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One other thing is the use of gifts as our attention has been called to it. I believe if we go back to Freebel's thought in the study of the child we shall discover whether we have been using the gifts in just the right way.
We have heard about the symbolism of the gifts and the exaggerated use of them. No kindergartner would claim that a child may be brought from a state of fretfulness into harmony and peace from the fact that the sphere is a symbol of unity. But I believe, that, just as we hold the Book of Revelations may fill us with lofty thoughts when we read of the great white throne, and we do not mind that some have perverted the symbolism, so when we come to know Freebel perfectly, if we have studied his own use of the symbolism, we need not fear that we shall not make the right use of the gifts. And what I wish to claim and insist upon here is, that, as kindergartners, we shall study Fræbel himself more, and his letters, and his “Mother Plays,” and his “Education of Man,” to discover the educational principles that are involved.
Another subject which interests us all as kindergartners is the making of programs. If we refer our thoughts back to the child again, we shall see the child is to be the center of the program; that the material, etc., are used only with reference to the children with whom we are dealing. No ready-made program is of any use at all. The interests of the children with whom we are dealing is the only thing to consider.
The disciples of Fræbel are the first to maintain the idea of unity in the work. But the kindergarten movement means more than the work that we do in the two or three hours with the children. If the kindergarten movement maintains its full significance it must come into touch with the life of the people, the life of the fathers and mothers and children in other homes. The kindergarten means the education of the people. The people are to be educated through the children, and one of the interesting phases of the work at present is the recognition of the fact, that we come in touch with the people through the children closely in touch with all social work. Especially is this true in the social settlement work.
THE SOCIAL SETTLEMENT AND THE KINDERGARTEN.
BY MISS AMALIE HOFER, EDITOR OF THE “KINDERGARTEN MAGAZINE,"
There is no more fitting subject with which to open our kindergarten section of the National Education Association, than the consideration of these two sister movements, the social settlement and the kindergarten. To the latter has long been claimed the place of a mediator between the home and the school, a link between the family and the institutional life. It is now seen to be reaching in another direction in its work of bringing together human interests, and is rapidly becoming the tie which binds each philanthropic cause to the more conventional institutions.
The consideration of the subject before us plainly indicates that the kindergarten movement is strongly and closely allied to that phase of social and democratic evolution known as the social or college settlement. In recognizing the validity of social instincts, social interests, social opportunities in every human life, the kindergarten has taken the first steps toward socializing education, and of proving that the school, as the church, is not the preparation for a future life but is the actual process of living.
As the ancient astrologer studied the movement of the planets in their relationships in order that he might deduce the principle by which a solar system is governed, so the sociologist is to-day studying the movements of daily life about him in order to prove the laws which control human progress. The kindergarten work is one of these movements, and can only be justly weighed when considered parallel to the many other social and altruistic movements in simultaneous operation. Among these latter, well known to every observer, is that more recent endeavor on the part of humanity to make its whole self righteous, known as the social or university settlement. This special movement started as early as 1867, when it became the custom of a few undergraduates of Oxford, England, to spend a part of their vacation-time in the neighborhood of St. Jude's Church, in that part of the world known as the Whitechapel district of London. Their incentive to so doing was the same as that which inspires every generation of young people to dedicate their entire beings to the making right of some colossal wrong-to the making pure and clean of some Whitechapel. Among the students was one Arnold Toynbee, a young man of such sincere convictions that he called forth at the same time the ridicule and admiration of his fellow-students. The former was entirely outweighed by the latter when he left college
in 1875 and took up his lodgings—made his home-in Whitechapel. At this time he wrote back to his friends, pursuing their college careers, as follows: "Our delicate, impalpable sorrows, our keen, aching, darling emotions! how strange, almost unreal, they seem by the side of the great mass of filthy misery that clogs the life of great cities!" He continued his residence for eight years, living together with his less fortunate neighbors, at the same time calling forth the noblest sympathy from the Oxford fellows, who, like many of us, were indif. ferent only because ignorant of the actual necessities of their fellowmen. This manner of life led by Arnold Toynbee has since come to be recognized under the name of the college or university settlement. In memory of his impressive example and as a direct result of his influence, Toynbee Hall was opened in 1885, and has now been in operation for ten years as a culture center and democratic meeting place for all classes and kinds, mixing the lowliest, most ignorant, and impoverished together with the university and professional men who followed in Toynbee's footsteps.
It is interesting to know that John Ruskin was one of the originators in this movement of the Oxford students. The story is told, how, on a certain visit to one of the colleges, he induced a company of undergraduates to go out and work stone on the roadway, in order that they might realize as a fact and more truly estimate the conditions of labor. Among this company was Arnold Toynbee, who was always described as the one man who never failed to spiritualize his daily life.
Among other students who were influenced strongly at this time was Mr. Percy Alden, who is well known to-day on both continents as one of the ablest factors in social reconstruction. Dr. Barnett, who is at present in charge of the work at Toynbee Hall, has devised a full and practicable plan for social settlement work, a plan by which the university student with his many privileges may legitimately approach those of lesser opportunities, and, through personal contact, share his benefits.
The first settlement to be opened in our country, two years after Toynbee Hall, by Dr. Stanton Coit, is known as Delancey Street Uni. versity Settlement of New York City. Dr. Coit has since been called to London, where he has opened similar work in the neighborhood guild at Leighton Crescent. The distinctive characteristic of the work at Delancey Street, which may be visited by anyone going to the city, is that of the self-government of the neighborhood people through well-organized clubs, and the generation of local patriotism, which is making itself felt in everything which touches the interests of the neighborhood. The import of such social organization among individuals, too ignorant to know their own rights, cannot be underestimated by the most casual observer. The president of Columbia College, Seth Lowe, is also president of the university settlement, which fact in itself is one of great significance. There are now seven well-organized social settlements in the city of New York, and while we cannot discuss as we would like the detailed work of each of these, the fact itself is well-worth registering, for it means that there are seven social centers in our great seaport city where men and women of all classes and kinds may come together on the simple Christian platform of being neighbors and friends, with a cominon opportunity to serve each other and be served in turn, and with no other motive than that of democratic fellowship. Each of these settlements has, in addition to its many clubs for educational, municipal, and culture purposes, a thrifty kindergarten, which in each case is recognized as one of the most far-reaching influences of the settlement. One who has given himself to make further practical this reconstructive work, has made the following statement: "The true attitude of every social worker is that of a member of a noble family, in which there is the widest inequality, but in which equality and inequality are never thought of, and to whom the possession of greater knowledge and greater strength means only a greater capacity to love and be of service to his fellow-men."
The second social settlement in America was established in Chicago, and is perhaps more widely known than any other in our country. When asked, “How did Hull House begin ?” the resident in charge, Miss Jane Addams, makes the simple reply: “Two young women were interested in this work through a knowledge of Toynbee Hall, and opened a home in the belief that the mere foothold of a house, easily accessible, ample in space, hospitable and tolerant in spirit, situated in the midst of the large foreign colonies which so easily isolate themselves in American cities, would in itself be a serviceable thing for a community. And because people are hungry to be befriended, we soon had a large circle of acquaintances and co-workers. Hull House was opened on the theory that the dependence of classes on each other is reciprocal, and it is a positive effort to add the social function to democracy.” Hull House has to-day extensive buildings and a most extensive influence in the daily history of the life of the district in which it is located—a district with the most variegated national and political conditions. For the detailed work of this consciously organized social center, I would refer you to the printed history of the work, known as “Hull House Maps," and to the other book, "Philanthropy and Social Progress," the reading of either of which you will find more thrilling and interesting than that of the most acceptable historical novel.
From the first month of its existence, Hull House has been a free kindergarten, and according to the general settlement rule, that only the highest and best shall be provided in every department, this kindergarten has been at varying times in the hands of the most talented and choice kindergartners of our city. Through the broad friendship of one of these kindergartners, who is well known to many of you here, the Hull House Woman's Club was organized some three years ago, which to-day has a membership of 200 earnest workers, who are as proud to wear the blue federation pin as the ablest literary woman or public worker. This woman's club was a direct outgrowth of the kindergarten; or, we might better say, the influence of the kindergartner. The president frankly says: “This club interest was confined at first to the subject of children. It soon widened into an interest in our mutual homes, and this brought us to feel a responsibility for our neighborhood, and our duty to the community, until now the club has become one of the strongest and most powerful organizations of the settlement, taking a substantial part in all educational, municipal, and philanthropic movements in the city. While it still continues its first interest in the children, and still rallies about the kindergarten as its center post, it does not hesitate to discuss all matters pertaining to family life, whether that of an individual family or that of the greater family which constitutes a city.” The day nursery of Hull House is in charge of an experienced kindergartner, who also superintends the games and plays, the play. ground, the children's clubs, and all matters pertaining to child-life in the neighborhood. No city government would scarcely expect its police force to operate without a superintendent. Every machine shop has long since had its special supervisor and every steamship its captain. Child-life of any given district is as much more successfully operated under the charge of a scientific authority as any of these other important departments, and so the social settlement does not hesitate to provide for the children, as it does for the adults, the best guide and the best standard that can be secured.
Since Hull House was established there have been six more set. tlements opened in the city of Chicago.
Parallel with the opening of Hull House came an innovation which is worthy of recording, viz., that of establishing the first sociological department in a theological seminary, with a special professor in charge. In making a plea for greater knowledge of social conditions and the humanities which lend themselves to these conditions, Ed. ward Everett Hale has said: "For working purposes the theological student can spare several things from his course better than his sociology, for this is the Kingdom of Heaven' part of his training." Through the efforts of Prof. Graham Taylor, who is in charge of this