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indulgence in luxuries. Anyone, consider this: Germany is determined to bring this war to a conclusion this summer. Germany won't wait, and therefore we can't. It has ceast to be a matter of what will be best for business; it is now a matter of what will be best for the war. Luxuries are not.
War is a current effort and must be paid for in current savings. The essence of the whole thing is in getting gunfire in France, and current effort is doing that. With unified effort we shall win the war, but we must have unified savings with which to do it. And it must be the savings of rich and poor alike; of rich more than of poor.
THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY IN EDUCATION
GEORGE D. STRAYER, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION COM
MISSION ON THE EMERGENCY IN EDUCATION, NEW YORK, N.Y.
Universal conscription in education is the only sensible method of perpetuating democracy, just as universal military conscription is the only democratic method of raising an army. We were patriotic enough to accept military conscription. We must be intelligent enough to accept universal conscription in education. The foundations of democracy are based upon universal intelligence. Therefore democracy must see to it that not only its children but its adults are literate, efficient, intelligent, and patriotic.
We read more newspapers, magazines, and books per capita than does any other nation. We have a larger percentage of our population between fourteen and eighteen years of age in school than has any other country in the world. We have invested large sums of money in our schools, and have increast steadily the number of days of schooling per unit of our population. In spite of these and other conspicuous successes, the war emergency has brought to us a realization of our failure to provide a system of education which guarantees an enduring democracy.
Our bountiful natural resources have tempted us to be wasteful. We have not taught nor practist thrift. We have failed to provide for the complete Americanization of foreign immigrants. We have tolerated the formation and continuation of racial and language groups with ideals and practices inimical to our free institutions. We have not provided adequately trained nor adequately paid teachers in sufficient numbers to train our children. More than five million children receive their training from unprepared child teachers in their
teens. We have failed to recognize the need of preparing for the present worldemergency. We have been unwilling to accept the kinds of discipline and control necessary for a people which is to defend its own freedom and to fight for the establishment of world-democracy.
The present emergency demands that we provide for the development of a more adequate system of public education. The world-struggle between autocracy and democracy has only begun. The final verdict may rest with our children or our children's children.
We must immediately recognize the necessity for a common language and a common inheritance of democratic ideas and ideals. All boys and girls living in America, whatever their ancestry, must be taught in the English tongue. Men and women who would achieve citizenship must be required not only to speak and to read English but also to show that they understand and subscribe unreservedly to the principles and ideals of democratic government.
For all children and for adult immigrants training must be provided which stresses the highest ideals and best practices of our community and of our national life. Every schoolhouse must be a community center of true democracy.
We may no longer delude ourselves with respect to the adequacy of an education which ends at fourteen. Compulsory education amounting to half-time work must be required of all between fourteen and sixteen, and a minimum of eight hours a week during working hours must be required from sixteen to eighteen years of age.
Technical training and efficiency must be accompanied by a still higher degree of physical efficiency, by a better understanding of our institutions and ideals, by more adequate preparation for the use of leisure, and by participation in activities which develop good citizenship.
We must recognize the necessity for more adequate training for teachers and the corresponding obligation for greatly increast salaries for teachers in order that the choicest of our youth may see in teaching not only an opportunity for service but also the possibility for a career comparable to that enjoyed by those who enter the more favored professions.
We will no longer be satisfied with medical inspection which discovers and records defects. We must rather seek the highest possible type of physical efficiency, thru the removal of remedial defects, by providing the conditions necessary for normal physical development and by inculcating an ideal of physical cleanliness, vigor, and efficiency.
We must accept the necessity, in a world as at present constituted, for universal training for service in defense of our nation and of the ideals for which the nation stands. This education between the ages of nineteen and twenty-one promises much for the realization by all of the obligations of citizenship and for social solidarity. During this period we may hope as well to provide further training in preparation for useful and productive work and for the development of habits of thought and of action which make for individual and for national efficiency. The training of a powerful citizen soldiery has been accomplisht in Switzerland without the development of a military caste or of a militaristic government. We may surely hope to provide adequately for the defense of our democracy, while still preserving our democratic ideals and practices.
Never before in our history have we been so critical as we are now of our system of public education. Never before have we been so willing to sacrifice for the sake of maintaining the principles of democracy in the world. May we realize now that democracy's greatest safeguard is the public school. May we recognize the necessity for the development of a more efficient public school system costing vastly greater sums of money. The hope of humanity rests upon the education of the children of our democratic society.
THE CHILDREN'S YEAR AND THE OPPORTUNITY OF THE KINDERGARTEN FOR CONSERVATION WORK
IN CONGESTED CITIES
ELIZABETH A. WOODWARD, SUPERVISOR OF THE BROOKLYN FREE KINDER
GARTEN SOCIETY, BROOKLYN, N.Y.
July 4, 1918, is a significant national birthday because a year ago we took upon ourselves a larger responsibility for freedom. Every man in our allied Army loves liberty and justice more than life. This adds new meaning to our holiday. This adds new emphasis for our education. After one year of war we pause at a great convention to plan for a future which holds the promise of a greater justice and unity of purpose for all races now living under our flag.
Concern for children is a fundamental and common interest; therefore it is fitting that we should discuss at home their primal needs while we are engaged abroad in a war for their protection. Our problem is, not only how can we save more little children for the nation, but how can we help them to be more worthy of the new democracy which they are to inherit at the end of this great struggle? How can we best fit them to shoulder the new and perhaps greater responsibility of peace?
THE REASONS FOR PROCLAIMING AND PLANS FOR CONDUCTING A
The Children's Year was declared by the Children's Bureau of Washington to extend from April 6, 1918, to April 6, 1919. It has the hearty support of President Wilson and two departments of the Council of National Defense, the Child Welfare Department and the General Medical Board.
Three years of war reveal to us the fact that children are the chief sufferers. During England's first war years twelve babies died at home for every nine men who died at the front. One of the posters published for their first baby-saving campaign in London, September, 1917, read: “It is more dangerous to be a baby in England than to be a soldier in the trenches."
The children under six are to be given particular attention in our national crusade. The "forgotten army" includes four million children from three to six years of age in our country. The same tidal wave of interest in physical education for the higher grades has at last swept over the land for the children of kindergarten age.
The special aim of the Children's Year is to save one hundred thousand more babies than usual. Each city is to have its quota. Headquarters for registration and medical examinations will be establisht in every community. All agencies for child welfare that now exist will be fully commandeered for service. The services of trained workers, especially of kindergartners who have had valuable experience in home visiting and holding of mothers' meetings, will be enlisted by the Children's Year committees. The year's publicity plans include drives by months thru newspapers, pamphlets, posters, and meetings.
AMERICANIZATION WORK CONDUCTED BY KINDERGARTNERS IN
According to statistics of 1910, 72 per cent of the foreign population of the United States reside in our cities. This is why Americanization problems are largely urban. There are in the United States 4,500,000 children from four to six years of age mainly of foreign parentage. Only onetwelfth of these are in kindergartens.
How can we guide in a wholesome, constructive way this teeming life of childhood in our city streets? In the first place, our streets are not safe. Our cities are built for adults, but they must be made fit for child life. We deplore the fact that many of our grade children are on part time, but is it not worse that there is no time for over 100,000 children from four to six years of age in one of our cities, New York ? Most of those left on the streets are foreign children who might at least acquire the English language in the kindergarten during these two plastic years.
THE PART THE KINDERGARTEN IS TO PLAY IN THIS
CHILD-CONSERVATION PROGRAM The kindergarten as part of the United States public-school system has come into its majority. Last week the International Kindergarten Union celebrated in Chicago its silver anniversary. The modern, expanding kindergarten is peculiarly an American growth. Its spirit is democratic, its basic ideal is social cooperation under the Golden Rule. Its method is play, the only natural instinctive one for early education.
In one hundred and twenty cities of the United States kindergartens were opened in 1916, and over two thousand new ones were establisht. Why has interest in kindergarten education grown even more intense during this first year of the war? There are several answers to this question. In the first place. child life has become more precious in the eyes of the nation, and in the second place the schools have changed their emphasis. All educational systems are separating the essential from the nonessential. The things that are hardest to measure have won out. Health, social service, civic cooperation, loyalty, individual initiative, creative power, and moral values take precedence in all war-modified programs over the formal, three R's.
The foundation for civic education must be laid in the most impressionable period, the habit-forming and habit-setting period, even before the first grade. “If we are to build a democracy we must begin at the beginning. The kindergarten is a true American society in miniature.” Its democratic ideals, its social philosophy, its emphasis upon individual development and freedom were feared by the autocracy in Prussia. The kindergarten was refused admittance into the school system of that German state. This act of persecution of a true educational reform caused such deep disappointment that it hastened the death of the founder of the kindergarten. Nowhere in Germany or on the Continent of Europe has a kindergarten system been successfully conducted. In America alone has it found its true home. Every child in the United States, native or foreign, should have the right to be admitted into the public schools at the age of four. We have planned to save the lives of one hundred thousand children. What are we saving them for? The 70 per cent who never advance beyond the elementary school must have a fighting chance in the face of the stern demands of modern civilization.
Removing difficulties confronting children at the start is a fundamental civic duty of which our enlightened educators are becoming aware. We must plan to do this without waste of time. What the psychologists call the highly emotional period under the age of six cannot be neglected. It is most economical to give our city children ample space for play. All four-year-old children should be under the expert guidance of a kindergartner at least three hours of every day. There is no necessity for formalism. When each child's development is carefully guided the kindergartner becomes a playmate rather than a teacher. The social responsibilities, the vocabulary of experience begun in the kindergarten should be continuously carried on in the grades, and creative power and initiative should be nurtured.
FURTHER SUGGESTIONS FOR A WAR MODIFIED PROGRAM
“Faith without works" will never bring about the necessary elementaryschool reforms which are being suggested for present emphasis. In conservative cities planned only for adults little children will some day “come into their own!”
1. More gardens and outdoor playgrounds must be establisht in connection with every kindergarten.
2. More kindergartens and regular lower-grade work must be done outdoors.