During the past decade an increasing number of schools have been using the term elementary-school mathematics to replace arithmetic in courses of study and in school reports. This change is no mere whimsey. It is indicative of a corresponding broadening of our vision of the content and function of arithmetic or mathematics in the elementary school. To many school people the word "arithmetic" was synonomous with computation; and arithmetic was merely a tool to be called forth when a need was recognized.
In the present discussion, emphasis is placed on the understanding of basic concepts and principles. The objectives and measurement techniques relating primarily to fundamental skills and processes fall outside the scope of the yearbook. Since the ability to apply is closely related to any reasonably satisfactory notion of understanding, this ability is discussed from the point of view of evidence of understanding. Certain other types of objectives discussed by the Commission, such as the development ol desirable attitudes, interests, and appreciations, are important but cannot be considered here.
The language arts as a field of instruction may be considered as comprising two main areas of communication skills: (1) the expressional skills, involved in writing and speaking, and (2) the receptive skills, involved in reading and listening. Each presents somewhat different problems in the analysis and appraisal of meanings. The objectives of the language arts outlined in this chapter are grouped, therefore, under these two headings.
Too often when measurement is considered teachers think only of administering to their entire group of students a paper-and-pencil test in which there is one best answer to each item. Teachers of the arts have not been enthusiastic about such tests, which in their field of work have been far from satisfactory. The truth is that in the arts any extreme emphasis on uniformity, objectivity, and ease of administration in the making of tests easily leads to a concentration on the most mechanical and superficial aspects of the learning process, and the result can be the development of a measuring instrument not only useless, but positively dangerous and misleading.
There is considerable agreement in the literature with reference to the major objectives that should be attained through health education. The extent to which these objectives are attained is dependent on a number of factors. These include: the environmental conditions and public health procedures which influence the individual's surroundings, and the extent to which medical, dental, and other health services are actually available, as well as his own health practices, his attitudes, and his understanding.
The fundamental purposes of physical education are centered on understanding the nature of growth and physical development, understanding the methods of maintaining physical fitness according to individual needs in life, and understanding how to enjoy a lifetime of participation in sport for recreation and fuller living. All along, under good leadership, there are unusual, if incidental, opportunities for character building and personality expression.
The first part of this chapter consists of an organized statement of those outcomes in education for personal and family living which appear to deal primarily with the acquisition of understandings. In the second part are presented illustrative devices for measuring some of the understandings. In the absence of any official or universally accepted statement of the outcomes of home-economics education, a tentative list was compiled by this committee after surveying the recent literature in home economics and in general education.
Although the objectives o f agricultural education include and reflect the over-all objectives of general education, instructional emphasis is usually placed on training for proficiency in farming. The specific aims of such instruction are indicated in the following excerpt from a recently published monograph.
The industrial progress of a nation is accompanied by an increase in the use of power. The processes which require manual labor are replaced by inventions of labor-saving and time-saving machines and devices which make possible increased production with decreased physical exertion by the individual.
In a broad sense, industrial arts is a part of general education for both boys and girls. The commonly accepted view of the nature and purposes of the industrial-arts program in the schools is characterized in the following excerpts from authoritative writings in this field.
The word 'project' is perhaps the latest arrival to knock for admittance at the door of educational terminology. Shall we admit the stranger? Not wisely until two preliminary questions have first been answered in the affirmative: First, is there behind the proposed term and waiting even now to be christened a valid notion or concept which promises to render appreciable service in educational thinking?
The commentary argues that the remedy for a rule governed formulaic approach to schooling is to be found in the arts. It argues that the realization of artistry in education has a particularly important, unintended outcome. In the process of realizing such a form of practice, teachers and students alike become artists. Such an outcome would provide the kinds of satisfactions that are needed to genuinely engage students in the processes of schooling.