Page images
PDF
EPUB

and in a satisfactory manner the really large body of essential knowledge; only thus can they train efficiently for local or national commercial needs with adequate vocational guidance; and only thus can they become the nation's nursery where there can be planted the seed of proper understanding of a nation's international obligations, to become, under proper nurture henceforth, the nation's priceless possession and the indispensable and invaluable knowledge of all engaged in the foreign service of this country.

Commerce on the high seas shall again become the heritage of this nation, inalienable thru its situation, its resources, and the mission it should perform by virtue of its political principles and political destiny. Our nation will never become a mere nation of traders. We must and shall prepare ourselves to give to our carriers of commerce, the cooperating diplomats of the future, the inspirational training which, while it affords the skill demanded of every transaction in the practice of trade, teaches respect of man for man, the rights of races, and the territorial integrity of nations.

THE ROLE OF WOMAN IN THE NEW INTERNATIONALISM MRS. LOUIS F. POST, MEMBER OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, WOMAN'S AUXILIARY COMMITTEE OF THE UNITED STATES, SECOND PAN-AMERICAN

SCIENTIFIC CONGRESS, WASHINGTON, D.C. The training of boys exclusively by men, and of girls by women, is a thing of the past. We all know now that the influences of both parents, and of teachers of both sexes, are needed by every child.

The early association of human beings in towns and little states was more for protective than for cooperative purposes. Then as cooperation gradually developt it appeared under its cruder and harsher forms, dominated by fears and greeds, and so continually defeating its own ends-stepping on its own feet, as it were. These rougher husklike forms of human affiliation made apparently but moderate appeal to women, and their part in public affairs was small.

But law and order prest forward from the little to the great under the divine laws of progression, and cooperation began to mean not only profitable exchange but devoted human service. On a large scale this hardly came consciously into the world before the time just previous to our own. And then all at once our Pallas Athene—wise womanhood-sprang fully panoplied into the arena. Was there human service to be rendered ? She must play her part at the voting booths, at the council tables, on school boards, on municipal committees.

Let us make no mistake. The largest factor in the urge of the woman's soul that she take her place in the common life of the municipality, of the state, and of the nation was, not a demand for a right, but an unappeasable hunger for vital human service in the wonderful fields of the new social order opening upon her vision.

Side by side with the articulate expression of that urge, whether as yet granted fulfilment or not, have come into our community life new ideals and new services rendered by men and women together-services which neither. men nor women could have initiated or developt alone. You know themjuvenile courts, public playgrounds, improved public sanitation, community forums—a thousand forms of human service.

Before this war of wars tore the world into abysses under our feet, this vitalizing of our municipal life was creating new environment for us and, more important, for our children. With the unbelievable events of 1914 came dizzy indignation and throbs of world-wide compassion on a larger scale than had ever before moved the world. International thinking and feeling began to be a part of daily life even in this somewhat isolated and considerably self-centered Republic.

Then came opportunities for international service, and we sprang forward, not as eagerly perhaps, or as fully, as if we had been better prepared to understand the situation; and not altogether with clean hands, for were not some among us making blood-stained fortunes ? But necessarily with this vitalization of internationalism there came in the cooperation of the women. Is it possible to conceive that internationalism will ever cease to be their common business? Is not the whole world now the potential house of their Father ?

Among the evidences of this vitalized internationalism now in process of development is the leap from a purely commercial food exchange, hampered by tariffs, to national and international collection and conservation of food on the absolute basis of social utility. Have American women played no part in that international act of conservation? Has not that function lain on their hearts day in and day out for more than a year?

Internationalism in these swift days must be based on our experience of life rather than learned from books. What do you know of community service that is translatable into international terms ?

If in the community such services are the mutual product of men and women we must believe that women's intuition and the urge of their hearts will impel them to share in the working out of like international services and in giving them vitality.

We women have workt on these problems in small ways in our own comfortable communities. We are now working side by side with our brethren across the seas over these same problems on a vaster scale than we had ever dreamed of. Who asks whether the work is done by men or by women? It simply has to be done by both, not because there are not enough workers of either sex alone, tho that is also true; but because it is the old human problem of the home.

But while it is not alien to us to consider these human matters on a huge scale while they still relate to individuals, no matter how many, perhaps we do not so readily perceive the need for insight and sympathetic comprehension for nations as nations, and for whole peoples, sick, crippled, nerveshattered; aye, and for nations that are delinquent. But the dreadful need will be there. Patience, understanding, kindness—they will all be needed to the full for the healing of the nations at the time of the coming great reckoning. Above all, the ripest wisdom will be required for rightly handling delinquent nations which have lackt high national standards and denied international obligation.

Many analogues could be adduced between those lesser and those greater services for humanity which can be properly and fully consummated only by the natural and unselfish cooperation of men and women. In playing her part in fulfilling them woman will find her rôle in the new internationalism, a rôle that calls for the study of the histories of peoples, not the histories of kings; that calls for an acquaintance with maps; that calls for inquiry as to where the grain, the wool, the cotton, the iron, and the lumber come from, and why it is so hard for the peoples of some countries to get these things, and so easy for others. It calls also for an understanding of why the great mass of men in civilized countries toil painfully all their days for scant bread, and a few, often with no toil, live in luxury.

These are some of the problems of the new internationalism; and they are upon us, for it is well known that economic as well as national questions are to come up for settlement at the peace table, a knowledge that is disquieting to profiteers of every type in every civilized country. May those who are summoned to that fateful table be democratically representative of the great common life of the world; and to be so representative there ought to be women among them.

But in any case only a few women, as only a few men, will meet at the peace table. Only a comparatively few women can labor directly in international work. Let us not fail to realize, however, that every woman of right feeling who develops the "international mind," no matter how simple the expression she is able to give to it, will be playing a part in the creation of the new world that is to come out of this welter if civilization is not to perish. We women can ponder these things in our hearts. As the lawgiver of old admonisht, we can teach them diligently unto our children; we can speak of them when we sit in the house, and when we walk by the way, and when we lie down, and when we rise up. For what we love we speak of, fitting it with sympathetic adaptation into the life we are living with those about us. And this must happen, this is happening. The only thing that concerns each of us personally is whether she will live her life henceforth as a part of the new time or will go her own lonely way, walking half visible, as a shadow or a ghost from a former world.

And finally, to rise to these high duties and privileges, woman must not only understand many new things and speak to others of them, but she must see the world whole, as if it were a man-as if it were a child. She must feel out for it with a vast motherhood, sick, but not to death, to which she is to bring comfort and peace, and at the last a new and abounding joy. She will carry on her banners the word of that great teacher who came to us from across the sea, Goldwin Smith: “Above all nations is humanity.”

PRACTICAL EDUCATION UNDER FEDERAL GUIDANCE

ERNEST A. SMITH, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH

A progressive publicist in education said happily a few years ago, “The facts of life and their good friend, common sense, have been demanding a school for the plain, practical man.” What are the facts ? It is commonly admitted that the American type of education has not been suited to the youth of the land and to the needs of the nation. Children have not been gript by the prevalent courses of study. Training by apprenticeship has largely past away. The conditions of the past prosperity of the United States no longer exist. The world of today steadily grows smaller and kindred interests are widely recognized. America has forst upon it new standards of comparison. As a democracy its time of accounting is at hand. Since education is the cornerstone of our democracy, the query is pertinent, Have the schools developt the young life intrusted to them to the largest profit of society, of the nation, and of the collective individuals? The monetary value of the youth of the nation has been estimated to be three hundred billions. Of those who complete an elementary education 94 per cent enter manual occupations. The verdict of the federal expert is that scarcely one in one hundred is trained for the work he is doing.

Common sense, that faithful friend of the facts of life, may well inquire, Why not give the young people a partial preparation at least for what is to occupy them in real life? Can there not be a share of practical education along with the cultural? We have all askt the same question. As educators we have theorized about it for a generation. Meanwhile the industrial world has expanded by leaps and bounds. Industry does not argue or sleep; it works ceaselessly. There seems a reluctance on the part of school men to come to grips with the big economic problems. Labor unions and manufacturers have not been equal to the gigantic task of training the workers of America.

Away back in the midst of the Civil War the federal government began the policy of encouraging agricultural and trade education thru land grants to colleges. Now in the midst of this world-war Congress has summoned the common schools of the nation to shoulder the responsibility of practical education. The federal stimulus from the national treasury is not a new policy. The $600,000,000 given in aid of education prior to 1917 is but an earnest of the larger gifts to come, and no one can predict the extent of the appropriations for future world-competitive needs. But the thoroness and the whole-heartedness of the response of the commonwealths of the land to this federal challenge are now of paramount concern to the cause of practical education.

There are those who believe that such training should be entirely in charge of the states. The record of a few commonwealths in this field is well known. But as is universally true under our form of government in all matters of social welfare, there has emerged no uniformity of policy in vocational education. With only nine states up to 1916 having adopted any favorable legislation, the prospects of a speedy nation-wide program were decidedly vague. However, new occasions teach new duties. Public, social, and economic life are as signally transformed in America as in Europe. The national consciousness has outstript all bounds. The present federal activity can scarcely stop with war measures. If the government now sends eighty thousand of its drafted men to school for a few weeks to attain elementary skill for army needs, will it not provide that millions of youths receive adequate preparation for the vast industrial duties of peace?

Federal guidance will benefit all the states. There are at present grave inequalities of educational opportunity between state and state, between section and section. There has not been the same initiative, nor the same ability to afford the sort of education that will serve the general welfare and the national interest. Federal aid has placed the importance of vocational education squarely before the country at large. Our resources are vastly better utilized. Federal taxation has been permanently enlarged, and the means will be available to encourage practical training for all the people of all sections under our flag.

Under federal guidance it is possible to create standards of efficiency in vocational education. The cooperation of the state boards allows full recognition and provision for the distinctive industries of each area. Maximum economic fitness is of nation-wide concern and not merely a sectional issue. Cooperation and regulation are the new watchwords of American production. The Morrell Act did not realize the results expected in practical education. Under the stimulus of new conditions with capable federal leadership the day of larger educational achievement is at hand.

The vocational education promoted by the Smith-Hughes Bill is not a hard-and-fast system. It cannot be completed over night and put into operation. Adequate equipment and competent teachers require time. No feature of the plan is so important as the continuation or part-time school. It may well at an early date be charged to compulsory instruction. Certainly in no locality should the practical training of youth be begun before a sufficiently thoro survey has been made of the industrial needs and opportunities of the region. The operation of the recent vocational law in the state of New York is ideal in its provision of complete data for an educational program. Already in many states this year the interest of high-school pupils in vocational courses of study has risen to a high pitch. The federal support stamps the practical training as most worth while. Prevocational

« PreviousContinue »