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The Lyric. D. H. Verder
Science, Reorganization of in Secondary Schools. Earl R. Glenn 469
Devoted to the Science, Art, Philosophy and Literature
Education for Democracy
CHARLES N. FREY, WASHINGTON, D. C.
of Europe and America and has been in touch with
and suspicious of the methods and philosophy of German vocational education. I trust that this knowledge and change of spirit will be utilized in exercising more care and thoughtfulness on the part of the public in regard to the methods and ideals of our own schools.
Previous to the war,—and I am glad that state of mind does not continue today,—we had been trying to copy the methods of Europe, and we adopted ideas without regard to their ultimate social fitness for a democracy. We were saturated with ideas about "discipline" and "fitting for life's work," and too little concerned with the philosophy of such educational ideas. Were we after all fitting young men and women for life? Our conduct in this war may give us the answer.
So absorbed had even we Americans become in the theory of the individual for the state that we often lost sight of the mere individual. The complacent
man of wealth desiring only the type of education for the masses that gave industry unlimited numbers of young men and women trained and capable of taking up their trade as soon as the grammar or the high schools granted them their diploma, is a real danger to democracy. The maelstrom of industry carries down too many young lives not fitted for its dizzy swirl and stuns them forever. There always is an unconscious selection taking place, silently, and without our being in the least aware of it, the foundations for a stratified social system were being laid. The tendency of our educational system was to train farmers' sons to go + back to the farm and sons of the steel workers to labor in the steel + mills. Unconsciously, we were limiting the aspirations of the young men of a class to the class they were fated to occupy by birth.
One needs only to study the conditions in Europe, especially of Germany, during the last hundred years to see what the trend of events would be. The ruling class of Germany desired a population trained in such a manner that every man became a useful member of his trade and of nothing else. The German boys were divided into three classes before they had an opportunity to mingle freely and break down the barriers of caste: first, the r ruling class; second, retainers of the first class and minor officials; third, the masses. Children of the third class were placed in trade schools at an early age. Not much time was given to the classics, theories of government, history, and the liberal arts, but after the child had acquired some knowledge of reading, writing, and arithmetic, a little natural science, music, and the catechism, he was forced to learn a trade. That trade was not always of his own choice. He had no recourse. His father might be a shoemaker, so he must take up his father's trade or one of similar estates. The higher schools, possible only to the wealthier classes, required Latin, Greek, and often other subjects which it was impossible for a boy in the lower class to obtain unless he was an uncommon genius or had a friend who tutored him. Hans stepped into a shop at 14 or 16 years of age, a fairly good workman, ready to begin his life work. He knew little else but his trade and was