« AnteriorContinuar »
The advantages of the system of appoint
ments. Kinds of day schools. The total cost Protection of of education in the city. The cost per pupil in Life and each class of schools. The cost in the high Property school. The cost of books and supplies. Is it
worth while? Special schools and colleges: Evening schools, corporate schools. The lecture system. The vacation playground. Aims and advantages of each. Why they exist. What they accomplish. The excellence and defects of our system of education as compared with that of other cities and counties. Supplementary Education.
1. The Natural History Museum.
4. The Art Museum. 3. The Fire Department.
Protection against fire depends upon (1) the building laws, (2) the water supply, and (3) the efficiency of the fire department. How one becomes a fireman. The organization of the department.
(a) The influence of the insurance companies.
(c) The esprit de corps. Salaries and pensions. 4. The Courts and the Department of Correction. 1. Civil Courts. A. Municipal Courts. Their jurisdiction, officers and
C. The Supreme Court. 2. Criminal Courts. Under the study of courts comes the work of the court officers and the processes connected with the trial. The term of the office, selection and salary of the various officials. The meaning of the various terms used. Probation system.
The Department of Correction.
Its management and duties. Prison labor. The indeterminate sentence system.
5. The Health Department.
(a) In relation to the ordinary resident. (b) In relation to the landlord. (c) In relation to the business man.
A study of the actual regulations of this department as found in the code, and a description of its activities together with comparison with the work done in other cities.
6. The Tenement House Department.
When and why formed. Who is subject to it. How organized. What it has accomplished. Why it needs a strong head. Illustrations from report of the Tenement House Department. Dictation of most important provisions of law.
How it differs in organization from other departments. The buildings subject to its jurisdiction. Why its inefficient management is so disastrous. The temptation to graft and what it costs.
8. The Park Department.
How it protects health. How our park system arose and what it has cost. How the parks are managed. The need of small parks. What parks have accomplished in New York. Boulevards as parks. The need and benefit of playgrounds as conducive to health, education and prevention of crime. The desirability of school playgrounds. Dangers threatening parks.
9. Department of Charities.
The hospital and ambulance service. Out-door relief. Asylums. How the destitute may be aided. The city's aid to private charitable institutions.
In this connection it is both desirable and feasible for the pupils to visit the more important departments and get some first-hand impressions of their work. Our experience has been that the city officials willingly and helpfully co-operate with the school. Not only have they furnished us much valuable material, but they have also facilitated the inspection of their departments, and have not infrequently themselves given helpful talks to the boys.
IV. Following close upon the study of the departments comes a consideration of the cost to the city. The pupil has noted the
extensive activities of the municipality and the Cost to the City important question of how they are all paid for looms up before him. The budget must be studied, and the manner of levying and collecting taxes must be understood, as well as the raising of money by loans. Under proper guidance he will come to realize how extravagant and inefficient government affects him personally, low honest and economic government has a money value to every citizen. He will want to know what city officers determine the amount of money to be spent, and just what officers spend the money. New York City has
had a Board of Estimate and Apportionment in control of its finances for a decade, yet it remained for the recent three-cornered fight for the mayoralty with its resulting choice of a democratic mayor and a Fusion Board of Estimate to bring home to the average citizen what the professional politician had long understood, that this Board have really much more to do with the government of the city than the mayor, that in reality New York has a sort of government by commission.
V. We come finally in our study to a consideration of the citizen's part in the administration of municipal affairs. Topics such as the following should be taken up:
Becoming a citizen. Becoming a voter. Registration. Voting. Voting but a part. The party organization. The cause of good or bad government. How the citizen may govern the city through the party organization. Enrollment. The district captain. The district committee. The district leader. The general committee. The leader of the organization. How the leader reaches his place. Organization the key to success in politics. Candidates for office, how selected, formally, actually. Why the high school graduate should work through an organization for an honest business-like government.
The preceding part of the course will have failed of its purpose if it hasn't established in the pupil's mind certain elementary ideas and ideals concerning the purpose of government and a sense of the duty and responsibility which every citizen owes to the community in which he works and lives. He will be an intelligent reader of the numerous items in the daily press bearing upon the administration of city affairs, and he will know how as a voter he may take an active and effective part in that administration alike for his own best interests and that of the community.
The course outlined is not an artificial affair based upon pure theory. It has been successfully carried on in one high school for half a decade, winning the enthusiastic interest of first-year pupils as well as of the teachers charged with its conduct. It can be adapted to the high school of any community, and will fail of its purpose only if it is managed in a perfunctory fashion by instructors who have not a professional interest in their work,
or a high sense of their great responsibility and their great opportunity. It would be a splendid thing if we could require of all teachers in the public schools a knowledge of the governmental activities of the municipality they are called upon to serve, for surely they of all citizens ought to be familiar with the purpose and practice of government. There is continuing controversy over the educational value of this or that subject in the curriculum, but who is there to deny the vast importance of the right sort of civics instruction in the school.
The National Municipal League can render a signal service to public education and the cause of good citizenship in this country if it arouse an interest in this matter where it does not yet exist and encourage and assist school authorities anxious to give it proper recognition, but needing assistance in finding ways and means to make it an effective and permanent part of the public school curriculum. The situation at present is full of encouragement, and we may look forward confidently to a time not far distant when instruction in municipal civics will be firmly established as an important feature of all progressive school courses.
A Next Step Towards Better Civics
MICHAEL M. DAVIS, Jr., Ph. D.,
Secretary of the People's lastitute, New York, We are assisted in this movement for educational reform by the setting-up of such goals and standards—bench-marks we may call them-as are expressed by the curriculum and courses of study outlined in Dr. Sheppard's paper. Before educational practice has reached the goal, later thought and experiment will have altered the standard in one way or another. What these alterations are to be, we may at this moment safely leave to the future. The immediate problem is the method of working towards the standard. This problem is one less of educational theory than of pedagogical politics. The way of progress is less through educational theorizing than through organization, publicity, and a practical campaign of education for the educators.
Making citizens—that is the aim of the teaching of civics. Do we steadily realize the implication of the trite statement? Such
an aim implies an effect upon the pupil's will as Making
well as intellect. It involves an impress upon Citizens
character, a formation of ethical and social attitudes within the pupil rather than a mere instruction in certain subject matters. Such an aim implics that the viewpoint from which civics is taught must not be historical. The history and the comparative development of local and national governments supply interesting and valuable material for illustrative purposes, and this material is of particular pedagogical usefulness for students approaching maturity. For any age and condition below that of the graduate student in college, liistorical material should be used primarily as matter for illustration. It is present-day government and its problems of which the immature pupil most needs to know, and in this teaching the viewpoint should be administrative rather than constitutional. Activity or function should be emphasized rather than structure or history. We