« PreviousContinue »
AMERICANIZATION THRU SCHOOL GARDENS
VAN EVERIE KILPATRICK, PRESIDENT, SCHOOL GARDEN ASSOCIATION,
NEW YORK, N.Y. The first fight of the early American was food-getting. In that foodgetting he became agricultural. The early American was not evolved suddenly. He developt thru this pastoral experience in grappling with the vast resources of a new continent. His struggles with the forest, his glimpses of the ever-widening sunset, and his mastery of nature in her rudiments were those things which gave us that striking type in human development, the American.
It is worth while noting that Americanization is not what many foreign observers tell us it is. It is not the ability to use the English language. That accomplishment is as much British as American. Emphasis upon the vernacular is an essential of all nationalism. Yet the ability to use the English language is essential to Americanization. This point is mentioned here because the recent propaganda for Americanization seems to have gone little farther than insisting on the vernacular. I take it that when we speak of Americanization we speak of that which characterizes an American, or the American people, as distinguisht from every other person or people.
I believe that it would surprise anyone to read a complete category of all the distinctively American qualities. I do not think that any such list has ever been written, but within the limits of this paper I should like to call your attention to a few Americanisms which appeal to me as the most priceless heritages that have ever come to any free people.
Conscientious integrity.—Possibly some would call this "simple honesty." It is honesty for honesty's sake. It is directly opposed to the Spartan honesty, the honesty of expediency.
Generations of fathers who could repeat to their sons and their grandsons the traditions of Washington and the cherry tree, and of Lincoln returning the widow's dime, bespeak an honesty so natural as to challenge the contemplation of all mankind. It matters little as to the historical acceptance of these incidents. The fact is that these simple dramas express the idealization of every true American household.
Free speech.-We can never have honesty in private life or in government until we have free speech. It was the one transcendent thought of our Revolutionary times. It was the dominant note in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.
Permit me to add that I have failed to find and I may challenge anyone to show where these cardinal principles have not operated up to the present time. I am quite disposed to disagree with that body of people who set up the notion that there are times when these privileges should be abrogated. A free people never remained free by throwing off the exercise of freedom for any given time.
Continental isolation.—It is not easy to express this Americanism in two words. It was exprest by President James Monroe nearly one hundred years ago thus: “In principle, the American continents, by the free and independent position which they have assumed and maintained, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European power. And that any attempt on the part of any of the European powers to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere would be regarded by the United States as dangerous to our peace and safety, and would be opposed accordingly."
I question whether many of our people realize the momentous significance that these words have had in American history. By common acceptance they have become a part of our unwritten constitution. In enforcing this principle the United States practically assumed the protectorate over all the peoples living on the American continent. Our country has for nearly one hundred years, therefore, been the one sovereign country in America.
It is not within the scope of this paper to discuss our long list of worthwhile Americanisms: rotation in office, no third term for the president, free education, local-unit public schools, private business cooperations, a small standing army, social equalization, union of states, and free vocational choice.
What has the school garden to do with Americanization? If it be true that the many years of agricultural development which mark the growth and progress of our country were necessary for our social emancipation, then it seems to me undoubtedly worth while that this early industry be made a fundamental in our educational system.
The child who learns to cultivate a plant from seed to maturity is not only trained mentally and physically, but is trained in getting food. Better plants mean better methods, and better methods mean broader discussions, and discussion is freedom in thought and expression
The one burning conviction that should come to us all in this hour of need for true Americans is that when we lose our agricultural heritage we lose our distinctive American training. The barefoot boy must return to his farm.
DEPARTMENT OF SECONDARY EDUCATION
Oak Park, III.
.. Chicago, III. .Spokane, Wash.
FIRST SESSION—TUESDAY FORENOON, JULY 2, 1918 The meeting was called to order at 9:45 a.m. by President M. R. McDaniel. Secretary R. J. Hargreaves not being present, J. L. Thalman, principal, Proviso Township High School, Maywood, Ill., was appointed Secretary.
Mr. Oscar W. Demmler, Fifth Avenue High School, Pittsburgh, Pa., led the meeting in singing “America" and the "Star-Spangled Banner."
The following program was then rendered:
“Physical Education in the High School in the Present Emergency”—W. S. Small, specialist, U.S. Bureau of Education, Washington, D.C.
“Citizenship thru Athletics—a Concrete Example”—Glen F. Thistlethwaite, director of physical training, high school, Oak Park, Ill.
The Committee on the Study of Sociology in High Schools was to have reported on the “Actual Conditions in Various States” and to have made “Definite Proposals for Further Progress.” The chairman of the Committee, E. O. Sisson, president of the University of Montana, was unable to be present, so the Department voted that the Committee continue its investigation and report at the next annual meeting, the personnel of the Committee to be changed or added to at the discretion of the incoming president of the Department.
The President appointed the following Committee on Nominations:
SECOND SESSION-WEDNESDAY FORENOON, JULY 3, 1918 Joint program with Library Department.
THIRD SESSION-WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, JULY 3, 1918 The meeting was called to order by the president, who appointed Miss Lydia Schmidt, Chicago, as Secretary. The following program was presented:
General Topic: Education for the Day after the War “The Present Emergency in Secondary Education”-G. D. Strayer, chairman, Commission on the National Emergency in Education.
“Education of the Adolescent in England, with Special Reference to the English Education Bill”-Frank Roscoe, secretary of the Teachers' Registration Council, London, representing the government and the educational associations of Great Britain.
“Sex Education in Secondary Schools in Relation to National Efficiency"-Norman F. Coleman, Reed College, Portland Ore., representing Council of National Defense.
The Committee on Nominations recommended the following officers, and they were unanimously elected:
President-Franklin W. Johnson, principal, University High School, Chicago, Ill. Vice-President—Edmund D. Lyon, principal, Hughes High School, Cincinnati, Ohio. SecretaryAnna Willson, principal, high school, Crawfordsville, Ind.
PAPERS AND DISCUSSIONS
MOTHERS OF DEMOCRACY
MRS. TAYLOR ALLDERDICE, PITTSBURGH, PA.
(From notes taken by Anna Pierpont Siviter) We hear much these days of the world being upside down, and yet, thru the darkness and horror of the overturning process, is it not true that many things we once feared were hopelessly down are now rapidly coming up? If five years ago a social worker had ventured to predict that the time was close at hand when the school buildings of Pittsburgh would have semimonthly meetings of the mothers of the ward, where they sang and sewed for a common cause, where the children were as welcome as the “ grown-ups,” and where speeches and talks from the women themselves were a common occurrence, I for one would have said that the millennium was much nearer at hand than was usually supposed; and yet this is now taking place in more than forty places of meeting in and about Pittsburgh.
And how has it come to pass ? What is the bond that has power to draw these women together, without regard to creed, or color, or class ? It is the bond of motherhood, of a common cause: my son is fighting for you, your son is fighting that I and mine may live. A year ago I chose as my work the care of the soldier's family. I had always been interested in that sort of thing, and the mother and the child at home appeal to me very strongly. My husband is on the Appellate Board, and I think that is one of the worst jobs that Uncle Sam has to hand out. He must look over every day about one hundred or more names of men who don't want to go. The cards that came in last September, the registration cards, showed very plainly that many of the men had dependents. Notwithstanding the ruling that those with dependents were not to go, one card in particular read: “Have you dependents ?” The answer was: “A wife and four children, a mother-in-law, aged aunt and father.” And where it says, "Do you wish exemption ?" he had written, "My God, No!” Another card