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It must be understood that the evening activities are not required of the students. They are to be looked upon as privileges. Work, the great leaven of democracy, the one element which has made possible strong labor unions, will be an irresistible force in drawing the young people to their first great club house. The program of the morrow will indicate clearly the advisability of an early closing hour.
Such a scheme would apparently increase the hours of labor required of teachers. However, since the plan involves only half of the student body being in school at a time, it is easily possible, with the present corps of teachers, to work out a program which would not increase the hours of labor for any teacher. In addition to that the spirit of work which would pervade the entire school would greatly relieve the stress under which the average teacher now labors in matters of discipline. While the primary aim would be the formation of habits of industry, there are flowing from that certain undercurrents which would have no mean effects in the proper development of the individual character.
To begin with, since the boy would become a working man, the mental attitude which he would necessarily assume toward labor and the laborer would have a great ethical value to him. It is also true that the scheme would have a tendency to create a spirit of democracy among the youth, which spirit is today altogether too limited. Furthermore, since the boy would be on the pay roll as a wage earner, and his day and evening would be filled by supervised and organized recreation, there would be less desire for him to spend money than there is at present. This would furnish an opportunity for the beginning of individual savings accounts, the purpose of which might well be the establishment of a fund for additional vocational, professional, industrial, educational work. The habit of thriftiness would be a great factor in developing a young citizenship on a substantial basis.
One word regarding the employer. It can be seen that this system would necessarily involve a double pay roll with consequent increased bookkeeping expenses. However, the keenminded employer of labor would appreciate that the value of having two fresh men each day would greatly offset the small increased expense which the enlarged pay roll would necessitate.
In taking up this work it is not necessary that the boy make a definite decision regarding his vocation. While it would of course,
be advisable, when possible, to have him enter the field of labor for which he is best adapted, it would not be desirable to obligate him to choose his vocation at such an early period. Many occupations are at best but stepping stones to more advanced positions. A large percentage of labor shifts from one field and one occupation to another in a vain effort to escape work. Such shifting cannot help but have a deteriorating effect, both on the individual and on society as a whole. When the boy has learned, as he will by this combination of study and labor, that work is necessary, the tendency to engage in this occupational shifting will be greatly lessened. It is hardly possible to over-estimate the beneficial effects upon the developing youth of the habit of industry which such a plan will formulate.
Two phases of the work which have not yet been mentioned are,—When and how could such a plan be started? While a great deal must necessarily depend on local conditions and the development of the individual, the work should certainly not be started later than the junior year in high school. If the school system is built on the plan of a junior and senior high school a natural break in the organization and a good place to begin would be at the beginning of the senior high school. It is, however, not at all impractical to begin the work with the first year of high school as at present generally organized.
The question of how to begin presents a more difficult problem. Not a little of the opposition would be encountered from the parents. But few communities, if any, are ready for the revolution which such a system would necessarily bring about. A feasible plan, however, would be for the high school principal to select a group of about 40 boys, choosing them primarily from families where the economic pressure is felt to some extent, and where there is a real need for the boys to become wage earners. The high school principal would need to be the type of a man to whom the boys would look as a chum, a comrade, and a leader. That sort of a principal could hardly fail to interest them in a plan which would put them from the start in the unique position of being wage earner, capitalist, and student. They would come together in the evening for organization purposes. They would have their athletic teams, debating societies, and musical clubs. The test could then be made between that type of a student and the present type, and there can be no doubt which would win. The success of the experiment would gradually win the other ambitious and worthy boys of the community, and with them the friend of the movement, most of the parental opposition would
It is, of course, to be admitted that there will be found in practically all communities some parents who will want to continue to withdraw their sons and daughters from the field of labor. It is too much to hope that society will ever be constituted otherwise, but since the public schools are supported by public taxation they should be conducted in such a way that the training given to the patrons be such as to render possible the highest development of the individual, that he may ultimately become an efficient worker, and consequently a valuable member of the community. The public school system has long enough been administered at the expense of the public tax payer in a way not calculated to develop industrial efficiency. Such administration should cease. Parents who would persist in continuing the purely academic routine would not be deprived of the existing opportunities for such training—the private schools.
In addition to the arguments presented for such a plan let it be noted that this proposed combination of high school instruction and actual work will have the following advantages:
1. The school work itself will become more practical. The student being employed half time will bring back to the school the actual problems which he has encountered in his work.
2. Many pupils will continue their educational training longer than at present. This will be possible because of the practical nature of the work which will necessarily be carried on in the schools. The student will see the connection between real work and study. Furthermore, the funds which the student will earn during his period of so-called high school study will make it possible for him to attend advanced technical and professional institutions.
3. It will be the means of saving a large percentage of the students who now leave the schools because of lack of interest, or on account of economic pressure.
The whole scheme will tend to vitalize and unify the educational forces. Under it, it will be possible for the artificiality of classification to be greatly lessened. But perhaps best of all, it will eliminate the gap now existing between school and real work.
Examination Outline for Language Work
MAUD E. KINGSLEY. (For pupils about to enter the high school) NOTE:—The accompanying examination is designed to show whether or not the pupil has a working knowledge of the facts he has learned in his language work. In this test the work is, for the most part, with sentences prepared for the pupil; the test for the next year will consist mainly of constructive work.
LETTERS, WORDS, Parts OF SPEECH 1. Write a word of four syllables with the accent on the second syllable; write a word of three syllables with the accent on the first. Divide each word into syllables and designate the accent.
2. Write words containing (ā), (2) hard g, (3) ă, (4) a diphthong, (5) ē, (6) y used as a consonant, (7) a silent letter, (8) the prefix re, (9) , (10) the suffix est. Designate the pronunciation of diphthong.
3. Write a note to your mother telling her the name of some story that you have read in school. Give the author's name. Address the note. State your reasons for all the marks of punctuation and the capital letters that you have used.
4. "It's too much trouble to dot these i’s,” said John, as he stood at the master's desk.
Write the name of the mark between t and s in the first word of the sentence. Explain the three uses of this mark as illustrated by the sentence. Write the name of the marks used at the beginning of the sentence. When are such marks used ?
5. Assign each of the italicised words in the sentence below to its proper part of speech:
I shall fast all day. b. He keeps the Fast.
He is a fast walker. d. The horse can run fast.
What part of speech is now? f. Do it now. g. He used to like it but now he has tired of it.
h. He did his best.
NOUNS AND THEIR PROPERTIES The flock of sheep, eluding the vigilance of old Tim, the shepherd, strayed away.
1. Assign each noun to its proper class. 2. Fill out the following table:
3. Every day, John, the minister's son, who is a child six years old, gives his little brother, Paul, a penny.
Give the case of each noun and state the reason for your decision. b. What kind of a sentence, as regards its form, is this?
What names do grammarians give to is when used as it is in this sentence? to child?
d. Rewrite the sentence putting the word penny after gives,