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The New Status of the Practical Arts in the Problem of Education


by Frederick G. Bonser — 1920

In his Applied Sociology, Lester F. Ward makes the statement that “One winter without art would suffice to sweep the whole population north and south of the thirtieth parallels of latitude out of existence.” The growing consciousness of our dependence upon the intelligence and efficiency of our people in the pursuit of the practical arts and in the use of their products has brought about most fundamental and far-reaching changes in our educational systems. From kindergarten to university, the position, the educational value, and the appropriate treatment of practical arts subjects have come to occupy a place among the questions of primary importance. Through the appropriations of cities, state legislatures, and the federal government millions of dollars have been applied to the development of the practical arts subjects in the schools of every state. Thousands of teaching positions have been created for the promotion of greater intelligence and efficiency in these fields. Not only have the schools added the studies of household arts, industrial arts, fine arts, music, and physical education as parts of their curricula, but these subjects are also in process of making most substantial changes in the content and method of other subjects as well. These changes are coming as a result of the rediscovery of the vital relationships between number, geography, and science and their applications and relationships in the practical arts from which they derive their values; between history and the origins and development of practical arts interests which so often gave rise to the events and social changes resulting from their cumulative influences; and so on, between all of the conventional subjects and the workaday and playtime activities from which they have been derived, and from which they have often become so completely divorced.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 21 Number 3, 1920, p. 238-245
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 3859, Date Accessed: 10/22/2017 10:29:49 PM

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  • Frederick Bonser


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