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In actual practice, then, the close of the first decade of reorganization finds the 6-3-3 plan ranking first in favor with 294 schools, or 56 per cent, and the 6–2-6 ranking second with 201 schools, or about 37.1% per cent of all, and only four schools, or less than 1 per cent, employing 6-4-2. Is it likely that the next decade will witness any radical departure from these types? Is it likely that the 6-4-2 plan will gain in favor? If so, what type or types will it displace? These questions seem pertinent to the topic under discussion, and warrant, I believe, a brief review of the chief reasons why any reorganization of the old 8-4 plan is under way. I shall pass over those early discussions of the need of shortening and enriching the school curriculum which were provoked by speeches of Doctor Eliot and the issuance during the 1890's of various epoch-making reports of certain N. E. A. committees. The farreaching effect of these discussions is not to be minimized, but I believe that certain other factors have been more potent in forcing action upon school authorities. Among these factors are: 1. The increased economic well-being of the average American which has helped produce a widespread popular disapproval of child labor and an almost universal demand for equality of educational opportunity for all children. II. The steady growth of American industries coupled with the complete breakdown of the apprentice system. III. The rapid growth of our cities. IV. The remarkable development of highways, coupled with the widespread use of automobiles and the development of motor bus transportation. To the operation of these causes we may trace, I believe, some of our big school problems, among them : I. The presence of pupils of types who appear to have little or no interest
in the old type, academic, college preparatory, high school. II. The retention in school, by compulsory attendance laws, of types of children who formerly went to work about their twelfth or thirteenth birthday. III. Attendance at school of children from families who under old conditions had no access to schools of any sort. IV. Demands that the school assume functions formerly performed by home, church, employer, or other agencies. V. A school population of such numbers that to house it forced school authorities either to deliberately duplicate old types of schools or to develop new types of buildings better adapted to the new needs. It would be of more than passing interest to know how many reorganizations have been made possible through the demand for school housing alone. It may interest some to know that former Supterintendent Frank Bunker, who has been credited by many writers as the pioneer in junior high school organization and who thoroughly believed in such reorganization, was able to develop junior high schools in Berkeley, California, in 1909 because the high school was overcrowded, the time was not propitious for a bond issue, and four grade school buildings could care for the ninth grade if it were divided up among them. To school administrators faced with the problem of an increased school population, heterogeneous in character, four. lines of procedure were possible:: I. They might attempt to force all pupils up to the legal permissible leaving age to attend the old type elementary school and college preparatory high school. II. They might make some modifications in the old types of schools, such as enriched curricula and departmentalized teaching in the upper elementary grades, and vocational courses in the four year high school. This solution is being tried in many school systems today and doubtless accounts for the large number of 6-2-4 plans reported. III. They might adopt the old European school system, merely extending downward the high schools with their work in foreign languages, drawing, and mathematics; and, at the same time, lengthening, if need be, the elementary school course. Such a scheme might have solved the administrative problems and enriched the curriculum for certain pupils, but it did not square with our notions of democracy. Since the Great War this plan appears to be rapidly losing favor in Europe itself. IV. Educators might attempt a reorganization of our school system by developing an entirely new transitional unit, a school which would be separate from both the elementary school and the high school, designed to meet the most diverse pupil needs in a manner not inconsistent with democratic ideals. To this new school unit the term “junior high school” is now quite generally applied. We now have a decade of experience behind us. We have a rather extensive literature in pamphlet and periodical form and we have ten important vol. umes on the subject. We must admit that more time is needed for experimenting before a final answer can be given to the questions: With what grade shall the junior high school begin? and, With what grade shall it end? It should prove helpful to those desiring to experiment to set forth some principles which are quite generally accepted and which appear to have a bearing on these problems. Time forbids, however, more than a mere dogmatic statement of these principles, which are:
I. “A mass of evidence goes to prove that an elementary course of six years is adequate.” “If the task can be adequately performed in six years, it is folly to consume more time and to encroach upon the rights of individualism as sought in a differentiated type of training.” Table 1 itself indicates that 499 schools out of 523, or 95 per cent, begin junior high school work with grade 7. We may take this as an indication that these school systems are endeavoring to do the strictly elementary work in six grades. II. No artificial barrier should prevent a child's escape from the elementary school. Evidence of pubescence should entitle him to admittance to a secondary school where work in physi cal education, hygiene and music will be adapted to his physiological maturity and all other work to his needs and interests. III. Our democratic society has the right to fix the minimum age at which children may take their places among wage-earners. Up to this age all children, except those unfit to live outside of special institutions, should be in schools adapted to their special needs. IV. The chief consideration of the secondary school is the pupil, not subject matter. Its goal is “the physical, intellectual, moral and social training of each pupil.” Curricula constitute, therefore, but one means, although a very important means, in accomplishing this goal. V. ‘‘Until the economic and domestic basis of our present civilization changes radically, it will be inevitable that the majority of our boys and girls will desire and will be obliged by circumstances to enter upon self-supporting work somewhere between the ages of fifteen and eighteen. For many of these it will be found that specific vocational schools designed to give or, at any rate, to supervise their initial vocational education will be of the utmost importance.” A junior high school, then, will minister to normal pupils of all sorts from the onset of pubescence until they have been adjusted to work in a higher school or are ready to leave school for wage-earning. What may it be expected to do for them ż I. It will help each pupil discover his own capacities, limitations, interests and aptitudes. II. It will provide adequate guidance, develop proper study habits, and offer preliminary training for all who are capable of entering higher schools and financially able to go on. III. It will retain to the compulsory school attendance age those who must soon enter wage-earning groups, provide exploratory courses to discover their aptitudes and interests and train them, so far as possible, to be most productive in the economic life of the country. IV. It will provide rather elementary work in English for recent immigrants, and review courses for such students as need more work in fundamental tool subjects. W. It will provide a curriculum of studies and activities designed to: a. Develop in each pupil a high sense of values that he may work out for himself “a philosophy of life”; b. Train each pupil in proper care of his personal health and an insistence upon high standards of public sanitation; c. Make him intelligent and interested in the proper discharge of his duties as a citizen in a democracy. To properly discharge these functions two years is inadequate. It may well be asked, then, why so many schools have only a two years’ course. It might be
* C. O. Davis, “Junior High School Education,” p. 68.
well for the next Federal questionnaire to contain such questions as these: Do you have two independent school boards with overlapping territorial jurisdiction? Do you have a high school building with plenty of room for more pupils? etc. The answers to such questions would tell us whether the reasons for the 6-2-4 plan were chiefly pedagogical or merely administrative. As it is, Table No. 1 indicates that the smaller the city the greater chance of finding the 6-2-4 plan and generally the larger the city the greater likelihood of finding the 6-3-3 plan. To perform the functions indicated above without undue expense it will be necessary to gather student bodies of considerable size. Dr. Engelhardt has told us that a junior high school may well handle 1,200 to 1,500 pupils. Detroit’s “Standard Intermediate School’’ houses 1,800 pupils. A little pamphlet entitled “School Buildings” describes plans of twenty-nine junior high schools exhibited at our 1922 and 1923 national conventions. The pupil capacities of these buildings varies from a minimum of 600 to a maximum of 3,000, with a median of 1,200. Dr. Engelhardt has also told us that a pupil of junior high school age may be expected to walk three-quarters mile to one mile to school. I think we have no published studies of areas required to produce 1,200 pupils of adolescent age. In most residence cities an area two miles in diameter should produce this number, at least, if grades 7, 8 and 9 are included. Should grade 10 be included in the junior high school, we might expect that the senior high school population would be reduced to a point where economic administration and proper specialization of teachers would be impossible. More
"Snedden, “ Sociological Determination
of Objectives in Education.”
root. But Enrolled Grades 2/1/24 No. Teachers
Longfellow Junior High . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-8-9 636 28 Washington Junior High. . . . . . . . . . 7-8-9 669 33 Edison Technical School. . . . . . . . . . . . 7–8-9-10 789 35
(College Preparatory) . . . . . . . . . . . 7-8-9 Fresno Technical School. . . . . . . . . . . . 7 to 12 1,206 62
(a) College Preparatory . . . . . . . . . 7-8-9
(b) Commercial, etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-8-9-10
(c) Vocational (inc. Smith-Hughes) 7 to 12
(d) Part Time (4 Hrs. Weekly),
Ages 16 to 18. . . . . . . . . . . . . 455
The two junior high schools, so named, have grades 7, 8 and 9 and plan primarily to send their pupils on to senior high school. Work in French and Spanish is begun in grade 7 if pupils show high enough attainment in English. Capable pupils may enter grade 10 with five credits toward graduation and be ready for college one year earlier than under the old plan. In the socalled technical schools, there are also three-year junior high school courses, but along with these are being developed four-year vocational courses in agricultural, commercial and industrial lines.
In the intermediate schools are pupils who have passed thirteen years but have not completed the sixth grade. They are
advanced to a junior high school or a technical school as rapidly as they can be prepared for higher work. There is, of course, no fixed period of residence in these schools, and no especial reason except housing space why it should not be a division of the junior high schools. It is, therefore, the belief of the writer that our experimenting should be with: (a) The 6-3-3 plan under ordinary circumstances; (b) The 6-6 plan in small communities; (c) The 6-4 (?) plan for pupils who leave school at sixteen years; (d) The 6-4-4 plan when junior colleges are directly associated with senior high schools.
Recent Achievements and Next Forward Steps in Rural Education"
By FRANK PIERREPONT GRAVES, New York State Commissioner of Education
Each year New York holds an oldtime spelling match at its state fair in Syracuse, and this contest, like all such, generally teaches us something about human nature, if it does nothing else. A few years ago the young girl representing New York city, who, as coming from the great metropolis, was most confident of success and decidedly condescending toward the other contestants, failed in the middle of the match and fled from the hall in tears. To one who tried to comfort her she confided: “I would not have minded missing, but what shall I say to them in the city, when I go back and tell them I was beaten by a set of upstate hicks?” Here was a real tragedy. Nothing to this poor little metropolitan’s mind—and to that of several hundred thousand older minds—could indicate a lower state of
intelligence or a greater humiliation than to have proved inferior to children from the rural regions. Such terms as “boobs”, “hicks”, “rubes”, “jays”, and “hayseeds”, with their opprobrious connotation, clearly indicate the contempt and scorn prevalent among city people who do not understand or make any effort to discover the handicaps under which rural communities are laboring. On the other hand, it must be confessed that the country folk do not always understand or have any real confidence in people from the city. They simply grow exceedingly angry at their aspersions as gratuitous lies, or treat their statements with disdain. They are fairly complacent and satisfied with their own standing and achievements. They are certain that they know all that
"Address delivered at Chicago meeting N. E. A. Department of Superintendence, February