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couraged as a valuable part of the compositions. We have been surprised to find how this has increased the interest in the theme work.
The fourth purpose is to enhance the usefulness of all the pupils by practice, oral or written, in such papers and addresses as will be expected later from them at public meetings, at meetings of civic, literary, or social clubs, at dinners, at conventions, and at other public occasions. The student gatherings and school organizations are made use of in this part of the work, and the pupils still have enough of the play instinct to enjoy transferring the class hour into the occasion desired and playing their parts.
Whatever the special form of the composition may be, two principles are adhered to: That nothing which lacks sincerity is worth saying; and that whatever is worth saying, is worth saying well.
Training in the use of the public library, debating, presentation of class plays, the reading and writing of short stories, the study of high-school journalism (its problems, materials, arrangements, and management) are all features of the new high-school course in English, and are related to the spontaneous school activities of the pupils.
To give the pupils the background of our literary past and the large perspective that comes from looking at life through the eyes of such great masters as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Addison, Burke, Macaulay, and Webster, is the definite purpose of the course in literature.
Two truths are gained from this study: First, that all the greatest writers were essentially democrats and expressed freely the growing ideals of their time; and second, that since life is the field of literature, our own time must possess a literature of far more transcendent importance to us than any literature of the past.
From these two truths the pupils are lead to a third. It is this: They can assist in making literature of their generation a noble one, both directly andindirectly; directly, if they have the creative literary instinct; indirectly, if they have the morality, the intelligence, and the sense of the beauty of things which are necessary to build up a social life worthy of expression in current literature. They make literature in either case—the literature itself, or the material for literature.
Such reasoning, more or less conscious in the minds of the pupils, forms the basis for the comparative study of the old masterpieces and current literature, even in its most modern and vital form, the periodical. The study of the early novel culminates in the supplementary reading of one of to-day's best novels. The study of the eighteenth century essay culminates in the study of the articles in our best magazines. The study of Shakespeare culminates in the reading of Maeterlinck's Blue Bird. The study of Milton's Sonnets culminates in the reading of Richard Watson Gilder's Sonnets.
If the pupils should have no further schooling, they would leave the high school furnished with the touchstone of true literature. They would be able to discriminate between what is worthy of study in modern writing, because it nobly expresses the elevated and enduring aspects of our present social life, and what is worthy of only cursory reading, because it expresses, without the strength of art, the transitory aspects.
It has too long been taken for granted that only future generations can separate the wheat from the chaff in the literature of the epoch. Even in the upper high school some literary connoisseurship can be acquired, which maturity of years and habitual reading will ripen. The cultivation of this literary art sense in order to apply It to present-day literature is an important practical result of the study of literature. The to-day of literature should be made ours as well as the yesterday, for through it we enter into the richest part of the life of cur times.
In our English course we have tried to keep in mind that if these young people had elected business life or domestic life instead of school life, they would have found these years between the ages of 16 and 18 full of novel experience and shot through with the glory of doing things. Days of work in shop or office would have been paid for in money instead of with credits, and some of that money would have been transmuted into evening pleasures. Days of housework would have shown tangible results in dainty cookery or in neat furnishings, or in the pride of entertainment. So, if the high school robs the youth of the rich experience that active life in the world affords, it must offer a golden substitute that shall place the youth, on graduation, where he would have been with such world experience, but place him there equipped with keener vision, with warmer heart, and with readier hand, because of his education.
The English course must do its share, and that a large one, in bringing about this result. English teachers are only beginning to work out this new social plan in the study of literature and composition.
The next item listed in the summary of the chief fields of human knowledge (p. 146), a survey of which it is the business of the school to give in the secondary period of school training, is that of the languages. Without considering the merits of the endless controversy which has raged down through the ages over the question of the value, or lack of it, of the study of foreign languages, there is a reason, not generally given, which seems to justify fully the offering of courses in the principal ancient and modern languages. This relates to the possibility that in the study of linguistics some student will find the thing for which he is peculiarly fitted.
If this period in the development of the youth is to be looked upon as a testing time, and as a time when he is to be given a chance to "try his hand" at a variety of activities, then, among others, he should have the opportunity of determining, at first hand, whether or not he has a bent for the study of language and of related lines. There is no reason for opening the door to science, to mathematics, to history, to literature, from this point of view, and locking it against the languages. Many men and women secure their livelihood, directly or indirectly, through their special knowledge of language, just as there are many workers in each of the other departments whose special technical knowledge brings to them financial recompense. The world needs the scholar quite as much as it needs the artisan and the man of general business. The public school, if it function to the maximum in the life of the individual as well as of society, must make it possible for the potential artisan, the potential scientist, the potential linguist, to find himself. In theory, at least, the school should be able to open the eyes of every individual, that he may have a vision of himself in the completeness of his powers. This reason alone is sufficient to justify the offering of study in the field of language, though such study should not be made compulsory upon all nor should it be continued beyond the point when it is clear that the individual possesses no aptitude or liking for it.
The earlier in the life of the pupil that this chance be given the better, for the golden hour of language study comes early, and when once passed the acquisition of a foreign tongue is well-nigh impossible. The seventh grade is not too early for the beginning of such study; indeed, if it were practicable, an earlier beginning than this even is desirable. However, by commencing with the seventh grade and continuing throughout the full secondary period of six or eight years, a high degree of mastery can be secured by those who develop an interest in such study. It need scarcely be said that this work should be directed by a vivacious teacher, who speaks the language fluently, and that the grammar of the language should be kept incidental and unobtrusive. It will be found, too, that the conversational method of language teaching is not limited to the modern languages, but that it can be used in the study of Latin with excellent results if the teacher herself has such ready command of the language as conversation therein demands.
Aside from the reason for the giving of courses in music and art, advanced in the discussion of the work of the first cycle, the argument just set forth for the study of the languages holds with equal force in the realms of music and art. Suggestive steps in the organization of these departments, to conform to the plan of school organization in operation in the Berkeley schools, have been taken by the department heads, Miss Victorine Hartley and Miss Zinie Kidder, respectively. The space limits of this chapter, however, preclude a description of their work other than to mention an interesting plan which Miss Hartley is trying out by which the school recognizes in terms of credits the musical work done in the home, if it measures up to a required standard of excellence.1
A particular group of truths contributed by the workers in one of these fields—the field of science—should be brought home to the young people of the adolescent age with particular emphasis because of the effect which it will have upon the physical and moral health of the youth of both sexes. This group of scientific truths comprises those facts which relate to personal and sex hygiene. A knowledge of one's own body and, in particular, of those functions having to do with reproduction is essential to both health and morality. Such knowledge imparted to the adolescent by specialists who hold sane views on these matters will help very greatly in the movement toward the development of a better and stronger and more moral race.
1 For a description of the plan and the conditions upon which school credit is granted, see Appendix, p. 170. See also Educ. Bull., 1914, No. 33, Music in the Public Schools, pp. 44-46.
That the imparting of such knowledge is highly desirable there can be no serious question. Eegarding the best method of procedure in accomplishing this purpose, however, there is much reason for hesitation. A series of carefully prepared lectures, one given to the girls by a woman physician and one to the boys by a man, with opportunity for individual consultation in private, as a tentative step worked well in the Berkeley department. The success of this work, however, as well as this or any other plan, rests in unusual degree upon the personality of the individuals imparting the information.
Two tasks, then, the criteria demand of the school in the secondary period, the giving of that information, general and specific, by which a livelihood can be secured, and through which each individual will find a useful place for himself in the world of activity, and the transmission of the culture and significant experience of the race, in the doing of which a degree of familiarity will be gained with the chief bodies of knowledge—science, mathematics, history, literature, languages, music, and art. In method, first a survey giving orientation, followed by more intensive work along lines intended gradually to focus upon the specialty chosen, is the proper procedure. Breaking the secondary period into two divisions, the first having to do primarily with the giving of a general view, the second with more intensive work, is an arrangement of machinery which the school will find effective in the accomplishment of the two-fold task set it by psycho-physical growth stage and by social mind.