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critical problems. For example, the position of the American city in relation to the state; the distinction between the policymaking and the administering functions, and thus the nature of administrative work; the political party as an extra-constitutional but legal factor in actual government; the financing of government, including the basal principles of taxation and the essentials of budget-making; the population problem of the city viewed especially in relation to distribution and segregation of races and industries; the economic and political problem of municipal public services: here are six principles and problems without knowledge of which no instruction of government can be really fruitful. A syllabus of the sort proposed should begin with a brief study of each of these problems, making this study through the use of concrete material upon which comments and questions are made in order to elucidate it. This material will serve directly for the teacher's education; it will also be of use to the teacher in part of the class instruction, and it is precisely upon such points as these that the text-books now in hand usually fail.

This portion of the syllabus would be followed by a succinct statement endeavoring to place these principles in perspective and indicating the general nature of a course in civics. It would not be proposed that with young children a beginning should be made in the class work with these difficult principles and problems. But unless that beginning is in the teacher's mind, the descriptive studies of municipal or national administration cannot lead whither they should. The remainder of the syllabus would be an outline of topics, suggestions of methods of presentation, questions for use by the teacher, and references to literature.

As to the topics, it is not desirable to have the syllabus enter into a detailed review of local government and administration. No syllabus published for use over a wide area can do this and be concrete with reference to any one locality. It is precisely this sort of general information which text-books have contained in reference to local government that has served for many teachers as a substitute for the labor of informing themselves upon the particular facts of the government of their own city and state. The topical headings of the desirable syllabus may go with

some detail into the structural side of national government as well as into the administrative aspects. With state and city government, however, the syllabus should avoid details of structure and administration. It should sketch a series of typical lines along which state and local governments are organized. This treatment should be accompanied by the distinctively pedagogical helps, namely, suggestions as to methods of teaching, and indication to the teacher how to get the local information upon the structure and administration of local government; how to use this information and to supplement and vivify it by current material.

For such a syllabus, the time is now ripe. It should be prepared by, or have the authorization of an authoritative body.

It is evident, however, that such a syllabus deImmediate Need

signed for national use does not fully meet the

need of the teacher, because many teachers have neither the time nor preparation to do the work necessary, and suggested by the syllabus, of getting the local and the current information. The national syllabus needs to be supplemented by local syllabi. These should be prepared for localities with a state or (in some cases) a single large city as the unit. These local syllabi can obviously be brief, and cheap to prepare and to revise. They can enter into the detail of the structure and working of a local government. Just as the current organ is a labor-saving device for centralizing the work of finding current material and distributing it, the local syllabus places in the hands of experts the work of securing local facts, and leaves to the teacher the teacher's proper work, that of application of the material to the pupils in the class room.

Why should not an authoritative body such as the National Municipal League undertake or authorize, through a committee, the preparation of such a national syllabus and arrange that this be supplemented by local syllabi, prepared for those parts of the country where they can immediately be put to the best use? The local work needs to be done either by local sections of a general committee, or, what in many cases could more easily be arranged, by a local committee already in the field. Such should be brought into co-operation with a central organization and with similar

movements in other localities. There exists to-day in many parts of the country an awakening interest in citizenship training, and a growth of organizations and committees to study and deal with the subject has already appeared. As these movements develop, their mutual information concerning one another, their correlation with one another, will become of increasing importance, and this can best be brought about by co-operation upon some specific piece of work in which a common interest necessarily exists.

There is an interesting analogy, less than a generation old, to the pedagogical situation in which we find civics to-day. Physical and chemical science has but recently made its way into our academic curricula. Its introduction, enforced though it was by an economic pressure which has not yet appeared behind civics, was slow, difficult, and is by no means as yet fully achieved. The United States Bureau of Education in 1884 published the results of a careful, country-wide study of the teaching of science in the schools. The movement to introduce science was at that time not new. There was lip service to the need of teaching the subject, but the place practically given it did not follow in proportion. In the curricula we find the short course sandwiched amid other subjects, the “Fourteen Weeks in Chemistry,” the lack of laboratory work, the teaching by textbook and by rote, and the inadequately prepared teachers, trained primarily in mathematics, a subject which seems to have borne the relation to physics and chemistry that history bears to civics to-day. The movement to change all this, to introduce courses of an adequate number of teaching periods in proper place in the curriculum, to require trained instructors and teaching methods of proved efficiency: this has been achieved, not yet fully, but the progress made has been the result of a long campaign involving study and preparation, experiment, publicity and organization. In dealing with civics, we have a pedagogical problem even more difficult, the only point in which civics has the advantage being that the expensive laboratory equipment demanded by science is not required here. The vitality and urgency of the demand for adequate citizenship training goes for us without saying, and the more general recognition of this de

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mand is a matter of certainty. Our social and economic problems of city and country are sharpening themselves, and the belief that our developing citizenship cannot be left to drift must soon be more wide and more thorough-going. We have not yet worked out a satisfactory solution to the problem of giving citizenship training, for where local success is found, it too often appears to depend upon personality and the individual interest of a few. The teacher, to repeat, is the key to the situation, and the education and assistance of the teaching force is the next step, not only towards better immediate results in instruction, but in the creation of the educational method and tradition necessary to give to our subject, in institutions of learning, the place commensurate with its importance to the social welfare.

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A Rapid Transit Policy for Greater

New York.


Member of Public Service Commission.

The movement for an adequate system of rapid transit in New York City originated so far distant in the past that no definite date can be fixed. The first legislative investigation was made nearly fifty years ago, and the first rapid transit commission was appointed in 1875. Practically nothing was accomplished towards the building of lines for the next 20 years, or until the creation of the Rapid Transit Commission by the act of 1894.

This commission—the predecessor of the present Public Service Commission-encountered the same difficulties which had

blocked the efforts of previous commissions. Rapid Transit Obstructed

Existing transportation companies have always

opposed, more or less strenuously, the efforts to secure construction of new lines with public or private funds. It was only after it was definitely decided in 1894 to use municipal funds to construct a subway that any definite progress was made. Even then the cry that the city was in such a wretched financial condition that it could not afford to issue bonds for the construction of a subway was raised. The constitutional debt limit was said to be in the way, “unfortunately”. The courts were persuaded to disapprove the route proposed by the Rapid Transit Commission upon these grounds, causing a delay of two years. Then the corporation counsel withheld his opinion upon the form of contract for nearly a year and a half. The mayor opposed the plan, declaring that no solution of the rapid transit problem could be worked out through the use of the city's credit and urging that the needed relief must be obtained by the extension of the existing facilities—the elevated roads.

The Rapid Transit Commission then went to the legislature and urged that it be allowed to grant franchises to private companies in perpetuity. This proposal met with such a storm of

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