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The Educational Program in a World at War


by Florence Stratemeyer - 1943

Education must help to win the war. Education must develop the effective citizenry required for the peacetime world of tomorrow. Both are imperative. Both must be included in the educational program of today. But the pattern of behavior which is modern total war and the pattern of the democratic way of life are in essential conflict. This creates a difficult question of choice and balance requiring educational statesmanship of the highest order.

EDUCATION must help to win the war. Education must develop the effective citizenry required for the peacetime world of tomorrow. Both are imperative. Both must be included in the educational program of today. But the pattern of behavior which is modern total war and the pattern of the democratic way of life are in essential conflict. This creates a difficult question of choice and balance requiring educational statesmanship of the highest order.


To consider this and related problems, a work-conference was held at Teachers College, December 9 and 10, under the sponsorship of the Department of Curriculum and Teaching. To this conference on the Present Educational Program and the War Situation were invited delegates from schools and community service organizations. At the first general session, Professor Donald P. Cottrell spoke on the concern of the professional educator for the welfare of children, youth, and adults in the war situation, and Commissioner William Hodson, of New York City's Department of Welfare, discussed the concern of lay groups and social agencies. Five short addresses pictured wartime demands upon the schools: "Consumer Education Programs," Dr. Walter D. Cocking, Office of Price Administration; "War Savings Programs," Mr. S. M. Stouffer, Treasury Department; "Pre-Induction Training Programs," Dr. Morris Meister, Pre-Induction Training Section, War Department; "Air-Mindedness Programs," Professor George T. Renner; and "Health and Physical Fitness Programs," Professor William L. Hughes.


Following the first general session, the conference met in three sectional groups, devoted respectively to the problems of children under 12 years of age, to the problems of youth from 12 to 18 years of age, and to the problems of adults. Consultants from state departments and war agencies, together with leaders from public schools and welfare groups, worked with the delegates in these sectional meetings.


The sectional group discussions were reported and interpreted to an evening general session by Professors Roma Cans, John L. Childs, and Ernest G. Osborne. The following morning the sectional groups met again, convening in the third general session at eleven o'clock. The conference closed with a general session in the afternoon, at which Dr. William G. Carr, Secretary of the Educational Policies Commission, presented suggested procedures for schools in wartime, and Professor Hollis L. Caswell outlined steps in the development of a curriculum program for the war emergency and for the schools of tomorrow.


This issue of the TEACHERS COLLEGE RECORD presents a synthesis of the various addresses and discussions, with more interpretation than was possible at the time of the meetings. It will be noted that the January RECORD is not a "printed proceedings" of the conference; an attempt was made to go beyond mere reporting in order to give the reader a composite view of the problems and issues raised, procedures and trends suggested, and, in the last article, some "guides for action" in developing a balanced, unified, educational program designed to meet immediate war needs and at the same time develop the citizenry required for the world of the future.


It is hoped that the conference and this report may be the beginning of continuing study on the part of many educational groups. This opportunity is taken to thank the consultants, discussants, and graduate student reporters listed below for the part they played in this initial analysis and study of the problem:


CONSULTANTS: Dr. Fred M. Alexander, State Director of High School and Negro Education, Richmond, Va.; Miss Marguerite Burnett, State Director of Adult Education, Wilmington, Del.; Dr. Walter D. Cocking, Chief, Educational Services Branch, Consumer Division, Office of Price Administration; Dr. Paul Collier, Director, Bureau of Youth Services, State Department of Education, Hartford, Conn.; Mr. Thomas J. Durell, Assistant Commissioner, Supervisor of Elementary Education, State Department of Education, Trenton, N. J.; Dr. Charles W. Hamilton, Assistant in Secondary Education, Department of Public Instruction, Trenton, N. J.; Miss Anne Hoppock, Assistant Supervisor of Elementary Education, State Department of Education, Trenton, N. J.; Dr. William L. Hughes, Professor of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University; Dr. Morris Meister, Head of the Program Unit, Pre-Induction Training Section, Manpower Branch, Services of Supply, War Department; Dr. J. Cayce Morrison, Assistant Commissioner for Research, State Department of Education, Albany, N. Y.; Dr. George T. Renner, Professor of Geography, Teachers College, Columbia University; Mr. S. M. Stouffer, Education Section, War Savings Staff, Treasury Department.


SPECIAL DISCUSSANTS: Mrs. Edith Alexander, Director, Community Relations, Department of Public Welfare, New York City; Mrs. Sherwood Anderson, Head of Industrial Department, National Board, Y.W.C.A., New York City; Dr. Seymour Barnard, Director of the People's Institute of Brooklyn, Brooklyn, N. Y.; Mrs. Mary Barnes, Principal, School No. 10, Elizabeth, N. J.; Miss Charlotte Barton, Board of Education, Newark, New Jersey; Dr. Robert Bell, District Superintendent, Chappaqua, N. Y.; Dr. C. DeWitt Boney, Board of Education, East Orange, N. J.; Dr. William Bristow, Board of Education, New York City; Dr. Nathan E. Cohen, Program Director, Jewish Welfare Board, National Office of Y.M.H.A., New York City; Mr. J. Wesley Cunningham, Polytechnic Preparatory Country Day School, Brooklyn, N. Y.; Miss Elizabeth M. DeMaris, Executive Secretary, Uptown Branch, Y.W.C.A., New York City; Miss Jennie M. Flexner, Readers' Adviser, New York Public Library, New York City; Miss Lillie J. Geisser, Board of Education, Newark, N. J.; Mr. Frank Hackett, Riverdale School, New York City; Mr. William A. Hamm, Assistant Superintendent, Board of Education, New York City; Mr. Albert Hartman, Principal, Watchung School, Montclair, N. J.; Mr. Louis Herbert, Committee on Work Projects, Board of Education, New York City; Miss Cathryn R. Hoctor, Supervisor of Elementary Schools, Concord, N. H.; Mr. Ralph Horton, Division Office, Board of Education, New York City; Dr. L. R. Johnston, Principal, Scott High School, East Orange, N. J.; Dr. Galen Jones, Principal, East Orange High School, East Orange, N. J.; Mr. W. J. Kindig, Principal, High School, Plainfield, N. J.; Mr. Maynard W. Linn, Superintendent of Schools, Greenwich, Conn.; Miss Frances Loomis, Camp Fire Girls, New York City; Dr. Michael Lucey, Principal, Forest Hills High School, New York; Mr. Frank H. Nye, Principal, High School, White Plains, N. Y.; Dr. William Patterson, Principal, State Street School, Hackensack, N. J.; Dr. Pliny H. Powers, School of Education, New York University; Dr. H. H. Ryan, State Teachers College, Montclair, N. J.; Mrs. Frances Clarke Sayres, Superintendent of Work with Children, New York Public Library, New York City; Dr. Robert Searle, Secretary, Greater New York Federation of Churches, New York City; Mrs. Beth Levin Siegel, Secretary, American Social Problems Study Committee, New York City; Dr. Howard G. Spalding, Principal, High School, North Plainfield, N. J.; Mr. Mark Starr, Educational Director, International Ladies' Garment Workers'" Association, New York City; Dr. Hugh H. Stewart, Principal, High School, Mt. Vernon, N. Y.; Dr. Charles C. Tillinghast, Principal, Horace Mann School for Boys, New York City; Mr. Harrison Thomas, Board of Education, New York City; Mr. H. R. Vanderslice, Superintendent of Schools, Coatesville, Pa.; Mr. M. Charming Wagner, Associate Superintendent of Schools, Wilmington, Del.; Dr. Earl V. Wallace, President, Dean Academy and Junior College, Franklin, Mass.; Miss Margaret Webster, Executive Secretary, Y.W.C.A., New York City; Dr. Kate Wofford, Director of Rural Education, Buffalo State Teachers College, Buffalo, N. Y.; Miss Alice Wright, Program Secretary, Y.W.CA., New York City.


STUDENT REPORTERS: Miss Mae Baird; Miss Katherine Feyereisen; Mr. Paul Gastwirth; Mr. K. G. Richardson; Miss Lydia Salish; Mrs. Marjorie Smiley; Miss Elizabeth Ann Vernon; Miss Margaret White.




Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 44 Number 4, 1943, p. 227-229
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10848, Date Accessed: 10/18/2021 12:32:32 AM

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