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Title: Introduction to the scientific study of education
Author: Judd, Charles Hubbard
Language: English
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                          Transcriber’s Notes

Obvious typographical errors have been silently corrected. Variations
in hyphenation have been standardised but all other spelling and
punctuation remains unchanged.

Footnotes are at the end of Chapters.

Italics are represented thus _italic_.

                          INTRODUCTION TO THE
                          SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF


                         CHARLES HUBBARD JUDD


                           GINN AND COMPANY

                 BOSTON · NEW YORK · CHICAGO · LONDON


                          ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


                          The Athenæum Press
                   GINN AND COMPANY · PROPRIETORS ·
                            BOSTON · U.S.A.


This book is the result of eight years of experimentation. In 1909
the Department of Education of The University of Chicago abandoned
the practice of requiring courses in the History of Education and
Psychology as introductory courses for students preparing to become
teachers. For these courses it substituted one in Introduction to
Education and one in Methods of Teaching. This move was due to the
conviction that students need to be introduced to the problems of the
school in a direct, concrete way, and that the first courses should
constantly keep in mind the lack of perspective which characterizes the

In the years that have elapsed since 1909 the conviction has gained
almost universal acceptance in normal schools and colleges of education
that the History of Education is not a suitable introductory course.
Psychology has grown in the direction of a scientific discussion of
methodology, and the demand for a general introductory discussion of
educational problems from a scientific point of view has often been
expressed by teachers in normal schools and colleges. In this period
the writer has had frequent opportunity to try out various methods of
presenting such an introductory course. The results of this experience
are presented in this volume, which is designed as a textbook for
students in normal schools and colleges in the first stages of their
professional study.

The teacher who uses this book can expand the course to double the
length here outlined by introducing schoolroom observation and
supplementary reading. The questions and references offered at the
end of each chapter and the references in the footnotes are intended
to facilitate such further work. A set of questions is given in the
Appendix as a guide to classroom observation.

The obligations which the author has incurred in the preparation of the
book are numerous. Almost every member of the Department of Education
of The University of Chicago has at some time or other given the
course to a division of students, and all have contributed suggestions
and criticisms with regard to the organization of material. Special
obligations should be noted in this connection to Professors J. F.
Bobbitt, S. C. Parker, F. N. Freeman, H. O. Rugg, and W. S. Gray. To
Professor E. H. Cameron the author is under obligation for suggestions
made after reading the manuscript. To the authors and publishers whose
works have been drawn upon for extensive and numerous quotations,
special thanks are due for courteous permission to use their material.
Finally, it is to the students who have from year to year passed
through this course that the largest obligation should be acknowledged
because of the suggestions which their reactions have given to the

  C. H. J.




  THE SCHOOL                                                           1

 The pupil’s view limited. Conservatism in the community as a natural
 consequence. Demand for a broad scientific study. Beginnings of the
 science of education. Effectiveness of studies of retardation. A study
 of high-school courses. An experimental analysis of a fundamental
 subject. A study of the relation of education to general social life.
 The scientific study of educational problems. Exercises and readings.

  AND OF OTHER TIMES                                                  14

 The comparative and historical methods. The American textbook method
 of teaching. Independence of thought based on reading. European
 schools caste schools, American schools truly public. Influence
 of European schools on the educational system of this country.
 Report of the visiting committee of Taunton in 1801. Adoption of
 the German model. Results of the adoption of the German example.
 The reorganization of American schools. Origin of the high school.
 Education of girls. Higher education free. American public schools
 secular. The school system and its domination of the teacher.
 Exercises and readings.


 The primitive attitude one of neglect. Compulsory education.
 Compulsion of communities. Later stages of compulsory legislation.
 American education to 1850. Compulsory attendance. Obstacles to
 enforcement of compulsory attendance. Newer legislation recognizing
 complexity of problems of attendance. Supervision a necessary
 corollary to compulsion. Higher education and public control. Public
 control adequate only when directed by science. Fiscal problem
 typical. Exercises and readings.

  NEW GENERATION                                                      46

 The cost of educating an individual. Total school expenditures
 in the United States. Cost a determining consideration in school
 organization. Relation of school expenditures to other public
 expenses. Urgent demands for economy and efficiency. Expenditures
 in relation to wealth. Costs of different levels of education. Costs
 of different subjects of instruction. Costs of classes of different
 sizes. Salaries. Books and supplies. The meaning of financial
 organization and educational accounting. Exercises and readings.

  CARRYING ON SCHOOLS                                                 63

 Class instruction given over to the teacher. Supervision. Sketch of
 development of a school system. The community slow to delegate school
 control. Limits of authority and responsibility not clear. Statement
 by a public educating association. What is a representative board of
 education? The functions of a board of education. How a good board
 gets the work done. Making the machine work smoothly. Report of
 committee of superintendents. Obsolete administration system. Status
 of superintendency varies. District control discarded system of school
 administration. An effective substitute to be discovered. Dangers of
 this period of adjustment. Organization under scientific principles.
 Control of school work through tests. A study of the building needs of
 a city. The errors of democracy. Exercises and readings.

  CHAPTER VI. THE SCHOOL BUILDING                                     78

 The building as an evidence of a community’s educational views.
 Contrasts in plans of rural schools. Contrasts in urban elementary
 schools. A high-school building of the early type. The hygiene
 of lighting. The hygiene of ventilation and heating. Hygienic
 equipment. Relation of equipment to the course of study. Modern
 school construction and costs. The Gary plan for distributing pupils
 and enlarging the scope of school work. Requirements to be met when
 the Gary plan is adopted. The construction of consolidated schools.
 Comparative statistics. Exercises and readings.

  CHAPTER VII. GROUPING PUPILS IN CLASSES                             96

 Transition to problems of internal organization. Economy a first
 motive for grouping. Social influence an important motive. Grouping
 in the one-room school. Courses of instruction in relation to the
 problem of grouping. New problems of grouping in large schools.
 Fundamentally different views on the curriculum. The ungraded class in
 graded schools. Cases where failures show the urgency of the grading
 problem. Efforts to adjust instruction to pupils. Readjustments of the
 curriculum. Problems of grouping in high school. Illegitimate reasons
 for promoting pupils. Experiments and studies which aim to supply
 both individual instruction and class instruction. Arrangement of the
 materials of instruction. Exercises and readings.

  AND ITS REORGANIZATION                                             113

 Importance of a study of the curriculum. The specialized curriculum
 of higher schools. Problems of generalizing a specialized curriculum.
 Traditional character of mathematics courses in high schools.
 Suggestions of new subjects. Present-day social demands. Traditional
 neglect of industrial education on the part of the public. The demand
 for revision of the curriculum. Summary. Exercises and readings.

  GENERAL EDUCATION                                                  127

 Present-day wavering between specialized and general training. The
 theory of separate schools for different classes of people. Statement
 of principles. Public demand for a new curriculum. Commercial courses
 in high schools. Agricultural high schools. Part-time courses. Various
 types of trade schools. The Manhattan Trade School, New York City.
 Practical applications as parts of academic courses. Studies of social
 activities. Exercises and readings.

  CHAPTER X. EXTENSION OF SCHOOL ACTIVITIES                          141

 A general social movement. Credit for home activities. Bulletin
 for teachers: home credits. Relation of home work to traditional
 school work. After-school classes and vacation classes. Continuation
 classes for adults. Demonstrations as means of economic and social
 improvement. Entertainment as part of the educational program.
 Associations aimed directly at the improvement of schools.
 Correspondence schools. Principles required to systematize educational
 activities. Exercises and readings.

  ORGANIZATION OF THE CURRICULUM                                     156

 Necessity of practical decisions in spite of confusion. The doctrine
 of discipline. The doctrine of natural education in the form of the
 doctrine of freedom. Concentration and interest. Popular attitude
 toward discipline. Examples of discipline and freedom. Natural
 education and recognition of individual differences. Natural education
 as training for life. Training in the methods of knowledge and
 general training. Examples of views on formal training. Prominence of
 curriculum in determining quality of instruction. Bases for judging
 curriculum and syllabi. Formal discipline and transfer of training.
 Relation of subjects to maturity of pupils. Summary. Exercises and

  CHAPTER XII. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES                                170

 Adaptation of curriculum to individual pupils. Low grades of
 intelligence. Differentiated courses. Tests of general intelligence.
 Exceptionally bright pupils. Sex differences. Differences in
 industrial opportunity for the sexes and corresponding demands for
 training. Household arts as extras. Demand for new courses for girls.
 Individual differences which appear during training. Democratic
 recognition of individual differences. Exercises and readings.

  DEVELOPMENT                                                        184

 Recognition of periodicity in present organization. The meaning of
 infancy. The period before entering school. The primary period one of
 social imitation. The period of individualism. Early adolescence as a
 period of social consciousness. The new school adapted to adolescence.
 Later adolescence a period of specialization. The reorganized school
 system. Exercises and readings.

  CURRICULUM                                                         197

 The curriculum based on authority versus the living curriculum. Older
 subjects products of long selection. Social needs and the curriculum.
 Systematic studies as devices for facilitating evolution of the
 curriculum. A study of representative adults. A study of current
 references. A study of the mistakes of pupils. Prerequisites for
 higher courses. Administrative studies. Need of broad, coöperative
 studies. Exercises and readings.

  CHAPTER XV. STANDARDIZATION                                        212

 Tests and measurements of products. Earlier standards based on
 opinion. Objective and exact standards. Beginnings of the movement.
 Handwriting scales. Speed as a correlate of quality. Standards,
 personal and impersonal. Social standards versus imposed standards.
 Comparison through exact measurement. Records as a basis of
 standardization. Studies of oral reading. Studies dealing with
 other subjects. Mechanical aspects the first to be standardized.
 Standardization and the science of education. Exercises and readings.

  CHAPTER XVI. METHODS                                               229

 Meaning of the term “method.” Meaning of the term “device.”
 Personal methods and devices. Supposed conflict between methods and
 subject-matter. Two examples of modern methods. Object teaching.
 Laboratory method in physics. Spread of the laboratory idea. Reaction
 against the question and answer method. Inefficient methods of study.
 Organizing a school for supervised study. Organizing subject-matter
 for supervised study. Experiments in method. Method as a subject of
 scientific tests. Exercises and readings.

  CHAPTER XVII. CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT                                 242

 Intellectual progress and social conditions. Social training general.
 Types of social organization. Social control through anticipation.
 Organization of routine. Punishments and rewards. Larger social
 organization. Attempts to classify unruly members of the social group.
 Impersonal discipline. Exercises and readings.

  PROBLEMS                                                           254

 Programs and marks. The total school day. The class period.
 Physiological fatigue. Conditions like fatigue. Practical precepts
 based on study of fatigue. Administrative considerations controlling
 length of the class period. Adjustment of work within the period.
 Adjustment of credits. The problem of grading. Experiments with
 grading systems. The study of marks as an introduction to a study of
 the school system. Exercises and readings.

  CHAPTER XIX. PLAY                                                  266

 Motives for cultivation of physical powers. Earlier attitude toward
 play. Play as natural behavior. Periods in the development of play.
 Play as natural education. Social necessity of recreation. Play as
 physical education. The school and play. Surveys of children’s play
 in cities. Systematizing instruction in play. Survey of recreational
 facilities. Play as part of the regular school program. Slow spread of
 modern attitude toward play. Exercises and readings.

  CHAPTER XX. HEALTH SUPERVISION                                     279

 The relation of health to school work. Treatment of pathological
 cases. School luncheons. Control of home feeding. Public attention
 to nutrition of children. Control of contagion. The school health
 department. Difficulties of introducing health instruction. Health as
 a subject of instruction and as a mode of life. Exercises and readings.

  CHAPTER XXI. SCIENTIFIC SUPERVISION                                289

 Evolution of the demand for supervision. The principal. Other
 supervisory officers. Lack of public appreciation of central problems.
 Managerial training in relation to democracy. The purpose of the
 present discussion. Studies of the community. Selection and management
 of teachers. Standardization by measurement of results. An example of
 public recognition of the need of efficiency measurements. Scientific
 studies and central supervision. Scientific supervision. Exercises and

  CHAPTER XXII. THE SCIENCE OF EDUCATION                             299

 Scientific methods of studying schools. Definition through enumeration
 of methods. The history of educational theory and practice. Courses
 in psychology. Educational psychology. Statistical studies. The
 experimental method. Extension of use of psychological methods.
 Studies of retardation. School experiments and laboratory studies.
 Examples throughout earlier chapters. Studies of administrative
 problems. Method of comparison. Records necessary to scientific
 study. Subdivisions of the science of education. Rapid expansion of
 the science of education. Definition of the science of education.
 Exercises and readings.

  TEACHERS                                                           308

 Increasing demand for professional training. American normal schools.
 American demands on secondary-school teachers. German training of
 secondary-school teachers. New courses in colleges and universities
 for secondary-school teachers. The requirements of a standardizing
 association. The California requirements the most advanced in the
 United States. Continuation training of school officers. Specialized
 training for administration. Contributions to the science of
 education. Exercises and readings.

  APPENDIX                                                           321

  INDEX                                                              327


  FIGURE                                                           PAGE

  1. Average number of high-school units in the approved schools
  of the various states of the North Central Association               6

  2A. Pauses made in silent reading                                    8

  2B. Pauses made in oral reading                                      9

  3. Diagram showing the organization of German schools and
  American schools                                                    18

  4. Proportion of public money spent for public schools and
  other items                                                         50

  5. Distribution in the various grades of each thousand dollars
  expended for instruction                                            59

  6. Floor plan of a typical school building of the old style         79

  7. Floor plan of a well-arranged one-teacher rural school of
  minimum cost                                                        80

  8. An old and a new rural school                                    81

  9A. Ground plan of Alabama School                                   83

  9B. Exterior of Alabama School                                      83

  10A. Ground plan of Empire School                                   84

  10B. Exterior of Empire School                                      84

  11. Record of nonpromotions and failures in Cleveland, 1914        103

  12. Enrollment in private vocational schools and in public high
  schools of Chicago                                                 133

  13. Individual differences in the number of lines read in a minute
  by pupils in the fifth grades of two schools                       181

  14. Average quality and average speed of handwriting of pupils
  of the four upper grades in ten schools                            218

  15. Speed and quality of handwriting                               223

  16. Distribution of grades in various Harvard classes              263


  TABLE                                                            PAGE

  I. Expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools
  compared for a period of years, including also a comparison
  of population for the same periods                                  48

  II. Per cent of total governmental cost payments devoted to
  various city departments                                            51

  III. Cost per pupil in elementary schools and high schools in
  selected cities                                                     55

  IV. Cost, per thousand student hours, of instruction in high
  schools in the various subjects of the curriculum                   57

  V. The portion of each thousand dollars spent for instruction
  in each subject in each of the first six elementary grades          58

  VI. Percentages of failures in the chief subjects of instruction in
  the five high schools of Denver in June, 1915                      107





Most people think of school matters from the pupil’s point of view.
When they learned arithmetic and grammar, or later when they studied
algebra and Latin, each course was presented to them as though it were
a perfect system. The teacher did not confide in them that arithmetic
probably ought to be revised by the omission of many of its topics,
that formal grammar is a very doubtful subject, and that both algebra
and Latin are on the point of losing their places as required subjects.
The pupil sees the front of the school scenery; the machinery behind is
known only to those who conduct the performance.

It would be possible to multiply indefinitely examples which show that
the pupil’s view of the school is very limited. What pupil understands
the duties of the principal or the superintendent, or of the still more
remote and mysterious board of education? Where does the daily program
come from? Who decides about textbooks? Why are school buildings
commonly planned with large study-rooms? Most of these questions
are never thought of by pupils. Everything in school life seems to
have a kind of inevitableness which raises it above question or even


The narrowness of the pupil’s view would have less serious consequences
if it were not for the fact that the pupil becomes in mature life a
member of a board of education or adopts teaching as his profession.
Then trouble results, because there is machinery which must be kept
running if schools are to be efficient, and this machinery suffers if
intrusted to the hands of those who do not understand its complexities.

One school superintendent, who encountered vigorous opposition to the
introduction of changes in the course of study, wrote as follows:

 The average American citizen whose schooling was limited to the
 primary and grammar grades looks with reverence upon the subjects
 there taught, and refuses to concur in a change of the course of study
 for the elementary school. Associated with the average citizen is a
 heavy percentage of the teaching faculty of both elementary and high
 schools throughout the country.[1]

Another superintendent, who was more successful in bringing about
reforms, makes this statement:

 People are more conservative in their attitude towards educational
 innovations than toward new adjustments to meet the demands of
 changing modern life in any other field of activity. Each adult is
 inclined to overvalue the particular type of training he received and
 to regard with suspicion any change which will tend to discredit this
 sort of training received at such an expenditure of time and money.
 The schools are, therefore, the last institution to respond to the
 changing demands of modern life.[2]


If schools are to be progressive and efficient, they must be studied
very much more broadly and comprehensively than they can be from the
pupil’s point of view. The suggestion naturally arises that this
broader study is a part of the professional duty of the teacher. So
it is; but it will not be enough merely to exhibit the intricacies of
education to teachers. The whole community must be shown by scientific
methods that the school is a complex social institution, and that its
conduct, like the conduct of every other social institution, requires
constant study and expert supervision. In this movement of opening the
eyes of the community to the needs and nature of education, the school
officers must be leaders; but their methods must be impersonal and


During recent years the demand for a thorough and comprehensive
study of schools by scientific methods has led to a number of
investigations which can be offered as an optimistic beginning of a
science of education. It would, indeed, be far beyond the truth to
assert that science has settled all the problems of teaching and of
school organization. There is, however, a very respectable body of
fact which has been clearly enough defined so that it can in no wise
be set aside. In certain details the requirements of a scientifically
valid educational scheme are known and can be described. The method
of studying schools can safely be said to be established. It is the
work of the future to take up, now this problem, now that, and by
progressive stages to work out a complete science of school management
and classroom organization.

It will be the purpose of subsequent chapters to define fully certain
of the leading problems with which the science of education deals. The
remainder of this chapter will be devoted to a brief statement of
certain typical studies, which will make more concrete and definite
the contention that the pupil’s view of schools is narrow and that the
teacher’s view must be extended, as must also that of the community at
large, if educational conditions are to be improved.


First, we may refer to investigations which have been made of the rate
of promotion of pupils through the grades.

Whenever a pupil fails to complete the work of a grade in the appointed
time, it is evident that there is some kind of maladjustment. The
pupil may be incompetent to do the work required of him because he is
mentally deficient. On the other hand, it may be that the work is ill
chosen and in need of revision. The following statement from one of
the leading students of education in the United States describes with
clearness the problem and the progress made in meeting it.

 Just ten years ago the distinguished superintendent of schools of New
 York called attention to the fact that 39 per cent of the children in
 the schools of that city were above the normal ages for their grades.
 This aroused widespread investigation, which showed that similar
 conditions obtained in other cities throughout the country. Soon
 studies of this phase of educational efficiency showed that the same
 conditions which resulted in our schools being crowded with retarded
 children also prevented a large proportion of these children from ever
 completing the elementary grades.

 About seven years ago this became one of the most widely studied
 problems of educational administration, and in the past four it has
 been one of the prominent parts of the school surveys. During the
 entire period hundreds of superintendents throughout the country have
 been readjusting their schools to better the conditions disclosed.

 In these seven years the number of children graduating each year from
 the elementary schools of America has doubled. The number now is
 three quarters of a million greater annually than it was then. The
 only great organized industry in America that has increased the output
 of its finished product as rapidly as the public schools during the
 past seven years is the automobile industry.

 It is probable that no other one thing so fundamentally important to
 the future of America as this accomplishment of our public schools
 has taken place in recent years. There is every evidence that this
 is the direct result of applying measurements to education. If the
 school survey movement now under way can produce other results at all
 comparable with this one, we need have no fear for the outcome.[3]

The quotation does not tell us how the reform has been worked out.
That is a long story. In some cities better teachers were needed and
have been employed. In a great number of cases the course of study
has been revised. Sometimes smaller classes have been provided. So on
through a long list of details, one might enumerate the reforms which
have resulted from a careful study of the one fact that pupils in the
schools were older than they normally should be.


A second type of study can be borrowed from the reports of the North
Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. This Association
has as its practical purpose the inspection of the secondary schools
and colleges of the northern states from Ohio to Colorado. The
inspectors of high schools in seventeen states brought together in the
report of 1916 a number of exact statistics regarding 1128 approved
schools.[4] One set of these facts may be selected for special comment.

[Illustration: FIG. 1. Average number of high-school units in the
approved schools of the various states of the North Central Association

The full-drawn lines are proportional in length to the number of units
offered in academic subjects; the dotted lines, to technical subjects]

The number of units, or courses, offered in high schools has increased
rapidly in recent years. Especially marked is the addition to the
school program of technical subjects, such as home economics, manual
training, and commercial courses. The report here under discussion
states that in all the approved schools of the association there is an
average of 21.13 academic units, that is, units in such subjects as
languages, history, mathematics, science, and English; and an average
of 9.41 units in technical or vocational subjects.

When we examine the individual states, we find that Minnesota, which
has a large state fund, much progressive legislation on high schools,
and a vigorous state department of education, shows averages of 23.87
academic units and 12.65 units of vocational subjects. South Dakota,
where the school system is new and economic conditions are much less
favorable, has averages of 17.62 academic units and 6.46 vocational
units. The more striking differences are those which arise not
from economic conditions but from clearly indicated differences in
educational policy. Ohio has an average of 22.24 academic units, which
is high, and an average of only 7.26 vocational units, which is low. On
the other hand, Kansas has 22.9 academic units, or just about the same
as Ohio, and 10.13 units in vocational subjects.

Finally, if we carry the comparison into still further detail by
examining the schools in a single state, we find in Ohio one city
with a high school of 870 students offering 18 academic units and 5
vocational units, while in another city, where the student body numbers
710 students, the school offers 24 academic units and 22 vocational

The comparisons are illuminating in several respects. It is probable
that most communities are ignorant of the fact that their own high
schools differ from others. The publication of definite facts with
regard to the practices of schools would stimulate wholesome thinking
on school problems. The whole life of a school depends in very large
measure on the course of study. When there are such wide divergences
as are here indicated, there is clear evidence of differences in
educational policies in different states and communities. At the
present time the accepted policies are often the products of tradition
or accident. They should be made subjects of careful study and either
confirmed or revised.

[Illustration: FIG. 2 A. Pauses made in silent reading

The vertical lines, Figs. 2 A, 2 B, show where the eyes of an adult
reader paused during the reading. The numbers above the vertical lines
in the two figures indicate the order of the fixations]


As a third type of scientific study we may take certain recent
laboratory investigations of reading. Reading is the most important
subject taught in the schools; yet there are the widest differences
in the results secured with different pupils. It is the duty of the
schools to find out what constitutes the difference between good
readers and bad readers, in order that both classes may be improved.

[Illustration: FIG. 2 B. Pauses made in oral reading

The numbers below the vertical lines, Figs. 2 A, 2 B, indicate the
duration of each pause in fiftieths of a second. (To reduce these
figures to the unit adopted in the text multiply by twenty)]

The method of these studies consists in photographing the reader’s eyes
as they travel along printed lines. The number and length of the pauses
are thus determined. It is found in general that competent readers see
more at a glance than do poor readers. Furthermore, it is found that
different types of reading are radically different; thus there is a
marked difference between oral and silent reading. The importance of
distinguishing these two types of reading lies in the fact that most
of the teaching of reading in the elementary schools is by means of the
oral method. Most of the demands of later life, and all of the demands
made upon pupils when they study textbooks in geography and history and
the other subjects of the school course, call for ability in silent
reading. The results of investigations can be briefly stated in the
following averages: the average numbers of pauses per line in oral
reading for adults, high-school pupils, and elementary-school pupils,
reading passages of different grades of difficulty, are 8.2, 8.6, and
8.1, while the corresponding averages for silent reading are 6.5, 7,
and 6.3. These figures mean that the eye makes more pauses along a
printed line when the reader is reading orally than when he is reading
silently. Oral reading is therefore a more laborious, difficult form
of reading. Furthermore, the time spent in each pause is greater in
oral reading. The averages in thousandths of a second for oral reading
for the three classes of readers are 380.8, 372.9, 398, while the
corresponding figures for silent reading are 308.2, 311.1, and 314.[5]
These figures show that oral reading is slow as well as laborious.

It would require more discussion than is appropriate at this point to
bring out the full meaning of such facts as these. Enough appears on
the surface of the results, however, to make it quite evident that the
school ought not to emphasize oral reading in the upper grades as it
does to-day. The daily oral-reading drill in the seventh and eighth
grades imposes on the pupils a slow, clumsy form of reading at a time
when they ought to be cultivating the power of rapid silent reading.

It is by means of investigations of this kind that each of the subjects
of instruction is being examined, and as a result schoolwork is
increasingly developing effective methods of cultivating children’s
intellectual powers. The work of analyzing each of the subjects will
be slow and will require the coöperation of many investigators, but in
several subjects, especially in the elementary schools, an encouraging
beginning has been made.


A fourth and final example can be borrowed from studies made in the
city of Minneapolis of the opportunities for trade training in that
city, of the number of workmen needed in each of the trades, and of the
kind of preparation required for efficiency in each branch of labor.
An industrial and educational survey of the community was undertaken
for the specific purpose of adapting educational organization to the
practical needs of the community.[6] Such a study recognizes the fact
that the school is but one among many social institutions and that the
school must find its proper place in community life through a thorough
scientific study of other more general social activities.


Here, again, it is by no means asserted that the solution of the
problem of training workers for the industries has been found. It can,
however, be stated with complete assurance that both the school and
the community will proceed with greater intelligence if the facts are
carefully canvassed in advance.

The spirit of patient, detailed scientific study is more and more
dominating the schools. There are some who, impatient at the
labor involved in such studies, would rush forward to radical
experimentation. Fortunately, even such rash reformers are becoming
convinced that they need to keep records of their results in order to
prove the success of the changes which they have made. As a result,
they too are taking on some of the forms of science, though they do not
adopt the full program of patient study of conditions.

The result of a scientific movement such as is under way in education
will be the cultivation of a broader conception than was ever possible
from any individual point of view. The pupil’s view is narrow because
he comes in contact with the school only at the point of application of
educational methods to his own life. The scientific view of education
is broad because it places the school in its proper relations to other
social activities, because it defines the relation of the pupils and
teachers to one another and to the material used for instruction, and
because it opens up all the results of school work to full inspection
and evaluation. This broad scientific view is the one which the teacher
and the community at large should adopt.


In every school certain changes are introduced from time to time in
spite of the conservatism of the community. Let the student find
examples of (1) new courses of study, (2) new methods of appointing
or promoting teachers, or (3) new forms of organization, such as
the junior high school or departmental teaching. After discovering
innovations, let him find how they were brought about.

What are the usual forms of school records and reports known to the
student? How could records be made of more value? Suggest methods of
presenting the facts of daily attendance so that they can be readily
interpreted by a community. What are some of the interpretations that
ought to be put on failures and nonpromotions in different kinds of
cases? Is repetition of a course desirable for a pupil who has failed?
Are failures more common in required courses than in elective courses?
When a required course is described as essential to the education of
everyone, what is meant?

Let the student test his own rates of reading. How should a college
class differ from a high-school class in ability to read? Go to a
library or study-room and watch the people read. Report the differences
between individuals.

The readings which are most stimulating to students who have never
faced the problems of school organization are those which call in
question present school practices.

 DEWEY, JOHN. The School and Society. The University of Chicago Press.
 This is one of the most stimulating demands for a reorganization of
 the school which has ever been written.

 ROUSSEAU, JEAN JACQUES. Émile. D. Appleton and Company. This is a book
 of great historical significance. It is an indictment of formalism in
 education and a vigorous advocacy of naturalism.

 SPENCER, HERBERT. Essays on Education. D. Appleton and Company. This
 is a demand for a thorough reform of the school curriculum. It is now
 nearly sixty years old, but it is modern in its spirit.


[1] Report of Mrs. Ella Flagg Young, Superintendent of Schools of the
City of Chicago, for the Year Ending June 30, 1915, published as a part
of the Sixty-first Annual Report of the Board of Education, p. 25.

[2] Special Report of the Boise Public Schools, by Superintendent C. S.
Meek, June, 1915, p. 57.

[3] Leonard P. Ayres, “School Surveys,” _School and Society_, Vol. I,
No. 17, April 24, 1915, pp. 580-581.

[4] Proceedings of the Twenty-first Annual Meeting of the North Central
Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, Chicago, 1916, pp.

[5] William A. Schmidt, An Experimental Study in the Psychology of
Reading (Supplementary Educational Monograph of the _School Review_ and
the _Elementary School Journal_, Vol. I, No. 2), p. 43.

[6] Report of the Minneapolis Survey for Vocational Education,
_Bulletin No. 21_ of the National Society for the Promotion of
Industrial Education, 1916.




The scientific methods of studying school problems, which were
illustrated in the last chapter, can be supported and supplemented
by a comparison of the schools of the present with the institutions
of earlier times, and by a comparison of the schools of different
countries with one another. Such comparisons seldom serve as an
adequate basis for the reorganization of school practices, because
the conditions in one generation and in one country are so unlike
those of others that direct transfer of methods of procedure is
dangerous. Comparison serves, however, to set in clear perspective the
characteristics which distinguish each situation from every other. If
an American wishes to see the school system with which he is familiar
from a new point of view, the comparative method furnishes a kind of
outside station from which he may look back and see facts which were by
no means clear in their meaning when viewed from near at hand.


One very impressive difference between the schools of the United
States and the schools of Europe is to be found in the fact that
class exercises in our schools are commonly based on assignments in
textbooks, while in Europe the chief method of instruction is oral
exposition by the teacher. The word “recitation,” which is often
employed in describing a classroom exercise, is an American term.
It originated at the period when devotion to the textbook was even
greater than it is now,—when the pupil was expected to repeat verbatim
the passage from the text. In British books on education the word
“recitation” appears only when referring to American practices, and
usually takes the form “the American recitation.” In the German
educational vocabulary the word has no equivalent.

The unique American method of reciting lessons learned out of a book
can be contrasted with the European method by taking a concrete case.
If one goes into a geography class in a German school, one finds in
the hands of the pupils no book, except that in the schools for the
richer classes there may be an atlas; commonly the wall map serves.
The teacher lectures on some section of the country, and follows
the lecture by questions which the pupils answer. The advantages of
the European method are that the pupils become trained, attentive
listeners, and are able in answering questions to talk coherently
for long periods, imitating the continuous discourse of the teacher.
The disadvantages are that the information supplied is limited by
the individual teacher’s training, and the pupils cultivate little
or no independence in the collection and sifting of information. The
influence of the teacher is always dominant—often oppressively so.


The contrast here pointed out is one of fundamental importance. It can
be adequately understood by a study of the history of American schools.
When the colonists came to New England they were bent on securing
for every individual independent personal contact with the truth.
They had left their European homes because there dominating authority
always stood between the individual and the sources of truth. One of
the first acts of the colonists, therefore, was to provide for the
training of every boy and girl in that power which would make him or
her independent, especially in religion. The early legislation shows
unequivocally this motive. Thus in 1650 Connecticut passed a law which
had a preamble very much like that of the Massachusetts law of 1647.
The preamble is as follows:

 It being one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men
 from a knowledge of the Scriptures, as in former times, keeping them
 in an unknown tongue, so in these latter times, by persuading them
 from the use of tongues, so that at least, the true sense and meaning
 of the original might be clouded by false glosses of saint-seeming
 deceivers; and that learning may not be buried in the grave of our
 forefathers [the court decreed that whenever a township increased
 to fifty householders they should employ someone] to teach all such
 children as shall resort to him, to write and read.

So strictly did the early schools devote themselves to reading that
arithmetic and, in some cases, even writing were neglected in the
exclusive cultivation of the one art of reading. Later generations
of American teachers and pupils have experienced a great expansion
of the content of the course of study, but the method of instruction
has always been predominantly the reading method. The large number of
supplementary readers used in history, in geography, and in nature
study keep up the traditions of a school which was from the first a
reading school.

The social consequences of this emphasis on reading can be seen in the
fact that public opinion in America is controlled largely by an appeal
to the people through reading matter. The importance of this kind of
public opinion can hardly be overemphasized. In a democracy there must
be ability to form independent opinions, and this is possible only
where there is the widest training in reading.


A second characteristic of the school system of the United States
which distinguishes it from the systems of Europe is described by the
phrase, coined in England, “the educational ladder.” There is no limit
in the American system to the possibility offered the individual pupil
of going on to higher institutions. The boy or girl who has completed
the elementary course can go on to the high school and from the high
school to the college and university. This is not true anywhere in
Europe. There the school systems are sharply divided into two wholly
different and distinct lines of advancement. The children of the
common people go to one school; the children of the aristocracy and
richer classes go to a different school. The school for the common
people is limited in time and opportunity, and does not lead into the
universities. Thus the _Volksschule_ of Germany, which gave instruction
before the war to 92 per cent of the total school population, is an
eight-year school, teaching only the common branches. The pupil who
enters the _Volksschule_ cannot look forward to entering any one of the
professions or any civil-service position. He cannot be transferred
from the upper grades of this common school into the secondary
school. The common school of Germany is a social instrument for the
perpetuation of a caste system. The common people know their place
because they learn it when they enter school.

[Illustration: FIG. 3. Diagram showing the organization of German
schools and American schools

The subdivisions of the lines indicate a year in each case. Certain of
the important items of the curriculum are set down under the years in
which they are first introduced]

The European school for the aristocracy, on the other hand, is
organized from its earliest years with a view to preparing its pupils
for the higher callings. It is difficult for the American to understand
how distinct this school is from the common school. The term “secondary
school” is sometimes applied in educational writings to both the high
school of the United States and the aristocratic schools of Europe.
But the secondary school of Europe is entirely different from our high
school. It takes little children in the lower grades and carries them
through. Thus the German _Gymnasium_ takes boys of the age of six.
These are received into what is called a _Vorschule_, or preliminary
school. After three years in the preliminary school the pupil begins
his nine-year course in preparation for the university. In some of
the states of the German Empire the pupil may be transferred into the
_Gymnasium_ from the earliest grades of the common school, but from
this point on there is no commerce whatsoever, in teaching staff, in
course of study, or in pupil constituency, between the common school
and the school of the aristocracy. The division in France is quite as
strict. In England transfer in the later years of the common-school
course can be made, but only on the basis of examinations.

The social consequences of such a division within the school system
need no detailed exposition. The hard-and-fast lines of caste are drawn
very deep in any country where the boys and girls are marked from the
beginning of their training by separation in opportunity.


It is not enough that we should see this contrast, however; we must
learn its fuller meaning by looking into the history of our own school
system. The fact is that we have not broken entirely away from the
traditions of Europe. Our elementary school was borrowed directly from
the _Volksschule_ of Germany, and many of the readjustments which we
are making to-day are nothing less than efforts to shake ourselves free
from that disjointed scheme of education.

The time of this borrowing of the German _Volksschule_ is clearly
marked in our history. In the first three decades of the nineteenth
century American schools were at a low level of development. A vivid
picture of conditions in 1801 can be given by quoting from one of the
earliest school reports that we have. The superintendent of the city of
Taunton, Massachusetts, in a recent report reproduced this interesting
historical document, of which we may quote certain sections in order to
show the kind of school organization which prevailed at that date.


 The committee chosen by the town to inspect the schools beg leave to
 report their situation and examination....

 January 6th, 1801. Your committee visited a school kept in Rueben
 Richmond’s house instructed by Mrs. Nabby Williams of 32 scholars.
 This school appeared in an uncultivated state the greater part of the

 On the 26 of Feb., visited Mrs. Nabby Williams’ school the second time
 and found that the scholars had made great proficiency in reading,
 spelling, writing and some in the grammar of the English language.

 Nov. 10th, the committee visited and examined two Schools just opened;
 one kept in a school house, near Baylies works, of the number of 40
 scholars, instructed by Mr. Philip Lee. This School we found to have
 made but small proficiency in reading, spelling and writing, and to
 be kept only six or seven weeks; upon inquiry why it should be taught
 no longer, we were informed that the ratio of school money for this
 School was and had been usually expended in paying the Master both
 for his service and board, and in purchasing the fire wood which is
 contrary to the usual custom of the town.

 The other School, visited the same day, was kept near John Reed’s
 consisting of the number of between 30 and 40 Scholars instructed by
 Mr. William Reed; This School, being formed into regular classes,
 appeared to have made a good and pleasing proficiency in reading,
 spelling, writing, some in arithmetic and others in the Grammar of the
 English language. This School’s share of school money is expended
 to pay the Master for his service only, so that the School will be
 continued three months.

 On the 8th day of December they visited a School kept in a School
 house near Seth Hodges, in number 30 Scholars instructed by Mr. John
 Dunbar. This School appeared in a good way of learning, and to be kept
 four months.

       *       *       *       *       *

 On the 22nd of December your Committee visited two more Schools just
 opened, one in a School house near Samuel Pett’s of the number of 40
 scholars instructed by Mr. Rufus Dean, and to be kept three months.
 This School appeared to be in a promising way of learning in reading
 spelling and writing and to be regularly taught.

 The other School is kept in the home of Mr. Paul Chase and taught by
 Mr. Nicolas Stephens, consisting of 30 Scholars, and appears quite
 in a good way of learning especially in Spelling for scarcely a word
 passed a scholar misspelled, in writing some did very well and others
 in arithmetic appeared attentive.

 January 8th, 1801 visited two Schools for the first time, one in the
 home of Mr. William Hodges of the number of 37 Scholars, instructed by
 Mr. Lovet Tisdale, the other in the home of Mr. Daniel Burt, of the
 number of 25 Scholars, instructed by Mr. Benjamin Tubbs. These Schools
 appeared in good order and attentive to their learning.

       *       *       *       *       *

 Feby. 26th, visited Mr. Dean’s School 2 times, the Scholars were
 crowded into a small room, the air was exceedingly noxious. Many
 children were obliged to tarry at home for want of room and though the
 school was kept only a few weeks they were deprived of its advantages.
 A want of books was the complaint. The committee were anxiously
 desirous that this evil might have a remedy and were of opinion it may
 be easily done. The Scholars appeared to increase in knowledge & claim
 our approbation.

 March 5th, visited two schools, one kept at Mr. Aaron Pratt’s of the
 number of 30 scholars instructed by Mr. Philip Drown. This school
 appeared quite unimproved and uncultivated in reading and spelling,
 some of them did better in writing. This uncultivated state did not
 appear to be from a fault in the children but, as your committee
 were informed, from the disadvantage of having had masters illegally
 qualified for their instruction; of which class is their present
 master unauthorized by law.[7]

The situation here described was typical of all the settled towns. How
much worse it was in sparsely settled districts one can easily imagine.
Briefly put, one can say that up to 1830 schools throughout the country
held short sessions in the middle of the winter when the pupils were
otherwise unoccupied with home demands. There was no supervision except
by visiting committees, no course of study, little or no material
equipment, and small outlook for a higher education.


During the decade 1830-1840 there was an effort, especially in
Massachusetts under the leadership of Horace Mann and in Michigan
under John Pierce, to improve the common schools. In an illuminating
historical treatise on this subject Mr. F. F. Bunker has reproduced
some of the evidences that the changes made at that time in the schools
of America were largely influenced by German models. The following
quotations indicate how the movement began:

 Charles Brooks, a man whose influence in Massachusetts was great, and
 who may be said to have prepared the way for the work of Horace Mann,
 did very much to disseminate knowledge respecting the Prussian system.
 He was primarily interested in establishing a normal school after the
 Prussian model, yet, during the campaign which he carried on for this
 purpose between the years 1835 and 1838 he did not limit himself to
 the consideration of the normal school alone, but sought to acquaint
 the people with the details of the German system of elementary
 education as well. His account of the return trip from England, which
 he made in company with Dr. H. Julius, of Hamburg, indicates the
 esteem in which he held the Prussian system:

 A passage of 41 days from Liverpool to New York (with Dr. Julius)
 gave me time to ask all manner of questions concerning the noble,
 philosophical, and practical system of Prussian elementary education.
 He explained it like a sound scholar and a pious Christian. If you
 will allow the phrase, I fell in love with the Prussian system, and it
 seemed to possess me like a missionary angel.

       *       *       *       *       *

Just at the time that Charles Brooks was laboring so diligently to
incorporate in the Massachusetts system the results of Prussian
experience, another man, John D. Pierce, in Michigan, also an
enthusiastic believer in the preëminence of the Prussian organization,
was laying the foundation for an educational system in his own State
and building into it the best features of Prussian practice. It was
mainly because of his suggestions to the chairman of the committee
on education in the convention that framed the State government in
1835 that the article in the constitution respecting education was
framed and provision made for the office of superintendent of public
instruction. Mr. Pierce was appointed to the superintendency in 1836
and at once began the work of preparing a plan for a complete school

Before framing his recommendations, which were submitted in 1837 and
which were approved for the most part, he visited the schools of
New England, New York, and New Jersey. Prior to this, however, he
had learned of the Prussian system through an English translation
of Cousin’s report. This report of Cousin’s was first made known to
the English-speaking people by Sir William Hamilton, who, in the
Edinburgh Review, July, 1833, commended the report highly and quoted at
considerable length therefrom. The next year (1834) that part of the
report which treated of Prussian practice was translated into English
by Mrs. Sarah Austin and appeared in London. A New York edition of the
same translation was issued in 1835 and widely distributed. It was a
copy of this edition which, falling into Mr. Pierce’s hands, profoundly
influenced him in framing the system he later submitted to the Michigan
Legislature. In describing his entrance into public life Mr. Pierce
speaks of this circumstance:

 About this time (1835) Cousin’s report of the Prussian system, made to
 the French minister of public instruction, came into my hands and it
 was read with much interest. Sitting one pleasant afternoon upon a log
 on the hill north of where the courthouse at Marshall now stands, Gen.
 Crary (chairman of the convention committee on education) and myself
 discussed for a long time the fundamental principles which were deemed
 important for the convention to adopt in laying the foundations of
 our State. The subject of education was a theme of special interest.
 It was agreed, if possible, that it should make a distinct branch of
 the government, and that the constitution ought to provide for an
 officer who should have this whole matter in charge and thus keep its
 importance perpetually before the public mind.

Mr. Pierce’s indebtedness to Prussia for many of the ideas which he
worked out in the system which he organized is thus set forth by a
later superintendent of the Michigan system, Francis W. Shearman, who,
writing in 1852, said:

 The system of public instruction which was intended to be established
 by the framers of the constitution (Michigan), the conception of
 the office, its province, its powers, and duties were derived from


It is a striking fact that all this borrowing had to do with the common
school. Nor was it inappropriate at that period that emphasis should
be on the school for the common people. In the young states there was
relatively little higher education, and the need was great for an
improvement of the common schools.

The consequences of this borrowing were momentous for our history.
There are two characteristics which our American schools of elementary
grade took on in imitation of the German model, which characteristics
have determined in large measure their subsequent development down
to the present. In the first place, the German common school was
strictly a vernacular school, and, in the second place, it dealt
only with rudimentary subjects. The _Gymnasium_, or the school for
the aristocracy, was not a vernacular school. Latin and Greek and
modern foreign languages were taught in even the lower grades of
the _Gymnasium_. Furthermore, the _Gymnasium_ alone taught such
“higher” subjects as the higher mathematics, while the common school
confined itself exclusively to arithmetic as the rudimentary branch of
mathematics. In point of time the German _Volksschule_, as noted above,
conducted a course eight years in length. The pupils completed this
course at fourteen years of age, when they were confirmed in the Church.

The common school was the institution which America borrowed in
1830-1840. The common school was set up in the United States as
an eight-year school devoted exclusively to the vernacular and to
rudimentary subjects. But the American system developed. The length of
the school year increased, and the number of pupils who are ambitious
to go on into the higher schools has enormously increased. In 1917 we
were told by the Commissioner of Education of the United States that
more than 1,300,000 of the young people in this country were in the
high schools. Even now, however, the eight-year vernacular rudimentary
school of Germany has its stamp on our American life. As a rule our
American schools do not permit a pupil to study foreign languages in
the lower school, even when we know that he is going on to high school.
The general exclusion of languages is due to the tradition that the
elementary school is a vernacular school, not to inability on the
part of pupils to learn languages. We will not permit algebra to be
taught in the elementary school, because algebra is not a rudimentary
subject. To be sure, we have had a hard time trying to keep arithmetic
in its position of exclusive domination of the elementary course. We
have grafted into the arithmetic all kinds of economic information
about insurance and banks and foreign exchange. We have exercised our
ingenuity to the limit in inventing examples of a complicated sort in
order to keep the pupils in the upper grades at work in arithmetic.
But through it all we have been kept from a rational development by
adherence to the tradition of the German common school,—the tradition
which treats higher subjects as the exclusive property of the


The day of reform is, however, at hand. Social pressure has gradually
been making it evident to all that in America the elementary school
cannot be a caste school. The people are demanding that pupils who are
to have only a limited schooling be admitted to some of the higher
subjects. Furthermore, there are enough pupils who go on into the high
school to make it evident that the American scheme should be organized
not with a view to distinguishing between the elementary school and the
high school, but with a view to combining the two into a continuous

Within the last five years there has spread rapidly a movement known as
the junior-high-school movement, or the intermediate-school movement.
This is essentially a reform of the seventh, eighth, and ninth grades,
and consists, first of all, in the introduction into the course of
study of material which formerly belonged to the high school. In
the second place, this movement recognizes the maturity of pupils
in a variety of ways. It adopts a form of discipline which throws
responsibility on them. It departmentalizes the teaching and offers
electives, thus securing the advantages of specialization. The movement
promises to reorganize our whole school system in such a way as to
give us a new kind of national education. America has at the present
moment a closer approximation to a continuous educational ladder than
any other country, but the ladder needs a little splicing. With the
present enthusiasm for national development the splicing is likely to
be facilitated.


The foregoing statements extracted from the history of the elementary
school may be supplemented by references to the history of the high
school. The first schools of secondary grade in this country were
patterned after the classical secondary schools of England. The
Boston Latin School and the Hopkins Grammar School of New Haven are
examples of early foundations of the kind in question. These schools
were vestibules to the colleges, and the boys who attended them—for
they were schools for boys—were looking forward to one of the learned
professions, usually, in the early days, to the clergy.

The Latin school charged tuition, as do all the European secondary
schools to-day. It was an exclusive school. It was not a part of the
popular movement toward general education. In an important sense it
was a vocational school and illustrates the general fact of history
that higher schools always had a vocational motive back of their
organization, whereas the people’s schools of elementary grade were
at first always missionary enterprises intended to spread religious
training rather than vocational training.

Parallel with the Latin school and growing out of an entirely different
motive was another institution which was very much more genuinely
American in its character. This was the academy. The academy was often
a boarding school to which boys and girls alike went for an extension
of their education. Later the village in which the academy was situated
took it over or made arrangements to pay for all the pupils, and it
became a free academy.

There were some other experiments in the extension of school
opportunities. In New England, the oldest and economically most forward
section of the country, a ninth grade was added to the elementary
school. There are to-day in Maine, and to some extent in other New
England states, elementary schools with a nine-year course. But the
ninth grade never succeeded. It was cramped by the German definition of
the elementary school as a vernacular and rudimentary school. To try to
spend nine years rather than eight on the three R’s was not productive.
The academy, on the other hand, knew no limits of this kind. It reveled
in such subjects as French and music and literature and history.

At last the Latin school and the academy fused in the American
high school, and the high school took its place at the end of the
elementary-school course. The influence of the academy in determining
this form of organization was very great, for the academy was from the
first connected with the elementary school, while the Latin school was
in its early days an institution quite separate from the common school
both in its organization and purpose.


These sketches of school history could be supplemented by other
discussions. Perhaps it will be well to comment briefly on the unique
American attitude toward the education of girls. In Europe girls have
only very recently been given opportunities of higher education, and
even now the opportunity is limited to the few. We have undoubtedly
made the mistake in this country, in our enthusiasm for equality of
opportunity, of administering to girls a course of study originally
designed for their brothers. In due time we shall learn how to give to
girls an education suited to their needs, but there can never be any
question among us about the wisdom of a higher education for women.


It has also been noted incidentally that with us all education is
free. This has not been attained without much discussion and much
legislation. We shall later have an opportunity to treat more at
length the fiscal policies of American schools. At this point it is
enough to note that American schools are what they are because they are

An interesting contrast can be drawn here between the practice in
England and in the United States. In England vast sums of money make a
free education accessible to certain selected individuals. The higher
schools are not free to all comers, as ours are, but a bright boy—it is
usually only the boy—who can pass a competitive examination is given
a stipend, which provides his tuition and often enough more to get
books and, if necessary, pay for transportation. The English theory is
that it is the duty of the public to pay for selected boys, but not
for boys in general. To the American it seems a little hazardous to
select the leaders of the nation by competitive examinations given to
eleven-year-old boys. On the other hand, the English think of our plan
as wasteful because we postpone selection longer than they think we
should. The contrast here pointed out is enough to draw our attention
to the unique attitude of American schools, which are free to all
and in this sense far more democratic than the higher schools of any
European country.


Finally, we may point out that our schools are secular. Some of our own
fellow countrymen do not believe in secular schools. We are familiar
with the practice of organizing parochial schools. France and England
have in recent years purchased secularization of their schools after
long and bitter controversy. Germany gives instruction in religion as
an important part of every course of study. In some sections of Germany
the distinction between religious beliefs is carried into the school
organization in such a way that one finds public schools set aside for
the children of this and that sect. In all schools the pupil has a
right to instruction in his own particular type of religion.

In the United States the complete democratization of the schools
has been possible because differences in religion have been rigidly
excluded. There is a common body of knowledge which can be administered
in public schools without involving religion. The decision for such
a separation was made long ago in this country and is one of the
characteristic facts in our school system as well as in our general
civic life.


The facts outlined in this chapter ought to create in the mind of the
reader a vivid notion of what is meant by the words “school system.”
The schools of America or any other country have a kind of colossal
personality. The teacher who teaches a fifth grade or a sixth grade or
a high-school class does not determine the character of the education
given at these points in the system. To be sure, the teacher can do his
or her work effectively or inefficiently. The special methods employed
may be well or ill adapted to their ends. But above and beyond the
individual teacher is the system which controls the pupil’s progress
in many subtle ways and determines all the main lines of his training.
The teacher who would succeed must understand this larger influence.
Especially is it necessary that the teacher who aims to contribute to
the rational development of the system through the scientific study of
detailed problems become acquainted with the present characteristics
of the system and comprehend something of the conditions which have
produced these characteristics.


Among textbooks there are such striking differences that the student
will be able after even a superficial analysis to see that their
authors had very different ideas about the use of texts. Find a
textbook which is intended to give the pupil a start in a study
rather than a complete discussion of the subject. Find a text which
is intended to be learned rather than merely read. What parts of a
textbook are addressed to the teacher and constitute teaching devices
rather than material for students?

Contrast the ways in which different teachers use textbooks. Are there
teachers who neglect the book very largely? When should a teacher
lecture? Find specific examples of lessons which can best be taught (1)
by questions and answers, (2) by written work, and (3) by lectures.

With regard to a given high school it is important to find out when it
was established. What was its first course of study?

With regard to courses for girls, it is interesting to inquire how far
classes in an elective system are chosen by boys and how far by girls.
Why are conditions as they are?

The foregoing questions are asked on the assumption that the contrasts
presented in the chapter are of value only when they make students
keenly aware of the facts in their own environment. The facts of
history are valuable chiefly because of the light they throw on the

 BROWN, E. E. Making of our Middle Schools. Longmans, Green, & Co. This
 is the only history of American secondary schools.

 BUNKER, F. F. “Reorganization of the Public School System,” in
 _Bulletin No. 8_, United States Bureau of Education, 1916. This shows
 how our present school system was organized.

 FARRINGTON, F. E. French Secondary Schools. Longmans, Green, & Co.

 FARRINGTON, F. E. The Public Primary School System of France. Teachers

 JUDD, C. H. “The Training of Teachers in England, Scotland, and
 Germany,” in _Bulletin No. 35_, United States Bureau of Education,

 MONROE, W. S. “Development of Arithmetic as a School Subject,” in
 _Bulletin No. 10_, United States Bureau of Education, 1917. This
 bulletin tells of the origin of the present methods of teaching

 PARKER, S. C. The History of Modern Elementary Education. Ginn and
 Company. This is a very good summary of the facts regarding the
 development of American schools.


[7] Reprinted in the Report of the School Committee of the City of
Taunton, Massachusetts, for the Year Ending December 31, 1915, pp.

[8] Frank Forest Bunker, “Reorganization of the Public School System,”
in _Bulletin No. 8_, United States Bureau of Education, 1916, pp.




One does not have to go far from the door of any educational
institution to find people who look on reading and writing—to
say nothing of higher forms of education—as luxuries rather than
necessities. There is the parent who is willing to take his child out
of school for the sake of the wage which the child can earn. There
is the negligent parent, often himself illiterate, who is utterly
unconcerned about the education of his sons and daughters. Another kind
of example appears in the boy or girl who goes out into the trades
after a limited schooling and fails to keep up the type of intellectual
activity which was cultivated in the school. Many a child who has been
taught through years of instruction how to read makes very little use
of his training in mature life.

An appeal to the history of civilization reveals the fact that there
was a time when the opinion prevailed that education was unnecessary
for the common man. The earliest schools were for the aristocracy
and for the professional classes. Schools for all the people are of
comparatively recent date.


In striking contrast with this attitude of neglect and indifference
is the fact that to-day there are laws in all the civilized countries
of the world compelling children of every social grade to attend
school. Society as a whole does not share the slight esteem of reading
exhibited by the man who takes his child out of school. Indeed, society
has gone so far as to set aside that man’s judgment and to assume
control of the child to the extent of insisting that the rudiments of
an education shall be made universal.

Society still leaves it to the individual to decide whether he is to
study higher branches. One may take algebra or not as one elects, but
not so with arithmetic. The common interests of our common life dictate
that everyone shall be able to count and to make accurate numerical
statements. People must know some arithmetic; they must be able to
read, or they are a menace to public comfort and safety.


The full acknowledgment of the fact that education is a public
necessity has developed gradually. History shows us the steps by which
this fact has been recognized in legislative action. The first step
was the adoption of laws requiring communities to provide schools. We
may put the matter in terms of contemporary conditions by referring to
communities which would to-day be backward in this matter if it were
not for state control. Thus there are sparsely settled districts or
poor districts which cannot afford good schools, or, indeed, any kind
of a school. The state is vitally interested in seeing to it that the
untoward conditions in these regions do not deprive the children of an
education. In the later years of their lives the children from these
districts will surely scatter to other parts of the state. They will be
less productive than they would have been if they had been educated. It
is much more economical for the state as a whole to take a hand in the
training of the children than to have to support even a small number of
dependent adults during the unproductive period of later life when the
consequences of poor schooling appear.

In some cases the delinquency of a community is due not to economic
stress but to shortsighted frugality. Here again the higher authority
of the larger community must take control and force the backward group
to give the children such training as will bring them to reasonable

The earliest legislation on this matter is of the type which was quoted
in the last chapter, where reference was made to the Connecticut law of
1650. Such legislation was addressed to the community and enjoined on
it the obligation to provide schools.


Such compulsion of the community was followed, but at a much later
date, by legislation compelling the child to attend school; and finally
the period was reached in the midst of which we live to-day, when the
state is taking a hand in the supervision of schools for the purpose of
insuring as high and as uniform a grade of education as it can afford.


The first period of our national life, during which we were very
gradually evolving the conception of a need for public education and
were setting up the requirement of schools in every community, extended
down to the decade before the Civil War. Professor Cubberley has given
a very illuminating description of this period, from which we may quote
the following extracts:

 During the early decades of the nineteenth century, schools and the
 means of education made little progress. There were among the founders
 of our states certain far-seeing men who wished for general public
 education, but it was well along toward the middle of the century
 before these men represented more than a hopeful minority in most of
 our states, and in the South little was done until after the Civil

To be illiterate was no reproach, and it was possible to follow many
pursuits successfully without having received any other education than
the education of daily work and experience. A large proportion of the
people felt that those who desired an education should pay for it. As
the Rhode Island farmer expressed it to Henry Barnard in 1844, it would
be as sensible to propose to take his plough away from him to plough
his neighbor’s field as to take his money to educate his neighbor’s
child. Others felt that at most free education should be extended only
to the children of the poor, and for the rudiments of learning only.
Still others felt that all forms of education would be conducted best
if turned over to the various religious and educational societies
of the time. A system of public instruction maintained by general
taxation, such as we to-day enjoy, would not only have been declared
unnecessary, but would have been stoutly resisted as well. The best
schools, and often the only schools, were private schools supported by
the tuition fees of those who could afford to use them, and most of
these were more or less directly under church control.

Not until after the beginning of the nineteenth century was education
regarded at all as a legitimate public function....

The different humanitarian movements which arose after 1820, and which,
among other things, demanded public tax-supported schools for all, had
not as yet made themselves felt. The people were poor, and indifferent
as to education.

Gradually, and only after great effort, this condition of apathy and
indifference was changed to one of active interest, though the change
took place but slowly, and differed in point of time in different parts
of the country. The Lancastrian system of monitorial instruction (by
which a single teacher with the assistance of his best students, called
monitors, taught hundreds of pupils), introduced into this country
from England about 1806, for the first time made an elementary school
training for all seem possible, from a financial point of view....

The idea that free education was a right, and that universal education
was a necessity, began to be urged and to find acceptance. The land
grants of Congress to the new states for the benefit of common schools
greatly stimulated the movement. The published reports of those who had
visited Pestalozzi’s school in Switzerland, and had examined the new
state school system in Prussia, were extensively read. The moral and
economic advantages of schools were set forth at length in resolutions,
speeches, pamphlets, magazines, and books.

       *       *       *       *       *

Just when this change took place cannot be definitely stated. Roughly
speaking, it began about 1825 and was accomplished by 1850 in the
Northern states. It was a gradual change rather than a sudden one,
though rapid advances were at times made. The movement everywhere was
greatly stimulated by the educational revival inaugurated by Horace
Mann in Massachusetts in 1837. In the Southern states, with one or two
exceptions, little was accomplished until after the Civil War and the
Reconstruction Period were over. Almost everywhere it took place only
after prolonged agitation, and ofttimes only after a bitter struggle.
The indifference of legislatures, the unwillingness of taxpayers to
assume the burdens of general taxation, the small sense of local
responsibility, the satisfaction with existing conditions, the old
aristocratic conception of education, the pauper and charity-school
idea, and frequently the opposition of denominational and private
schools,—all of these had to be met and overcome. The referendum was
tried in a number of states, and sometimes more than once; in others,
the question of free schools became a vital political issue....

By 1850, the principle of tax-supported schools had been generally
accepted in all of the Northern states, and the beginnings of free
schools made in some of the Southern states. Six state normal schools
had been established, a number of states had provided for State
Superintendents of Common Schools and for ex-officio State Boards
of Education, and the movement for state control of education had
begun. It may be said that it had not become a settled conviction
with a majority of the people that the provision of some form of
free education was a duty of the state, and that such education
contributed in a general way, though just how was not at that time
clear, to the moral uplift of the people, to a higher civic virtue,
and to increased economic returns to the state. A new conception of
free public education as a birthright of the child on the one hand,
and as an exercise of the state’s inherent right to self-preservation
and improvement on the other, had taken the place of the earlier
conception of schools as merely a coöperative effort, based on economy,
and for the instruction of youth merely in the rudiments of learning.[9]


The second stage in the development of a public educational system
was reached when the states began to see that children must be
compelled to go to school. In 1852 Massachusetts passed the first
compulsory-education law. In 1864 the District of Columbia followed.
In 1867 came Vermont; in 1871, New Hampshire, Michigan, and
Washington.[10] From that time on the other states have been enacting
such laws. The Southern states, which before the Civil War had
practically no public-school system and after the war were economically
depressed, were the last to pass compulsory-attendance acts.

Without attempting to deal with the remoter historical development of
such legislation, it is possible to show by reference to contemporary
reports the difficulties in securing and enforcing such laws. Two
quotations from the reports of the Commissioner of Education of the
United States indicate the present conditions with regard to compulsory
attendance. The report of 1915 makes the following statement:

 The year 1915 was a notable year for the cause of compulsory school
 attendance. Four States—South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, and
 Texas—which did not have laws on the subject, enacted laws at the last
 sessions of their legislatures. This new extension of the compulsory
 attendance area carries required attendance at school into the section
 where it has hitherto met the most stubborn resistance; the area now
 practically includes the entire United States, Georgia and Mississippi
 alone remaining without laws on the subject.[11]

The report of 1916 supplements this statement as follows:

 Efforts were made to secure the enactment of attendance laws in both
 of these States [Georgia and Mississippi] in 1916, and in the former
 the effort was successful. The new law of Georgia, in brief, requires
 the attendance of every child between 8 and 14 years of age for four
 months each year. Exemptions from this requirement apply to those
 who have completed the fourth grade of school work; those upon whom
 needy members of the family are dependent for support; those whose
 parents or guardians are unable to provide the necessary books and
 clothing, unless the same are otherwise provided; those whose services
 are needed for farm emergencies; those who are mentally or physically
 incapable; and those who reside more than 3 miles from school. Boards
 of education of counties and of cities and towns are intrusted with
 the enforcement of the law in their respective jurisdictions.[12]


The enactment of laws is only one step in securing attendance.
Especially is there difficulty where local authorities are intrusted
with the enforcement of the laws. The records of school operations
in the Northern states show that compulsory education was not really
enforced until in the ’80’s and later. The sort of difficulty
encountered is clearly illustrated by a clipping from the _Statesman_,
a daily paper of Austin, Texas, which sets forth the situation late in
1916 under the Texas law, which was then just beginning to be effective.

 The compulsory school attendance law will be effective during the
 coming year. The compulsory term of the first year of the law’s
 operation will be three months, or 60 school days, and the board of
 trustees of each school has the authority to specify the months
 during which attendance shall be compulsory. The Austin City School
 Board has ruled that the compulsory term shall begin January 1.

 The matter of providing truant officers has not yet been dealt with,
 either by the City School Board or by the County Board of Education.
 The law provides $2 a day as remuneration to the truant officer for
 the time actually served by him. The City Superintendent believes that
 the logical procedure for the city will be to secure the services of
 the county probation officer, provided it is found practicable for him
 to take on the additional duties.

 The County Board of Education meets next Monday and will probably
 discuss this matter. It cannot act, however, except on the petition
 of fifty citizens. In case no such petition is presented, the County
 Superintendent says that it will devolve on each school principal to
 report to the County Superintendent those children who are not in
 school, and she can call on any peace officer to execute the law. It
 is not thought likely that the probation officer will find it possible
 to act as truant officer for the county.

 The reason why the beginning of the compulsory period was placed
 so late as January 1 is that many of the children likely to be
 affected—largely Mexicans and negroes—will be needed in the cotton
 patch during the fall. Also in the city, many poor boys and girls will
 be able to earn something during the Christmas holidays. There are
 serious objections to the plan, however, since the child who enters
 school so late in the session will be at a serious disadvantage, and
 the extra attention he will demand of the teacher will work a hardship
 on the other pupils. Moreover, in the city the school session is
 divided into two equal periods, the first of which ends only a month
 after the child is required to begin attendance. This will involve
 serious difficulties.

 The compulsory attendance law applies to children eight to fourteen
 years of age, with certain exceptions. The compulsory term the second
 year will be eighty days, the third year 100 days.

 Defective children are exempted; also rural children more than 2½
 miles from a school, and on the written statement of a parent that
 the services of her child of twelve years or more who has reached the
 fourth grade are needed for the mother’s support, such a child may be

Even a casual reading of this quotation calls attention to the fact
that there is the keenest competition between employment and education.
The modern industrial system finds children profitable for certain
purposes and uses them. If society is to enforce its judgment that
these children ought to be in school, that judgment will have to
express itself in mandatory terms. The federal government has recently
taken a hand in the matter. It is difficult or impossible in some
states to get suitable legislation against the exploitation of child
labor by unprincipled employers. State legislatures have too often
shown themselves subservient to the dictates of such employers. In 1916
the Congress of the United States passed a law restricting child labor
in all trades which produce commodities intended for use in interstate
commerce. This federal law is another expression of the judgment of
civilization that childhood is a period which should be devoted to

It is also shown in the Texas quotation that the machinery for keeping
account of children is complicated. The ordinary school authorities
cannot deal with the matter without adding attendance officers to their
staff. These officers must be supplied with adequate information.
This in turn calls for a special school census, because the ordinary
national enumeration and even the state and city enumerations are not
frequent nor complete enough. One of the most progressive of the New
England states has recently adopted legislation looking to the creation
of a more adequate system of records. This new law is described in the
Commissioner’s Report of 1916 as follows:

 In order to facilitate the enforcement of its attendance law,
 Massachusetts provided in 1916 for the registration of minors. City
 and town school committees are required under the new law to ascertain
 the name, age, and other essential facts respecting every child
 between 5 and 7, between 7 and 14, and between 14 and 16 years of age,
 and respecting minors over 16 years of age who cannot read and write.
 A card giving these data must be kept for every child or minor. The
 attendance officer is required to examine these cards and see that
 children attend school as required by law. Supervisory officers of
 private schools must within 30 days report the enrollment of children
 of compulsory attendance age, and when any child withdraws from school
 must report the same within 10 days.[13]


Definitions of the period of compulsory attendance are usually based on
the number of grades in the elementary school. Laws commonly specify
the age of beginning as six and fix the age of fourteen as the upper
limit. Sometimes the age of beginning is higher. For example, the
1915 law in South Carolina is thus described by the Commissioner of

 The 1915 act of South Carolina is a local option law. Upon petition
 of a majority of the qualified electors of a district or “aggregation
 of districts,” the county board of education is required to declare
 the law in effect in such district or districts, or, on petition of
 one-fourth of the electors, an election must be held to determine the
 matter. All children between the ages of 8 and 14 who are physically
 able and who reside within 2½ miles of school are required to attend
 for the full term, or at least for four months. Children between the
 ages of 14 and 16 are required to attend unless lawfully employed or
 if they can not read and write simple English sentences.[14]

The provisions of this law show how complicated is the social situation
with which the community deals in its compulsory laws. The assumption
that it is simple to define the necessary schooling for a future
citizen is easily refuted by a little consideration.

In the first place, pupils do not go through the elementary schools
without interruption; hence the mere specifying of a given age such as
fourteen is not enough. Non-promotion, or the removal of the family to
another town, or some misfortune such as sickness may delay the pupil
so that he reaches the age of fourteen in one of the lower grades.
Intelligent legislation is, accordingly, taking this into account.
In some states it is required that the child shall finish a certain
grade,—usually the sixth,—otherwise he must go to school until he is
sixteen. Or, as in South Carolina, he must stay in school until he has
acquired the ability to read and write.

In this connection a complication in legislation may be pointed out
which is of profound social significance. The definition of adulthood
which is given in labor legislation has usually set the age at which
a boy may be regularly employed, at sixteen, while the education
law of the same state often requires school attendance only up to
fourteen. The result is that the youth between fourteen and sixteen
has been sadly at sea. He has not had the judgment to stay in school
after he was freed by the compulsory-education law, and he has not
had the opportunity to enter on regular employment. He has therefore
drifted about, working at odd jobs and learning the bad habits of the
unproductively employed.


Such considerations as these lead to a clear understanding of the
reasons why the state is undertaking in increasing degree the
supervision of the details of school work. It is not enough that
communities should open schools or that pupils should be compelled
to attend; the quality of education must be such as to justify the
expenditure of public money and the investment of the pupils’ time and
energy in the business of schooling.

Compulsory education implies obligations both on the side of the pupil
and on the side of the community. It would manifestly be inequitable
to compel children to go to school if the community failed to provide
suitable, safe, and sanitary buildings. Because local wisdom in such
matters is often limited, and local judgment biased by considerations
of expense, the state has dealt with the matter both through general
legislation and through vigorous inspection.

In like fashion it would evidently be indefensible to require pupils to
go to school and use inferior textbooks or be instructed by unqualified
teachers. Here again the larger community has found it necessary to
take a hand. State adoption of textbooks is not uncommon, and state
certification of teachers is becoming universal.

More important, perhaps, than anything else is the choice of the
subject-matter of instruction. To the ordinary man, as indicated in an
earlier chapter, subject-matter seems to choose itself; but it does
not. Nor can the local community be expected to know the larger needs
of its children. A very striking example of this is furnished by the
fact that the federal government has recently set aside vast sums of
money for the purpose of subsidizing and directing agricultural and
industrial education. The theory back of this action is that even the
states, and more certainly cities and towns, are unable to deal with
the problems of adequate training for practical life. The largest unit,
namely, the whole country, is so much concerned with the efficiency of
its citizens in industrial matters that it has undertaken to subsidize
and supervise this phase of education.

Such examples make clear the principle under which state laws define
the minimum course of study and under which state departments of
education are erected to supervise the administration of the course of
study. They make clear also the justification for the statement that
the control of education ought to be increasingly centralized.


There is one aspect of the educational demands of a community which
is usually thought of as lying entirely outside the scope of the
compulsory-education law. It is ordinarily thought that higher
education is a purely individual matter. In the older parts of the
country the state has been slow to provide higher schools. Colleges
have often been provided for by denominational organizations or by
purely private endowments. Even in the field of higher education,
however, it is becoming evident that public interests are involved.
In medicine, in law, and in training of teachers, the state has been
obliged to assume increasingly supervisory powers, and of late the
financial provision for such education has been more and more accepted
as a public obligation. The result of this evolution is the broader
provision out of the public purse for all kinds and all stages of


Enough has been said to show that much is involved in the establishment
of a public-school system. The problems which arise in the teaching
of pupils are intricate; but when one thinks of education as a public
necessity, to be purchased with public funds and to be administered in
the interests of the broader community, one sees new justification for
the demand that all school problems be managed with wisdom. This demand
can be met only when school problems are made subjects of exhaustive
scientific study.


The subsequent chapters will take up briefly the problems involved
in organizing a school system. The first and most general problem is
one of securing funds for the maintenance of the schools. It will be
well to reiterate the statement with which the first chapter began.
The pupil seldom thinks of costs. The teacher usually overlooks the
fact that the community is interested in what schools cost. Yet funds
are a prime necessity in organizing a public-school system. We turn,
accordingly, to fiscal problems as among the first and most concrete
examples of educational problems which must be studied by one who would
be intelligent about the school system.


Whose duty is it to enforce school attendance in the community in which
you live? When was the last school census taken? What is the ordinary
ratio of school population to the total population? What percentage
of children of high-school age are in high school? What percentage
of eighth-grade pupils go on to high school? What percentage of
high-school graduates go to college?

The ordinary reader will perhaps find it difficult to get answers
to these questions. He should make himself a student of the reports
of the Commissioner of Education of the United States and of the
superintendent of schools in some city which publishes an annual report.

From some school record find out what percentage of enrolled pupils
attend school regularly.

If there is a school nurse or a school physician, find out what time in
the year is most likely to exhibit small attendance. Verify the finding
from the school record.

What substitutes for attendance on public schools are permitted? How
many children in the town attend schools other than public schools, and

 AYRES, L. P. Child Accounting in the Public Schools. Survey Committee
 of the Cleveland Foundation. (Copies may be secured from the Russell
 Sage Foundation.) This is one of the volumes of the Cleveland survey
 and is the only brief statement of the whole matter that there is.

 Reports of the Commissioner of Education should be studied as
 suggested above.


[9] Ellwood P. Cubberley, “Changing Conceptions of Education,”
Riverside Educational Monograph, pp. 27-35. Houghton Mifflin Company,

[10] Report of the Commissioner of Education for 1888-1889, p. 471.

[11] Report of the Commissioner of Education for 1915, Vol. I, p. 12.

[12] Report of the Commissioner of Education for 1916, Vol. I, p. 24.

[13] Report of the Commissioner of Education for 1916, Vol. I, p. 25.

[14] Report of the Commissioner of Education for 1915, Vol. I, pp.




We all know something about how much the family invests in its sons
and daughters. The provision made by the father for his children is
recognized as an expression of the parent’s willingness to give to the
second generation as good a start in life as the family can afford.
We are less likely to realize the extent to which the community is
drawing on its material resources for a similar purpose. The city of
Chicago—to choose a single example—gives to each boy or girl who goes
through elementary school and high school an aggregate of six hundred
and thirty dollars. If a child were notified to go to the city hall
when he is eighteen years of age and receive this sum of money, we
should recognize what it means for a community to pay for the education
of its new generation. We should understand that the children of a city
are its wards. When the matter is obscured by the complexities of the
social machinery through which this bonus is distributed, we lose sight
of the magnitude and directness of public expenditures for education.

The example of Chicago can be pursued even further. The sum stated
above is too small, for it is based on the annual expenditures for
conducting the schools; it does not include the large outlay for school
buildings and for real estate which the city is called upon to make in
order to provide rooms in which the education may be given. Nor do the
figures cover irregularities. If the pupil does not get through each
year’s work in regular order, the city is often called upon to provide
more than the normal number of years of training.

One further item is to be added to the calculations above given,
in the case of those who go to the city normal college. For these
teachers-in-training the city pays an additional two hundred and
twenty-eight dollars a year, raising the aggregate expended on such
a student to nearly eleven hundred dollars.[15] Such students are
typical of a vast number of young people who are attending at public
expense state normal schools, state universities, and public technical
schools. Indeed, even where students attend endowed institutions and
pay tuition, the actual cost of their education is commonly borne in
very large measure by the community, which in the last analysis is the
source of the endowment.


Another method of presenting the facts is to deal with totals. The
figures which represent the expenditure for public education in the
United States are so large that the individual who reads them usually
passes them over with little comprehension unless he is given some
background for comparison. Perhaps this background can be furnished
by recalling the statement quoted in the last chapter, where it was
pointed out that a century ago there was practically no conception
of the principle of free public schools. Schools were supported in
large measure by charity or by tuition. Most communities provided
only a very short term and collected a rate bill, or personal tuition,
from the pupils to supplement the small fund secured from taxation.
During the quarter of a century before 1850 there was a widespread
movement in the Northern states which gradually secured in the face of
much opposition full public support for schools. Rate bills did not
disappear entirely until 1871, the last state to abolish them being
New Jersey, but at that date the principle of support through general
taxation was completely established.

In 1870, as we are told by the Commissioner of Education, the total
expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools had reached
sixty-three million dollars.[16] Nineteen years later, when the
population had increased about 60 per cent, expenditures had more
than doubled, reaching one hundred and forty millions. Since that
time expenditures have increased by leaps and bounds, far surpassing
increases in population, as indicated by the following table:


                   |  1889-1890 |  1899-1900 |  1909-1910 |   1914
  Population[16]   |  62,622,250|  75,602,515|  91,972,266|  98,741,324
  Expenditures[17] |$140,506,715|$214,964,618|$426,250,434|$555,077,146
  Expenditure per  |            |            |            |
    capita of      |            |            |            |
    population     |   $2.24    |   $2.84    |   $4.64    |   $5.62
  Expenditure per  |            |            |            |
   pupil in average|            |            |            |
    attendance     |  $17.23    |  $20.21    |  $33.23    |  $39.04

These gross figures indicate a growth in schools that has never been
paralleled in the history of any country. The doubling of expenditures
between 1900 and 1910 is due in part to the rapid evolution of high
schools. Elementary schools, however, have shared in the development.
Teachers are more highly trained than ever before, new courses have
been added to the curriculum, and better hygienic conditions have been
provided in school buildings. There can be no mistaking the evidence
that American communities are willing to support schools in a program
of expansion and improvement.


An adequate comprehension of the meaning of the statistics of
educational costs will make it impossible for the teacher of Latin to
sit apart and say that it is not his duty to think of the community.
The teacher of science cannot ask for unlimited equipment for
laboratory exercises; the teacher of music or arithmetic cannot say
that he is interested merely in spiritual and intellectual affairs and
that he has no reason to consider material matters. The impressive
fact is that a great public trust has been committed to the hands of
teachers. The community has erected schoolhouses and taxed itself to
the point where school expenditures have come to be looked upon as a
serious burden in many a section of the country. It is a professional
obligation resting on the teacher, be he of high or low degree, to
think of his relation to this matter of public expenditures. The public
is likely to become more and more insistent in the demand that public
expenditures be absolutely purged of waste of any kind, either the
waste that arises from extravagance or the waste that results from

[Illustration: FIG. 4. Proportion of public money spent for public
schools and other items]


There is still another way in which the facts regarding the magnitude
of the public investment in education can be formulated. In 1913 the
Bureau of Census secured figures to show what proportions of the total
funds spent by cities are devoted to various departments, such as
general government, police, fire, and so on. For the larger cities it
appears that about one quarter of the public revenues go to maintaining
schools; in cities of smaller size the fraction is larger, reaching
in some cases nearly one half. For purposes of our present study a
few examples will suffice. These are given in Table II. Two cases are
exhibited in Fig. 4.


          |GENERAL|      |     |      |       |      |      |       |OTHER
          |MENT   |      |     |      | TION  | WAYS | TIES |       |ITEMS
 New York | 13.6  | 12.1 | 7.0 | 2.3  |  8.0  |  7.8 |  8.7 | 27.9  | 12.4
 Chicago  | 15.3  | 15.8 | 7.9 | 1.3  |  8.8  |  6.6 |  6.4 | 24.6  | 13.4
  delphia | 13.8  | 15.0 | 5.1 | 1.8  |  7.1  | 14.6 | 10.4 | 21.6  | 10.4
 St. Louis| 12.4  | 15.5 | 8.2 | 1.1  | 10.2  | 13.0 |  6.6 | 25.3  |  7.8
 Boston   | 10.8  | 11.4 | 8.1 | 2.9  |  9.3  | 10.5 |  8.3 | 24.6  | 14.3
          |       |      |     |      |       |      |      |       |
 Albany   | 12.3  | 13.3 |14.1 | 1.4  |  7.6  |  9.3 |  3.0 | 27.9  | 11.1
 Dayton   |  7.6  | 10.1 | 9.9 | 1.5  | 10.5  | 18.4 |  4.1 | 33.4  |  4.6
  Moines  |  6.1  |  6.1 |15.0 | 0.8  |  4.6  |  9.7 |  0.3 | 46.5  | 10.9
  Rapids  |  9.4  |  9.4 |14.0 | 3.0  |  6.8  |  6.5 |  1.9 | 42.3  |  6.9
 Richmond |  9.7  | 10.8 |10.6 | 2.9  | 12.7  | 21.6 |  4.7 | 21.0  |  6.1

These figures show why it is that the business man and the taxpayer are
addicted to criticisms of school expenditures. It is difficult for the
ordinary citizen to get this great expenditure of public money out
of the center of his vision. He can, perhaps, be interested by some
enthusiast in the introduction of domestic science or civics or some
other new course of study; he may even become convinced of the need of
improvements in the equipment of school buildings; but sooner or later,
when the enthusiast has ceased to speak, the persistent fact that it
costs a great share of the revenue of the city to conduct the schools
will reassert itself as a dominant item in his thinking.


In not a few cases the problem of financing schools has in recent years
become especially acute. Communities are in many cases at the limit
now permitted by state laws controlling the levying of taxes. The
maintenance of schools even at their present level is very difficult,
and all the time there is the urgent push within the system for
enlargements and improvements. Other communities which see the rapid
increase in school expenditures, even while they are willing to tax
themselves more for schools, are asking for clear evidence that school
work is being done efficiently.

Such an attitude appears, for example, in a resolution passed by the
citizens of Portland, Oregon, at a regular annual meeting of the voters
held December 27, 1912:

 Whereas, the average daily attendance at the public schools of
 this district has increased from 10,387 in 1902 to 23,712 in 1912,
 and the annual disbursements have increased during the same period
 from $420,879.61 to $2,490,477.28; and whereas, it is of the utmost
 importance that the public schools should be kept at the highest point
 of efficiency.

 It is hereby declared to be the sense of this meeting that a full
 and complete survey be made of the public school system of this

Many other examples could be given of school inquiries which have grown
out of the demand for either better administration of finances or more
efficient training. In 1910 the Board of Estimate and Apportionment of
New York ordered a survey of the schools of that city because the Board
did not believe itself to be in possession of adequate information on
which to base appropriations for education and because, to use the
words of the resolution,

 It is the sense of this Board that efficient and progressive
 administration of the schools ... is indispensable to the welfare
 and progress of the city and that generous appropriations ... are
 desirable in so far as assurance and evidence can be given that such
 appropriations will be expended for purposes and in a manner to
 promote the efficiency and welfare of the schools and to increase the
 value and effect of the instruction given therein.[20]

Such quotations show the intimate relation between finance and
teaching, between the attitude of the community toward expenditures and
the modern demand for a scientifically conducted school system.


Returning to the detailed study of school finance, it may be laid
down as a fundamental principle that in general school expenditures
are related to the ability of a community to pay taxes. Taking for
purposes of illustration the three largest cities, we find that they
have different degrees of wealth. New York City has an average wealth
of $1765.28 per inhabitant; Chicago has only $1604.20; Philadelphia,
$953.65. Evidently the capacity of these cities for supporting schools
is very different. The differences in wealth correspond roughly to
the varying scale of expenditures for elementary schools in these
three cities. New York expends $45.67 per pupil; Chicago, $37.58; and
Philadelphia, $32.22. The less wealthy cities commonly spend less on

There is a certain equity in the variation in expenditures above noted.
But there are conditions under which the variations in wealth are so
great that if expenditure depended on the ability of a community to pay
for schools, the children would suffer. In such cases the state must
take a share of the costs and must, in the interests of the general
community, pay for better schools than the city or district can itself

If one thinks of a mining town, for example, where the population is
made up entirely of laborers with large families and where the homes
are crowded together in a small area, it will be recognized at once
that the ability to support schools is very different from that of
a well-to-do manufacturing city or of a sparsely settled, fertile
farming region where the children are few and the taxable wealth is
comparatively great. In the case of the mining town the state must
step in to equalize in some degree the educational opportunities of
the children. It is not to the advantage of the state as a whole that
the many children of that town should be seriously limited in their
schooling, because they will in due time scatter to other communities,
and the safety and progress of these other communities require that
there shall be adequate educational opportunities in the mining town.

This one example is enough to suggest the problems which arise in
the study of support for schools. The sources of these funds and the
equitable distribution of state school taxes constitute one of the
large problems of public finance and call for careful scientific study.
Such questions as the following arise and must be answered: Shall
state grants be determined by the pupil enrollment, by the average
attendance, by the aggregate attendance, or by the number of teachers


Turning to details of expenditure, we find a new set of problems.
Perhaps the most impressive fact is that there is a wide discrepancy
in every city between the average expenditures per pupil in elementary
schools and high schools. Again, we may select as typical the facts
for the cities referred to in an earlier table. These average figures
are less striking than some which could be cited. In Los Angeles,
California, the cost per pupil in the high school, at the same date as
that for which the figures in Table III were compiled, was $285.67 as
contrasted with the cost of $59.41 per elementary pupil.


                |  ELEMENTARY  |
                |    SCHOOL    |  HIGH SCHOOL
  New York      |    $45.67    |    $105.86
  Chicago       |     37.58    |      85.15
  Philadelphia  |     32.22    |      87.10
  St. Louis     |     37.21    |     113.72
  Boston        |     44.81    |      82.77
                |              |
  Albany        |     35.69    |      70.56
  Dayton        |     29.85    |      63.77
  Des Moines    |     33.66    |      51.17
  Grand Rapids  |     40.45    |      87.36
  Richmond      |     22.24    |      56.73

It requires very little consideration to explain why there is a
difference between these two types of expenditures. High-school classes
are often small, teachers receive higher salaries, and equipment is
more expensive. It requires much more consideration to justify the
difference. There are some who hold that the elementary school is being
sacrificed to the high school. Indeed, there are some people so extreme
in their views that they would make all high schools tuition schools.
They hold that Boston is in expenditures much less open to criticism
than St. Louis. In St. Louis, on the other hand, it is pointed out that
a most elaborate scheme of high schools has been organized with a view
to providing every high-school student in every section of the city
with the broadest possible opportunities. By way of further answer to
the critics of the high school, it is asserted that the community gets
back in public service from the student who has taken higher courses
more than such courses cost. Certain it is, as the figures in Table
III show, that cities are making expenditures on a most generous scale
for the maintenance of high schools; and the total amount of this
expenditure is greater than the table indicates because there are large
initial appropriations for school buildings which are not taken into
account in these statements of current expenses.


Pursuing the matter further, we find that there are the widest
discrepancies in costs due to differences in the subjects taught, to
differences in the number of pupils assembled in class, and to other
less conspicuous differences.

In order to bring out the differences between subjects in the same
school, Professor Bobbitt has calculated the cost, per thousand student
hours, of instruction in twenty-five medium-sized high schools, and
presents in Table IV the median[22] cost of each subject.


      SUBJECTS          | MEDIAN COST
  Shopwork              |    $93
  Normal training       |     92
  Latin                 |     71
  Commercial            |     69
  Modern languages      |     63
  History               |     62
  Household occupations |     61
  Science               |     60
  Mathematics           |     59
  English               |     51
  Agriculture           |     48
  Music                 |     23

Translating this table into the form of a series of questions which
school authorities and communities must face, we may ask: Is it
desirable that shopwork be supplied in a school when it costs nearly
twice as much as English? Is Latin enough better than modern languages
to justify its retention in the program of a school when it costs eight
dollars more per unit of instruction?

Like series of facts for the elementary schools can be borrowed from
an unpublished study by Mr. G. Lee Fleming of Hibbing, Minnesota, and
are reproduced in Table V. Certain selected facts are also exhibited
in Fig. 5. The table shows that reading absorbs nearly two thirds of
the expenditures of the first grade, while in the third grade the same
subject gets a little less than one third of the expenditures, and in
the sixth grade about one sixth. Opening exercises require about the
same expenditure in all grades. Geography comes into prominence first
in the fourth grade. A study of the table will show that financial
statements of this type are indexes of academic organization.


    SUBJECTS  | First |Second | Third |Fourth | Fifth | Sixth | AVERAGE
              | Grade | Grade | Grade | Grade | Grade | Grade |
  Reading     |  $611 |  $407 |  $307 |  $240 |  $150 |  $156 |  $312
  Arithmetic  |     5 |   101 |   176 |   187 |   181 |   190 |   140
  Language    |    95 |   110 |   126 |   130 |   178 |   105 |   124
  Music       |    86 |    90 |    84 |    67 |    58 |    67 |    75
  Spelling    |     3 |    92 |    90 |    93 |    80 |    71 |    71
  Geography   |    —  |    —  |     9 |   102 |   124 |   152 |    64
  Writing     |    49 |    68 |    61 |    61 |    52 |    59 |    58
  Drawing     |    60 |    80 |    55 |    66 |    32 |    42 |    56
  Manual arts |    —  |    —  |    23 |     9 |    60 |    76 |    28
  Opening     |       |       |       |       |       |       |
   exercises  |    34 |    21 |    23 |    21 |    24 |    25 |    25
  Physical    |       |       |       |       |       |       |
    culture   |    11 |    —  |    15 |    14 |    40 |    39 |    20
  Folk dancing|    11 |    22 |    25 |    —  |    —  |    —  |    10
  Hygiene     |    —  |     3 |     6 |    10 |    11 |    13 |     7
  Construction|       |       |       |       |       |       |
   work       |    28 |    —  |    —  |    —  |    —  |    —  |     5
  History     |    —  |    —  |    —  |    —  |    10 |     5 |     2
  Handwork    |     4 |     6 |    —  |    —  |    —  |    —  |     2
  Sense       |       |       |       |       |       |       |
   training   |     3 |    —  |    —  |    —  |    —  |    —  |     1
      Total   | $1000 | $1000 | $1000 | $1000 | $1000 | $1000 | $1000


A second determinant of costs is the size of the class. One of the
simplest ways of reducing expenses is to give a single teacher a large
number of pupils to care for. In 1916 the superintendent of schools in
St. Louis calculated that the reduction of elementary classes in the
schools of that city by an average of one pupil per class would cost
the city $65,000 per year. Los Angeles and Indianapolis have small
elementary classes, the averages being 23.7 and 24.7 members per class
respectively. The cost of elementary instruction is very high, being
$59.41 and $50.45 respectively. St. Louis and Chicago have much lower
costs, namely, $37.21 and $37.58 respectively. These low costs are
secured in a very large measure by grouping children in large classes
of 37.6 and 40.3 average membership per class.

[Illustration: FIG. 5. Distribution in the various grades of each
thousand dollars expended for instruction

The relative expenditure in six grades of the schools of Hibbing,
Minnesota, for four of the chief school subjects is shown by the height
of the columns]


Teachers’ salaries differ in different cities and affect the problems
of cost; the number of hours that teachers teach is another cause of


Certain cities supply the pupils with books and materials, while other
cities require the children to bring their supplies from home. In the
long run, the cost falls on the community in either case, but it is
differently distributed. In the first case, the taxpayers pay for the
supplies as they do for school buildings, each taxpayer contributing
according to the assessed value of his property. In the second case,
parents pay for supplies according to the number of their children and
without regard to their property.

In regard to general supplies, there are also differences in policy.
Some cities are lavish in furnishing maps and reference books and
specimens for nature study, while others are very economical in these
respects, sometimes justifying their policy by saying that they put
all they can afford to expend into teachers’ salaries. The question
is thus raised: How far is it legitimate to spend money in providing
material equipment, and how far should it be devoted to the payment of
high-salaried teachers? Is it well, for example, to ask a teacher of
good training in geography to instruct a class without any wall maps?
Is it economical to ask a teacher of history to conduct his classes
without books of reference? Or, comparing various kinds of material
equipment with each other, one may ask whether it is more essential
to spend money on well-lighted, well-ventilated rooms that are barren
of apparatus or to put up with old buildings and purchase laboratory


One reason why it is important that questions like those in the
foregoing paragraphs be explicitly formulated is that many citizens
think of school finance as wholly distinct from school organization.
Very often members of the board of education will disclaim any
knowledge of the course of study or of the qualifications of teachers
and say that it is their sole duty to supervise expenditures.
Consideration of the real problems of school finance soon brings to
the surface the fact that financial expenditures are merely means to
the end of supplying adequate opportunity for all the children who are
required by legislation to attend schools. School finance is one aspect
of school organization.

In recent years there has been a movement in the direction of better
accounting systems which are designed to reveal the needs of the
schools and the ways in which these needs are being met. The financial
records of progressive school systems, instead of throwing together
expenditures in general accounts, are keeping items of supervision
distinct from items of teaching. Costs of supplies of various kinds
are kept apart. Thus, janitors’ supplies are kept separate from crayon
and other educational supplies. The cost of coal is used as a means of
checking the efficiency of janitors.

The Bureau of Education of the United States has prepared bookkeeping
forms, and a number of school systems are keeping uniform records of
expenditures. This will greatly facilitate comparisons and scientific
studies in the future and will help to make school finance more than a
mere haphazard distribution of public money.


What would it cost to supply all the members of a college class with
free textbooks? Would it be equally just to supply a college class with
notebooks? with writing paper?

Why is a laboratory fee charged in certain courses? Is a laboratory fee
just in a class in physics? in chemistry? in drawing?

In case a boy is going to become a plumber, is the public under any
obligation to train him so that he will become an expert? How about
a doctor? What steps does the public take to insure efficiency in
teachers? in railroad engineers? in mail clerks?

What are the state laws with regard to the amount of tax that may be
levied for schools? Are upper limits really necessary?

A certain town is about to build a new schoolhouse. The building will
cost in the aggregate about $30,000. If the building is provided with
a sightly lawn in front and with an ornamental pattern in the brick,
it will cost $400 more than if it is perfectly plain and the yard is
made of gravel. If the corridor is made sixteen feet wide rather than
twelve, the cost will be $400 greater. Shall the two expenditures be
made or not?

 CLARK, E. Financing the Public Schools. The Survey Committee of the
 Cleveland Foundation. (Copies may be secured from the Russell Sage
 Foundation.) This is a volume of the Cleveland survey.

 CUBBERLEY, E. P. Public School Administration. Houghton Mifflin
 Company. This deals with the problems of public-school organization,
 including the general principles of finance.

 RUGG, H. O. Report on the finances of the school system of Grand
 Rapids in the “School Survey, Grand Rapids, Michigan.” Board of
 Education, Grand Rapids.

 RUGG, H. O. Report on the finances of the school system of St. Louis
 in the “School Survey, St. Louis, Missouri.” Board of Education, St.



  Average cost per pupil of maintaining elementary
    schools for 1914-1915                            $37.58
  Average cost per pupil of maintaining high schools
    for 1914-1915                                    $82.36
  Average cost per pupil of maintaining Chicago
    Normal College for 1914-1915                    $228.84

Report of the Superintendent of Schools for the Year Ending June 30,
1915, in the Sixty-first Annual Report of the Board of Education of the
City of Chicago, p. 196.

[16] Report of the Commissioner of Education for 1916, Vol. II, p. 20.

[17] Ibid. p. 19.

[18] _Bulletin No. 126_, Table II, United States Bureau of Census, 1913.

[19] Quoted in fuller detail on pages 426 et seq. of the “Portland
Survey,” by Ellwood P. Cubberley. Published by the World Book Company,

[20] Report of Committee on School Inquiry, p. 61. Published by the
city of New York, 1911-1913.

[21] Figures taken from the financial survey of Grand Rapids, Michigan,
prepared by Dr. H. O. Rugg and published in the survey of that city
published by the Board of Education, 1917, and from the survey of St.
Louis by the same investigator.

[22] The median is that figure above which and below which fall half
the cases. It is, therefore, a suitable sample of the whole group. It
is a better representative figure than the average.

[23] J. F. Bobbitt, “High-School Costs,” in the _School Review_, Vol.
XXIII, No. 8 (1915), p. 526.

[24] G. Lee Fleming, Instructional Costs in the First Six Elementary
Grades. Master’s Thesis, Department of Education, The University of
Chicago, 1916.




Although the community as a whole recognizes the need of education, and
is willing to supply the necessary financial support, it cannot manage
directly the details of school operation. The community cannot decide
what seven-year-old children shall study. The community cannot decide
what ought to be done with a disorderly pupil. It becomes necessary,
therefore, for the community to devise some method of picking out
suitable representatives who can carry on the schools.

The first task to be thus delegated was that of classroom instruction.
One reads in the records of the early town meetings of New England how
the whole community participated in the discussion of all financial
matters and of many problems connected with the course of study. For
example, the site of a schoolhouse, its cost, and its plan have always
been subjects of community discussion. Again, the community has often
decided whether it wants geography taught or certain branches of
mathematics. But when it came to the daily routine of school work, the
community employed a teacher and turned the children over to him.


The next stage of representative control was reached when the community
came to a recognition of the necessity of some kind of intelligent
supervision of teachers. Visiting committees were appointed, usually
including the clergyman of the town, to look into the work of the
classes and report to the town meeting.

So long as communities were small and fairly homogeneous in their
social and intellectual characteristics it remained possible to get
on with direct town-meeting control of the schools in all except the
details of teaching classes and the supervision of teachers. One reads,
to be sure, of disagreements at times between the town meeting and the
teacher. The visiting committee and the teacher sometimes had a clash,
and the supporters of each presented their views with vigor before
the whole community. Problems of organization and administration were
not lacking even in those simpler days, but the machinery of school
management was fairly direct and simple.


How this direct control of schools became impossible with the growth
of communities can be illustrated by a single example. In the city of
Chicago in its early years the schools were independent of each other.
Indeed, in the first years immediately after the incorporation of the
town, the schools were private schools to which the taxpayers paid a
stipulated sum out of the proceeds of the sale of school lands or out
of district levies. The variable character of the teaching which was
secured under this plan led to the adoption in 1835 of a partially
centralized system of inspection and management. The districts were
left independent in all financial matters, but a central board of
inspectors was provided which was to unify the schools of the town.
This central board was continued after the incorporation of the city,
in 1837, but the districts were left independent in financial matters
even after that date. The districts voted on the amount to be paid to
teachers, on the housing of the schools, and on other matters relating
to taxes. There were district committees to care for these local
financial matters.

Even though the city government was centralized by the incorporation of
1837, the schools remained distinct. The central board of inspectors
adopted certain textbooks, but it appears that the schools paid little
attention to this action. How meager was the district provision for
schools appears in the fact that it was not until 1845 that the first
public-school building was erected.

It is not difficult to imagine the chaos under which such a system
suffered. In 1851 the city council took away from the districts
the power of hiring teachers and gave it to the central board of
inspectors. It also appointed a business manager. The board of
inspectors thus gained in power and influence, but they found
themselves confronted by educational problems which they could
not solve. In 1853 they adopted the plan which was relatively new
in American cities, but was coming into vogue, of appointing a
superintendent of schools. This officer at once graded the children,
organized a uniform course of study, and took steps to equalize
instruction in the schools of the city.


The historical sketch outlined above gives us a clear insight into the
way in which problems of school organization arise. The community must
delegate the work of carrying on schools. There is a natural hesitation
in intrusting this important work to anyone. As a result, the community
is constantly taking a hand, even in these latter days, in all kinds
of school discussions. Sometimes the whole city is drawn into a
discussion of school matters. Sometimes the individual parent, in his
capacity as a citizen, attempts to take into his hands the authority
of the community, especially when the way in which the schools are
being managed seems to him to be unfavorable to the interests of his


The various officials who are created in the process of developing a
representative system of school control often find themselves unable to
determine the limits of their authority or responsibility. For example,
it is almost impossible to determine where the duties of a business
manager end and the functions of the superintendent begin. Thus,
when it comes to the employment of teachers and the determination of
salaries, the question arises whether these matters should be settled
on educational grounds or on financial grounds, or on both.

Especially acute is the problem of determining the proper relation
of the board of inspectors to the teachers and superintendent. The
inspectors, or the board of education as they have come to be called,
are chosen as the immediate representatives of the community. They
are citizens in whom the community has general confidence, but they
are not charged, as was pointed out above, with the daily tasks
of teaching. The board must accordingly appoint teachers and a
superintendent. These latter are selected because they have training
and technical qualifications which the community needs in the schools.
The technical officers have in an important sense an independent place
in the educational system. It will be remembered that the teacher
was the first one to whom the community delegated responsibility
for the schools. Not infrequently the community finds its board of
representative citizens on one side of a school issue and its technical
officers on the other side.

Take a commonplace example. In the development of the course of study
it has come to pass that many new subjects have been introduced which
cost a great deal. Manual training and domestic science, as was shown
in the last chapter, are expensive. Superintendents and teachers are
enthusiastic about the educational value of these subjects. Sometimes
the board of education has to curtail the expenditures involved because
the community does not seem to be prepared to pay the price. If the
board is supreme and the superintendent is its servant, how can a
campaign of explanation be organized which will show the community what
is needed? On the other hand, if the superintendent is at liberty to go
directly to the community without the consent or sympathy of the board,
complications arise which are not difficult to imagine.


A series of difficulties in the administration of the schools of
Chicago brought out from the Public Education Association of that city
a statement of the relation between the board of education and the
technical officers of the schools which illustrates so clearly the
matters discussed in the foregoing paragraphs that it may properly be
quoted at length.


 Some people want the school board to be large, so that everyone may
 be represented. They think that it is desirable that there should
 be members on the board from every district in the city, every
 nationality, the various trades, and the various professions.

 A board cannot be made into a representative body in this sense. It
 would never be large enough to include everybody, and it would be
 unwieldy in action. What is needed is a small board that will be broad
 in its interests, that will ask many questions covering all sections
 of the city, and that can act promptly. This board should have laid
 before it carefully drawn plans touching all the interests of the

 This small board has to decide general policies and select the people
 to carry out these policies. It should not operate the schools but
 should see that they are operated. It should require evidence from
 the people who operate the schools showing that they are doing it
 successfully. It should demand and issue reports that are clear and
 intelligible to the whole community.


 The functions of the board of education have never been fully
 understood in American cities because it has been thought of as
 the means employed by the people to conduct the schools. This is a
 wrong notion. The people want trained teachers and trained officers
 to conduct the schools. The people want the board of education to
 organize the schools so that they shall employ the most expert people
 who can be secured.


 This statement leads to a consideration of the second group of people
 who have to do with the school organization. The schools could not get
 on without trained teachers. There was a time when each parent taught
 his own child. That was in the days when there wasn’t much to teach.
 To-day the parent places his child in the care of a specialist. The
 parent has come to the specialist because the parent has confidence
 that the specialist knows how to take care of the children. Teachers
 are not mere hirelings and nurses, inferior to the children; teachers
 are trained specialists.

 As the system grows more complex there appear several classes of
 specialists—some who know how to deal with the pupils, some who know
 how to provide the children with proper seats and proper ventilation,
 some who know how to make courses of study, and some who keep the
 records of the schools.

 Furthermore, the school system grows complicated on the material side.
 Buildings have to be erected and cared for. Land has to be evaluated
 and cared for. Some people think that all this is an open book to
 everyone who is in business. The fact is that knowledge of school
 equipment is just as highly specialized knowledge as knowledge of
 railroad equipment. A wholesale grocer would not think of himself as
 competent to estimate the cost of Pullman cars just because he knows
 about business. The better school systems now have accounting methods
 in schools which bring out such matters as the cost per unit of
 teaching in high schools and elementary schools, the standard cost of
 instruction in different subjects, and the cost of school equipments
 as related to their sanitary and hygienic fitness.

 Every complete school system has its business interests in the hands
 of competent specialists who know about school costs in detail and in


 By the time a school system reaches the point where it has all these
 specialists, it becomes necessary to give much attention to the
 central planning of a scheme of operation which shall make the whole
 machine work smoothly. There must be a central office where management
 is provided. In setting up this central office there has been a great
 deal of experimenting. Sometimes a teacher has been put in charge;
 sometimes a board member, in such case the president of the board
 has taken charge. Some years ago the city of Cleveland tried the
 experiment of putting a business manager in charge. This business
 manager appointed the superintendent of instruction. If one goes
 back into the history of Chicago, he finds that a business manager
 to take charge of school lands was appointed two years before the
 superintendent of instruction was appointed.

 Gradually out of all the experimenting there has arisen a new type of
 school officer, a superintendent of schools who is a trained school
 manager. This manager does not teach; he does not shovel coal into
 the furnaces in the schools; he does exactly what the head of any
 great corporation does; he organizes the undertaking. He must know
 human nature; he must know how to get reports; he must know how to
 tell the people about the needs of their schools; he must know how to
 straighten out tangles; and he must know how to judge results. This
 manager must give his whole time to getting the machinery to work and
 keeping it in order.

 In a large school system the manager’s office will be subdivided
 and there will need to be some further organization to keep it from
 falling apart. There will be one person in such an office who will
 know more about heating school buildings and one who will know about
 the quality of teaching. The more the subdivision the more precautions
 necessary to hold all parts of the system together.[25]


Another recent document which throws much light on the problem of
the relation between school officers is a report presented to the
Department of Superintendence, a division of the National Education
Association. This report opens with extracts from a number of letters
from superintendents in all parts of the country. The discussion then
proceeds as follows:


 The impression which a careful study of this material [referring to
 the material upon which the report is based] makes on one’s mind is
 the painful one that most administrative situations are undefined
 and shifting. Schools are administered, sometimes well, sometimes
 badly, but in most cases without clear definition of responsibility
 or authority. Public interests are fortunately protected in most
 instances, but the machinery is the primitive machinery of the
 vigilance committee, with now the superintendent, now the board of
 education, now the city council, now a parents’ association, trying to
 determine what steps shall be taken to promote public welfare.


 In such a situation the accidents of personal influence play
 an unjustifiable part. Several of the letters from successful
 superintendents state explicitly or show between the lines that they
 are entirely in control of the policies of the schools. Some go so far
 as to say that any effort to define the responsibilities and authority
 of the superintendent would curtail their influence and would
 therefore be undesirable. At the other end of the scale are reports
 which show that the superintendent is shorn of all influence. In many
 cases he is little more than a clerk, dependent from day to day on
 the accidents of the board’s attitude for the meager authority which
 he tries to exercise. In some cases he goes to the board meeting only
 when especially invited. He has teachers sent to him by the board, and
 he knows nothing about the financial management of the system. Such a
 superintendent usually recommends the adoption of a state law endowing
 his office with rights.

 The extreme situations referred to above may occur within a single
 state, showing that there is no such thing as a typical and clearly
 defined American school administration.


 The origin of the present situation is not far to seek. American
 schools were first controlled by the citizens of the district.
 They met in intimate neighborhood groups and settled the problems
 relating to their children. Communities were fairly homogeneous, the
 course of study was simple, school buildings were all about equally
 unsanitary, and teachers were equally untrained. A majority vote was a
 democratic and accepted method of carrying the community through these


 Within a half century all this has changed. We know to-day that
 every center in a state is involved in the behavior of each of its
 communities. Indeed, our generation is witnessing the assumption by
 the federal government of an influence and authority in education
 which is without precedent in American history. This is not the place
 to comment at length on these changes, but one result is absolutely
 certain—the simple district control of schools is gone. It remains for
 us to decide what we shall have in its place. What we have to-day is a
 series of experiments of every variety that can be set up through the
 exercise of human imagination. Most of these experiments are going on
 behind closed doors. Most of them involve sooner or later a conflict
 of authority. Very few of them are understood by the people of the
 communities in which they exist.


 The result is, first, much clumsy administration, even where
 everybody acts in the spirit of most cordial coöperation. Matters
 of vital importance to the school are delayed. Secondly, baneful
 agencies, seeking to profit unjustly, can set up in the school
 system influences which would have no weight if there were clear
 and definite responsibility and authority. Thirdly, the people of
 the community, being uncertain about what is going on, often become
 restless and critical and unwilling to give adequate support to the
 schools. Fourthly, the teaching staff sometimes becomes demoralized
 and relatively inefficient, at times the disorganization goes so far
 that teachers are actually and openly antagonistic to the board or
 superintendent, or both.[26]


It is by no means simple to prescribe a remedy for the difficulties
which these quotations have described. When a democratic community
delegates its unlimited powers to a number of different classes of
people, there is sure to be a succession of problems of adjustment.
Ultimately all parties will come to recognize the fact that educational
problems can be solved only when a full study of the situation is
substituted for personal opinion. Every party will have to be ready to
acknowledge the supremacy of a thorough scientific statement of the
conditions and results of school work.

Fortunately, examples are not far to seek of school administration
which is based on scientific study. Two conspicuous examples will serve
the purposes of this exposition.


In the city of Detroit there has been carried on for the last three
years a systematic series of tests in the fundamental school subjects.
The teachers-in-training in the city normal school are given courses
in tests and in the interpretation of results so that they carry into
the school from year to year the type of preparation which makes them
intelligent and sympathetic from the first.

At first some unhappy results followed the wholesale measurement of
results. Many of the teachers thought that the method was arbitrary
and that their work would be misrepresented. Even the good teachers
were afraid. They had been accustomed to the purely personal type of
supervision based on opinion and answerable, when occasion demanded,
by opinion. The teachers who were not sure of the success of their
work were violent in their objections. The Board of Education, which
at the beginning of the testing was composed of some of the cheapest
politicians in the city, led the attack on what they termed a fad and a

Experience has, however, justified in fullest measure supervision by
a measurement of results. It has become increasingly clear to all
teachers that tests show clearly where the work is strong and where it
is weak. Not only so, but the tests help the teacher to determine with
precision the exact points where the results need to be improved.

Above and beyond this, however, is the advantage which has come to the
schools in their relation to the community. No longer is it necessary
for teachers to speak in uncertain terms of their work. If the
community will listen, it is possible for the Detroit school officials
to make clear by scientific reports based on tests exactly what is
going on in every school and in every grade.

The community showed its appreciation of the type of school management
which was intelligent enough to base itself on exact studies of results
by doing away absolutely with the corrupt and inefficient board and
electing in its place a group of thoroughly representative citizens who
are supporting scientific management and developing the schools along
lines dictated by such management.

The example of Detroit is by no means the only one which could be
cited. An increasing number of cities are revising their courses,
training their teachers, and educating the communities by similar


One other example must suffice for the present, since the subsequent
chapters of this book are devoted to the treatment in outline of the
various types of scientific inquiry which ought to govern school
organization. This example is borrowed from a report prepared in 1916
by the superintendent of schools of the city of Minneapolis.

In a pamphlet entitled “A Million a Year” there is laid before the
citizens of Minneapolis a clear statement, first, of what they had
been doing in the way of erecting school buildings for the seven years
preceding the report. The report then shows in detail what buildings
cost, through a careful analysis of the records for earlier buildings.
Then come statements of the uses of schools and the conditions which
determine the kind of building which should be put up in each section
of the city. Estimates are given in great detail of the needs for five
years, and the city is asked to act on the situation as thus described.

The spirit of the study can be clearly seen from the introduction,
which is worth repeating in full.

 Why a five-year school building program? The reasons are: that the
 Board of Education may be able to calculate for some time ahead
 the financial resources available to meet building needs as these
 develop; that the numerous children of those sections of the city
 whose citizenry may not be over-insistent and persistent in their
 demands for improved and enlarged school accommodations may be as
 well provided as the children of other sections whose needs, real
 or fancied, are vigorously and incessantly pushed; in short, that
 there may be established and carried out a deliberately formulated,
 comprehensive and consistent policy of providing adequate and
 equitable building accommodations for all children of the city.

 The program, as herein outlined, is the result of nearly a year’s
 study by the Board of Education, by a special committee of the Board,
 and by the executive officers of the Board.

 In making this study and in formulating this program, the Board has
 invited and has received the suggestions and the coöperation of
 Parents and Teachers’ Associations throughout the city. Two public
 hearings on the subject were given, to which each of the sixty-two
 associations was invited to send representatives. Each association
 was also invited to submit in writing the needs of the district
 represented as it saw them.

 A generous, indeed an almost unanimous, response was received to both
 these invitations. The educational policies involved in the program
 have been discussed by the principals of the schools and by the
 Educational Council. It has been the effort of the Board throughout
 to enlist the thoughtful help of those chiefly and most immediately

 The program is published now in order to give still wider publicity
 to the interests it represents. It is still a tentative program,
 subject to such modifications as may result from further study by
 the Board and from suggestions and criticisms that may come from any
 one interested, whether individual citizen or organization. Such
 suggestions and criticisms the Board invites.

 This program, modified as it may be, will be made the basis of
 necessary legislation, which is to be the first step in carrying it
 out. Such legislation, to provide the necessary funds, whether by bond
 issue or special tax levy, will be sought of the next Legislature.

 The people of Minneapolis should understand clearly that the Board
 of Education has no means whatever of carrying into effect this, or
 any other, building program, for the Board has no power to raise one
 cent of money, either by bond issue or through tax levy. The State
 Legislature only has power to authorize bond issues and tax levies; on
 the authorization of the State Legislature, only the City Council may
 sell bonds. On recommendation of the Board of Tax Levy, the Board of
 Education may levy taxes within the maximum approved.

 The Board of Education, representing the people of the city in their
 educational interests, is formulating this building program. If this
 program meets the approval of the people, the Board of Education will
 be pleased to carry it into effect. Before the Board can do this,
 however, the people, through their representatives in the Legislature,
 in the Board of Tax Levy, and in the City Council, must provide the
 necessary funds.[27]


The funds asked for were voted by the people. It would not be a
complete statement of the facts, however, to omit the statement that an
unfavorable reaction came in the form of a new board of education which
at once began to blockade the kind of policy represented by this study.

American cities proceed slowly to a full realization of the
possibilities of a satisfactory school organization. Democracy always
masters its problems slowly and after many slips. The hopeful fact is
that more communities are providing agencies for the scientific study
of their school problems and are following in their organization the
results of such study.


In most communities there arise, from time to time, demands for new
school legislation, or there occur controversies within the board of
education or with regard to the superintendent of schools and his
authority. As a practical lesson in democratic government the study of
the changes that occur at such a time is very informing.

If there is no such exceptionally clear exhibition of the complexity
of our public-school government, let the student find out what are the
personal and professional characteristics of some board of education.

Would it be better, in some city known to the student, to elect a board
or to have it appointed? Is a definition by law of the rights and
duties of a superintendent advantageous, or should the superintendent
acquire all the power and influence he can get from the board? Should a
board of education examine textbooks? Should it determine the scale of
salaries to be paid to teachers?

If a class does very poorly in a test in arithmetic, what are some of
the different interpretations that can be put on this fact? Is the
superintendent responsible, or the teacher, or the home?

Our American cities change teachers and superintendents frequently.
What are the elements of cost which enter into such a change?

The best kind of material for reading under this chapter is a
superintendent’s school report or one of the reports of a survey of a
city school system.

 CUBBERLEY, E. P., and others. Portland Survey. School Efficiency
 Series. World Book Company. This is one of the first strong school
 surveys, and takes up very fully the functions of the different
 officers of the school system. The parts dealing with administration
 are largely the work of Professor Cubberley, whose work on
 administration was referred to under the last chapter.

 MACANDREW, W. The Public and its School. World Book Company. A
 humorous report dealing in an interesting and striking way with a
 number of administrative problems.

 Seventeenth Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of
 Education. Part II. The Measurement of Educational Products. Prepared
 by the National Association of Directors of Educational Research.
 Public School Publishing Co., Bloomington, Illinois. This report gives
 a comprehensive survey of the work which is being done by efficiency
 experts in public-school systems.


[25] _Bulletin No. 1_ of the Public Education Association of Chicago,
1917, pp. 3-5.

[26] Report of the Committee on Relation between Boards of Education
and Superintendents, in _Journal of the National Education
Association_, Vol. I, No. 9 (May, 1917), pp. 967-968.

[27] A Million a Year, pp. v-vi. Monograph No. 1, published by the
Board of Education, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1916.




A study of school buildings furnishes in very concrete form evidence
of the new spirit which has come into school organization. The
old-fashioned school building was copied from the church. In its
externals it often showed its antecedents by the tower and steeple,
which sometimes housed the bell and sometimes served merely as an
ornament. In its interior there was little or no evidence of careful
adaptation of the space to its uses. Small windows, high from the floor
and narrow in the space admitting light, were scattered along three
sides of the room. Across the fourth side of the room was a raised
platform for the teacher. The roof was high and made the space below
difficult to heat. A stove was the means of heating; it gave out an
excess of heat to the immediate neighborhood and proved inadequate for
making the remote corners habitable. The seats were narrow benches,
often without backs. In the schools of earlier days these benches ran
around the room, the pupils facing the wall, to which was fastened a
board that served as a desk on which the pupil might write or lay his
book. In later schools the benches were arranged in rows, the desk of
one row economically furnishing a back for the bench in front. Add
to all this a common drinking cup in a pail of water and sanitary
arrangements of the most primitive type, and we have a picture of
almost complete disregard for human comfort and hygiene. More than
this, we see in such a school building the clearest evidence of a
conception of education which was limited to the barest rudiments.
There was no provision for varied activities in a school building of
the older type. Kitchens in which the girls learn to cook, shops for
the boys, laboratories for courses in science, playrooms and libraries,
to say nothing of swimming pools and baths, were never thought of,
because the course of study was limited strictly to the three R’s.

[Illustration: FIG. 6. Floor plan of a typical school building of the
old style]

The modern school building is the embodiment of a wholly new conception
of education. The building is constructed with the utmost deference to
the demands of hygiene. The placing of windows, the means of heating
and ventilating, the style and arrangement of seats, have all been
considered in every possible detail. When the demands of hygiene have
been met, the various needs of the school are studied, and the rooms
and equipment are arranged with the fullest possible regard for an
enriched course of study. The exterior of the building reflects the
interest of the community in æsthetics. It is commonly surrounded by an
ample playground and often has a garden as well. These changes from the
barren buildings of earlier days show that education is thought of as
related to the common life of children.


A number of concrete contrasts will perhaps serve to give the reader
who is likely to be familiar only with modern school equipment some
idea of the long road that has been traveled in the evolution of the
American school system.

[Illustration: FIG. 7. Floor plan of a well-arranged one-teacher rural
school of minimum cost]

A ground plan furnished by a bulletin of the Bureau of Education[28]
shows (Fig. 6) the old-fashioned one-room school with its small
windows and inadequate heating. The light from these windows is
badly distributed. The wide wall spaces between windows leave long
dark spaces across the room. The fact that there are windows on many
sides makes it necessary for someone to face glaring lights on bright
days and results in all sorts of cross lights and shadows. The other
features of the plan, including the stove, were commented on in an
earlier paragraph.

A second ground plan (Fig. 7) shows a well-arranged, simple rural
school. The light comes from one side of the room. There is provision
for many different activities, and a system of ventilating and heating
has been substituted for the stove of former days. The stove is
inclosed in a jacket. Into this jacket opens an intake which brings
fresh air from outside. A pipe carries the heated air to various parts
of the room, insuring its adequate distribution.

The externals of the situation are depicted in Fig. 8.

[Illustration: FIG. 8. An old and a new rural school]


The evolution is even more impressive when it appears in the
many-roomed schoolhouses of a city system. The following paragraphs
and figures from the Cleveland survey show how complete has been the
transformation of a half century:

 The type of building erected during the 50’s is well represented
 by the Alabama School, although this particular building was not
 completed until 1861. Several buildings of this general type are
 still in use in the city.... In these early buildings the rooms were
 large and accommodated enormous numbers of children. Classes ranged
 from 100 to 200 in each room. There was hardly a square foot of waste
 space in these buildings. Originally they contained no corridors, no
 wardrobes, no toilets, no storerooms, no running water, and no heating
 plants except stoves.[29] [Figs. 9 A and 9 B.]

 The Empire School, completed in the fall of 1915, represents the most
 modern type of school architecture. It is entirely fireproof and so
 constructed that new wings may be added for future extensions without
 injuring either the utility or the symmetry of the building. In
 appearance these newest buildings are great improvements over their
 immediate predecessors and educationally they are far superior. The
 windows are banked in sets of five and the masonry is so shaped as
 to cut off a minimum of light. Auditoriums have slanted floors like
 theaters, are unobstructed by pillars, and have real stages instead of

 Gymnasiums for boys and for girls, swimming pool, playrooms, toilets,
 shower baths, auditorium, library, shops, and domestic science rooms
 can all be shut off from the rest of the building so that they can
 be conveniently used for social and community center purposes. In
 these schools mouldings are done away with, doors have no paneling,
 corners of floors and ceilings are smooth and rounded, stairways have
 solid balustrades, and every endeavor is made to leave dust and dirt
 no lodging place. Piping for vacuum cleaning, and the most modern
 heating, ventilating, and regulating apparatus are installed.[30]
 [Figs. 10 A and 10 B.]

[Illustration: FIG. 9 A. Ground plan of Alabama School]

[Illustration: FIG. 9 B. Exterior of Alabama School]

[Illustration: FIG. 10 A. Ground plan of Empire School]

[Illustration: FIG. 10 B. Exterior of Empire School]


A similar lesson may be drawn from the study of high-school buildings
of successive generations. The following quotation from the Denver
survey shows how limited was the earlier conception of the school and
its doings.

 The course of study in this school [the East Side High School] was
 from the first a rigorous, disciplinary course, dominated by literary
 and classical interests. The issue between science and the classics
 was clearly drawn even in the early years of the East Side High
 School’s history, but the victory has always been with the literary

 The kind of a course of study which was thought of as necessary in
 those early days reflected itself in the kind of a building which
 was erected. The East Side High School building was, in its day, a
 conspicuous model of high-school architecture. The high ceilings and
 great corridors and large classrooms showed the generous intention
 of the citizens of Denver. There were, however, no gymnasium, no
 lunch room, no shop for manual training, and no special equipments
 for science courses. In short, the East Side High School stands as a
 conservative example of a school, strong in its early days, but unable
 in these days to take on the progressive features of a first-class
 high school because of physical limitations and because of the
 hampering traditions which come from a successful past.[31]


Lest the individual teacher should regard these matters of architecture
as very remote from his or her personal interests, let us comment on
the evil effects of neglect of some of the hygienic problems which the
modern school is designed to solve.

When light is badly distributed, there is a strain on the eyes which
results in unfavorable physiological conditions. These unfavorable
conditions sometimes take the form of a congestion of the blood vessels
in and around the eye, with consequent feelings of discomfort and
inability to work. These unfavorable results may appear both in pupils
and in the teacher. The conditions are not clearly recognizable through
any signs of fatigue which the person affected can readily localize,
for we have no sense organ giving direct sensations of fatigue. The
result is that the person is unable to do his work, but does not know,
unless he has made a special study of the problem, what the difficulty
is or how to remedy it. Evidently the problem of lighting cannot be
left to natural judgment, and every physical appliance for proper
control and distribution of illumination should be provided.


In regard to ventilation and heating the situation is much the same
as with lighting. Until recently all public buildings were without
special provisions for ventilation, it being assumed that enough
air would come in through doors and windows. The private dwelling
was the model followed in this matter. A dwelling occupied by a few
people leaks enough fresh air so that even when all the windows are
closed the air is tolerable. When fifty or a hundred people in a
public building are crowded into a space that is proportionately much
smaller than the space in a dwelling and when, furthermore, through
improvements in methods of construction the leakage of fresh air is
almost entirely stopped, the situation calls for artificial means of
introducing air and distributing it. The situation with regard to
fresh air is complicated in all colder climates by the necessity of
producing and conserving artificial heat. Modern heating arrangements
are capable of maintaining large buildings at a summer temperature even
in the coldest weather, but in order to do this at reasonable cost the
building must be made as nearly air-tight as possible. The temperatures
secured through artificial-heating plants have also brought another
evil. The air raised to a high temperature is abnormal in humidity
because it is taken from outdoors, where it is cold and the humidity
is low, and is raised by heating to a condition where it can absorb a
great quantity of moisture. Such air is very dry and takes moisture in
an excessive degree from the moist linings of the human respiratory
tracts and thus irritates and fatigues the people exposed to the dry
air, becoming a serious menace to comfort and even to health. To meet
these difficulties it has been necessary to introduce into all public
buildings artificial ventilating and humidifying systems. Even in
one-room rural schools, where the simpler types of architecture must
still be adhered to, it is common, as pointed out above, to jacket the
stove, thus making it possible to circulate fresh air and to introduce
an evaporation reservoir which will render the humidity more nearly
normal. Above all it is important that teachers understand that these
matters cannot be left to mere chance. Life indoors is artificial at
best, and its conditions must be guarded as carefully as possible.


Not merely has the plan of the building been improved, but the
equipment has also been thoroughly worked over. Drinking fountains
or individual drinking cups have taken the place of the pail and the
common dipper. Toilets have been furnished in a way which makes it
possible to keep them clean and wholesome.

The matter of seats may be discussed from both points of view suggested
in earlier paragraphs, that is, from the point of view of attention to
the health and comfort of pupils and from the point of view of the work
which pupils have to do in school. The old uncomfortable benches have
given place to comfortable individual seats which, in the best-equipped
schools, have been made adjustable so that they fit the individual
pupil. Where this complete adjustment to individual size is not
provided, at least an approximation is secured by seats of two or three
heights in each room. Desks with broad, smooth, sloping tops have been
added to make writing and other kinds of school work easy. The most
recent improvements have to do with the storage of books and materials.
Formerly the pupil’s knees were wedged below the storage drawer, or the
working top of the desk was inconveniently or unhygienically high. The
storage drawer is now being relegated to a position under the chair or
to a locker on the side of the room.


The adaptation of the desk to the pupil’s work has been carried to
the full limit in the shops and drawing rooms and domestic-science
laboratories where work benches and laboratory equipment have been
substituted for the conventional seats. That much remains to be
accomplished is vividly set forth in the following extract from the
writing of one of the most suggestive critics of the present-day
school. In the second chapter of “The School and Society” Professor
Dewey writes:

 Some few years ago I was looking about the school supply stores in the
 city, trying to find desks and chairs which seemed thoroughly suitable
 from all points of view—artistic, hygienic, and educational—to the
 needs of the children. We had a good deal of difficulty in finding
 what we needed, and finally one dealer, more intelligent than the
 rest, made this remark: “I am afraid we have not what you want. You
 want something at which the children may work; these are all for
 listening.” That tells the story of the traditional education. Just as
 the biologist can take a bone or two and reconstruct the whole animal,
 so, if we put before the mind’s eye the ordinary schoolroom, with
 its rows of ugly desks placed in geometrical order, crowded together
 so that there shall be as little moving room as possible, desks
 almost all of the same size, with just space enough to hold books,
 pencils and paper, and add a table, some chairs, the bare walls, and
 possibly a few pictures, we can reconstruct the only educational
 activity that can possibly go on in such a place. It is all made “for
 listening”—for simply studying lessons out of a book is only another
 kind of listening; it marks the dependency of one mind upon another.
 The attitude of listening means, comparatively speaking, passivity,
 absorption; that there are certain ready-made materials which are
 there, which have been prepared by the school superintendent, the
 board, the teacher, and of which the child is to take in as much as
 possible in the least possible time.

 There is very little place in the traditional schoolroom for the child
 to work. The workshop, the laboratory, the materials, the tools with
 which the child may construct, create, and actively inquire, and
 even the requisite space, have been for the most part lacking. The
 things that have to do with these processes have not even a definitely
 recognized place in education. They are what the educational
 authorities who write editorials in the daily papers generally term
 “fads” and “frills.” A lady told me yesterday that she had been
 visiting different schools trying to find one where activity on the
 part of the children preceded the giving of information on the part
 of the teacher, or where the children had some motive for demanding
 the information. She visited, she said, twenty-four different schools
 before she found her first instance.[32]

These paragraphs serve to indicate the close relation between school
equipment and the course of study. Since the above criticism was
written, general conditions have undergone a radical change. Shops
have become common, and there is an increasing emphasis on activities.
Correspondingly, there is a change in the conception of the course of
study, as we shall see in later chapters.


In the meantime the erection of buildings with shops, auditoriums,
laboratories, kitchens, and gymnasiums has given rise to new and urgent
problems. First, the cost of these new buildings is great, and many
school boards are driven to ask whether the community can afford to
erect them. The superintendent of schools of New York City recently
reported to the Board of Education of that city that a building program
would have to be adopted which would cost the city $40,000,000 in a
period of five years. In order to provide buildings many cities have
been obliged to issue bonds which will fall, in the years to come, as
a financial burden on the generation which is being educated in the

The urgency of these financial problems is aggravated by the fact that
in many school systems the elaborate buildings are not used to the full
extent of their capacity. Indeed, it comes to be a most interesting
economic and educational problem to inquire what is the capacity of one
of these buildings. For example, what does an auditorium represent in
the way of actual enlargement of the school plant? Is it merely a place
in which the school may come together for a general exercise once a
week, or should it be used every day? If it is used for twenty minutes
or half an hour every morning, should it be closed during the remainder
of the day? As a matter of public economy should it be made available
to adults at hours when it is not needed for school purposes, as, for
example, in the evening or in the late afternoon?

Such questions as the foregoing multiply with every new addition to the
buildings. The old buildings equipped only for study and recitations
were economical in the extreme; the new buildings are often lavish.


To meet the problems of economy and of adaptation of buildings to
educational needs, ingenious ways of rotating classes have been
devised. The most conspicuous experiment of this type is that worked
out by Superintendent Wirt in Gary, Indiana. Indeed, Superintendent
Wirt has advocated the most elaborate extension of the school building
and its grounds and a corresponding expansion of the school program.
For him the school playground becomes an additional space of great
importance in rotating the pupils. Shops and laboratories are to be
kept full all day and even in the evening; corridors are to be used as
assembly rooms and recreational spaces. He goes so far as to draw the
churches and the public library into his plan. With all these available
places in which pupils may be instructed, a program is adopted which
provides that each room with its special teacher be continuously
engaged in some kind of teaching. Pupils are sent from room to room,
the theory being that each room shall be kept full at all hours and
that each pupil shall get all the different kinds of advantages which
the elaborate course of study offers. The reorganization of grade
work which is necessary to carry out this program reaches deeper than
the addition of new subjects. To make rotation complete, each teacher
must be a special teacher and the pupils must move from room to room.
Even the lowest grades must be organized under what is known as the
departmental plan. Thus, even a second-grade child gets his reading
with one teacher and his arithmetic with another.


The Gary plan is a very striking example of the relation between the
school plant and the school program. In many quarters this relation has
not been clearly recognized. For example, some school boards, hearing
that twice as many pupils can be accommodated in a Gary building as
in an ordinary school building, have instructed the superintendents
in their own towns to adopt the Gary plan. The superintendent has to
answer: We have an old four-square building which is full in every
available corner, there are no shops, and the play space is inadequate.

He often has to go further and question the advisability of
departmentalizing the teaching in the lower grades. He is sometimes
convinced that a daily program which includes many kinds of activity
is distracting and undesirable. The adoption of a new building plan
involves the course of study, and the adoption of a new policy with
reference to the course of study involves the use of the building.
The interesting fact for our immediate purposes is that educational
questions that have to do with the content of the course of study and
with the methods of teaching are always related to considerations
regarding the building.


Not only does the school building reflect the internal needs of
the school organization which it houses, but there is also a close
relation between the school and the distribution of the population in
the community. A sparsely settled community invariably used to have a
one-room school, because the distances which pupils must travel are
such that it is difficult to bring together enough pupils to justify
a larger building. The one-room building is likely, however, to offer
only the most meager educational opportunities. There is only one
teacher. There are no adequate provisions for the pupils who are
supposed to be studying, because this one teacher in the one room must
be hearing a class recite on some subject at practically every period
in the day. The one-room building does not satisfy the progressive
community. The device which has been adopted is that of consolidating
a number of one-room schools and transporting the pupils through the
necessary distances to make possible large schools with separate rooms
for pupils of different ages. A consolidated school has facilities
which are impossible in a one-room school. These facilities cannot be
described without discussing the course of study and also the building
and equipment.

The following quotation gives an example of such a discussion:

 In Harrison County, Miss., about 8 miles out from the Gulf and in a
 typical south Mississippi rural community, may be found the Wool
 Market consolidated school, the subject of this brief study. Three
 medium-sized one-teacher schools—Coalville, King, and Oakhead—were
 brought together two years ago to form this school near the Wool
 Market post office, on the Biloxi River.

 The new house, built by private subscription at a cost of about
 $2,000, was located within 2 miles of all the children in two of the
 old districts, while a transportation wagon was used to bring in from
 25 to 30 pupils from the Oakhead district, about 3 miles from the new
 schoolhouse. The territory of the new school covers 27 square miles
 and now has within its bounds 134 children of legal school age.

 Each of the teachers in the abandoned schools, having from 30 to
 40 recitations daily to cover the eight grades of the elementary
 and grammar grades, had no time to do high-school work, and on that
 account had no high-school pupils. As a result of those conditions
 the patrons who were able financially to bear the expense sent their
 children out of the community to school as soon as they were ready
 for the high school, at an annual cost of from $150 to $200, while
 the larger number were forced to turn aside to take up life’s duties
 and responsibilities with only the meager training obtained in these
 little schools. Such conditions obtain in three-fourths of the schools
 in the South. The Wool Market consolidated school, now serving the
 same territory, has 23 high-school pupils—16 in the ninth grade, 5
 in the tenth grade, and 2 in the eleventh grade—and 20 pupils in the
 music and expression classes under special teachers.

 The aggregate average attendance for the original schools was 60
 pupils, according to the records, while the average attendance now
 in the consolidated school is 110 pupils, with an enrollment of
 125. There are only 9 children of school age in the district not
 in school. In the old schools the number was too small to form an
 attractive social center and to justify the employment of special
 teachers, but the new school is fast becoming the center of all social
 activities of this larger community, employs special teachers in music
 and expression, and has in the faculty teachers qualified to give
 instruction in practical agriculture and domestic science. In the
 interhigh-school contests last spring the Wool Market consolidated
 school, though only two years old, captured a fair share of the
 medals in declamation and recitation, while the girls’ basketball team
 claims the county championship.

 The school is located on 5 acres of land, which are used for
 playgrounds, school garden, and practical agricultural demonstration
 work. Dr. Welch, the community physician, lectures to the school once
 a week on hygiene and school and home sanitation; and Mr. W. A. Cox, a
 trustee of the school and a practical farmer and horticulturist, gives
 the school weekly lectures on agricultural, horticultural, and allied

 After trying the consolidated school two years the patrons and other
 citizens of the Wool Market community voluntarily levied a tax of $7
 per thousand on the property of the district to support the school for
 an eight or nine months’ session.


  Cost of the three teachers in old school per month       $128
  Aggregate attendance in the three schools                  60
  Average cost per pupil per month                        $2.13
  Cost of the three teachers in the elementary and
    grammar-school grades of the consolidated school
    per month                                              $150
  Entire cost of the one transportation wagon per month     $50
  Average cost per pupil per month in same grades         $2.22
  Cost of the four teachers in entire school and of the
    school wagon per month                                 $280
  Average cost per pupil for the elementary and high
    school                                                $2.54

 The Wool Market school, with its four teachers and adequate
 high-school advantages, costs the community only 41 cents per pupil,
 or a total of $45 per month more than the three little one-teacher
 schools. To send the 23 high-school pupils out of the community
 for their high-school education would cost the community at least
 $1,000 more than this entire school cost the community and county for
 eight months. Mr. W. A. Cox, referred to above, is authority for the
 statement that the value of land in the community had increased during
 the two years as a result of the good school from $10 per acre to $25
 per acre.

 What has been accomplished in the Wool Market school can be done in
 almost any community in the South. This and similar instances that
 might be mentioned lend strength to the contention that adequate
 school advantages can be provided for the country children in the
 community near the farm home.[33]


A new school building with twelve recitation rooms is to be built.
Shall the windows of the classrooms open to the north and south or
to the east and west? Shall the lockers for coats and hats be in the
general corridors or shall there be a cloakroom off each room? How high
shall the blackboards be from the floor? How many sides of the room
shall be supplied with blackboards? How high shall each step be in
the stairways? If the building is designed to accommodate six hundred
pupils, what rooms besides the recitation rooms shall be provided? How
big should the auditorium be? Should it have a large stage? Shall the
toilets be in the basement or on each floor? Is it legitimate to spend
money on a teachers’ rest room? Where should the principal’s office be?

Is there any difference between the kind of school building to be
recommended in San Antonio, Texas, and Minneapolis, Minnesota? What
color should the walls of a classroom be? How much playground space
should there be around a school building designed for six hundred

Should school buildings be frame buildings? Should doors open into the
building? What is a fire drill, and why is it required?

 Report of a Study of Certain Phases of the Public-School System of
 Boston, Massachusetts, made under the auspices of the Boston Finance
 Commission, _Document 87_ (1916), pp. 185-213. Reprinted by Teachers

 STRAYER, G. D. Score Card for School Buildings. Teachers College.

 TERMAN, L. M. The Building Situation and Medical Inspection. Denver
 School Survey. Published by the Denver School Survey Committee.


[28] Fletcher B. Dressler, “Rural School Houses and Grounds.” _Bulletin
No. 12_, United States Bureau of Education, 1914.

[29] Leonard P. Ayres and May Ayres, School Buildings and Equipment, p.
23. Cleveland Education Survey. Published by the Survey Committee of
the Cleveland Foundation, 1916.

[30] Ibid. p. 35.

[31] Report of the School Survey of School District Number One in the
City and County of Denver, pp. 134-135. Published by the School Survey
Committee, Denver, Colorado, 1916.

[32] John Dewey, The School and Society, pp. 47-49. The University of
Chicago Press, 1907.

[33] Communication by W. H. Smith, State Superintendent of Public
Instruction, Mississippi. Published as part of the monograph entitled
“Consolidation of Rural Schools and Transportation of Pupils at Public
Expense,” in _Bulletin No. 30_, United States Bureau of Education, 1914
(edited by A. C. Monahan), pp. 82-84.




The preceding chapters have dealt, for the most part, with aspects
of school organization which are external to the classroom and to
the operations of instruction. The external organization is set up,
however, for the sole purpose of making class work possible. We
shall progress, therefore, in our statement of educational problems
and principles by turning to the consideration in detail of the
organization of the groups to which instruction is given.

The connection of this problem with the one discussed in the last
chapter is not difficult to trace. Where a community is small and has
few children, a one-room building will serve to house the school.
Economy dictates the employment of a single teacher. This one teacher
must divide his or her time as best possible in giving instruction to
pupils some of whom are very young and others of whom are more mature.
On the other hand, where the community is large or where the school
is consolidated, a many-room building is required, and the lines of
division between groups are drawn in a fashion quite impossible in the
one-room school.


Some of the simplest motives back of the grouping of pupils into
classes are financial. Instruction can be administered economically to
a number of pupils when it would be prohibitively expensive to provide
a teacher for each learner. Indeed, the demand for large classes in
city schools becomes so urgent that it is often necessary to point out
the danger of carrying economy so far that it will defeat the purposes
of instruction.


On the other hand, it can be shown that even where the motive
of economy is not pressing, there are valid educational grounds
for grouping pupils into classes. Pupils help each other through
their natural social relations. The wholesome rivalry and mutual
suggestiveness provided by the class furnish a much better atmosphere
for teaching than does the isolation of individual instruction.

Somewhere between the huge class dictated by economy and the small
class diminishing to a single individual is the ideal group in point of
size for successful teaching.


There are other characteristics than size, however, to be considered
in making up proper groups. In order to discover some of these
characteristics, it will be well to consider certain concrete types of
grouping exhibited in schools.

The type of grouping in the one-room, one-teacher school is in many
respects the freest which can be found. The teacher can organize the
school with no conflicts in program, because the whole program consists
in distributing his own time. The classes can be of any size that the
teacher’s judgment determines. The reasons for the grouping are purely
and simply those which appeal to the teacher.

Under such circumstances what happens? The teacher naturally puts in
one group the pupils who are for the first time taking up school work.
In other groups he puts those pupils who have approximately the same
attainments in each subject. In the classes beyond the first many
complications arise. There are some pupils who read well but seem to
be deficient in knowledge of number. Other pupils with a taste for
arithmetic are very forward in that branch and do only indifferently
well in reading and spelling. It is not uncommon in the one-room school
for the teacher to regard these differences in ability in particular
subjects as adequate reasons for distributing the pupils differently
in different subjects. It comes about in the course of time that one
and the same pupil will be in the third reading class, in the fourth
geography class, and in the fifth or sixth class in arithmetic, while
another pupil who has attained to the fifth reader will be lingering
behind in the third class in arithmetic.


We find ourselves led by the discussion of groupings to a consideration
of different levels of difficulty in subjects of instruction and to
the rate of progress of each individual in each subject. The teacher
in the one-room school has no difficulty in seeing the wisdom of
holding together those pupils who have a common grade of knowledge
in geography. In like fashion the class in arithmetic must be as
homogeneous as possible. There is, however, no recognized demand that a
certain section of geography be coupled in the education of any child
with any particular section of arithmetic. Pupils are grouped in the
one-room school with reference to each subject considered by itself.


When schools grow to the size where pupils are put into different
rooms, as in an eight-room building, a problem arises which was never
faced in the one-room school. It is the problem of carrying a group of
pupils through all the subjects at the same rate. Thus, when the pupils
in an ordinary city school have been grouped together in arithmetic,
there are obvious advantages from an administrative point of view in
keeping them together in reading and in geography. In ordinary practice
the graded school assumes that it is possible to find means of keeping
the group together for long periods in all subjects.

This assumption leads to the necessity of asking a kind of question
which did not confront the teacher in the one-room school. The kind
of question which comes up in the graded school can be illustrated as
follows: When a pupil is old enough and intellectually mature enough to
study the products and industries of North America in his geography,
what phase of arithmetic will be appropriate to hold his attention and
stimulate his thinking? When a pupil is old enough to read the history
of his own city, what other reading material will insure real effort on
his part?

The one-room school escapes these questions for the most part because
it is at liberty to allow the pupil to take a different pace in
each subject. The one-room school is a place where the subjects
of instruction taken in their totality, or the curriculum, as the
whole series of subjects may be called, is usually not recognized as
important. Each subject has a sequence of its own, but the curriculum
as a whole is not thought out. In the graded school the curriculum is
one of the matters of major importance. The graded school not only
grades pupils; it grades subject-matter of instruction. The importance
of this contrast cannot be overemphasized. Many of the problems of the
modern school arise at this point.


Let us consider certain cases which will make clear the importance
of the contrast. The following extract from the report of the state
superintendent of schools in Maine sets forth a definite view on the
matters under discussion:

 _More Careful System._ The number of pupils in ungraded schools is
 shown to be 29,089, a decrease of 1986 from the figures shown for the
 previous year. It is clear that the work of the schools is becoming
 more carefully systematized. This fact is further attested by the
 reduction in the number of schools not using a course of study. In
 1904 there were 2323 schools that were reported as following no
 definite outline of studies. In 1913 this number had dropped to 827
 and, as indicated by this report, has now been further reduced to 670.
 This change, already increasing to no small extent the efficiency
 of the schools, suggests a promise of the greater advantages that
 would follow the adoption of a course that would in essentials be
 uniform for the state. While an absolute uniformity that would prevent
 individual initiative and wise experimentation would retard progress
 and is not to be desired, there is much to be said in favor of an
 agreement on established and essential points for all parts of the
 state school system.[34]

On the other hand, practical efforts are being made in many quarters
to overcome the rigidity of the graded system by devising methods of
taking the individual out of the group whenever the course of study
proves to be inapplicable to his particular needs. In Fond du Lac,
Wisconsin, the elementary schools have their programs for the various
grades so arranged that language comes for every grade at exactly the
same hour in the day; in like fashion, all arithmetic classes are held
at the same time, and so with geography and the other subjects. Through
this arrangement it is possible for a child who is backward in a single
subject to withdraw from the group with which he spends most of the day
and to go for the period to another class where he receives a different
type of instruction in the subject in which he is behind.

At Gary the schools are so organized that certain teachers in certain
rooms teach a particular subject; the general freedom of organization
secured in this way is utilized to shift pupils from room to room, thus
breaking up the grading system. The possibilities of this arrangement
are described in the following quotation:

 If a boy is weak in some particular subject, it is possible to give
 him double work in that subject. Let us say a 4A boy is weak in
 arithmetic. It is possible for a time for him to omit some of his
 special activities and take arithmetic with the 4B class also, thus
 permitting double time in arithmetic. If he is weak in all of his
 regular studies it is easy to drop him out of his special activities
 for a time and permit him to do double work in the regular studies.
 The special activities are of such a sort that he can return to his
 classes there without difficulty.[35]


Another type of experiment is seen in the so-called ungraded class. In
many large schools a room is set apart under an especially skillful
teacher where pupils who are for any reason out of joint with the
curriculum may receive personal attention. Many of these ungraded rooms
are so conducted that bright pupils, through a little personal help,
are prepared to skip a grade and thus advance more rapidly than the
ordinary pupil. Backward children, especially those who are backward
in only a single subject, are helped enough to restore them to their
classes. Where it is found that pupils are subnormal and permanently
unable to keep in line with others of like age, the ungraded class may
become a special class. The teacher is then given authority to take all
liberty with the subject-matter of instruction and fit it to the needs
of the pupils. Sometimes in such special classes reading is practically
abandoned and time is devoted to various forms of handwork.


The foregoing paragraphs have, it is to be hoped, made clear the fact
that the grouping of pupils and the organization of the curriculum are
closely interrelated problems. The same lesson can be taught by a study
of the actual operations of certain school systems which are organized
under the graded system.

Fig. 11 shows certain records of failures in the elementary schools of
Cleveland for one half of the year 1914. A failure on the part of a
child in any school can have no other meaning than this: the child was,
at the time of his failure, in the wrong group for his intellectual
advantage. There is no effort in such a remark to place the blame for
the child’s failure. Perhaps the child who fails is indolent. Perhaps
the work is too difficult for him. Whatever the reason, failure means
that the pupil and the system of grading are out of joint with each
other. Hence, when we find pupils failing, we know that the grading
system is not working perfectly.

In the figure the diagram at the left shows the percentage of
nonpromotions in each grade. About 17 per cent failed in the first
grade, about 12 per cent in the second, and so on. It may be well to
comment briefly on the high percentage in the first grade. This is
due to the fact that some pupils enter school when they are immature.
Many pupils lose a great many days of schooling in the first years
through contagious diseases, which, as shown by school statistics,
are contracted more commonly during the first years than later. The
family does not take care of attendance as carefully in the first year
as later. The first year supplies the test which in many cases brings
evidence of mental deficiency. These and other reasons explain the high
percentage of nonpromotions in the first year. The reduced percentage
in the second year is explained by the fact that a part of the task of
adjusting pupils to the graded system and to the curriculum has been
accomplished in the first grade.

[Illustration: FIG. 11. Record of nonpromotions and failures in
Cleveland, 1914]

The record given in the diagram for the third, fourth, and fifth grades
is an impressive exhibition of increasing incoördination between the
pupils and the work of the school. So striking is the difficulty in
these later grades that we are led to ask for an explanation. This is
supplied in part by the diagram in the middle of the figure and by the
one at the right. These present the records of failures in two of the
most important school subjects.

A record of constantly diminishing failures in reading is exhibited in
the middle diagram. This shows that the teachers judge that the pupils
improve steadily in reading. There is a satisfactory response to the
methods of teaching reading and to the demands of the upper grades.
Those pupils who have difficulty in reading in the lower grades are
held back or are helped to master the art. The evident fact is that
improvement in reading is, according to the record, continuous and

The diagram at the right shows the record in arithmetic. Here is the
cause of many of the nonpromotions shown in the diagram at the left.
Failures mount up in the middle grades at a rate which shows with
manifest clearness that something is radically wrong.

One may venture several remarks in the presence of such records. It
does not seem likely that the pupils are stupid, since it is shown
that they can read. It is to be noted that they do not have any option
about taking arithmetic, nor do they determine what arithmetic they
shall study. They are evidently not getting a section of arithmetic
in each of the grades which suitably parallels the reading which is
administered to them.


The conditions shown in the figure are paralleled in many school
systems. The result is that school officers, seeing the difficulty of
doing justice to the pupils, have made radical changes in the grading
system in order to meet individual needs. Two extracts from reports by
superintendents will show the extent to which school systems will go.

 A study of the performances of the failures in Boise has convinced the
 entire force that the repeater is generally a quitter, and does about
 as poor work in his second attempt as in his first trial at the work
 of a given grade. The stamp of disapproval has been placed upon him.
 He starts on his second attempt with a grievance against the teacher
 and the entire institution. The parents as well as the child feel
 injured, so that the teacher must combat both the antagonism of the
 home and the hostility of the pupil, who has been trained for failure
 and not for success, and who becomes either morbidly sensitive or
 brazenly indifferent. What the laggard would probably do as a repeater
 is therefore quite definitely known. If he were permitted to advance,
 he could hardly do worse and he might do better. It is less expensive
 and more human to promote him than it is to degrade him. This view
 of the situation is generally accepted in Boise. The standard for
 promoting the dull pupil is entirely individual. He is not compelled
 to do all the work of his present grade before he is permitted to pass
 to the next. He is even allowed to pass on without manifesting enough
 ability to justify the hope that he may be able to do the work of the
 advanced grade. The question is reduced to the one consideration:
 Would he do better if advanced than he would as a repeater?[36]

 Ten years ago no pupil could enter the Newton High School, no
 matter what his age or educational need, who had not completed
 satisfactorily all the work of the grammar schools; and a considerable
 portion—probably one-third to one-half—of all Newton children were
 then leaving school at fourteen to sixteen years of age with only part
 of an elementary school education. To-day any boy or girl who needs
 secondary school instruction—and most boys and girls of high school
 age, fourteen or fifteen, do need such instruction—may enter some
 department of the Newton high schools, whether grammar school work has
 been completed or not; and nearly all—probably from eighty to ninety
 per cent—of our children are now getting secondary training before
 leaving school.[37]


There are other and more fundamental remedies for some of the evils
of the graded system. The curriculum can be readjusted. Where any
considerable number of pupils fail in a particular subject, it is
highly probable that the material of instruction or the method of
presentation or both ought to be modified. In some cases pupils ought
to be taken out of the regular grades and treated as special cases. The
city of Cincinnati was a pioneer in recognizing the need of special
curricula for special types of pupils. The whole country has in recent
years come to recognize the importance of taking children who are
mentally backward or slow out of the grades. Less commonly there is
a recognition of the importance of specially arranged courses for the
bright pupils.

In the city of St. Louis the curriculum of each grade is administered
in units of ten weeks for each section. At the end of each ten weeks
a readjustment is possible so that the bright pupils may go forward
and the slow pupils may proceed more deliberately. There are at the
end of each period of ten weeks a number of promotions which carry
individual pupils forward two quarters. The curriculum is so arranged
that a rapidly promoted pupil does not omit any essential part of the
subjects, while the slow pupil has ample opportunity for drill and

The grading of the material used in instruction in particular subjects
has also been recognized as a problem of the first importance. One of
the most thoroughly studied subjects is spelling. Ayres[38] took the
thousand words which several investigations had shown to be the most
commonly used in ordinary life and tried them out on the pupils of
eighty-four cities. As a result of those trials he is able to state
that a certain list of words will be spelled with a given percentage of
error by pupils of the third grade and with a less percentage of error
by pupils of the fourth, fifth, and higher grades. Thus the material of
instruction in spelling is graded, not by arbitrarily selecting what
the teacher thinks will be appropriate, but by trying out the actual
ability of pupils in eighty-four cities.


Thus far the problem of grouping has been discussed from the point of
view of the elementary school. The problems of the high school are
different in detail, but no less impressive. In the first place, the
failures in high-school subjects show the same lack of systematic
ordering of the curriculum that was observed in the elementary records
cited above. For example, from the survey of the Denver high schools
we may borrow a series of percentages showing the failures in various
subjects in the five high schools.


                        | East  |North  |South  | West  |Manual
                        | High  | High  | High  | High  | High
                        |School |School |School |School |School
  English I             |   23  |   15  |   11  |    9  |   31
  English II            |   14  |   16  |   10  |   11  |   23
  English III           |   16  |    3  |    2  |   15  |   20
  English IV            |    3  |    1  |    2  |    8  |   13
                        |       |       |       |       |
  Mathematics I         |   23  |   24  |   26  |   28  |   50
  Mathematics II        |   17  |   21  |   28  |   20  |   19
  Commercial arithmetic |   46  |   16  |   33  |    —  |   —
                        |       |       |       |       |
  Elementary science    |   13  |    9  |   14  |   21  |    7
  Botany                |   21  |   14  |   14  |   14  |   24
  Physics               |   10  |   15  |   18  |   17  |   34
  Chemistry             |    0  |    4  |   14  |    6  |   20
  Physiography          |   11  |   15  |   12  |    —  |   —
                        |       |       |       |       |
  History               |       |       |       |       |
    Ancient             |   12  |   17  |   11  |   10  |   15
    English             |   12  |   17  |    7  |    5  |   —
    Medieval and modern |   12  |    9  |    8  |    8  |   13
    American            |    —  |    7  |    —  |    —  |   —
                        |       |       |       |       |
  Latin I               |   22  |   16  |   10  |   29  |   40
  Latin II              |   14  |   20  |   14  |   11  |   18
                        |       |       |       |       |
  German I              |   20  |   15  |   24  |    5  |   19
  German II             |   19  |    2  |    3  |    0  |    0

Table VI is worthy of careful study. Let us compare English I and
II, which are required of all students, with Mathematics I and II,
which are also required. In almost every case the percentage of
failures in mathematics is greater. This goes to show either that
the grading in mathematics is more exacting or that the students are
less well qualified to carry the courses. The exception to the rule
that mathematics shows more failures than English, which appears in
the second year of the Manual High School, suggests that possibly
the students in that school see the importance of mathematics as
a professional course. The difficulty with this explanation is
the enormous mortality in that school in the first-year course in
mathematics. Perhaps the pupils who are likely to fail are dropped
during the first year.

While the failures in mathematics are uniformly higher than in English,
the policy of the different schools is strikingly different. In the
East High School the two subjects are about alike, while in the West
High School the failures in mathematics are relatively very high.

Such contrasts become more impressive if we draw the records in Latin
into consideration. In the West High School, Latin in the first year is
like mathematics, while in the South High School it is like English.
Elementary science also shows wide divergences in practice.

A number of startling facts appear if the table is made a subject of
careful study. What these facts mean is not difficult to set forth. The
subjects now included in the curriculum of the high school are only
imperfectly adjusted to the abilities of the students. The community
has a right to question instruction which results in failure on the
part of one student out of four. It certainly must be aroused at the
lack of coördination between schools within a single system which show
differences as marked as those exhibited in Table VI.

Other problems in the grading of high-school students and the
subject-matter in which they are given instruction grow out of the
laxity which has crept into the administration of the elective system.
Thus, if we consider certain subjects which are open to students of
different classes, such as the first course in Spanish or French or the
course in ancient history, we find that senior students are allowed to
enter the same class as freshmen because the organization of separate
divisions would be too expensive. The result is either a reduction
of the requirement in class work to the level of the more immature
student or undue effort to bring the lower student to a reasonable
understanding of the subject.


The problems which have been pointed out will perhaps be seen most
vividly if some types of promotion are cited which are likely to
interfere with instruction.

Sometimes the school allows a pupil to move up a grade or class,
although it is known that he has not done the work below, because
the parents of the child have influence and it does not seem safe to
antagonize them.

Sometimes the pressure of numbers in the lower grades or classes is so
great that the teacher sends a pupil on in order to make room for the
younger pupils, even when it is evident that the pupil will not be able
to carry the higher work.

Sometimes the teacher in a given grade is anxious to unload the
backward or disorderly and therefore incompetent pupil on someone else,
and since the open road is into the next higher grade, the child is
sent on.

Promotion is sometimes controlled by the calendar. Because the date
for closing the schools has arrived, and the long vacation is at hand,
pupils are declared to have completed the work whether they have or

Sometimes it is more or less explicitly argued that the backward pupil
is larger than the other children of like intellectual attainments and
he should therefore be sent to the upper-grade room where the seats are

When such reasons for promotion are deliberately set down in black and
white, they are evidently not legitimate reasons. Many a pupil has,
however, been dealt with on exactly such grounds.


The indefensible reasons given above for advancing pupils ought to
make anyone who expects to become a teacher the more ready to turn
to the careful study of the problem. It is undoubtedly a social and
financial necessity that pupils be grouped in classes. It is equally
necessary for purposes of administration that the groups have some kind
of permanency and some degree of internal uniformity. It is certainly
legitimate that the individual’s needs be asserted to the extent of
freeing him from absolute subordination to the interests of the group.

Such a statement of the case would seem to dictate a double type of
instruction which will recognize more than does the present rigid class
system the need of individual freedom and the value of class solidarity.

Many experiments have been tried in the effort to solve this problem.
The Batavia system, so called, puts two teachers into a room, one to
supervise individual work and one to teach groups. There are various
systems of individual promotion which advance a pupil whenever he is

Recently Principal Allen[40] of the high school of Springfield,
Illinois, has developed a system of supervised study in which the
students put themselves through certain prepared exercises and in this
part of their work receive individual help and are allowed to progress
at their own individual rate. Later the class meets for recitation as
a group. The recitation group is made to depend for its composition on
the rate at which students complete the individual exercises. The class
is accordingly readjusted frequently, and in order to provide time for
individual work the length of its meetings is somewhat less than the
conventional high-school period.

The instructional plan thus arranged requires certain readjustments of
the program and certain divisions of labor among the teachers which
differ from the ordinary. But, above all, it calls for the separation
of those aspects of the subjects of instruction which are suitable for
individual work from those aspects which are suited to class exercises.


We are constantly brought back by our discussions of the organization
of classes to a consideration of the curriculum. The materials of
instruction are capable of advantageous and economical use only when
they are adapted to pupils. Our next problem, therefore, is to consider
some of the general principles which underlie the organization of the
general curriculum and of particular subjects.


What are some of the limitations in the training of a child who gets
his education from a private tutor rather than as a member of a class?
Show that the most satisfactory size for a class depends in large
measure on the subject of instruction. In certain subjects, such as
typewriting and bookkeeping, instruction often becomes almost purely
individual instruction. Observe such a class and describe the method of

If terminology is employed in a strict way, a “course” refers to a
series of lessons in a single subject, a “curriculum” to a coherent
group of courses. What devices are adopted in high schools to compel
students to think of curricula rather than courses? What are the
advantages and what are the evils of the elective system?

What is the highest percentage of failures which ought to be tolerated
in a class? What conditions affect your answer to the foregoing
question? Is a “stiff” course the best course? What class in high
school has the “stiffest” requirements?

Dealing with the illegitimate methods of promotion enumerated in the
closing paragraphs of the chapter, describe some thoroughly practical
method of handling each situation without making the mistake indicated.

 HOLMES, W. H. School Organization and the Individual Child. The Davis
 Press, Worcester, Massachusetts. Contains a list of references on the


[34] Report of the State Superintendent of Public Schools of the State
of Maine, for the School Year Ending June 30, 1914, p. 21.

[35] John Franklin Bobbitt, “The Elimination of Waste in Education,” in
_Elementary School Teacher_, Vol. XII (1912), pp. 266-267.

[36] Special report of the Boise Public Schools (June, 1915), pp. 17-18.

[37] F. E. Spaulding, The Newton Public Schools, Annual Report of the
School Committee, Newton, Massachusetts, Vol. LXXIV (1913), pp. 18-19.

[38] Leonard P. Ayres, A Measuring Scale for Ability in Spelling. The
Russell Sage Foundation, 1915.

[39] The Work of the Schools. Part II of the Report of the School
Survey of Denver, p. 158. Published by the School Survey Committee,
Denver, Colorado, 1916.

[40] For a fuller discussion of this experiment, see pp. 237-238.




The last chapter failed of its purpose if it did not concentrate the
attention of the reader on the school curriculum. The organized body of
materials of instruction constitutes one of the most important factors
which enter into the life of the school system. Along with the board
of education, with the grading system, and with the staff of teachers
and supervisory officers stands the curriculum as a kind of dominating
personality always exercising a leading influence in the determination
of every educational policy. It will be the business of this chapter to
open the discussion of the curriculum by commenting on the history of
courses of study and by pointing out some of the changes which recent
years have wrought.


If one goes back to the beginnings of any school system, it will always
be found that the original courses of study grow directly out of the
intellectual ideals of the times. For example, if one goes back to the
beginnings of medieval universities, he finds that these institutions
grew up because there was an interest in certain well-defined bodies
of ideas. At Bologna one Irnerius had made himself acquainted with
the laws of the northern Italian cities, and students came from all
Europe to hear him expound these laws. The course of study was directly
related to a specific demand.

A professional theological curriculum was organized at the time of the
founding of the early American universities. Harvard was at first a
school for the training of clergymen. At that time there was no demand
for lawyers trained in the New World. The law came from England, and
from the same source came the lawyers. Medicine had hardly developed
into a profession. Preaching and listening to sermons were, on the
other hand, among the most absorbing occupations of the colonists, and
Harvard was established to provide those who could preach. The courses
of study were arranged according to the traditions of the single
profession towards which the graduates were aiming.


We may pursue this example further as typical of the complications
which ultimately grow up around any course of study. The original
purpose of Harvard was expanded with the passing years. A demand
arose for lawyers and doctors; in the effort to meet this demand the
institution was divided into separate schools. Still later students
came to college seeking a general training not leading to any
profession. Through all these changes in the demands of the student
body the original courses of study have persistently battled their way
down to the present. No clearer evidence can be found than this, that
courses of study once created become vital factors in all the later
life of the school. The college courses of study were in the first
place the product of a particular professional demand. While satisfying
this particular demand they became strong enough so that at a later
period they have often dominated educational policies.

It is too flippant a remark to say that the classical education of the
clerical period became the fashion and that later generations were
afraid to be out of fashion, but something of this sort is what really
happened. The traditions of a generation are hard to break. The father
who took Greek as a part of his education hesitates to see his son
enter upon life without the same equipment. Courses of study thus come
to have an intellectual sanction which it is extraordinarily difficult
to break down.


Another example of no less impressive a type can be drawn from the
high-school curriculum of the present time. There is hardly a tradition
of high schools which is more fixed than that of requiring algebra in
the first year and geometry later. This practice persists even though
it is a well-known fact that in many schools failures in high-school
algebra are more numerous than in any other high-school course. Also,
there is a clear recognition of the fact that by being required of all
students in the first year algebra is in effect made the prerequisite
of admission to the courses in science and literature which are open
only to students who have reached the later years of the high school.
The question which the student of education must raise is this: How did
algebra secure this position of commanding importance, and how does it
hold this position when experience shows that so many students cannot
take it with success? The answer to these questions throws a strong
light on the nature of the curriculum.

Mathematics in general gained a preëminent position in the educational
scheme of the Western World as far back as the fifth century before
Christ, in the days of Pythagoras. The branches of mathematics which
were chiefly cultivated in those days were geometry and arithmetic.
Geometry flourished as an experimental science, and arithmetic
consisted in the most elaborate speculations about prime numbers
and the properties of odd and even numbers. After these sciences had
reached a certain maturity they were transferred to the University
of Alexandria, where, in the third century before Christ, Euclid
formulated the principles of geometry into the logical form which has
persisted to our own time. If one asks why the same service was not
rendered for arithmetic at the University of Alexandria, the answer
is to be found in the fact that the Greeks had no adequate method of
expressing number. They used a system of letters even more clumsy than
the system employed by the Romans after them. If one needs further
demonstration of the reason why arithmetic did not develop in the
classical world, let him try to multiply DCCLXXVII by XCIX. Arithmetic
was very little cultivated, therefore, while geometry was put into
perfect logical form. Since arithmetic was so little developed in the
ancient world, algebra never succeeded in getting a real start.

Geometry, thus launched as a systematized branch of learning superior
to arithmetic, has held its place through all generations. In the
medieval institutions the perfect logical form of geometry was fully
recognized. Geometry was used to sharpen the logic of many a mind.
Arithmetic developed only so far as it was needed for the practical
purposes of daily life.

In due time there came into Europe oriental scholars who brought with
them that marvelous invention—the Arabic numerals. They brought also
the science of algebra with its profound abstractions. The Arabic
numerals soon superseded the clumsy Roman numerals, and the common
man found that he could easily deal with the practical matters of
life by means of this number system which rendered all calculations
simple. With arithmetic of the new type came algebra. The scientists
of Europe found that the algebraic methods opened up possibilities of
mathematical reasoning which were of the first importance to science.
Algebra and arithmetic flourished. But did these two newcomers in any
degree disturb the position of geometry? Not at all. Algebra may be as
abstract as any subject in the curriculum, but its historical relations
were from the first with arithmetic, while geometry was related to
logic and the higher subjects. Geometry has continued since 300 B.C. to
be a higher course. The situation in the high schools of to-day is in
no sense due to a careful study of the degree of abstraction involved
in geometry and algebra. It is in no sense a recognition of the fact
that geometry was the first of the two subjects to develop. The present
situation can be understood only by recognizing the strength of
tradition and the persistence of a practice when once it gets itself

The situation is the more impressive because even a superficial study
of the intellectual needs of pupils shows that there ought to be
instruction in the lower grades in the discrimination of forms and
designs. One does not master the forms even of common things until his
attention has been turned to them again and again. The consequences to
the curriculum of the elevation of geometry to the upper school are
far-reaching in a negative as well as in a positive way. Space study
has been kept out of the lower schools because the only orthodox form
of space study is the geometry of the higher schools. Space study ought
to have a place in the curriculum of every grade.

In the case of algebra, on the other hand, tradition has operated to
keep the subject in the lower classes of the high school. That it would
be better to change this situation appears in the fact that textbooks
in algebra have in recent years been made much easier in the effort to
fit the subject to pupils’ needs, in the fact that some high schools
have made it elective, and in the fact that some high schools have
rearranged the whole subject-matter of mathematics, breaking up the
historical lines of division.


Other evidences that the curriculum is in need of radical reform appear
when one notes that schools are curiously blind in the subjects which
they omit. A recent writer has pointed out in a very interesting way
the weakness of the ordinary school in its failure to give children any
training in the use of money. A quotation from his introductory chapter
will show the force of his criticism.

 Most people if suddenly asked, “What financial training did you have
 as a child?” would probably say, “None.” If asked, “What financial
 training are you giving your own children?” many parents would give
 the same answer. All parents, however, do incidentally give lessons in
 finance and a few give definite instruction with regard to money.

 The teacher, if thus questioned, would usually say something about
 arithmetic or perhaps refer to some system of money-saving that is
 being operated by the school. Much has really been done that educates
 children financially, but probably not one person in ten has ever
 seriously studied the problem of the need of financial training of
 children and of how that need at each age may best be met.

 A moment’s reflection tells one that many adults do not know how to
 spend their money wisely and that still fewer know how to keep it
 safely or invest it successfully. Every day we see people spending
 money in ways that bring little satisfaction. Others are tortured by
 the fear of losing what they have, while still others are investing in
 schemes that promise much and yield little or nothing.

 Charity workers are especially impressed with the inability of poor
 people to spend wisely the little money they get. One woman whose
 family was in a starving condition spent all of the dollar that was
 given her for canned lobster, and another in a similar situation had a
 picture taken.

 Rich sons and daughters often spend the money accumulated by their
 fathers in even more foolish ways. In general it is only the common
 people who have had much experience in saving and spending money, who
 spend it wisely and many of these have paid a high price for their
 knowledge. If carefully planned financial training were given, the
 number spending wisely would doubtless be greatly increased.[41]


Other suggestions are being made these days for a change in the course
of study. Sometimes the suggestions take the form of social movements.
Such social movements often come in the form of violent criticisms
of existing practices. These criticisms will be understood only when
it is recognized that back of them there is often a social pressure
which has not been understood and is now finding voice in a demand
that requires immediate attention. It will be well for us to seek some
examples of this type in order that we may come to understand that the
school system is answerable at all times not merely to earlier social
ideals which were incorporated into courses of study but also to the
new ideals which arise with the later developments of community life.

An example of the type we are seeking appears in a study which was
made in 1913 in the city of Minneapolis. The following extracts from
an article published on March 10 in the _Morning Tribune_ of that city
state the case fully:

 A year ago a group of men and women interested in the welfare of boys
 and girls, and somewhat acquainted with conditions that confront them
 upon their entrance into industrial life, decided that it was time to
 make a survey of the city. There had been much talk of training for
 the trades in the public schools, and apparently there was reasonable
 ground for this advocacy....

 Was there a real demand, or was this a new educational fad sweeping
 across the country, to be lost in the great abyss of educational
 nostrums, along with vertical writing and basketry? That was to be

Educators are usually learned men; but this world generally does
not ascribe to them an abundance of sound sense. These learned men
have charge of the greatest plant in the world—our schools. A half
million employees are at work at an annual expense to the nation of
$450,000,000. The product of this institution should be manhood and
womanhood, efficient to take its place in the world of workers, and
firmly established in habits of right thinking and noble action. Yet
who is accounted efficient for the work of to-day?

Certainly not the armorer, no matter how skilled—for what need have
we of him? Possibly not the bootmaker; for the best and latest in
boots come from big factories. And so rapidly do industries change
that confusion awaits the man still using methods of ten years ago. No
system of education can be efficient until the conditions of life to
which pupils go are thoroughly known. No manufacturer would think of
setting his machines to make “what-nots” or muzzle-loading guns; they
were all right in their day but that day is now yesterday. The first
thing for the man of business is to know what the market demands. And
the managers of the schools must explore their market to know what is
demanded of the education factory. That is the reason for this survey.

The commission was made up of persons well known in the city and
representative of differing interests....

Ten months were spent in gathering the information, and a month in
studying it and getting it into shape for presentation. The tables have
been arranged in the following order: First, a set of three tables,
showing the sources of the material studied, by school, by age, by
grade, and by nationality, and the causes of retardation; second, a
table showing upon whom the responsibility should be placed for the
child’s leaving school; third, four tables setting forth the reasons
for leaving school, and the economic status of the family; fourth,
a table indicating the education of the children after leaving the
public school; and fifth, five tables showing the industrial history of
each child, his wages, the number of jobs, the kind of work, and his

In the discussion comparisons are frequently made with similar reports
from other cities, and following these are the conclusions reached by
the committee and recommendations for further work.

It will not be possible to give in detail all the results thus
obtained. It must suffice to repeat here the figures which summarize
the table of causes for leaving school. The percentages of pupils
leaving for each cause are given with the statement of the cause.

  Ill health                              5.7 per cent
  Had to go to work                      35.5 per cent
  Child’s desire to earn money            8.2 per cent
  Kept vacation work                      2.6 per cent
  Disliked or not interested in school   29.6 per cent
  Trouble with teacher                    3.1 per cent
  Failure to pass                         1.1 per cent
  Further public school not worth while  14.2 per cent

The number of pupils who leave because they do not like school or do
not believe it worth while is disturbingly large. That there should
be so pronounced an adverse judgment on the part of pupils is perhaps
to be explained in a measure by their immaturity and restlessness;
but part of the school’s problem is to meet this immaturity and
restlessness and to train the pupils with full regard to all that goes
to make up their individual tastes and abilities.

It is especially important that a careful study be made of all
available recommendations for improving the situation. We turn,
therefore, to some of the leading recommendations of the Minneapolis

 That as rapidly as would be economical, the schools be organized on
 the “six-three-and-three” plan, beginning differentiated courses in
 the B seventh grade. These courses should follow three broad lines:
 (1) Leading toward the academic courses in high schools. (2) Toward
 the commercial courses, or directly to business. (3) Toward manual
 training in high school, or directly to manufacturing and mechanical

 That preparation for the trades can be best and most economically
 closely related to working conditions, while the necessary skill shall
 be gained in actual work under the usual commercial conditions.

 That the membership of the Thomas Arnold school be enlarged to include
 all boys who have reached the age of fifteen and have not yet reached
 the seventh grade. And that a similar school be organized for girls.

 That a department of vocational guidance be organized.

 That, as an adjunct to the board of education, an advisory commission
 of 15 members, composed of employees, employers and educators, be
 established, whose duty it shall be to report changes in the demands
 of business and industry, and to advise modifications of the course of
 study to meet these new demands.

 That a law should be enacted, making it mandatory that a boy shall
 be either in school or at work up to his eighteenth year, and that
 the department of vocational guidance be charged with the duty of
 enforcing such a provision.

This report has been reproduced at length because it furnishes a
concrete example of the kind of demand which is being made on many
sides for a complete remaking of the curriculum. The comments about
school officers are also typical of much that is being laid at the door
of the present-day pedagogue. Better than any theoretical answer to
these critics is a careful study of the whole problem of reorganizing
the curriculum.


The reasonableness of the demand that the schools prepare boys and
girls for their work in the world raises at once the question: Why have
the schools ever neglected this need? The answer to this question is
supplied in part by the remoter history of schools which was touched
on in an earlier chapter and in the early paragraphs of this chapter.
European and American schools first dealt with professional and
theological problems and have accordingly always had a strong leaning
toward the literary subjects.

The early history of the American educational system throws light
on this particular matter in a way which will help the reader to
understand the present situation with regard to industrial education
and traditional education.

At the same time that the New England colonies were passing laws
establishing schools where children were to learn to read the Bible,
they provided in such laws as the following for training in industrial
lines. The Connecticut law of 1650 provides that “all parents and
masters do breed and bring up their children and apprentices in some
honest lawful labor, or employment, either in husbandry or some other
trade profitable for themselves and the commonwealth, if they will
not nor cannot train them up in learning, to fit them for higher
employments, and if any of the selectmen, after admonition by them
given to such masters of families, shall find them still negligent of
their duty, ... the said selectmen, with the help of two magistrates,
shall take such children or apprentices from them, and place them with
some masters for years, boys until they come to be twenty-one, and
girls to eighteen years of age complete.”

The conception of responsibility which lies back of this law is
wholly different from that expressed in the legislation providing for
reading-schools. A public officer was put in charge of reading. He was
stimulated to carry on his work by the rewards which he received in
the way of compensation for his services. The control of industrial
education by the public was very slight. We can imagine some selectman
whose attention was by chance drawn to a neglected child, debating with
himself the wisdom of setting in motion the magistrates and his fellow
selectmen in enforcing this somewhat vague law. The fact is that the
law was not enforced. It became a dead letter, and public attention to
vocational education has no history in this country until recent years,
when the pressure of industrial competition has forced its recognition.

In the early days of the nation’s life the absence of any definite
plan for public vocational education of young people was not a serious
matter. Industrial life was relatively simple, and the family lived
close to its sources of supplies. The family was able to take care
of the children’s preparation for industrial life without aid or
interference from the state. But social and industrial conditions have
changed. With the development of factories, of elaborate systems of
transportation, and of urban life it is no longer possible for the
family to train the children, and the demand begins to be urgently felt
that some agency give adequate preparation for the practical later
life of the children, and that more especially where families are not

For a long period after this demand was felt the school went on with
its specialized task, and the public was complacent to see the school
neglect vocational training. The specialized task of the school, as
thought of in those days, was to teach reading and the other subjects
which naturally attached themselves to the literary tendencies that
grew up in a reading-school. Private institutions, such as business
colleges, sprang up as agencies for satisfying the demand for special
vocational training. These were tuition schools and secured their
students in many cases by criticizing the public school as incompetent
and wasteful. In some cases employers, realizing the necessity of
training their workers, made it a part of their industrial organization
to teach certain branches of the trades. In other cases, a boy going
into an occupation which had no regular training-school, either in a
private institution or in the industrial plant, got his training as
best he could by accepting a low wage and blundering along until he
learned his trade. Even to-day the private training of young people for
industry is conducted on a scale that shows how new is the idea that
the public school is responsible in any degree for such training.


The historical sketch given above illustrates, as do the earlier
examples presented in this chapter, the natural conservatism of
the school curriculum on the one hand and the inevitableness of an
expansion of the school on the other. Historically, the common school
had no duties in the direction of vocational training. But we are
beginning to realize that it is not profitable to try to throw off
responsibility. To-day the school must cope with an urgent social
problem. The curriculum was and is literary in its major content. The
problem of the future is to expand it so that it shall combine with its
literary content a new and productive body of vocational training.


Our study of the curriculum has established, first, the important fact
that courses of study are real factors to be dealt with in any school
situation; second, the motives which give rise to particular forms
of instruction are superseded in the course of school history by new
social needs. Nevertheless, the curriculum tends to persist, and often
because of its conservatism becomes a menace to progress. Suggestions
for innovations come through the insights of individuals or through the
formulation of social demands. Whatever the source of suggestions for
change, the student of education will find his problem in the fact that
the curriculum is undergoing change as is every other phase of modern
life. How to understand the changes that are imminent and how to direct
them into productive channels is a major problem of the science of


Find new subjects other than those mentioned in the text which have
been introduced into either the high-school curriculum or into the
curriculum of the grades. Within the older courses find some new topics
which have been introduced. New subjects in general are not looked on
as entirely respectable. Why is this? What should be done to make them

Why does training for vocation seem less respectable than conventional
school work? What is to be done to meet this situation?

Do people in general know what changes ought to be made in the
curriculum? Note that the Minneapolis study found difficulties. For
these it had clear scientific evidence. Did it have equally clear
grounds for its recommendations? Should it have had? How could it
secure evidence of this latter type?

Relating this discussion to the first paragraphs of Chapter I, let us
inquire what steps with regard to informing the community are necessary
to the success of a new program of studies.

Whose duty is it to plan new courses—that of the board of education,
the superintendent, or the teacher who is a specialist in some subject?

 BOBBITT, J. F. What the Schools Teach and Might Teach. Published by
 the Survey Committee of the Cleveland Foundation. (Copies may be
 secured from the Russell Sage Foundation.)

 KOOS, L. V. The Administration of Secondary-School Units.
 Supplementary Educational Monograph No. 3, Vol. I, of the _School
 Review_ and the _Elementary School Journal_. The University of Chicago
 Press. Contains a summary of the practices of the approved schools of
 the North Central Association.

 Minimum Essentials in Elementary-School Subjects. Fourteenth Yearbook
 of the National Society for the Study of Education, Part I, 1915.
 Public School Publishing Company, Bloomington, Illinois. This is an
 effort to bring together a statement of the essential requirements for
 the elementary curriculum.

 Report of the Committee of Ten on Secondary Education. National
 Education Association. American Book Company. The most important
 report ever prepared in relation to the organization and courses of
 study of the high school. Its appearance marked the beginnings of the
 present era of high-school expansion.


[41] Edwin A. Kirkpatrick, The Use of Money, pp. 1-2. The Bobbs-Merrill
Company, 1915.




Because there is an urgent social demand for the reorganization of
the curriculum and because the principles which should underlie a
sound curriculum are as yet not clear, there is much running back and
forth in the educational world and much controversy that at times
grows very bitter and even personal. Experiments are set up and lauded
or assailed. Optimists are hopeful that out of this experimentation
will come much good. Pessimists see in it the failure of a democratic
educational system.

The recent controversies have revived the ancient dispute between a
general education which makes the “all-round man” and specialized
education which serves some particular purpose. This controversy can
be illustrated by two kinds of examples. First, let us listen to those
who are interested in higher education for the classes of students who
are going to high school and college. Later we shall find that there is
another level at which the same kind of controversy is going forward.

The following statements and counter-statements illustrate the extent
to which the dispute is carried:

 I suggest, that, in the first place, a man educated in the modern
 sense, has mastered the fundamental tools of knowledge: he can read
 and write; he can spell the words he is in the habit of using; he can
 express himself clearly orally or in writing; he can figure correctly
 and with moderate facility within the limits of practical need; he
 knows something about the globe on which he lives. So far there is
 no difference between a man educated in the modern sense and a man
 educated in any other sense.

 There is, however, a marked divergence at the next step. The education
 which we are criticizing is overwhelmingly formal and traditional.
 If objection is made to this or that study on the ground that it is
 useless or unsuitable, the answer comes that it “trains the mind”
 or has been valued for centuries. “Training the mind” in the sense
 in which the claim is thus made for algebra or ancient languages
 is an assumption none too well founded; traditional esteem is
 an insufficient offset to present and future uselessness. A man
 educated in the modern sense will forego the somewhat doubtful mental
 discipline received from formal studies; he will be contentedly
 ignorant of things for learning which no better reason than tradition
 can be assigned. Instead, his education will be obtained from
 studies that serve real purposes. Its content, spirit and aim will
 be realistic and genuine, not formal or traditional. Thus, the man
 educated in the modern sense will be trained to know, to care about
 and to understand the world he lives in, both the physical world
 and the social world. A firm grasp of the physical world means the
 capacity to note and to interpret phenomena; a firm grasp of the
 social world means a comprehension of and sympathy with current
 industry, current science and current politics. The extent to which
 the history and literature of the past are utilized depends, not
 on what we call the historic value of this or that performance or
 classic, but on its actual pertinency to genuine need, interest or
 capacity. In any case, the object in view would be to give children
 the knowledge they need, and to develop in them the power to handle
 themselves in our own world. Neither historic nor what are called
 purely cultural claims would alone be regarded as compelling.

 Even the progressive curricula of the present time are far from
 accepting the principle above formulated. For, though they include
 things that serve purposes, their eliminations are altogether too
 timid. They have occasionally dropped, occasionally curtailed, what
 experience shows to be either unnecessary or hopelessly unsuitable.
 But they retain the bulk of the traditional course of study, and
 present it in traditional fashion, because an overwhelming case
 has not—so it is judged—yet been made against it. If, however, the
 standpoint which I have urged were adopted, the curriculum would
 contain only what can be shown to serve a purpose. The burden of proof
 would be on the subject, not on those who stand ready to eliminate it.
 If the subject serves a purpose, it is eligible to the curriculum;
 otherwise not. I need not stop at this juncture to show that “serving
 a purpose,” “useful,” “genuine,” “realistic,” and other descriptive
 terms are not synonymous with “utilitarian,” “materialistic,”
 “commercial,” etc., for intellectual and spiritual purposes are
 genuine and valid, precisely as are physical, physiological, and
 industrial purposes.[42]

The answer in florid and perfervid terms offered by a champion of the
classics is as follows:

 I have left myself only a few words to sum up and define the main
 issue raised by the so-called modernist reform of education. It
 is not the place of physical science in our civilization and in
 our universities: that is secure. It is not the opportunity of
 industrial or vocational training for the masses: we all welcome
 that. It is not the conversion of the American high school into the
 old Latin-verse-writing English public school: nobody ever proposed
 that. It is not the prescription of a universal requirement of Greek
 or the maintenance of a disproportionate predominance of Latin in our
 high schools and colleges: there is not the slightest danger of that.
 It is the survival or the total suppression, in the comparatively
 small class of educated leaders who graduate from high schools and
 colleges, of the very conception of linguistic, literary, and critical
 discipline; of culture, taste, and standards; of the historic sense
 itself; of some trained faculty of appreciation and enjoyment of
 our rich heritage from the civilized past; of some counterbalancing
 familiarity with the actual evolution of the human man, to soften
 the rigidities of physical science, and to check and control by the
 touchstones of humor and common sense the _a priori_ deductions of
 pseudo-science from conjectural reconstructions of the evolution of
 the physical and animal man.

 It is in vain that they rejoin that they too care for these things,
 and merely repudiate our exclusive definitions of them. That is,
 in the main, only oratorical precaution and the tactics of debate,
 as, if space permitted, I could show by hundreds of citations from
 their books. The things which, for lack of better names, we try to
 suggest by culture, discipline, taste, standards, criticism, and the
 historic sense, they hate. Or, if you prefer, they are completely
 insensitive to them and wish to impose their own insensibility upon
 the coming generation. They are genuinely skeptical of intellectual
 discriminations which they do not perceive, and æsthetic values which
 they do not feel. They are fiercely resentful of what they deem the
 supercilious arrogance of those who possess or strive for some far-off
 touch or faint tincture of the culture and discipline which they
 denounce as shibboleths, taboos, and the arbitrary conventions of

 From their own point of view it is natural that they should deprecate
 with sullen jealousy the inoculation of the adolescent mind with
 standards and tastes that would render it immune to what one of them
 has commended in print as the “science” of Elsie Clews Parsons. The
 purpose, or, at any rate, the tendency of their policies is to stamp
 out and eradicate these things and inculcate exclusively their own
 tastes and ideals by controlling American education with the political
 efficiency of Prussian autocracy and in the fanatical intolerance of
 the French anticlericalists. Greek and Latin have become mere symbols
 and pretexts. They are as contemptuous of Dante, Shakespeare, Milton,
 Racine, Burke, John Stuart Mill, Tennyson, Alexander Hamilton, or
 Lowell, as of Homer, Sophocles, Virgil, or Horace. They will wipe the
 slate clean of everything that antedates Darwin’s _Descent of Man_,
 Mr. Wells’s _Research Magnificent_, and the familiar pathos of James
 Whitcomb Riley’s vernacular verse.

 These are the policies that mask as compassion for the child bored by
 literature which, they say, it cannot be expected to appreciate and
 understand, or behind the postulate that we should develop æsthetic
 and literary sensibilities only by means of the literature that
 expresses the spirit of modern science, not that which preserves in
 amber the husks of the dead past.[43]


Both writers above quoted are speaking of those learners who are to
have large opportunities of higher education. What is to happen to
the common masses, to whom the last writer grants the “opportunity
of industrial or vocational training,” is still in doubt. There are,
however, disputants who are trying to settle this question also. To
illustrate we may borrow from a pamphlet issued by a great commercial
organization in its campaign for legislation which should transform the
school system of the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois.


 Definition: Vocational education includes all forms of specialized
 education, the controlling purposes of which are to fit for useful
 occupations, whether in agriculture, commerce, industry or the
 household arts.

 1. State aid is necessary to stimulate and encourage communities to
 carry on work in vocational education, but local communities should
 be permitted to initiate and should partly maintain such courses or

 2. The vocational schools should not compete or interfere with the
 present public school system, but should supplement it by providing
 practical instruction in vocational lines for youth between fourteen
 and eighteen who have left the present schools. To guard against any
 competition with the public schools as now organized, a special tax
 should be levied for the support of vocational schools, which, with
 the State grant for their support, should not be taken from the funds
 now provided by law for the support of the public school system.

 3. The proper expenditure of State moneys for vocational schools
 should be fully safeguarded, while at the same time the initiative in
 adapting measures to local conditions should be left with the local
 authorities. To secure these ends the general management and approval
 of these courses and schools should be left to a State commission,
 while the local initiative and direct control should be exercised
 by a local board composed of employers, skilled employees and local
 superintendents of schools.

 4. An efficient system of vocational education requires different
 methods of administration, different courses of study, different
 qualifications of teachers, different equipment, different ways of
 meeting the needs of pupils and much greater flexibility in adapting
 means to ends than is possible under the ordinary system of public
 school administration. For these reasons these schools should be under
 a separate board of control, whether carried on in a separate building
 or under the same roof with a general school, so that they may be free
 to realize their dominant purpose of fitting for useful employment.[44]

If the last two quotations are stripped of their decorations, they
reveal a demand for a distinct class system of education. Broad
education is for the few. Specialized education is another matter,—let
it be developed for the masses.


It is interesting to note that the masses, so far as they can express
themselves, are asking for a change in the traditional curriculum and
are likely to get it. The masses are expressing their demands through
the courses sought by their children.

Our problem will perhaps be clearer if we turn from the writings of
those who discuss these matters to the changes which are actually going
on in the schools of the country.


High schools in all parts of the country are giving commercial courses
in increasing degree. The first type of industrial education to be
extensively cultivated in the United States was commercial education.
This consisted in training for clerical positions and was carried on
for the most part in private “business colleges.” The reason for the
early demand for this particular kind of training is to be sought in
the fact that America has for years been a country devoted on a vast
scale to exporting raw materials. Commercial training, which has to do
with the shipping of goods, was accordingly the first to grow here. The
extent of the demand for commercial training is vividly set forth in a
report of the City Club of Chicago published in 1912, which contains
the following chart:


      There are at least             There are only
       19,000 STUDENTS              17,781 STUDENTS
             in                          in all
  Private Commercial Schools      Public High Schools
         and 800 in
  Private Industrial Schools           in Chicago
    in Chicago, and at least            and only
         $1,485,000                    $1,114,526
         is paid for                 is expended for
           TUITION                     MAINTENANCE

[Illustration: FIG. 12]

The high schools of the country entered into competition with the
private commercial schools, and for some years the competition has been
running high. The private schools solicit and get a large patronage
on the ground that they do not teach anything that is useless. They
give short, compact courses fitted to pupils’ needs. The high schools
point out that the short courses leave the stenographer with a meager
vocabulary and the clerk with no outlook on life.

The public schools are gradually pulling ahead of their competitors
because they are employing a higher grade of teachers than formerly and
are doing the work in a fashion which is technically more complete. In
the meantime the commercial courses are becoming more “respectable”
and are being taken by a better grade of students. The effect of the
election of commercial courses by a better grade of students is such
as to modify the whole program of the school in the direction of more
attention to the needs and practices of business life.


A second type of vocational course appears in the high schools of rural
communities where much attention is being devoted to agriculture.
Indeed, the increase in the number of high schools in the country
in recent years has been very largely due to the fact that rural
communities have taken an interest in carrying the training of pupils
beyond the rudimentary subjects of the elementary curriculum.

This movement relates itself to the development of a department of
agriculture in the Federal government and to the generous subsidy
through that department for agricultural experiments in centers of
education in all the states. Three years ago a large Federal subsidy
was set aside for the further promotion of agricultural demonstrations
and schools, and the recently enacted Federal legislation for
industrial education includes provision for more agriculture.


A third movement which has recently attracted a great deal of attention
and favorable comment was started in the engineering school of the
University of Cincinnati and is known as the part-time plan. Classes
are organized in such a way that their members spend one week or one
month in the shop of some manufacturing plant and the next period in
school. A second group alternates in the reverse order, so that the
shop and the school are at all times engaged in regular work. Where
this plan is well organized, there is a special school officer, called
a correlator, who sees to it that there is some direct connection
between the shop work and the courses taken up in the schools.

The part-time plan aims to supply that mixture of practical opportunity
and training in science, mathematics, and the academic subjects which
will lead to both vocational efficiency and a general education.


Fourth, there are all kinds of schools for young people in the trades.
Some of these hold their sessions at night, when the working day is
over, and others are organized to take the young worker out of the shop
or store for a limited number of hours during the working day. In the
matter of instruction some give only special training intended to make
the worker more skillful; others give general courses in civics, or
history, or even in literary subjects.

Some of these schools for workers are organized by the corporations
which employ the workers. Thus, telephone companies and dry-goods
stores find that it is economical to train their employees. Some of the
schools are conducted by the school system and are provided with pupils
either through the voluntary demand on the part of learners or through
the operation of state laws or municipal ordinances compelling children
to attend such schools until they are of a certain age.

Fifth, trade training is provided not merely for those in the trades
but also for those who are preparing to enter them. Trade schools are
sometimes supported out of the public purse, sometimes by private
endowments. The method of instruction is that of requiring the learner
to go through a definite series of exercises which will give him skill
in the trade. The strictly technical training is usually supplemented
by some “general” training.

The following quotation gives a brief summary by one specialist in
vocational education of the writings of another specialist in the same


 This trade school for girls is now a part of the public-school
 system of New York City. Its early history as a privately supported
 institution is of absorbing interest, and has been tersely written by
 Mrs. Mary Schenck Woolman, in her book entitled “The Making of a Trade
 School.” In this volume she gives an interesting account of the first
 experiment in the United States to deal in an adequate way with the
 problem of furnishing vocational training and guidance to children
 destined to enter industrial life, otherwise wholly unprepared, at the
 earliest possible age.

 The aim of the school is frankly stated to be the giving of help
 to the youngest wage earners, but its ideals are of considerable
 breadth. They are to demonstrate to the community what education is
 needed for “the lowest rank of women workers” in order that a girl may
 become self-supporting and adaptable, “understand her relation to her
 employer, to her fellow workers, and to her product,” and value health
 and moral and intellectual development.

 The necessity for this effort was found in the unfortunate social and
 economic conditions, and especially in the lack of opportunity for
 progressive work. “After several years spent in the market” the girl
 was found to be little better off than on her entrance into industrial

 After investigation, trades were selected in which are used the sewing
 machine (foot and electric power), the paint brush, paste brush,
 and needle. In organizing instruction all unnecessary waste was
 eliminated; short, intensive courses were planned to give knowledge
 and skill in the technical aspects of the selected trade, and to
 develop mental alertness on the part of the worker. It has been
 observed that “the academic dullness which is shown at entrance comes
 frequently from lack of motive in former studies.” The fundamental
 importance of health and the value of trade art as a help to progress
 are given special emphasis.

 The supreme value of the school’s trade-order business, as an
 educational asset, is shown in the following quotation:

 It provides the student with adequate experience on classes of
 material used in the best workrooms; these girls could not purchase
 such materials and the school could not afford to buy them for
 practice. The ordinary conditions in both the wholesale and the custom
 trade are thus made a fundamental part of instruction. Reality of
 this kind helps the supervisor to judge the product from its trade
 value, and the teaching from the kind of workers turned out. Through
 the business relation the student quickly feels the necessity of
 good finish, rapid work, and responsibility to deliver on time.
 The businesslike appearance of the shop at work on the orders, and
 the experience trade has had with the product, have increased the
 confidence of employers of labor in the ability of the school to
 train practical workers for the trades.... The business organization
 and management required in the adequate conduct of a large order
 department can itself be utilized for educational purposes.

A chapter devoted to representative problems makes an illuminating
analysis of the difficulties which must be met and solved by those
organizing schools for workers in the lower grades of industry. While
the instruction must be direct and specific, some preliminary general
training is needed, and work intended to awaken vocational interests
should also be provided. Mrs. Woolman believes that all this might and
should be given in the public elementary school. Other difficulties
are the keeping of the school organization flexible and sensitive to
ever-changing trade conditions, and in “close contact with industrial
and social organizations of workers in settlements, clubs, societies,
and unions, that all phases of the wage earner’s life—pleasures, aims,
and needs—may be appreciated.” There is the difficulty of securing
suitable teachers, and of working in harmony with the ideals of
organized labor.[46]


The effect of these experiments in vocational education is clearly
discernible in the traditional courses. Reading books are beginning
to include extracts which deal with practical matters. Mathematics
textbooks are presenting more than ever before practical problems
drawn from commercial, trade, and agricultural life. Science, both in
elementary and advanced forms, is turning to practical applications.
In short, there is going on a kind of intellectual compromise which
will eventually make training in skill an accepted part of a general

General training has until recently been so proud of itself that it has
not willingly accepted association with courses designed to cultivate
skill. The result is that the common man has gained the impression that
there is a wide gulf fixed between general education and practical
life. One hopeful symptom of the present situation is that discussions
of general education are becoming very much more democratic. To be
sure, there are examples of the proud exclusiveness of former days
still to be found in the writings of those who do not understand the
reach of modern reforms in the curriculum, but these cases are likely
to become fewer as the years pass. In the meantime the practical world
is making long strides in the direction of an appreciation of the
value of a general education. The shop mechanic should read. He should
be independent in his cultivation of contact with the most recent
movements in his trade. The teacher who teaches reading is coming to
recognize this as clearly as does the employer, and very shortly the
idea that reading is an artificial somewhat, cultivated exclusively for
purely intellectual reasons, will give way to the broader view that
even the artisan gains in efficiency by reading.

When that time comes there will be no room for the theory that there
should be a different school for the tradesman and the professional
class. There will be differentiation within the courses. There will be
an elective opportunity for each pupil which will adapt the curriculum
to his special needs, but there will be no industrial school on the
other side of the street, with a separate course, a different kind of
teacher, and a different governing board. Such a cleavage of social
interests would be disastrous to the academic subjects quite as much
as to the practical subjects. Academic life cannot bury itself in the
past; it must make its contribution to the activities of the present.


Nowhere is the future more clearly forecast than in the new lessons
which are being introduced into both the elementary schools and
the high schools for the purpose of teaching social organization.
Under the title “community civics” or “lessons in community and
national life” the social sciences are beginning to offer to the
lower schools an exposition of the life of the people who make up
society. These courses, like all new applicants for admission to the
crowded curriculum, are finding some difficulty in making their way
into the school. In spite of these handicaps the movement toward
the introduction of social studies into the general school is now
sufficiently under way to be described as one of the most hopeful
innovations in the curriculum.


What would be the effect on a community of putting different social
classes of children into different schools? Is this done in any degree?
Is the principle involved in such a suggestion different in its
essentials from the elective system?

What classes of students elect commercial courses? If a school were set
up which taught exclusively commercial courses, would the attitude
of teachers and students toward their work be better than in a school
which gives general academic courses also?

Should agriculture be taught in city high schools? It is sometimes
argued that the country school should have a course of study different
from that given in the city school. Does the argument touch spelling?
arithmetic? drawing?

The part-time experiment has failed in a number of cases where the
correlator is not appointed. Can you see why?

At what age should trade training begin? Connect this discussion with
the earlier discussions of (_a_) compulsory education and (_b_) costs.

Is reading a practical subject? Is science a natural and desirable
part of a trade course? The Federal government has appropriated money
for trade training. Can any part of this money reasonably be spent in
teaching arithmetic? history? literature?

 FARRINGTON, F. E. Commercial Education in Germany. The Macmillan
 Company. A book dealing with one phase of the matter.

 ROMAN, F. W. The Industrial and Commercial Schools of the United
 States and Germany. G. P. Putnam’s Sons. An interesting comparison
 of the provisions made in Germany for trade education with various
 American efforts in the same direction.

 Eleventh Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education.
 Part I, 1912, Industrial Education. Public School Publishing Company,
 Bloomington, Illinois.

 Eleventh Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education.
 Part II, 1912, Agricultural Education in Secondary Schools. Public
 School Publishing Company, Bloomington, Illinois.

 Lessons in Community and National Life. Published in 24 numbers
 (October, 1917, to May, 1918) by the United States Bureau of Education.


[42] Abraham Flexner, A Modern School, pp. 8-9. Published by the
General Education Board, New York City, 1916.

[43] Paul Shorey, “The Assault on Humanism,” _Atlantic Monthly_, July,

[44] Vocational Schools for Illinois, pp. 1-2. Published by the
Commercial Club of Chicago.

[45] A Report on Vocational Training in Chicago and in Other Cities, p.
38. Published by the City Club of Chicago, 1912.

[46] Frank M. Leavitt, Examples of Industrial Education, pp. 149-151.
Ginn and Company, 1912.




It would be a mistake to treat the innovations in the course of study
which were discussed in the last chapter as concessions to a narrow
demand for mere gain through the better training of workmen. To be
sure, there are some who would be willing to curtail the educational
opportunity of the common people in order to insure that type of
contentment which is supposed to dwell in the mind untrained in higher
ideas. But these are fortunately not likely to succeed in their plans.
The movement for a better industrial training is part of a larger
movement for a broader social and economic life for all. The important
fact about the whole movement is that changes within the school
parallel a general effort to deal with all the problems of modern life
as problems of popular education.

No exhaustive study of educational extension can be undertaken in
the short compass of a single chapter. Indeed, there is hardly more
than space to enumerate the types of activity which enter into this
movement. Confining ourselves, then, to this very modest effort, the
following outline will serve as a rough classification of the major
phases of the school-extension movement.

First, there are activities of pupils which lie outside the school
but are systematized and promoted through the supervision of the
school. Second, there are organized efforts to supplement and enlarge
school work by adding to the opportunities offered to pupils out of
school hours or during vacations. Third, there are continuation
courses offered in the schools for adults who have been limited in
their educational opportunities. Fourth, there are various forms of
educational propaganda through which communities are to be brought
to a more satisfactory economic or social status. Fifth, there are
legitimate and refined forms of entertainment, some intellectual and
some purely social, which are provided at public expense either in
the school building or in other meeting places. Some of these social
activities are directed toward the cultivation of a direct interest in
the schools; some have no special relation to schools. Sixth, there
is at present a great movement for the spread of education through
correspondence schools.

Following this outline, concrete examples of each type of activity may
be briefly described.


First, the extension of school supervision is illustrated by the fact
that in a township high school the girls who are taking cooking are
required to do each day a certain amount of laboratory work in the
kitchen at home. This is reported by the parents, and the cooking
teacher visits the homes from time to time to inspect the work. Again,
in many agricultural schools home gardening is required as a part of
the course. Sometimes a school officer is employed to keep up the
supervision of this home work during the vacation period. Another
series of examples under this heading is to be found in those systems
where miscellaneous home activities are credited by the school on the
report of parents. The following quotation taken from Superintendent
Alderman’s book on home credits shows how far the matter has been
carried in some quarters:

Below is the Spokane County plan.


 The following are the rules and reward offered for home work. This
 work is to be done during the school week. No one is compelled to
 enter this contest, and the pupil may drop out at any time.

 All work must be voluntary on the part of the pupil. Parents are
 requested not to sign papers for pupils if the work is not voluntarily
 and cheerfully done.

 The rewards for this work are:

 One half-holiday each month to the child who has earned one hundred
 or more home credits, and has not been absent or tardy for the month;
 also 5 per cent will be added to his final examination. The pupil who
 earns one hundred or more credits each month but fails in perfect
 attendance will have the 5 per cent added to his final examination.

 In addition, the board of directors may offer a prize to the pupil
 in each grade who shall have the greatest amount of home credits,
 and shall be neither absent nor tardy during the term, or from the
 adoption of these rules.

 List of Home Credits

  Personal cleanliness           2
  Cleaning teeth                 1
  Cleaning finger nails          1
  Practicing music lesson        2
  Dressing baby                  1
  Washing dishes                 1
  Sweeping floor                 1
  Making bed                     1
  Preparing meal                 2
  Making a cake                  1
  Making biscuits                1
  Churning                       2
  Scrubbing floor                2
  Dusting                        1
  Blacking stove                 1
  Darning stockings              1
  Delivering papers              2
  Retiring before 9 o’clock      1
  Feeding and watering chickens  1
  Feeding and watering horses    1
  Feeding and watering cows      1
  Feeding and watering hogs      1
  Gathering eggs                 1
  Cleaning chicken house         1
  Going for mail                 1
  Picking apples                 2
  Picking potatoes               2
  Bringing in wood for to-day    1
  Splitting wood for to-day      1
  Bringing in water for to-day   1
  Grooming horse                 1
  Milking cow                    1
  Working in field               2
  Going for milk                 1

  County Superintendent of Schools.

The following statement is made by Superintendent McFarland as to the
effect home credits had on attendance in 1913-1914:

 We attribute the increase in our attendance this year in the schools
 of Spokane County, outside the city of Spokane, largely to the Home
 Credit System and our certificates for perfect attendance. While the
 enrollment was 108 less than last year, yet our attendance was 16,712
 days more. At the present rate of 16 cents per day, the pupils earned
 for the county, from the State appropriation, nearly $2700 more than
 last year. With the same enrollment as last year the increase of
 apportionment would have reached approximately $6000.

 The credit slip for the school week provides for a daily record of
 “chores or work done” from Monday to Friday inclusive. It does not
 contain a stated list of duties; the blanks are to be filled in by the
 child. The list of home credits is furnished each district, but the
 teacher uses her judgment in allowing credit for any chore peculiar to
 her locality.[47]

In Greeley, Colorado, the high school gives credits for courses taken
in the Sunday schools. The teachers, under this plan, must be approved
by the school authorities and the work must be graded. In many schools
credit is given for music taken at home. Sometimes the results of this
instruction are examined, sometimes not. In the latter cases teachers
are sometimes approved by the school and their work then accepted
without further question.


All these examples make it clear that the school organization is being
used to systematize activities which without school credits are carried
on very irregularly. The supervision of the school is undoubtedly of
advantage to the activities. Is the draft made on the supervisory
energy of the school legitimate? The answer to this question is, in
some cases, undoubtedly no. Thus, if the school is not supplied by
the public with supervisory energy beyond that commonly devoted to the
routine of ordinary school work, it is difficult to manage without
distraction some of these new kinds of credits. Again, if outside
activities are allowed to take the place of regular school courses, the
dangers become even more apparent. The advocates of the home credit
system assert that the drawbacks are slight and offer examples to show
that there is no conflict, but rather help for the school work.

 A boy in one of the Portland, Oregon, schools had trouble with his
 spelling, getting a mark of only 4½ on a scale of 10. Soon after home
 credits were put into use by his teacher he came to her and anxiously
 inquired if he could help out his spelling grade with a good home
 record. The teacher graciously assured him that he could. The boy
 brought in each week one of the very best home record slips, and in
 some mysterious manner his spelling improved as his hours of work
 increased. He does not need his home record to help out his spelling
 grade now, for last month he received more than a passing mark, 7½, in
 his weak subject. The knowledge that there was help at hand relieved
 his nervousness, and gave him confidence.[48]


The second type of extension to be noted is that which adds to the
regular school work by giving supervised opportunity outside the
ordinary curriculum.

One example is that of a high school which tried the experiment of
requiring manual training. The students grumbled a good deal about the
course because it was so different from their other work. The course
was abandoned. In its place was opened a voluntary class after school
hours to which only students who secured a high grade in their regular
work were admitted. There was a larger demand for the course than the
shop could satisfy.

Vacation schools are often supported by groups of citizens interested
in providing for pupils who have to remain in the city during vacation
and have no suitable employment or recreation to keep them off the
streets. So valuable is this addition to school work that it is very
often taken over by the school system.

A great deal of school gardening is being encouraged by finding vacant
lots or providing land in unsettled districts. School supervision
sometimes cannot be extended to cover this work. This movement has
been evolved during the recent campaign for food cultivation and
conservation into a general social movement.

Athletics are sometimes organized under school supervision; sometimes
only advisory help is furnished by the schools. The playground is
opened to pupils after school hours or a special playground is
provided. The matter of supervised play is important enough to justify
a full discussion in a later chapter.

Some schools are providing moving-picture exhibitions out of hours
for the pupils. The experiment has been successfully carried out by
charging enough for such entertainments to pay their cost, the school
thus furnishing only the place and the organization.

All these examples show that there is an unused margin of time and
energy which pupils will use somewhere. Especially in cities it becomes
a serious problem to insure wholesome conditions for the use of this
surplus. If the pupils need further opportunities and the schools can
provide them, it is certainly legitimate to carry out such plans. To be
really educational all these activities need supervision. Supervision,
of course, means either more expenditure of money to secure additional
supervisors or an increased demand on the energies of present school
officers. The present provision for instruction and supervision is
seldom excessive. Expansion, therefore, ought to be faced as a new


Continuation courses for adults are intended to carry on the schooling
of people who for some reason or other have found it necessary to stop
ordinary school work. In many cases continuation classes are conducted
at night in what is commonly known as night school. Here there are two
types of courses, one designed to give training in the conventional
academic subjects, the other to give greater efficiency in the
practical occupational life of the student. As an example of general
courses not connected with industries we may cite the special courses
for immigrants which have of late been matters of an especially urgent
campaign by the Bureau of Education, as indicated in the following
paragraphs from a paper by Mr. Wheaton, the specialist on immigration
in the bureau:

 Education, however, is the most potent force toward inculcating
 American ideals and impulses. The English language and a knowledge
 of the civic forces of the country are indispensable to the alien
 in adjusting himself to America. Through our common speech comes
 understanding. Without it the pages of our newspapers are meaningless
 and ordinary matters of business with Americans must be transacted
 through the medium of an interpreter. Only by overcoming inability
 to speak English, by eliminating illiteracy among aliens, and by
 instilling the ideals, attitudes, and habits of thought of America,
 can we hope to make real American citizens of the strangers within our

 The education of children of immigrants in the day schools has always
 been considered a primary and essential function of the school
 system. But the training of adults in English and civics has not
 been generally so considered. Evening schools, through which only
 can adults be reached effectively, have usually been regarded merely
 as adjuncts to the day-school system, and hence are maintained when
 funds can be spared or eked out. Adequate facilities for the adult are
 rarely organized and maintained as an organic part of the educational
 system with a specific appropriation and unified supervision.
 In fact, education of immigrants has been left too largely to
 the well-intentioned but sporadic interest and effort of private
 organizations and individuals. The provision of public facilities
 may, therefore, be treated at present and for some time to come as a
 legitimate extension activity for educational systems.

 It is with this latter conception in mind that the United States
 Bureau of Education has for a considerable period been actively
 engaged in promoting the extension of facilities for the education of
 immigrants over the compulsory attendance age. Authority to undertake
 this extensive program is derived from the organic act creating the
 bureau in 1867 and from various acts of Congress making appropriations
 for the purpose of promoting industrial and vocational training, the
 elimination of illiteracy, and the cause of education generally.[49]

The industrial phase of continuation education was noted in the
discussions of the last chapter. It remains only to add that the
industrial courses for adults have done much to make available for
mature workers the kind of training which the school is now beginning
to give to children.

Continuation classes are often provided by organizations outside of the
schools, such as the Christian associations for young men and women,
and labor unions, and through private endowment.


The fourth type of educational activity may be described as educational
propaganda. The Federal government, especially through its Department
of Agriculture, has promoted scientific farming where there was no
initial impulse on the part of farmers to go to school. This work was
supported, especially in the Southern States, by the General Education
Board. It sometimes took the form of an appeal to the boys and girls as
well as to adults. A typical case is set forth in the first report of
the General Education Board.

 A club consists essentially of a group of boys varying in number from
 twenty-five to one hundred, and ranging in age from ten to eighteen.
 Corn and cotton are both cultivated, but corn is preferred: first,
 because the South needs more corn; secondly, because corn lends itself
 better to study and selection. As a rule, each member works a plot
 of one acre. The county superintendent of education is usually in

 Driving through Macon County, Alabama, not long ago, two strangers
 observed, in a large field of ordinary corn, a patch standing out like
 a miniature skyscraper. They dismounted to interview the owner. A
 Negro boy approached.

 “Is this your corn?”

 “Yes, sir.”

 “How did you come to grow it?”

 “One of Dr. Knapp’s men showed me, sir.”

 “Why did you plant it so far apart in the rows?”

 “Because, sir, most all that grows comes from the sunshine and the

 “When did you plow?”

 “Last fall, sir.”


 “To make plant food during the winter.”

 “Where did you get your fertilizer?”

 “From the bottom, sir.”

 “How many times did you cultivate?”

 “Six times, sir.”


 “Because there’s water down next to the clay, and when I don’t plow
 the sun draws it all away.”

 “When did you put in the cowpeas?”

 “After the last plowing, sir.”

 “What did you do that for?”

 “Because the cowpeas get out of the air nitrogen, and put back in the
 ground about as much as the corn takes out.”

 How many valuable lessons had this remote Negro lad learned from doing
 one job right! But this is not the end of the story. His double crop
 was worth $52. From his pocket he pulled a dirty little pass-book,
 the entries in which showed what the crop had cost. Reckoning his own
 time at ten cents an hour and his father’s mule at a dollar a day, he
 netted a profit of $30 to the acre. His younger sister, it appeared,
 had had an equally profitable quarter of an acre in cotton. Three
 years later both were students at Tuskegee, paying for their education
 with the money earned as club workers.[50]

Equally impressive examples could be supplied of transformations in
homes brought about by demonstrations in cooking, house decoration, and
costume design given by teachers of domestic science and household art.


The problem of providing proper entertainment for people in the city
and proper places for the coming together of social groups in country
and city communities is one of the serious problems of modern life.
The church serves less than it used to the purposes of a meeting place
for the community. The schools have been called on to help solve this
problem. The extent to which the demand exists is illustrated by the
following quotation from the Cleveland survey[51]:

 According to the custodians’ reports the total after-class lettings
 of school accommodations during 1914-15 numbered 3,469. Of these,
 462 were for mothers’ club meetings, class dances, pupil society
 meetings, pay entertainments, bazaars, or some other kind of purely
 school function and 3,007 were lettings to outside organizations. A
 large part of the latter consisted of clubs or Sunday-school classes
 connected with some 27 different churches which, along with two dozen
 or more specifically named athletic societies, sought the use of
 school gymnasiums and showers for basketball and similar indoor games.
 The varied character of the bodies which hired the auditoriums, club
 and classrooms can best be discovered from a perusal of the following
 partial but representative list.


  Twentieth Ward Improvement Association
  East End Chamber of Commerce
  East End Neighborhood Club
  Women’s Suffrage Political League
  Municipal School League
  Spanish War Veterans
  Ladies’ Relief Corps
  Knights of Pythias Lodge
  Public School Association
  Garment Workers’ Union
  Warner Civic Association
  Social Center Club
  Teachers’ and Mothers’ Club
  Western Reserve Dental Club
  Thespian Dramatic Club
  South End Choral Society
  Mendelssohn Choir
  Boys’ Glee Club
  D. A. R. Clubs
  G. A. R. Post
  Normal Alumni
  Alumni Club
  Sanitation Club
  Civic League
  Boy Scouts
  Boy Cadets
  Camp Fire Girls
  Y. W. C. A.
  Mothers’ Club
  Anti-Fly Campaign
  Boys’ Chef Club
  Patrons’ Club
  Social Club
  German Club
  Latin Club
  Syrian Club

These names show concretely what a wide range of Cleveland’s social
elements are nowadays seeking the kind of facilities which a modern
school edifice possesses. In the majority of cases these groups were
obliged to pay custodians’ fees ranging from 30 cents to $5.00 an
evening depending on the size of the quarters used. That fact attests
the genuineness of this demand and its vigor is further evidenced by
the rapid growth in volume which, as shown in the following table, has
practically doubled during the past two years.


                                          |          |          |PER CENT
                                          |1913-1914 |1914-1915 |INCREASE
  Organizations using buildings           |      298 |      596 |   100
  Total lettings                          |    1,932 |    3,007 |    56
  Fees paid to custodians by organizations|$1,729.91 |$2,813.55 |    62
  Aggregate attendance                    |  120,511 |  276,253 |   129


A social organization which is of special importance to the schools
is the parent-teachers’ association, which is coming to be a common
adjunct of every school. Such an association often helps the school
to secure equipment which it needs, and furnishes a useful avenue for
the dissemination of ideas with regard to school policies. Sometimes
the school officer finds that the proper relation of the association
to school administration needs definition. He then falls back with
satisfaction on the words of a recent writer in the _Atlantic_:

 Running a school or a class is a technical or expert job. It cannot
 as a rule be done by an untrained person; and untrained people,
 seeking to break in, are likely to do more harm than good. The school
 situation, indeed, resembles the situation in medicine fifty years
 ago. The practice of medicine at that time was atrocious; but it had
 to be improved, and it was improved by doctors, not by laymen. I shall
 not spare the schools; but schools must be improved by schoolmen—and
 they will be.

 We have then reached this point. Intelligent parents wish to have a
 say in the education of their children. But schools must be conducted
 by trained persons. The training of these persons is, however, largely
 antiquated. Are we not deadlocked?

 I think not. Parents cannot tell teachers what to do or how to do
 it. But what they can do is to ask questions. They can, like the
 man from Missouri, require “to be shown.” At first blush, this may
 not look like very much. But if my readers will bear with me for a
 moment, perhaps they will see that the right and the duty of asking
 “to be shown,” of asking persistently and continuously “Why?” “Why?”
 gives parents all the leverage they need or can use in making over the
 education of their children.

 Our schools could not be perfect. I won’t even stop to argue that
 they can all at a bound make themselves much better than they are.
 Parents cannot possibly make many practicable suggestions by way of
 improving them. But just because we all know so little, just because
 schoolmasters are so hampered by tradition and organization, just
 because parents are so helpless in making practicable suggestions, for
 these very reasons the complacent following of traditions is the most
 inexcusable of attitudes. The schools which are now too conventional,
 too complacent, too free from deep-seated and unhappy doubts, should
 be tentative, inquiring, investigating, skeptical in their point
 of view. They will be assisted in becoming tentative, inquiring,
 skeptical, and experimental if parents will, year after year, make
 them tell _why_, make them show _why_. For when people are called on
 to show why, they begin to look into what they are doing, and out
 of this critical scrutiny will come doubt, invention, and finally
 something living in place of something long since dead.[52]


This discussion has not included, as perhaps it should, university
extension, libraries, rural-community organization, and other agencies.
It must, however, make reference to one popular movement which has
grown in recent years to proportions that are literally vast. The
correspondence schools of this country do an enormous amount of more or
less valuable teaching. The qualifying phrase “more or less valuable”
is justified by the fact that many of the correspondence schools are
purely commercial enterprises and provide a very low grade of courses.
The number of such schools, however, shows the demand for education,
the evidence in this case being the stronger when we recognize that in
many cases the quality of instruction is not such as to encourage the


The list of activities which carry education far beyond the limits of
the traditional curriculum could be extended. A complete list would
include newspapers and magazines with their lessons on health, on food
and economic problems. It would include the churches and many social
organizations. The purposes of the present exposition have, however,
been adequately served if the reader has been impressed by the popular
demand for a broad educational program.


Complications sometimes arise in the matter of credits, not from the
fact that they are given within a certain institution but rather from
the fact that a second institution to which students go cannot deal
with the credits. Suppose that a certain high school gives credit for
gardening. Should the college accept the credit toward admission? Is it
legitimate to substitute Sunday-school courses for senior English?

What would you want to know about a music teacher before crediting her
pupils with a high-school credit in music? How would you find out how
much work the music pupil had done? If you think an examination a good
method, would you give credit for typewriting to a boy who learned to
write outside of school and could pass an examination?

The distinction between an education and school credits is sometimes
painfully evident. Describe cases in which the effort to get credits
interferes with school work.

When a community is very enthusiastic about social centers, it often
asks the board of education to open the schools at night. Should the
board charge a fee or give the use of the building without charge? In
case the board does not have money enough to furnish the children with
playground apparatus, should it give the use of buildings free?

 PERRY, C. A. Wider Use of the School Plant. Russell Sage Foundation.
 This book treats in a comprehensive way of all the different types of
 outside activity carried on in schools.

 The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science,
 September, 1916, Vol. 67, No. 156. Concord, New Hampshire. The number
 is given over to a symposium in which a number of authors give an
 account of the outside activities which have in recent years been
 attached to the school.


[47] L. R. Alderman, School Credit for Home Work, pp. 89-91. Houghton
Mifflin Company, 1915.

[48] L. R. Alderman, School Credit for Home Work, pp. 32-33. Houghton
Mifflin Company, 1915.

[49] H. H. Wheaton, “The United States Bureau of Education and the
Immigrant.” _The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social
Science_, Vol. LXVII, No. 156 (September, 1916), pp. 273-274.

[50] The General Education Board: An Account of its Activities,
1902-1914, pp. 58, 61-62. New York City, 1915.

[51] Clarence Arthur Perry, Educational Extension, pp. 82-85. Cleveland
Education Survey. Published by the Survey Committee of the Cleveland
Foundation, 1916.

[52] Abraham Flexner, “Parents and Schools.” _The Atlantic Monthly_
(July, 1916), pp. 26-27.




With the expansions in education that have been reviewed in foregoing
chapters, there has come a certain confusion and uncertainty of
practice which sometimes tends to lower the standards of work in the

Consider a concrete case. A small city can afford to offer only a
limited number of courses in its high school. Shall the choice fall on
Latin or typewriting? Among the sciences shall botany or chemistry be
provided? Botany would relate itself well to agriculture, and chemistry
would be a basis for domestic science. Sometimes in the effort to meet
both demands, weak courses are tolerated, and teachers are either
overloaded because they are called on to carry heavy programs or are
inadequately compensated in the effort to provide a sufficient number
to do all the work demanded.

Nor is it the school alone which is confronted with the necessity of
choosing; the individual student must elect. There is a high school
in a small city in Illinois, as shown by the last report of the North
Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, which enrolled
in 1915 four hundred and sixty-one students. This school offered
twenty-three units in academic subjects and twelve units in vocational
subjects. If each pupil took five units a year, which would be a very
heavy program, he would be able to complete in four years only twenty
units, or fifteen less than the school offers. Another high school
in the same state with an enrollment of five hundred and thirty-two
students offers an aggregate of forty-four units.

Finally, there are choices to be made within these choices, because
after the decision has been reached that botany is to be taught, the
teacher must select from the abundant material within this science that
which seems most productive. The student, also, gives more attention to
one subject than to the others which he is pursuing, thus exhibiting
another kind of selection.

Choices have to be made, and every choice has back of it some prejudice
or some clearly thought-out principle or some experience collected by
the teacher or pupil through contact with earlier educational problems.
Our business in this course is, first, to become aware of the chief
reasons for the choices actually made in schools, and, second, to
take up some of the evidences which justify one or the other of these
reasons. The present chapter will be devoted to a brief statement of
the principles most commonly urged as the basis of choice.


The historical reason for training children which has come down to us
from the religious traditions of the Middle Ages, and more directly
from the austere beliefs and practices of the Puritans, is the supposed
demand for a curbing of the naturally perverse tendencies of children,
for a disciplining of nature into a higher form of morality. This
reason has in more recent times been phrased in new terms. The mind, it
is said, must be made strong through struggle with difficulties as the
athlete becomes skillful and muscular through training. If the training
seems for the time being monotonous and overvigorous, well and good;
the end justifies the effort. This is the doctrine of discipline.


Against the notion of discipline there has been matched, especially
in the last century, the opposing notion that all good qualities
are natural and will express themselves freely if the artificial
restraints of life are removed. Rousseau, in his famous attack on
social conventions, pointed out the truth that the child is naturally
an eager learner. Biology reinforced Rousseau’s teachings with the
doctrines of natural selection and the survival of the fittest, meaning
by the fittest those able to take on complete adaptation to the present
environment. The belief that nature is a safe guide has led to the
doctrine of freedom for the child in all matters of intellectual


The antithesis between discipline and freedom, between training which
aims to transform the child’s nature and training which gives the
child’s nature opportunity to express itself without restraint, can be
illustrated as follows. On the one side it is said that children have
no power of concentration of attention. They are flighty and erratic.
They must be made to think steadily in order to train their minds for
hard mental work. On the other side it is asserted that when a child’s
interest is aroused through an appeal to his natural tastes he will
exert his mind to the limit of its powers, and this is all that can
advantageously be required.


When the antithesis between discipline and natural interests is
presented to the present-day world, it must be said that there is
a widespread disposition to set aside discipline as arbitrary and
puritanical. Our generation is in favor of natural development.
Perhaps it would be truer to use the past tense in the last statement
because the social attitude toward discipline has been profoundly
affected by the war. Never in the history of this country has the
lesson been clearer than it is at the present that social coöperation
means the training of the individual to make some sacrifices. The
American school has carried the elective system and its concessions to
individuals to an extreme which is likely to be limited somewhat in the
future by a recognition of social obligations.


It may be well to illustrate this abstract discussion of discipline and
freedom with concrete examples. One of the most emphatic pronouncements
in favor of the doctrine of freedom is that of Madam Montessori, an
Italian physician whose system of education has been much heralded in
this country as a substitute for the kindergarten. According to this
writer’s views the pupil should have perfect freedom. The contrast with
the kindergarten is described as follows by one of the observers of the
two institutions:

 A contrast between the Montessori school and the kindergarten of the
 more formal and traditional type may serve to give a clearer picture
 of the Montessori procedure, and consequently of the Montessori
 conception of liberty as it appears in practice. The most evident
 difference is seen in the function of the teacher. The kindergartner
 is clearly the center and arbiter of the activity in the room. The
 Montessori directress seems, on the contrary, to be at one side. The
 kindergartner contemplates at each moment the whole of her group; the
 directress is talking usually to one alone—possibly to two or three.
 The kindergarten children are engaged in some sort of directed group
 activity; each Montessori child is an isolated worker, though one or
 more comrades may look on and suggest. The arrangement of the room
 shows the same contrast. The kindergarten has a circle about which all
 may gather, and tables for group activity. The Montessori room is
 fitted, preferably, with individual tables, arranged as the children
 will. (In the writer’s observation, there has been little deviation,
 however, from arrangement in formal rows.) Montessori provides long
 periods, say of two or more hours, while the kindergarten period
 rarely goes beyond a half-hour. During the period assigned for that
 purpose practically all of the Montessori apparatus is available for
 any child (except for the very youngest or the newest comers), and the
 child makes his choice freely. The kindergartner, on the other hand,
 decides very nicely what specific apparatus shall be used during any
 one period. The Montessori child abides by his choice as long as he
 wishes, and changes as often as he likes; he may even do nothing if
 he prefers. The child in the traditional kindergarten uses the same
 apparatus throughout the period, and is frequently led or directed
 by the teacher as to what he shall do. At other times he may be at
 liberty to build or represent at will whatever may be suggested by
 the “gift” set for the period. The Montessori child, each at his own
 chosen task, works, as stated, in relative isolation, his nearest
 neighbors possibly looking on.[53]

At the other end of the educational system we find the example of
“stiff” courses in college designed to “weed out” the slothful and
incompetent. The “stiff” course is required mathematics, or a foreign
language, or a course in English composition. Opposition to stiff
courses expresses itself in the demand for an undiluted elective system
in which the student may take whatever serves his purposes.


The advocacy of a natural education takes a different turn when it
drops the word “freedom” and emphasizes the fact that individuals
differ radically in their native capacities. Some pupils have an
aptitude for one kind of work, others for other types. The school is
to-day committed to a recognition of these differences and to a study
of their meaning. There is a movement known as the vocational-guidance
movement which is making progress in the direction of the discovery
of methods for finding out what studies can properly be undertaken by
students in view of their varying natural endowments. The individual’s
natural bent being discovered, his educational training can be directed
to the highest possible cultivation of his powers. Nature is thus
recognized but is not made the dominant fact. The vocational end is
the controlling factor in the situation. The attainment of this end
may require the most rigid disciplining of one’s powers. The direction
of this disciplining is dictated by nature, but not the particular
steps of education. As a result of such a discussion it begins to
appear that there is no fundamental reason for the abandonment of the
idea of discipline even if there is a complete recognition of natural
individual differences.

In concrete cases the opposition to the doctrine of discipline may,
however, be acute. The pupil may say that he has absolutely no natural
capacity for algebra or spelling. The teacher may answer that these
are universal requirements and that there is no escape from these
necessary studies because of individual differences. In such a dispute,
tradition, on the one hand, and the wider opportunities of the modern
curriculum, on the other hand, are likely to be arrayed against each
other. Algebra as the conservative subject is likely to defend the view
that discipline is necessary, whereas manual training and domestic
science are likely to emphasize the natural attractiveness of the
practical training which they offer. Thus it has come to pass that
certain subjects, especially the older subjects in the curriculum, have
come to be regarded as the defenders of the doctrine of discipline,
while the newer subjects have often been regarded as opposed by their
very character to the doctrine.


Still another turn is given to the discussion by an emphasis on the
social demands of later life. As society is constituted, individual
differences are sure to play a large part in determining success
or failure. Furthermore, society as constituted in its commercial
organizations accepts without hesitation the principle of division of
labor. Why should not the school be like society? Why should not the
school be a miniature world with all the different types of life that
will later become real to the pupils? Practical needs thus come into
the foreground.


Two views are sometimes offered in opposition to the doctrine of a
strictly practical training. First, it is said that the pupil in order
to prepare for later life must pass through certain forms of training
which are preliminary, intended to set up his mental machinery before
it begins to produce anything. Otherwise expressed, it is said that the
pupil must get the tools of knowledge before he tries to take part in
real life.

Second, it is said that there is no possibility in the complex society
of the modern world of foreseeing just what will be the practical needs
of pupils when they grow to adult life. It will therefore be better, it
is argued, to aim at a broad flexible training which can in due time be
turned into any channel that circumstances may dictate.


The dispute which is introduced by these opposing statements is one
of the bitterest in modern educational writings. Let us borrow two
quotations which will present the case in detail. Frank M. McMurry has
given in his report on the schools of New York City a striking example
of the advocacy of direct and constant attention to social needs.
In giving the quotation from this author it is possible to include
incidentally his description of an earlier view of the curriculum which
emphasizes general training or methods of thought rather than special


 Thirty years ago the belief was often expressed that it made little
 difference _what_ one studied, but all the difference in the world
 _with whom_ one studied. That belief made almost any curriculum
 acceptable, and directed attention to the personality of the teacher
 and to _method_ as the principal factors determining the effectiveness
 of instruction.

 That belief, however, has been greatly modified. While no one will
 deny the importance of the teacher’s personality, most persons will
 admit that the proper expression of personality and skill in method
 are both greatly dependent upon the subject matter of the curriculum.
 Carefully selected subject matter is prerequisite to skill in method
 of presentation. Without a good curriculum there is bound to be great



 In harmony with the previous discussion of standards for judging the
 quality of instruction, as a whole, the quality of the curriculum in
 particular is to be determined partly by its tendency to influence
 the tastes, purposes, and hopes of children. Any curriculum for the
 elementary school should have its content selected from among those
 experiences of mankind that have seemed most valuable. That is to be
 presupposed. But this selection can be indifferent to the tendencies,
 interests, and capacities of children in general, and of certain ages
 in particular, and aim only at present storage of facts and ideas
 that may count in a dim future, i.e., in adult life. Or it may be
 made with constant reference to the abilities, tastes, and needs of
 children at the present time. In the former case, motive on the part
 of children is overlooked; in the latter case, the extent of provision
 for it is accepted as one of the standards by which the curriculum is
 to be judged. We represent the latter point of view.[54]

The group of thinkers to whom McMurry refers with disfavor as absorbed
in methods rather than content has never been more ably represented
than by President Hadley, extracts from whose statement are as follows:

 Greek is an intellectual game where the umpires know the rules better
 than they know the rules in the game of French, for instance, or
 history, or botany. A man’s rating in an examination on any one of
 these last three subjects is largely the result of accident unless
 the examiner is quite unusually skillful. A man’s rating in Greek,
 on the other hand, means something. There never were intellectual
 competitions keener than the classical competitions at Oxford in the
 days when the best men in England wanted their sons to learn that
 particular game.

 Unfortunately, a large number of the strongest men, both in England
 and in the United States, have decided that this game takes more time
 than it is worth. Personally, I believe that this change of mind is
 in many respects a misfortune; that in trying to get more practical
 results in the way of knowledge or culture a great many American
 college boys have lost the training which the Greek would have given
 them and gained nothing of equal value in its place....

 It was a mistake for the advocates of the old curriculum to think
 that all the students required the same treatment. It is, I believe,
 an equal mistake for the advocates of the elective system to think
 that each student requires a different treatment. For while there is
 a very large number of subjects of interest to study, and an almost
 infinite variety of occupations which the students are going to follow
 afterwards, there is a comparatively small number of types of mind
 with which we have to deal. If we can have four or five honor courses,
 something like those of the English universities, where the studies
 are grouped and the examinations arranged to meet the needs of these
 different types, we can, I think, realize the chief advantages of the
 elective system or the group system without subjecting ourselves to
 their evils. I am confident that we can secure a degree of collective
 intellectual interest which is now absent from most of our colleges,
 and can establish competitions which will be recognized not only in
 college but in the world as places where the best men can show what is
 in them.

 It may be objected that any such arrangement would render it difficult
 for a boy to study the particular things that he was going to use in
 after life. I regard this as its cardinal advantage. The ideal college
 education seems to me to be one where a student learns things that he
 is not going to use in after life, by methods that he is going to use.
 The former element gives the breadth, the latter element gives the


The controversy here illustrated has led to the development of a number
of technical phrases. The doctrine that emphasizes form or method as
opposed to content is known as the doctrine of formal discipline. The
advocates of this doctrine defend the view that training gained in one
field will transfer to other fields of activity. Stated in these terms
the doctrine is referred to as that of the transfer of training.

The doctrine of transfer of training is capable of experimental and
statistical verification or refutation. A vast body of evidence has
been collected in recent years. The conclusions to be drawn from
this evidence are clear. There are certain general habits, such as
concentration of attention and power of arranging and expressing ideas,
which carry over from one field of experience to another. The transfer
of training is facilitated if the original training is given in such
a form that it lends itself readily to application in new spheres of
thought. So important is the development of general habits that it
is entirely legitimate to proceed at every stage of education slowly
enough to give to each subject its relations through a variety of
possible applications. It is recognized as impossible to give in the
schools direct special training for all possible lines of activity
upon which the pupil is to enter. Some effort must be expended in
cultivating what may properly be called the applying attitude of mind.
Once the applying attitude is aroused in any individual, the transfer
of training will be likely to go on through individual recognition of
the advantages of application.


The quotation from McMurry given some pages back suggests another
aspect of this whole matter which has been a subject of much dispute.
When should certain kinds of training be introduced into the
curriculum? A quotation will help to make the problem clear.

 So far as high-school instruction is concerned, the most important
 practical question raised in the present discussion is whether the
 ability to learn a foreign vocabulary varies with age. It is almost
 universally claimed that a student must begin a language when young
 in order to learn it effectively and economically. In opposition to
 this theory, we shall maintain, as in the case of motor skill, that a
 foreign vocabulary can be learned just as economically at the later
 end of the period from six to eighteen years of age as at any other
 part of it. As the basis for this contention we have some very closely
 related evidence from experimental psychology, in the work done upon
 facility in memorizing at different ages.[56]

If the statement here quoted is accepted, it still remains an open
question whether the pronunciation of a foreign language is worth
acquiring and whether pronunciation is to be sought as an important
element of the study, for if it is, there is little doubt that young
children acquire it more easily and more accurately than do older

The example is introduced not for the purpose of attempting a
settlement of the question but for the purpose of showing that
the organization of the curriculum raises questions which are now
answered for the most part on the basis of mere prejudice, but should
be answered in the light of a body of broad, scientific evidence.
Certainly the problem of the distribution of a pupil’s studies through
the various periods of his mental development is one of the most
important of these problems.


The doctrine of discipline holds that it is desirable by training to
transform in some measure the natural tendencies of the child’s mind.

The general doctrine of natural education emphasizes the importance
of following the lines of natural development in education. Often
this doctrine is so formulated as to be opposed to the doctrine of

When dealing with the intellectual side of the pupil’s nature the
doctrine of discipline takes the form of a demand for cultivation of
concentration. Natural education asserts the right of the child to
his personal interests and is liberal in making concessions to these

The form of the doctrine of natural education most directly opposed to
the doctrine of discipline is the doctrine of freedom. According to
this view the pupil should be left to follow his natural impulses.

Another form of the doctrine of natural education recognizes the
differences between individuals as important considerations in
governing their training.

Training for practical life is a very common basis for the organization
of the curriculum and has been amply illustrated in earlier chapters.

Training in the methods or tools of knowledge is in some measure
opposed to the demand for practical training.

Training of general intelligence is advocated because it gives the
student greater freedom in adjusting his career to the circumstances of
later life.

Training in the forms of knowledge, or formal training, sometimes
called formal discipline, is practically synonymous with training of
general intelligence.

The doctrine of transfer of training is one formulation of the doctrine
of formal discipline. Evidence is abundant that transfer takes place.
Its degree and the methods of securing it are subjects of vigorous

The adaptation of training to the maturity of pupils is one of the most
important requirements in arranging a curriculum. In a later chapter
this will be discussed under the title “Periodicity in the Pupil’s


The arguments for and against disciplinary subjects should be followed
in detail. Thus, why so much arithmetic in the lower school? Is it
necessary to have as much as we do in the upper grades, even admitting
its value in the lower grades? Are students of higher mathematics
practical men?

A child brought up in an indulgent home is sometimes pointed out as a
horrible example of a child brought up with unlimited freedom. Is the
example just? What are the different meanings which may attach to the
term “freedom”?

What does maturity on the part of a pupil mean? What are the marks of
increasing maturity? Can maturity be produced by deliberately adopted
school methods?

What elements of one’s own education can be traced to the demand on the
part of some teacher or parent for discipline? Was the demand when put
into actual operation in the school successful in producing general
improvement in one’s ability?

Classify subjects in the curriculum as designed to satisfy different
aims. How many different aims can be distinguished as appealing to
men of ordinary experience in their efforts to secure an education?
Booker Washington used to say that he found many people desiring an
education in order that they might escape from hard work. Is this a
common desire? Is it legitimate? Is it harder to earn one’s living by
composing music or by keeping books? Why do men want an education?

 HECK, W. H. Mental Discipline and Educational Values. John Lane
 Company. A summary of the arguments for and against formal discipline
 with a very strong bias against.

 JUDD, C. H. Psychology of High-School Subjects. Ginn and Company.
 Especially the chapter which deals with formal discipline, with an
 affirmative statement of what such discipline means.

 MCMURRY, C. A. Conflicting Principles in Teaching. Houghton Mifflin
 Company. An interesting and balanced summary of the general principles
 discussed in this chapter and other principles of like type.


[53] William Heard Kilpatrick, The Montessori System Examined, pp.
14-15. Riverside Educational Monograph. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1914.

[54] Frank M. McMurry, Report on Educational Aspects of the Public
School System of the City of New York, 1911-1912, Part II, p. 265.

[55] Report of the President of Yale University, 1908-1909. Published
by the University, New Haven, 1909.

[56] Samuel Chester Parker, Methods of Teaching in High Schools, pp.
318-319. Ginn and Company, 1915.




A number of times in the last few chapters the discussion has been
brought to the point of recognizing the importance of individual
differences. The teacher cannot determine merely from a knowledge
of history what history is suitable for a given type of pupils. In
the elective system of the high school and of the college there is a
liberal recognition of the principle that instruction must be adapted
to individuals, both in content and method. The present chapter will be
given over to a treatment of some of the individual differences among
pupils which are of dominant significance in formulating the curriculum.


The most striking example of individual deviation from the average
grade of intelligence is to be found in the cases of those
unfortunates who continue throughout life to be deficient because
they have underdeveloped nervous systems. As a result of heredity or
pathological conditions in early childhood a certain number of persons,
conservatively estimated as two in every thousand, are permanently
subnormal. These cases vary in degree. The lowest grade defectives,
known as idiots, are defined in the Report of the British Royal
Commission on the Feeble-minded as persons “so deeply defective in mind
from birth or from early age that they are unable to guard themselves
against common physical dangers.” The less defective are classed as
imbeciles, feeble-minded, and morons, each class representing a
further approach toward normality.

The lower grades of defectives are so dependent on the care of others
that they do not reach the school at all, but the higher grades either
escape detection until they try to learn reading and arithmetic or
through the persistence of parents are brought to school in the
hope that their defectiveness may be temporary. Some of the highest
grades succeed in learning enough so that they pass out of the first
grade. They do not master reading, but they learn to repeat the words
sufficiently to deceive the teacher with the appearance of having
recognized the printed symbols.


As soon as a defective child is discovered, it is advantageous for him
and for the other pupils in the school that he be given some form of
special training. In most cases it is more than useless to try to give
him the ordinary school courses. He cannot learn to read well enough to
enable him to get information from books. He can, on the other hand,
acquire some of the simple arts of self-support. It would be better for
all concerned to give up the effort to teach such a child reading.

The major objection to a program of this type is that it is sometimes
extremely difficult and, in the early years, often quite impossible
to decide whether the child is really defective or is merely slow
in development. Some children come to their normal powers slowly,
but ultimately reach a level of intellectual and physical efficiency
so high that they are not to be classed with the defectives. One
hesitates, therefore, to give up the teaching of reading in the case of
a particular child until all possibility of his development is past. It
is better to err on the side of too great training than to despair at
too early a date.


In the effort to discover defectives various systems of tests have been
devised. The general assumption back of all these systems is that a
defective child is one whose mental development has prematurely ceased.
For example, a twelve-year-old child may be behind in his development
to such an extent that he has a mind like a four-year-old. If, now,
it can be determined what mental powers are possessed by an ordinary
four-year-old and if the defective can be shown to possess the same
powers, and no more, it is possible to adapt instruction to his real
intellectual needs. Technical students of the problem have accordingly
drawn the distinction between physiological age and mental age. In the
example cited above the physiological age is twelve; the mental age,

A system of tests of this kind has another use. If a child is put
through the tests at intervals of a year, it can be ascertained
whether he is improving or standing still. In this way some of the
uncertainties as to the permanence or temporary character of his
deficiencies can be removed.

Tests of the type under discussion are called tests of general
intelligence. An example taken from one of the most widely used
systems, namely, the Binet-Simon series, will serve to show what the
tests are and how they are used. The special form of the test here
quoted is that worked out by Professor Terman. His exposition of one of
the fifth-year tests is as follows:

 _Materials._ It is necessary to have two weights, identical in shape,
 size, and appearance, weighing respectively 3 and 15 grams. If
 manufactured weights are not at hand, it is easy to make satisfactory
 substitutes by taking stiff cardboard pill-boxes, about 1¼ inches in
 diameter, and filling them with cotton and shot to the desired weight.
 The shot must be embedded in the center of the cotton so as to prevent
 rattling. After the box has been loaded to the exact weight, the lid
 should be glued on firmly. If one does not have access to laboratory
 scales, it is always possible to secure the help of a druggist in
 the rather delicate task of weighing the boxes accurately. A set of
 pill-box weights will last through hundreds of tests, if handled
 carefully, but they will not stand rough usage. The manufactured
 blocks are more durable, and so more satisfactory in the long run. If
 the weights are not at hand, the alternative test may be substituted.

 _Procedure._ Place the 3-and 15-gram weights on the table before the
 child some two or three inches apart. Say: “_You see these blocks.
 They look just alike, but one of them is heavy and one is light.
 Try them and tell me which one is heavier._” If the child does not
 respond, repeat the instructions, saying this time, “_Tell me which
 one is the heaviest._” (Many American children have heard only the
 superlative form of the adjective used in the comparison of two

 Sometimes the child merely points to one of the boxes or picks up
 one at random and hands it to the examiner, thinking he is asked to
 _guess_ which is heaviest. We then say: “_No, that is not the way.
 You must take the boxes in your hands and try them, like this_”
 (illustrating by lifting with one hand, first one box and then the
 other, a few inches from the table). Most children of 5 years are
 then able to make the comparison correctly. Very young subjects,
 however, or older ones who are retarded, sometimes adopt the rather
 questionable method of lifting both weights in the same hand at once.
 This is always an unfavorable sign, especially if one of the blocks is
 placed in the hand on top of the other block.

 After the first trial the weights are shuffled and again presented for
 comparison as before, _this time with the positions reversed_. The
 third trial follows with the blocks in the same position as in the
 first trial. Some children have a tendency to stereotyped behavior,
 which in this test shows itself by choosing always the block on a
 certain side. Hence the necessity of alternating the positions.
 Reserve commendation until all three trials have been given.

 _Scoring._ The test is passed if _two of the three_ comparisons are
 correct. If there is reason to suspect that the successful responses
 were due to lucky guesses, the test should be entirely repeated.

 _Remarks._ This test is decidedly more difficult than that of
 comparing lines. It is doubtful, however, if we can regard the
 difference as one due primarily to the relative difficulty of visual
 discrimination and muscular discrimination. In fact, the test with
 weights hardly taxes sensory discrimination at all when used with
 children of 5-year intelligence. Success depends, in the first place,
 on the ability to understand the instructions; and in the second
 place, on the power to hold the instructions in mind long enough to
 guide the process of making the comparison. The test presupposes,
 in elementary form, a power which is operative in all the higher
 independent processes of thought, the power to neglect the manifold
 distractions of irrelevant sensations and ideas and to drive direct
 toward a goal. Here the goal is furnished by the instruction, “Try
 them and see which is heavier.” This must be held firmly enough in
 mind to control the steps necessary for making the comparison. Ideas
 of piling the blocks on top of one another, throwing them, etc., must
 be inhibited. Sometimes the low-grade imbecile starts off in a very
 promising way, then apparently forgets the instructions (loses sight
 of the goal), and begins to play with the boxes in a random way. His
 mental processes are not consecutive, stable, or controlled. He is
 blown about at the mercy of every gust of momentary interest.

 There is very general agreement in the assignment of this test to year


Thus far the discussion has been of inferior individuals. There are
likewise individuals who are superior to the average. Schools have
ordinarily taken little account of these. They do not constitute urgent
problems in the same sense as defectives. The supernormal child can get
his lessons, if he will, so that the teacher will never have to bother
with him. A moment’s thought on the matter, however, will convince
anyone that society has more to gain from a proper system of training
supernormal children than from special provisions for the subnormal.
Since defense is of the most vital importance, we may say that society
had at the outset to defend itself against the harm that might be done
by subnormals. But defense having been provided in adequate degree,
attention should turn to the possibilities of great benefit which may
be expected from special training of the unusually bright.

Various devices have been suggested for the treatment of the
supernormal. In general, the principles underlying these suggestions
are the same as the principles for the treatment of subnormals.
Separate the unusually bright and give them a type of training which
will best develop their personal powers.

In a school system which has only a few special cases of the one type
or the other it is extremely difficult to follow the suggestion of
special training for special levels of ability. The matter must be
left in such cases to the ingenuity of the teacher. The bright pupil
should be given extra work and, so far as possible, special attention.
The dull child should be allowed to do some useful handwork. Where the
system is larger, special rapid classes—express classes, as they have
sometimes been called—should be organized for the bright pupils, while
slowly moving classes are provided for the backward pupils.


Leaving the degrees of intelligence, we turn to a distinction which is
of an entirely different type—the difference between boys and girls.

It is difficult to disentangle this problem from a mass of social
considerations which attach to it. Women and girls have grown up under
a social system that has assumed on their part fundamentally different
tastes and interests from those of men and boys. The social system has
sometimes expressed itself in terms which imply inferiority of women
as compared with men. It is natural, therefore, that at a period when
women and girls are taking a new place in the social scheme, there
should be at first a good deal of attention given to the demonstration
that women are not inferior to men. The simplest demonstration can, of
course, be given by putting girls into the same classes with boys and
requiring of them the same intellectual tasks. For some years past the
experiment has been under way. Girls have shown themselves not only
quite as competent intellectually as boys but in some respects superior.

During the period of experimentation, however, there has persisted
a difference in tastes and interests; and the demand for a special
training for girls was never louder than to-day when the proof that
girls are quite as competent as boys seems to be incontrovertible.

The reasons for this demand are connected in part with the later
practical uses to which girls expect to put their training and in part
with the fact that girls give attention to certain groups of facts
which boys neglect, while boys, on the other hand, have their special
spheres of interest.

For example, boys are always brought up to interest themselves in
mechanical appliances. When a boy comes to study natural science,
therefore, it is easily possible to introduce the subject by examples
of a mechanical type. Parents do not give girls mechanical toys,
society assumes that girls will not engage in occupations which call
for a knowledge of machinery, consequently they do not readily take up
courses in physics which begin with mechanics.

The present situation, then, is something like this: girls are proved
to be equal to boys in school ability, but continue with the full
sanction of society to have tastes and interests different from those
of boys.


The contrast in industrial demands which the school must meet in
dealing with boys and girls who are preparing for clerical positions is
shown in the following summary of conclusions reached by the Cleveland

 Training for boys and girls should be different in content and in

 The usual course of study in commercial schools is suitable for girls
 and unsuitable for boys.

 A girl needs, chiefly, specific training in some one line of work. She
 has a choice among stenography, bookkeeping and machine operating.

 A boy needs, chiefly, general education, putting emphasis on writing,
 figuring, and spelling; general information; and the development of
 certain qualities and standards.

       *       *       *       *       *

 Boys’ training looks forward to both clerical work and business
 administration; but as clerical work is a preparation for business
 and is likely to occupy the first few years of wage-earning, training
 should aim especially to meet the needs of clerical positions.

 Clerical positions for boys cover a variety of work which cannot be
 definitely anticipated and cannot therefore be specifically trained
 for. But certain fundamental needs are common to all.

 Most of the specialized training for boys should be given in night
 continuation classes.

 Girl stenographers need a full high school course for its educational
 value and for maturity. Girls going into other clerical positions can
 qualify with a year or two less of education; but immaturity in any
 case puts them at a disadvantage.

 Boys’ training, for those who cannot remain in school, should be
 compressed into fewer than four years. Immaturity in the case of boys
 is not a great disadvantage.[58]

To many readers not prepared by a full consideration of the facts the
above conclusions may seem untenable. A brief section of the argument
will therefore be important in carrying conviction. This argument is
presented in the following quotation:

 If we wish to generalize broadly about the work of boys and girls we
 can say with truth that the majority of boys begin as messengers or
 office boys and subsequently become clerks or do bookkeeping work. As
 men they remain in these latter positions or, in at least an equal
 number of cases, pass on into the productive or administrative end of
 business. The majority of girls, first and last, are stenographers or
 to a less extent, assistants in bookkeeping or clerical work. There
 are of course boy stenographers and girl clerks, and there are women
 in general administrative work; but that these are a minority this
 report has several ways of showing.

 Boys’ work may be expected to take on the characteristics of the
 business that employs them; girls’ work remains in essentials
 unchanged even in totally changed surroundings. For example, a boy who
 is clerk in a wholesale house will have work very unlike that of the
 boy who is clerk in a bank; but girl stenographers in both businesses
 will have an experience that is practically the same.

 Boys’ work, within limits, is progressive; girls’ work in its general
 type—with individual exceptions—is static. Boys as a rule cannot stay
 at the same kind of work and advance; girls as a rule stay at the
 same kind of work whether or not they advance. Boys in any position
 are expected to be qualifying themselves for the “job ahead,” but for
 girls that is not the case. Boys may expect to make a readjustment
 with every step in advancement. Each new position brings them to a
 new situation and into a new relation to the business. Girls receive
 salary advancement for increasingly responsible work, but any change
 in work is likely to be so gradual as to be almost imperceptible if
 they remain in the same place of employment. If they change to another
 place those who are stenographers have a slight readjustment to make
 in getting accustomed to new terms and to the peculiarities of the new
 persons who dictate to them. Bookkeeping assistants may encounter
 different systems, but their part of the work will be so directed and
 planned that it cannot be said to necessitate difficult adaptation on
 their part. The work of clerical assistants is so simple and so nearly
 mechanical that the question of adjustment does not enter. These
 girl workers do not find that change of position or firm brings them
 necessarily into a new relation to the business.

 Even moderate success is denied to a boy if he has not adaptability
 and the capacity to grasp business ideas and methods; but a
 comparatively high degree of success could be attained by a girl who
 possessed neither of these qualifications. A boy, however, who has no
 specific training which he can apply directly and definitely in work
 would be far more likely to obtain a good opening and promotion than a
 girl without it would be.

 The range of a boy’s possible future in commercial occupations is
 as wide as the field of business. He cannot at first be trained
 specifically as a girl can be because he does not know what business
 will do with him or what he wants to do with business. The girl’s
 choice is limited by custom. She can prepare herself definitely for
 stenography, bookkeeping, or machine operating and be sure that she
 is preparing for just the opportunity—and the whole opportunity—that
 business offers to her. Her very limitation of opportunity makes
 preliminary choice and training definitely possible things.[59]


There is another respect in which the present-day training of girls
differs from that of boys. Girls are being trained in the science
of home-making. Where a girl intends to take up some vocation in
the business world, her desire for courses in the household arts
complicates the situation very seriously. The boy who is going into
business wants a general education plus some business training. The
girl wants all that the boy has plus household arts.


The demand for the complete education of girls gives rise to many
unsolved problems. For example, shall physics as at present taught be
required as an introduction to cooking, or shall the cooking course
be made to carry all the physics that the girl needs? The course in
physics, be it remembered, contains many an example that is drawn from
the boy’s sphere of interests in mechanics and does not appeal at all
to the girl’s interests.

Or one may ask a similar question about economics. Shall the girl be
given a special course in marketing in which examples are drawn from
the daily activities of home life, or shall she wait until she can take
the conventional course in political economy where the problems are
often those of international trade and banking?

It would be impossible to secure anything like unanimity for any answer
to these questions. The uncertainty in regard to the correct answer
calls attention to the opportunity which is offered to the intelligent
women of the teaching profession to solve a problem which is new and
complicated, but all the more important because there are no guideposts
to mark the way.


The individual differences discussed up to this point may be described
as native differences. In addition, there are differences which appear
in the course of training. These, in turn, divide into two classes.
There are differences which seem to result from varying degrees of
mastery of the subjects taken in school, and there are differences in
taste and outlook which arise as the pupils mature to the point where
they begin to exhibit personal ambitions.

Recent studies of attainments of pupils in school subjects show how
striking are the differences among individuals. For example, it is
shown in the Cleveland survey that in the fifth grade of one and the
same school there are pupils who read orally only 7, 8, or 9 lines in a
minute, while others read orally 19 or 20 lines. In silent reading the
variations are even greater, covering rates from as low as 4 lines a
minute to as high as 40 lines.[60] What is true of reading is true in
equal degree of all the other subjects. The facts are graphically shown
in Fig. 13.

[Illustration: FIG. 13. Individual differences in the number of lines
read in a minute by pupils in the fifth grades of two schools

Each small square with a number represents an individual; the number
indicates the lines which he was able to read in a selected passage in
one minute

                         14    16
               11       14    16          School A. Oral
               11 12 13 14    16
               11 12 13 14    16
               11 12 13 14 15 16 17       20
   5 6  8      11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20  21

                                               24     School A. Silent
                             17                24 25
                             17       20       24 25
                13       16  17       20 21    24 25          30
   8 9   11  12 13   15  16  17 18    20 21    24 25 26 27 28 30   33  40

                      15    17
                      15    17
                      15    17 18
                   14 15 16 17 18 19       School B. Oral
             12    14 15 16 17 18 19   20
   7 8 9     12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19   20

                                            24      School B. Silent
              12         17        21    23 24
       9      12      16 17        21    23 24       28     31   34
  4    9   11 12      16 17     20 21 22 23 24    27 28 29  31   34   40]

The type of individual difference which develops when pupils begin
to look forward to their places in the practical world is of great
significance in organizing school work. School experience in this
matter is clearly reflected in the following resolution adopted in
1915 by the Department of Superintendence of the National Education

 Resolved, That we note with approval the increasing tendency to
 establish, beginning with the seventh grade, differentiated courses
 of study aimed more effectively to prepare the child for his probable
 future activities. We believe that as a result of these modifications
 a more satisfactory type of instruction will be developed and that a
 genuine economy of time will result.[61]

The differentiation of the curriculum here demanded is required in
order to keep in school those pupils who have reached the point where
any simple uniform curriculum would fail to furnish the variety which
they require to meet their developing tastes and their demands for
special training.


The differentiation of the courses for individual pupils was at one
time thought to be contrary to the democratic principle that all pupils
must be treated alike. We are coming to see that a democracy has need
of many kinds of people and that the truest expression of the principle
of equal treatment is through liberal provision for individual


Evidently low grades of intelligence are most likely to be found in the
lower grades. Is the elimination of low-grade children from the regular
classes advantageous to them? It is sometimes argued that they gain
from association with the bright children.

With regard to the bright children, it is pointed out that they may be
pushed along too rapidly. How can this danger be avoided?

Are the elections of courses made by students in high school indicative
of sex differences? What tendencies in economic life can be noted as
bringing men and women to the same levels of occupation? Are these
tendencies likely to change the conclusions reached in this chapter?

What types of school work are adjusted, even in the present school
program, to the individual characteristics of pupils? How is the
discussion to be related to the chapter dealing with the grouping
of pupils? Is the argument of this chapter in favor of individual
tutoring? How far should it be insisted that all the members of a class
be kept together for a year in their attainments in arithmetic? in
Latin? in English literature? in typewriting? in laboratory physics?

How far down in the elementary school can individual election of
courses be organized with profit to the pupils? Could a medical school
or an engineering course be organized on the elective plan?

 GALTON, FRANCIS. Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development.
 E. P. Dutton and Company. One of the earliest studies of individual
 differences in mental characteristics, with special emphasis on
 differences in mental imagery.

 THORNDIKE, E. L. Educational Psychology (especially Vol. III).
 Teachers College.

 THORNDIKE, E. L. Measurements of Twins. Science Press. A study of the
 degree to which individuals are alike.


[57] Lewis M. Terman, The Measurement of Intelligence, pp. 161-163.
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916.

[58] Bertha M. Stevens, Boys and Girls in Commercial Work, pp. 179-180.
Cleveland Education Survey. Published by the Survey Committee of the
Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, 1916.

[59] Bertha M. Stevens, Boys and Girls in Commercial Work, pp. 14-16.
Cleveland Education Survey. Published by the Survey Committee of the
Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, 1916.

[60] Measuring the Work of the Public Schools, pp. 131-133. Cleveland
Education Survey. Published by the Survey Committee of the Cleveland
Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, 1916.

[61] Proceedings of the National Education Association for 1915,
p. 256. Published by the Secretary of the Association, Ann Arbor,
Michigan, 1915.




Both the school curriculum and the general organization of the school
program in such matters as the length of class periods and the forms of
order required, reflect the fact that the pupil passes through distinct
periods or epochs in his physical and intellectual development. Each
of these epochs requires that a certain type of subject-matter be
used for instruction and that a certain type of school discipline
be administered. There is a progressive maturing of the pupil and a
corresponding broadening and deepening of the education which can
be given him. The general outline of this maturing process will be
reviewed in this chapter.


Before examining the changes which take place during school life,
it will be instructive to review the general matter which has been
discussed by John Fiske under the title “The Meaning of Infancy.”[62]
Writing from the point of view of the student of evolution, Fiske
calls attention to the fact that the period of infancy has gradually
lengthened with the increase in complexity of animal forms. The lowest
animals have practically no period of infancy. They begin their
independent lives with all of the capacities of the adult. For example,
when a unicellular animal is produced, it results from a division of
the parent cell into two equal parts. Each part immediately takes up an
independent life, and it may be said that adulthood begins at birth.
Further up the scale the parent organism provides protection and food,
and the infant requires a longer period of time to arrive at adulthood.

This lengthening of infancy is paralleled by an increase in complexity
of the animal form itself. The highest stages of complexity are reached
in man, and here we find also the longest period of infancy. The human
infant is helpless for years, and the care which parents must give to
it includes not only the provision of food and protection but also the
gradual training of the child to assume the responsibilities of an
independent life.

When viewed by the evolutionist, infancy and even childhood thus
appear to be the clearest evidences of the need of educational care.
Indeed, childhood may be described as a period of preparation or of
gradual maturing of the powers until the individual can carry on his
independent personal activities.


Just as the period of childhood taken as a whole has a clearly
definable character and purpose in the economy of life, so each
epoch within this period can be set off from the others as serving
a distinct purpose in the child’s development. This is especially
clear with regard to the years that precede school. In all civilized
countries there is practical agreement that regular schooling shall
begin with the normal child in the sixth year. To be sure, there are
special institutions like the kindergarten, which receive children at
an earlier age, but these institutions aim to serve in a somewhat more
systematic way the same purposes that under other circumstances are
served by home training.

What is the character of the education given in the home or the
kindergarten preliminary to the work of the primary school? The answer
to this question can be given negatively by saying it is not of a
type which belongs to a public institution. When the pupil comes to
primary school he must be reasonably prepared to live with people who
are comparative strangers. This implies that he must have a sufficient
command of language to make his wants known and to understand what
others want him to do. He must be somewhat independent of maternal
care, and must be ready to be initiated into a social world where his
individuality will be recognized as somewhat detached from that of
everyone else. Put in positive terms, the pre-school training may be
described as training in language and in personal independence of a
very elementary type.

This statement can be applied to the kindergarten, where the purposes
of the pre-school training have been brought to fairly clear
consciousness. The kindergarten gives the child much opportunity to
play with things that are given to him. He must learn to distinguish
objects for himself; he must learn to handle them with enough skill
so that he becomes an independent individual. Second, he must play
with other children, learning through games that social life consists
of a give and take which marks him off from others and yet makes him
responsible to the group. The social training of the kindergarten is
a preparation for life in an institution where the pupil will have
to recognize the reciprocal duties of life in a large group. Third,
the chief instrument of social life, and the most important means of
effective contact with the group, is speech. The kindergarten child,
through songs and stories, learns words and sentences and cultivates
the power to which home-training also contributes—the power of
independent oral communication.

The kindergarten does in an energetic and systematic way what the home
does incidentally, for in any home, however meager its resources, the
child learns in five years something of his mother tongue and something
of the demands of group living. The pre-school period is an important
epoch in education as well as in physical growth. We recognize the
physical fact that the child must cultivate strength enough to run
around independently and to use his hands in holding what he needs. So
it is also in the sphere of his mental life; he must be able to take
care of himself.


At five or six years of age the pupil comes to the primary school. His
experience is very limited; his senses are open to the impressions
of color and sound and touch, and he eagerly or timidly mixes in the
social group which is often to him bewilderingly large and strange.
The key to the understanding of this period is to be found in the
simple psychological principle that out of all the bewildering mass of
childish experience it is persons who attract the child’s most vivid
attention. The experiences of childhood are to be thought of not as
meager but as confusing in their abundance. The world is so full of a
number of things that one hardly knows where to turn. In the mass of
this experience one turns to some person and follows in a docile way
the lead of that person. The first grade is a place where children do
what others do. First-graders are a flock of sheep. The teacher can
lead them into almost anything because they are eager to do whatever
they see others do.

Sometimes this period is described as a period when children are
absorbed in sense impressions. This statement is true if it means that
colors and sounds constitute the content of experience. It is false if
it is meant to teach that little children are absorbed in the study
of objects. The sounds and colors which hold the attention of primary
children are those which attach to people. A little child will give
up a plaything which he has in hand for a less attractive plaything in
the hands of someone else. Primary children are social creatures first,
last, and all the time.

This description of the primary child’s mental attitudes gives us the
formula for the organization of the primary course of study. There is
an eager desire on the part of the first-grader to write his name. He
does not need any artificial stimulation to undertake writing. Other
people write; that is enough for him. He is eager to be initiated.
Other people look into books; he must do the same. The period is not
a period for nature study in any analytical scientific sense. It is a
period for social companionships. The primary child likes animals as
playthings; he is not interested in studying their structure. Show an
animal to a little child and let him ask the questions that are in his
mind, and social questions are the only ones which will come. “Where
can I get one?” “Will it bite me?”

The judgment of the race has been right; this is the period for the
teaching of reading and writing. The oral language which the pupil
acquires in the pre-school period is the basis on which the primary
work must be erected. The first reading lessons are lessons in the
association of known oral symbols with those complicated social
devices, the printed symbols. The ability to live in society which the
pupil brings to the first grade must be extended through the mastery of
language in its written and printed forms.

The utter absorption of the child of this age in society rather than
in material things is attested by his credulity for fairy tales which
are full of people but are grotesquely impossible in their description
of material facts. In his eager desire to illustrate every story he
hears, the child produces drawings which have very little merit as
representations of things but are often expressive of action in the
highest degree. A child of this age is keen in his observation of
people but neglectful of things.


The primary attitude of mind lasts about three years. In the normal
child nine years of age is a turning point. By this time he has learned
to read fairly independently. He can write and can solve simple
problems in arithmetic. He has control of some of the simpler objects
about him. He has imitated his elders until he has habits of his own.
Now comes a change. Sometimes the change is sudden and violent. The
pupil who has been laboriously writing from copy throws the example of
his copy book to the winds and composes a note to one of his friends
in a rapid, scrawling hand. The child has become an independent
master of writing for his own private purposes. So it is with his
other activities. Even in social matters he asserts his independence
by refusing to follow the dictates of the teacher. School discipline
suddenly comes to be a serious problem.

The change here described reflects itself in a fact of administration
which is of frequent recurrence. Pupils fail of promotion in the fourth
or fifth grade much more commonly than in the second, third, or sixth.
In other words, there is here, just after the primary grades, a period
of violent readjustment.

The readjustment which comes at this point can be described by saying
that the pupil is entering on a period of self-recognition. The primary
child is an imitator absorbed in social examples. The intermediate
child is an individualist. He is aware of his own powers and ambitions.
The boys of this period have been described as young barbarians. They
are disregardful of the rights of others. They step on the little
children; they refuse to be friends with the girls. They are ambitious
to leave school and do something to assert their independence.

The school has dealt with this period with much less intelligence than
it has exhibited in the primary years. In general, the intermediate
grades have followed in subject-matter and in methods too closely the
example of the successful primary grades. The result appears in the
fact that the migration out of elementary schools is very common in the
fifth and sixth grades. The intermediate grades have been described as
periods of drill. If there is one kind of work that is not appropriate
here, it is routine drill. There ought to be a new and thoroughgoing
study of the needs of this period and the introduction of a type of
instruction which will meet the needs of children who are vividly aware
of themselves and of their personal relations to the world.

That a change is coming about in the methods of dealing with pupils in
these years is shown by the fact that the elementary school is setting
apart the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades as the years in which the
strictly elementary work is to be completed. Much that was postponed
to the seventh and eighth grades under the older form of organization
will doubtless be brought down into the intermediate grades. The
children will no longer be drilled in the forms of the social arts
while waiting for the enlarged opportunities of the upper grades, but
will be introduced at once to experiences with the objects of the
physical world. They will be encouraged to see things and handle them
for themselves.


The close of this period of individualism is marked by physical and
mental changes of a very definite and significant type. From twelve
years on the child begins to realize anew the social world about him.
Physical changes are going on within him that stimulate this type of
thought. The literature of education has emphasized the fact that at
this period there is a maturing of the sex organs and an accompanying
development of feelings and interests in the opposite sex. There has
been doubtless an overemphasis on the sexual characteristics of this
period. The fact is that a profound general physical and mental change
is going forward.

On the physical side the organism which has been accumulating powers
through its mastery of the fundamental processes of life is now ready
for its last large development. We shall understand the meaning of
this statement only when we realize that the organism has to cultivate
a whole series of internal habits in order that it may be internally
harmonious. The little child is easily disturbed, for example, in his
digestion. This means that the habits of digestion are not established.
The immature nervous organism of the pupil needs training to bring
it to the point where digestion will go forward without interruption
or distraction. The same is true of circulation and respiration. The
organism has to learn to live. The school period is a period of mastery
of these internal processes quite as much as a period of intellectual

At about twelve years of age the inner coördination is reaching its
consummation. If one were to select for discussion the most significant
physical fact that marks this period, one would lay stress on the
development of the heart. This organ grows rapidly in size and
strength. Its more vigorous action raises the blood pressure throughout
the body. Organs which have been slow in their development now grow
rapidly. The whole life of the individual is intensified. It is not
alone the sex organs which mature; the nervous system acts with greater
energy, and the muscular system develops. In short, a period of the
most active life sets in.

The physical vigor of the twelve-year-old and the thirteen-year-old
child is only part of the explanation of the characteristic
intellectual temper of this period. Just prior to this period the
child, as we have seen, passes through an era of marked individualism.
The unsocial tendencies of that period bring disappointments and new
lessons, and finally the child is ready for a renewal of his contacts
with the social group. He cannot now be purely imitative as was the
primary child, for he has gained self-consciousness. He cannot be
content with pure individualism, because his experience has broadened
so that he sees his dependence on others. A new social era opens.
With self-consciousness and with a desire to get back into society
by accepting its ways and complying with its demands, the adolescent
seeks, albeit somewhat clumsily, a new contact with his fellows. The
awkwardness of this period, its lack of self-assurance, its eagerness
for social recognition, are all perfectly clear to the student of human
nature who has analyzed the case of a twelve-year-old pupil.


Has the school met the legitimate demand for a suitable education of
the adolescent? The answer is that the school has been slow in meeting
this situation. The archaic form of school organization which attached
the seventh and eighth grades to the elementary school has hindered
greatly a proper recognition of the special needs of adolescence. The
child of twelve or thirteen does not need a review of the elementary
work so much as a preparation for the active life of adulthood.
The adolescent needs to be given an insight into the organization
of society. He needs to be brought into contact with the ways and
languages of other peoples. Fortunately, the keener educational
insights of the present day are bringing us to a recognition of these
needs. The school for the adolescent is beginning to emerge out of the
current reorganizations of the seventh and eighth grades.

In many schools these two grades have been gradually separating from
the rest of the elementary grades. The teaching has been organized on
the departmental plan; that is, a number of special teachers, each
dealing with a single subject, replace the single teacher who has
charge of the whole curriculum in the lower grades. Furthermore, the
curriculum has been enlarged. Manual arts and household science have
been introduced and, in some cases, other subjects which were formerly
offered only in the high school. A new type of school, including the
seventh, eighth, and ninth grades and known as the junior high school
or the intermediate school, is appearing.

Where these and like changes have not been made in the seventh and
eighth grades, criticism has made itself increasingly heard because
the pupils do not get ahead in these grades. The reviews which are
sometimes carried on at great length in preparation for promotion into
the high school are a waste of time and energy and leave the pupils
without enthusiasm for school work and without habits of concentration.

In an earlier chapter it was shown that the seventh and eighth
grades came from Europe during the decade 1840-1850. Every line of
evidence which is taken up points to the desirability of a complete
reorganization of the work of these grades.

The spread of the junior-high-school idea has been remarkably rapid.
This is due to the growing conviction that pupils in the seventh and
eighth grades require a higher type of instruction and discipline than
that which is supplied in the lower grades. The curriculum is being
enriched by the addition of science, foreign language, mathematics
other than arithmetic, and several of the practical arts. Instruction
is being intrusted to teachers of broader training, and the individual
needs of pupils are being more adequately met by the introduction of
some elective courses.


The early part of the adolescent period which has been under
consideration in the foregoing paragraphs is followed by a period
which can be described as the beginning of specialization. The fact
that individual differences here assert themselves and that individual
outlooks determine the training demanded is clearly recognized in the
adoption of the elective system by the high school. Special education
has an adequate foundation in the work of the earlier years, and now
the student must build his individual career on this foundation. He
comes to a new period of individualism. He is not individualistic in
the sense in which the fourth-grade boy is when he breaks away from
imitating social examples. The boy of fifteen to eighteen has passed
through the first period of individualism and through the socializing
training of early adolescence; he now comes to a new type of
individualistic effort which will fit him for his place in the social

The upper limit of this period, as set down in the foregoing
discussions, coincides with the age at which a normal student is now
supposed to finish high school. There can be very little doubt that
with the readjustments going on in the seventh and eighth grades there
will be far-reaching changes in the upper high school also. It is not
too much to expect that with improved methods of teaching and with
a better curriculum it will be possible for the normal student to
complete at eighteen years of age the first two years of the college
curriculum. The complete reorganization of the higher institutions is
thus likely to follow the changes which are now under way in the high

The freshman and sophomore years of American colleges are at present
filled with subjects which are essentially secondary in character. The
reorganization suggested is therefore altogether legitimate.


The scheme of school organization which is in keeping with the
foregoing study of mental development is as follows: Three primary
years are to be devoted to the rudiments of the social arts. Three
intermediate years following the primary are to be devoted to gaining
an outlook on the world. Three years covering the period now covered by
grades seven, eight, and nine are to be devoted to social studies and a
systematization of knowledge of the world. The three years from fifteen
to eighteen are to be devoted to a completion of general training and
to the beginning of specialization. After this will come complete

Not all students can go through the full training thus outlined.
More and more, however, communities will provide for, and require
the completion of, the whole cycle. If a student’s training must be
curtailed, there will doubtless be an increasing tendency to bring
the higher stages down rather than to terminate education before
preparation for life has been carried far enough to give specialized
individual training.


Considering the kindergarten and the first grade in the light of the
discussions of this chapter, what are the characteristics of pupils
which justify placing them in the one or the other? What is the present
rule with regard to this placing? Should there be any systematic
education of children in the home? If so, along what lines?

Make a detailed catalogue of the kinds of ability, both physical and
mental, exhibited by a group of pupils in the first grade, and then
attempt, by contrasting a third-grade group, to determine what pupils
acquire in the primary years. Which of the new characteristics noted
are consciously sought by the school?

What kind of reading matter should be offered to pupils in the fourth,
fifth, and sixth grades? What grade of experience is required of
teachers in the middle grades?

What readjustments is the student called on to make as he passes from
elementary school to high school? From high school to college? Do the
institutions concerned put forth any effort to help the student in
making these transitions?

When should formal education stop? Should pupils be given a course in
the methods of educating themselves? If so, at what school period?

Show in terms of earlier chapters what are the forces making for
reorganization of the school system and the forces opposing this

 AMES, E. S. Psychology of Religious Experience. Houghton Mifflin
 Company. Like other books on the psychology of religion, this calls
 attention to the great importance of the changes that come with

 HALL, G. S. Adolescence. D. Appleton and Company. This is a somewhat
 erratic and often purely hypothetical description of the development
 of pupils at the beginning of the high-school age. It called
 attention, however, to the importance of the period and marked an
 epoch in the development of educational theory.

 HALL, G. S. Youth. D. Appleton and Company. A brief summary based on
 the foregoing.

 KIRKPATRICK, E. A. Fundamentals of Child Study. The Macmillan Company.
 This is the best summary of the child-study movement. It offers
 a treatment of the different periods of a child’s life somewhat
 different from that in the text.


[62] John Fiske, The Meaning of Infancy. Houghton Mifflin Company,




The six preceding chapters, which have dealt with the curriculum, make
no pretense of presenting formulated courses which can be given to
classes. Some reader may have been impatient because he did not find
there an outline of arithmetic or geography or Latin or English. It has
been the purpose of these chapters to deal only with general principles
and general problems. The fact is that it would be absolutely futile to
lay down a curriculum and say of it that it is the true curriculum. The
curriculum of a school is a living thing. It is constantly undergoing
readjustments. Its content is drawn from the social life to which it
introduces pupils, and its arrangement depends on the ability of pupils
of different ages and different capacities to grasp this constantly
readjusted content.

There are some teachers who prefer to have the course of study handed
down to them by some superior authority. There are many fifth-grade
teachers, for example, who prefer to have the superintendent tell
them just how many pages of geography to cover each week and how many
minutes to devote to this subject. There are many Latin teachers who
are satisfied to take from some college catalogue a statement of the
number of pages to be read in Cæsar, to divide this number by the
number of days during which the class meets, and then to plod through
the assignments. The day of such teachers, unfortunately, is not yet
past, but it is passing. The course in geography or Latin is not a
quantitative matter; it is not a static affair; it is an organized
body of material which grows and changes with the development of
society. To the intelligent teacher a course of study is a subject of
constant scrutiny and revision. Every detail must be weighed as to its
importance and as to its relations to the whole series of topics and to
the needs of pupils.


Efficient teachers have always assumed toward the subject-matter of
their courses an attitude of the type described. As a result there
has been in every generation of schools some progress in organizing
courses. Little by little experience has refined the practices of
schools. Take, for example, Latin or any of the older subjects.
Countless teachers have contributed to the organization of this
subject. There is very little probability that pupils will encounter
in first-year Latin anything that they ought not to be asked to learn,
because the details have been tried out on successive generations of
learners, and only that has been retained in first-year Latin which
can be taught in that year. In the newer subjects, on the contrary,
there is the greatest uncertainty. In his enthusiasm for the new ideas
which come to his own mind, the teacher of biology rushes forward
to generalizations which are too mature for his first-year classes.
The subject-matter will have to be tried out and sifted before it is
as well selected as is the course in Latin. The teachers of the new
subjects will inevitably pass through a series of the same kind of
sifting processes through which the teachers of Latin have passed. Even
when some of the problems thus arising are settled, the new subjects
will still be difficult of organization. Thus biology is changing by
virtue of the evolution of the science at a rate which complicates the
case very much more than it can ever be complicated in Latin.


Further evidence that the curriculum is a living, changing institution
is seen in the way in which courses are related to social demands.
There was a time in the history of the secondary school and college
when the course in Hebrew was regarded as universally desirable for
every student of the social group which attended these institutions.
That was in the period when the group was of a definitely vocational
composition. For example, in the early days of Harvard College 70
per cent of its graduates entered the ministry, and Hebrew was a
requirement. The later history of the student body explains why the
requirement of Hebrew became obsolete. Two paragraphs from a recent
bulletin of the Bureau of Education give some of the facts as follows:

 From this it is apparent that those who founded the institution
 primarily had in mind a theological seminary. The professions of
 the graduates for the early period bear witness to the fact that
 this was practically what the institution was. The ministry was the
 one profession most necessary, most demanded by the society of that
 time, and this profession more than any other required an advanced
 education. It is not surprising, therefore, to find this profession
 dominant during the early years of Harvard’s history. This dominance
 continues for over a century, and not until the period immediately
 following the Revolutionary War does any other profession claim so
 many of the graduates as the ministry.

 The curve representing this profession has three distinct tendencies.
 The first part, extending from 1642, the date of the first graduating
 class, to 1720, is slightly downward, with rather wide variation. This
 stretch of 80 years shows a decline from 70 per cent for the first
 three years, a percentage never again reached, to 60 per cent for the
 last five-year period. The second tendency is seen in the period of
 theological unrest, marked off roughly by the years 1720-1775. Here
 the downward tendency is clearly defined. It shows a decline from 60
 per cent to less than 20 per cent. The variations during this period
 are not so marked. The third tendency extends from the Revolutionary
 War to the present. This shows a slow, persistent relative decline
 reaching well below 5 per cent by the end of the nineteenth century.
 The variations during this period, particularly during the last half,
 are inconspicuous.[63]


The effect of this and like radical social changes is sometimes slow
in actually modifying the curriculum because of the conservative
tendencies discussed in earlier chapters. But the final effect is
inevitable. The changing social order carries with it the school and
its subjects of instruction.

The characteristic fact about the present generation of progressive
educators is that they are undertaking certain studies which are
designed to hasten the processes of selection. The curriculum is to be
modified and improved, with every new accession of knowledge and with
every new evolution in social life. How the improvement can be brought
about most expeditiously and most productively is a problem which is
engaging much of the attention and energy of school officers.

It will be noted that there is no opposition between the natural
tendencies of growth and revision and the special investigations which
are intended to hasten the process of adjustment. The purpose of
scientific studies here, as in every other sphere, is to facilitate
natural evolution and to give it rational guidance.


One of the first methods of studying the curriculum is that of
investigating the relation between school work and the demands of later
life. The following description of a study made as part of a school
survey teaches some very impressive lessons on the need of revision in
the elementary curriculum:

 The most serious defect of the present course of study, including
 some of the suggested revisions now under consideration, is that it
 makes thousands of children waste tens of thousands of precious hours
 in the laborious acquisition of facts for which they will never have
 any practical use. While the survey was under way the staff attempted
 to test the practical value of some of the subject matter taught to
 children in the elementary grades.

 For this purpose short examinations were prepared from the material
 prescribed by the course of study and actually being taught in the
 upper grades in spelling, arithmetic, history, and geography. Through
 the coöperation of a woman prominent in social and intellectual
 circles of the city, 11 of the leading successful citizens were
 brought together one evening and asked to take these examinations. The
 object was to find out whether or not the material that the children
 of the upper grades were being taught was of the sort actually used
 by able men of affairs in the conduct of their daily business. For
 carrying out the test the most prominent and successful citizens were
 purposely chosen and in making up the examinations the most difficult
 material was purposely selected. The result of these examinations in
 spelling, geography, arithmetic, and history of the fifth, sixth, and
 seventh grades was that no one of the men examined made a passing mark
 in any subject. The reason is that the material on which they were
 examined, and which the children in the schools are daily learning, is
 of a sort that is seldom or never met with in the business of even the
 most successful men engaged in commercial and professional pursuits.
 The gentlemen who submitted to the examination were the following:

  A state senator
  A former lieutenant governor
  The president of a manufacturing concern
  The former superintendent of parks
  A banker
  A physician
  A merchant
  A lawyer
  A newspaper editor
  An efficiency engineer and a clergyman

 The test in spelling consisted of ten words taken from the spelling
 lists of the seventh grade. These words were as follows:

  1. abutilon
  2. bergamot
  3. deutzia
  4. daguerreotype
  5. paradigm
  6. reconnaissance
  7. erysipelas
  8. mnemonics
  9. trichinæ
  10. weigelia

 Among the 11 men taking the examination, one spelled six of these
 words correctly. Three succeeded in spelling four words, two got
 three words right, one got two, three spelled one word correctly, and
 one failed on every word. It is not surprising that they failed so
 completely for no citizen in any ordinary walk of life needs to know
 how to spell these words. When the rare occasion arises that he needs
 to write one of them, he looks it up in the dictionary. These words
 and scores of words like them are studied in the classrooms as well as
 found in the spelling book.

 The test described above was suggested by the experience of the
 director of the survey who went into a sixth grade room where an
 examination in spelling was being given. He took the test with the
 children. It consisted of 20 words, and he failed on six of them.
 These six words are included in the ten-word list used in the
 examination of the business and professional men. Some of the children
 in the schools can spell these words correctly but while they are
 laboriously learning to do it, many of them are still unable to spell
 short and common words as “which,” “separate,” and “receive.”[64]


Another method of comparing school courses with common social needs is
set forth in the following quotation:

 At a meeting of the Committee on Economy of Time held in the fall of
 1912 it was suggested that current literature could be profitably
 employed as a standard for determining the kind of geographical
 information that the school should provide. The proposal was to read
 current newspapers and magazines, record the geographical references,
 and determine from the frequency of these references the relative
 value of the various types of geographical information. Results of the
 application of the method presented at the meeting seemed to indicate
 that the content of geography as now taught in the elementary school
 would be greatly modified if materials were chosen upon this basis....

 Miss Biester collected and classified the geographical and historical
 references and allusions in eighteen issues of the _Outlook_ and
 the _Literary Digest_, representing a period of seven years ending
 with 1913. She found in these eighteen journals a total of 2,237
 geographical references. The distribution was as follows:

                                                                PER CENT

  References to facts of location, size, direction, etc.,
    which may be assumed to require for their understanding
    a knowledge of “place and location” geography                   53.5
  References to political divisions and facts of government
    which may be assumed to require a knowledge of
    “political” geography                                           25.1
  References to industries, commerce, products, etc., which
    may be assumed to require a knowledge of “commercial”
    geography                                                        5.8
  References to people, customs, religion, education, etc.,
    which may be assumed to require a knowledge of
    “social” geography                                               4.8
  References to places as scenes of historical events, which
    may be assumed to require a knowledge of “historical”
    geography                                                        1.7
  Other references primarily of local or transitory interest         8.9

 A grouping of this sort is obviously subject to the errors or
 peculiarities of individual judgment, but it may be said that the
 classification just presented is quite consistent with those furnished
 by other readers. Except for the absence of explicit reference to
 physiographical principles, this grouping represents fairly accurately
 the distribution of emphasis in the textbooks ordinarily used in the
 seventh and eighth grades. The physiographical principles, however,
 are precisely the “general” principles to which we referred above;
 that is, their function is broadly interpretive and adaptive; they
 “cover” a host of particulars too numerous in the aggregate, and too
 insignificant separately, to warrant specific attention.

 Another suggestive grouping is based upon the frequency of references
 to the various continents. If one is to read intelligently the
 journals which formed the basis of this test, one will find occasion
 to apply one’s knowledge of the continents in approximately the
 following proportions (the maximum frequency of reference being
 represented arbitrarily by 100):

  North America  100
  Europe          73
  Asia            13
  Africa           4
  South America    3
  Australia        1

 The principal European countries had an importance for the readers of
 the journals in question in the following proportions (giving England,
 as the country most frequently referred to, the arbitrary value of

  England        100
  France          80
  Germany         70
  Russia          35
  Italy           32
  Turkey          30
  Austria-Hungary 24
  Spain           22


It is not merely the remoter needs of adult life which should be taken
into account in determining the content of courses of study. Pupils
in schools have certain urgent needs which should be met. A study
was carried on in the schools of Kansas City, Missouri, which dealt
with the needs of pupils in grammar. Teachers observed and noted the
mistakes of pupils, and collected a body of written material which was
carefully analyzed. The urgent needs of pupils were readily discovered
and were found to be comparatively few. The following quotations give
the gist of the matter:

 Table M, which is based upon the oral and written errors of the
 children of the community, displays the items to be included in a
 course of study for the elementary grades. It assumes that all types
 of error were found and reported. That this assumption is absolutely
 correct is not probable. That it is approximately correct seems
 reasonably certain. To verify its accuracy further other studies would
 need to be made in Kansas City.

 As the present course of study in grammar in the sixth and in the
 seventh grades of the Kansas City schools was materially simplified
 in the 1913-1914 session, it is now one of the simplest in the United
 States. Notwithstanding this fact, many items would be omitted from it
 upon the basis of Table K. These are included in Table L. The pages
 refer to “Grammar and Composition with Practical English,” by Robins,
 Row, and Scott (Row, Peterson & Company, Chicago), the text now in use
 in the sixth and seventh grades.




  1. Exclamatory sentence, p. 2.
  2. The interjection, pp. 16 f.
  3. The appositive, pp. 37 ff.
  4. The nominative of address, pp. 39 f.
  5. The nominative by exclamation, pp. 40 f.
  6. The objective complement, pp. 53 f.
  7. The adverbial objective, pp. 56 f.
  8. The indefinite pronouns, pp. 69 f.
  9. The objective complement, p. 91.
  10. The objective used as a substantive, p. 91.
  11. The classification of adverbs, pp. 94 ff.
  12. The noun clause, pp. 107 ff.
  13. Conjunctive adverbs, p. 116.
  14. The retained objective, pp. 128 f.
  15. The moods (except possibly the subjunctive of _to be_),
      pp. 135 ff. and 152 ff.
  16. The infinitive except the split infinitive, pp. 145 ff.
  17. The objective subject, pp. 149 f.
  18. The participle except the definition and the present and the past
      forms, pp. 162 ff.
  19. The nominative absolute, pp. 165 ff.
  20. The gerund, pp. 168 f.


  1. The pronoun _what_.
  2. Proper and numeral adjectives.

 The first, second, and third of the omissions affect punctuation; the
 first and second, the exclamation point; and the third, the comma. The
 exclamation point is used at the end of the exclamatory sentence and
 after interjections to express an intensity of feeling greater than
 that expressed by the period, and it is doubtful if children have the
 nicety of experience to understand the difference. If the point is
 absent, its omission cannot be counted as an error because the reader
 has no way of knowing how intense is the feeling that accompanied the
 sentence. Strangely enough, the children used the appositive hardly at
 all. Instead of saying, “Bill, the bandit, killed a deer,” they seem
 to prefer to say, “Bill was a bandit, and he killed a deer.”

 To the omissions, tabulated in Table M, should be added such sentences
 for analysis and parsing as are given to children solely because they
 involve subtle points in grammar. This is true because the errors made
 by children seem to occur in the commoner and more easily classified
 constructions, as may be seen by an examination of Table I.


 The content of the course of study in elementary grammar in the Kansas
 City schools is not dealt with here. The problem is simply and solely
 to find out what the course of study would be _if it were based upon
 the errors of the children_. The problem of the content of the course
 of study requires such serious consideration that it can be determined
 only by practical experience and opinion aided by other scientifically
 conditioned studies.[66]


The problem of finding what is the best progression of studies within
the curriculum is an important problem on which we have at the present
time relatively little information. President Lowell of Harvard
University collected some statistics on this matter which can be
briefly summarized in three quotations from his article:

 Harvard University is singularly rich in material for determining the
 relation of college studies to the work of the professional schools,
 because nowhere in the world have so large a body of undergraduates
 been so free, for so long a period, as in Harvard College to study
 whatever they chose, and to make any combination of courses they
 pleased. With the exception of one required course in English, and
 sometimes one in another modern language, the election of courses has
 been almost wholly free for a quarter of a century, and in fact the
 variety of combinations made has been almost limitless. Moreover, the
 Law and Medical Schools have contained a large number of graduates of
 Harvard College, and this is essential for a fair comparison of the

 The statistics here presented cover, therefore, only bachelors of arts
 of Harvard College who graduated afterwards from the Harvard Law and
 Medical Schools, and they comprise only men who took twelve courses,
 or nearly three years’ work, in the college....

 If, therefore, one can draw any inference from figures so small, the
 case of mathematics is singular. Unless some other element enters into
 the problem, such as an unusually high standard in the department, or
 an unusually vigorous intellectual appetite on the part of students
 who elect the subject, the result may be supposed to indicate, so far
 as it goes, that mathematics, altho rarely selected for the purpose,
 is a particularly good preparation for the study of law; perhaps
 because the methods of thought in the two subjects are more nearly
 akin than is commonly supposed.

 Leaving aside this possibly exceptional case, the conclusions to
 be derived from the facts presented in this paper would seem to be
 that, as a preparation for the study of law or medicine, it makes
 comparatively little difference what subject is mainly pursued in
 college, but that it makes a great difference with what intensity the
 subject is pursued—or, to put the same proposition in a more technical
 form, familiarity with the subject-matter, which can be transferred
 little, if at all, is of small importance in a college education, as
 compared with mental processes that are capable of being transferred
 widely, or with the moral qualities of diligence, perseverance, and
 intensity of application which can be transferred indefinitely. The
 practical deduction is that in the administration of our colleges,
 and, indeed, in all our general education, as distinguished from
 direct vocational or professional training, we have laid too much
 stress on the subject, too little on the excellence of the work and on
 the rank attained.[67]


Other studies of the curriculum have been made which may be called
administrative studies. The most elaborate investigation of this type
which has been carried out is reported in a volume entitled “The
Supervision of Arithmetic.”[68] Two of the leading students of the
science of education have here reported an exhaustive study of the
practices of various school systems in administering the arithmetic
course. At the same time they have made an analysis of the textbooks
which are commonly used in administering this course. Finally, they
have supplemented this body of fact with numerous opinions from
competent school people regarding changes which ought to be made.

It is not possible to take up in detail the various findings reported
in this volume. One especially interesting set of facts, however,
may be referred to as furnishing convincing evidence that the school
curriculum is constantly in process of revision. The particular part of
the book which shows this deals with the number of hours a week devoted
to arithmetic in the course of study of various cities. If we compare
the relative amount of time given to arithmetic in earlier years and at
present, we shall have some indication of the movement which has been
going on within the school curriculum. In 1888 New York City devoted 26
per cent of the total school time in the grades to arithmetic. In 1904
this had been reduced to 12 per cent, showing that the attention to
arithmetic is in point of time less than half what it was at an earlier
period. Boston, on the other hand, devoted to arithmetic almost exactly
the same relative amount of time in 1904 that it did in 1888. In both
cases about 16 per cent of the time of the course of study was given to
this subject. Chicago shows a distinct increase in the amount of time
given to arithmetic. In 1888 it was giving 9 per cent of its time to
that subject. The time devoted to arithmetic in 1904 was 18 per cent,
or just twice as much.

These statements confirm the remark repeatedly made in this volume
that the course of study is constantly undergoing revision. The only
intelligent way for the school system to deal with the problems of
the course of study which are sure to come up is to make a careful
examination of the movement which is under way, for this movement
is usually guided by the personal judgment of some enthusiastic
school officer or by the chance readjustments which arise out of the
effort to bring new subjects into the curriculum. The result is a
blind fluctuation, the magnitude and importance of which are wholly
unrecognized until exact comparisons are set up.

Such general discussions as that summarized in the foregoing paragraphs
are supplemented in the volume referred to, by detailed studies of
such questions as the following: When should the teaching of fractions
begin? How far should the elementary course deal with square root and
cube root? What are the characteristics of a given textbook which make
it available for a particular school system?

The kind of study which is here reported for arithmetic should, of
course, be made for other subjects as well. The time allotment for the
course in geography and the distribution of topics within that course
are quite as important as the time allotment in arithmetic.


It would be a serious mistake to advocate any one of the investigations
referred to in this chapter as the sole basis for reform in the
curriculum. There must be a broad consideration of social and
educational conditions if the school is to arrange its materials of
instruction in the most advantageous form. Furthermore, the individual
teacher cannot make all the studies involved. The problem is one which
involves coöperation and the organization of scientific methods which
will give to each school officer the benefit of the experience of many


The best type of exercise which can be suggested in connection with
this chapter is the analysis of a series of textbooks by members of
the class. The following suggestions will aid in the attack on three
classes of texts:

First, let the student get several sets of readers, beginning with
primers and running up to the books designed for the upper grades. Note
among other characteristics such matters as the following: Are the
selections in the primers equally interesting? Are the vocabularies
the same? What devices in the primer are adopted as aids in explaining
the words? Are the sentences of equal length? In the readers for the
upper grades is the emphasis on poetry the same? Is the reading matter
equally appropriate for boys and girls? Does it fit all localities
equally well? Is there any suggestion that would carry the pupil out of
the book itself to other books?

Second, let the student take several geographies. Are the maps equally
good? Are the pictures equally helpful? What is the order of topics?
Is the treatment equally detailed in the various books? Is the
attention given to the United States satisfactory both in point of
gross volume and in point of details taken up? What is the degree of
emphasis on physical geography and on man’s place in the world, that
is, on commerce and civilization?

Third, take books in first-year Latin. What emphasis is given to
vocabulary, to reading, and to grammar? How do books of this type
differ from books on French and German? Is the choice of reading matter
in the various books based on the same principle of selection? How
far could the books be used by a pupil without a teacher? What is the
contribution expected of the teacher; that is, what must the teacher
know about Latin more than is given in the book? How are the pages of
material related to assignments; that is, are assignments suggested by
the text itself?

 BAGLEY, W. C., and RUGG, H. O. “Content of American History as taught
 in the Seventh and Eighth Grades.” _Bulletin No. 16_, School of
 Education, University of Illinois, 1916.

 Minimum Essentials in Elementary-School Subjects. Fourteenth Yearbook
 of the National Society for the Study of Education, Part I, 1915. The
 University of Chicago Press. Other types of study than those suggested
 in the above questions are outlined in this yearbook.


[63] Bailey B. Burritt, “Professional Distribution of College and
University Graduates,” p. 15. _Bulletin No. 19_, United States Bureau
of Education, 1912.

[64] Survey conducted by L. P. Ayres of the Russell Sage Foundation.
“The Public Schools of Springfield, Illinois,” pp. 86-88. Published by
the Springfield Survey Committee, Springfield, Illinois, 1914.

[65] W. C. Bagley, “The Determination of Minimum Essentials in
Elementary Geography and History.” Fourteenth Yearbook of the National
Society for the Study of Education, Part I, pp. 131, 134-135. The
University of Chicago Press, 1915.

[66] W. W. Charters and Edith Miller, “A Course of Study in Grammar,”
pp. 43-45. _Bulletin No. 2_, University of Missouri, Vol. XVI (1915).

[67] A. Lawrence Lowell, “College Studies and Professional Training.”
_Educational Review_, Vol. XLII (October, 1911), pp. 220, 221, 233.

[68] W. A. Jessup and L. D. Coffman. The Macmillan Company, 1916.




There is a group of recent studies which affect the curriculum and
all other phases of school organization so profoundly that a separate
chapter must be devoted to an exposition of their character and aims.
These are studies which aim to standardize school work through tests,
measurements, and exact quantitative descriptions of the products of

For example, one of the efforts of the elementary school is to teach
pupils to write. It is entirely possible after the school has done its
work to find out by an examination of the results how well pupils can
write. It is never expected that pupils in the second grade will write
as well as pupils in the upper grades. In this sense, then, it may
be said that the results expected in the second grade are of a lower
standard than those expected higher in the school. Furthermore, there
is a sharp contrast between rapid writing and slow writing. The pupil
who writes one hundred and fifty letters in a minute with a quality or
form of letters which is fair exhibits one kind of result, while the
pupil who writes only seventy-five letters a minute but shows great
regularity in his letters exhibits another kind of result. It is not
easy in two cases such as have just been described to determine at
once which result is better. It may be that speed should be encouraged
in order to secure free, fluent movements even if quality has to be
sacrificed for the time being.


One difficulty in dealing with the results of school work has been that
schools have had no clear definition of what ought to be demanded.
Opinion has been matched against opinion. Thus the parent often feels
that he has a right to pass unqualified judgment on the progress of his
child and on the teacher’s methods of dealing with him. The employer
demands of the boy whom he employs a certain proficiency in spelling
and adding. The superintendent, in pursuance of his duties, tells the
teachers that their work is satisfactory or otherwise and that the
children do or do not read as well as they should. The teacher has a
certain expectation, and the pupil feels sure that he is doing his work
well. Each, according to his personal standard, is estimating the work
done in the school.

Very often these standards differ when applied to one and the same
performance; sometimes they differ so radically that social troubles
follow. The parent says that his child is doing satisfactory work,
while the teacher estimates the work as inferior. In such a case it
happens, often after a controversy, that one standard ultimately
prevails. It is a matter of record in some communities that the
parent’s standard has at times been asserted with enough energy to
result in the removal of the dissenting teacher from office. On the
other hand, it is more commonly true that the teacher’s standard
dominates, and the pupil either changes his ways or fails of promotion.
In either case, it would have been better for all concerned if some
exact standard could have been set up which would have been recognized
as superior in its sanction to individual opinion.

Even teachers of experience disagree in grading the same examination
paper. One demands correctness in every detail, while the other
concentrates attention on originality and force of expression.


The effort to lay down by investigation satisfactory standards of
school work is one of the most productive lines of educational inquiry
which has ever been instituted. Like all great movements, this movement
of standardization has been misunderstood and opposed, but it is
steadily gaining ground and promises to be the largest contribution of
this generation to education.

In essence it consists of a careful, systematic measurement of what
pupils accomplish. If there are at hand measurements of the actual
achievements of pupils in various subjects in all the grades, it is
safe to compare any single performance with the general average. It
should be noted that this does not imply a demand that every pupil’s
work be like the average. There are pupils who do their work under
unfavorable conditions, as, for example, pupils who have difficulty in
reading because they hear no English at home. Their results should not
be expected to reach the average, at least in the early grades. How far
the results are from the average should, however, be definitely known.
Explanation can then be given. Where conditions are not unfavorable the
demand can be the more vigorously made that the average expectation be


The way in which this movement began and the rapidity with which it
has progressed are vividly described by one of its chief exponents as

 Eighteen years ago the school superintendents of America, assembled
 in convention in Indianapolis, discussed the problems then foremost
 in educational thought and action. At that meeting a distinguished
 educator[69]—the pioneer and pathfinder among the scientific students
 of education in America—brought up for discussion the results of his
 investigations of spelling among the children in the school systems
 of nineteen cities. These results showed that, taken all in all, the
 children who spent forty minutes a day for eight years in studying
 spelling did not spell any better than the children in the schools of
 other cities where they devoted only ten minutes per day to the study.

 The presentation of these data threw that assemblage into
 consternation, dismay, and indignant protest. But the resulting storm
 of vigorously voiced opposition was directed not against the methods
 and results of the investigation, but against the investigator who had
 pretended to measure the results of teaching spelling by testing the
 ability of children to spell.

 In terms of scathing denunciation the educators there present and the
 pedagogical experts, who reported the deliberations of the meeting in
 the educational press, characterized as silly, dangerous, and from
 every viewpoint reprehensible, the attempt to test the efficiency of
 the teacher by finding out what the pupils could do. With striking
 unanimity they voiced the conviction that any attempt to evaluate the
 teaching of spelling in terms of the ability of the pupils to spell
 was essentially impossible and based on a profound misconception of
 the function of education.

 Last month in the city of Cincinnati that same association of school
 superintendents, again assembled in convention, devoted fifty-seven
 addresses and discussions to tests and measurements of educational
 efficiency. The basal proposition underlying this entire mass of
 discussion was that the effectiveness of the school, the methods, and
 the teachers must be measured in terms of the results secured.[70]


One of the earliest types of school work to be standardized was
handwriting. Standard “scales,” as they are called, have been prepared
by several investigators, and their use has become very common.

The first scale was prepared by Professor Thorndike.[71] He secured
a number of specimens of children’s writing, and asked experienced
judges to arrange these specimens in a series of descending degrees of
excellence. By combining the judgments returned by the experts it was
possible to secure an average judgment. Certain typical specimens were
then set aside, representing equal steps in the descending scale. In
practical use, a given sample of handwriting which is to be judged is
compared with the successive steps in the scale until an approximate
equality in degree of excellence is found. The sample to be judged is
then marked with the grade agreed on for the standard specimen.

A second scale was prepared by Ayres[72] on a more objective basis.
The specimens were arranged in a series, not in accordance with the
judgment of experts, but according to the time which was required to
read them.

A third scale, more elaborate than either of the others, was
prepared by Freeman.[73] He first made an analysis of the different
characteristics which enter into excellent writing, such as uniformity
of slant, uniformity in the height and spacing of letters, and other
like essential characteristics, and then selected specimens exhibiting
decreasing grades of excellence in each of these characteristics. Since
each characteristic of writing is capable of definite measurement, the
specimens could be graded on the basis of direct measurements. Thus
the slant of a number of specimens was measured letter by letter, and
objective grades were established.

Finally, the preparation of scales of handwriting has gone so far that
special scales or series of graded specimens for particular school
systems have been prepared.


In the meantime the matter of speed in handwriting has also been a
subject of careful measurement, and tables of average speeds for
different grades have been prepared in a number of school systems.

A device for presenting in a single diagram both speed and quality
and at the same time comparing several grades in the same school with
each other was worked out in the Cleveland survey. The figure and a
description of its meaning are given on pages 218, 219.

 The relative emphasis on speed and quality actually found in a number
 of different schools is set forth in the following diagram. The
 separate parts of this diagram are made up as follows: The average
 speed of a grade is represented by distances in the horizontal, and
 average quality by distances in the vertical, scale. Thus, taking
 the first section of the diagram, that of the North Doan School, the
 fifth grade has an average speed of 71 letters per minute, and an
 average quality of 41. The sixth grade shows progress in both speed
 and quality, though speed increases more than quality. The seventh and
 eighth grades show further progress in both speed and quality, the two
 changing at about the same rate. The diagram for the Kentucky School
 shows progress of a slightly different type. In this school the sixth
 grade, as compared with the fifth, shows progress in quality, but very
 little in speed. Progress from the sixth grade on is about equal in
 quality and speed. Memorial School emphasizes speed almost exclusively
 up to the eighth grade, while Mt. Pleasant emphasizes quality.

 The various schools which have been reported in the four upper
 sections of the diagram are all regular in the sense that each
 school shows steady progress from grade to grade in both speed and
 quality. Without attempting to comment in detail on the special cases,
 attention is called to the series of results presented in the lower
 part of the diagram.[74]

[Illustration: FIG. 14. Average quality and average speed of
handwriting of pupils of the four upper grades in ten schools[75]]

Before giving examples of standardization in fields other than
penmanship, it will be well to indicate the full meaning of the
foregoing paragraphs.


First, it will be seen that measurements are here substituted for
purely personal judgments. It was the universal practice before this
movement began, and it is the common practice to-day, for a supervisor
to go from school to school, passing on the excellence and speed of
handwriting. The supervisor has arrived at a personal standard through
his experience. He expects a certain result in the fifth grade. He has
in his mind a more or less clearly defined requirement and regards it
as his duty to impose this on pupils and teachers. In the same way the
teacher has a personal standard which is imposed on the pupils. It
would be a mistake to describe these personal standards as arbitrary or
unintelligent. The experienced teacher is usually approximately right
in his expectations, and the supervisor usually does a great deal to
raise and unify the level of work with which he comes in contact. But
it is not possible in a complex social situation to rely on personal
standards. Personal life and professional activity are too transient.
How many schools have changed standards, to the great disadvantage of
the penmanship, with each change of supervisors? Furthermore, personal
standards are vague when one tries to transmit them to others. This is
a serious matter when it is remembered that a very large proportion of
teachers in each school are changing each year. If a supervisor is to
systematize the work of his schools, he must constantly be bringing
into agreement with his standards the standards of a large number of
new teachers. For the sake of coöperation it is advantageous to turn a
personal standard into one which can be described and defined. Finally,
a personal standard grows up out of all the accidents of a personal
career. The person of narrow experience may not have incorporated
into his standards valuable elements which he would have accepted had
he come in contact with them. The person of strong personal likes
and dislikes may often be prejudiced. The person of broad experience
may be inexact when it comes to details. To demand of all who teach
handwriting that they rise above purely personal standards is not
unlike the demand that the central government rather than the states
mint our coins.


Second, the standards set up are derived from the work actually going
on in schools. There is no dictation from purely theoretical and
arbitrary sources. It is quite impossible to close one’s eyes to the
fact that in the past there has been a tendency to assume that the
only standard of action is the perfect standard. Many a child has been
taught penmanship from perfect copy and has been urged to imitate this
copy at whatever cost of time and pains. The slow, painful effort
to draw letters like those in the copy book is not an unfamiliar
exhibition in the penmanship class. A standard derived from the school
work itself is a social standard; it is based on what pupils really do.
One need not be satisfied with present performances, but one starts
from solid ground. Furthermore, out of actual measurements will come
a clear idea of the range of variation. One of the most astonishing
facts which have come out in the course of the study of standards is
the fact that there are very wide variations in the same grade. There
is, therefore, an easy possibility of finding for each grade high
standards. These high standards have the further advantage of being
standards actually realized by pupils. We are justified in describing
the standards thus set up as natural standards. They do not limit
the progress of any grade or aim at mechanical uniformity as do the
arbitrary standards based on personal judgments.


Third, standards measured and expressed in definite terms can be
compared and can be made the basis of studies which are quite
impossible so long as standards are not expressed in common terms.
For example, when the speed of handwriting in a certain school
is deliberately changed, what is the effect produced on quality?
Heretofore it has been almost impossible to answer such a question.
Every school reform has been enthusiastically hailed by its friends as
accomplishing much. In the second generation most of these reforms are
checked, if not actually dropped, because it is found that the good
accomplished in one line is entirely lost in some other. To-day reforms
are in a position to measure their effects in all directions. A change
in the speed of handwriting may or may not be advantageous; it is the
duty of measurement to so state results that some light will be thrown
on this matter.

A concrete example will serve to show how studies of this kind may
be carried out. Fig. 15 shows the relative speeds and qualities of
handwriting found in various grades in a miscellaneous group of cities
and the corresponding facts for St. Louis and Grand Rapids. It is seen
that both of these school systems are ahead at all points in speed and
behind at first in quality. Both cities have made a conscious effort
to get away from the slow drawing of letters in the lower grades. In
doing this quality has been sacrificed. It is not the purpose of this
discussion to decide what methods of teaching handwriting are best; the
value of this example is that it shows quality and speed reduced to
terms where the two can be studied together and with a high degree of


Fourth and finally, measured standards show the direction in which
pupils are moving, because they permit a permanent record of each
step of the child’s development. Schools have been slow to learn the
value of records. On the one hand, school records have been piled up
by the tome and no use has been made of them; on the other hand, they
are usually so loosely thrown together that they are of very little
value in guiding educational policy. Here is a form of record which
can be duplicated and compared from year to year. Medicine has long
since learned that exact records are the only safe means of guiding
treatment. Modern agriculture has become scientific through the use of
records and through decisions regarding experiments which these records
make possible. Modern business has learned to make its accounting
intelligent enough to guide policies. Finally, schools are beginning
to see that records of a type permitting continuous comparisons are
invaluable in determining at what point school work shall take this or
that form.


What has been done with penmanship has been paralleled in some other
subjects of elementary instruction. The following quotations have to do
with oral reading:

 A coöperative study of reading was organized during the month of
 September by the committee in charge of the grade-teachers’ section
 of the Illinois State Teachers Association (Northeastern Section),
 which met at Elgin, Illinois, November 3 and 4. The purpose of this
 study was to secure a body of facts in regard to the achievement of
 boys and girls in reading in a number of schools represented in the

 [Illustration: FIG. 15. Speed and quality of handwriting

 Dotted lines indicate the level of achievement in various grades in
 fifty-six cities, the results from which were averaged; the full-drawn
 lines show the achievements in the two cities discussed]

 The materials used in this study of reading were the standardized
 oral-reading paragraphs and the silent-reading tests which have been
 used in connection with the surveys in Cleveland, Grand Rapids, and
 St. Louis, as well as in a large number of investigations carried on
 in other cities....

 The standardized oral-reading paragraphs consist of a series of twelve
 paragraphs arranged in the order of increasing difficulty. The tests
 were given to the pupils individually by a principal or by a teacher
 who had been previously trained for the work. As the pupil read the
 teacher recorded the time required to read each paragraph together
 with the number of errors which were made of the following types:

 (_a_) Gross mispronunciations, which include such errors in
 pronunciation as indicate clearly that the word is too difficult for
 the pupil to pronounce.

 (_b_) Minor mispronunciations, which include the pronunciation of a
 portion of a word, wrong accent, wrong syllabification, omission of
 syllables, etc.

 (_c_) Omission of words.

 (_d_) Insertion of words.

 (_e_) Repetition of words or groups of words.

 (_f_) Substitution of one word or group of words for another.

 A pupil continued to read until he had made seven or more errors in
 each of two paragraphs. By means of a system of scoring based on the
 time required to read and on the number of errors which were made it
 was possible to represent the achievement of a pupil or a class in
 numerical terms....

 The upper section of the table [given below] gives the average number
 of seconds required to read paragraph 1 and the average number of
 errors made by three _poor_ second-grade classes and by three _good_
 second-grade classes. Of the poor schools, School M made more errors
 and read more slowly than the average. School N read with fewer
 errors than the average, but read so slowly that the oral-reading
 score for the class was below the average. School O, on the other
 hand, gave sufficient emphasis to rate, but neglected accuracy to
 such an extent that the oral-reading score was low. An examination of
 the records made by the good schools shows clearly that consistent
 progress in both rate and accuracy is a prerequisite to a high level
 of achievement. The schools of northern Illinois vary widely in the
 amount of emphasis given to these phases of reading achievement. There
 is need, on the part of many teachers, for a continuous critical study
 of the specific character of the results which they are securing.



                            |     |   POOR SCHOOLS  |   GOOD SCHOOLS
                            | AGE |  M  |  N  |  O  |  X  |  Y  |  Z
  Rate [seconds per passage]| 42.2| 65.0| 64.1| 39.1| 27.2| 32.8| 37.9
  Errors                    |  1.4|  2.0|  0.5|  2.4|  1.1|  0.9|  1.3


  Grade II  |         |          |          |          |
    Rate    |   42.2  |   37.9   |   65.0   |   39.1   |   43.4
    Errors  |    1.4  |    1.3   |    2.0   |    2.4   |    1.7
  Grade III |         |          |          |          |
    Rate    |   21.9  |   19.8   |   23.6   |   23.9   |   28.0
    Errors  |    0.9  |    0.7   |    1.7   |    1.8   |    0.8
  Grade IV  |         |          |          |          |
    Rate    |   18.6  |   18.0   |   21.9   |   16.0   |   27.0
    Errors  |    0.8  |    0.6   |    1.3   |    0.5   |    1.5

 Additional light is thrown on this problem when we follow certain
 schools through the second, third, and fourth grades. The average
 rate and number of errors for Grades II, III, and IV are given in the
 left-hand column of the lower section of the table. The records for
 School A show that second-grade pupils do better both in rate and in
 accuracy than the average. The same thing may be said of the third
 and fourth grades. Continuous, consistent progress of this type
 is very commendable. In School B, on the other hand, the pupils do
 less well in each grade in both speed and accuracy than the average.
 A question arises here concerning the general effectiveness of the
 classroom instruction. School C ranks low in accuracy in the second
 grade. Apparently this difficulty was realized in the third grade, and
 considerable progress both in speed and in accuracy resulted. In the
 fourth grade average results are attained which are above the average.
 This school represents consistent, continuous growth from grade to
 grade of a highly desirable type. School D, on the other hand, makes
 improvement in speed and accuracy in the third grade, but fails to
 increase its rate in the fourth grade, and makes a record in accuracy
 which is distinctly below the record made by the third grade. It is
 evident, if the records for the present second, third, and fourth
 grades are typical of the results secured from year to year, that
 there is need for more intelligent instruction and supervision in
 School D.

 In this connection it should be said that objective standards of
 attainment for each grade should be defined. By means of tests given
 throughout a school or a city the present level of achievement
 can be determined. By means of comparisons with results secured
 elsewhere new goals of attainment can be defined. Each teacher
 should become familiar with the methods of giving tests. She should
 utilize them frequently in examining her work to find sources of
 strength and weakness. Through the co-operation of teachers and
 supervisors progressive revisions in standards of attainment and
 methods of procedure should be made. This type of co-operation is
 necessary because it is only when all the units of a school system
 work consistently together toward clearly defined ends that the most
 effective results can be secured.[76]


A great number of similar studies are being reported each year on
arithmetic, spelling, and other aspects of the elementary curriculum.
The high-school subjects are more complicated than those in the
elementary school, but even these are beginning to be tested. There are
satisfactory tests in algebra and the beginnings of measurements in
Latin and English.


In all cases standardization begins with the mechanical aspects
of school work. These are more susceptible to exact quantitative
description and are the first to be taken up. Some writers have
professed to find in this a reason for rejecting the whole movement
toward standardization. There are, they assert, products of teaching
which are subtle and intangible. These are the products which are most
highly to be prized. Thoroughly to standardize penmanship and oral
reading and algebra is to set aside these more important matters.

Two answers are to be made to this objection to the movement toward
standardization. In the first place, the higher values of education
are not secured by teachers who are negligent of the fundamental
mechanical requirements. The teacher who successfully trains his pupil
to study history will make of him a good reader also. In the second
place, if it should prove to be desirable to give less time than is
given at present to training in the mechanical aspects of school
subjects, it will certainly be absolutely essential that the limits and
restrictions be set up with discrimination. We shall never be able to
deal intelligently with the mechanical aspects of education until we
have studied them.

A third statement which can be ventured with assurance in the light of
the recent history of this movement is that its limits cannot be set.
Each year new aspects of school work are measured with exactness. It
is certain that the ultimate conquests of measurement will push the
opponents back into their own territory.


In short, standardization is nothing but a systematic effort to
deal with educational problems explicitly and in the light of exact
information. Whatever may be the limits of exact knowledge in
educational matters, it is certain that we ought to secure as much
knowledge of this type as possible.


The exercise which will best serve to supplement this chapter is a
series of tests performed on members of the class and worked out by
them for purposes of comparison with other standard results. In the
appendix of the volume of the Cleveland survey entitled “Measuring the
Work of the Public Schools” a full set of standard tests will be found.

S. A. Courtis, 82 Eliot Street, Detroit, Michigan, furnishes tests in
various subjects, especially arithmetic.

The following institutions furnish various tests:

College of Education, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City.

Bureau of Measurements and Tests, State Normal School, Emporia, Kansas.

The readings which are most useful in this connection are to be found
in current educational periodicals. The student will find the latest
scientific studies in such journals as the following:

 _School Review._ Published by The University of Chicago Press. This is
 a journal dealing chiefly with high schools.

 _Elementary School Journal._ Published by The University of Chicago
 Press. This contains very full reviews of elementary tests.

 _Journal of Educational Psychology._ Published by Warwick and York,
 Baltimore, Maryland.

 _Educational Administration and Supervision._ Published by Warwick and
 York, Baltimore, Maryland.

 _Educational Review._ Published by the Educational Review Publishing
 Company, Easton, Pennsylvania.

 _School and Society._ Published by The Science Press, New York City.


[69] J. M. Rice, editor of the _Forum_.

[70] Leonard P. Ayres, “Making Education Definite.” _Bulletin No. 11_,
Indiana University, Vol. XIII (October, 1915), pp. 85-86. Published by
the Extension Division of Indiana University.

[71] E. L. Thorndike, “Handwriting.” _Teachers College Record_, March,

[72] L. P. Ayres, A Scale for Measuring the Quality of Handwriting of
School Children. Russell Sage Foundation, New York.

[73] F. N. Freeman, The Teaching of Handwriting. Houghton Mifflin
Company, 1914.

[74] Measuring the Work of the Public Schools, pp. 75-77. Cleveland
Education Survey. Published by the Survey Committee of the Cleveland
Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, 1916.

[75] Quality on vertical scale, speed on horizontal scale. The four
schools referred to in the text are represented in the four diagrams in
the upper part of the figure. North Doan is reported in the diagram in
the upper left-hand corner. Kentucky is shown in the upper right-hand
corner. Memorial is under North Doan. Mt. Pleasant is under Kentucky.

[76] William S. Gray, “A Co-operative Study of Reading in Eleven Cities
of Northern Illinois.” _Elementary School Journal_, Vol. XVII, No. 4
(December, 1916), pp. 250-257.




The problems of instruction are by no means solved when a subject has
been selected and placed in its proper relation to the other subjects
in the curriculum. There is still the problem of presenting the subject
to the class in such a way as to appeal to the attention and interest
of its members. The special term which is applied in educational
writings to the organization of material for class instruction is the
term “method” or “method of teaching.”

In contrasting American schools with European schools it was pointed
out in an earlier chapter that the American method is the textbook
and recitation method, while the method of the European schools is
predominantly the oral or lecture method. The subject-matter of
instruction can be treated by either of these methods.


Another term which has been used in educational discussions to
distinguish between the more general modes of procedure and certain
details of classroom work is the term “device.” A classroom device is
some special piece of equipment or some particular way of dealing with
a class that can be described as appropriate to a single classroom
situation or to some topic of a given subject. For example, if a
teacher of Latin has verb forms printed on cards for the purpose of
drilling his classes in the recognition of such forms, his cards are
spoken of as devices. Again, if one calls the roll by assigning a
number to each member of the class and then requiring each number to be
given in its order, it is said that one has a time-saving device.


Every teacher has methods and devices of presenting material to his or
her classes. The experienced teacher behaves skillfully in the presence
of a class because all the details of procedure have been tried, and
those which proved successful have been retained. The inexperienced
teacher is clumsy in his methods, just as is any novice in dealing with
an unmastered social situation.


It is sometimes pointed out that in the training of teachers there is
danger that competition will arise between the demand for skill in
methods and the demand for knowledge of subject-matter. The specialist
in science scoffs at a course in methods of teaching, saying that all
the prospective teacher needs is to know the subject thoroughly, and
method will take care of itself. Furthermore, such a critic of methods
often points out that the time required for a course in methods must be
taken from time which the student ought to devote to subject-matter.

The school principal who is looking for a science teacher is likely to
reply that he has had teachers thoroughly acquainted with the science
but utterly unsympathetic with pupils. Such teachers do not know how to
get the facts to the students. They are abstract, or speak too fast, or
do not assign the lessons in such a way as to help the students see the
important points.

There is no necessity of being one-sided in this matter. The successful
teacher will ultimately have both knowledge of the subject-matter and
methods and devices of presenting the subject-matter. If he is lacking
in either, he will be in just that degree inefficient. There can be no
doubt that a properly balanced appreciation of both is the sane and
wise attitude to assume.


It will, of course, be quite impossible to do more than illustrate
the problems of method in this general introduction. The remainder
of this chapter will be devoted to comments on two significant
innovations in method which are characteristic of present-day teaching
as contrasted with the teaching of two generations ago. The older of
these innovations was the adoption of the laboratory method; the later
general innovation is the movement in the direction of supervised study
in all subjects.


An appreciation of the laboratory method can be gained by reviewing
briefly the history of this method in American schools. As far back
as 1809 a follower of Pestalozzi, one Joseph Neef, conducted a school
in Philadelphia, where he exhibited Pestalozzi’s object method.
Pupils learned by direct contact with things. Such teaching was in
sharp contrast with the ordinary methods then in vogue, for at that
time instruction consisted exclusively of statements, either oral or
written, which the pupils were supposed to learn by heart.

The object-teaching movement made little progress until it was taken up
in 1860 by Dr. Sheldon, the head of the normal school at Oswego, New
York. From Oswego the movement spread, especially to the new Western
schools, and had so wide an influence that the study of nature in the
lower schools was vigorously advocated and extensively undertaken. The
inductive method of direct contact with the facts was advocated in
fields other than nature study. Dr. Sheldon’s daughter took a vigorous
part in the development of instruction in history based on direct
contact with source material. The laboratory method in history, as it
was sometimes called, spread and inspired enthusiasm for methods in all
the literary subjects analogous to the laboratory work of the sciences.


In the high schools a parallel movement took place in the last third of
the nineteenth century, leading to the adoption of laboratory work as a
definite mode of instruction. On this subject one writer on the history
of physics has given the following statements:

 Experimental work had not been entirely unknown in secondary schools
 even in the early part of the century, but no attempt had been made
 to bring the pupil into personal contact with its results. The Boston
 Grammar Schools were all furnished with a $275 set of physical
 apparatus as early as 1837, and most of the academies installed sets
 about that time, but the apparatus was for the use of the instructor
 only, the pupils not being allowed to handle it. And this condition
 existed to within about thirty years of the end of the century, when
 the agitation for individual laboratory work began.

 This period of agitation was marked by the beginning of some
 laboratory work and the discussion of the value of individual work and
 the inductive method by educators. But there was no general adoption
 of the plan till a later period. It was about this time that David
 Starr Jordan accepted the chair of Natural History in an Illinois
 college and attempted to establish a chemical laboratory. His attempt
 was promptly vetoed by the board of trustees....

 In the report from the Albany, N.Y., City School, for 1882, the
 Superintendent recommended that a whole year be given to the
 study of physics with opportunity for daily experiments, the class
 participating in the experiments as far as practicable. The report
 of 1882-1883 from the Washington, D.C., High School, states that
 laboratories have been fitted up. Indianapolis reported in 1883 that
 the experimental method had been introduced and was meeting with
 approval from both teacher and pupil. Cincinnati reported in 1882 that
 physics was taught from a syllabus four hours a week during the third
 year. St. Louis reported physics taught through the second year of the
 high school. The reports show only qualitative experiments....

 The general trend of accumulated opinion in 1884 shows increased
 favor of the idea that mental discipline is the chief aim in physics
 teaching. There was a general notion that the study of physics ought
 to train the pupil to think, but as to what method should be used to
 bring about this result there was no settled opinion. Laboratory work
 meant anything from a few simple demonstrations by the teacher to a
 complete individual laboratory course, such as is given at the present

 For the next fifteen years, physics teaching, in fact, science
 teaching in general, was in an experimental stage. In the effort to
 make science a disciplinary study, the laboratory method was coming
 into general use rapidly, but the old idea of making science include
 everything in reach—a remnant of the _Natural Philosophy_ stage—had
 prevented its becoming a really disciplinary study. We find David
 Starr Jordan in 1889 lamenting the superficial way in which science
 was taught.[77]


The historical statements given above show how recent is the
acceptance of the laboratory method even in science teaching. The
enthusiasm for the method is as impressive as its youth. It would be
impossible to turn the present generation of science teachers away
from the laboratory method of teaching. In spite of its cumbersomeness
of administration, its demand for expensive equipment, and the
deliberation which it compels in teaching the results of science, the
laboratory method is everywhere accepted as the true method. Indeed,
as stated above, the literary subjects such as history and English,
the latter especially in the teaching of composition, not infrequently
adopt the term “laboratory method” in order to show their recognition
of the effectiveness of the method worked out by the sciences.


The second innovation in method of teaching, namely, supervised
study, came as a reaction against the purely examination method of
conducting class exercises which was formerly almost universal except
in laboratory classes. The examination method is the familiar one of
calling a pupil to his feet and then asking him one question after
another to find out whether he has learned his lesson. If he answers
well, he is marked with a high grade. If he answers badly, he is marked
with a low grade, reprimanded, and told to do his work over.

The futility of some of this procedure is at once evident if one thinks
of the student who has made an honest effort to learn his lesson,
but has failed because he adopted an inefficient and often a wrong
method of getting the lesson. In such a case the pupil fails because
he does not know how to get his lesson. It therefore occurred to some
progressive teachers that it was their duty to inquire not merely into
the results of the student’s study but also into his methods of study.
The moment this new idea is grasped, the function of a recitation
will be seen to be something more than the examination of pupils. The
recitation is now coming to be the place where pupils learn how to do
intellectual work, how to attack intellectual problems, and how to
guide their efforts into more economical and effective channels.


Observation of high-school pupils who are asked to study will always
show the need of attention to methods of study. The following
description of such observation is illuminating:

 To ascertain to what extent the other members of the class might have
 this difficulty, the following experiment was tried. In assigning the
 next lesson, suggestions were given with unusual care. The pupils were
 then told that the next fifteen minutes would be given to studying the
 lesson, and that they should begin the assigned home work immediately.
 The experiment showed at once that the pupils did not appreciate the
 value of limited time, for all were slow in beginning work. It took
 some of them the whole fifteen minutes to go through the technique of
 getting started. Several evidently were not in the habit of working
 alone, for they looked about helplessly and simply imitated the
 others. However, these same pupils had come to the classroom daily
 with the lessons well prepared. Very little was accomplished in the
 fifteen minutes indicating that the pupils very probably wasted
 much time in studying their assignments of home work. Although the
 class had been in the high school only a short time, the teacher had
 been presupposing a habit of study which did not exist. Much of the
 difficulty is due to lack of knowledge as to how to study and how to
 use time to advantage. The remedy in this case is, of course, definite
 instruction as to methods of study.[78]


The organization of a school to provide opportunity for supervised
study is thus described by the principal of one of the first schools to
undertake this type of work on a large scale:

 We took five minutes from each of the six recitation periods, which we
 have in our school day, and put these together to make a thirty-minute
 study period coming once a day. In order that each class might receive
 the benefit of this period, we arranged that the first period class
 use the time on Tuesday; the second period class on Wednesday; and
 the third period class on Friday; the following week that the fourth,
 fifth, and sixth period classes use the period for supervised study.
 On Monday and Thursday the teacher uses this study period by having
 come to her room for individual attention, such students as she thinks
 may need individual help. So much for the plan.

 In regard to the results, we have found that the plan is of greatest
 advantage with the younger students, and in the first part of a
 subject. That is, the younger students need direction in method of
 study, and all the students find it helpful when learning the method
 of attack upon a new subject.

 We find it necessary, of course, to keep some definite check upon
 the work of the students. This is done by setting for them certain
 concrete problems in their study. For instance, to work out a certain
 number of examples; to be ready to prove a given theorem; to pick
 out the topic sentences in a given paragraph; to determine the most
 important points of a certain topic in physics; to pick out the
 leading events in a given historical topic, etc. We find the method
 works very well in mathematics, science, and history. Some difficulty
 has been experienced in the study of an English classic, such as
 _Macbeth_, in making the work of the study period definite. We are
 working at this problem.

 Besides teaching methods of study, we have found one decided advantage
 of this study period is that by reason of it, the teacher gets a
 considerable insight into the methods of study of the various students
 and can discover those who waste time, who have faulty methods of
 attack, etc.

 Another point which we have found as a result of this work is that the
 teachers themselves are not at all clear as to definite methods of


One of the recent elaborate plans for supervised study is thus
described by its author:

 It has been erroneously assumed by many writers that supervised study
 was synonymous with effective study. It has been taken for granted
 that schools administering supervised-study schedules taught pupils
 how to study. There is a wide difference between _more_ study and
 _effective_ study. Supervised-study schedules may secure the former
 and miss the latter. Effective study depends upon many elements,
 among them proper time and place, concentration, reading ability,
 organization habits, questioning habits, and memory. Supervised-study
 schedules mechanically provide for the first two and more nearly
 secure the third than do other devices. The remaining elements
 involved in the technique of study are not necessarily concomitants of
 so-called supervised study....

 The origin of the plan I am about to describe grew out of study of
 the classroom exercise in typewriting. In the typewriting class
 pupils remain in the same group, but are individually apart. A pupil
 taking typewriting may stay out of school for two weeks and return
 to the same group in his mathematics, Latin, and typewriting. In the
 last subject he starts in exactly where he left off with a distinct
 realization that his muscular-mental co-ordination has been impaired,
 while too often in the first two subjects he takes up the advanced
 work with his classmates apparently without any particular sense of
 loss. Why should he, if he makes his grade? Does he not figure out a
 distinct gain?

 Two things differentiate the mechanics of the typewriting exercise
 from the mathematics and Latin recitations: (_a_) consecutive, daily
 assignments which the pupil may follow without the guidance of a
 teacher; (_b_) individual responsibility and progress or an accounting
 for individual differences. Apply these same principles to academic
 subjects and it becomes necessary to provide printed daily lesson
 assignments and to check upon individual preparation of these daily
 assignments. One added factor, however, appears with the academic
 subject which uniquely distinguishes it from the manual, namely, the
 _expression_ of the lesson ideas.

 In typewriting the pupil during the exercise concretely and
 muscularly shows the teacher how well he understands the lesson. In
 academic subjects the understanding must first be tested by language
 expression. There is no machine yet invented for eliminating this
 language-expression exercise. Consequently for all academics there
 must always remain the recitation period. _Throwing one’s ideas
 into a language mold is not the same as expressing one’s ideas by
 mechanical means._ For this reason the recitation period must always
 be stressed....

 The laboratory-recitation plan is based on the fundamental idea that
 recitation groups should be organized on the basis of preparation.
 Pupils need not recite on the day’s preparation, but the recitation
 for the day is upon work previously prepared and tested. The
 recitation teacher knows that when his group assembles each and every
 pupil has previously prepared and has been checked in the work to be
 recited upon, otherwise the pupil would not be in the group. This is
 accomplished by the following _modus operandi_:

 _Co-operating laboratory-recitation teachers._ Forty or fifty pupils
 are assigned to a certain laboratory-recitation period operated by
 two teachers—one the laboratory, the other the recitation, teacher—in
 adjoining rooms. While the laboratory teacher is supervising
 the preparation of lessons during the ninety-minute period, the
 co-operating recitation teacher is conducting recitations with groups
 of pupils taken from the laboratory on the basis of their preparation.
 For illustration, each Friday the laboratory algebra teacher in the
 second period will give the co-operating recitation teacher of that
 class and period the advancement of the slowest pupil in each of two
 or three recitation groups previously determined on the basis of
 laboratory preparation. The recitation teacher prepares his work for
 the following week on the basis of this information. If there are
 three groups, the recitation teacher devotes thirty minutes to each
 group; if two groups, forty-five minutes. The pupil spends either
 one-half or two-thirds of each period in the laboratory, the time
 depending upon the number of groups into which the recitation has been
 divided, and the remaining time in recitation.[80]


The meaning of experiments such as have been described is not far
to seek. The ingenious supervisor or teacher who has watched the
ordinary recitation made up of a series of questions and answers
recognizes the fact that such a recitation is very formal. His efforts
to improve teaching will carry him into new types of class exercises.
The laboratory type of exercise will serve better in certain cases;
in others, the supervised-study type. Sometimes it is desirable to
try other experiments. Without attempting to deal with these other
experiments in detail, it may be well to enumerate some of the types of
class exercise which have not been discussed in full.

The lecture method is common in higher institutions. In the primary
grades this method has taken the form of story-telling and has been
developed of late with elaborate technique.

The study lesson is a name which has been used to describe an exercise
in which the pupils study new material on which they have not prepared
in advance. The special forms of this kind of exercise may vary from a
critical reading together of an advanced section of the textbook to a
series of readings by members of the class of various scattered sources
in collateral books.

A report lesson is a modification of the lecture method. The members
of the class, rather than the teacher, furnish the lecture material;
each student having prepared a part of the whole in advance has an
opportunity to present his findings to the class, with the result that
the subject is studied in full through the coöperative efforts of all.

The laboratory method may take on the form of field excursions in
the geographical sciences and the form of gardening in agriculture.
Whatever its form it is one of the most radical departures from the
traditional class exercise.

Shopwork has become common in many lines. With the girls the class
exercises in domestic science and domestic art are crosses between
construction exercises and investigation exercises.

Drill exercises in mathematics and language consist in the performance
under the teacher’s supervision of a series of tasks which are designed
to cultivate fixed habits in the fields to which they belong. Very
often such exercises are conducted in such a way that each pupil works

Written examinations ought to be included here. Whenever a class is
given a series of review questions for the purpose of requiring a
general review of a whole subject, the result of the exercise is to
fix in the student’s mind certain larger elements of the study and to
establish certain broad habits of selection. Written examinations may
be, from this point of view, devices of training, not merely tests of
results. The examination method as a training method has, accordingly,
an important place.

The coöperative recitation is one in which the pupils ask the
questions. The teacher withdraws as far as possible, and allows the
members of the class to initiate the discussions. When this kind
of exercise is first introduced, the pupils are likely to follow
as closely as they can the manner of questioning which they have
seen exhibited by their teachers. If the experiment is carried out
persistently, the pupils will ultimately become quite independent and
spontaneous in their questioning.


Class exercises are thus seen to differ in form and in results. When
the student of standards begins to make his tests and measurements, he
finds an inviting field for study in the different effects which follow
the various types of exercises enumerated above.


Methods can be discussed from various points of view. Let the student
consider methods in relation to the different subjects of instruction.
How will the method of teaching manual training compare with the method
of teaching Latin or arithmetic or music? Again, let the relation of
method to the maturity of pupils be discussed. What can be done in a
high-school class in English that is not possible with an elementary
class? In this connection what are the methods of teaching adults?
Does a preacher exhibit method in his preaching? What is the method of
a writer in a newspaper as distinguished from the method of a writer
of novels? Methods can be considered from the point of view of the
teacher’s personality and equipment. Are there any natural differences
between the methods of men and women in teaching? Classify teachers
with respect to the aggressiveness of their methods of attack. Some are
very quiet and require the pupils to do most of the talking; others are

In the Appendix will be found a list of questions designed to aid in
the observation of classroom methods.

 CHARTERS, W. W. Methods of Teaching. Row, Peterson & Company, Chicago.

 EARHART, L. B. Types of Teaching. Houghton Mifflin Company.

 MCMURRY, C. A. The Elements of General Method. Public School
 Publishing Company, Bloomington, Illinois.

 PARKER, S. C. Methods of Teaching in High Schools. Ginn and Company.

 STRAYER, G. D. A Brief Course in the Teaching Process. The Macmillan

 STRAYER, G. D., and NORSWORTHY, N. How to Teach. The Macmillan Company.


[77] David A. Ward, The History of Physics Instruction in the Secondary
Schools of the United States. Unpublished thesis for the Master’s
degree in the Department of Education of The University of Chicago.

[78] E. R. Breslich, “Supervised Study as a Means of providing
Supplementary Individual Instruction.” Thirteenth Yearbook of the
National Society for the Study of Education, Part I, p. 45. The
University of Chicago Press, 1914.

[79] F. M. Giles, late principal of the Township High School of De
Kalb, Illinois. Thirteenth Yearbook of the National Society for the
Study of Education, Part I, pp. 57-58.

[80] I. M. Allen, “Experiments in Supervised Study.” _School Review_,
Vol. XXV, No. 6 (June, 1917), pp. 401-404.




The last chapter dealt with the intellectual side of class exercises.
The recitation has for its final purpose the conveying and fixing of
certain ideas and methods of thinking. But this end can be reached only
when the social conditions within the class are properly under control.
The teacher is concerned, therefore, not alone with intellectual
instruction; he is concerned also with what is sometimes called school
government or school discipline. If the class is in a riot, it is
impossible to make any headway with history or arithmetic. Young and
inexperienced teachers are often ineffective because they do not know
the art of social management. They know the subject-matter which is to
be impressed on the minds of the pupils, but they do not understand the
serious social distractions which are sure to arise at times in a group
of immature human beings.


The social conditions necessary for successful classroom work are
often dependent on the general discipline of the whole school rather
than on the momentary situation. If the general social tone of a
school building is low, the best teacher is likely to find himself
handicapped. If, on the other hand, the social management outside
the classroom is efficient, a given teacher who is not skillful in
organizing his class may get on without serious disturbance.

There is another sense, also, in which the problem of management is
a general one. The effect of class management on the pupil’s life is
profound. The school coöperates with the home and often outweighs the
home in determining the pupil’s ideals of social life. These ideals are
not so much matters of intellectual training as of social habit. The
influence of a teacher over his pupils is often due quite as much to
the way in which he manages the class as to the subject-matter which he


A social situation can often be anticipated and conditions can be
prearranged so as to direct all the participants into lines of
activity which are desirable. In considering classroom organization
it is important that we recognize, first, the possibilities of
prearrangement. The more experienced a teacher becomes, the more he can
anticipate situations.

Second, there are forms of class organization which facilitate social
coöperation, such as arranging pupils in line. This is recognized
outside the school, and it is a common practice to arrange people in
line, when, for example, they are securing tickets. The management
of groups of people can best be carried on by the adoption of such
forms. There need be nothing artificial about the forms if they are not
overdone. The skillful teacher often uses formal routine to keep the
class moving as a unit.

Third, there is no social group which does not at times profit by a
critical review of situations after they are over. Punishment is meted
out by society to those who have failed to conform to social demands.
On the other hand, rewards are given to those who have promoted in
conspicuous ways the interests of the group. Both punishments and
rewards are to be recognized as educative devices, and should be used
in the school only when they are such. The future welfare of society
is what should be in mind in every expression of judgment on past

Briefly put, social management deals first with conditions before the
group comes together; second, with the forms necessary while the group
is together; and third, with the rewards or punishments which should
follow an act in the interests of future behavior.


Examples of anticipatory arrangements are not difficult to find. All
the material equipments of the school contribute to class management.
The division of the building into small classrooms provides for the
division of the school into manageable groups. The arrangement of seats
and the precautions against the noise and distraction which result from
the shuffling about of furniture are further examples of preparation in
advance for the management of classes.

In like fashion, the program for the day is worked out in advance by
the wise administrator. This program provides for a distribution of
work and recreation such that there will be no undue tax on the child.
The third-grade pupil, for example, cannot sit still for thirty-five
minutes at a time, so the teacher changes the character of the exercise
at the end of every twenty or thirty minutes.

Anticipatory measures of the type here pointed out are usually not
thought of by the inexperienced teacher as devices of class management.
Class discipline is usually assumed to be a matter of the moment. If
one will learn to look ahead, it is surprising how far most situations
can be anticipated. The first day a teacher meets a class it is
possible to foresee that it will be safer to require certain members
of the group to sit apart. It is better to arrange their seats at once
rather than to wait until an overt act precipitates a separation as a

The fact is that unfavorable social situations usually grow out of
conditions that are remote and cannot be dealt with adequately at the
moment. The disorderly boy is often one whose physical condition is
unfit. The school is beginning to recognize the importance of proper
feeding and proper hours of sleep, and is taking steps to see that
pupils receive at home and at the luncheon hour the kind of hygienic
attention which will prepare them for the work of the class. The social
situation in the classroom is thus anticipated by a whole series of
preparatory moves which at first sight seem remote from the teacher’s
direct task of meeting a class.

The attitude which is encouraged by a study of anticipatory measures is
the same as that which is coming into the practice of medicine. There
was a time when the physician regarded it as his chief duty to deal
with disease after it had actually appeared. To-day the far-sighted
practitioner is an advocate of what he calls preventive medicine. He
aims to get the community interested in preparing in advance wholesome
conditions which will conduce to health. The teacher’s task ought
not to be that of constantly penalizing pupils who have done wrong;
it should be rather that of preparing conditions which will reduce
disorder to a minimum and promote to its highest degree orderly
procedure in the class.


The anticipation of social needs passes insensibly into the
organization of regular forms of routine to be followed in the class
exercise itself. The class exercise is not different in its essentials
from any social gathering. It has been found necessary in meetings
of any type to require one who would speak to secure the floor. It
would lead to social chaos if everyone in an assembly spoke his mind
according to his own personal impulse.

The difficulty in applying this analogy to the classroom and the
difficulty in general about all fixed routine is that free discussion
is often defeated by formality. The teacher is anxious, if he
understands his task, to draw out the enthusiastic response of every
member of his class. How to do this and at the same time avoid
confusion which will disturb the whole group is a nice problem of
adjustment. Formal methods should be required and adhered to far enough
to insure the smooth operation of the social life of the class, but
spontaneity should be prized and conserved.

Another and perhaps more fortunate example of routine to avoid
confusion is to be found in an effective beginning of a class exercise.
When a recitation is about to begin, it is a matter of major importance
that the teacher be ready with something which will attract the
attention of the whole class. Some instructors accomplish this with
the first question; some resort to such a device as the announcement
of the next assignment; some begin with a summary of the last lesson;
some have the members of the class write for a few minutes. In sharp
contrast with these methods which indicate that the instructor is
ready and knows what he wants done are the aimless wanderings of some
instructors who look over their desks for a book which seems to be lost
in the débris, or the time-consuming roll call indulged in by others.

A third type of illustration of orderly procedure is the
systematization of methods of passing in material. If pupils arrange
their written work or their books or other material in a regular
fashion, there will be no disorder in handling them. The social group
will move as a unit, and this common movement will itself make for
social solidarity.

There is much sanction in social psychology for this emphasis on
routine. The customs of primitive peoples take on the character of
sacred rites, so essential are they to the common life of the social
group. Even in civilized society the demands of the group are
paramount. There is in the family a fixed time for eating meals, not
because hunger coincides in its reappearances with the movements of the
clock but because the joint activities of a social group proceed better
when they are systematized.

The routinizing of school work can go too far. The requirement has
been imposed within the memory of this adult generation that pupils
sit in their seats through long recitation periods with their hands
behind their backs. Marching in lockstep from class to class has
sometimes been required. The list could be lengthened indefinitely. The
trouble in most of these cases is that the teacher loses sight of the
educational motive of all discipline and begins to think of so-called
order as an end in itself.


Even after a situation has been as carefully organized as is humanly
possible, there are sure to come social emergencies. These furnish
occasions for a type of discipline which is valuable not so much for
the effect which it produces on the present situation as for its effect
on the future. Furthermore, there is often very little expectation that
the future will bring an exact repetition of the particular situation
which has just passed. The discipline is therefore general in its type
rather than specifically applicable to the present.

Viewed as a general preparation for the future, the social condemnation
or approval of an act is often very important. For example, a boy
breaks something through sheer carelessness. Shall the teacher
pass the act without comment, or shall the act be made an occasion
for punishment? Some people are disposed to determine what kind of
treatment shall be given in terms of the value of the object broken.
This is evidently to make of the specific act a specific issue. It is
better, if it can be done, to detach attention from the specific act
and note the general consequences of carelessness. Educationally, the
accident furnishes an opportunity to warn, not against breaking that
particular object again, but against being careless. If the lesson is
well taught, it will tend to keep the boy from rushing about in the
future without regard for his surroundings, whatever those surroundings
may be.

Commendation, like blame, is useless except as it sets up in the
pupil’s mind true canons of judgment. To praise a child for a
particular act, merely concentrating attention on that act, is to
neglect the opportunity of cultivating a general virtue.

So complicated are the issues touched on in the last few paragraphs
that many teachers feel that the safest course is to avoid praise
and blame as far as possible and allow natural consequences to open
the eyes of children to the virtue or error of their ways. Social
approbation and social condemnation are thought of as something highly
artificial and to be avoided. Experience does not justify this view.
Social life has its rewards and its punishments, and the child will
miss a large part of his education if he does not come to understand
the importance to him of social values.

Let us consider a concrete case. A group of small boys in the fourth
grade hid the rubbers and umbrella of a little girl in their grade
one rainy noon, so that the girl was much delayed in starting home
for luncheon and was much distressed. What could be done? The range
of ordinary school punishments seems very limited. In earlier days
there was a form of punishment capable of the nicest gradations and of
universal application for every offense. But corporal punishment has
gone, and if, from among the remaining possibilities, properly adjusted
punishment is to be administered, it must be devised with ingenuity and
regulated in quantity. The teacher in the case referred to hit on the
plan of making the three little boys serve the girl for a week. They
brought her coat and hat to her after school. She sent them on errands
to the library. They learned more under the careful observation of the
class about how boys should treat others, especially girls, than they
could possibly have thought out in long months of freedom from the
bonds of service.

Legitimate praise is perhaps harder to administer with equity
than punishment. The teacher holds up a child’s drawing and calls
attention to its excellences. The danger is that the child will become
self-conscious and conceited. A boy is polite and the teacher remarks
on the fact. The other boys in the class who have not of late merited
such praise make a virtue of their freedom from the taint of the
teacher’s praise.

The difficulty of laying down any principles regulating punishment
and praise is that cases cannot be discussed intelligently without
reference to the general social situations in which they find their
setting. It may be said, indeed, that when an act is performed, it is
too late to deal with it adequately in any case. The only effective
form of classroom management is that which anticipates the act and
develops a social atmosphere in which condemnation or approbation is
naturally and spontaneously contributed by the whole group.

It is sometimes said that good school discipline is to be found only
where there is no discipline. This remark is true only when discipline
is thought of as synonymous with punishment administered; it assumes
that the administration of such punishment is the chief or only form of
discipline. In a larger view of the situation one should recognize that
the best school discipline is that which guides the social group at all
times and controls its attitudes toward all acts. The spirit of a class
is no accident of the moment. That teacher has the best discipline
who has planned and prepared the social situation so carefully that a
departure from the established order brings an instant and wholesome
response from the whole group.


With this larger view of discipline in mind, one may legitimately
introduce into this discussion a reference to those forms of elaborate
organization of the school group which are sometimes attempted in the
school-city or the school-state. Under these plans the pupils of a
school are organized into an imitation city or state patterned after
the adult corporation. The purpose of such an experiment is twofold.
First, the conduct of a miniature organization prepares the pupils for
participation in later life in the duties of citizenship, and second,
there grows up a feeling of responsibility for the conditions in the
immediate social group. The officers of the school-city are more active
than they would otherwise be in restraining their fellows from possible
disorder and in promoting acts which redound to the advantage of all.

These elaborate organizations are educational devices which often
stimulate great interest and serve their twofold purpose admirably. In
general, it must be remembered that a sense of responsibility cannot be
cultivated in a day and is not the natural possession of an immature
mind. Unless there is constant supervision the school-city is likely to
go on the rocks even as a real municipality suffers from the tendency
of human nature to backslide. The teacher must bring to the school-city
those experiences and those social stimulations which will train and
keep alive the community spirit.

It is a mistake to assume that social organization exists only where
it finds expression in some such elaborate form as is discussed in
the foregoing paragraphs. Social attitudes of some kind are always
present. The teacher who leaves the matter to mere chance runs risks.
The teacher who overdoes organization suffers from the reaction which
commonly follows restraint. The teacher who deals with the situation
with plan and foresight may mold the social group into a helpful agency
contributing greatly to the work of the school.


However carefully the social whole has been organized, there comes
a time when an unruly member appears. The teacher’s task is then to
defend the group and bring the eccentric member if possible under the
influence of the social order.

In a very interesting chapter in his volume on “School Discipline”
Professor Bagley has supplied the evidence that no classroom can be
regarded as free from the appearance of unruly types of students.
Even good teachers of long experience who in general are free from
difficulties with the discipline of their classes find it necessary
to give special attention to the troublesome types. These types are
described by Professor Bagley as including the following: the stubborn
pupil who makes difficulty because he is constantly refusing to fit
into the social order; the haughty pupil who is not merely conceited
but in his ordinary performances disturbs the regular social routine
by his overbearing attitude both toward his fellows and his teacher;
the self-complacent pupil who cannot be aroused to activity by any of
the ordinary inducements that are presented by the school. Other types
include the irresponsible pupil, the morose pupil, the hypersensitive
pupil, the deceitful pupil, and the vicious pupil.

This collection of unmanageables fortunately does not turn up in
any single class at one time, but, as Professor Bagley remarks, it
would be unwise for us to leave young teachers with the idea that
the appearance of any one of these types is due to the teacher’s
inefficiency. Many an efficient young teacher is baffled at the outset
by the difficulties of dealing with one or another of these types of
students. Professor Bagley made inquiry of some of the best teachers
whom he could locate, and found that it is inevitable that pupils
of these types are to be found sooner or later in every school. The
wise teacher does well to plan in advance for the reception of the
particular specimen that is sure to fall to his lot with every ten or
twelve pupils.


The final comment which may be made in this connection is that the
teacher must recognize that school discipline is a professional and
educational problem, not a matter of purely personal relations between
pupil and teacher. The teacher is dealing with a problem of group
organization; he cannot allow the fractious pupil to pull him down to
the level of a personal controversy. It is difficult at times to keep
from the strong emotional reactions which blind the teacher to this
objective view of school order, but the efficient teacher will see to
it that the group idea and the needs of the social whole guide every
act of discipline and reward.


Distinguish between pupils of different ages with reference to the form
of discipline appropriate. Does the first-grade child have any sense of
responsibility? How far can a class in a high school be trusted to take
care of its own order?

A commission in New York City, after studying the cases of disobedient
pupils, recommended a return to corporal punishment. What can be said
in favor of such a move? What are the evils of corporal punishment?

Society as a whole has taken an entirely new attitude in modern times
toward the matter of punishment. The prison policy of modern nations is
different from the older policy. What can be said with regard to prison
education? What is the relation of crime to physical conditions?

With regard to the matter of rewards and prizes, what can be said for
and against exemption from examinations as a reward for good work?
Should medals be given for high scholarship? What is the attitude
of society at large outside of the school in regard to rewards?
For example, what does society do for the painter, the author, the
successful plumber and carpenter? Is the example of society at large
capable of direct translation into school practice?

 BAGLEY, W. C. School Discipline. The Macmillan Company.

 MOREHOUSE, F. M. The Discipline of the School. D. C. Heath and Company.

 PERRY, A. C. Discipline as a School Problem. Houghton Mifflin Company.

 SPENCER, HERBERT. Education. Chapter III on Moral Education. D.
 Appleton and Company.




The regular and orderly movement of a social group depends on
the adoption of a program. The daily program of a school is an
indispensable formal device for maintaining that type of solidarity
which was discussed in the last chapter. A second formal device of
school control is the marking system, under which the pupil’s status
is determined and in accordance with which all his relations of an
official type are regulated. The marking system may be treated as a
conventional plan for distributing social rewards and punishments.
Together, the daily program and the marking system are so much more
significant than any other devices of social organization that they may
properly be selected for special treatment.


The arrangement of the daily program involves, first of all, the
determination of the total amount of time available in the school day.
Reliable information on this matter is at hand for a large number of
the smaller cities of the United States, as indicated in the following

 The following statistics show present conditions regarding the length
 of the school day. Of 1,270 cities reporting, 338 have a school day
 of from four and a half to five hours; 521, from five to five and a
 half hours; 411, from five and a half to six hours. Of 1,310 cities
 reporting, 1,242 have two daily sessions, and 68 but one daily
 session. The tendency is toward a longer school day, especially in the
 grammar grades and in the high school. The opinion of most school men
 is that a high school of two sessions is superior to a high school of
 one session. With the one-session plan, but little time is available
 for study periods. It is evident that four recitations, the number
 generally required, demand more than one or two 45 or 50 minute
 periods for study. The theory is that with the one-session plan pupils
 will prepare their lessons at home in the afternoon. The experience of
 the superintendents who have tried the one-session plan has generally
 been similar to that of the superintendent of schools at Detroit,
 Minn., who says:

 The one-session plan which I found in vogue in this high school was
 retained for the present year so that its workings might be studied.
 It is fine in theory, but a failure in practice. Asking the pupils to
 be ready for work at 8:30 caused much tardiness. It was impossible
 for those who came by the bus or train to be on time. Then the fact
 that the high school had one time schedule and the grades another,
 while occupying the same building, caused endless confusion. During
 the afternoon, when students came back only for shop and laboratory
 work or to consult teachers, there was further annoyance from students
 passing to and fro through the halls. There was too much idling
 about the buildings for the good of the grades in session or of the
 high-school students themselves. Of course, the fine theory was that
 students would spend the afternoon studying in the quiet and freedom
 of their homes, but they didn’t. Too many of them roamed the streets
 and came to class unprepared the next day. The plan also kept the
 industrial teachers waiting until afternoon before they could begin
 their work. They were compelled to do it when pupils were tired and
 nervous. This work ought to be interspersed through the day to relieve
 the tension of the other work.

 One argument advanced in favor of the one-session plan is that many
 students work their way through school by using the afternoon. The
 facts are otherwise. This year only three boys have worked afternoons,
 and possibly the same number of girls.

 Next year we shall return to the “long day” and lengthen the time
 devoted to each subject, so as to give teachers a better chance to
 teach it thoroughly. Each student will also have a longer time at
 school to study under the supervision of the principal.[81]

At Gary the eight-hour school day with variations in the program to
secure play, shopwork, class work, and entertainment is the ideal
toward which the system is working. In some other quarters the
reduction of formal school work has been advocated on the assumption
that outdoor work and play can be supplied by the home or some other
agency enough to fill up the pupil’s waking hours. Whatever the form
taken by the discussion, one leading tendency appears everywhere:
the child’s work should be organized throughout the day. In most
communities this means that the school will be called on to extend its
control to most of the hours.


When the length of the school day has been determined, the problem
of subdividing the day presents itself. The subdivision must first
of all recognize the claims of various subjects. The type of problem
which arises at this point was discussed at length in the chapters on
the curriculum, and we need not here discuss further the claims of
subjects. We turn now to the general problem of class organization
which can be formulated in the question, How long can a student
profitably try to concentrate his attention on a single form of


The pupil’s ability to work is determined by certain physiological
conditions which should be understood by every teacher. These
conditions can be described in a brief study of the physiology of

Any animal tissue, as, for example, a muscle, is a storehouse of
energy. Through nutrition the muscle tissue is kept in condition to
contract. Whenever the muscle contracts, it uses up its own substance;
it burns up its tissues to a limited degree. In the process of thus
consuming its material the muscle gradually becomes clogged with waste
products. It is the business of the circulatory system in a living
organism to carry away this waste material and thus free the muscle
from the effects of its contraction. The circulatory system also brings
new materials in the form of nutrition to restore the depleted tissues.
The restoration of the tissue through nutrition is not the demand
which is most urgent in the case of a muscle which is called on to
contract for a long period of time. Sooner or later the muscle must,
indeed, be brought back to its normal state of nutrition, but during
actual contraction the most immediate physiological problem is to keep
it clear of its own waste products. If these waste products are not
removed, they tend to interrupt further contraction by preventing the
nerve fiber which enters the muscle from discharging motor impulses
into the muscle. If stronger nervous impulses are sent through the
nerve fiber, the muscle, even though it is somewhat clogged, will
be found in a condition to contract with its original vigor; but if
the nervous impulses are not increased, the contractions gradually
diminish in intensity. This is a condition of muscular fatigue, and is
to be distinguished from exhaustion, which does not set in until the
substance of the muscle has been used up to a point which endangers the

Fatigue is nature’s effort to protect tissues against any possibility
of excessive use. Fatigue sets in at a period long before danger to the
tissue is at hand. The overcoming of fatigue is dependent in all cases
on the power to dispose of waste products. The athlete, for example,
becomes a better runner chiefly through a training of his organism to
carry away waste products. The untrained individual grows stiff and
sore from exercise, not because his muscles are used up, but because
his muscles are clogged with waste substances.

This description of muscular fatigue lays the foundation for an
understanding of the problem of nervous fatigue. The nerve cells, like
the muscles, get clogged by the products of their own action. They then
fail to carry nervous impulses freely, and the individual can do his
mental or physical work only with excessive effort. Fatigue of nerve
cells means that nature has limits of work in these cells. Fortunately,
the limit is reached long before exhaustion or other real dangers set


Matters are complicated by the fact that physical conditions other than
ordinary use produce fatigue-like effects in nerve cells. Excitement
of any kind rapidly changes the condition of nerve cells, and
sometimes foreign chemical substances get into the blood, as in fever
or infection, and produce a condition that is in effect the same as

Still further, as a fact of large importance in determining capacity
for work, the nerve cells pass each day through a kind of internal
cycle of conditions. At certain hours their condition is such that they
transmit nervous impulses freely, and work is easy; at other hours
work drags because the nerve cells are not prepared to be active;
their internal chemical condition is such as to obstruct transmission
of impulses. Thus, one is usually very energetic in the middle of
the forenoon, but is logy at noon and sleepy at a late hour in the
afternoon. Marked individual differences appear, making this statement
merely a general statement. Furthermore, personal habits can be changed
to some extent through the adoption of new habits of life.

Finally, there are all sorts of pathological conditions which
profoundly affect the life and action of nerve cells. Anæmia and
malnutrition may render nerve cells utterly incapable of continued


Enough has been said to make it clear that no simple formula can be
applied to a group of pupils when one tries to determine for purposes
of the daily program how long their nerve cells can be kept at work
on a single task. The wisest course for the teacher to follow is to
be alert, and when a class reaches its limit of profitable work to
introduce a change. On the other hand, the teacher should be very
discriminating and should understand that fatigue is not a dangerous
symptom. For example, suppose that the athlete always stopped his
exercise just as soon as he began to feel the necessity of sending
stronger nervous impulses down to his muscles. He would lose the best
results of training, for these results consist in the acquisition of
the power to overcome fatigue. So also with the pupil. The acquisition
of the power to overcome fatigue is a most important part of the
pupil’s training.

Keeping the principles suggested in the foregoing discussion in mind,
it is relatively easy to arrive at certain practical rules of program

First, maturity ought to mean greater power of endurance. The older
classes should—and usually do—have longer periods of work.

Second, the period should be long enough to stretch the pupil’s
powers. Regulation of work within this period should be left to the
teacher, and teachers should train themselves to recognize the symptoms
of fatigue and to judge when training has gone as far as it can in
overcoming fatigue.

Third, there should be variety in the program. The nervous system
is made up of many different centers. The variation of occupations
brings different centers successively into play and gives to each the
opportunity of relaxation which is most wholesome. A long school day
with much variety is eminently more rational than a short session of
work of a single type concentrated into a few hours.


When recommending variations in the program we collide with what may
seem at first to be an insuperable difficulty. It is impossible from
an administrative point of view to have class exercises of irregular
lengths. Imagine what would happen if the mathematics teacher should
dismiss his class after a recitation of twenty-seven minutes, and
the Latin teacher should hold his for fifty-three minutes. For
administrative reasons class periods must be measured by the clock.

This leads to certain absurdities in school organization. For example,
in order to regularize credits in high schools a unit of credit has
been defined as a certain number of hours of class work. A moment’s
consideration makes it perfectly clear that an English class consisting
of thirty freshmen will do less intensive work in a forty-minute period
than will an advanced senior class of four students in trigonometry.
The administrative fiction of uniformity when like credit is given for
these two classes is grotesque.

The assignment of a double period to laboratory classes is likewise
a concession to administrative convenience rather than a carefully
weighed arrangement. It is easier to make up periods in multiples of
the standard recitation time. But it is by no means clear that the
sciences can profitably use double periods. The internal adjustment of
laboratory work needs more careful study than it has received in the
past. The laboratory method, as shown in an earlier chapter, is one
which has excited great enthusiasm. Many a laboratory assignment which
does not fill the time allotted to it is tolerated because of the vague
general enthusiasm for the method and the formal arrangement of double


Such examples as these show from a new angle the importance of the
movement for supervised study which was described in an earlier
chapter. The teacher in charge of the class must ultimately have
at hand various devices, some intended to give play to individual
differences, some intended to promote social coöperation. Then,
while administrative necessity dictates a uniform period for the
class exercise, the educational needs of the students can be met by
variations in the content and method of instruction.


Such a formula as this dictates also the recognition in an
administrative way of the differences between the work performed by
different students. There has been of late an increasing recognition of
the justice of giving pupils different degrees of credit for work which
they do in one and the same course. The student who carries a course in
algebra with a high grade undoubtedly learns more than the student who
does low-grade work in the same class.


The proper distribution of credits opens up the complex problem of
grading systems. The grading system is the basis of academic rewards
and penalties. Yet it is recognized by pupils and teachers alike to
be full of pitfalls. The ordinary system uses letters such as _E_ for
excellent, _P_ for poor; or percentage designations such as 100 for
perfect, 60 or 75 for just passing; or some other similar symbolism.

The ambiguities in the system arise in part out of the fact that
individual teachers have the most divergent notions as to the meaning
of each of the symbols.

Let us assume the case of a new teacher who has just come to a given
school trying to find out what the other teachers mean by their marks.
This teacher will be told that 100 per cent means perfection. But what
is perfection in a subject? Is the student perfect when he tells what
is in the textbook, or is there a demand for original thinking? Still
more doubtful is the meaning of 90 per cent. Does this signify nine
tenths of what a student might know, or is it a kind of vague statement
meaning that the student is in the upper part of the class?

The new teacher will be very likely at this point, if he is intelligent
about marking systems, to ask how many students in a class usually get
100 or 90. This question is based on a conception of the meaning of
marks entirely different from that which was referred to in the last
paragraph. Marks may refer, and often do refer, not to the degree of
perfection in knowledge but to the relative position of the student in
his class. Some teachers mark the best pupil 100 and then try to grade
the rest from this standard.


Examples could be multiplied indefinitely, showing that there is
great vagueness in regard to the meaning of marks. We are, however,
more interested in the efforts which are being made to overcome these
unsatisfactory conditions.

First, teachers are being informed by comparative diagrams what the
relation of their own marking system is to the general average of
their colleagues. A few years ago the president of Harvard sent to
each member of the faculty a chart showing the curve of distribution,
reproduced in Fig. 16, and, superimposed on this, the curve of the
individual instructor’s marks. The standard curve was derived by
averaging the marks from eight large courses.

[Illustration: FIG. 16. Distribution of grades in various Harvard

The full-drawn line shows the average percentage of grades in eight
large elementary courses. The dotted line and the broken line represent
two departures from the average practice by instructors in two
different departments]

Second, the University of Missouri[82] has frankly given up trying to
determine whether students are 100 per cent perfect in a subject or
only 80 per cent. All students in all classes are arranged in the order
of their excellence in their classes. The marks, in other words, are
relative. When all the marks of the institution are compiled, there are
a few students who are relatively very high, many who are mediocre, and
a few who are low. The low ones are dropped, the high ones get honors,
and the mediocres get the reward due the average student. On the basis
of this kind of a classification the University gives to a student who
stands in the uppermost 5 per cent of his class 1.2 credits toward
graduation. The student in the next lower 20 per cent gets 1.1 credits.
The 50 per cent who are mediocre get the normal credit of 1.0, while
the lower ranks are penalized from 0.1 to all credit.

A third effort to improve the situation is being tried in the high
school of Kansas City, Kansas.[83] In each classroom is posted a
conspicuous chart telling students what they must do to get high
grades. One may pass with a _C_ if one does the required work taken
up in a sixty-minute combination recitation and study period. If
one is to receive _B_, it is required among other virtues that one
be sufficiently well prepared to recite without prompting from the
teacher. Furthermore, one must do outside work and report on it. The
_C_ pupil does his work in the class, but that is not enough for a _B_.
The _A_ pupil must fulfill even higher requirements. Each department
is allowed to post, in addition to the general statements made for the
whole school, special regulations which obtain for the work of that
particular department.

This system is a kind of public definition of the marks, and has the
great advantage of clearing up in the minds of the students what often
seems to them to be an unjust and mysterious scheme.


The study of grading systems has attracted much attention of late among
the students of the science of education. It is an excellent subject
with which to illustrate scientific methods, because the records being
in quantitative form lend themselves to easy and exact statistical

There is no better body of material for a principal to employ in
arousing his teachers to a recognition of the fact that they are
factors in a system. Marks are a kind of technical language used in the
school system. Their successful use calls for some comprehension of the
meaning and problems of the system as a whole.


Let members of the class make up a school program. Let there be in a
certain high school eight teachers, one well qualified in each of the
following subjects: English, mathematics, Latin, physics, biology,
modern languages, domestic science, and manual arts. There are seven
classrooms and a study room. There are 400 students, distributed as
follows: 140 freshmen, 110 sophomores, 90 juniors, and 60 seniors.
The school is in session from 8.45 A.M. to 12 noon and from 1.30 to
3.30 P.M. Make up a program of classes. Record all the questions that
are not answered in the above statement of conditions. Supply answers
yourself, recording explicitly the answer which you give in each case.
Let the members of the class then compare programs.

What is the difference between such a problem as above defined and the
problem of making out a program for an elementary school?

A very good exercise under this chapter is to give a written exercise
to the class and then ask the writers to mark each his own paper
after the question and its possible answers have been discussed by
the class. In like manner let each member of the class mark a certain
English composition or a recitation made by some member of the class.
Let the members of the class rate the various members of the class in
regard to their work. After each of these markings make a general table
showing the distribution of grades and note the differences between the
different markers.

There is very little written on detailed administrative problems. A
very good reading exercise at this point can be made up by referring
to Monroe’s “A Cyclopedia of Education” (Macmillan) and requiring
the student to find ten strictly administrative topics and ten which
have to do with methods. For most of the articles in the “Cyclopedia”
reading references are given.


[81] W. S. Deffenbaugh, “School Administration in the Smaller Cities.”
_Bulletin No. 44_, United States Bureau of Education, 1915, pp. 40-41.

[82] Max F. Meyer, “The Administration of College Grades.” _School and
Society_, Vol. II, No. 43 (October, 1915), pp. 577-589.

[83] See article by W. A. Bailey, _School Review_, Vol. XXV (May,
1917), pp. 305-321.




Recent educational practice has laid great emphasis on the cultivation
of children’s physical natures as well as their mental powers. This
new emphasis on physical training is due in part to a recognition of
the wisdom of extending education so as to include all sides of the
individual. It is due in part also to the conviction that the only
way to deal successfully with the ordinary work of the classroom is
to provide the kind of change and relief which comes from physical
exercise. Regular opportunities for play are accordingly provided in
the schools of to-day, and an elaborate system of physical supervision
is being developed in all the leading school systems. Some review of
these movements will be appropriate by way of supplement to the general
survey in earlier chapters of the activities of the school system.


The school of a generation ago retained a good deal of the Puritan
attitude toward play. One has only to recall the pandemonium which
used to break loose at recess and at the time of dismissal to realize
that there was a sharp distinction between school and play. In
school one sat up straight and still; when one was free from school
one let out all the pent-up inner impulses. The kind of play that
was exhibited under these conditions was riotous, irregular, and
aimless. Furthermore, the kind of play which was cultivated under these
conditions did not carry over into later life. There was no system, no
progression, in that play, and no cultivation of the inventiveness so
necessary if the recreations of later life are to be intelligent.


The change in attitude from that of the old-fashioned school to that
of the modern school is traceable in part to practical experience and
in part to a general and fundamental change in the philosophy of life.
To-day there is the profoundest respect for all that is natural. The
theological attitude of medievalism and of the Puritans that the body
is the baser part of self has disappeared with the development of the
biological sciences. The social sciences, too, have contributed the
lesson that all human behavior is in accordance with certain natural
laws. The philosophy of naturalism thus accepted has profoundly
modified the views of parents and teachers with regard to the play
impulse in children.


Not only is play natural, but numerous scientific studies reveal the
fact that in the animal world and in man’s life play contributes in no
unimportant degree to the individual’s development. These scientific
studies have shown that play follows definite lines of development.
There is first the play of early infancy, which consists in the
rhythmical movement of the limbs and in the grasping after objects
which satisfy the senses. This is the period of the rattle. There is
at this stage no regard for others, no social interest. Then comes a
second stage, where play is made up of imitative acts. This is the
period of the girl’s doll and of the boy’s kit of tools. The child’s
attention is now centered on others and their doings, and this outward
attention furnishes the individual with his models of action. Then come
the plays of contest and competition, when the child, now of school
age, matches himself against his companions in speed or strength.
This is the period of running games. Imitation has ripened into the
kind of rivalry which helps the individual to realize his personal
powers. Following competition comes the period of team play, in which
social union with some of one’s companions is combined with contest
against others. The adolescent child is now becoming aware of the uses
of social sympathy and co-operation. At each of these stages some of
the earlier forms of play survive, and all ripen into the form of
play characteristic of adult life, where the competitions are against
intellectual obstacles more than against physical. Adult play demands
skill and intellectual mastery of complex problems.

When one has learned that there is a natural and orderly evolution
of the play impulse, one realizes that it is rational to follow this
natural order in promoting individual development. Play takes on a
dignity that it never had in the days when it was looked on as an
uncurbed attribute of infancy to be tolerated only because there seemed
no possible way of eradicating it.


Indeed, the scientific discussions have gone much further than merely
to trace the course of the development of play. They show why play is
to be recognized as a necessary phase of life. At first the immature
instincts of the child tend to express themselves in activities that
are irregular and ill-coordinated, but aimed unmistakably in the
direction of the later serious activities of adult life. The kitten
chases the ball in preparation for the later activities of the hunt.
The explanation of this form of early play is that in the young
animal’s nervous system there are inherited paths which are ripening
into action. The impulses of life tend to flow down these inherited
paths; it is nature’s method of helping the nervous system to mature to
the point of full action.

When nature’s processes have matured the nervous system, the lines of
behavior of which the individual is capable are diverse. Each serious
activity of life engages some of the individual’s energy and brings to
the point of fatigue a certain group of his possible activities. When
one part of the nervous system has been fatigued, there will always
be other parts which have not been used. For example, a man who reads
for four hours does not use his arms and legs. At the end of the four
hours his reading powers will be fatigued, but his arms and legs will
be overready for action. There must be some change in activity and some
relaxation from serious work. Play is nature’s answer to this demand.


In addition to the scientific studies of the nature and function
of play appears the sociological fact that the growth of leisure
has created a new demand for well-regulated play. Furthermore, the
conditions of urban life are unfavorable for some of the simple plays
which in an earlier stage of civilization furnished an outlet for the
natural impulses. If the environment is artificial, there must be a
deliberate and intelligent effort to supply what nature demands but
civilization has made inaccessible.

The danger in a congested city where natural play is not possible is
a moral danger. There are vicious agencies which are not slow to take
advantage of the strong natural demand for recreation. The result is
that for the sake of gain appeals are made to the baser impulses of
human nature. The success of these unsavory forms of amusement attests
the presence of a strong natural demand. The way to meet the danger is
to provide forms of recreation which are wholesome and elevating.


Finally, all the arguments in favor of play are reënforced by the
general demand that the physical condition of children in school be
made a matter of especial concern. Play is the form of exercise which
serves better than any other to keep the physical system in good tone.
Hence the conclusion that play is as indispensable as it is natural.


In the light of these scientific and sociological studies it is evident
that the school has a task before it. Briefly stated, this task is as
follows: Nature intended that the child should play; play is a phase of
the child’s natural education. The conditions of life in cities have
deprived children of the opportunity for the free development of play.
The educational system must take the children in hand and train them
back into nature’s ways.


Evidence that the situation needs attention is furnished by studies
which have recently been made. The following quotation supplies one
such body of evidence:

 In the hour and a half following the close of school November 10 and
 18 careful observations were made in all parts of the town at the same
 time, by four adults selected for the purpose. They were instructed
 to look carefully through the streets, vacant lots, yards, parks, and
 playgrounds and make a notation of every child or young person up to
 the age of 21, observed. The information sought was what each one was
 actually doing, at play or otherwise, and where he was doing it. They
 were also asked to estimate the ages of the children observed. On
 November 6 a preliminary sounding was made by the investigator. Each
 observer was assigned definite territory so as to avoid duplication
 and all worked at exactly the same time. The results of these
 “soundings” have been carefully tabulated and summarized.

 Altogether 696 children, 447 boys and 249 girls, were observed. Of
 the total number, 262 or almost 40 per cent of the children and young
 people were doing nothing. Especially significant is the fact that
 168 of the 262 idling boys and girls were idling in groups. Here is
 where mischief usually starts. A majority of those walking (203) were
 in reality idling. Fifty-six or eight per cent of the children were
 playing football and baseball and 22 or a fraction over three per cent
 were occupied with other games. A play life the two chief features
 of which are idling and walking indicates that the community is not
 discharging its plain duty with respect to the boys and girls.[84]

A like result is reported in the Cleveland survey.

 A play census, taken June 23, 1913, under the direction of the Chief
 Medical Inspector and Assistant Superintendent in charge of Physical
 Education in Cleveland, seemed to show this same lack of relationship
 between the school and the out-of-school activities of children. The
 results of this study are shown in the following table. [Page 272]


 1. That just at the age (under 15) when play and activity are the
 fundamental requirements for proper growth and development 41 per
 cent of the children seen were doing nothing. The boy without play is
 father to the man without a job.

 2. Fifty-one per cent of all the children seen were in the streets, in
 the midst of all the traffic, dirt, and heat, and in an environment
 conducive to just the wrong kind of play.


                     |                       | BOYS  | GIRLS | TOTAL
   Where they were   |On streets             | 5,241 | 2,558 | 7,799
     seen            |In yards               | 1,583 | 1,998 | 3,581
                     |In vacant lots         |  686  |   197 |   883
                     |In playgrounds         |  997  |   872 | 1,869
                     |In alleys              |  413  |   138 |   551
                     |                       |       |       |
   What they were    |Doing nothing          | 3,737 | 2,234 | 5,971
     doing           |Playing                | 4,601 | 2,757 | 7,358
                     |Working                |   719 |   635 | 1,354
                     |                       |       |       |
   What games they   |Baseball               | 1,448 |   190 | 1,638
     were playing    |Kites                  |   482 |    49 |   531
                     |Sand piles             |   241 |   230 |   471
                     |Tag                    |   100 |    53 |   153
                     |Jackstones             |    68 |   257 |   325
                     |Dolls                  |    89 |   193 |   282
                     |Sewing                 |    14 |   130 |   144
                     |Housekeeping           |    53 |   191 |   244
                     |Horse and wagon        |    89 |    24 |   113
                     |Bicycle riding         |    79 |    13 |    92
                     |Minding baby           |    19 |    41 |    60
                     |Reading                |    17 |    35 |    52
                     |Roller-skating         |    18 |    29 |    47
                     |Gardening              |    13 |    14 |    27
                     |Caddy                  |     6 |     0 |     6
                     |Marbles                |     2 |     0 |     2
                     |Playing in other ways, |}1,863 | 1,308 | 3,171
                     |  mostly just fooling  |}      |       |

 3. That only six per cent of the children seen were on vacant lots
 despite the fact that in most of the districts vacant lots were
 available as play spaces. A place to play does not solve the problem:
 there must be a play leader.

 4. That even though 36 playgrounds were open and 16 of them with
 apparatus up, only 1869, or 11 percent, of the children seen within
 four blocks of a playground were playing on playgrounds. Last Friday
 6488 children played on playgrounds.

 5. That of the 7358 children reported to have been playing, 3171 were
 reported to have been playing by doing some of the following things:
 fighting, teasing, pitching pennies, shooting craps, stealing apples,
 “roughing a peddler,” chasing chickens, tying can to dog, etc., but
 most of them were reported to have been “just fooling”—not playing
 anything in particular.

 6. We need more and better playgrounds and a better trained


What is to be done in dealing with this situation? Three answers have
been given. First, plays must be arranged in a sequence which will
follow the natural order of children’s development, and when this
play course is properly organized, children must be given training in
play. The training should be of the same kind as that given in any
line, namely, such as to stimulate self-activity and full utilization
of the teacher’s suggestions. Specialists in the field have found it
advantageous to revive folk games and to call attention to the interest
which children exhibit in festivals and dramatic representations.
In other words, the discovery of plays suitable for children is
nothing but the extension into the field of recreation of the type of
educational resourcefulness which has enlarged the curriculum in every
division of the school. The enriched course of training in play should
be used for the improvement of adults as well as children, thus making
education for play a part of the movement of educational extension.


Second, the available resources of the community for play must be
canvassed and must be intelligently utilized. In the quotation from
the Cleveland survey given above it was pointed out that there are
vacant lots which are not used. A study of the play facilities of
the community will also show the necessity of curbing those forms of
recreation which are undesirable. A survey of this kind should deal not
only with the community’s equipment for play among children but also
with the play of adults. Such a survey has been made for the city of
Madison, Wisconsin, and there is now going on in the city of Cleveland
an extensive examination of all forms of recreation and amusement
together with an investigation of their effects on the people.

A few extracts from the Madison survey will show the kind of findings
which are turned up by such an inquiry:

 A study of the various sections of this survey shows that play or
 recreation occupies a great place in the life of the city. The time,
 effort and money put into it is enormous. Practically every social
 organization, as well as the individual and home, is involved in
 it. A very large percentage of the business section of the city and
 many outlying business places are directly or indirectly, wholly
 or partially, devoted to it, as is a large area of the whole city
 territory. Its influence is far reaching....

 The study of children’s activities in connection with the map survey
 shows that there is an enormous amount of play forced into the
 streets, even in well-to-do sections of the city, and in other cases
 into the worst of environmental conditions. There is no leadership or
 supervision of this play and there are no public playgrounds except
 Burr Jones Field and two park playgrounds and inadequate, unsupervised
 school playgrounds, where there is no attractive organization or play
 to draw the children from the streets to more wholesome activities
 and influences on the playgrounds. This is physically dangerous and a
 menace to morals.

 The study of commercial recreation shows that the large number of
 children are involved in passive amusements indoors during the few
 hours free for outdoor, health-giving activities or when they should
 be in bed. This is bad from the standpoint of health, the educational
 efforts of the school, and general social habits or ideals.

 The study of environmental influences and a neglect of play show that
 some of this street and unsupervised play results disastrously, even
 in delinquency, and supports the claim of many observers that most of
 the bad habits of children develop in play under bad influences.

 If the play of children is to be wholesome and generally developmental
 rather than inactive or detrimental, they must have wholesome places
 to play in, equipment, companionship, and at least a part of the
 time organized play and leadership. In so far as the home cannot
 supply these demands most of the time—and the larger number of homes
 cannot—public interest in the welfare of the rising generation demands
 that the play be centered in a community playground under proper
 supervision. The supreme need of children of Madison is playgrounds
 under trained directors.

 The recreational needs of the young men and women of the city
 requiring public attention are of three classes, all of which
 require places, organization and leadership. (1) They need athletic
 and aquatic activities, athletic organization and leadership.
 These activities are wholesome and increase efficiency rather
 than decrease it. (2) The young men and women need facilities and
 organization for more wholesome social activities, such as dances.
 They need to be under the auspices of the best influences rather than
 the questionable, and it is just as easy to have the best as the
 questionable. (3) Young men and women need opportunities for, and
 direction in, the more constructive use of their leisure time. They
 need places for their club meetings that have a distinct educational
 value as well as organization and general leadership. Individual use
 of museums and libraries also needs organization. The facilities
 for these activities are meager and an effective organization and
 leadership are totally lacking.

 The needs of adults in the way of activities and facilities are so
 complicated that it is almost impossible to summarize them. From
 the standpoint of public effort, the main points are provisions for
 the essentials in the way of facilities, organization, promotion
 and direction that cannot be supplied by individuals or small-group
 initiative or enterprise. This requires a public body that can study
 and deal with these needs. There is still a great body of adult
 individuals, largely of the untrained, laboring classes, without
 recreational resources and unprovided for by any recreational agency
 except, perhaps, the saloon. These men are recreational outcasts; they
 seriously need a place where they can find clean opportunities for
 their toilet and bath and wisely organized recreation. The provision
 of organization is the way to a simple, constructive use of leisure
 time by at least some of the younger of these men; here is a demand
 for a new type of men’s club, or a new type of organization of men who
 have no recreational resources. It is a need practically untouched by
 social agencies, yet one that must be faced frankly if these men are
 to gain or maintain any semblance of self-respect and not be a menace
 to democratic institutions.[86]


Third, the work of the schools should be so adjusted that play will
take its place with other subjects as a regular and essential part of
the curriculum. This implies not only that play will be given time in
the program but also that the same kind of expert guidance will be
provided for play as is provided for the other activities of the day.
The great value of a varied program is evident to all who have watched
the process which has been going on very rapidly in recent years of
opening up the school hours so as to include many different types
of activity. Play needs not only to be organized as play and to be
equipped with proper facilities, but it needs also to be incorporated
into the regular systematic program of the school. This statement may
be reënforced by extracts from the conclusions reached by the Cleveland

 Some reorganization of the educational corps should take place with a
 view to efficient administration of play and recreation from a broad
 educational and social standpoint. This would lead to a far greater
 influence of the school upon the out-of-school life of the community.
 Through lack of greater influence of the school during out-of-school
 hours, there is a great social leakage for which the city must pay.

 The school is the natural and logical agency for the safeguarding
 of the great fundamental interests of children and youth. Each year
 discloses more and more clearly that the school is the one institution
 we have yet conceived that is best fitted adequately to conserve
 these interests and utilize them for educational and social progress.
 Opportunities that came as a matter of course to children a generation
 ago do not come to many children now unless they are specifically
 planned for by some agency other than the home. Met wisely by the
 community, this seeming handicap may, in the end, result in a great
 and new-found social strength.

 Play is more than recreation. If its educational significance is real
 in the kindergarten period, it is real in every subsequent stage of
 growth and development. Rightly conceived, play is a most efficient
 method of education for life, for work, for social service. The fact
 that we do not yet know how to make full use of play in education need
 not and should not prevent the utilization of play, to the full extent
 to which we are prepared, for the tremendous social service it can


The suggestions just given, if acted on, would completely reverse the
attitude of the Puritans, with whom our school program originated.
To them play was a distraction, an evil to be avoided during the
few serious hours which are to be devoted to self-improvement. This
Puritan attitude is contrary to experience, unsupported by science, and
disadvantageous for the school and society. To reverse it has required
long centuries and will require a more general recognition than now
exists in the minds of most people of the possibility and importance
of incorporating play as an integral and systematic part of the
educational scheme.


[84] Howard R. Knight, Play and Recreation in a Town of 6000 (A
Recreation Survey of Ipswich, Massachusetts), pp. 7-8. Russell Sage
Foundation, New York City.

[85] George E. Johnson, Education through Recreation, pp. 48-50.
Cleveland Education Survey. Published by the Survey Committee of the
Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, 1916.

[86] Madison Recreational Survey, pp. 97-99. Prepared by a Special
Committee of the Madison Board of Commerce, 1915.

[87] George E. Johnson, Education through Recreation, pp. 91-92.
Cleveland Education Survey. Published by the Survey Committee of the
Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, 1916.


Let the class undertake a survey of the recreation facilities of the
town or a survey of the play activities in which its members actually
engage in the course of twenty-four hours.

A whole series of questions arise with regard to athletics. Is
professional baseball a form of recreation, or is it work? Is
attendance on the theater a form of play? The early students of the
theory of play spoke of literature as play. What can be said in support
of this view? How late in life do animals play? How does play relate
itself to business?

Play when considered in connection with school work is undoubtedly in
some cases a distraction. Is it for this reason to be criticized? Under
what conditions are play and study at odds with each other? Are there
methods of adjusting the relation without giving up play?

On the administrative side such questions as these arise: Should all
the teachers take part in the teaching and supervision of games, or
should a special teacher be employed to have full charge of this part
of the school program? Should there be any effort on the part of the
school to supervise play after school hours?

 GROOS, K. Play of Man. D. Appleton and Company.

 GROOS, K. Play of Animals. D. Appleton and Company.

 Third Yearbook of the National Playground Association. Playground
 Association of America, New York City. This contains an elaborate
 syllabus on play and also a full bibliography.




Ordinary school work is so dependent on health that one wonders how
teachers of an earlier generation could have failed to see the absolute
necessity of systematic supervision of health. When we think, for
example, of the consequences of absence from class exercises because
of illness; when we think of a child’s sense organs unable to carry
to his mind the full message brought by the sounds and sights of the
schoolroom; when we think of the nervous system dull and unresponsive
because of malnutrition or hunger,—we begin to realize that the school
is concerned in a very vital way with the problem of supervising health.


In order to exhibit something of the scope of the present movement
toward complete supervision of health, we may begin with the extreme
cases. In progressive school systems the children who are tubercular
or anæmic or otherwise seriously affected are taken out of the regular
classes and put where the whole educational program can be subordinated
to the one consideration of bringing them back to physical vigor. Often
these classes are conducted in open-air rooms, and often the equipment
of the rooms includes cots on which the pupils may rest as a part of
the regular school exercise.


A second line of treatment deals with nutrition. The importance of one
aspect of this matter is brought out in the following paragraphs:

 Long ago Horace Greeley, in an address before a convention of
 teachers, called attention to one of the most perplexing social and
 economic problems of the age—a problem which still confronts school
 authorities of to-day.

 “In vain,” he said, “shall we provide capable teachers, and
 comfortable school rooms, apparatus, libraries, etc., for those
 children who sit distorted by the gnawings of hunger, ... or suffering
 from the effects of innutritious or unwholesome food.”

 Medical inspection is forcing upon public attention _this_ appalling
 fact—that a large percentage of children in school are in no physical
 condition, because of malnutrition, to profit by the present generous
 outlay of public money for school purposes. Practical educators,
 everywhere, are agreed that even the most patient, thoughtful
 effort to train under-nourished children is attended with but
 partial success. Out of their experience comes this plea—give the
 under-nourished child _body food_ first, before offering him the
 wisdom of ages.[88]

In view of the condition in which many pupils come to school, it
has been found important for school authorities or philanthropic
organizations to provide luncheons. These have been most successful
where a small price is charged for the food.


The influence of this experiment in feeding is important not merely
because of the positive nourishment given to the pupils but also
because of the example which it sets in proper standards of eating at
home. Many families do not know how to feed children. The son of a
truck driver who breakfasts with his father on coffee, sausage, and
griddle-cakes will spend the morning trying to digest the food which is
appropriate to his father’s occupation but not to the sedentary life of
the scholar.


The importance of the whole problem of nutrition can be made clear by
quoting from the work of a specialist. The paragraphs selected are
the more impressive because they show that other nations as well as
ourselves are confronted by these problems.

 Recently there has been an increasing tendency to make the report
 on nutrition of different children the basis of the entire
 medical-inspection report. This is because it has been demonstrated
 again and again that the occurrence of disease and physical defects is
 largely conditioned by nutritional disturbances.

 In Paris medical inspectors have charge of the school canteens and
 are required to report on the nutrition of each child. They are
 further expected to follow up any child with impaired nutrition and to
 administer tonics and special care.

 In England, since 1907, compulsory medical inspection has included
 inspection of nutrition. Beginning with 1909, the chief medical
 officer of the National Board of Education has reported yearly on
 the nutrition of the children throughout the country and on the work
 of the school feeding centers. In Scotland the medical inspectors
 are required to see that children suffering from malnutrition are
 fed properly either by the school or by the parents. As a result of
 this systematic work British school doctors are developing methods of
 technique and standards for judging malnutrition, which, on account
 of its complex and interwoven causes, is very difficult to estimate

 In American cities no record of the nutrition of the entire school
 population has been made. In 1907 in New York the Committee on
 Physical Welfare of School-Children reported 13 per cent of 990
 children, selected as typical of the whole city, to be suffering
 from malnutrition. A similar investigation of 10,090 children in
 Chicago in 1908 revealed 12 per cent badly nourished in all grades,
 the proportion decreasing from 15 per cent in the kindergarten to
 6 per cent in the fifth grade and above. Wherever an attempt has
 been made to include all classes of children in the examinations,
 the percentages found suffering from acute malnutrition run from 10
 to 15. Where only schools in the poorer districts are included, the
 percentages are far higher, and vary between 20 and 40. However,
 it must be remembered that children from the poorer districts far
 outnumber those in other schools, so that in point of figures the
 actual proportion of children suffering from malnutrition is probably
 nearer the second estimate. Doctor Thomas F. Wood, of Columbia, gives
 25 per cent as the estimate for the school population of the whole

 “The longer a medical officer remains at school inspection,” remarks
 Doctor Hope, of Liverpool, in a report for 1912, “the more severe
 becomes his standard of nutrition, and the less readily does he pass a
 child as being well nourished.”[89]

 One reason that health conditions in rural schools have been so long
 neglected is because of the common idea that country children are
 naturally vigorous and healthy. “This ought to be so but unfortunately
 is not,” says Doctor Ernest Hoag, in a recent government report. He
 finds that, “in general, food is not as well prepared in the country
 as it is in the city; the available variety is smaller.” Bad methods
 of ventilation and heating at home and at school, exposure to wet
 in the long walks to school, and overdressing in the house—all are
 inroads on the already badly nourished bodies. Investigations show
 that malnutrition and its accompanying diseases are quite as frequent
 among country as among city children.[90]


Turning from nutrition to another aspect of the physical condition in
schools, it is easy to show that the school must control contagion.
The bringing together of hundreds of children increases so greatly the
probability of spread of disease that the health authorities always
welcome the arrival of the summer vacation as a relief from the most
strenuous of their duties.


The kinds of demands described have led to the development of health
departments in many school systems. The various functions served by a
school health department have been described by Dr. E. A. Peterson, a
health officer in one of the largest cities of the country, in a report
from which the following paragraphs are extracted:

 The problem of checking contagion is an acute problem in the schools.
 The facts show that in the early years of a child’s school life he has
 more of the diseases of childhood than at any other period, especially
 more than he had when he was at home during the period immediately
 preceding school. Furthermore, as soon as school breaks up for the
 long vacation, contagion subsides. The bringing together of large
 groups of children in schools is one of the most prolific methods of
 spreading contagion....

 But the school health service soon developed far beyond this first
 stage of merely policing the schools. Indeed, one sees the real
 justification of a separate school health department if he follows
 this health department into what may be called its second, third, and
 final stage of evolution....

 Examinations by physicians within the last decade indicate that as
 many as five per cent of school children suffer from defective vision
 to such an extent that they cannot see lessons on the board unless
 they have the services of expert oculists, that one in every hundred
 cannot hear what the teacher is saying, that ten in every hundred are
 so “stopped up” by adenoids that attention to school work is nearly
 impossible until the science of medicine gives them relief.

 This drew the attention of the educational world to the necessity
 of ridding children of these defects in order that they may take
 advantage of the educational opportunity offered in the schools....

 One characteristic development shown at this second stage of school
 health organization is the employment of the school nurse. The school
 nurse marks the growth of the health era away from its first or
 merely policing stage. The school nurse is at once a medical officer
 and a teacher. She teaches the parents in the home and she teaches
 the children. She becomes a most important link between the home and
 the school. Her methods are those of persuasion, not those of the
 emergency police officer....

 Once the idea of making health a matter of intelligent interest took
 root, it was sure to grow. Correction of physical defects is itself
 a tardy method of dealing with the situation. Why not prevent the
 defects? This kind of thinking turned attention to the environment of
 the child and the necessity of making it as conducive to health as

 Finally, it is by no means satisfactory that we should stop with the
 negative work of preventing disease and unfavorable conditions. We
 must be positive in our treatment of health. We want more health, more
 vigor, more efficiency. The fourth stage of medical inspection may
 properly be called the health development stage and has to do not only
 with the teaching of hygiene but with the development of higher ideals
 of wellness, with the raising of the standard of normality, with
 taking a person who is well and making him “wellest.”...

 The department must constantly assume new functions without dropping
 any of the old. If it is to be an efficient department, it must carry
 on all of the activities suggested in the summary which can be made up
 from the foregoing study.

 First stage—Inspection

 1. Inspection of children for contagious diseases

Second stage—Discovering and correcting defects

 2. Physical examination of all children

 3. Follow-up work in the home to get corrections

  4.  Maintenance of school clinics

 Third stage—Prevention

                         { Hygiene of building
  5. Sanitary inspection { Hygiene of curriculum
                         { Hygiene of instruction
                         { Special schools for special cases

  6. Examination and inspection of principals, teachers, janitors and
     other employees

 Fourth stage—Health development

 7. Health teaching at school and at home

 8. Establishing health habits by means of

  _a._ Toothbrush drills
  _b._ Handkerchief drills
  _c._ Bathing, etc.
  _d._ Health clubs[91]


Health work in the schools, as it has risen to the level of a subject
of instruction, has encountered the kind of obstacles met by every
new school subject. Teachers are ignorant on medical matters, and the
doctors who come into the schools are ignorant of methods of teaching.
The result is that the instruction given by teachers is sometimes
formal and unscientific, while the work of the doctors does not prove
as effective as it might because it does not reach the pupils. A
partial corrective for this difficulty can be supplied through a better
system of training teachers.

The following extracts from a paper by Dr. Allison show how one state
is attempting to cope with this problem:

 In this tremendous but not superhuman task of teaching health, there
 seems to me no more effective method than to commit it to those who
 are and are to be the teachers. Progress in these matters cannot be
 made without an intelligent understanding on the part of the teacher.
 It is therefore important to teach the teacher. It is said that the
 normal school is historically the only institution in the country
 which has aimed to deal with the teaching problem.

 The Board of Regents of the normal schools of Wisconsin felt the
 need of making the normal schools of the state instruments of public
 health and in 1912 appointed a physician for this work. The work as
 organized consists of: (1) exclusion of the physically unfit among the
 normal-school students; (2) detection of remedial physical defects
 with suggestions in regard to same; (3) instruction in preventive

 1. The term “physically unfit” is very elastic, but we should have
 some physical standard. The public has not been in a position to
 protect itself against those physically unfit in the profession, but
 it is beginning to make certain demands. For example, what community
 will now tolerate a teacher who is known to be tuberculous? It is
 well to enlighten these physically unfit, and stop the source of the
 physically undesirable, as we would the intellectually undesirable.

 My experience with several thousand young men and women during the
 last three years has shown me that the health habits of teachers need

 2. In the normal schools of Wisconsin a health-record card for each
 student is on file in the department of physical training. The side
 filled out by the physical-training teacher consists of a record
 of height, weight, and lung capacity, the neck, chest, and hip
 measurements, and a detailed record of posture. The physician’s report
 includes a record of the past medical history, personal history, sex
 history, family history, and the present condition of nutrition,
 skin, eyes, ears, nose, throat, teeth, glands, lungs, heart, and
 elimination. Each student is advised in accordance with the conditions
 which are found....

 3. Instruction in preventive medicine consists of individual advice
 and classroom instruction as follows:

 (_a_) Personal hygiene. This supplements what they have studied from
 the text and what they have received from the instructors of hygiene
 and physical training.

 (_b_) A couple of lectures are given on the physical examination of
 school children. Teachers should be taught the essential facts about
 defective vision, defective hearing, adenoids, catarrh, diseased
 tonsils, nervousness, and mental defects....

 (_c_) Lectures are given on the cause, avenue of infection, mode of
 transmission, period of incubation, symptoms, complications, results,
 and prevention of the following communicable and preventable diseases:
 measles, scarlet fever, chicken-pox, smallpox, mumps, whooping cough,
 grippe, pneumonia, tuberculosis, diphtheria, meningitis, and infantile


A movement such as that described in the paragraphs just quoted shows
perhaps better than any general description the strength of the
demand that the schools teach and train for health. Health must be
acquired as well as thought of in abstract terms. The school methods
of dealing with it require a rational combination of the work of the
physical-training department with that of the school physician and
the teacher. The movement is therefore one of those broad movements
in education which require the introduction of new materials of
instruction but also call for a general and constructive administrative
policy which shall support instruction by opening the way for an
enlargement of school work of a practical type.


What devices other than school luncheons can the school adopt in the
effort to make people intelligent about the feeding of school children?
What are the symptoms exhibited by children who are badly fed at home?
What are the different types of difficulty which arise in the matter of

Are the public-health controls in the city adequate to take care
of contagion in the school? Should the school be dismissed in time
of contagion? It is noted that pupils have a great many contagious
diseases when they first come to school. This is sometimes explained by
saying that the age from 6 to 8 years is more susceptible to disease.
Is any other explanation to be offered? At what time in the year is
contagion most common?

Would children’s health be endangered by continuing school during
the summer? Are physical examinations of pupils justified in public
schools? What objections are raised to such examinations? Who should
make them? It is sometimes argued that the expense of medical
inspection and physical examinations is too great. Is there any answer?

Here, as in the case of play, the administrative question arises,
should all teachers have a part in the health supervision, or should
the task be assigned to specialists? Argue the case.

 GULICK, L. H., and AYRES, L. P. Medical Inspection of Schools.
 Charities Publication Committee, New York City. This is the book which
 contributed very powerfully to the beginnings of the movement for
 school departments of health.

 WOOD, T. D. National Welfare and Rural Schools. _Proceedings of
 the National Education Association_, Vol. I-IV, 1916. Report of
 investigations of country and city children.


[88] Sarah Webb Maury and Lena L. Tachau, A Penny Lunch, p. 8. 1915.

[89] Louise Stevens Bryant, “School Feeding.” Educational Hygiene
(edited by Louis W. Rapeer), chap. xvi, pp. 286-287, 289. Charles
Scribner’s Sons, 1915.

[90] Ibid. p. 285.

[91] Dr. E. A. Peterson, “Medical Inspection.” Survey of the St. Louis
Public Schools, Vol. VII, Part II, pp. 41-45. Published by the Board of
Education, St. Louis, Missouri.

[92] Elizabeth Wilson Allison, “The Teacher’s Field in Public Health
Work.” _Proceedings of the National Education Association_, pp.
676-678. Published by the Secretary of the Association, Ann Arbor,
Michigan, 1915.




In the days when the school system was simple in its equipment and in
its course of study no distinction was drawn between the problems of
teaching and the problems of organizing the school. The teacher did
everything that was done in the school. The teacher made the program,
promoted the pupils, consulted with the town officials and parents,
conducted the classes, and in not a few cases swept the floor and built
the fire. There was, to use a phrase of the business world, no overhead

The course of study has grown complex. The work of the classroom is
absorbing, and yet its success depends on equipment and organization
that need to be studied and intelligently arranged. The work of one
school must be correlated with the work of the schools in neighboring
communities. The public must have authoritative information about
the fiscal needs of the school and about the outcome of the public
investments in education. The demand has arisen for a new type of
school officer—the supervisor. This officer is not a teacher but a
manager. His duty is one of organization and central adjustment.


The new demand here referred to can be described by means of an example
which exhibits one of the greatest weaknesses of our present school
system. Schools of all grades which have grown large enough to employ
three or more teachers commonly have an officer who is known as the

In the small school the principal spends most of his or her time in
teaching. In larger schools the principal does no classroom work. In
both cases the principal is universally selected for a special position
in the school because of his or her success in teaching. The work of
the principal is thought of as that of a head teacher. The fact is,
however, entirely at variance with this idea; the work of the principal
is not that of teaching. Principals ought to be managers and central
organizers. They ought to know the system as a whole and ought to
devote time and thought to problems of a managerial type. The weakness
of our present school system is that most principals are in no sense
equipped for this central managing task. They do not know how to use
profitably the release from classroom work which attaches to their
office and title. The result is that they drift, often with the full
cognizance of the board of education, into the habit of spending time
on trifling clerical tasks which are wholly unworthy of the special
position which they are supposed to occupy in the system. It is a
deficiency of our educational system that while there are institutions
for the training of teachers there are only a few general courses for
administrative officers.

There certainly can be no objection to experience as a teacher in the
classroom as preliminary training for the person who is to occupy a
school principalship. But the moment the experienced teacher leaves the
ranks and takes up the office of principal, a wholly new set of central
problems should come within his view. He should recognize the fact that
from this time on his task is one of a broader type, and the successful
execution of that task will require a kind of study which is demanded
at most in very minor degree of the teacher.


What has been said of the principal is true also of assistant
superintendents and of the superintendent of the school system. It is
true also of departmental supervisors who have general oversight of
certain subdivisions of the work. All these officers ought to become
expert in a type of study and a type of management which are not
expected of the individual teacher.


In general, it is evident from a study of American school systems
that emphasis has not been laid on central organization. Cities have
employed a superintendent when they had a population of five thousand
inhabitants and have expected a single officer to continue to perform
all the duties of that office when the population has increased to one
hundred thousand. A principal is put in charge of a high school of two
hundred students and continues to have full responsibility for the
school when it increases to eight hundred students. Boards of education
have refused to give supervisory officers clerical assistance, and
have thus required a principal or superintendent receiving the highest
salary of any person in the system to do work which a clerk could do
more economically and quite as efficiently, thus interfering with the
performance of important central duties for which no time is left.


The training of a large number of persons who will be competent to take
up managerial functions is especially important in the school system of
a democracy because the problems of each community are in some measure
local problems to be solved at the point where they arise. In a school
system which treats every child and every community exactly alike
administration is simplified through uniformity. In a school system
which is as complex as ours there must be an intelligent adaptation of
organization to particular ends, and every device which will promote
such adaptation is economical.


The general discussion of supervision will be clearer if we take up for
brief description some of the problems which should be dealt with by
central officers and some of the methods of solving these problems. It
will not be the purpose of this discussion to attempt anything like a
complete enumeration of such problems or methods, but merely to suggest
their type.


First, there must be a study of the community. To some extent the
individual teacher must take a share in this study. The character of
each pupil and the facts about his home surroundings are important to
the teacher in carrying on class work. But there must be some agency
which can devote time and attention to a systematic collection of
facts. The teacher has a right to expect that the school system as
a system will make information readily available which it would be
difficult for an individual to collect. The central officers should
make such a study.

The making of a school census is a duty of the central officers who
have in hand the enforcement of the compulsory-attendance laws. When
these officers recognize their task as a large educational task,
they will make the census not merely a formal basis for compelling
attendance but a means of collecting a body of facts on which
educational adaptations can be based.

It has been pointed out in earlier chapters that the community should
be studied with a view to discovering the needs of pupils. Up to
this time such studies have been made as special undertakings in a
few isolated communities. For example, the industries of Richmond,
Virginia, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and of the state of Indiana have
been studied by special commissions and reported at three annual
meetings of the National Society for the Promotion of Industrial
Education. What is needed is a constant study of these problems in
every community. Again, teachers cannot meet the demand. This problem
is a central problem, and the central management must be equipped to
get information which the teachers need but cannot collect.


A second group of central problems have to do with the selection of
teachers and their continued training while in service. It used to be
very generally assumed, and in some quarters it seems to be assumed
to-day, that in the teaching profession there is no need of training
beyond the initial normal course or the initial college course that
brought the candidate through the first requirements. A kind of
persistence in professional efficiency on the part of teachers is

The day of such easy-going neglect of professional requirements is
over. Score cards of teachers’ qualifications are being worked out. The
relative importance of such personal qualifications as a pleasant voice
and manner as compared with such products of training as knowledge of
the correct forms of English expression and knowledge of geography
or Latin must be determined with direct reference to the particular
duties which are required of the teacher. The development of methods
of correcting deficiencies in the equipment of a teaching corps, the
proper distribution of the time and energy of a group of teachers, and
the proper method of keeping the records of the work of teachers are
all central problems. As the teacher stands in a central relation to
his or her class, so the supervisor stands in a central relation to a
corps of teachers.

Of all the problems touching teachers, that of their training in
service is perhaps the most important. There is a great deal of very
blind and ineffective effort expended each year in futile attempts
to meet this problem. A great deal of required reading is done by
teachers, and a great many meetings are attended which could be turned
to better account if there were well-organized systems of training in
service and of parallel promotional requirements.


A third group of problems are those which have been referred to in
the chapter on standardization. The results of classroom work must
be evaluated and comparisons must be made on a large scale to guide
the future work of the pupils. In some measure this is a problem for
teachers. But so far as the individual class teacher is concerned,
there will have to be dependence on central agencies for the collection
of material which can be used in comparisons.

At the present time a large share of the standardizing material is
being collected by private agencies. Men and women who are interested
in the promotion of educational science are making individual studies
and are bringing together bodies of comparative material. This is
entirely legitimate so long as the movement of standardization and
quantitative treatment of results is in what may be described as an
experimental stage. As soon as the utility of measurements has been
proved, it becomes a public obligation to provide agencies for this

The growth of the movement toward the addition in all large school
systems of one or more officers whose duty it shall be to measure
results has been commented on in earlier connections. There is a
national organization of school-efficiency officers with a membership
including representatives of some twenty of the leading systems of
the country. This shows in a concrete way that the demand for central
officers of standardization is beginning to be met.


A single example of a personal type may serve further to impress on the
reader the character of this movement. Mr. S. A. Courtis, who is widely
known as the author of a system of arithmetic tests, began his work in
testing as a teacher in a private school for girls, the Liggett School
of Detroit. He devised tests to find out how well his pupils were
doing their work. He found at once that he needed comparative material
because he saw that the success of his classes was in a measure a
comparative matter. He published his first findings, and secured the
coöperation of other interested teachers and school officers. Soon he
became a center for arithmetic tests. He was compelled to give up more
and more of his time and energy to a task which was broader in its
scope than the task of teaching his classes. The school was intelligent
enough to recognize this general service to all schools and gave him
time and assistance in organizing his tests. The individual work of a
scientific student thus began to develop. He was called to all parts of
the country to discuss his methods and results, and centers of interest
were established where his tests were used.

Ultimately Mr. Courtis was called to assist in the survey of New York
City and in the surveys of other systems, notably Gary, Indiana. He
was also asked to organize for the city of Detroit a department of
investigation as a permanent division of the administration of the city


Example after example could be given of the organization of public
supervision on the basis of private scientific investigation. These
examples are important not only as exhibitions of the demand for more
central supervision but also as demonstrations of the demand that
all the larger problems of the school system be approached in the
scientific spirit. The school system of this country, like all public
institutions, has passed through the period of first organization. This
was a period of urgent practical demands. Work had to be done by any
means that came to hand. The situation was like all pioneer situations.
In many cases teachers who were meagerly trained had to administer
unorganized courses of study, and the public had to be satisfied with
results which were, to say the least, uncertain. The pioneering period
is not altogether passed yet, but there is wealth enough in most
communities to support a more deliberate type of organization. There
is a perfection of the instruments of education, an organization of
the agencies of education, and a standardization of results which were
impossible in earlier days.

The business of the central officers in a school system can be defined
in terms of this discussion as the collection and distribution of
scientific information and the administration of the system in keeping
with the scientific information thus collected. Such a formula can be
carried over to problems other than those enumerated thus far in this
chapter. The problems of promotion and of the course of study, even the
problems of class management and instruction, have large supervisory
aspects with which the central school officers must deal.


Such a statement gives a view of the principalship or superintendency
of schools which is wholly different from that which is expressed
by applying to these offices the title “head teacher.” In England
the chief officer in a school building is the head teacher or the
head master. These names imply merely an extension of the teaching
function and fail to recognize the necessity of a scientific study and
administration of the schools.

The view advocated in this chapter is also at variance with the
conception expressed in the titles of the chief school officers of
German schools. There the head of a school is a rector or director.
His personal authority is large. He continues in many cases to teach;
his administrative influence as implied in his title arises from the
fact that he represents the state. His task is that of dictating school
policies, not that of organizing the school on the basis of a complete
scientific study of the educational situation in the community in which
he works.

It cannot be asserted that the American principals of schools are
everywhere devoted and competent students of the science of education.
There is, however, a freer opportunity in our schools than in those of
any other nation for a complete realization of the scientific ideal.
There is comparative freedom of organization, and there is comparative
adequacy of equipment. There is at hand a body of broadly collected
information. With this background there is every prospect of a more
intelligent use of all the opportunities which are gradually being
evolved for intelligent scientific supervision.


The study of community needs has been carried on most vigorously in
trying to answer the question, What industrial training do pupils in
cities need? The National Society for the Promotion of Industrial
Education has organized three extensive surveys, one in Richmond,
Virginia, one in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and one in the state of
Indiana. One of the best exercises which can be suggested is for the
class to study the needs of a community after the model of one of these

A second exercise that may be suggested is that of examining the
operations of a school building in detail. How does a building get its
supplies? How many janitors are there? Who supervises the janitors? How
much time does a principal spend in visiting rooms? What reports does
a principal have to render? What reports do the teachers render to the

The volumes of the Cleveland survey, including those which deal with
industrial education, are models of exposition of community needs.
(Copies may be secured from the Russell Sage Foundation, New York City.)

There is a body of sociological material with which students of this
chapter ought to become acquainted. See the _Survey_ (New York City), a
journal devoted to the discussion of sociological problems.




Each of the preceding chapters has aimed to set forth certain practical
school problems and to suggest the sources of information on the basis
of which these problems are to be solved. Some of the information to
which reference has been made is confessedly incomplete; some of it is
in a form which renders very difficult exact and final inferences as to
its meaning. Taken in the aggregate, however, the body of information
at hand regarding schools is so great that we are justified in speaking
of a science of education. Furthermore, the use of the term “science”
would be justified even if we were in possession of fewer solutions of
school problems than we now have, for the essence of science is its
method of investigation, not its ability to lay down a body of final
rules of action.

A complete transformation of the method of approaching school problems
has come about in recent years. The time was when opinion, especially
if it was backed by even a little practical experience, was urged as
sufficient reason for all kinds of school practices. To-day it is only
the rashly ignorant who talk about education or aim to influence actual
school operations without informing themselves through a study of known
and recorded facts. A host of practical school officers and special
students of school problems have carried out laborious investigations
and have created a technical literature which promises to reach every
phase of school work.


It is not too early, therefore, to define the scope and methods of
the science of education. Such a definition need in no wise limit the
further development of the science, while it may serve to stimulate
more exact formulation of its problems and methods. Our effort to frame
such a definition naturally leads us to review the courses which have
commonly been given to teachers-in-training.


The historical method of studying education was the first which was
cultivated in institutions which undertook the training of teachers.
The history of education divides readily into two branches: one deals
with the history of educational theories, the other with the history of
actual school practices. The history of theories is the easier of the
two branches to cultivate because it consists chiefly in a review of
the writings left behind by writers who discuss educational problems.
Thus the earlier histories of education laid great emphasis on the
writings of Plato and Quintilian, of Comenius and Locke, of Rousseau
and Pestalozzi. Reviews of earlier writers were, however, of little
real influence in molding modern practice, and the history of theories
had only a very indirect influence on teachers.

More significant by far is the recent movement which studies
practices in schools, especially the schools of one’s own country.
The development of arithmetic or grammar in American schools is
illuminating as showing both the direction in which we are moving and
the kinds of forces which operate in reformulating the course of study.
Earlier chapters have aimed to suggest the value of such studies,
especially Chapters II and III.


Along with the study of the history of education there has commonly
been prescribed in training schools for teachers a course in
psychology. Herbart pointed out more than a hundred years ago the
importance of the study of mental processes as a basis for the proper
direction of educational practices. The science of psychology has
also by its own developments encouraged the practical educator to
expect help in the solution of school problems. There was a period
when so-called child psychology flourished in this country and aimed
to contribute to the development of school methods as well as to the
solution of problems of the curriculum and school management.


A friendly alliance will always exist between the science of psychology
and the science of education. Psychology has given to education certain
methods and such special results as it has worked out with regard to
memory and learning and the nature of behavior; education has taken the
psychological material and developed a special branch of science under
the name “educational psychology.”

There are two fruitful psychological methods which have been borrowed
in this way and put to work for education. These are the statistical
method and the experimental method.


An impressive example of the statistical method is given in the studies
of individual differences. For example, Thorndike has made a careful
study of the degrees of likeness between twins, and between brothers
and sisters who are not twins, for the purpose of defining more fully
the meaning of the term “individual differences.”


The experimental method has been employed in many ways. Thus, Freeman
has recorded with the aid of suitable apparatus the rate at which one
writes long and short letters. This study he has made with individuals
of various ages and degrees of training and under different conditions.
One result which he derived from these records is the fact that a given
writer’s rhythm of movement is the same in letters of different sizes
and becomes more regular and more fixed with increase in skill.


In taking over the methods of psychology and applying them to the
solution of educational problems, a secondary advantage of the greatest
importance has come to the science of education. These methods are
capable of adaptation to a much broader range of problems than
psychology would have attempted to solve. Both the statistical method
and the experimental method have accordingly been carried over in the
science of education to the widest possible range of applications.


One of the first and most fruitful statistical studies made in
education dealt with the retardation of pupils. Those who fell behind
their grade were counted, and the problem which they presented was
stated emphatically enough to bring about the organization of all kinds
of special devices for the training of retarded individuals and groups.


The experimental method was carried over and applied to whole classes.
For example, two parallel classes were measured with reference to the
effects of supervised study.

The experimental method has also been productively applied in detailed,
analytical studies of particular subjects. Thus, to recall an example
presented in an earlier chapter, reading has been investigated in
the cases of slow and fast readers when they were reading orally
and silently, when they were trained by the ordinary methods of the
school, and when they were trained by special methods adapted to
their individual cases. Like studies have been made of the movements
performed in writing and of the stages passed through in various
learning processes.


Further examples will, however, be unnecessary for the reader who has
had the patience to go through the earlier chapters of this volume.
There are numerous illustrations in those chapters of statistical
and experimental investigations of educational problems. These
investigations show the extent to which the new science has borrowed
from the old and the extent to which a new structure has been erected
which has a right to claim an independent name and rank among the
social sciences.


The recognition of the science of education as a separate discipline
can be urged on the ground that the scientific methods which were
first applied to the problems of mental development have opened up
every aspect of school organization to scientific study. Thus, in the
field of administration more than in any other field the value of
scientific studies has been recognized. The promotion of pupils, the
grading system, the construction of buildings, and the organization of
financial systems are all spheres in which exact scientific methods
have in recent years worked most important transformations in practice.


In many investigations the method of comparison has been brought to
a degree of perfection which justifies reference to it as a special
method of scientific research. All the previous discussions of
standardization show how a single school system profits by the effort
to evaluate its own practices in the light of the experiences and
results of other school systems.


The scientific methods which have been referred to imply as their
necessary basis a series of detailed and accurate records. Some of
these records, as, for example, those which show school attendance and
those which deal with expenditures, are kept in ordinary routine. Some
have to be made especially for the purposes of scientific studies.
Here belong all those records which are made through tests. Tests are
merely devices for showing clearly and explicitly how far educational
practices have succeeded in special cases.


The subdivisions into which the science of education naturally breaks
up are dictated in part by the needs of different individuals within
the school system and in part by the methods which are employed.
Thus the supervisor needs a different type of training from that
which is required by the classroom teacher. Again, the functions of
the different supervisors are so different that some require full
information on problems of school finance, while others are in more
direct contact with the problems of promotion and of the curriculum. A
second line of cleavage is that which is described most fully in this
chapter and results from the use of different methods of investigation.
Thus, laboratory studies of reading and writing naturally separate
themselves from statistical studies of administrative problems.

Another line of division is that dictated by school organization.
High-school problems are likely to be considered in special courses,
elementary-school problems in others.

There is no need in a general introduction of the type here offered of
attempting to consider these subdivisions. Our purposes are adequately
served if we can show what the science as a whole is by referring
to typical examples of scientific work undertaken in several of the


Furthermore, it is to be understood explicitly that the science of
education is in process of rapid expansion. Any effort to describe
its methods and content in full would of necessity fail. The rapid
enlargement of the science and its methods in recent years is the most
impressive fact which can be recorded in a chapter describing the scope
and purpose of such a study. A simple definition within which there
is wide room for expansion is therefore the only definition which is
appropriate at the end of this introduction.


The science of education aims to collect by all available methods full
information with regard to the origin, development, and present form of
school practices and also full information with regard to social needs.
It aims to subject present practices to rigid tests and comparisons
and to analyze all procedure in the schools by experimental methods
and by observation. It aims to secure complete and definite records of
all that the school attempts and accomplishes. The results of school
work are to be evaluated by rigid methods of comparison and analysis.
To direct studies of the school the science of education must add
full studies of the social life of which the school is a part and of
the individual nature which is to be trained and molded through the
educational processes. In the light of such studies the science of
education is to suggest such enlargements and modifications of school
practices as seem likely to promote the evolution of the educational

This program is so comprehensive in its scope that it becomes evident
at once that the science of education is a composite science requiring
the coöperation of many investigators. In its formulations it may deal
in a broad way with general problems, or it may break up into numerous
subdivisions appealing to the specialist.

It would therefore be more accurate to describe it as a group of
specialized studies rather than as a single discipline.


This chapter furnishes an opportunity to study the contributions of
other sciences to the study of educational problems. What does biology
contribute? In this connection Spencer’s first essay is perhaps one
of the clearest examples of application of biology to education.
Stanley Hall has carried to an extreme the use of biological hypotheses
(“Adolescence,” D. Appleton and Company). Fiske in his essay on the
“Meaning of Infancy” (Houghton Mifflin Company) furnishes another
example. The student should raise pointedly the question whether
biological principles apply without modification to human education.

The discussions of biology pass directly into the consideration of
psychology. James’s “Talks to Teachers on Psychology” (Henry Holt and
Company) is a very good beginning of readings in this line. One of the
most recent and productive books is Freeman’s “The Psychology of the
Common Branches” (Houghton Mifflin Company). There are many general
psychologies. The student will be led by a study of some of these
books to the problem of distinguishing between general psychology and
educational psychology.

Another type of related science is to be found in the mathematical
sciences which contribute to educational studies. Thorndike’s “An
Introduction to the Theory of Mental and Social Measurements” (Science
Press) was the first systematic effort to put statistical methods into
form for educators. A much more satisfactory treatment of statistical
methods is to be found in H. O. Rugg’s “Statistical Methods applied
to Education” (Houghton Mifflin Company). Numerous examples have been
cited in earlier chapters of applications of statistics to education.
To that list might be added Ayres’s “Laggards in our Schools” (Russell
Sage Foundation, New York City) and the statistical volumes of the
reports of the Commissioner of Education, which both in the facts
presented and in the summaries represent the most elaborate collection
of educational statistics in any report on schools anywhere in the

By way of an independent exercise under this chapter let the student
describe a particular scientific study which it would be appropriate
to require each of the following school officers to carry out: a
superintendent, a supervisor of drawing, a principal of a high school,
a principal of an elementary school, a high-school teacher of Latin, a
teacher in charge of a third grade.




It has been the aim of the preceding chapters of this volume to make
it clear that the teacher of the future must be able to cope in a
large and intelligent way with problems which are not discussed in
courses dealing with the subject-matter ordinarily taught in schools.
The compensations offered to the trained teacher are fortunately more
adequate than formerly, and increasingly justify the demand that the
teacher bring to his or her task a more complete professional training.


The proper content of a professional training is a matter on which
there is no general agreement in the United States. For a little
more than seventy-five years there have existed in this country
normal schools for the training of elementary-school teachers.
These institutions have in some cases required graduation from high
school as a prerequisite for admission, but more commonly not. Their
courses of study have in some schools consisted chiefly of reviews of
elementary-school subjects supplemented by a modicum of methodology or
discussion of how to teach the subjects. In other cases the courses of
the normal school have been general, of the type commonly offered in
colleges or high schools. Sometimes the normal school has given its
students large opportunity to teach children in so-called practice
schools or model schools. Sometimes, on the other hand, the students in
normal schools have had no direct contact with classroom management,
but have gone out into the schools equipped only with the theory of

The situation with regard to these institutions is set forth in the
following paragraphs from a bulletin of the United States Bureau of

 Normal schools differ from each other very widely in organization,
 in admission requirements, in courses of study, and in modes of
 instruction. The explanation of this lack of uniformity is to be
 found in the fact that normal schools have never been a part of the
 system of higher education evolved in this country. Normal schools
 have grown up in isolation. While the colleges have been in the
 closest touch with each other through the organization of entrance
 examination boards and accrediting institutions, while high schools
 have been brought together by standard definitions of units, normal
 schools have stood apart. The typical normal school derives its
 financial support from legislative appropriations, receives its
 students without competition from a territory over which it exercises
 exclusive control, and has no difficulty in placing its graduates in
 positions which they regard as satisfactory. Furthermore, so urgent
 has been the demand in the country for teachers that school boards and
 superintendents have not been able to make rigid selections, with the
 result that standards of training have not been forced upon the normal
 schools from without.

 In a situation where relative isolation has not compelled normal
 schools to define themselves to others there has been the largest
 opportunity for the play of personal influences. A strong president
 has often dominated the policies of a normal school to a degree
 that is almost unbelievable. The faculty sometimes has little or no
 voice in determining the courses or the modes of admission. There is
 no State authority in most of the States which is strong enough to
 determine what shall be done in normal schools. The result is that
 within a single State there are the widest variations. One president
 with the ambition to develop his institution into a degree-granting
 university goes on his way, while his neighbor uses the funds granted
 by the same legislature to develop a normal school which loudly
 announces its objection to granting degrees and limits its activities
 rigidly to the training of elementary teachers.

 In recent years a number of causes have begun to break down the
 isolation of the normal school. First and foremost is the desire
 of normal graduates to enjoy the advantages of higher education
 in universities and colleges. The growth of summer schools at
 universities and the frequent transfer of normal-school graduates
 to college and graduate courses show with clearness the desire of
 teachers to enjoy the advantages of all kinds of higher education.
 Normal schools, drawn into the current of higher education, have
 been called upon to announce more definitely their requirements for
 admission and to describe the content of their courses. What is a
 course in methods of teaching arithmetic? Is it a review of the course
 given in an elementary school or is it a discussion of the pedagogical
 principles on which such courses are arranged? What is a course in
 practice teaching? Does such a course require of the student any study
 of material, and does it afford him any adequate critical discussion
 of his work? There has been a sharp and at times unfriendly clash
 between normal schools and colleges in the effort to secure answers
 to such questions. The normal school often takes the position that
 it administers only high-grade courses, while the colleges express a
 frank doubt as to the value of these courses for mature students.

 Perhaps the disagreement between normal schools and colleges can best
 be illustrated by the widespread dispute regarding foreign languages.
 The normal school has been historically related to the vernacular
 school, and its officers have had little patience with classical or
 even literary courses. The traditions of the college are of a totally
 different type. So long as no students passed from normal schools to
 colleges the normal schools were at liberty to hold to the vernacular,
 but as soon as normal-school graduates sought admission to higher
 institutions the controversy was on.

 A second reason why normal schools have been called upon to define
 themselves arises because colleges and universities have in recent
 years entered the field of teacher training through the organization
 of departments of education and colleges of education. In the State
 universities the demand for preparation of high-school teachers has
 been heard, and generous provisions have in many cases been made for
 the work of preparing such teachers. The normal schools have looked
 upon this organization of teacher-training courses as undesired
 competition. Conversely, the university authorities have been critical
 of the courses in the normal schools, and the issue has been sharply
 drawn. Incidentally it may be remarked that college departments
 of education have usually been subjected to the closest scrutiny
 and sometimes to violent criticism by other college departments
 because of their supposed inferiority. It may even be admitted that
 entrance requirements in the departments of education have sometimes
 been lower than those for other college departments in the hope of
 meeting the competition of normal schools, and courses of inferior
 standard in the college have been tolerated for like reason. All
 of these disputes and efforts at adjustment have aroused a general
 inquiry about teacher-training courses which a generation ago would
 have been without interest except to a small group of specialists.
 Now the problem is known to all who are interested in education,
 and the discussion must go on until some satisfactory conclusion is


If the situation with regard to the training of elementary-school
teachers is chaotic, the situation with regard to secondary-school
teachers is more so. Until very recently there was little or no effort
in the state laws defining requirements for teachers’ certificates to
distinguish between elementary teachers and teachers in high schools.
The candidate for a position in Latin found himself taking the same
examination that would have been required if he had been about to teach
a third grade. Of course in practice the school officers who employed
the Latin teacher took steps to assure themselves that he had studied
that subject, but practice in this respect has never been standardized.


By way of setting up a contrast we may review the system which
prevailed in Germany before 1914. The German system was the most highly
developed system of training secondary-school teachers in the world.

 Candidates for positions in the secondary schools must first of all
 have completed the course of one of the secondary schools. In the
 second place, the candidate must have attended a German university for
 at least six semesters. Here an exception is made in the case of those
 candidates who expect to teach in the sciences. They may take half of
 the university courses in one of the technical institutions rather
 than in university lectures.

 After this preliminary training is completed, the candidate presents
 himself for an examination. Usually the period of training is much
 longer than the minimum above described. Indeed, in most cases
 candidates take the university doctor’s degree before they come up for
 the examination. The examination consists of two parts. First, there
 is a general examination covering those subjects which are supposed
 to be essential as training for all departments; and, second, there
 is a special examination given in the particular subject in which the
 candidate is preparing to teach. Both examinations include written and
 oral divisions....

 The examinations are formidable ordeals. They are conducted by special
 commissioners. On these commissions are university professors,
 officers of the education department, and representatives of the
 secondary schools. The candidate is first required to present two
 elaborate theses, one on some phase of the general subjects and one in
 the subject in which he has elected to take a complete examination. At
 the discretion of the commission the candidate’s doctor’s dissertation
 may be substituted for one of these theses. A period of 16 weeks is
 allowed for their preparation, and they are intended to show the
 ability of the candidate to carry on independent research in his
 selected field, and his ability to formulate material in a clear and
 systematic fashion. After the presentation of these theses there
 follows a written examination, followed in turn by an oral examination.

 After the examination the successful candidate now has before him two
 years of contact with the schoolroom before he can become a teacher
 with a regular position. The first of these trial years is known as
 the Seminar year and the second as the Trial year. During both of
 these periods the candidate is connected with one of the secondary
 schools and is under the general direction of the principal or
 director of this school....

 After a candidate has been assigned to a particular school, it
 becomes his duty, first of all, to participate in the activities of
 that school in any way that he can. He is usually assigned to some
 teacher, whose reports he helps to prepare and whose classes he has
 to visit with regularity. In addition, he is expected to visit all of
 the classes in the institution, so as to observe different methods of
 instruction and class management. It is required that the candidate
 meet with the director two hours a week for special training. At this
 point in particular the greatest diversity of practice appears....

 Sometimes the meeting is conducted as a demonstration lesson;
 sometimes it is a discussion; sometimes it is a series of reports by
 candidates; sometimes a lecture by the director or one of the teachers
 of the school....

 After the candidates have gone through a part of the first year’s
 training and have become somewhat familiar with the methods of
 instruction in the classes which they visit and through the advice
 which they receive in the weekly meetings, they are allowed to give
 instruction. At first this instruction is limited to single class
 exercises under the immediate supervision of the regular teacher.
 The candidate is expected to prepare fully for such an exercise, so
 that he may carry on the work of the students in accordance with the
 general plan adopted by the regular teacher. The regular teacher
 remains in the class during the instruction given by the candidate,
 and after the class has been dismissed the teacher gives the candidate
 the benefit of such criticism as he has to make. Opportunity for these
 criticisms is presented by the school program, which is uniformly so
 arranged that 45 minutes of class work are followed by 15 minutes of
 recess. The criticisms are in some cases very helpful, especially
 where the teacher is interested in developing better methods of
 instruction upon the part of the candidate. On the other hand, the
 criticisms are often very severe and sometimes even caustic. In any
 case, the candidate learns through the comments given him by the
 teacher how far he has failed to conform to the expectation of the

 Several weeks before the close of the seminar year each candidate
 is called upon to prepare a thesis on some concrete pedagogical or
 didactic problem set for him by the director. This thesis constitutes
 part of his preparation for the teaching profession and may be the
 outcome of his readings or the outcome of his observation. Not
 uncommonly the candidate makes an elaborate study of some of the
 pedagogical literature related to his subject. It is to be remembered
 that many of these candidates have already completed the work for the
 degree of doctor of philosophy in the university and are for that
 reason trained in the methods of research and in the preparation of
 theses, while all have prepared elaborate theses in connection with
 the examinations which admitted them to the seminar year.

 At the end of the seminar year the director, with the coöperation of
 the other teachers who have observed the work of the candidate, makes
 a report to the school authorities, and if the work of the candidate
 has been satisfactory he is now advanced to a higher grade and enters
 upon the trial year.

 During the trial year he is required to teach six to eight hours a
 week without compensation. If he is especially fortunate, he may
 receive some compensation for substitute teaching which is needed by
 the school. In the main, however, he is called upon to carry a heavy
 burden of work without any compensation from the school. The director
 may also use his services for other purposes, such as the preparation
 of reports, the checking of lists, and other duties which need to be
 attended to for the purpose of administering the school. During this
 trial year the regular teacher is not required to attend the classes
 conducted by candidates. The candidate, therefore, gradually acquires
 independence in his conduct of the classes.

 At the end of this trial year another report is made of the activities
 of the candidate and the judgment of the teachers in the school with
 respect to his success. If this report is favorable the candidate
 is now put on the eligible list and may be appointed to a permanent
 position. The length of time which it is necessary for him to wait
 for this permanent appointment is determined wholly by the needs of
 the schools. If there are no vacancies, the candidate may wait a
 relatively long period of time, in some cases as long as four or five
 years. On the other hand, for some years past it has been possible in
 most cities for candidates to receive appointment almost immediately
 on completion of the trial year.[94]


The example of Germany is instructive as showing something of the
amount of professional training which may be deemed necessary properly
to qualify a teacher of secondary schools. It is not at all likely
that the particular method adopted will be followed in the United
States. Indeed, there is a rapidly developing movement in American
colleges and universities to provide training for such teachers. The
state universities especially have developed in recent years series of
courses, both in subject-matter and in professional lines, designed to
train secondary-school teachers. These, like the normal-school courses
described above, are very little standardized, but are promising as a
nucleus for the final organizations which will solve the problem.

The following paragraph indicates the existing conditions:

 The significant fact is that 21 of 24 universities report teachers’
 courses. This means that in some way the academic departments are
 professionally coöperating with schools or departments of education
 in furnishing to intending teachers the special methods and peculiar
 technique, as well as more fundamental educational principles and
 distinctive values of the actual subjects the students will teach
 when they take positions in the schools. The proper coördination
 of the university forces contributing to teaching efficiency is
 the curriculum problem for the immediate future in university
 administration. At present the solutions are about as numerous as the
 institutions concerned.[95]


The standardization of the requirements will require legislation or
the action of central standardizing associations. This movement is now
under way. The North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary
Schools sets as its standards for approval of high schools the

 All teachers teaching one or more academic subjects must satisfy the
 following standards:

 _A._ The minimum attainment of teachers of academic subjects shall be
 equivalent to graduation from a college belonging to the North Central
 Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools requiring the completion
 of a four-year course of study or 120 semester hours in advance of a
 standard four-year high school course. Such requirement shall not be
 construed as retroactive.

 _B._ The minimum professional training of teachers of academic
 subjects shall be at least eleven semester hours in education. This
 should include special study of the subject matter and pedagogy of
 the subject to be taught. Such requirements shall not be construed as
 retroactive. (For the succeeding year the Board will interpret courses
 in education as the same courses are interpreted by the colleges or
 universities offering them.)

 _C._ If a teacher, new to a given high school, does not fully meet
 the requirement of the above standards but, in the opinion of the
 inspector, possesses the equivalent of the training prescribed, the
 inspector shall submit, to the Board of Inspectors, a statement
 concerning the training, experience, and teaching efficiency of the
 said teacher, together with his recommendation. The Board shall, on
 each case presented, make a decision.[96]


The qualifications required by the State Board of Education in
California are the highest required in any state. They are as follows:


 High school certificates may be issued by county and city and county
 boards of education under the provisions of section 1519, subdivision
 5 (_a_); section 1775, subdivision 1 (_a_), and section 1792 of the
 Political Code of California, to candidates who meet all of the
 following requirements, to wit:

 (1) _Requirement of Bachelor’s degree._ Each candidate shall have
 received a Bachelor’s degree from a standard college requiring not
 less than eight years of high school and college training.

 (2) _Requirement of one year of graduate study._ Each candidate shall
 submit evidence that in addition to the academic and professional
 courses required for the Bachelor’s degree, he has completed at
 least one year of graduate study, doing full regular work, though
 not necessarily a candidate for a degree, in an approved graduate
 school as hereinafter defined. Such graduate study shall include at
 least one full year course of advanced or graduate work in at least
 one of the subjects in which candidate expects to be recommended for

 (3) _Requirement of fifteen units of work in education._ Each
 candidate shall also submit evidence that he has completed in
 undergraduate or graduate standing, or the two combined, not less
 than fifteen units (semester hours) of work, in courses listed in
 the department of education in the institution in which the graduate
 work is completed, or courses in other departments of that or other
 institutions accepted as preparation for teaching by the department
 of education. These fifteen units of work shall include the several
 courses in education hereinafter prescribed.

       *       *       *       *       *

 _Required work in education._ The required fifteen units of work in
 the department of education shall include the following courses:

 (_a_) A course in school and classroom management, or equivalent
 work—a minimum of one unit.

 (_b_) Work in actual practice of teaching, with conferences—a minimum
 of four units.

 (_c_) A teacher’s course in at least one subject in which the
 candidate expects to be recommended for certification, if such course
 be given in the institution and be accepted by or listed under the
 work in education—a maximum of three units for all such courses.

 (_d_) A course in secondary education, presenting particularly the
 purpose and attainable goals of high school work—a minimum of two

 (_e_) Such other courses relating to the theory, function and
 administration of public education, as are needed to complete the
 required fifteen units.

 _Practice teaching._ The work in practice teaching shall be done
 under the general supervision of the department of education of the
 institution in which the year of graduate work is taken, and may be
 done in schools of elementary, intermediate or secondary grade, though
 preferably in secondary school work of the kind the candidate is
 preparing to teach, and under the direction of competent instructors
 in such work. The work in practice teaching may also be done in
 connection with the training school of any California state normal

 _Teachers’ courses._ Each teacher’s course shall be a _bona fide_
 teacher’s course and shall be made as concrete and practicable as
 possible, and shall have for its purpose the preparation of teachers
 to give intelligent instruction in the subject in the high schools of
 this State.[97]


The requirements which have been discussed up to this point have to do
with admission to the teaching profession. Beyond that point there is
nothing that can be described as sufficiently common to be regarded
as typical. There are voluntary and compulsory gatherings of every
kind and variety intended to keep teachers intellectually alert and to
inform them of progress in educational matters. There are institutes,
so called, where teachers hear lectures. There are extension
lectures, provided sometimes by boards of education, sometimes by
teachers’ associations. There are meetings of teachers called by the
superintendent or by the supervisor of a special subject or of a
special grade.

The miscellaneous activities which are indicated by such a list as the
above all recognize the necessity of continued study on the part of
teachers in service, and many boards of education are requiring study
in addition to success in teaching as an essential prerequisite to
promotion or to increases in salary.

The most significant movement which has ever been witnessed in the
training of teachers in service is the summer-school movement. All
the leading institutions of learning in the country are filled during
the long summer vacation with teachers who are pursuing courses in
education or in the various subjects which they teach.


Two phases of continuation study on the part of teachers deserve
special discussion. First, the form of promotion which carries a
teacher into school administration, that is, into a principalship or
superintendency, is being hedged about with very definite demands for
advanced study on the part of candidates. This advanced study must
take the form of readings or courses on administrative problems. Such
problems have been exemplified in earlier chapters which have dealt
with costs, promotions, and the like. It can be safely asserted that
the time is not far distant when a special preparation will be required
for entrance on administrative positions.


Second, the study of school problems by teachers in service has
contributed powerfully to the creation of bodies of organized knowledge
bearing directly on school matters. When education courses were
designed chiefly for candidates for teaching positions, these courses
survived even if they had no close relation to school work. To-day
the situation is entirely different in character. Teachers in service
come to the study of education with urgent problems to be solved.
The abstract statements of the older courses will not satisfy such
students. The impulses toward the development of scientific information
about schools which arise out of a demand for efficiency and economy
are powerfully reënforced by the demand within the teaching profession
itself for definite and constructive studies of school problems.


The training of teachers is so closely related to state legislation
that this chapter suggests the possibility of introducing the student
to the methods of looking up state laws. How does one go about finding
school laws? Why is education a matter of state legislation rather
than a matter of national legislation? What are some of the striking
differences between the educational laws of different states?

Second, since the economic conditions which control teachers’ salaries
are of importance in determining how much training teachers shall be
required to secure, the question of salaries is an important one. This
matter may be looked up in the two bulletins referred to below.

 COFFMAN, L. D. Social Composition of the Teaching Population. Teachers
 College Publications, 1911.

 The Tangible Rewards of Teaching. _Bulletin No. 16_, United States
 Bureau of Education, 1914.

 A Comparative Study of the Salaries of Teachers and School Officers.
 _Bulletin No. 31_, United States Bureau of Education, 1915.


[93] Charles Hubbard Judd and Samuel Chester Parker, Problems involved
in Standardizing State Normal Schools, pp. 7-9. _Bulletin No. 12_,
United States Bureau of Education, 1916.

[94] Charles H. Judd, The Training of Teachers in England, Scotland,
and Germany, pp. 74-82. _Bulletin No. 35_, United States Bureau of
Education, 1914.

[95] Charles Hughes Johnston, “Progress of Teacher Training.” Report of
the Commissioner of Education, 1913, Vol. I, chap. xxiv, p. 520.

[96] Proceedings of the Twenty-first Annual Meeting of the North
Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, 1916, p. 94.

[97] “Revised Rules governing High-School Certification,” pp. 3-5.
_Bulletin No. 5_, California State Board of Education, 1915.



In connection with the study of the foregoing chapters and collateral
readings it is desirable that students visit classrooms and make
systematic observations of the work there under way. In order that such
observations may be productive it is necessary that the student have
definite ends in view, otherwise observation will be scattered over
many phases of that which is seen. The questions below are intended to
furnish guidance.

It is recommended that each student in the course be required to spend
at least three hundred minutes in observation and that he or she
prepare a written report.


Before going to the classes for observation determine which of the
topics outlined below you are going to make the subject of special
study. It will be advantageous for you to learn the questions.

Go prepared to take notes. Confine your attention after the first
general observations outlined below to the particular topic on
which you are to report. Take down facts and definite individual
observations. You are at liberty to talk with teachers if you can do so
without imposing on them, but your report is not to be based on what
they say but on what you see. Do not quote from books on the subject of
your study.

Prepare a report of not less than two thousand words.


1. In what school or schools did you make your observations?

2. How many visits did you make, and how long was each? (Give dates and

3. What was the grade of the class, and what was the subject of

4. Report on the physical conditions of each room. What was the
condition of the temperature, of the lighting, of the ventilation? What
kind of furniture was used? Did you see signs of fatigue on the part of
teacher or pupils?

After noting these general external conditions, turn your attention
to one of the problems outlined below and prepare your report with
reference to that single topic.


Attend a class several times until you come to know something of each
individual member; then form a judgment as to the desirability of
holding the group together. Suggest changes such as the putting forward
or putting back of certain individuals.

1. Are the students alike in their physical development, or are some

2. Are the mental differences parallel with the physical?

3. Do you observe symptoms showing that some children frequently do not
understand the class work and therefore are to be regarded as below the

4. Do you see evidences that children are not fully occupied because
the work is too easy for them?

5. Children differ in their willingness and ability to take part in
class work. How far should this be considered in grouping children?

6. How far does the grouping of students in a class help or hinder the
development of an individual? Give definite cases.

7. Should the class be changed in size to provide for the best teaching?

8. In certain schools the effort is now being made to organize more
individual instruction. What do your observations lead you to conclude
about the desirability of such a plan?


For observations under this section visit a number of different classes
and note the general restlessness or quiet of the groups. Note in
detail how the “order” is maintained, and try to determine (1) what is
the teacher’s notion of order in each case, and (2) what devices he
employs in securing what he wants.

1. Are there formal rules? For example, must the pupils sit in a
certain way? Must they ask questions in a certain way?

2. Does the teacher talk about order?

3. Does he have other devices that are evident, such as pausing and
looking at some member of the class?

4. Does he inflict penalties?

5. Does he have devices that are less obvious, such as varying the
character of the work or calling on a member of the class who is

6. What is the relation of order to the subject of instruction?

7. Does the teacher neglect disorder which you would correct?

8. Of all the cases which you observed, which do you regard as the best
kind of order?


Visit several different teachers and contrast their methods. It may be
advantageous after a first visit to go back to observe again teachers
who are radically different.

1. Distinguish between a teacher’s general preparation or broad
knowledge of a subject and his special preparation for a particular
class exercise. What evidence is there that the teacher prepared for
this particular exercise?

2. Does the teacher seem to have in mind a fixed order in which the
lesson is to proceed?

3. What is the relation of economy of the time and energy of the class
to the teacher’s preparation?

4. Has the teacher anything to contribute outside of the textbook

5. Does the teacher know how to fit the work to the class period so as
to make a complete exercise?

6. Is there evidence that the teacher has made specific preparation for
the next exercise?


One of the best ways to get material for this section is to go first
to the high-school study room or to the general library and take note
of the way in which people study. The kind of question which should
be raised in these observations of study periods is illustrated in
V (_B_) below. After making these preliminary observations go to
some recitations and see if there are evidences in the individual
recitations of the way in which the work of preparing the lesson has
been done. The purpose of this particular section is to discuss the
methods of judging preparation from the recitation.

1. What proportion of the class has thought about the lesson as well as
learned what is in the book?

2. When a student fails try to determine whether his failure is due to
lack of study or to bad methods of study. For example, if a student has
learned his lesson by heart, and forgets, he is very different from the
student who has not tried either to understand or to learn by heart.

3. How far is the recitation an examination, and how far does it teach
students to think? What is the effect of the teacher’s method on the
future study of the pupil?

4. How far do students show initiative in carrying forward the work?

5. How many questions do they ask?

6. Girls generally get better marks than boys for their class work. Why
is this? Do boys contribute anything that girls do not?

7. Is there any difference in intellectual maturity exhibited by
different members of the class?


This section will be of special interest to those who wish to observe
in the lower grades. Productive observations can be made, however,
in every grade. The chief business of the school is to train in
concentration. Observe individual pupils closely.

1. How long does a child keep his attention fixed on one thing?

2. What distractions does a schoolroom present?

3. What concession does the teacher make when pupils do not keep up
concentration? For example, does he repeat questions?

4. What positive devices are adopted to keep up attention?

5. What are the physical symptoms of attention and its absence?

6. What individual differences are to be noted?

7. Do you note differences in attention at different times in the day
or at different periods of the recitation?


For this section go to the study room or to some class that is engaged
in individual work, as, for example, the laboratory.

1. Note the way in which a student goes about his work. Is he ready to
begin at once, or does he have to get matters together deliberately
after he sits down?

2. Note whether he reads continuously from the book which he is

3. Pay attention to the sort of thing that the student does when he
looks away from the book. Does he turn his attention to other objects,
or is he trying to think about the book itself? In general, what are
the distractions that seem to take his attention from the work? When he
comes back to his book, where does he take up the work?

4. Is his rate of work evidently slow or rapid? This can be judged by
watching him long enough to see how much time he spends in reading a
given page.

5. Note, if you can, the different ways in which students study
different subjects. For example, is their work in history different
from their work in mathematics? If so, which one seems to you to secure
the highest degree of attention? Is the writing of notes apparently of
value in keeping them at work?


A comparison of different teachers and of different subjects of
instruction will bring out most clearly the distinctions here aimed at.

1. What part of the recitation is consumed in asking questions?

2. Are the questions such as to require answers of more than a single

3. Are the questions based directly on the text?

4. What is the mode of assigning the question to members of the class
for answer?

5. Give examples of good questions with reasons for your selection.

6. Contrast different subjects of instruction with reference to the
questions which they permit.

7. Give examples of questions which seem to you too general or
otherwise vague.


The gymnasium, the sewing class, the cooking class, and the
manual-training shop furnish the best opportunities for observations
on this topic. Penmanship classes and almost any lower-grade exercise
will, however, serve.

1. What are the characteristics of a clumsy movement?

2. Point out certain instinctive elements of behavior; that is, forms
of movement which do not have to be learned, but are natural. Are these
always helpful in the learning process?

3. Note the prevalence of rhythm in many forms of behavior. Is the
rhythm more striking where the behavior is natural and instinctive or
where it is being acquired as a special habit of skill?

4. Comment on the _educational_ value of repeating acts which seem to
have reached a high degree of perfection, such as taking stitches or
swinging Indian clubs.

5. Are individual differences in rate and grace of movement capable of
elimination through class training?

6. How far is skill dependent on knowledge?


For purposes of this section follow a class for a whole forenoon. If
the class observed is one of the lower grades, the organization which
places this class largely in the hands of one teacher favors a close
interrelation of subjects. In the upper grades and high school, on the
other hand, organization makes interrelating difficult.

1. What cases did you observe in which the teacher consciously tried to
illuminate one subject by reference to another?

2. Did the pupils ask any questions or make remarks which showed that
they were thinking about other school topics?

3. Within a given subject there is sometimes opportunity to relate
topics which are remote from each other in the textbook. Did the
classes visited show any examples of such relating of topics?

4. What opportunities for interrelating subjects did you observe in
addition to those taken advantage of by the class?

5. Sometimes the contrast produced by change from one topic to another
or from one classroom to another is important in arousing or depressing
a class. What contrasts did you observe?


  Academic courses in high schools, 7

  Academy, American, 27

  Accounting, school, 61

  Administration, studies of, 208
    training for, 319

  Administrative problems, study of, 303

  Adolescence, 268
    early, 190
    later, 194

  Adults, continuation classes for, 147
    and the curriculum, 200

  After-school classes, 145

  Age limits of compulsory education, 42

  Agricultural high schools, 134

  Alderman, L. R., 144

  Algebra, history of, 115

  Allen, I. M., 110, 238

  Allison, Elizabeth W., 285

  American Academy of Political and Social Science, 155

  American schools, 14, 26
    of 1850, 33

  Ames, E. S., 196

  Appendix, 321

  Arabic numerals, 116

  Arithmetic, 117
    nonpromotions in, 103
    studies of, 210

  Associations of parents and teachers, 152

  Athletics, 146

  Attendance, 35, 41

  Attention, observation of, 324

  Auditoriums, school, 90

  Austin, Texas, 38

  Authority in school system, 66

  Ayres, L. P., 5, 45, 82, 106, 202, 215, 216, 288, 307

  Ayres, May, 82

  Bagley, W. C., 204, 211, 251, 253

  Bailey, W. A., 264

  Batavia system, 110

  Binet-Simon tests, 172

  Board of education, 66, 67

  Bobbitt, J. F., iv, 56, 101, 126

  Boise, Idaho, 104

  Books, free, 60

  Boston, Massachusetts, 95

  Boston Latin School, 27

  Boys, special commercial training for, 177

  Breslich, E. R., 235

  Bright pupils, 174

  British Royal Commission on the Feeble-minded, Report of, 170

  Brooks, Charles, 22

  Brown, E. E., 31

  Bryant, Louise S., 282

  Buildings, school, 74, 78

  Bunker, F. F., 22, 24, 31

  Bureau of Census, 51

  Bureau of Education, 62

  Burritt, B. B., 200

  Business administration of schools, 68

  California State Board of Education, 317

  Cameron, E. H., iv

  Caste and schools, 17

  Centralization, of school control, 64
    of school organization, 291

  Charters, W. W., 206, 241

  Chicago, Illinois, 46, 50, 64

  Child labor, 40

  Childhood, 185

  City Club of Chicago, 133

  Civics, 139

  Clark, E., 62

  Class, organization of, 96

  Class instruction, 110

  Class period, 256

  Classes, sizes of and costs, 58

  Classical curriculum, 114

  Classical program, 129

  Classroom management, 242

  Classroom observation, 321

  Clerks, training of, 177

  Cleveland, 102, 181, 217

  Clubs, corn, 149

  Coffman, L. D., 208, 320

  College courses, as preparatory, 207
    once professional, 114
    for teachers, 315

  Colonial education, 122

  Colorado, 6

  Comenius, 300

  Commercial Club of Chicago, 132

  Commercial courses, 177
    in high schools, 132, 133
    in private schools, 132, 133

  Commissioner of Education, 25
    reports of, 37, 38, 41, 48, 307

  Committee of Ten, 126

  Community, conservatism of, 2
    and control of schools, 63
    lessons in, 139
    studies of, 292

  Community centers, 150

  Comparative method, 14

  Comparison, method of, 221, 304

  Compulsory education, 30

  Compulsory legislation, 37

  Concentration, 158

  Connecticut school law, 16

  Conservatism in community, 2

  Consolidation of schools, 92

  Contagion in schools, 283

  Continuation classes, 147

  Continuation training of teachers, 318

  Coöperative recitation, 240

  Corporation schools, 135

  Correlation, observation of, 326

  Correspondence schools, 153

  Costs, and class instruction, 97
    and efficiency, 52
    school, 46
    of school construction, 89

  Course of study, changes in, 2

  Courses of study, and costs, 56
    for girls, 180

  Courtis, S. A., 228, 295

  Cousin, 23

  Credits, for courses, 261
    for home activities, 142

  Cubberley, E. P., 34, 37, 52, 62, 77

  Current references and the curriculum, 203

  Curricula of schools, 18

  Curriculum (_see also_ Course of study), 113, 197
    conservatism regarding, 2
    and costs, 49, 56
    for girls, 180
    grading of subjects in, 99
    and individual differences, 17
    and industry, 125
    principles of, 156
    readjustments in, 105
    revision of, 132
    and school buildings, 90
    and school equipment, 88

  Deffenbaugh, W. S., 255

  Democracy, and individual differences, 182
    and school management, 291

  Demonstrations as means of education, 150

  Denver survey, 85, 107

  Department of Superintendence, 70, 182

  Departmentalization of grades, 91

  Desks, 87, 88

  Detroit, Michigan, 72

  Device, 229

  Dewey, John, 13, 88

  Differentiated curricula, 182

  Discipline, 157
    classroom, 242, 249
    impersonal, 252
    observation of, 322

  District control of schools, 64, 71

  Dressler, F. B., 80

  Drill, 240

  Dual school system, 131

  Earhart, L. B., 241

  Economy, demand for, 52

  Education, of common people, 32
    according to nature, 158
    and industry, 40

  Educational psychology, 301

  Efficiency and costs, 52

  Efficiency experts, 295

  Elementary-education expenditures, 47, 48, 55, 58

  Elimination from school, 121

  English secondary schools, 29

  Entertainment, 150

  Errors in oral reading, 225

  Euclid, 116

  European schools, 14, 17

  Examinations, 240
    English, 29

  Exceptional pupils, 174

  Excursions, field, 239

  Exercises and readings, 12, 30, 45, 62, 76, 95, 111, 125, 139, 154,
    168, 182, 195, 210, 228, 241, 252, 265, 278, 287, 297, 306, 320

  Experimental method, 8, 302

  Experiments in education, 302

  Extension of education, 141

  Eye movements in reading, 9

  Failures, and classification of pupils, 102
    in high school, 107

  Fairy tales, 188

  Farrington, F. E., 31, 140

  Fatigue, 256
    and lighting, 85
    and play, 269

  Feeble-mindedness, 170

  Figures, 6, 8, 9, 18, 50, 59, 79, 80, 81, 83, 84, 103, 133, 181, 218,
    223, 263

  Financial support of schools, 36

  Fiscal problem, 44

  Fiske, John, 184, 306

  Fleming, G. L., 57

  Flexner, Abraham, 129, 153

  Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, 100

  Food and education, 281

  Foreign languages, teaching of, 166

  Formal training, 162

  Free education, 28

  Freedom, doctrine of, 158

  Freeman, F. N., iv, 216, 302, 306

  Galton, Francis, 183

  Gardening, school, 146, 239

  Gary plan, 90, 100

  General courses, 138

  General education, 114, 127

  General Education Board, 149

  General training, 162

  Geometry, history of, 115

  German schools, 22, 29

  German system of training teachers, 312

  Giles, F. M., 236

  Girls, education of, 28, 175
    new courses for, 180
    special training of, for vocations,  177
    trade training for, 136

  Grade system, 96

  Grading pupils, 261, 322

  Grading systems, 100

  Grammar, 204

  Grammar school, 27

  Grand Rapids, 223

  Grand Rapids survey, 55

  Gray, W. S., iv, 226

  Greek and formal discipline, 164

  Greeley, Colorado, 141

  Greeley, Horace, 280

  Groos, K., 278

  Gulick, L. H., 288

  _Gymnasium_, 19, 25

  Hadley, A. T., 164

  Hall, G. S., 196, 306

  Handwriting, 215

  Harvard, 114, 199, 207, 262

  Health, 279

  Health department, 283

  Heating, 86

  Heck, W. H., 169

  Herbart, 301

  Hibbing, Minnesota, 59

  High schools (_see also_ Secondary schools), 27
    agricultural, 134
    classification of pupils in, 105
    commercial courses in, 132
    costs of, 55
    curricula of, 5
    failures in subjects in, 107
    laboratory methods in, 233

  High-school building, 82

  Higher education, 44

  Higher schools and the curriculum, 113

  Historical method, 14

  History of education, iii, 300

  Holmes, W. H., 112

  Home, education in the, 186

  Home activities and school credit, 142

  Home credits, 143

  Home feeding, 280

  Hopkins Grammar School, 27

  Household arts, 179

  Hygiene, 85
    teaching of, 285

  Idiots, 170

  Illinois, 6

  Illinois State Teachers Association, 222

  Imbeciles, 170

  Imitation and primary grades, 187

  Immigrants, training of, 147

  Impersonal discipline, 252

  Impersonal standards, 219

  Indiana, 6

  Individual differences, 160, 170
    and instruction, 104
    from training, 180

  Individual instruction, 110

  Individualism, 194
    period of, 189

  Industrial continuation classes, 147

  Industrial demands and education,  11

  Industrial education, 123, 131
    demand for, 119

  Industry and education, 40

  Infancy, 184

  Instincts and play, 268

  Instruction, in classes, 110
    and classification, 105
    and costs, 49, 56
    and grouping, 98
    in health, 285
    in play, 273
    state supervision of, 43

  Intelligence, low grades of, 170
    tests of, 172

  Interest, 158

  Intermediate grades, 189

  Intermediate school, 193

  Iowa, 6

  Irnerius, 113

  James, William, 306

  Jessup, W. A., 208

  Johnson, G. E., 273, 277

  Johnston, C. H., 316

  Jordan, David Starr, 232

  Junior high school, 121, 193

  Kansas, 6, 7

  Kansas City, Kansas, 264

  Kansas City, Missouri, 204

  Kilpatrick, W. H., 160

  Kindergarten, 185

  Kirkpatrick, E. A., 119, 196

  Knight, H. R., 271

  Koos, L. V., 126

  Laboratory method, 232

  Laboratory methods and science of education, 302

  Laboratory-class period, 260

  Laggards. _See_ Retardation

  Lancastrian system, 35

  Land grants, 35

  Language, 186

  Latin school, 27

  Leavitt, F. M., 137

  Lecture method, 239

  Legal requirements for secondary-school teachers, 317

  Liggett School, 295

  Lighting in school buildings, 78, 85

  Locke, John, 300

  Lowell, A. L., 207

  Luncheons, school, 280

  MacAndrew, W., 77

  McFarland, E. G., 143

  McMurry, C. A., 169, 241

  McMurry, F. M., 163

  Madison, Wisconsin, 274

  Maine, 99

  Malnutrition, 281

  Management of school system, 67

  Manhattan Trade School, 136

  Mann, Horace, 22, 36

  Marks, 245
    systems of, 261

  Massachusetts, 22, 37

  Mathematics in high school, 115

  Maturity of pupils, 166

  Maury, Sarah W., 280

  Measurement of school results, 73, 212, 294

  Mechanical aspects of school work, 227

  Meek, C. S., 2

  Method, 229
    experiments in, 239

  Methods, courses in, iii, 300
    of study, 235

  Meyer, M. F., 263

  Michigan, 6, 22

  Miller, Edith, 206

  Minneapolis, 74, 119

  Minneapolis survey, 11

  Minnesota, 6, 7

  Missouri, 6

  Mistakes of pupils, study of, 204

  Monahan, A. C., 95

  Money, training in use of, 118

  Monroe, Paul, 265

  Monroe, W. S., 31

  Montana, 6

  Montessori, 159

  Morehouse, F. M., 253

  Morons, 171

  Motor processes, observation of, 325

  National Association of Directors of Educational Research, 77

  National life, lessons in, 139

  National Playground Association, 278

  National Society for the Promotion of Industrial Education, 11, 293

  National Society for the Study of Education, 126, 140, 211

  Natural behavior, 267

  Natural education, 158
    and play, 268

  Nebraska, 6

  Neef, Joseph, 231

  New England, 27

  New York City, 50, 53

  Normal schools, 308

  Norsworthy, N., 241

  North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, 5, 126, 316

  North Dakota, 6

  Object teaching, 231

  Observation, classroom, 321

  Ohio, 6, 7

  Oklahoma, 6

  One-room school, 97

  Open-air rooms, 279

  Opinion versus measurement, 213

  Oral instruction in European schools, 15

  Oral reading, 9, 222

  Parents’ associations, 152

  Parker, S. C, iv, 31, 166, 241, 311

  Part-time courses, 134

  Pathological cases, treatment of, in schools, 279

  Pathological conditions, 258

  Period of class, 256

  Periodicity, in mental development, 184
    and play, 267

  Perry, Arthur Cecil, 253

  Perry, Clarence Arthur, 150, 155

  Personal standards, 219

  Pestalozzi, 231, 300

  Peterson, E. A., 283

  Physical conditions of classrooms, 322

  Physical education, 270

  Pierce, J. D., 22

  Plato, 300

  Play, 266

  Population and educational costs, 48

  Portland survey, 52

  Practical applications of academic courses, 138

  Preparation, of pupils, 323
    of teachers, 323

  Primary grades, 187

  Principal, school, 289

  Professional courses, preparation for, 207

  Professional education, 113, 122

  Professional training, 199
    of teachers, 308

  Program, daily, 254

  Promotion, 102, 104, 109

  Propaganda, educational, 148

  Prussian schools, 22

  Psychological methods, 302

  Psychology, iii, 301

  Public Education Association of Chicago, 67

  Public expenditures and school costs, 51

  Public opinion and reading, 16

  Punishments, 247

  Pupil’s point of view, 1

  Pupils, grading of, 97
    unruly, 251

  Puritans and play, 266

  Quality of handwriting, 217

  Question and answer method, 234

  Questions, observation of, 325

  Quintilian, 300

  Rapeer, L. W., 282

  Rate, of handwriting, 217
    of oral reading, 225

  Reading, 8, 188
    in American schools, 15
    individual differences in, 180
    nonpromotions and, 103
    oral, 222
    rate of, 180

  Reading school, colonial, 16, 123

  Readings, exercises and, 12, 30, 45, 62, 76, 95, 111, 125,
      139, 154, 168, 182, 195, 210, 228, 241, 252, 265, 278,
      287, 297, 306, 320

  Recitation, 14
    attention during, 324
    coöperative, 240

  Records, and scientific studies, 304
    and standardization, 222

  Recreation, 269

  Religious teaching, 29

  Report on classroom observations, 321

  Report lesson, 239

  Retardation, 4, 302

  Reviews in seventh and eighth grades, 193

  Rewards, 247

  Rice, J. M., 215

  Roman, F. W., 140

  Roman numerals and multiplication, 116

  Rousseau, Jean Jacques, 13, 158, 300

  Routine, organization of, 245

  Rudimentary curriculum, 25

  Rugg, H. O., iv, 55, 62, 211, 307

  Rural school buildings, 80

  Salaries, teachers’, 60

  Sanitation and school buildings, 78

  Scales, 215, 294

  Schmidt, W. A., 10

  School credits for home activities, 142

  School day, length of, 254

  School discipline, 249

  School finance, 89

  School program and play, 276

  School Report of 1801, 20

  School-city, 250

  Science of education, 299
    definition of, 305
    subdivisions of, 304
    and teachers, 320

  Scientific methods, 14
    applied to marks, 262
    demand for, 3
    for revising the curriculum, 200
    and standardization, 228
    of studying the curriculum, 197
    and supervision, 44, 72, 296

  Scientific supervision, 289

  Secondary schools (_see also_ High schools), 17, 192
    teachers in, 311

  Secular schools, 29

  Sense experiences and primary education, 187

  Seventh grade, reorganization of,  182

  Shearman, F. W., 24

  Sheldon, 231

  Shopwork, 240

  Shorey, Paul, 130

  Silent reading, 8

  “Six-three-and-three” plan, 121

  Smith, W. H., 95

  Social arts, period of learning, 188

  Social consciousness, 190

  Social control, types of, 244

  Social standards, 220

  South Carolina, 41

  South Dakota, 6, 7

  Space study, 117

  Spaulding, F. E., 105

  Special classes, 105, 175

  Special courses for defectives, 172

  Specialization, 194

  Specialized education, 113, 127

  Speed of handwriting, 217

  Spelling tests, 201

  Spencer, Herbert, 13, 253, 306

  Springfield, Illinois, survey, 202

  Standardization of results, 294

  Standardizing associations, 316

  Standards, based on opinion, 213
    objective, 214

  State control, 33

  State and school finance, 54

  State supervision of education, 42

  Statistical studies, 301

  Stevens, Bertha M., 177

  St. Louis, 106, 223

  St. Louis survey, 55

  Strayer, G. D., 95, 241

  Study, attention during, 325

  Study lesson, 239

  Subject-matter versus method, 230

  Summaries, 125, 167

  Superintendent of schools, 66, 69

  Supernormal child, 174

  Supervised study, 111, 235, 237

  Supervision, 42, 63
    of courses, 210
    of health, 278
    scientific, 289

  Supplies, costs of, 60

  Survey, industrial, 11
    of recreations, 270

  System, the school, 30

  Tables, 48, 51, 55, 57, 58, 107

  Tachau, Lena L., 280

  Taunton, Massachusetts, school report, 20

  Taxation, general, for schools, 36

  Teachers, continuation courses for, 318
    preparation of, 323
    relation of, to community, 63
    and the science of education, 320
    secondary-school, 311
    selection and management of, 293
    training of, 308

  Technical courses in high schools, 7

  Terman, L. M., 95, 172

  Tests, 294
    of adults, 201
    of general intelligence, 172
    of methods, 240
    of school products, 72, 212

  Texas, compulsory education in, 37, 38

  Textbooks in American schools, 14

  Thorndike, E. L., 183, 216, 301, 307

  Trade education, 11

  Trade schools, 135

  Trade training for girls, 136

  Training of teachers, 308

  Transfer of training, 165

  Ungraded class, 101

  Units, high-school, 7

  University of Alexandria, 116

  University of Cincinnati, 134

  University of Missouri, 263

  Unruly pupils, 251

  Vacation classes, 145

  Ventilation, 86

  Vernacular, 18, 25

  Vocational education, 122, 131

  _Volksschule_, 17, 18, 19, 25

  _Vorschule_, 19

  Ward, D. A., 233

  Washington, Booker, 169

  Wealth and educational expenditures, 53

  Wheaton, H. H., 147

  Wider use of school plant, 141

  Wirt, W. A., 90

  Wisconsin, 6

  Wood, T. D., 288

  Woolman, Mary S., 136

  Wyoming, 6

  Young, Ella Flagg, 2




By CHARLES HUBBARD JUDD, Professor of Education and Director of the
School of Education, The University of Chicago

xii + 333 Pages

This book summarizes the scientific methods employed in solving
problems of school organization and administration which in
recent years have resulted in much economy of time and effort and
the elimination of nonessentials. It is the first comprehensive
introduction to the scientific study of education. The wealth of
concrete, informing material makes it particularly valuable in
introductory courses in normal schools and training classes as well as
in colleges.



515 pages

A psychological analysis of the mental processes developed in the
student by each subject in the high-school curriculum. On these
analyses many problems of value and method depend for their solution.
Each discussion is introduced by a summary of the psychological facts
relating to it. This book should not be overlooked by anyone interested
in educational problems.


By SAMUEL CHESTER PARKER, The University of Chicago

xxv + 529 pages, illustrated

A careful study of the principles underlying the actual class work of
high-school teachers. The scope and method are indicated by some of the
chapter titles: Economy in Classroom Management; Reflective Thinking;
Conversational Methods; Laboratory Methods; The Art of Questioning;
Measuring the Results of Teaching. For reading and general reference
the book will be most helpful to high-school teachers.



 By HENRY EASTMAN BENNETT, Professor of Education, College of William
 and Mary.

The first aim of “School Efficiency” is to be practical and genuinely
helpful to teachers. It aims also to set higher ideals in this field
than are usually associated with the practical attitude. The author
has discussed topics which claim the attention of the teacher on
every day of the school year,—school grounds, buildings, lighting,
heat and ventilation, health inspection, marking systems and reports,
discipline, and many others,—and in discussing them has kept ever
uppermost in his mind the _average_ school of _average_ opportunities
and the teacher of _average_ ability, which is one of the important
reasons why this volume is a real contribution to the teacher’s
library. _374 pages, illustrated_


 By SAMUEL CHESTER PARKER, Professor of Education, The University of

This book provides a continuous, connected history of elementary
education from the earliest vernacular schools of medieval cities to
the schools of the present. The subject is considered under three main
heads: social conditions, educational theory, and school practice. The
relation of each to historical development is clearly traced.

The author shows in a concrete way how elementary schools keep abreast
of changing social conditions such as the growth of vernacular
literatures, of cities, of modern science, and of national governments
and democracy, tracing the resulting changes in the elementary
curriculum. He gives especially full treatment to Rousseau, Pestalozzi,
Herbart, Froebel, Parker, and Dewey. _505 pages, illustrated_



 By LILLIAN I. LINCOLN, State Normal School, Farmington, Maine. 310

Definite and practical suggestions from a teacher of wide experience.
The book treats each of the regular common-school subjects in a
separate chapter. It includes chapters on discipline, conducting the
recitation, and similar general topics.


 By ERNEST CARROLL MOORE, Harvard University. 357 pages

What is Knowledge? The Doctrine of General Discipline, Education
as World Building, The Kinds of Education, The Place of Method in
Education, and other essays on the underlying philosophy of teaching by
an experienced educator.


 By HARRIET FINLAY-JOHNSON. 199 pages, illustrated

The fascinating story of what the author accomplished as head mistress
of a unique school on the Sussex Downs of England. She applied dramatic
methods of teaching to every subject in the school curriculum, with
surprising results.


 342 pages, illustrated

A fresh, comprehensive, nontechnical study of the child. Introductory
chapters present in a readable way the biological and genetic
background, and later chapters make concrete, practical applications of
the principles developed.


 By COLIN ALEXANDER SCOTT, Mt. Holyoke College. 300 pages

The social forces at work among pupils and the ways in which these can
be utilized for education. Schools like the George Junior Republic and
the Dewey School are studied for their suggestive value, but the book
covers a much broader field.


 By L. H. JONES, formerly President of Michigan State Normal College.
 275 pages

A detailed discussion of the best ways of developing sound character
through education. The method of the book is that of evolution, each
chapter treating the spiritual life of the developing child on a higher


  Allen: Civics and Health
  Bloomfield: Readings in Vocational Guidance
  Brigham: Geographic Influences in American History
  Curtis: Play and Recreation for the Open Country
  Davis: Vocational and Moral Guidance
  Finlay-Johnson: The Dramatic Method of Teaching
  Gesell: The Normal Child and Primary Education
  Hall: Aspects of Child Life and Education
  Hodge: Nature Study and Life
  Johnson: Education by Plays and Games
  Johnson: What to do at Recess
  Jones: Education as Growth
  Judd: Psychology of High-School Subjects
  Judd: Scientific Study of Education
  Kastman and Köhler: Swedish Song Games
  Kern: Among Country Schools
  Leavitt: Examples of Industrial Education
  Leiper: Language Work in Elementary Schools
  Lincoln: Everyday Pedagogy
  Moore: Fifty Years of American Education
  Moore: What is Education?
  Moral Training in the Public Schools
  Palmer: Play Life in the First Eight Years
  Parker: History of Modern Elementary Education
  Parker: Methods of Teaching in High Schools
  Phillips: An Elementary Psychology
  Prince: Courses of Studies and Methods of Teaching
  Read: An Introductory Psychology
  Sargent: Fine and Industrial Arts in Elementary Schools
  Sargent and Miller: How Children Learn to Draw
  Scott: Social Education
  Smith: The Teaching of Arithmetic
  Tompkins: Philosophy of School Management
  Tompkins: Philosophy of Teaching
  Williams: Gardens and their Meaning


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