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BY J. W. CARR, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, ANDERSON, IND. Before attempting to discuss the course of study for pupils wh cannot complete the high-school course, I wish to outline briefly a course of study that I believe should be offered to all high-school pupils. This should consist, in my opinion, of English (including literature and composition), mathematics, history and civics, science, Latin, German or some other foreign language, each continued from three to four years. In addition to these I would add music and drawing, some commercial studies, manual training for boys, and manual training and domestic economy for girls. These various subjects should be arranged into a number of different co-ordinate courses, and pupils should be allowed to choose from the whole, under the guidance and direction of parents and teachers. In this
way individual tastes and abilities may be consulted, and the sexes and classes have a high-school course of study suitable to their needs.
Pupils cannot complete the high-school course for various reasons, of which the fol. lowing the most important: (1) because they have not the physical strength or the mental ability to do the required work; (2) because they lack the industry and perseverance necessary to complete the course of study; (3) because they cannot remain in school the required length of time.
Now, I believe that the arrangement of the course of study for all pupils, as outlined above, will meet the requirement of pupils who cannot or will not complete the high-school course. To this proposition I now invite your attention.
The first class of pupils — those that are physically or mentally unable to do the required work — should not only be permitted to choose the subjects they will study, but they should also be allowed to take fewer studies at a time than are required of the average pupil. If they are unable to do passable work in a subject, they should be permitted to try something else, rather than remain an indefinite time endeavoring to master something which is beyond their strength or ability. With such freedom and privileges, the maximum number of pupils of this class will remain in school the maximum length of time, thus receiving the largest benefit possible. Encouragement, guidance, freedom, and time are the things most helpful to these.
The treatment of the second class -- those who cannot, or rather will not, complete the high-school course for lack of application – should differ somewhat. They should be given freedom in choice of subjects under the direction of their teachers. Then, if they have the right kind of teachers and a variety of subjects from which to choose, many pupils of this class will show interest and perseverance, who otherwise would simply drop out of school. Such pupils should be required to do a required amount of work daily, and should be held to a strict account for the excellence of the same. They should be encouraged, yes urged, to do their best; and, above all, they should not be allowed to idle away their time. Many pupils who do little or nothing in the traditional high-school subjects have been found to do excellent work in the manual-training school. They became interested in school work and made marked improvements in other subjects. Again, freedom of choice and elasticity in the course of study are found to be beneficial.
But little in addition needs to be said concerning the third class - those who cannot remain in school long enough to complete the high-school course. For them also I believe the system of electives to be the best. This enables pupils who can remain in school but a short time to choose those things which will be most beneficial to them in fighting the battles of life in which they are about to engage. The traditional disciplinary subjects — Latin, Greek, algebra, etc. - are excellent for the mind, but these may not be the subjects that are most useful to the boy who can remain in school but one or two years. English, commercial arithmetic, drawing, bookkeeping, history, and manual training may be the ones that are most helpful and needful to him. If so, let him take them. If the work is well done, the mental discipline will take care of itself.
So far I have spoken of those only who are in the high school. But it is in the grades that we find the great numbers who cannot possibly complete the high-school course, perhaps not even the graded-school course. What shall we do with them ? Shall they pursue the same course of study prescribed for the rest ? In part I answer, no. Certainly I would have them acquire the rudiments of an English education, if it is possible for them to do so. I would also have them receive that moral instruction so necessary to the formation of character. Yet I am of the opinion that some form of industrial training should be given, at least to this class of pupils, while they are in the primary and intermediate grades.
While this is my belief, yet I have not given the subject sufficient thought to formulate a plan which I am sure will stand the test. I am aware of the fact that experiments along this line are being made in some American cities, yet I have no data at hand which will enable me to speak of the results. I have long thought of the advisability of introducing industrial training in the grades, in my own city, and I am only waiting for the opportunity to make the experiment. The plan I have in mind is not to attempt to establish industrial training in each school district, but to have one school, centrally located, in which industrial training is given. The course of study in this school would be more elastic than in the others and the classification less rigid. This would lessen the expense for teachers and equipment, and at the same time enable us to gather into this school those pupils of the primary and intermediate grades who are much older than their fellows, as well as those who fail in their classes. We could, therefore, give to these special attention under more favorable conditions, thus ting them the better to meet the duties and responsibilities of life.
Finally, the course of study for those who cannot complete the high school, as well as for those who can complete it, must be determined chiefly by the society in which we live and by the occupations in which the pupils are expected to engage. In the past, education was the heritage of the few. The aristocracy of learning might prescribe a fixed curriculum consisting of classical knowledge of antiquity. The pursuit of this course of study they might solemnly declare to be the only road to learning. They might even go so far as to outlaw all other courses, and to arrogate to themselves a monopoly of learning. But if we are to have a democracy of learning in America, we must have a course of study that will meet the needs of the people. This course must be arranged so as to develop head, hand, and heart, thus fitting the children to engage in the busy, bustling, complex American civilization of the twentieth century. This course is not a legacy from the past, for the past has never had a civilization similar to our own. It cannot be imported from a foreign country, because nowhere else are the conditions and people like our own. But, like the principles of our government and the character of our people and their institutions, the course of study must be a resultant of the past, the foreign and the native not simply welded together, but fused into a new substance which is truly American.
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF EDUCATION
The National Council of Education shall have for its object the consideration and · discussion of educational questions of general interest and public importance, and the
presentation, thru printed reports, of the substance of the discussions, and the conclusions formulated. It shall be its object to reach and disseminate correct thinking on educational questions; and, for this purpose, it shall be the aim of the Council, in conducting its discussions, to define and state with accuracy the different views and theories on the subject under consideration, and, secondly, to discover and represent fairly the grounds and reasons for each theory or view, so far as to show, as completely as possible, the genesis of opinion on the subject. It shall be the duty of the Council, in pursuance of this object, to encourage from all its members the most careful statement of differences in opinion, together with the completest statement of grounds for the same. It shall further require the careful preservation and presentation of the individual differences of opinion, whenever grounds have been furnished for the same by members of the Council. It shall invite the freest discussion and embody the new suggestions developed by such discussions. Any member making such suggestion or objection may put in writing his view, and the grounds therefor, and furnish the same to the secretary for the records of the Council. It shall prepare, thru its president, an annual report to the National Educational Association, setting forth the questions considered by the Council during the previous year, and placing before the association, in succinct form, the work accomplished. It shall embody in this report a survey of those educational topics which seem to call for any action on the part of the association. The Council shall appoint, out of its own number, committees representing the several departments of education, and thereby facilitate the exchange of opinion among its members on such special topics as demand the attention of the profession or of the public.,
ARTICLE I- MEMBERSHIP
1. The National Council of Education shall consist of sixty menbers, selected from the membership of the National Educational Association. Any member of the association identified with educational work is eligible to membership in the Council, and after the first election such membership shall continue for six years, except as hereinafter provided.
2. In the year 1885 the Board of Directors shall elect eight members — four members for six years, two for four years, and two for two years; and the Council shall elect eight members — five members for six years, two for four years, and one for two years; and annually thereafter the Board of Directors shall elect five members and the Council five members, each member, with the exception hereinafter provided for (section 5), to serve six years, or until his successor is elected.
3. The annual election of members of the Council shall be held in connection with the annual meetings of the association. If the Board of Directors shall fail, for any reason, to fill its quota of members annually, the vacancy or vacancies shall be filled by the Council.
4. The term of service of the several members of the Council chosen at the first election shall be arranged by the Executive Committee of the Council.
5. The absence of a member from two consecutive annual meetings of the Council shall be considered equivalent to resignation of membership, and the Council shall fill vacancies caused by absence from the Council as herein defined, as well as vacancies caused by death or resignation, for the unexpired term. All persons who have belonged to the Council shall, on the expiration of their membership, become honorary members, with the privilege of attending its regular sessions, and participating in its discussions. No state shall be represented in the Council by more than eight members.
ARTICLE II - QUALIFICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP
All members of the Council shall be either life or active members of the National Educational Association.
ARTICLE III — MEETINGS
There shall be a regular annual meeting of the Council held at the same place as the meeting of the National Educational Association, and at least two days previous to this meeting. There may be special meetings of the Council, subject to the call of the Executive Committee, but the attendance at those meetings shall be entirely voluntary. A majority of the Council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting, whether regular or called; but any less number,'exceeding eight members, may constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at the regular annual meeting, as defined in this article.
ARTICLE IV - THE WORK OF THE COUNCIL
The Council shall, from time to time, undertake to initiate, conduct, and guide the thoro investigation of important educational questions originating in the Council; also to conduct like investigations originating in the National Educational Association, or any of its departments, and requiring the expenditure of funds.
ARTICLE V- THE APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEES AND
In the appointments of special committees, and in the selection of writers and speakers, it shall be the privilege of the Council to appoint such experts, whether members of the Council or not, as are deemed best qualified to conduct investigations.
ARTICLE VI - PREPARATION OF INDIVIDUAL PAPERS
1. The president of the Council shall send out, at least six months before each session of the Council, a circular inviting the submission of volunteer papers by members, requesting them to suggest names of other persons, not members of the Council, whom they believe willing and able to present valuable contributions to educational literature.
2. The Executive Committee shall determine what papers so offered shall be presented at the meeting of the Council.
The reports and papers to be presented to the Council shall be printed and placed in the hands of the members at least four weeks before the session. The papers so printed shall be discussed, but not read in full, at the meeting.
3. Whenever the printing of a paper is not feasible, an abstract or brief of such paper, if possible in the form of theses, shall be sent to the members of the Council at least a month before the meeting.
ARTICLE VII — STANDING COMMITTEES
1. There shall be three standing committees : an Executive Committee, a Committee on Membership, and a Committee on Educational Progress.
2. The Executive Committee shall be composed of the president of the Council and of three other members, whose terms of office shall be so arranged that one new member may be chosen each year, beginning with the year 1899.
3. It shall be the duty of the Executive Committee to provide an annual program by selecting, whenever feasible, subjects for investigation, and appointing committees to conduct such investigations. It shall be the duty of the Executive Committee to carry out the provisions contained in this constitution referring to volunteer and invited papers. It shall be the duty of the Executive Committee to provide a place on the program for the report on any investigation which may be ordered by the National Educational Assotion or its departments.
4. The Committee on Membership shall be composed of the president of the Council and six other members, whose terms of office shall be so arranged that two vacancies may be filled every year, beginning with 1899.
5. There shall be appointed annually a committee of one to submit, at the next meeting, a report on “Educational Progress during the Past Year," in which a survey of the important movements and events in education during the preceding year is given. This committee need not be selected from the members of the Council.
ARTICLE VIII - THE DUTIES OF THE COUNCIL
1. It shall be the duty of the Council to further the objects of the National Educational Association, and to use its best efforts to promote the cause of education in general.
2. The meetings of the Council shall be, for the most part, of a “round table" character.
ARTICLE IX – AMENDMENTS
This constitution may be altered or amended at a regular meeting of the Council, by two-thirds vote of the members present, and any provision may be waived at any regular meeting by unanimous consent.
By-laws not in violation of this constitution may be adopted by a two-thirds vote of the Council,