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adapted to accomplishing the results most needed. It is, therefore, desirable for a community to ascertain what the agencies are within its reach which have educational influence, and to seek to have them all co-operate to the end of bettering the conditions of the whole community. Each agency has its peculiar place in working out this problem and can contribute to its solution something that cannot be contributed by the other agencies. When this fact is understood, it becomes apparent that by bringing together for one purpose and utilizing these different elements in a systematic and well-organized way, a great deal of effective work can be done.
The rural public school, through its trained teachers, is now prepared as never before to adapt its work to the needs of the pupils and of the community. The farm bureau, the grange, the town library, the church and the home are also equipped to do their special part in this work. In some cases they will tend to interfere one with another, if they attempt to carry on their work independently, and thus some of the resources of the community will not be as effective as they should be. It is, therefore, only by pooling or organizing the resources of the community that it is possible to realize the fullest co-operation. In the case of the public school there has been, especially in this field of rural betterment, a tendency to shape the course of study and to adapt the methods of teaching to the end of making the pupils more and more rural-minded. The object has been so to concentrate the thought and experience and outlook of the country children upon rural things that they will be increasingly attached to the rural life. This has been, I believe, a mistaken point of view. Regarded in a large sense, the teaching of children in the country has no different aim than the teaching of children in the city. Each has to develop the pupils' talents as completely as possible and to fit them to do the kind of work for which they are best adapted by nature. The real purposes of education, which are not only to foster the growth of the individual but to provide the equipment for social adjustment and progress, belong to the rural
school as truly as to any other. It is, therefore, in my judgment a mistaken aim to endeavor to predetermine what pupils shall become, but it is a better purpose to strive to give them through their training and education free access to that larger social heritage of knowledge, thought and imagination to which all children are entitled, to help them to acquire social contacts other than merely those of country people, and to reveal to them wide interests which will make them not only citizens of a community, but more and more truly citizens of the world. It is only through such a type of education as this that those who dwell in the rural community will be inspired to lift the conditions and the community life to a higher and richer plane.
In order to make progress in this direction it is essential for the rural teacher to be familiar with the environment and experiences of country children, to know the resources of the community, and to be conscious of the lacks or things to be supplied by the school. With this as her background she must permeate the pupils' school experience with the life and activities in which people generally participate, such as the promotion of individual and community health, the ways and means of selection and consumption of social products, such as food, shelter and clothing, the habit of co-operation by means of the social tools of number, oral, written and printed language, the privilege and obligation of miscellaneous civic and social duties, and the knowledge and practice of various forms of recreation. The study and promotion of all of these endeavors are most certainly justifiable aims of the rural teacher's work. The chief difference in her work from that of the teacher in an urban school is the change in emphasis upon certain portions of the work as necessitated by the varying contributions of the environment to the desired ends. For there is no need to provide experiences looking toward the accomplishment of certain definite ends when experiences adequate for this purpose are already afforded by natural environment. This is true of many problems relating to nature study, gardening, and the like. The proper use of the course of study will always involve adapta
tion to the psychological needs of the pupils while retaining the same desire and aim in teaching a particular lesson. The teacher in the country school will of necessity use different material from that used by a teacher in a city school, and her instruction will be based upon a different experience, for her pupils will be children who have been brought up in a distinctly rural environment. But in this work the teacher in the rural school has one distinct advantage over the teacher of the city, in that the educational resources of the rural community stand in a much closer relationship to the children of the rural school than the educational resources of the city do to the city child. The pupils may easily be brought to realize this fact and will be led to play a part in the development of these resources far more directly than a city child could find it possible to do. Through this fact, the co-operation of the public school in utilizing for the community welfare the advantages of the various agencies available that have educational influences is a natural one and easily made productive of effective results. If, therefore, we bear in mind that we are striving to have the public school turn out children in the rural districts who shall be vigorous in health, possessing general practical efficiency, having high ideals of citizenship, and knowing how to make a wise use of their leisure time, we will see the wisdom in having all of the other active community agencies come to recognize the great value of placing their entire resources, of whatever educational nature, personal, industrial, social, civic or institutional, at the disposal of the school, either by endorsing through their active efforts the actual work done in the school or by joining with the school to accomplish some particular community improvement.
We are glad to acknowledge the work that has been done along these lines in many communities. The agencies that are represented here today will bear testimony to the fact that valuable results have already been accomplished. The messages that they bring to us will fully serve their purpose if, as we anticipate, they will inspire us to a greater spirit of co-operation and give us a keener appreciation of the educational value of their different lines of endeavor, the personal, social and civic influence of their leaders and workers, and the necessity for a common aim on the part of all for the improvement of the entire community. When all these agencies, therefore, including the public school, come to the full realization of the fact that they are all working for the same end, namely, a loyal, co-operating citizenship, imbued with the spirit of unselfish, efficient service, and that a generous contribution of their resources is essential to the accomplishment of this end, then the greatest results possible in rural improvement will certainly be achieved.
The object of this conference is to give inspiration to this work to the end that this purpose so greatly to be desired may be attained.
Who Saved Your Stars?
Flags with the lily white,
Wave, Wave, Wave,
MINNIE E. Hays.
Are Boys' and Girls' Clubs an Educational
COUNTY FARM BUREAU.
HE success or failure of any project will ultimately depend upon the real worth of the project. For a time the careful planning or good salesmanship will enable a poor project to apparently succeed; likewise, many good projects are for a time hampered by not being carefully planned; but sooner or later, real worth will determine the true success
of the enterprise. Boys and Girls' Club Work is based upon principles so sound that it met the approval not only of boys and girls, but grown-ups as well, until today it is one of the most active agents in the development of our coming generation. It is based upon the principle that work can be made a game; that young people like to do real jobs. It takes in young people from the ages of ten to eighteen, and teaches them the fun of growing or producing something. It instills property rights and business training, by enabling them to own something. It also has given many a boy or girl his or her first insight into a broader life and greater future than surrounds people in their own locality.
When club work first started, an individual might become a member of a State club. In this way he had the benefit of producing goods and, we hope, received the value of this effort; but real development in club work came when it was decided that a local club, composed of five or more, was necessary for the introduction of a project in that community. This step resulted in the boys and girls getting parliamentary training, technical instruction, and free recreation.
The club spirit is a great help to the local leaders in getting work completed. The spirit of rivalry, so strong in young people,