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THE MAGAZINE “EDUCATION” 42nd YEAR BEGINNING SEPTEMBER, 1921 “Education is appreciated everywhere.”—Geo. E. Walk, Lecturer on Education, N. Y. University. “A magazine which we much enjoy.”—Sister Mary Evangela, St. Xavier's Convent, Chicago, Ill. “Of greatest value to all who are trying to formulate an educational theory.”—Pres. Faunce, Brown University, R. I. “The finest sample of educational journalism on the American market today.”—Dr. Wm. H. Thaler, St. Louis, Mo.
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FROM KINDERGARTEN TO COLLEGE
VOL. XXV SEPTEMBER No. 1
York state pass under new leadership as the new scholastic year begins. All the omens are au
The New spicious. The schools of Administration the state are well equipped; the teachers
are forward-looking; the department at Albany is harmonious; and the new commissioner is trained to the minute. The Regents have demonstrated their administrative fitness by their choice of a man who meets the best definition that can be formulated for the commissioner of education of a great state. In fact, it is no disparagement to others to say that in Frank Pierrepont Graves we have a leader of leaders, an educator of teachers, a scholar among scholars. Dr. Graves comes to a place that is rich in the highest traditions of educational leadership. Andrew S. Draper was a builder and an educational statesman. He brought unity to a discordant duality. He showed the way to vocational training, to health direction in education, to agricultural education, to rural school supervision, to first steps in consolidation. The quality of his leadership was demonstrated conclusively by the readiness of succeeding legislatures to do his wishes and to do them gladly. Dr. Draper was respected in high places to an extent quite unusual among educational leaders and the State Education Building is primarily a monument to this public esteem for a great and wise guide in school matters. John Finley adorned the commission
of the University of the State of New York. This bifurcation was non-essential but it served to accentuate the finest qualities of the Finley period of publicity. The schools were brought to the attention of the people in the most favorable light. At no previous time and in no other place have the leaders—social, political, industrial, commercial— given so much time and thought to the common schools. The guest book in Dr. Finley's office records the names of almost all the great men and women of America, and many of England, France, China and other foreign lands. These great personages paid homage to the schools because Dr. Finley opened the school door with his distinctive grace and charm and gave them a worthwhile welcome. The list of convocation speakers between 1913 and 1920 is imposing. Here the best wisdom from professional and also from non-professional minds was generously spoken because Dr. Finley held the magic wand of command. And so we have today an atmosphere in the schools of New York state of public confidence and a feeling among the rank and file of teachers that their work is esteemed by those who lead and mold public thought. Every teacher who has ever come in personal contact with Finley, the great humanist, has a higher conception of the profession and a clearer purpose as a public servant. Here comes Commissioner Graves. Will he also assume the presidential dignity? Will he be both a great administrator like Dr. Draper and a great educational publicist like John Finley? What is the need of the hour? Many problems confront the new commissioner. The rural school problem stands at the head of the first page, written there by the Commission, financed by the Commonwealth Fund and skillfully led by Assistant Commissioner Wiley. There is a maze of related and subsidiary issues. Consolidation of depopulated and decimated rural schools; the training of teachers for rural schools; equalized taxation for school districts; the rural school curriculum; transportation of rural school children; rural supervision. The findings of this commission must be wisely evaluated and a practicable residuum must be laid before the State Legislature. Yet more, the rural school program must be carried through the State Legislature and win the approval of the Governor. This will be a task of great importance and will ask for the commissioner’s best wisdom and his best persuasiveness and tact. The teacher training problem will take its place among the important problems asking immediate solution. The normal schools have been far below their average registration and have thus emphasized the shortage of teachers. How shall we attract students to the normal schools? How shall we attract students of quality? The new salary schedules will help ; the industrial depression will aid yet more; an improved social status of teachers in service would help most of all. Shall the two year normal school course be extended to three years? Or even to four years? Shall we make colleges of education of our normal schools? What shall be the content of the new and enlarged curriculum ? What is the correct ratio between informational or cultural and purely professional courses in the training of elementary school teachers? If the new
commissioner will bring the right solution to these vexed questions and will successfully justify his conclusions to his constituency, he will have served the state of New York and the nation well. Taxation for school purposes will be a clamorous problem in the legislatures of 1922-1930. The State Education budget is now large as compared with the years under Draper. But it is quite likely to be larger. School control in municipalities and rural districts revolves around the finances. Shall boards of education levy the school tax? Shall they expend their own funds, quite independently of boards of estimate and other boards of control? Here is a series of problems in school administration that will require much wisdom and restraint in conference and in execution. The democratization of school administration will also claim its share of time on the new commissioner's program. There is a wide range of opinion from the teachers’ Soviet to the advisory committee of teachers. In between these will come proposals for a teacher on the board of education; for a referendum of educational policies to the active teaching staff; for the election of principals, supervisors and of the superintendent himself by the teaching staff; for control by a committee elected by the teaching staff. These are signs of the times and will come up to the new commissioner for consideration and advice. But Dr. Graves comes to his task in the full panoply of his profession. None of these problems will be new to him, although their concrete statement may raise new complications. It is fortunate indeed that he is professionally expert. In this respect he is indeed a new type of commissioner. Where other commissioners in this and other states have had Special fitness along specific lines, Dr. Graves comes to his task a well rounded educator. His training is in
every respect admirable and adequate. Brought up at the feet of the Gamaliel of classicism, and master of education as a science, he has a rich experience as teacher, scholar, author and administrator. The school men and women of New York state look forward to his leadership in confidence and in high hopes. They will give him loyal and enthusiastic support in every good work. Together we move forward to the high calling that is ours, carrying to the children of our state the best that we have in educational matter and method. + + + HE month of September witnesses the reopening of the public schools and the return of thousands of teachers and pupils to the work of another school year. The summer vacation has ended and throngs of eager, happy children again confront the teacher for training and instruction. It is well for all teachers at the beginning of the new school year to center their attention upon fundamental principles and certain worthy ideals which may help guide them aright and insure the maximum of service, both in quantity and quality, to the youth of the land. The war hysteria is a thing of the past. The extravagances in thought, feeling and compensation which have been witnessed during the past three or four years have passed. The public now demands of the teacher a high order of service and the best kind of co-operation in order to accomplish the great work of education which all who are connected with the administration of our schools hope to achieve. The question arises, how can the teacher render the high order of service which the public has a right to expect? The answer depends much upon the teacher's attitude and ideals. Service, to be adequately rendered, must be
Another School Year
a service in which one is interested and contented. All teachers should work for the success and improvement of the school and school system of which they are a part. While there is always need for constructive criticism, there should be no nagging, fault-finding and discontent. A teacher who sows discontent and fails to co-operate with those who are planning and working for the improvement of the schools is a positive detriment to any school system. Furthermore, every teacher should be a person of vision and have a real professional outlook. Fortunate is the
teacher who has a broad vision and can
look beyond conditions which immediately affect self and center his attention upon the child and how he can be best trained and developed into a worthy member of society and a law abiding citizen. This is the large task of the teacher. If the school fails to develop the character of the child as well as his intellect, the golden opportunity is lost. While we properly emphasize the upbuilding of the youth physically and intellectually, we should not lose sight of the fact that the essential element in the child's training is the development of moral standards and worthy ideals. This year every teacher in New York
state is obliged by law to take an oath
of allegiance and thus publicly attest his loyalty to the state and national government and pledge to co-operate in maintaining the institutions of our nation. The loyal teacher will gladly do. this and also aim both by precept and example to develop the youth whom he instructs into loyal and law abiding citizens.
AMERICAN EDUCATION extends its hearty greeting to teachers and school officials throughout the land and congratulates them on the splendid opportunities for service to the youth of the country that the present school year brings.
The Classics in Education"
By CALVIN COOLIDGE, Vice-President of the United States
We come here today in defense of some of the great realities of life. We come to continue the guarantee of progress in the future by continuing a knowledge of progress in the past. We come to proclaim our allegiance to those ideals which have made the predominant civilization of the earth. We come because we believe that thought is the master of things. We come because we realize that the only road to freedom lies through a knowledge of the truth.
Mankind have always had classics. They always will. That is only another way of saying they have always set up ideals and always will. Always the question has been, always the question will be, what are those ideals to be, what are to be the classics? For many centuries, in education, the classics have meant Greek and Latin literature. It does not need much argument to demonstrate that in the western world society can have little liberal culture which is not based on these. Without them there could be no interpretation of language and literature, no adequate comprehension of history, no understanding of the foundations of philosophy and law. In fact, the natural sciences are so much the product of those trained in the classics that, without such training, their very terminology cannot be fully understood.
Education is undertaken to give a larger comprehension of life. In the last fifty years its scope has been very much broadened. It is scarcely possible to consider it in the light of the individual. It is easy to see that it must be discussed in the light of society. The question for consideration is not what
shall be taught to a few individuals. Nor can it be determined by the example of the accomplishments of a few individuals. There have been great men with little of what we call education. There have been small men with a great deal of learning. There has never been a great people who did not possess great learning. The whole question at issue
is, what does the public welfare require
for the purpose of education? What are the fundamental things that young Americans should be taught? What is necessary for society to come to a larger comprehension of life? The present age has been marked by science and commercialism. In its primary purpose it reveals mankind undertaking to overcome their physical limitations. This is being accomplished by wonderful discoveries which have given the race dominion over new powers. The chief demand of all the world has seemed to be for new increases in these directions. There has been a great impatience with everything which did not appear to minister to this requirement. This has resulted in the establishment of technical schools and in general provisions for vocational education. There has been a theory that all learning ought to be at once translated into scientific and commercial activities. Of course the world today is absolutely dependent on science and on commerce. Without them great areas would be depopulated by famine and pestilence almost in a day. With them there is a general diffusion of comfort and prosperity, not only unexcelled, but continually increasing. These advantages, these very necessities, are not only not to be denied, but
*Address delivered before the American Classical League at the University of Pennsylvania,
July 7, 1921.