the time
learning and participating in various games and sports, instead of, as
now, poring over books and memorizing a lot of stuff that will never
function on land or sea.

=School Exhibits.=--In the social centers a school exhibit could be
occasionally given with great profit. If domestic science is taught, an
occasion should be made to invite the people of the neighborhood to
sample the products, for the test of the pudding is in the eating. This
would make a delightful social occasion for the men and women of the
community to meet each other, and the after-effects in the way of
favorable comment and thought would be good. If manual training is an
activity of the school, as it ought to be, a good exhibit of the product
of this department could be given. If agriculture is taught and there
is a school garden, as there should be, an exhibit once a year would
produce most desirable effects in the community along agricultural

=A Public Forum.=--Aside from provisions for school activities in this
social center there should be a hall where public questions can be
discussed. All political parties should be given equal opportunities to
present their claims before the people of the community. This would tend
toward instruction, enlightenment, and toleration. The interesting
questions of the day, in political and social life, should be discussed
by exponents chosen by the social center committee. In America we have
learned the lesson of listening quietly to speakers in a public meeting,
whether we agree with them or not. In some countries, when a man rises
to expound his political theories, he is hissed down or driven from the
stage by force. This is not the American way. In America each man has
his hour, and all listen attentively and respectfully to him. The next
evening his opponent may have his hour, his inning, and the audience is
as respectful to him. This is as it should be; this is the true spirit
of toleration which should prevail everywhere and which can be
cultivated to great advantage in these rural, social centers. It makes,
too, for the fullness of life in rural communities. It makes country
life more pleasant and serves in some degree to counteract the strong
but regrettable urban trend.

=Courtesy and Candor.=--There are two extremes in debates and in public
discussions which should be equally avoided: The first is that brutal
frankness which forgets to be courteous; and the second is that extreme
of hypocritical courtesy which forgets to be candid. What is needed
everywhere is the candor which is also courteous and the courtesy which
is likewise candid. In impulsive youth and in lack of education and
culture, brutal candor without courtesy sometimes manifests itself;
while courtesy without candor is too often exhibited by shrewd
politicians and diplomatic intriguers.

=Automobile Parties.=--A delightful and profitable occasion could be
made by the men of the rural community who are the owners of
automobiles, by taking all the children of the community and of the
schools, once in a while, for an automobile ride to near or distant
parts of the county. Such an occasion would never be forgotten by them.
It would be enjoyable to those who give as well as to those who receive,
and would have great educational as well as social value. It would bind
together both young and old of the community. Occasions like these would
also conduce to the good-roads movement so commendable and important
throughout the country. The automobile and the consolidation of rural
schools, resulting in social centers, are large factors in the
good-roads movement.

=Full Life or a Full Purse.=--The community which has been centralized
socially and educationally may often bring upon itself additional
expense to provide the necessary hall, playgrounds, and other
conveniences required to realize and to make all of these activities
most effective. But this is a local problem which must be tackled and
solved by each community for itself. The community where the right
spirit prevails will realize that they must make some sacrifices. If a
thing is worth while, the proper means must be provided. One cannot have
the benefit without paying the cost. It is a question as to which a
community will choose: a monotonous, isolated life _with_ the
accumulation of some money, or an active, enthusiastic, educational, and
social life _without_ so many dollars. It is really a choice between
money with little life on the one hand, and a little less money with
more fullness of life on the other. Life, after all, is the only thing
worth while, and in progressive communities its enrichment will be
chosen at any cost. Here again it is the duty of the teacher to bring
about the right spirit and attitude and the right decision in regard to
all these important questions.

=Organization.=--A community which is socially and educationally
organized will need a central post office and town hall, a community
store, a grain elevator, a church, and possibly other community
agencies. All of these things tend to solidify and bring together the
people at a common center.

This suggests organization of some kind in the community. The old
grange was good in its ideal; the purpose was to unite and bring people
together for mutual help. There should probably be a young men's society
of some kind, and an organization of the girls and women of the
community. It is true that the matter may be overdone and we may have
such a thing as activity merely for the sake of activity. It was Carlyle
who said that some people are noted for "fussy littleness and an
infinite deal of nothing." The golden mean should apply here as

=The Inseparables.=--To bring all of these things about requires talent
and ingenuity on the part of the leader or leaders; and we come again to
the inseparables mentioned in a former chapter. It will require a great
personality to organize. The word "great" implies a high standard; and
strong personalities, such as are capable of managing a social center,
cannot possibly be secured without an adequate inducement in the way of
salary. Proper compensation cannot mean sixty, seventy-five, or one
hundred dollars a month. It must mean also permanence of position. Again
we come face to face with the problem of the teacher in our solution of
the problem of rural life and the rural school.

In conclusion it must be said that nothing is too good for the country
which is not too good for the city. The rural community must determine
to have all these good things at any cost, if it wishes to work out its
own salvation.



=Important.=--Supervision is fully as important as teaching. The
supervisor must be, to even a higher degree than the teacher, a strong
personality, and this too implies a high standard and an attractive
salary. The supervisor or superintendent must be somewhat of an expert
in the methods of teaching all the common school subjects. Not only must
he understand school discipline and organization in its details, but he
must possess the ability to "turn in" and exemplify his qualifications
at any time. It will be seen everywhere that the supervisor or
superintendent is the expensive person; for, having the elements of
leadership, he is in demand in educational positions as well as in
outside callings. Consequently it is only by a good financial
inducement, as a rule, that a competent supervisor can be retained in
the profession.

=Supervision Standardizes.=--Without the superintendent or supervisor,
no common standard can be attained or maintained. It is he who keeps the
force up to the line; without him each teacher is a law unto himself and
there will be as many standards as there are teachers. Human nature is
innately slothful and negligent, and needs the spirit of supervision to
keep it toned up to the necessary pitch. Supervision over a large force
of workers of any kind is absolutely necessary to secure efficiency, and
to keep service up to a high standard.

=Supervision Can Be Overdone.=--The necessity for supervision is clearly
felt in the city systems. There they have a general superintendent,
principals of buildings, and supervisors in various special lines. A
system of schools in the city without supervision would simply go to
pieces. It would soon cease to be a system, and would become chaotic. It
may be, it is true, that in some cities there is too much supervision;
it may become acute and pass the line of true efficiency. Indeed, in
some cities the red tape may become so complicated and systematized that
it becomes an end, and schools and pupils seem to exist for supervisors
and systems instead of _vice versa_. It is probably true that the
constant presence of a supervisor who is adversely critical may do
injury to the efficiency of a good teacher. No one can teach as well
under disapprobation as he can where he feels that his hands are free;
and so in some places supervision may act as a wet blanket. It may
suppress spontaneity, initiative, and real life in the school. But this
is only an abuse of a good thing, and probably does not occur
frequently. In any event, the exception would only prove the rule.
Supervision is as necessary in a system of schools as it is in a
railroad or in large industries.

[Illustration: A basket ball team for the girls]

[Illustration: A brass band for the young men]

[Caption for the above illustrations: ACTIVITIES OF THE CONSOLIDATED SCHOOL]

=Needed in Rural Schools.=--The country partakes of the same isolation
in regard to its schools as it does in regard to life in general. This
isolation is accentuated where there is little or no supervision.
Without it, the necessary stimulus seldom or never touches the life of
the teacher or the school. There is little uplift; the school runs along
in its ordinary, humdrum fashion, and never measures itself with other
schools, and is seldom measured by a supervisor. A poor teacher may be
in the chair one term and a good teacher another. The terms are short
and the service somewhat disconnected. The whole situation gives the
impression to people, pupils, and teacher that education is not of very
great value.

=No Supervision in Some States.=--In some states there is but little
supervision. There may be, it is true, a district board, but these are
laymen, much better acquainted with the principles of farming than with
those of teaching. They have no standards for judging a school and
seldom visit one. The selection known as the "Deestrict Skule"
illustrates fairly well the ability of the old-time school board to pass
judgment upon the professional merits of the teacher.

=Nominal Supervision.=--In other states there is a county superintendent
on part time who has a kind of general but attenuated supervision over
all the schools of a county. He is usually engaged in some other line of
work--in business, in medicine, in law, in preaching--and can give only
a small portion of his time to the work of superintendence. Indeed,
this means only an occasional visit to the school, probably once every
one or two years, and such simple and necessary reports as are demanded
by the state superintendent or State Board of Education. Such
supervision, however honestly performed, accomplishes but little. The
superintendent may visit the teacher to-day, but when he returns a year
hence, he is likely to find another teacher in charge. Under such
circumstances, what can he do? He has seen the teacher at work for half
an hour or an hour; he offers a suggestion, or makes some complimentary
remark, and goes his way. No one realizes better than he how little he
has been able to accomplish. And yet, under existing circumstances he
has done all that could be expected.

=Some Supervision.=--There are, elsewhere, county superintendents who
devote their whole time to the work, but who are chosen for short terms
and in a political campaign. Very frequently these men are elected for
political reasons quite as much as for educational fitness. If a
superintendent so elected is politically minded--and I regret to say
that sometimes this is the case--he will probably devote much time,
energy, and thought to paving the way for reëlection. Expecting to be a
candidate for a second term, he will use his best efforts to impress the
public mind in his favor. This sometimes results in greater attention to
the duties of his office and the consequent betterment of the schools;
but, too often, it works in the opposite direction. Being elected for
only two years, he has not the time to carry out any educational policy
no matter how excellent his plans may be. Of course many persons chosen
in this way make excellent and efficient officers, but the plan is bad.
The good superintendent frequently loses out soonest.

=An Impossible Task.=--Superintendents sometimes have under their
jurisdiction from one hundred to two hundred, or even more, schools
separated by long distances. The law usually prescribes that the county
superintendent shall visit each school at least once a year. This means
that practically he will do no more; indeed it is often impossible to do
more. It means that his visits must of necessity be a mere perfunctory
call of an hour or two's duration with no opportunity to see the same
teacher again at work to determine whether or not she is making
progress, and whether she is carrying out his instructions. Such
so-called supervision, or superintendence, is not supervision at
all--how can it be? The superintendent is only a clerical officer who
does the work required by law, and makes incidentally an annual social
visit to the schools.

=The Problem Not Tackled.=--Such a situation is another evidence that
the states which tolerate the foregoing conditions have not, in any real
and earnest manner, attempted to solve the problem of rural school
supervision. They have merely let things drift along as they would, not
fully realizing the problem or else trusting to time to come to their
aid. Micawber-like, they are waiting for "something to turn up." But
such problems will not solve themselves.

=City Supervision.=--Compare the supervision described above with that
which is usually found in cities. There we usually find a general
superintendent and assistant superintendents; there are high school
principals and a principal at the head of every grade building; there is
also a supervisor of manual training, of domestic science, of music, of
drawing, and possibly of other subjects. When we consider, too, that the
teachers in the city are all close at hand and that the supervisor or
superintendent may drop into any room at any time with scarcely a
minute's notice, we see the difference between city supervision and
country supervision. Add to this the fact that cities attract the strong
teachers--the professionally trained teachers, the output of the
professional schools--and we can see again how effective supervision
becomes in the city as compared with that in the country. In the country
we find only one superintendent for a county often as large as some of
the older states, and the possibility of visiting each school only about
once a year. Here also are the teachers who are not professionalized, as
a rule, and who, therefore, need supervision most.

=The Purpose of Supervision.=--The main purpose of supervision is to
bring teachers up to a required standard of excellence in their work and
to keep them there. It is always the easiest plan to dismiss a teacher
who is found deficient, but this is cutting the knot rather than untying
it. Efficient and intelligent supervision proceeds along the line of
building such a teacher up, of making her strong where she is weak, of
giving her initiative where she lacks it, of inculcating good methods
where she is pursuing poor ones, of inducing her to come out of her
shell where she is backward and diffident. In other words, the great
work of the supervisor is to elicit from teachers their most active and
hearty response in all positive directions. It should be understood by
teachers--and they should know that the superintendent or supervisor
indorses the idea--that it is always better to go ahead and blunder than
to stand still for fear of blundering; and so, in the presence of a good
supervisor, the teacher is not afraid to let herself out. In the
conference, later, between herself and her supervisor, mistakes may be
pointed out; but, better than this, the best traits of the teacher
should be brought to her mind and the weak ones but lightly referred to.

=What Is Needed.=--What is needed in the rural situation is a county
superintendent chosen because of his professional fitness by a county
board whose members have been elected at large. This board should be
elected on a nonpartisan ticket and so far as possible on a basis of
qualification and of good judgment in educational matters. It should
hold office for a period of years, some members retiring from the board
annually so that there shall not be, at any time, an entirely new board.
This would insure continuity. Another plan for a county board would be
to have the presidents of the district boards act as a county board of
education. Such a board should be authorized--and indeed this tradition
should be established--to select a county superintendent from applicants
from outside as well as inside the county. They should be empowered to
go anywhere in the country for a superintendent with a reputation in the
teaching profession. This is the present plan in cities, and it should
be true also in the selection of a county superintendent.

=The Term.=--The term of office of the county superintendent should be
at the discretion of the county board. It should be not less than three
or four years--of sufficient length to enable a man to carry out a line
of policy in educational administration. The status of the county
superintendency should be similar to that of the city superintendency.

=Assistants.=--The county board should be empowered to provide
assistants for the county superintendent. There should be one such
assistant for about thirty or thirty-five schools. It is almost
impossible for a supervisor to do efficient and effective work if he has
more than this number of schools, located, as they are, some distance
apart. Provision for such assistants, who should, like the
superintendent himself, be experts, is based upon the assumption that
supervision is worth while, and in fact necessary in any system if
success is to be attained. If the supervision of thirty-five schools is
an important piece of work it should be well done, and a person well
qualified for that work should be selected. He should be a person of
sympathetic attitude, of high qualifications, and of experience in the
field of elementary education. The assistants should be carefully
selected by the board on the recommendation of the county
superintendent. Poor supervision is little better than none.

=The Schools Examined.=--The county superintendent and his assistants
should give, periodically, oral and written examinations in each school,
thus testing the work of both the teacher and the pupils. These
examinations should not conform in any perfunctory or red-tape manner to
a literally construed course of study. The course of study is a means
and not an end, and should be, at all points and times, elastic and
adaptable. To make pupils fit the course of study instead of making the
course of study fit the pupils is the old method of the Procrustean
bed--if the person is not long enough for it he is stretched; if too
long, a piece is cut off. Any examination or tests which would wake up
mind and stimulate education in the neighborhood may be resorted to; but
it should be remembered that examinations are likewise a means and not
an end.

Some years ago when I was a county superintendent I tried the plan of
giving such tests in any subject to classes that had completed a
definite portion of that subject and arrived at a good stopping place.
If, for example, the teacher announced that his class had acquired a
thorough knowledge of the multiplication table, I gave a searching test
upon that subject and issued a simple little certificate to the effect
that the pupil had completed it. These little certificates acted like
stakes put down along the way, to give incentive, direction, and
definiteness to the educative processes, and to stimulate a reasonable
class spirit or individual rivalry. I meet these pupils occasionally
now--they are to-day grown men and women--and they retain in their
possession these little colored certificates which they still highly

One portion of my county was populated almost entirely by Scandinavians,
and here a list of fifty to a hundred words was selected which
Scandinavian children always find it difficult to pronounce. At the
first trial many or most of the children mispronounced a large
percentage of them. I then announced that, the next time I visited the
school, I would test the pupils again on these words and others like
them, and issue "certificates of correct pronunciation" to all who were
entitled to them. I found, on the next visit, that nearly all the
children could secure these certificates. These tests created a great
impetus in the direction of correct pronunciation and language. Some
teachers, from mistaken kindness, had been accustomed to refrain from
correcting the children on such words, but as superintendent I found
that both the parents and the children wished drill in pronunciation and
were gratified at their success. This is only a sample. I would advocate
the giving of tests, or examinations, on any subject in the school
likely to lead to good results and to stimulate the minds of the pupils
in the right direction. The county superintendent and his assistants
might agree to lay the accent or the emphasis on different subjects, or
lines of work, in different years.

=Keep Down Red Tape.=--In all the work of supervision, the formal
part--the accounting and reporting part--should be kept simple; the
tendency in administrative offices is too often in the direction of
complexity and red tape. Wherever there is form merely for the sake of
form, it is well worth while to sound a note of warning against it.

=Help the Social Centers.=--The county superintendent and his assistants
can be of inestimable value in all the work of the social centers. They
should advise with school boards in regard to consolidation and other
problems agitating the community. They should lend a helping hand to
programs that are being carried out in any part of the county. They
should give lectures themselves at such social centers and, if asked,
should help the local communities and local committees in every way
within their power.

=Conclusion.=--The problem, then, of superintendence is, we conclude,
one of the large and important problems awaiting solution in rural life
and in rural schools. It is the binding force that will help to unify
all the educational activities of the county. It is one of the chief
stimulating and uplifting influences in rural education. As in the case
of most other school problems, the constant surprise is that the people
have not awakened sooner to the realization of its importance and to an
honest and earnest attempt at its solution.



=The Real Leader.=--Real leadership is a scarce and choice article; true
leaders are few and far between. The best kind of leader is not one who
attempts to be at the head of every movement and to do everything
himself, but rather he who makes the greatest number of people active in
his cause. It frequently happens that the more a leader does himself,
the less his followers are inclined to do. The more active he is, the
more passive they are likely to become. As teaching is causing others to
know and react educationally, so genuine leadership is causing others to
become active in the direction of the leader's purpose, or aim. Some who
pose as leaders seek to be conspicuous in every movement, merely to
attract attention to themselves. They bid for direct and immediate
recognition instead of being content with the more remote, indirect, but
truer and more substantial reward of recognition through their followers
who are active in their leader's cause. The poor leader does not think
that there is glory enough for all, and so he monopolizes all he can of
it, leaving the remainder to those who probably do the greater part of
the work and deserve as much credit as he. The spectacular football
player who ignores the team and team work, in order to attract attention
by his individual plays, is not the best leader or the best player. The
real leader will frequently be content to see things somewhat poorly
done or not so well done, in order that his followers may pass through
the experience of doing them. It is only by having such experiences that
followers are enabled, in turn, to become leaders.

=Teaching vs. Telling.=--As has been shown in an earlier chapter, the
lack of leadership is frequently exhibited in the classroom when the
teacher, instead of inducing self-activity and self-expression on the
part of the pupils, proceeds to recite the whole lesson himself. He asks
leading questions and then, at the slightest hesitation on the part of a
pupil, he suggests the answer; he asks another leading question from
another point of view; he puts words into the mouth of the pupil who is
trying in a pitiable way to recite; and ends by covering the topic all
over with words, words, words of his own. This is poor leadership on the
part of the teacher and gives no opportunity for real coöperation on the
part of the pupils. The teacher takes all the glory of reciting, and
leaves the pupil without an opportunity or the reward of

=Enlisting the Coöperation of Pupils.=--All children--and in fact all
people--if approached or stimulated in the proper way--like to _do_
things, to perform services for others. A pupil always considers it a
compliment to be asked by his teacher to do something for him, if the
relations between the teacher and pupil are normal and cordial. This
must, of course, be the case if any truly educative response is to be
elicited. Socrates once said that a person cannot learn from one whom he
does not love. The relation between pupil and teacher should be one of
mutual love and respect, if the educational process is to obtain. If
this relation does not exist, the first duty of the teacher is to bring
it about. Sometimes this is difficult. I once heard a teacher say that
it took him about three weeks to establish this relation between himself
and one of his pupils. He finally invited the pupil out hunting with him
one Saturday, and after that they were the best of friends. The pupil
became one of the leaders in his school and his coöperation was secured
from that time forward. In this instance the teacher showed marked
leadership as well as practical knowledge of psychology and pedagogy.
Francis Murphy, the great temperance orator, understood both leadership
and coöperation, for he always, as he said, made it a point to approach
a man from the "south side."

A pupil, if approached in the right way, will do anything in his power
for his teacher. There may be times when wood or fuel must be provided,
when the room must be swept and cleaned, when little repairs become
necessary, or an errand must be performed. In such situations, if the
teacher is a real leader and if his school and he are _en rapport_,
volunteers will vie with each other for the privilege of carrying out
the teacher's wishes. This would indicate genuine leadership and

=Placing Responsibility.=--Whether in school or some other station in
life, there is scarcely anything that so awakens and develops the best
that is in either man or child as the placing of responsibility. Every
person is educated and made greater according to the measure of
responsibility that is given to him and that he is able to live up to.
While it is true that too great a measure of responsibility might be
given, this is no reasonable excuse for withholding it altogether for
fear the burden would be too great. There is a wide middle ground
between no responsibility and too much of it, and it is in this field
that leadership and coöperation can be displayed to much advantage. The
greater danger lies in not giving sufficient responsibility to children
and youths. It is well known that, in parts of our country, where men
who have been proved to be, or are strongly suspected of being crooked,
have been placed upon the bench to mete out justice, they have usually
risen to the occasion and to their better ideals, and have not betrayed
the trust reposed in them, or the responsibility placed upon them. There
is probably no finer body of men in America than our railroad
engineers; and while it may be true that they are _picked_ in a
measure, it is also true that their responsible positions and work bring
out their best manhood. As they sit or stand at the throttle, with hand
upon the lever and eyes on the lookout for danger, and as they feel the
heart-throbs of their engine drawing its precious freight of a thousand
souls through the darkness and the storm, they cannot help realizing
that this is real life invested with great responsibilities; and with
this thought ever before them, they become men who can be trusted
anywhere. There is little doubt that Abraham Lincoln's mettle was
tempered to the finest quality in the fires of the great struggle from
1860 to 1865, when every hour of his waking days was fraught with the
greatest responsibility.

=How People Remain Children.=--If children and young people are not
given responsibilities they are likely to remain children. The old
adage, "Don't send a boy to mill," is thoroughly vicious if applied
beyond a narrow and youthful range. In some neighborhoods the fathers
even when of an advanced age retain entire control of the farm and of
all activities, and the younger generation are called the "boys," and,
what is worse, are considered such till forty years of age or older--in
fact as long as the fathers live and are active. A "boy" is called
"Johnnie," "Jimmie," or "Tommie," and is never chosen to do jury duty or
to occupy any position connected in the local public mind with a man's
work. The father in such cases is not a good leader, for he has given
no responsibility to, and receives no genuine coöperation from, his
sons, who are really man grown, but who are regarded, even by
themselves, from habit and suggestion, as children. If these middle-aged
men should move to another part of the country they would be compelled
to stand upon their own feet, and would be regarded as men among men.
They would be called _Mr._ Jones, _Mr._ Smith, and _Mr._ Brown, instead
of diminutive and pet names; and, what is better, they would regard
themselves as men. This would be a wholesome and stimulating suggestion.
Hence Horace Greeley's advice to young men, to "Go West," would prove
beneficial in more ways than one.

This state of affairs is illustrated on a large scale by the Chinese
life and civilization. From time immemorial the Chinese have been taught
to regard themselves as children, and the emperor as the common father
of all. The head of the family is the head as long as he lives and all
his descendants are mere sons and daughters. When he dies he is the
object of worship. This custom has tended to influence in a large
measure the thought and life of China and to keep the Chinese, for
untold generations, a childlike and respectful people. Whatever may come
to pass under the new regime, recently established in their country,
they have been, since the dawn of history, a passive people, the
majority of whom have not been honored with any great measure of

=On the Farm.=--Such lessons from history, written large, are as
applicable in rural life as elsewhere. Coöperation and profit-sharing
are probably the key to the solution of the labor problem. Many
industrial leaders in various lines, notably Mr. Henry Ford in his
automobile factories in Detroit, have come to the conclusion that
coöperation, or some kind of profit-sharing by the rank and file of the
workers, is of mutual benefit to employer and laborer. The interest of
workers must be enlisted for their own good as well as for the good of
society at large. It induces the right attitude toward work on the part
of the worker, and the right attitude of employer and employee toward
each other. This leads to the solidarity of society and the integrity of
the social bond. It tends to establish harmony and to bring contentment
to both parties.

=Renters.=--The renter of a farm must have sufficient interest in it and
in all its activities to improve it in every respect, rather than to
allow it to deteriorate by getting out of it everything possible, and
then leaving it, like a squeezed orange, to repeat the operation
elsewhere. A farm, in order to yield its best and to increase in
production and value, must be managed with care, foresight, and
scientific understanding. There must be, among other things, a careful
rotation of crops and the rearing of good breeds of animals of various
kinds. But these things cannot be intrusted to the mere renter or the
hired man who is nothing more. These are not sufficiently interested.
The man who successfully manages a farm must be interested in it and in
its various phases, whether he be a renter or a worker. He must be
careful, watchful, industrious, intelligent, and a lover of domestic
animals; otherwise the farm will go backward and the stock will not
thrive and be productive of profits. The man who drives a farm to a
successful issue must be a leader, and, if he is not the owner, he must
coöperate with the owner in order that there may be interest, which is
the great essential.

=The Owner.=--If the farm is operated by the owner himself and his
family, there is still greater need of leadership on the part of the
father and of coöperation on the part of all. Money and profits are not
the only motives or the only results and rewards that come to a family
in rural life. As the children grow up to adult life, both boys and
girls, for their own education and development in leadership and in
coöperation, should be given some share in the business, some interest
which they can call their own, and whose success and increase will
depend on their attention, care, and industry. That father is a wise
leader who can enlist the active coöperation of all his family for the
good of each and of all. Such leadership and coöperation are the best
forms and means of education, and lead inevitably to good citizenship.
How often do we see a grasping, churlish father whose leadership is
maintained by fear and force and whose family fade away, one by one, as
they come to adolescence. There is no cementing force in such a
household, and the centrifugal forces which take the place of true
leadership and cordial coöperation soon do their work.

=The Teacher as a Leader.=--We have already spoken of the teacher as the
natural leader of the activities of a social center, or of a community.
In such situations the teacher should be a real leader, not one who
wishes or attempts to be the direct and actual leader in every activity,
but one "who gets things done" through the secondary leadership of a
score or more of men, boys, and girls. The leader in a consolidated
district, or social center, who should attempt to bring all the glory
upon himself by immediate leadership would be like the teacher who
insists on doing all the reciting for his pupils. That would be a false
and short-lived leadership. Hence the teacher who is a true leader will
keep himself somewhat in the background while, at the same time, he is
the hidden mainspring, the power behind the throne. "It is the highest
art to conceal art." Fitch, in his lectures on teaching, says that the
teacher and the leader should "keep the machinery in the background."
The teacher should start things going by suggestion and keep them going
by his presence, his attitude, and his silent participation.

Too much participation and direction are fatal to the active coöperation
and secondary leadership of others. Hence the teacher will bring about,
in his own good time and way, the organization of a baseball team under
the direction of a captain chosen by the boys. The choice, it is true,
may probably be inspired by the teacher. The same would take place in
regard to every game, sport, or activity, mental, social, or physical,
in the community. The danger always is that the initial leader may
become too dominant. It is hard on flesh and blood to resist the
temptation to be lionized. But it is incomparably better to have partial
or almost total failures under self-government than to be governed by a
benevolent and beneficent autocrat. And so it is much better that boys
and girls work out their own salvation under leaders of their own
choice, than to be told to organize, and to do thus and so. It requires
a rare power of self-control in a real leader to be compelled to witness
only partial success and crude performance under secondary leaders
groping toward success, and still be silent and patient. But this is the
true process of education--self-activity and self-government.

=Self-activity and Self-government.=--In order to develop initiative,
which is the same thing, practically, as leadership, opportunity must be
given for free self-activity. Children and adults alike, if they are to
grow, must be induced to _do_. It is always better to go ahead and
blunder than to stand still for fear of blundering. Many kind mothers
fondly wish--and frequently attempt to enforce their wish--that
children should learn how to swim without going into the water.
Children see the folly of this and, in order not to disturb the calm and
peace of the household, slip away to a neighboring creek or
swimming-hole, for which they ever after retain the most cherished
memories. In later years when all danger is over these grown-up children
smilingly and jokingly reveal the mysteries of the trick! Children
cannot learn to climb trees without climbing trees, or to ride calves
and colts without the real animals. Some chances must be taken by
parents and guardians, and more chances are usually taken by children
than their guardians ever hear of. Accidents will happen, it is true,
but in the wise provision of Mother Nature the world moves on through
these persistent and instinctive self-activities.

Self-activity is manifested on a larger scale in society and among
nations and peoples. Civilization is brought about through self-activity
and coöperation. It were better for the Filipinos to civilize themselves
as much as possible than that we impose civilization upon them. It is
better that Mexico bring peace into her own household, than that we take
the leadership and enforce order among her people. When the Irish
captain said to his soldiers, "If you don't obey willingly I'll make you
obey willingly," he fused into one the military and the truly civic and
educational conceptions. An individual or a nation must energize from
within outward in order to truly express itself and thus develop in the
best sense. Hence in any community the development of self-expression,
self-activity, and coöperation under true leadership is conducive to the
highest type of individuality and of citizenship.

=Taking Laws upon One's Self.=--It is under proper leadership and
coöperation that children and young people are induced to take laws upon
themselves. It is always a joy to a parent or a teacher when a pupil
expresses himself with some emotion to the effect that such and such a
deed is an "outrage," or "fine" as the case may be. It is an indication
that he has adopted a life principle which he means to live by, and that
it has been made his own to such an extent that he expresses and commits
himself upon it with such feeling. Moralization consists in just this
process--the taking upon one's self of a bundle of good life principles.
Under the right kind of leadership and coöperation this moralizing
process grows most satisfactorily. Children then take upon themselves
laws and become self-governing and law-abiding.

=An Educational Column.=--One of the best means of creating an
atmosphere and spirit of education and culture in a community is to
conduct an "educational column" in the local newspaper. The teacher as a
real leader in the community could furnish the matter for such a column
once every two weeks or once a month, and, before long, if he is the
leader we speak of, the people will begin to look eagerly for this
column; they will turn to it first on receiving their paper. Here items
of interest on almost any subject might be discussed. The column need
not be limited narrowly to technically educational topics. The author of
such a column could thus create and build up in a community the right
kind of traditions and a good spirit, tone, and temper generally. His
influence would be potent outside the schoolroom and he would have in
his power the shaping and the guiding of the social, or community mind.
It is wonderful what can be done in this way by a prudent, intelligent,
and interesting writer. The community soon will wish, after the column
has been read through, that he had written more. This would be an
encouraging sign.

=All Along the Educational Line.=--The kind of leadership and
coöperation indicated in this chapter should be exemplified through the
entire common-school system. It should obtain between the state
superintendent and the county superintendents; between the county
superintendents and their deputies, or assistants on the one hand and
the principals of schools on the other; between principals and teachers;
and between teachers and pupils. It should exist between all of these
officials and the people variously organized for social and educational
betterment. Then there would be a "long pull, a strong pull, and a pull
all together" for the solution of the problems of rural life and the
rural school.



=Farming in the Past.=--In the past, successful farming was easier than
it is at present or is destined to be in the future. In the prairie
regions of the great central West, the virgin and fertile soil, the
large acreage of easy cultivation, and the good prices made success
inevitable. Indeed, these conditions were thrust upon the fortunate

But those days are passed. Increased population is reducing the acreage
and cultivation, while it is eliminating the surplus fertility;
competition and social and economic pressure are reducing the margin of
profits. Thrift, good management, and brains are becoming increasingly
important factors in successful farming.

=Old Conceit and Prejudice.=--Twenty years ago, when the agricultural
colleges were taking shape and attempting to impress their usefulness
upon the farmer, the latter was inclined to assume a derisive attitude,
and to refer to their graduates as "silk-stocking farmers"--or, as one
farmer put it, "theatrical" sort of fellows, meaning _theoretical_! In
the farming of the future, however, the agricultural college and its
influence are bound to play a large part. There is plenty of room on a
good farm of one hundred and sixty acres for the best thinking and the
most careful planning. Foresight and ingenuity of the rarest kinds are
demanded there.

We wish to enumerate, and discuss in brief, some of the important points
of vantage to be watched and carefully guarded, if farm life, which
means rural life, is to be pleasant and profitable. If rural life is to
retain its attractions and its people, it must be both of these. Let us,
in this chapter, investigate some things which, although apart from the
school and education in any technical sense, are truly educative, in the
best sense.

=Leveling Down.=--One thing that sometimes impresses the close observer
who is visiting in the country and in farm homes is that there exists in
some rural localities a kind of "leveling down" process. People become
accommodated to their rather quiet and unexciting surroundings. Their
houses and barns, in the way of repairs and improvements, are allowed
gradually to succumb to the tooth of time and the beating of the
elements. This process is so slow and insidious that those who live in
the midst of it scarcely notice the decay that is taking place. Hence it
continues to grow worse until the farm premises assume an unattractive
and dilapidated appearance. Weeds grow up around the buildings and along
the roads, so slowly, that they remain unnoticed and hence uncut--when
half an hour's work would suffice to destroy them all, to the benefit of
the farm and the improvement of its appearance.

In the country it is very easy, as we have said, to "level down." People
live in comparative isolation; imitation, comparison, and competition
enter but little into their thoughts and occupations. In the city it is
otherwise. People live in close proximity to each other, and one
enterprising person can start a neighborhood movement for the
improvement of lawns and houses. There is more conference, more
criticism and comparison, more imitation. In the city there is a kind of
compulsion to "level up."

When one moves from a large active center to a smaller one, the life
tendency is to accommodate one's self to his environment; while if one
moves from a small, quiet place to a larger and more active center, the
life tendency is to level up. It is, of course, fortunate for us that we
are able to accommodate ourselves to our environment and to derive a
growing contentment from the process. The prisoner may become so content
in his cell that he will shed tears when he is compelled to leave it for
the outer world where he must readjust himself. The college man, over
whom there came a feeling of desolation on settling down in a small
country village with one store, comes eventually to find contentment,
sitting on the counter or on a drygoods box, swapping stories with
others like himself who have leveled down to a very circumscribed life
and living. Leveling down may be accomplished without effort or thought,
but eternal vigilance is the price of leveling up.

=Premises Indicative.=--A farmer is known by the premises he keeps, just
as a person is known by the company he keeps. If a man is thrifty it
will find expression in the orderliness of his place. If he is
intelligent and inventive it will show in the appointments and
adaptations everywhere apparent, inside and outside the buildings. If
the man and his family have a fine sense of beauty and propriety, an
artistic or æsthetic sense, there will be evidences of cleanliness and
simple beauty everywhere--in the architecture, in the painting, in the
pictures, and the carpets, in the kinds and positions of the trees and
shrubbery, and in the general neatness and cleanliness of the premises.
It is not so necessary that people possess much, but it is important
that they make much of what they do possess. The exquisite touch on all
things is analogous to the flavor of our food--it is as important for
appetite and for nourishment as the food itself.

=Conveniences by Labor-saving Devices.=--If there are ingenuity and the
power of ordinary invention in common things, system and devices for
saving labor will be evident everywhere. The motor will be pressed into
service in various ways. There will be a place for everything, and
everything will be in its place. Head work and invention, rather than
mere imitation, characterize the activities of the master.

=Eggs in Several Baskets.=--The day is past when success may be attained
by raising wheat alone. This was, of course, in days gone by, the
easiest and cheapest crop to produce. It was also the crop that brought
the largest returns in the shortest time. Wheat raising was merely a
summer's job, with a prospective winter's outing in some city center. It
was and is still the lazy farmer's trick. It was an effort similar to
that of attempting the invention of a perpetual motion machine; it was
an attempt, if not to get something for nothing, at least to get
something at the lowest cost, regardless of the future. But nature
cannot be cheated, and the modern farmer has learned or is learning
rapidly, that he must rotate and diversify his crops if he would succeed
in the long run. Consequently he has begun rotation. He also replenishes
his soil with nitrogen-producing legumes, along with corn planting and
with summer fallowing. He engages in the raising of chickens, hogs,
cattle, and horses. This diversification saves him from total loss in
case of a bad year in one line. The farmer does not carry all his eggs
in one basket. A bad year with one kind of crops may be a good year with
some other. Diversification also makes farming an all-year occupation,
every part of which is bringing a good return, instead of being a job
with an income for the summer and an outlay for the winter. Live stock,
sheep, hogs, and cattle grow nights, Sundays, and winters as well as at
other times, and so the profits are accumulating all the year round.

=The Best is the Cheapest.=--The modern farmer also realizes that it
takes no more, nor indeed as much, to feed and house the best kinds of
animals than it does to keep the scrub varieties. In all of this there
is a large field for study and investigation. But one must be interested
in his animals and understand them. They should know his voice and he
should know their needs and their habits. As in every other kind of work
there must be a reasonable interest; otherwise it cannot be an
occupation which will make life happy and successful.

=Good Work.=--The good farmer has the _feel_ and the habit of good work.
The really successful man in any calling or profession is he who does
his work conscientiously and as well as he can. The sloven becomes the
bungler, and the bungler is on the high road to failure. It is always a
pleasant thing to see a man do his work well and artistically. It is the
habit, the policy, the attitude of thus doing that tell in the long run.
A farmer may by chance get a good crop by seeding on unplowed stubble
land, but he must feel that he is engaged in the business of trying to
cheat himself, like the boy playing solitaire--he does not let his right
hand know what his left hand is doing. The good farmer is an artist in
his work, while the poor farmer is a veritable bungler--blaming his
tools and Nature herself for his failures.

=Good Seed and Trees.=--The successful farmer knows from study and
experience that only healthy seed and healthy animals will produce good
grain and strong animals after their kind. He does not try tricks on
Nature. He selects the best kinds of trees and shrubbery and when these
are planted he takes care of them. He realizes that what is worth sowing
and planting is worth taking care of.

=A Good Caretaker.=--The successful and intelligent farmer keeps all his
buildings, sheds, and fences in good repair and well painted. He is not
penny-wise and pound-foolish. He knows the value of paint from an
economic and financial point of view as well as from an artistic and
æsthetic one. Knowing these things, and from an ingrained feeling and
habit, he sees to it that all his machinery and tools are under good
cover, and are not exposed to the gnawing tooth of the elements. This
habit and attitude of the man are typical and make for success as well
as for contentment. As it is not the saving of a particular dollar that
makes a man thrifty or wealthy, but the _habit_ of saving dollars; so it
is not the taking care of this or that piece of machinery, or that
particular building, but the habit of doing such things that leads him
to success.

=Family Coöperation.=--Such a man will also enlist the interest and the
active coöperation of his sons and daughters by giving them property or
interests which they can call their own; he will make them, in a
measure, co-partners with him on the farm. There could be no better way
of developing in them their best latent talents. It would result in
mutual profit and, what is better, in mutual love and happiness. One of
the greatest factors in a true education is to be interested,
self-active, and busy toward a definite and worthy end. Under such
circumstances both the parents and the children might be benefited by
taking short courses in the nearest agricultural college; and a plan of
giving each his turn could be worked out to the interest and profit of
all the family. Such a family would become local leaders in various

=An Ideal Life.=--It would seem that such an intelligent and successful
farmer and his family could lead an ideal life. Every life worth while
must have work, disappointments, and reverses. But work--reasonable
work--is a blessing and not a curse. Work is an educator, a civilizer, a

A family like that described might in the course of a few years possess
most of the modern conveniences. The telephone, the daily mail, the
automobile, and other inventions are at hand, in the country as well as
in the city. The best literature of to-day and of all time is available.
Music and art are easily within reach. With these advantages any rural
family may have a happy home. This is more than most people in the
cities can have. More and more of our people should turn in the future
to this quiet but happy and ideal country life.



=Darkest Before the Dawn.=--Prior to the present widespread discussion,
which it is hoped will lead to a rural renaissance, the condition and
the prospects of country life and the country school looked dark and
discouraging. Country life seemed to be passing into the shadow and the
storm. It seemed as if the country was being not only deserted but
forgotten. The urban trend, as we have seen, moved on apace. Farms were
being deserted or, if cultivated at all, were passing more and more into
the hands of renters. The owners were farming by proxy. This meant
decreased production and impoverished soil. It meant one-crop, or
small-grain farming; it meant a class of renters or tenants with only
temporary homes, and hence with only a partial interest. The inevitable
result would be an impoverished rural life and poor rural schools.
Without a realization of the seriousness of the situation and the trend
on the part of the people at large, all these conditions prevailed to a
greater or less extent. The people seemed unaware of the fact that rural
life was not keeping pace with the progress of the world around. In New
England whole districts were practically deserted, and her abandoned
farms told the tale. In Virginia and in most of the older states similar
conditions existed. The people migrated either to the cities or to the
newer and cheaper agricultural regions of the West.

=The Awakening.=--But the time came when the newer lands were not so
available and when social and economic pressure forced the whole problem
of rural life upon the attention of the nation. Difficulty in adjustment
to surroundings always constitutes a problem, and a problem always
arouses thought. When our adjustment is easy and successful it is
effected largely through habit; but when it is obstructed or thwarted,
thought and reason must come to the rescue. Investigation, comparison,
and reflection are then drafted for a solution. This is what happened a
few years ago. The whole situation, it is true, had been in mind
previously, but only in a half conscious or subconscious way. It was
being felt or sensed, more or less clearly, that there was something
wrong, that there was a great unsupplied need, in rural life; but the
thought had no definite shape. The restiveness, the restlessness, was
there but no distinct and articulate voices gave utterance to any
definite policy or determination. There was no clearly formulated
consensus of thought as to what ought to be done. Prior to this time the
thought of the people had not been focused on country life at all. The
attention of the rural districts was not on themselves; they were not
really self-conscious of their condition or that there was any important
problem before them. But not many years ago, owing to various movements,
which were both causes and effects, the whole country began to be
aroused to the importance of the subjects which I have been discussing.
The Committee of Twelve on Rural Schools appointed by the National
Educational Association had reported the phases of the rural life
problem in 1897; but many declarations and reports of that kind are
necessary to stir the whole country. Hence no decisive movement, even in
rural education, became noticeable for several years. But this report
did much good; it not only formulated educational thought and policy in
regard to the subject but it also awakened thought and discussion
outside of the teaching profession.

=The Agricultural Colleges.=--The agricultural colleges and experimental
stations in the several states had also been active for some years and
had formulated a body of knowledge in regard to agricultural principles
and methods. They had distributed this information widely among the
farmers of the country. The latter, at first, looked askance at these
colleges and their propaganda, and often refused to accept their
suggestions and advice on the ground that it was "mere theory," and that
farmers could not be taught practical agriculture by mere "book men" and
"theorizers." The practical man often despises theory, not realizing
that practice without theory is usually blind. But the growing science
of agriculture was working like a leaven for the improvement of farm
life in all its phases, and to-day the agricultural colleges and
experiment stations are the well-springs of information for practical
farmers everywhere. Bulletins of information are published and
distributed regularly, and farmers are being brought into closer and
closer touch with these institutions.

=Conventions.=--During this awakening period, conventions of various
kinds are held, which give the farmers an opportunity to hear and to
participate in discussions pertaining to the problems with which they
are wrestling. They come together in district, county, or state
conventions, and the result has been that a class consciousness, an
_esprit de corps_, is being developed. Farmers hear and see bigger and
better things; their world is enlarged and their minds are stimulated;
they are induced to think in larger units. Thought, like water, seeks
its level, and in conventions of this kind the individual "levels up."
He goes home inspired to do better and greater things, and spreads the
new gospel among his neighbors. At the conventions he hears a variety of
topics discussed, including good roads, house plans, sanitation,
schools, and others too numerous to mention.

=Other Awakening Agencies.=--The agricultural paper, which practically
every farmer takes and which every farmer should take, brings to the
farm home each week the most modern findings on all phases of country
life. The rural free delivery and the parcel post bring the daily mail
to the farmer's door. The rural telephone is becoming general, and also
the automobile and other rapid and convenient modes of communication and
transportation. All these things have helped to develop a clearer
consciousness of country life, its problems and its needs.

=The Farmer in Politics.=--Add to all the foregoing considerations the
fact that, in every state legislature and in Congress, the number of
rural representatives is constantly increasing, and we see clearly that
the country districts are awakening to a realization not only of their
needs but of their rights. All of these conditions have helped to turn
the eyes of the whole people, in state and nation, to long neglected

=The National Commission.=--So the various agencies and factors
enumerated above and others besides, all working more or less
consciously and all conspiring together, finally resulted in the
appointment of a National Commission on Rural Life, the results and
findings of which were made the subject of a special message from the
president to Congress in 1909. The report of the commission was issued
from the Government Printing Office in Washington as Document Number
705, and should be read by every farmer in the country. This commission
was the resultant of many forces exerted around family firesides, in the
schoolroom, in the press, on the platform, in conventions, in
legislatures, and in the halls of Congress. For the first time in this
country, the conditions and possibilities of rural life were made the
subjects of investigation and report to a national body. Thus the
Commission became thenceforth a potent cause of the attention and
impetus since given to the problems we are discussing.

=Mixed Farming.=--In recent years, too, what may be called "scientific
farming" has become a decided "movement" and is now very extensively
practiced. This includes diversified farming, rotation of crops, stock
raising, the breeding of improved stock, better plowing, and a host of
matters connected with the farmer's occupation. Thus farming is becoming
neither a job nor an avocation, but a genuine vocation, or profession.
It requires for its success all the brains, all the ingenuity, all the
attention and push that an intelligent man can give it; and, withal, it
promises all the variety, the interest, the happiness, and the success
that any profession can offer.

=Now Before the Country.=--The movement in behalf of a richer rural life
and of better rural schools is now before the country. It is the subject
of discussion everywhere. It is in the limelight; the literature on the
subject is voluminous; books without number, on all phases of the
subject, are coming from the press. Educational papers and magazines,
and even the lay press, are devoting unstinted space to discussions on
country life and the rural school. The country has the whole question
"on the run," with a fair prospect of an early capture. On pages 182-186
we give a bibliography of a small portion of the literature on these
questions which has come out recently.

=Educational Extension.=--Within the last few years the movement known
as "extension work," connected with the educational institutions, has
had a rapid growth. The state universities, agricultural colleges, and
normal schools in almost every state are doing their utmost to carry
instruction and education in a variety of forms to communities beyond
their walls. They are vying with each other in their extension
departments, in extra-mural service of every possible kind. In many
places institutions are even furnishing musical performances and other
forms of entertainment at cost, in competition with the private bureaus,
thus saving communities the profits of the bureau and the expense of the
middlemen. The University of Wisconsin has been in recent years the
leader in this extension work. Minnesota, and most of the central and
western states are active in the campaign of carrying education and
culture to outlying communities. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota
have recently pooled their forces for some exchange of service in
extension work.

=Library Extension Work.=--In Wisconsin, the state library is under the
direction of the university extension department, and collections of
books, which may be retained for a definite length of time, may be
secured by any town or community in the state. In this way a library may
do excellent service.

=Some Froth.=--No doubt some froth will be produced by the stirring of
the waters which are moving in some places with whirlpool rapidity.
There is considerable sound and fury, no doubt, in the discussions and
in the things attempted in these uplifting movements. There is a
considerable amount of smoke in proportion to the fire beneath. But,
even with the froth, the noise, and the smoke, there is some latent
power, some energy, beneath and behind it all. The main thing is that
the power, the energy, the thought, the enthusiasm of the nation have
been started on the right way. We can discount and overlook the vagaries
and foibles which will undoubtedly play around the outskirts of the
movement. Every new movement shows similar phenomena. Much will be said,
written, and done which is mere surface display. But while these may do
little good, they will do no harm and are indicative of the inner and
vital determination of the people to confront the difficulties.

=Thought and Attitude.=--Our thought and our attitude make any kind of
work or any kind of position desirable and worthy, or the reverse. Many
vicious leaders poison the minds of workers and make them dissatisfied
with their work and their employers by suggesting a wrong spirit and
attitude. We do not advocate passive submission to wrongs; nor on the
other hand do we think that the interests of the laborer are to be
subserved by infusing into his mind jealousy and envy and discontent
with his lot.

A young man goes through the practice and games of football, enduring
exertion and pain which he would not allow any other person to force
upon him; at the same time, he has a song in his heart. On a camping
trip a person will submit to rigors and privations which he would think
intolerable at home. Whatever is socially fashionable is done with
pleasure; the mind is the great factor. If one is interested in his
work, it is pleasant--indeed more enjoyable than play; but if there is
no interest it is all drudgery and pain. The attitude, the motive, the
will make all the difference in the world. In the rural renaissance,
farm life may become more and more fashionable. This is by no means
impossible. Country life has no such rigors as the football field or the
outing in the wilds. When as a people we have passed from the sensuous
and erotic wave on the crest of which we seem at present to be carried
along, we can with profit, intellectually, morally, socially, and
physically, "go forth under the open sky and list to Nature's
teachings." Everything except the present glare of excitement beckons
back to the land, back to the country. Whether as a people we shall
effectively check the urban trend, will, in the not distant future, test
the self-control, the foresight, the wisdom, and the character of the
manhood and womanhood of this nation.



=Not Pessimistic.=--Some of the early chapters of this book may have
left the impression that a restoration, or rejuvenation, of country
life, such as will reverse the urban trend and make rural life the more
attractive by comparison, is difficult if not impossible. It is
difficult we grant; but we do not wish to leave the impression that such
is improbable, much less impossible. We were simply facing the truth on
the dark, or negative, side, and were attempting to give reasons for
conditions and facts which have been everywhere apparent. If there are
two sides to a question both should be presented as they really are. It
is always as useless and as wrong to minimize as it is to exaggerate,
and we were simply accounting for facts.

We did not mean that there is no hope. The first essential in the
solution of any problem or in the improvement of any condition is to get
the condition clearly and accurately in mind--to _conceive_ it exactly
as it is.

There is no doubt that the city, with its material splendor and its
social life, has attractions; but if we turn to rural life, we shall
find, if we go below the surface of human nature, the strongest appeals
to our deeper and more abiding interests. The surface of things and the
present moment are near to us, and powerful in the way of motivation.
These, however, are the aspects of human environment which appeal most
strongly to the child, to the savage, and to the uneducated person. If
we are optimists, believing that the race is progressing, and that our
own people and country are progressing as rapidly as or more rapidly
than any other, we must believe that motives which appeal to our deeper,
saner, and more disciplined nature will win out in the long run. Let us
see, then, what some of the appeals to this saner stratum of human
nature, in behalf of rural life, are.

=Fewer Hours of Labor than Formerly.=--The hours of labor have been
reduced everywhere. In the olden time labor was done by slaves or serfs,
and neither their bodies nor their time was their own. They labored
when, where, and as long as their masters dictated. Even a generation
ago there was little said, and there was no uniformity, as to how long a
working-man should labor. In busy seasons or on important pieces of
work, he labored as long as the light of day permitted. It was from sun
to sun, and often long after the sun had disappeared from the western
horizon. Sixteen hours was no uncommon day for him. Under such
conditions there was no room for mental, social, or spiritual
advancement. Later, the hours were reduced to a maximum of fourteen.
This proved to be so satisfactory that laws were passed providing for a
further decrease in hours. This standardizing of the day of labor, while
not general in the country, had its effect. The twelve-hour day, while
still long, was a decided betterment over the sixteen-hour day. There
was beginning to be a little possible margin for social, mental, and
recreational activity. But the twelve-hour day must inevitably get the
better of the human system and of the spirit of man. It is too long and
too steady a grind, and habit and long hours soon tell their story. They
inevitably lead to the condition of the "man with the hoe."

As improvements in machinery were perfected and inventions of all kinds
multiplied and spread both in the factory and on the farm, the ten-hour
day was ushered in. It was inevitable in this age of inventions and
improvements. Capital had these inventions and improvements in its
possession and a laboring man could now do twice as much with the same
labor as formerly. But society as a whole could not assent to the theory
and the practice that the capitalist, the owner of the machines, should
reap all the advantages; and so, while the hours were still further
reduced, the wages were increased, thus more nearly equalizing the
benefits accruing to employer and employed. With the aid of inventions
the worker, on the average, can do more in the short day of eight or
ten hours than he did formerly in the sixteen-hour day. It is not
contended, however, that every laborer actually does this. This phase of
the question is a large factor in the labor problem. But from the point
of view of the average man and of society, labor with the aid of
machinery can produce probably twice as much as it produced formerly
without that aid. This fact has had great influence upon industrial life
everywhere, and makes for increased opportunities and growth.

=The Mental Factor Growing.=--The trend alluded to above implies that
the mental factor is growing larger and larger in occupations of all
kinds. Success is becoming more and more dependent on knowledge,
ingenuity, prudence, and foresight. Especially is this true on the farm.
There is scarcely any calling that demands or can make use of such
varied talents. All fields of knowledge may be drawn upon and utilized,
from the weather signals to the most recent findings and conclusions of
science and philosophy. As the hours of labor both in the factory and on
the farm are shortened still more--as is possible--the hours of study,
of play, and of social converse will be lengthened. Indeed this is one
of the by-problems of civilization and progress--to see that leisure
hours are profitably spent for the welfare of the individual. In any
event, the prospect of reasonable hours and of social and cultural
opportunities in rural life is growing from day to day. The intelligent
man with modern machinery and ordinary capital, if he has made some
scientific study of agriculture, need have no fear of not living a
successful and happy life on the farm. A knowledge of his calling in all
its aspects, with the aid of modern machinery, and with sobriety,
thrift, and industry, will bring a kind of life to both adults and
children that the crowded factory and tenements and the tinsel show of
the city cannot give. But one must be willing to forego the social and
physical display of the surface of things and to choose the better and
more substantial part. If we are a people that can do this there is hope
for an early and satisfactory solution of the problems of rural life.

=The Bright Side of Old-time Country Life.=--Even in the country life of
twenty-five to fifty years ago, there was a bright and happy side. It
was not all dark, and, in its influence for training the youth to a
strong manhood, we shall probably not look upon its like again. If
strength and welfare rather than pleasure are the chief end of life,
many of the experiences which were undoubtedly hardships were blessings
in disguise. Every boy had his chores and every girl her household
duties to perform. The cows had to be brought home in the evening from
the prairie or the woods; they had to be milked and cared for; calves
and hogs had to be fed; horses had to be cared for both evening and
morning; barns, stables, and sheds had to be looked after. All the
animals of the farm, including the domestic fowls, such as chickens,
ducks, and turkeys, became our friends and each was individually known.

Though all the duties of farm life had to be done honestly and well,
nevertheless the farmer's boy found time to go fishing and hunting,
skating, coasting, and trapping. He learned the ways and the habits of
beasts, birds, and fish. He observed the squirrels garnering their
winter supply in the fall. He watched the shrewd pocket gopher as it
came up and deposited the contents of its cheek pockets upon the pile of
fresh dirt beside his hole. He learned how to trap the muskrat, and woe
to the raccoon that was discovered stealing the corn, for it was tracked
and treed even at midnight. The boy's eyes occasionally caught sight of
a red fox or of a deer; and the call of the dove, the drum of the
pheasant, the welcome "whip-poor-will" and the "to-whit, to-whit,
to-who" of the owl were familiar sounds. He ranged the prairie and the
woods; he climbed trees for nuts and for distant views, and knew every
hill, valley, and stream for miles and miles around. Even his daily and
regular work was of a large and varied kind. It was not like the making
of one tenth of a pin, which has a strong tendency to reduce the worker
to one tenth of a man.

On the farm one usually begins and finishes a piece of work whether it
be a hay-rack or a barn; he sees it through--the whole of it receives
expression in him. It is _his_ piece of work and it faces him as he has
to face it. The tendency is for both to be "honest." If there were so
much brightness and variety in days gone by, when all work was done by
hand, how much better the situation can be now and in the future, when
inventions and machines have come to the rescue of the laborer, and when
the hours of toil have been so materially shortened!

=The Larger Environment.=--There is no doubt that a large and varied
environment is conducive to the growth of a strong and active
personality. If one has to adjust himself at every turn to something
new, it will lead to self-activity and initiative, to ingenuity and
aggressiveness. If tadpoles are reared in jars of different sizes, the
growth and size of each will vary with the size of the vessel, the
smallest jar growing the smallest tadpole, and the largest jar the
largest tadpole. It is fighting against the laws of fate to attempt to
rear strong personalities in a "flat" or even in a fifty-foot lot. They
need the range of the prairies, the hills, and the woods. Shakespeare
was born and brought up in one of the richest and most stimulating
environments, natural and social, in the world; and this, no doubt, had
much to do with his matchless ability to express himself on all phases
of nature and of mind. Large and varied influences, while they do not
compel, at least _tend_ to produce, large minds; for they leave with us
infinite impressions and induce correspondingly varied reactions and
experiences. Under such conditions a child is reacting continually and
thus becoming active and efficient. He is challenged at every turn, and
if stumbling blocks become stepping stones, the process is the very best
kind of education.

=Games.=--There are excellent opportunities in the country for all kinds
of games, for there ample room and many incentives to activity present
themselves. In the city, children are often content with seeing experts
and professionals give performances or "stunts," while they, themselves,
remain passive. In the country there are not so many attractions and
distractions--so many dazzling and overwhelmingly "superior"
things--that children may not be easily induced to "get into the game"
themselves. I fear that in recent years owing to imitation of the city
and its life, play and games in the country have become somewhat
obsolete. There needs to be a renaissance in this field. We have been
offered everywhere in recent years so much of what might be called the
"finished product" that the children are content merely to sit around as
spectators and watch others give the performances.

As in the case of the rural school the play instincts of country
children must be awakened again in behalf of rural life in general.
There are scores of games and sports, from marbles to football, which
should receive attention. In recent years the social mind, in all
sports, seems to be directed to the _result_, the winning or losing,
instead of to the game, as a game, and the fun of it all. True
sportsmanship should be revived and cultivated. There is no reason why
there should not be found in every neighborhood, and especially at every
school center, all kinds of plays and games, each in its own time and
place and having its own patronage--marbles, tops, swings, horseshoes,
"I spy," anti-over, pull-away, prisoner's base, tennis, croquet, volley
ball, basketball, skating, coasting, skiing, baseball, and football.
Horizontal bars, turning pole, and other apparatus should be provided in
every playground. In the social centers, if the boys can be organized as
Boy Scouts, and the girls as Camp-Fire Girls, good results will ensue.

Many more plays and games will suggest themselves, and those for girls
should be encouraged as well as those for boys. All the aspects of rural
life can thus be made most enjoyable. It is often well to introduce and
cultivate one game at a time, letting it run its course, something like
a fever, and then, at the psychological moment, introduce and try out
another. To introduce too many at one time would not afford an
opportunity for children to experience the rise and fall of a wave of
enthusiasm on any one, and this is quite important. Usually some
direction should be given to play, but this direction should not be
suppressive, and should be given by a leader who understands and
sympathizes with child nature.

=Inventiveness in Rural Life.=--In the city, where everything is
manufactured or sold ready-made, a person simply goes to the store and
buys whatever he needs. In the country this cannot be done, and one is
driven by sheer necessity to devise ways and means of supplying his
needs, himself. He simply has to invent or devise a remedy. Necessity is
the mother of invention.

It is really better for boys and girls in the country if their parents
are compelled to be frugal and economical. If children get anything and
everything they wish, merely for the asking, they are undone; they
become weak for lack of self-exertion, self-expression, and invention;
they become dissatisfied if everything is not coming their way from
others. They become selfish and careless. Having tasted of the best,
merely for the asking, they become dissatisfied with everything except
the best. This is the dominant tendency in the city and wherever parents
are foolish enough to satisfy the child's every whim. If the parents
carry the child in this manner, the child, in later years, will have
weak legs and the parents will have weak backs. Moreover, love and
respect move in the direction of activity, and if everything comes the
child's way there will be little love, except "cupboard love," going the
other way.

It is unfortunate for children to experience the best too early in life;
there is then no room for growth and development. It was Professor James
who said that the best doll he ever saw was a home-made rag doll; it
left sufficient room for the play of the imagination. With the perfect,
factory-made doll there is nothing more for the imagination to do; it is
complete, but it is not the little girl who has completed it. In the
country, men and women, boys and girls are induced to begin and complete
all kinds of things. Many things have to be made outright and most
things have to be repaired on the farm. Challenges of this kind to
inventiveness and activity are outstanding all the time. Sleds, both
large and small, wheelbarrows and hay racks, sheds, granaries, and barns
are both made and repaired. But in all there is no mad rush. It is not
as it is in the factory or in the sawmill. One is not reduced to the
instantaneous reactions of an automaton; he has time to breathe and to
think. One can act like a free man rather than like a machine. There is
room for thought and for invention.

=Activity Rather than Passivity.=--In this infinite variety of
stimulation and response, the youth is induced to become active rather
than passive. While he is not pushed unduly, he is reasonably active
during all his waking hours, and the habit of activity, of doing, is
ingrained. This is closely related to character and morality, to thrift
and success. Such a person is more likely to be a creditor than a debtor
to society. In this respect the country and the farm have been the
salvation of many a youth.

In the city many children have no regular employment; they have no
chores to do and no regular occupation. Evenings and vacations find
them on the streets. Then Satan always finds mischief for idle hands to
do. These children become passive except under the impulses of instinct
or of mischievous ideas; they have no regular and systematic work to do;
everything is done for them. During their early years habits of
idleness, of passive receptivity, of mischief, and possibly of crime,
are ingrained. And though this kind of life may be more _pleasurable_,
in a low sense, than the active life of the country, there can be no
doubt as to which is the more wholesome and strengthening.

=Child Labor.=--A good child-labor law is absolutely essential to the
welfare of the children for whom it has been enacted; nevertheless,
there has been a great omission in not providing that idle children
shall do some work. Even in large cities there are probably more
children who do not work enough than there are who are made to work too
hard. In our zeal we sometimes forbid children to work, when some work
would be the very best thing for them. It is true that on the farm as
well as in the factory ignorant and mercenary parents make dollars out
of the sweat of their children, when these should be going to school or
engaged in physical and mental recreation and development. It is
unfortunate that society is not able to see to it, that, as in Plato's
Republic, every child and every person engage in the work or study for
which he is best fitted, and to the extent that is best for him. Then
the hundreds of thousands of children who are idling would be engaged
in some kind of occupation, and those who are working too hard would be
given lighter tasks; and all would have the privilege of an appropriate

=The Finest Life on Earth.=--In view of such circumstances and
opportunities, life in the country should be, and _could be made_, the
best and most complete life possible to a human being. Country life is
the best cradle of the race. To have a good home and rear a family in
the heart of a great city is well-nigh impossible for the average
laboring man. The struggle for existence is too fierce and the
opportunity, in childhood and youth, for self-expression and initiative
is too meager. The environment is too vast, complex, and overwhelming,
with nothing worth while for the child to do. "Individuals may stand,
but generations will slip" on such an inclined plane of life. From this
point of view it can be truly said, we think, that "God made the country
while man made the town."

The real, vital possibilities of country life are without number. The
surface attractions of the city are most alluring. A focusing of the
public mind upon the problem, its _pros_ and _cons_, will, it is to be
hoped, turn the scales without delay in favor of country life and its
substantial benefits.


The following bibliography is submitted as affording information and
suggestive helps to those who are interested in the problems herein
discussed. Although the books and references have been selected with
care, it is not to be inferred that the list includes any considerable
portion of the vast and still increasing output of literature in this
field of investigation. But it will prove to be a fairly comprehensive
list from which the reader may select such articles or books as make a
favorable appeal to him. The works referred to are all of recent date,
and express the current trend of thought upon the problems discussed in
this little volume.


American Academy of Political and Social Science. Philadelphia, 1912.
    Vol. XL, No. 129, "Country Life": Butterfield, "Rural Sociology
    as a College Discipline"; Cance, "Immigrant Rural Communities";
    Carver, "Changes in Country Population"; Coulter, "Agricultural
    Laborers"; Davenport, "Scientific Farming"; Dixon, "Rural
    Home"; Eyerly, "Coöperative Movements among Farmers"; Foght,
    "The Country School"; Gillette, "Conditions and Needs of
    Country Life"; Gray, "Southern Agriculture"; Hartman, "Village
    Problems"; Hamilton, "Agricultural Fairs"; Henderson, "Rural
    Police"; Hibbard, "Farm Tendency"; Kates, "Rural Conferences";
    Lewis, "Tramp Problem"; Marquis, "The Press"; Mumford,
    "Education for Agriculture"; Parker, "Good Roads"; Pearson,
    "Chautauquas"; Roberts and Israel, "Y.M.C.A.";  Scudder,
    "Rural Recreation"; True, "The Department of Agriculture"; Van
    Norman, "Conveniences"; Watrous, "Civic Art"; Washington, B.
    T., "The Rural Negro Community"; Wilson, "Social Life"; Wells,
    "Rural Church".

Bailey, L. H.: _The Country Life Movement in the U. S._ (1912) 220 pp.
    Macmillan Co., New York. _Cyclopedia of American Agriculture._ 4
    vols. $20.00. Macmillan Co., New York. _The State and the Farmer._
    (1911) 177 pp. Macmillan Co., New York. _The Training of Farmers._
    (1909) 263 pp. Century Co., New York.

Betts, George H.: _New Ideals in Rural Schools._ (1913) 127 pp. Houghton
    Mifflin Co., Boston.

Brown, H. A.: _Readjustment of a Rural High School to the Needs of a
    Community._ (1912) Bureau of Education, Bulletin No. 20.

Buell, Jennie: _One Woman's Work for Farm Women._ 50c. Whitcomb &
    Barrows, Boston.

Burnham, Ernest: _Two Types of Rural Schools._ (1912) 129 pp. Teachers
    College, Columbia, New York.

Butterfield, K. L.: _Chapters in Rural Progress._ $1.00. Univ. of
    Chicago Press. _The Country Church and the Rural Problem._ (1911)
    165 pp. Univ. of Chicago Press.

Carney, Mabel: _Country Life and the Country School._ (1912) 405 pp.
    Row, Peterson & Co., Chicago.

Conference on Rural Education--_Proceedings._ (1913) 45 pp. Wright &
    Potter, Boston.

Coulter, John Lee: _Coöperation Among Farmers._ (1911) 75c. Sturgis &
    Walton Co., New York.

Cubberly, E. P.: _The Improvement of the Rural School._ (1912) 75 pp.
    Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. _Rural Life and Education._ Houghton
    Mifflin Co., Boston.

Curtis, Henry S.: _Play and Recreation for the Open Country._ (1914) 265
    pp. Ginn & Co., Boston.

Davenport, Mrs. E.: _Possibilities of the Country Home._ (Bulletin.)
    University of Illinois, Urbana.

Dodd, Helen C.: _The Healthful Farm House; by a Farmer's Wife._ (1911)
    69 pp. Whitcomb & Barrows, New York.

Eggleston, J. D., and Bruère, R. W.: _The Work of the Rural School._
    (1913) 287 pp. Harpers.

Fiske, G. W.: _The Challenge of the Country._ (1912) 283 pp. Association
    Press, New York.

Foght, H. W.: _The American Rural School._ (1910) 361 pp. Macmillan Co.,
    New York.

F. T.: _The Country School of To-morrow._ (1913) 15 pp. General
    Education Board, New York.

Gillette, J. M.: _Constructive Rural Sociology._ (1913) 301 pp. Sturgis
    & Walton, New York.

Haggard, H. R.: _Rural Denmark and its Lessons._ (1911) $2.25. Longmans,
    Green & Co., New York.

Hutchinson, F. K.: _Our Country Life._ (1912) 316 pp. A. C. McClurg &
    Co., Chicago.

Kern, O. J.: _Among Country Schools._ (1906) 366 pp. Ginn & Co., Boston.

Macdonald, N. C.: _The Consolidation of Rural Schools in North Dakota._
    (1913) 35 pp. State Board of Education, Bismarck, N. D.

McKeever, Wm. A.: _Farm Boys and Girls._ (1912) 326 pp. Macmillan Co.,
    New York.

Monahan, A. C.: _The Status of Rural Education in the U. S._ Bureau of
    Education, Washington, D. C.

Page, L. W.: _Roads, Paths, and Bridges._ (1912) $1.00. Sturgis & Walton
    Co., New York.

Pennsylvania Rural Progress Association: _Proceedings, Rural Life
    Conference._ (1912) 227 pp. Julius Smith, Secretary, Pennsdale, Pa.

Plunkett, Sir Horace C.: _Rural Problem in the U. S._ (1910) 174 pp.

Report of National Commission on Rural Life. Doc. No. 705. Government
    Printing Office, Washington, D. C.

Schmidt, C. C.: _Consolidation of Schools._ University of North Dakota.

Seerley, H. H.: _The Country School._ (1913) 218 pp. Scribner's Sons,
    New York. _Rural School Education._ (1912) 84 pp. University of

Wray, Angelina: _Jean Mitchell's School._ $1.00. Public School Pub. Co.,
    Bloomington, Ind.


Allman, L. J.: _Teachers for Rural Schools._ Report, N. E. A. (1910) pp.
    280 and 575.

Bailey, L. H.: _Why Boys Leave the Farm._ Century, 72: 410-16 (July,

Barnes, F. R.: _Present Defects in the Rural Schools._ Report N. D. E.
    A. (1909) pp. 259-266.

Bruère, Martha Bensley: _The Farmer and His Wife._ Good Housekeeping
    Mag., June, 1914, p. 820, New York.

Conference for Education in the South; _Proceedings, 1909._ Foster,
    Webb, and Parkes, Nashville, Tenn.

Consolidation: Drop a postal card to Superintendents of Public
    Instruction for latest printed matter.

Cotton, F. A.: _Country Life and the Country School._ School and Home
    Education, 28:90-94 (Nov., 1908).

Coulter, J. C.: _Coöperative Farming._ World's Work, 23: 59-63 (Nov.,

_County Supervision._ Report N.E.A. 1908, p. 252.

Cubberly, E. P.: _Politics and the Country School Problem._ Educ.
    Review, 47:10-21 (Jan., 1914).

Gillette, J. M.: _The Drift to the City._ Am. Journal of Sociology,
    16:645-67 (Mar., 1911).

Hibbard, B. H.: _Tenancy in the North Central States._ Quar. Journal of
    Economics, 25:710-29 (Aug., 1911).

Hill, J. J.: _What We Must Do to be Fed._ World's Work, 19: 12226-54
    (Nov., 1909).

McClure, D. E.: _Education of Country Children for the Farm._ Education,
    26:65-70 (Oct., 1905).

Miller, E. E.: _Factors in the Re-making of Country Life._ Forum,
    48:354-62 (Sept., 1912).

_Passing of the Man With the Hoe._ World's Work, 20: 13246-58 (Aug.,

_Rural Life and Rural Education._ Report N. E. A. 1912, pp. 281-313.

Supervision: Index of N. E. A. Reports For County. Report of 1908, pp.

Wells, George F.: _Is an Organized Country Life Movement Possible?_
    Survey, 29:449-56 (Jan. 4, 1913).


    Activity and passivity, 179

    Affiliation, 112

    Agricultural colleges, 46, 162

    Apperception mass, 101

    Assistant county superintendent, 134

    Attendance in consolidated school, 73

    Automobile parties, 124

    "Back to the country," 9

    Best, the--the cheapest, 157

    Boarding place, 62

    Boy Scouts, 177

    Bright side of rural life, 173

    Camp-Fire Girls, 177

    Character, 83

    Child labor, 180

    China, 107, 144

    Chores, 10

    Cities, population of, 19;
      churches of, 23;
      conveniences in, 20, 21;
      schools of, 22

    Commission, Rural, 9, 164

    Committee of Twelve, 162

    Community activities, 115

    Consolidation, 37, 60, 63, 65, 75;
      cost, 70;
      difficulties, 64;
      effects of, 71, 72, 73, 74;
      process, 63;
      when not needed, 64

    Conventions, 163

    Coöperation, 139, 140, 145, 158

    County superintendence, 129

    Course of study, 108

    Curriculum in rural schools, 100-113

    Dancing, 120

    Debates, 116

    District system, 64

    Diversification in farming, 156, 165

    Dramatic performances, 118

    Driver, 69

    Education, 77;
      of teachers, 84;
      value of, 24

    Educational centers, 23;
      column in press, 150

    Environment, 105, 175

    Examination of schools, 135

    Exhibits, school, 122

    Experience, teaching, 85

    Extension work, 166

    Farmer, the, and his home, 152;
      and his politics, 164

    Forum, a rural, 123

    Games, 121, 176

    Grading, 71

    Harvesting machinery, 38-41

    High schools, progress in, 47

    Higher education, progress in, 44

    Hopkins, Mark, 34, 35, 78

    Hours of labor, 170

    Ideal life, 159

    Imitation, 18, 100, 101

    Individual work, 109

    Inseparables, the three, 88, 91, 126

    Interpreting core, 101

    Inventiveness in rural life, 177-179

    Kindness, too much, 80

    Knots, untying, 70

    Labor, hours of, 170

    Labor-saving devices, 155

    Laws, self-imposed, 150

    Leadership, 62, 114, 139, 147

    Lectures, 118

    Leveling process, 153, 154

    Library extension, 166

    Literary society, 115

    Literature, urbanized, 22

    Machinery, caring for, 158

    Married teachers, 75

    Men needed in teaching, 53, 93

    Mental factor, 172

    Mixed farming, 165

    "Mode," the, 88, 89

    Model rural school, 61

    Moving pictures, 120

    Münsterberg, Prof. H., 92

    Murphy, Francis, 141

    Music, 119

    Normal schools, 45

    Ocean travel, 43

    Organization, 26, 125

    "Overflow of instruction," 111

    Physical soundness, 82, 122

    Plant, the educational, 34, 35, 77

    Problem, rural, 24, 36, 37, 57, 131

    Profession, 57, 90

    Profit-sharing, 145

    Progress, lines of, 38-48

    Punctuality, 73

    Reaping machines, 14, 38

    Renaissance, rural, 160

    Responsibility, 142

    Retired farmers, 23

    Retirement fund, 94

    Roads, better, 75

    Routine, 11

    Rural Commission, 9, 164

    Rural schools, 49;
      backward, 15, 47, 49;
      buildings, 28;
      course of study for, 108;
      good, 36, 61;
      interior, 31;
      no progress in, 50;
      organization, 26;
      ventilation of, 29

    Rural teachers, 102;
      courses for, 59, 103

    Salaries, 87, 96, 97

    School board, 98

    Scientific farming, 165; spirit, 107

    Self-activity, 148, 149, 150

    Social center, 74, 114, 137;
      cost of, 124, 126;
      as business center, 125

    Spelling school, 117

    Sports, 121

    Standards, 54, 58, 90;
      to be raised, 92

    Steam engine, 42

    Storm, A. V., 53

    Supervision, 55, 60, 74, 127, 129;
      city, 132;
      county, 129, 131;
      importance of, 127;
      nominal, 129;
      overdone, 128;
      purpose of, 132

    Surroundings, effect of, on children, 30, 34

    Teacher, 35, 75, 77, 79, 87, 113;
      chief factor, 34;
      leader, 62, 114, 147;
      courses for, 59, 83, 103

    Terms, school, 55, 109

    Textbook teaching, 104

    Township system, 65, 66

    Transportation of pupils, 67, 69

    Urban trend, 19

    Urbanized literature, 22

    Value of education, 24

    Ventilation, 29

    Wages, 90, 96

    Waste land, 160

    Winter work, 14

    Women's condition, 16

    Work, value of, 10, 14, 157, 180;
      city, 23;
      farm, 12

    Yearly routine, 11

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Rural Life and the Rural School" ***

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