A plan is presented that replaces the age/grade x school subjects structure of schooling with a structure of sequenced courses leading to incremental capability certification.
This essay reviews the current governance problems in education and details the range of possible governance models for post-industrial schooling.
This article suggests that the organizational structure of schools contributes to lowered teacher morale and creativity; and concludes that school policymakers must learn the lessons of industry: Give employees a stake in the system by decentralizing decision making.
If democratic workplace theories now popular in Scandinavian countries were to be widely applied in the United States, major changes would be necessary in education. To produce workers able to participate in problem solving and decision making, the schools would have to liberate learning from authority-bound, drill-oriented practices.
The nature of the socio-technical theory, which is emerging as an alternative to the systems-efficiency model, is discussed. It is felt that the systems-efficiency models of education are out of touch with the personal, subjective, and creative aspects of human reality.
We might ask ourselves the question, "Do business men use geography?" If so, teachers should make more effort to have pupils realize that a knowledge of geography not only may lead to a fuller enjoyment of life, but, if properly used, may also be of great advantage in making a living.
When one attempts to interpret the significance of the numerous industrial or other so-called vocational schools which have been organized in the past decade, he encounters the difficulty of clearly differentiating the several examples studied. The names of the various schools do not serve to classify them as do the terms "Elementary School," "High School," "College," "University," or even "Commercial School," "Agricultural College," "Engineering School," and the like.
The general content and method of this report was determined by the Secretary of the National Society for the Study of Education. He specified that it should be an "account of what has actually been accomplished" in prevocational industrial training in the seventh and eighth grades-that this accomplishment should be shown (a) by "a history descriptive of the organization, work, and results" in Indianapolis; (b) "by comparing the work of the Indianapolis schools with that of Boston (North Bennett Street Industrial School), Cleveland, St. Paul, and Newark, N.J."; (c) "by an interpretation of the type in terms of a statement of the way in which it meets the needs of the educational situation."
The development of the independent industrial school is due to a broadening educational policy which recognizes the right of every pupil to the kind of training best suited to his individual needs. We have come to realize that a scheme of education which is intended primarily for the select few who enter the professions will not educate effectively all children, even if they were compelled to remain in school. These facts were forcibly brought to the attention of thinking people by the report of the Massachusetts Commission on Industrial Education published in I906.
With the growth of industries and commerce there has come a demand for training along specialized lines not originally included in our scheme of public high schools. It has been in response to these needs that the remarkable development taking place in secondary education has had its chief inspiration. This has been particularly the case in the larger cities where changing conditions have been greatest and where the lack of persons especially trained to meet the needs of manufacturing and distributing has been most keenly felt.
A cosmopolitan high school may be defined, from the vocational standpoint, as a high school which provides various kinds of vocational education. In such a school are combined the advantages which some communities seek to provide by establishing special types of high schools. Such a school offers many courses and trains for many vocationsin one plant and under one management. Ideally, such a school will provide equal or proportional representation of all types of vocations which the children of a given community may wish to pursue.
In these days when the entire public instructional system of the United States is being scrutinized from within and without in the endeavor to reply to the question, "Just what do you do to prepare for vocational efficiency?" those who are actively engaged in the problem of specific vocational preparation are not exempt. Such efforts on the part of the public-school system to send out graduates trained for a definite vocation are new with the exception of higher institutions which have for years prepared students for professional lives and some high schools which instituted commercial courses including shorthand and typewriting.
The co-operative plan of industrial education is primarily an attempt to coordinate and correlate agencies already existing, at least potentially, in the factory and the school in order to make better workmen and better citizens from the young recruits to the industries. Because the co-operative plan can be undertaken with very little initial investment, maintained at a minimum cost, and adapted to a great variety of conditions, it is the form of industrial education most widely available for immediate realization. Some entertain doubts of the adequacy of the co-operative school in comparison with the independent trade school on the one hand and the manufacturer's apprenticeship school on the other.
A certain sanitarium gave a test for insanity which it always claimed was absolutely conclusive. It was very simple. The patient was given a large dipper and was set to emptying a tub of water set under a hydrant with the water turned on. If the patient continued trying to empty the tub without turning the water off he was declared to be hopelessly insane. We, as schoolmen, are undertaking a similar task in our battle against ignorance, as long as we allow a stream of ignorant children to leave our schools, simply because they are fourteen years old.
When the Civic Service House, a social settlement in the crowded North End of Boston, invited the late Professor Frank Parsons, in October, 1908, to undertake a work of personally advising with the yollilg men and women who attended its clubs and classes it soon found an outside call for such service to a degree which taxed the strength of the adviser and the resources of the institution.
The Northwest, particularly the state of Washington, is making some progress along the lines of industrial education and vocational training in the elementary and intermediate field of education. The meaning of the terms industrial education and vocational training is that used by Dr. David Snedden, commissioner of education of the state of Massachusetts.
The most important factor in determining what work shall be offered in a course of study for any secondary school is public demand, or public opinion. Teachers themselves perform a very important and highly valuable function by creating and shaping public opinion, and he who, for fear of doing something which will not meet immediate public approval, refrains from doing what he can to shape public opinion along progressive educational lines, will soon find himself relegated to the "side lines" and no longer a real "part of the game." Public opinion precedes public demand, and sometimes the procedure is so rapid that the one almost antedates the other.
One of the most obvious and impressive facts bearing on the whole matter of manual training in the schools was set forth and revealed to the world at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St. Louis, last summer. The fact is simple and will be admitted by all without argument. It is this: Manual training in the schools of all the countries in the world has become universal. No town in any country represented in that vast array of the world's best work undertook to make an exhibit without a display of handicraft of some sort. This does not mean that every school in the world has manual training, for there are many still without it, but it does mean that every town and city taken as a unit has accepted it.
The teaching of science in the high school has suffered because of the tradition prevailing since the organization of the English High School of Boston in 1821, "that it is required of all the masters and ushers as a necessary qualification that they should have been regularly educated at some university."
I have given the Yearbook a careful reading and am greatly pleased with the whole execution of the plan. I have one line of thought to suggest. The problem of training teachers in both normal schools and universities involves, as one of its chief difficulties, the induction of the young or inexperienced teacher into the difficulties of actual practice. All pure theorists both in normal schools and in universities persistently dodge this problem. Reasons, excuses and explanations are invented, manufactured and multiplied in order to escape from this problem.