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It seems to me that, as outlined in our program here," the primary aim of this course is not knowledge, it is not even discipline,” but the aim we have before us is “the production of good citizens. Good citizenship does not come as a by-product of education, unless consciously striven for in schools."
It is to that end that I would make a few suggestions. Those of us who have been teaching civics, perhaps for a good many years, have
taught long enough to see some of the actual results Good Citizens of our work. I have felt at times that I was doing the End
successful work when I found some of my former
students in active political life striving for the good things that I had been preaching to them; but I have also lived to see some of our students who learned how some of these things were done in public life, possibly in my classes, turn out to be scheming, corrupt politicians.
Good citizenship, like morality, is not a subject to be taught as one would teach mathematics. It is not a matter of mere intelligence, a matter of mere information. It is something that must be lived. Our boys and girls must learn the habit of good citizenship before they go out into the world, or they are going to fall short, and bring shame to our teaching.
Let me review a little bit of the history of the social life of our high schools throughout the country. Only a few years ago in our ventions we were agitating the matter of the control of athletics; and I might say, along the lines of the remark of President Bonaparte that in uncontrolled athletics we were fostering a school for graft; our boys were learning how to play games unfairly. They were playing boys who were not eligible. They were striving to win by hook or by crook. It made no difference so long as the team won. We have now brought athletics under control to a certain extent, although they are far from being perfect as yet. We are struggling now with the fraternity problem in our high schools throughout the country.
Again, due to lack of control and lack of supervision, some of us school men have tried to throw the social life of the school, or the responsibility of it rather, back upon the parents, where it would seem, perhaps logically, that it belongs; but we know perfectly well that the parents will not assume this responsibility.
The responsibility for the moral training of boys and Responsibility for girls is being thrust upon the school, and we can no Moral Training longer avoid this problem, but must open our doors
and take it in, and do the best that we can. This calls for united effort upon the part of the schoolmen throughout the country to organize the social life of our schools along the right lines.
I have been working on this problem for some twelve years. In the organization of a large school—I say “large school” because they seem to dominate, the small schools obey the large ones—in schools of 1000, 2,000 or 3,000 pupils, the problem seems to be pressing for us to take hold of it scientifically and organize it thoroughly if we are to develop the right kind of citizens. We have in our school an association made up of all the teachers and all the pupils in the school. This association is governed by the Students' Council, which is a representative body of the teachers; and to every organization and class using the name of the school that council is the policy-determining body. It has certain movements to look after along the lines of law and order in the schools. Among other points it determines the making of awards; and in that respect we have done away, with the exaltation of the athlete. He stands no higher than the man who has won excellence along some other line. We make awards covering four grades, the athletic, the arts, academic, and social. All organizations in the school come under those four headings. There is an advisory council made up of two teachers and three students from each organization chosen by the pupils themselves.
Our aim in this sort of a plan is to do away with the artificial aristocracy of the fraternity system. In many places fraternities have been abolished by law, and in some places, as in our school, they are being crowded out, there is no room for them any longer. We teach that the only aristocracy, that should be recognized is that of personal worth and merit.
In this plan we have an opportunity for developing the qualities of good citizenship, not only the right kind of democratic spirit which the merit system applies, but it gives an opportunity for the boy and the girl to develop personal efficiency. You and I know of many of our own friends and classmates who went through school and through college as splendid students, but who went out into the world knowing nothing about how to apply their own powers or abilities. While they had ideas that perhaps were right in some respects, they did not know how to work in groups, and so they became obstructionists, people standing in our way in reform movements, which call for not merely intelligence, but the ability to work with others. We can through right organization of our schools develop business ability among the students. The boy who manages, under proper instruction, an athletic team for a year, or who handles the business end of the publication of a school paper, is gaining far more business practice and experience than he could get from any formal course in the curriculum.
If there is any one thing that we need in this day and generation for the promotion of municipal welfare, it seems to me we need social
engineers. If it is right for us to teach manual trainSocial
ing in the schools to promote industrial efficiency, if Engineers it is right for us to teach domestic science and to pre
pare our girls for the home, it seems to me that there is just as great demand upon us to-day to have social science practically taught in our public school system.
I also believe that it is by this means that we can best teach the right kind of religion and morality, and that we can prepare our boys and girls for that social efficiency and that patriotic citizenship for which we are striving. [Applause.)
PRES. BONAPARTE: Will Prof. Chadsey address us upon this interesting subject?
PROF. C. E. CHADSEY, Superintendent of Public Schools, Denver, Colo.: I remember a conversation which I had with one of our Colorado clubwomen, quite a prominent woman,-a political leader and speaker. We had been listening to some speeches made by men. She turned to me and said, “Why is it that you men always begin your speeches with an apology? I have noticed for years that while women commence their speeches to the point, nearly every man has to spend a few minutes of the valuable time of his audience by apologizing for not doing better than he expects to do.” Since then I have tried very hard to avoid doing this, but I find myself to-day feeling regret that I was not the first speaker to discuss the report, instead of being the second one, because a number of points which I had expected to speak upon have already been touched more effectively by Mr. Davis than I could hope to present them.
I come to you from a western city, a city of course fundamentally smaller and less complex in its details than New York City. I ask myself how far these suggestions are of prime importance to us in our work out there in our attempts to turn loose upon the world young men and young women fitted to take a proper place in the life of a political community
Of course I can find no fault with the course as outlined. These subjects are all of great importance. They all should be touched upon at some time and at some place. That municipal government is of infinitely greater importance as a study in the high schools and in the elementary schools than the study of national government I am free to admit, but I feel, as did Mr. Davis, that it is going to be very hard to find a place to do this kind of work in the way indicated in our high schools under present conditions.
We are engaged in just the same struggle in Colorado that you are in this part of the country. I find it impossible to do the things in the
high school that we wish we could do, because we Crowded High have to spend the time in doing something else, or else School Courses run the risk of having our high schools disgraced.
That almost all these things are taught in our schools I believe to be true; not that we reach every detail of the question; but practically the great municipal problems are discussed in our schools freely and fully, and our pupils leave the schools with ome knowledge as to these general problems, and with an intelligent grasp of what municipal government is in our part of the country. The average high school boy in the west is a keen, alert young fellow. He knows these things. He discusses these things. They are discussed at home. Sometimes I wonder if they are not discussed at home almost too much. We certainly hear almost nothing but discussion of the frailities of our officials. The graft and corruption that prevails, the despotic power of our public service corporations, and subjects of that sort, are discussed from morning till night, from January till December. Our pupils do not leave our schools with any lack of information both as to the machinery of government and as to the problems with which we are confronted.
I came here in a decidedly pessimistic frame of mind because of the fact, as intimated by Mr. Davis, that very often our boys, with the most excellent enlightenment as to knowledge, with excellently trained minds, go out into life, and in a very few years appear in the ranks of those who are giving body and soul to corrupt activities.
I feel that really the public school, while it means to do everything that it possibly can do, cannot be expected to overcome this condition. The managers of our public school systems are very patient in their willingness to accept responsibilities, and for the last thirty years we have had almost yearly additional duties and responsibilities placed upon us. Probably in nearly all cases these responsibilities are necessary. When we find that other activities, when we find that the home, or the church, or the state, fails to do certain things in the training of youth which should be undertaken, of course it becomes our duty to do the best we can. Yet there is no question that from that point of view the burden is overwhelming.
We now have learned and have accepted the truth that we must devote as much attention and thought to the physical welfare of the child as to his intellectual welfare; and yet with all our careful attention to the hygienic and medical side of life it cannot be expected that we are going to eradicate disease, and that our children are all going to reach their majority with the strong and healthy bodies which they should have.
We recognize that from the beginning to the end of the course it is our duty to insist at all times and in all places upon morality in the highest sense of the word; that we must constantly bear in mind that the chief object of our schools is to turn out individuals of correct moral habit of thought, including good citizenship; and yet we cannot hope to do this by ourselves.
When there exists an atmosphere which the child must breathe from morning till night and from night till morning we cannot expect the child not to be infected by that atmosphere; and when the child is forced to hear of dishonesty, and see dishonesty glorified, as he does in too many of our homes, it is hopeless that our best instruction shall overcome them.
I remember a few years ago one of our keen high school boys was discussing with his teacher in the class in civics this very subject of graft
and dishonesty of public officials. He remarked that he knew a certain man, naming him, who had a certain minor position in the city at a
salary of $1,200 a year, and who boasted that he was Dopressing able save from $5,000 to $10,000 a year upon his Surroundings salary; and this boy said in commenting upon that,
“I am just as bright and just as keen as that man is, and when I go out in the world I am going to make just as much money as he does." And I understand tnat he has since done it, and in the same way.
It is hard to overcome the influence of such an example. Because of this some have doubted the wisdom in our public school discussions touching upon the subject of graft in public life. Your president just said we were at liberty to discuss both these questions. Now in a town of 200,000 inhabitants most of the boys know personally the individuals who are mentioned in the public press the oftenest in a condemnatory fashion. There are some individuals however with whom an intimate familiarity with corruption brings about a desire to overcome that corruption.
I repeat that I think that at any rate in our western cities our high school boys and girls leave school very well equipped on the technical side, and that their actions as young citizens will be determined more by the standards which their community has than by anything which the school itself can hope to do. [Applause.]
Pres. BONAPARTE: I suggested at the commencement of this discussion that the two topics could be very well considered together. It is not improbable that it may have occurred to some of those present that such a process as Mr. Weil described in his paper, the practical results of which were to put where they would be the least comfortable and least harmful, some rather prominent members of the community, is in itself of very high educational value and is something that can be studied with great advantage by all pupils in the schools and by the high school pupils who are learning their duties of citizenship practically.
Is Professor Dunn present, and if so will he kindly come forward ?
PROF. ARTHUR W. Dunn, In Charge Department of Civics, Indianapolis Public Schools, Indianapolis, Ind.: It was my pleasure a few days ago to visit the New York City High School of Commerce and see some of the work that is being done there such as Dr. Sheppard described to us this afternoon. I feel like saying that in spite of his excellent description or outline of the work they are doing, it seems to be impossible to appreciate that work without having seen it. I was particularly interested as the result of my visit there to discover how nearly Dr. Sheppard's work in that school lined up with our work in the Indianapolis high school with reference to instruction in civics. The outlines in the two places are very similar; but he has the advantage of us in that he has in his high school