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chief agents for sublimating sex, has always tended
more or less not only in ancient orgies but also in

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MORALE AND FEMINISM

the history of great revivals to lapse into grossness.

Dancing properly conditioned is one of the very
best and most morally hygienic of all amusements,
but uncontrolled it is full of jeopardy for body and
soul. We must not, then, taboo but rather safeguard
it. Once it was the highest expression of the religious
instinct. Such is its charm that the young must and
will dance, and while it may lapse to pure vicious-
ness, it is capable of sublimation that would make it
a valuable accessory in every church parlor. The
same might be said of the movies, of boxing bouts,
pool, billiards, etc., especially in these days when
labor is more exposed to all the dangers of ennui and
monotony and fuller of unrest than ever before. Since
the excitements of the war have died down, and es-
pecially since the laborer has lost his tipple, he seeks
compensation not in the circuses, as in ancient Rome,
but in crude and crass recreations and in strikes,
where the war spirit and fever will not die out, so
that the danger of lapsing to low-level pleasures was
never so great.

The ultimate quest of woman, then, is for the final
decision in all matters connected with her reproduc-
tive function. This the female has in nearly every;
known species of animal and in the best primitive
races of the past and the ascendant savages of to-day.
The loss or abdication of this most precious of all
woman's rights is the root of nearly all she now suf-
fers from. What she should do to-day is to reassert
and magnify her function of sexual selection. This

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MORALE

does not necessarily involve any more initiative In
the old leap-year custom. Science has shown us that
woman's love conforms best to the great biologic and
psychologic law of complementation and this fits her
best to select the other parent for her children. Her
love, too, is more conformable than man's more sud-
den passion to the interests of posterity, and is thus
more eugenic and less selfish. Here the leaders of her
sex should exercise the greatest sagacity and also
boldness, for they stand before a long-closed door
which is just now open but will soon close again un-
less she enters it while she can.

Here we face the most difficult and delicate of all
problems, that of the marriage bed, itself a source of
so much supreme weal and woe in life. Mrs. Stopes in
her "Married Love" has spoken the boldest, truest,
and sanest word so far accessible in print which all,
not only the newly-wed but those about to wed and
perhaps especially husbands, should read and ponder.
Every approach should be a new courtship in the
sense above suggested, both alike consenting in the
end. This is woman's way, of which most husbands
know little and into which they should be ini-
tiated. Thus and only thus can the human male be
given immunity from his polygamous instincts, by
realizing on how low a level his habitual satisfaction
has been sought and how vastly higher and larger a
gratification that is really sacramental can be. The
wife who sinks to be the mere instrument of her hus-
band's self-abuse abandons the highest prerogative

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MORALE AND FEMINISM

of her sex and predisposes him sooner or later to seek
novelty elsewhere. All that constitutes home and all
the concourse of domestic life, the charm of wives
who can restrain and then wisely bring their spouse
to a consummation that so compensates for infre-
quency, is nearing the great goal and is giving wedded
life its larger orbit. How the world needs again the
wisdom of matrons, the counsel of Plato's wise senes-
cent women, the need of which has long been felt but
sometimes ignorantly branded as weird and even
witchlike ! There is a greater joy in married life than
most at least of our sex have ever dreamed of. We
have been content to live on a lower plane, and if
there is anything that the new psychanalysis reveals
more plainly than anything else, it is that so many
of the catastrophes, hygienic, moral, industrial, and
even financial that befall men and women, are due
to perversions and distortions of this function. When
a true morale has done its work here, the ultimate
goal of feminism, which is nothing less than redemp-
tion from the mystic fall of man, will be attained, the
effectiveness of heredity progressively advanced, and
the way will be open to the solution of the many sub-
sidiary questions.

The rapidly and ominously growing problem of the
unwed mother, which some of the noblest women of
continental Europe have so boldly grappled with,
leaders here have been afraid of. Shall she be nursed
through the ordeal privately in some institution for
that purpose, abandon her offspring in a home for

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MOKALE

foundlings, from which they would later be placed
and supervised in some of the million childless homes
of this country, and then return to the world sore in
heart but seemingly as if nothing had happened?
This practice is more Catholic than Protestant and
there is much to be said for it. Some urge that the
men about to marry such a woman later should know ;
others, that he should not. Under both theories such
"physiological widows" have afterwards made as
happy marriages as have those whom death rather
than betrayal has bereft. How false to life is the sen-
timent still often fostered by romance that woman can
truly love but once or that those thus victimized have
necessarily really and permanently lost their virtue!
As to divorce, in this country there are far more di-
vorce courts than in all the rest of the world. The
ratio of divorces to marriages has steadily increased,
until now from one-eighth to one-tenth of all mar-
riages end in divorce, women securing them about
twice as often as men. S. B. Kitchin (in his "A His-
tory of Divorce") tells us that the spirit of English
divorce laws is still that of the age of the Inquisition
when they were made, and Catholics still forbid it. In
this country each state has its own divorce laws, and
there is as great diversity as to causes and proced-
ure among the different states as there is in the age
of consent, the punishments for bastardy, methods of
dealing with prostitution and venereal disease, ob-
scene literature, the interpretation and enforcement
of the Mann law, etc. If both parties really want it

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MORALE AND FEMINISM

and can agree upon its terms, why should not that
suffice, and why should there be any social censure,
still less scandal or public procedure? If there are
no children and no property, permanent separation
by mutual consent should be simple and easy, and
even if the custody of children and the property ad-
justments are arranged to the satisfaction of both
parties, why should court proceedings be necessary
for the dissolution of the marriage tie? With some
safeguards against intimidation or coercion what
more is needed? In fact the sacramental idea of mar-
riage has almost everywhere .given place to the
contractual view, and the Church has sanctioned
many a union of those whom God never joined.
The Church makes no investigation of any kind of
fitness for marriage, not even medical, but performs
its function upon all mature persons who present
themselves, and why should not the same kind of
mutual agreement also sanction the way out by the
same token, without too prying scrutiny into reasons?
Courts have their place only when there is divergence
of view and wish concerning annulment or its condi-
tions, but even here simplification is greatly needed.
Again, not only do current methods and prejudices
keep many really alienated couples outwardly to-
gether because of the excruciating publicity involved
in legal proceedings for separation, and not only does
the dread often make one or both parties condone ob-
vious infidelity in the other, but it sometimes presents
to the community the ghastly spectacle of a wedded

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MORALE

pair living together and keeping up the pretenses be-
fore others of marital devotion when love has fled or
perhaps gone over to its ambivalent opposite, mutual
repulsion and even aversion. War, too, always in-
creases infidelity and also divorces. Conceding noth-
ing to any such wild vagaries as trial marriages, is it
not plain that if divorce is made easy and respectable,
it would not only tend to keep each contracting party
on his good behavior but would also bring to each
the constant realization that the other is not so indis-
solubly bound that neglect or alienation of affection
would not naturally involve permanent separation?
The god of Love puts some who have voluntarily
joined themselves asunder, and why should man in-
terfere with the execution of this divine will? Is not
this whole subject now so beset with difficulties, in-
consistencies, insincerities, and contradictions be-
tween theory and practice that both our ideas and
sentiments need radical revision? Is not this subject,
too, from its very nature one which woman should
now squarely put up to herself? She is generally
most concerned, and she ought now to do far more
toward solving the problem than she has in the past.
Would not her refusal to do so be craven flight from
the new reality which faces her, a kind of desertion
or slackerdom? Neither conscience nor the sense of
honor, hitherto the chief tribunals of human conduct,
has so far found a way out, and so we must make an
appeal to the new and higher tribunal of morale, the
establishment of which we owe to the war.

270



CHAPTER XVII

MORALE AND EDUCATION

War activities in schools including pre-military training A paido-
versus a scholio-centric system The trend from culture to
Kultur and how to check it The rehumanization of the classics
The humanistic side of science Modifications needed in history
and sociology Education and psychology living in a pre-evolu-
tionary age Religious, medical, and legal training Faculty and
school-board reforms.

.While we can hardly accuse our educational system
as a Whole of having a low morale, there is no factor
of our "new European" civilization that would profit
more by a higher tone of its morale than our entire
system from the kindergarten to the university and
the academy of sciences. The war caused great
changes in nearly every school topic and grade, and
we had campaigns, liberty loan, thrift and other
drives galore. For food production fit boys were re-
leased for farm work, even terms were shortened, and
twelve million children attempted to make home
gardens. There were competitions, prizes, canning
clubs, junior Bed Cross work, school savings banks,
collections for French orphans, correspondence with
Belgian children and those of our allies ; the enforce-
ment of attendance laws was relaxed that children
might earn or take the place of their drafted elders ;
there was much teaching of patriotism, many new
laws, pre-military and even military training, and

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MORALE

standards suffered. In his comprehensive survey P.
Ling 1 tells us that of all the school subjects the teach-
ing of history was most modified in both content and
method. Next came geography, then civics, then
English composition and reading; in fact there was
hardly any topic in the curriculum that was not more
or less modified.

In those city systems that went the limit a very
large part of the entire time and energy of the pupils
was consumed by these new activities. In the field of
science in high school, college, and university more
stress was laid upon practical applications, and
many teachers and professors were either called
away or else assigned definite war problems. The de-
partments most affected in this way were chemistry,
physics, economics, and psychology, nearly two hun-
dred teachers of the latter being employed in testing
soldiers, in personnel and other work, some of whom
will probably never return to pure science and many
never to teaching. Some half a million in all of those
who were seeking the higher education became sol-
diers, while a division of the Student Army Training
Corps was established in practically every college
and university.

Unlike the French and especially the Germans, the
prospects of the war had had very slight influence in
this domain until the war was actually upon us, and
its emergencies had to be met by extemporized meth-

1 Public Schools and the War, 159, Clark University dissertation,
1919.

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MORALE AND EDUCATION

ods. Since the sudden close of the conflict there has
been, on the one hand, a strong conservative trend to
settle back everywhere to the old ways, while on the
other hand many reformers, more or less radical,
have seen their opportunity and have urged reform
upon us. The breaking up of old routine here as every-
where brings the "psychological moment" with its
endless possibilities of improvement. Chief among the
changes needed, urged, or probable at any rate pos-
sible and necessary for higher morale here are the
following, beginning at the bottom of the system :

1. The kindergarten and lower grades must be
more paido- and less scholio-centric. The nature and
needs of the child, mental and physical, should deter-
mine everything. To that end we must know more of
children, with whom this country with its million
childless homes has lost touch more than any other
in the world in the present or the past, although
promising advances in this direction were well under
way when the war came. This is true humanism here.
The literature of paidology, however, which is now
very copious, has nowhere yet found adequate appli-
cation or even unified literary presentation for the
normal 1 as it has for the abnormal child.*

We have partially recognized the instinct of play
but less so the necessity of purely mechanical drill
more or less during the quadrennium from eight to
twelve, habituation, memory, and discipline having

1 See, however, Maria Montessori's Pedagogical Anthropology,
N. Y., 1918.

3 Henry H. Goddard : Psychology of the Normal and Subnormal,
N. Y., Dodd, Mead, 1919.

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MOKALE

then their nascent period. We have not, however, save
in the Junior High School or in the "Six-Three-Three"
system recognized the important changes that make
puberty so epochful, and some of our would-be peda-
gogical leaders have even failed to recognize the fact
that interest is to education what the Holy Spirit
was to the ancient church, and that all structures
built on any other foundation, save those that must
be mechanized like reading, writing, numbers, etc.,
are too loose and unsubstantial to bear the strain of
the traffic of life. The body and soul of the growing
child are the most precious and also the most plastic
things in the world, and all ultimate values are meas-
ured by the one criterion of how much they contrib-
ute to bringing the rising generation to an ever fuller
maturity. The value of elementary education is not
so much what it inculcates as the strength and many-
sidedness of the interests developed in the child when
the period of compulsory education ends.

2. The war has done more to develop technology than
pure science, and has tended in many minds to invert
the order formerly insisted on, which was pure science
first and then its applications, so that many now
believe that our curriculum should pay far more
attention in the early stages of every science to
its application, reserving its purer forms and the
ideals of invention, discovery, research, and creative
scholarship to those elite minds that reach the most
advanced stages of scholastic development. The dan-
ger of Kultur at the expense of or in place of cul-

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MORALE AND EDUCATION

ture has stimulated conservatives to insist upon re-
version to the old studies, but has found perhaps
even more effective expression in the new sense that
all kinds of applications of human knowledge to the
conquest and subordination of nature to man's con-
trol have in themselves possibilities of true culture
that have not vet been adequately evoked. One of
the most certain and universal results of the war, as
already expresed in nearly all the allied countries,
has been to prolong by two, three, or even four years
the period of attendance by continuation courses, and
there is a new desire for vocational efficiency and a
new appreciation of its value, as seen in the increased
number of evening classes and perhaps yet more
clearly in the very significant corporation schools.
When we add to this the strong tendency to study
each individual and to assign him to just that place
in a big industrial establishment where he can be of
most value to himself and the firm, w r e can realize to
some extent the magnitude of the problems now open-
ing to the higher pedagogy. The efficiency system,
accounting, and the development of experts Who ex-
amine, test, and report upon not only city and state
school systems but industrial establishments and
methods, have opened still another vista which sug-
gests that all the processes of production will be an-
alyzed and many of them made far more economic of
human effort. Man now commands so many of the
tremendous forces of nature that the demand made
not only upon his energies but upon his morality to

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MORALE

see that these are utilized for good and not for harm
or destruction is far greater than ever before. Nearly
all the seventeen thousand trades in the census have
educational possibilities, very few of which are yet
developed and still less curricularized.

3. On the other hand, the spirit of loyalty, devo-
tion, and heroism, the teamwork and subordination,
the close comradeship and soldierly spirit of the bat-
tle-line developed in the army itself must not be lost,
because these when transferred to civic, economic,
and social life constitute the very choicest elements
of morale in peace. This chivalric spirit and senti-
ment of honor, which is the very best product of mili-
tary life, should be made to pervade the community,
and if it could only once be brought to leaven indus-
try, it would do more than anything else to purge
away its evils and insure us against its dangers.

More specifically, the educational morale suggested
by the war should work in some of the following di-
rections :

(a) Classics should be humanized. We may well
grant all the culture claims of the ultra-Latinists for
this subject provided they can so modify their meth-
ods as to bring their students into living contact with
the best things in ancient Roman life and letters,
and put substance, meaning, and spirit ahead of phi-
lology and grammatical drill. Their classrooms need
more pictorial illustrations and models, and such
concrete contact with the lives of those who spoke a
language now dead as is illustrated in the Latin Mu-

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MOKALE AND EDUCATION

seum brought by and bought from Germany at the
St. Louis Exposition. There should be far more use
of English translations, more focalization upon sub-
ject matter, meaning, spirit, or story roots than upon
arid verbiage. True, we do not need Latin in the
sense that the French do, whose very tongue is a de-
rivative of that language ; nor as the Germans do, as
it so remarkably complements and supplements their
own. The truly humanistic should thus be placed
even ahead of the disciplinary values so often over-
stressed. In this way the spirit of the classical age
might really be caught, and in place of the wretched
and smattering results of a two or four years' course
in these subjects we might secure some of the cultural
effects so commonly claimed. In this way we should
advance true paidism and extend real democracy
even to our school children, not omitting Dressur and
the spirit of obedience and discipline, which is another
of the war lessons.

So in English and foreign modern tongues litera-
ture must take precedence over language. Our pu-
pils must be brought into fresh, living contact with a
larger variety of carefully selected material which
should approximate the idea of a secular or school
Bible, and studies here should be extensive as well aa
intensive. Interest in all foreign languages, as well
as English itself, should be developed by wider
knowledge of story roots of the great authors and the
conditions under which they write and which they
express, for modern languages, even German, will be



MORALE

not less but more necessary henceforth, and we must
give no quarter to the jingoistic policy that would
banish German from our schools but rather take the
broader view of our German enemies who insist that
English needs to be studied there now more than ever
before. Not to do this is to make further sacrifices
on the altar of the Moloch, Kultur.

(b) As to sciences, we must give Biology greater
prominence and lay chief stress for beginners on its
practical applications in the great fields of hygiene,
regimen, and body-keeping generally; second, on its
economic value as a preventative of waste, insect
pests alone destroying, we are told, a billion dollars'
worth of crops each year here ; and, thirdly, we must
show its connections with heredity and eugenics,
topics which can no longer be left uncultivated. As
to Physics and Chemistry, both have their humanistic
side, which might he brought out by glances at the
lives of the great creators of these sciences and also
at the innumerable applications from toys up to the
latest marvels of mechanical invention. These are
pedagogic modes of approach to the severer and per-
haps more mathematical and purely abstract aspects.
Many industries are becoming more and more com-
pletely dependent upon these sciences, particularly
chemistry. If in addition to this we could teach the
elements of Astronomy for its sublimity and spirit of
uplift, and of Geology and Paleontology and Anthro-
pology to show the developmental stages of man, and
thus escape one of the very gravest pedagogic handi-

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MORALE AND EDUCATION)

caps of our age, viz., the prejudice which makes so
many of our high school and even college graduates
finish their academic training with no conception of
the tremendous uplift which a sympathetic knowledge
of evolution gives, we should have a genuine mental
enfranchisement.

(c)' As to more humanistic studies, History, since
it culminates in the events of the last few years,
might now perhaps with some advantage begin here
and work backward, for it is no less logical to go from
effect to cause than vice versa, and we should have
in the end the same sense of sequence. It should also
be taught practically and in close relation to civics
as well a,s to physical geography, and should stress
patriotism, not in a chauvinistic but catholic way,
and above all we should remember that, especially in
the lower grades, it is the moral traits and possibili-
ties that are by far the most important here, for just
in proportion as history is seen in a long and wide
perspective, we see it dominated from first to last,
hardly less than the Old Testament itself, by ethical
forces.

As to Psychology, which now faces a great and for
it a new danger of becoming merely ancillary to busi-
ness and industry by grading and fitting intelligence
to the innumerable grooves of our complex industrial
life, we should not forget that it is per se the very
quintessence of humanism. The world is what human
nature has made it. It is the soul that education
seeks to develop and religion seeks to save. As op-

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MOEALE

posed to behaviorism versus introspection, geneticism
is now opening a great middle highway, as is seen in
the new anthropology, paidology, the Russian food
psychology, and in psychanalysis, which began as a
medical aid and is now fast becoming an all-embrac-
ing culture school affecting methods in history, art,
sociology, economics, and religion, as well as giving
us for the first time a new and evolutionary concep-
tion of the human soul, and which has already shown
present-day psychologists that most of them have
been living in a pre-evolutionary age.

Economics and Sociology, too, not only have new
and wider fields and louder calls for practical studies,
but the theories of property, of trade and exchange,
of labor and capital, of even family and domestic life
must be reformulated. The prejudices in some quar-
ters still cherished against these sciences as either
narrow or doctrinaire are fast being overcome, and
men are having a new conception of what the very
social or gregarious instinct, and all the forms of hu-
man association that it prompts, really means and


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Online LibraryG. Stanley (Granville Stanley) HallMorale, the supreme standard of life and conduct → online text (page 18 of 25)