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THE REORGANIZATION OF SECONDARY EDUCATION.
STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON ARTICULATION OF HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE.
ORIGIN OF THE COMMISSION.
The commission on the reorganization of secondary education is a logical outgrowth of the first report of the committee on the articulation of high school and college presented in 1911. At that time the committee submitted a broad definition of a well-planned high-school course and recommended the liberalizing of college entrance requirements so that the satisfactory completion of any such well-planned high-school course should be accepted as preparation for college. This report was widely distributed, and its recommendations are receiving approval by an increasing number of educational associations, colleges, and State boards of education.
It was recognized that such liberalizing of college entrance requirements would bring to the high school not only greater opportunity for usefulness, but also increased responsibility for the reorganization of secondary education. Consequently, in 1912, this committee recommended the appointment of subcommittees to report upon the reorganization of the various high-school subjects. Accordingly, 10 subcommittees were appointed by the president of the National Education Association during the ensuing year. Great care was taken in the selection of these committees. Many people, including each State superintendent, were asked to suggest persons best qualified for this important work. The members are well distributed geographically, 30 States being represented.
In 1913 the committee on the articulation of high school and college recommended the formation of a commission to include the committees already organized, a committee on mathematics, a committee on art, and a reviewing committee. This report was adopted by the secondary department of the National Education Association, and the formation of the commission was authorized by the board of directors of that association July 13, 1913.
RESULTS TO BE SECURED.
It is hoped that this commission will—
(a) Formulate statements of the valid aims, efficient methods, and kinds of material whereby each subject may best serve the needs .of high-school pupils.
(b) Enable the inexperienced teacher to secure at the outset a correct point of view.
(c) Place the needs of the high school before all agencies that are training teachers for positions in high schools.
(d) Secure college entrance recognition for courses that meet actual needs of high-school pupils.
MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMISSION.
The commission will consist of the following 14 committees:
(a) Twelve committees on various high-school subjects, 10 of which were appointed in 1912-13.
(b) The committee on the articulation of high school and college, organized in 1910-11.
(c) A reviewing committee composed of the chairmen of the preceding committees and not more than 10 " members at large."
The chairmen of the committees already organized are as follows:
Committee on English—James F. Hosic, Chicago Teachers' College, Chicago, 111. Committee on social studies—Dr. Thomas Jesse Jones, Bureau of Education, Washington, D. C.
Committee on natural sciences—William Orr, deputy State commissioner of
education, Roston, Mass. Committee on ancient languages—Dr. Walter Eugene Foster, Stuyvesant High
School, New York, N. Y. Committee on modern languages—William B. Snow, English High School,
Committee on household arts—Dr. Amy Louise Daniels, University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.
Committee on manual arts—Prof. Frank M. Leavitt, University of Chicago, Chicago, 111.
Committee on music—Will Earhart, director of music. Pittsburgh. Pa. Committee on business—A. L. Pugh, High School of Commerce, New York, N. Y. Committee on agriculture—Prof. A. V. Storm, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minn.
Committee on the articulation of high school and college—Clarence D. Klngsley, high school Inspector, Ford Building, Boston, Mass.
The full membership of each of these committees, with two exceptions, is given in this bulletin at the end of the statement of the chairman of that committee. It is probable that some of the committees will be enlarged.
PLAN OF WORK.
Several committees have already made substantial progress; two joint conferences were held in Philadelphia, one in December, 1912, and the other in February, 1913; and preliminary reports were discussed at various round tables of the National Education Association, July, 1913.
The reviewing committee will probably meet for a three-day conference at the University of Chicago, December 29, 30, and 31, 1913. At this conference reports of the various committees will be considered in detail, modifications will be suggested, and the results will be published as the first report of the commission. It is hoped that this first report will be sent to every high school in the United States.
In July, 1914, there will be opportunity for a free discussion of the reports at various meetings of the National Education Association.
The final report of the commission is not expected before 1915.
Each person receiving this bulletin is urged to send suggestions and criticisms to the chairman of the appropriate committee.
Clarence D. Kingsley, Chairman.
Ford Building, Boston, Mass.
The other members of the committee on the articulation of high school and college are as follows:
William M. Butler, principal Yeatman High School, St. Louis, Mo.
STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON
In order that the report of this committee may represent as fully as possible the results of study and experiment in every quarter, the cooperation of all existing organizations interested in the problem has been and will continue to be sought. The national conference on uniform entrance requirements in English, on May 30, 1911, instructed its executive committee to cooperate; in like manner the National Speech Arts Association and the conference on public speaking of the New England and the North Atlantic States directed appropriate committees to render aid.
The National Council of Teachers of English is yet more closely associated with the work. This council is broadly representative in the character of its membership, both individual and collective, and is thus well fitted to join in the enterprise. The members of its committee on the high-school course, which recently collected information for a report on types of organization of high-school English, are participating actively in compiling a handbook. The members of the committee of the council are as follows:
Franklin T. Baker, teachers' college, Columbia University, New York, N. Y.
Allison Gaw, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Cal.
Mrs. Henry Hulst, Central High School, Grand Rapids, Mich.
William D. Lewis, principal, William Penn High School, Philadelphia, Pa.
E. H. Kemper McComb, Manual Training High School, Indianapolis, Ind.
Edwin T. Reed, Agricultural College, Corvallis, Oreg.
Elizabeth Richardson, girls' high school, Boston, Mass.
James Fleming Hosic, chairman, Chicago Teachers' College, Chicago, 111.
It may be noted by comparing the above list with the names of the committee appearing at the end of this statement that the committee of the council contains three members, including the chairman, who are also members of the committee in the commission on the reorganization of secondary education.
THE POINT OF VIEW.
The committee will endeavor to make a fresh study of English in secondary schools. These schools have developed so remarkably in the past two decades that their function of preparation for advanced academic study is completely overshadowed by other functions. Moreover, these schools serve such various constituencies that the widest possible freedom is necessary. Hence the committee will consider the experience of those who have sought to meet the needs of particular communities. A course which fits the life of the school and prepares young people for the life of the home and of the social and industrial community will, it is now believed, best equip for attendance on higher academic or professional institutions.
With this ideal before them, the various subdivisions of the committee will undertake to select material and outline activities for the successive years of the course. The groundwork of composition will consist of those projects for speaking and writing which young people can be made to feel are worth while. Rhetorical" theory will thus be made to serve as the handmaid of expression, not the occasion of it. Books for reading, likewise, will be selected because they are capable of producing a genuine reaction, not because they are illustrative of literary history. In both composition and literature there will doubtless be a shift of emphasis toward those subjects and activities which are of greatest value in active life—for example, oral expression— and toward modem books and periodicals. It is not to be inferred, however, that the supreme values inherent in the world's literary masterpieces will be overlooked.
A general plan for a handbook has been agreed upon. A section will be devoted to each of the following:
(1) An account of the origin and labors of the committee.
(2) A summary of the work in English of the first six years of the elementary school.
(3) The aims which should guide the English work of the six following years, namely, the seventh and eighth years of the present elementary school and the four years of the present high school.
(4) A general course of study for the later six years, providing abundant material for choice.
(5) Several examples of more limited courses as worked out to meet particular conditions.
(6) A suggestive outline of activities in composition (speaking, writing, spelling, grammar, and rhetoric).
(7) A suggestive outline of activities in literature (interpretation of poetry, fiction, and drama, reading aloud, dramatization, lives of authors, literary history).
(8) A list of books for pupils' general reading, with suggestions as to guidance.
(9) General suggestions as to plans of faculty cooperation in English instruction, size of classes, equipment, etc.
(10) A bibliography upon the preceding topics.
Such a handbook will be useful to administrators in arranging courses of study and in providing equipment, and it will aid the teacher at work, particularly the teacher of limited experience.
The committee believes that a single statement of aims will prove serviceable as a guide to the English work of all schools. Broadly speaking, it should be the purpose of every English teacher, first, to quicken the spirit and kindle the mind and imagination of his pupils, and to develop habits of weighing and judging human conduct with the hope of leading them to higher living; second, to supply the pupils with an effective tool for use in their future private and public life—i. e., the best command of language which, under the circumstances, can be given them.