John Franklin Bobbitt.

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systematic and adequate study of the finished products of
industry. Along with shop experience in making chairs,
boys need to examine and discuss many types of chairs.
They will be viewed in the light of principles of construc-
tion, of utility, of aesthetic design, and of economic costs.
Along with the practical activities of girls in making cur-
tains, for example, they need to refine and complete their
powers of judgment through examination and study of
many types of curtains in the light of general principles.

Carried to its logical limits, this means that in many
fields we need a continuous exhibit of products which reveal
all types of excellence and defect. Though startling at first
glance, the conclusion is inevitable. We discover here
another need that once was simple enough not to require
the work of the schools, which has grown so complex that
it can be adequately taken care of in no other way. Recog-
nition of the educational task is really appearing a long time
after the work should have been undertaken. As a people
we have been deceived long enough by those who have been


in a position to profit by ignorance of materials, qualities,
and prices. Just as occupational inefficiency needs to be over-
come in the field of production, so also it needs to be overcome in
the field of the consumer's judgment.

But how can the schools have all the expensive things
needed for such an exhibit of economic products? Where
can they be stored? How is deterioration to be prevented?
How are perishable products to be taken care of? How
meet the problem of ever-changing styles, and of current
improvements? Would not much of the exhibit be obso-
lete almost as soon as arranged? And how are obsolete
but expensive things to be disposed of?

Such questions grow out of a type of educational thought
that, let us hope, will rapidly grow obsolete, a type that
assumes that everything needed in education must be found
at the school plant. As a matter of fact, economic products
must be observed where they can be observed effectively
and economically. This is generally where they are manu-
factured, stored for distribution, exhibited for sale; or where
they are being used in home and street, in field and shop,
and in the other places of the community. This constitutes
a continuous community exhibit of the things. It permits
them to be seen in their natural settings and relationships,
taken out of which they lose half their significance.

3. Occupational readings

Occupations are to be seen in their nation-wide and
world-wide distribution. The means must be mainly read-
ing. This will be largely narrative in character. As one
reads concerning any occupation, the aim will be the re-
construction in the imagination of the reader of an inner
world of occupational experiences in which, lost to sense"
of time and place, he can participate, as a shadow-
member of the group, so to speak; and thus enter sympa-


thetically into the experiences with an intellectual and
emotional vividness not greatly dissimilar to that which
accompanies actual objective observation and participation.
As one reads Captains Courageous, for example, one is for
the time, so far as his consciousness is concerned, a fisher-
man off the banks of Newfoundland, almost as completely
as if he were there in the flesh. Then as one reads The
Lumberman, one's habitation is shifted to the wilds of Michi-
gan in its early days, and one becomes an active and inter-
ested participant in the logging industry along the rivers.
Let him again at another time read a spirited history of
transportation in our country from colonial times to the
present. One becomes for a time an early colonist, and
travels and transports his goods in the primitive ways.
Later he is a shadow-member of the group about Robert
Fulton as he labors with the problem of applying steam to
river navigation. A little later he joins the other group and
participates in the experiment of applying steam to over-
land transportation. And thus the history, if concrete and
vivid and full, reconstructs experience and permits him to
be one with group after group and to participate in its
affairs from early days down to the present. In the recon-
structions of stirring narrative, one's experience can be as
much wider than observation as the latter is wider than the
circle of one's individual labors.

The readings concerning occupations will be of a varied
character: history, geography, literature, biography, travels,
current events, stories of inventions, etc.

Historical readings will be among the most vital for the
purpose. It is true that the practical thing desired is a knowl-
edge of the occupation in its present status. But history
is one of the best methods of showing the nature of the
present. It reveals the constituents of a situation by show-
ing the influences that have produced it; and which are


continuing within it. It is impossible to understand the
railroad situation at present, for example, without a fairly
extensive understanding of the influences of former years
that have made it what it now is. The same is true of the
steel industry, the lumber industry, the relations between
capital and labor, the growth of labor unions, etc. Not only
does history reveal the facts, but if the human element is
kept foremost, it reveals them in assimilable ways. One can
enter sympathetically into the labors of the human groups
the story of which is being read. Such imaginative partici-
pation contains many of the factors of real participation,
and more'nearly approximates the nature of the latter than
commonly supposed.

Public education has scarcely yet recognized the legiti-
macy of the purposes treated in this chapter. It is not sur-
prising, therefore, that history is not used in our schools as
a mode of revealing the growth and present nature of oc-
cupations. The little given in our historical textbooks is
so minute, fragmentary, general, and vague, that it cannot
be intended by the writers for the purposes mentioned.
For example, taking a dozen textbooks in United States
history commonly used in the elementary schools, and eight
texts commonly used in the high schools, it was found that
the average number of pages devoted to occupational topics
was so small as to be negligible for training. The number of
pages is shown in the following table :

Inventions ,

Elementary High-school
texts texts
, 53 33

Tariff and free trade

37 89


2.7 52

Canals ,

, 2.5 2 7


25 20

Foreign commerce . . . ,

23 16

Mining . .

2.3 .5


Banks and banking 2.0 4.8

Relations of capital and labor 1.8 4.1

Agriculture 1.4 1.6

Roads and road transportation 1.2 ".7

Telegraph 1.1 ,3

Domestic commerce 1.0 2.4

Labor organizations .6 1.9

Savings banks .6 .2

Newspapers and magazines .5 .7

Postal service .5 1.6

Fisheries .4 .4

Telephone .4 .2

Wages 2 1.0

Patents and copyrights .0 .0

Child labor / .0 .3

Women in industry .0 .2

Unemployment .0 .3

Cost of living :. . .0 .2

If any one believes the average treatment of these topics
to be sufficient, he can easily test the matter. Let him send
the five pages on banks and banking to a list of prominent
bankers requesting their judgment whether it presents an
adequate revelation of the growth of banking in our coun-
try, and as its outcome, an adequate picture of its present
status. Let him send the three or five pages on railroad
development to prominent leaders of the railroad world with
a similar request. Let him inquire of labor unions if the two
or three pages devoted to them present a satisfactory ac-
count of the development of their present status and rela-
tions. It is not difficult to predict the character of the replies.

For each of these topics, and for many others, there is
demonstrable need of a full historical treatment. Justice is
not to be done to the railroad situation, for example, short
of two hundred or five hundred pages. This should present
in concrete, vivid narrative a reconstruction of experiences
involved in the development of railroads, beginning with


the early inventions and experiments, and tracing the
expansion of lines and systems down to the present. The
story should fully present the personal experiences of rail-
road leaders and groups: only as the "human element " is
central in the story can the reader actually relive the experi-
ences. But at the same time it should reveal fundamental
processes and relationships of all kinds : the social influences
that called railroads into being; kinds and amounts of serv-
ice rendered to different regions; modes of organization,
financing, regulation, wages, conditions of work, etc. The
story should be so written that the reader can see and appre-
ciate the valiant national service that the railroads have
rendered in pushing back the frontiers and opening up the
wilderness for civilization; in carrying the means of civilized
life to every corner of our land; in breaking down isolation,
provincialism, and sectionalism; and in promoting the gen-
eral intra-national welfare. The story should be presented
so vividly and sympathetically that the reader can enter
whole-heartedly into the action. This provides right condi-
tions for leaving large residues of information acquired
through living rather than memorizing; and the materials
and experiences out of which the abstract general principles
are to be distilled.

Each vocation is also to be seen geographically in its
nation-wide and world-wide distribution. One is interested
in those portions that touch one's own affairs; but world-
wide interdependency makes this the whole of the world's
industry. The price of wheat, for example, in any com-
munity is determined, not by the amount raised in that
community, but by the world-situation as regards wheat.
Rightly to understand it one must read a long chapter on
the geography of wheat a chapter that changes from
year to year. Likewise he must read similar chapters on all
of the important occupations. Recent books are providing
excellent materials for the purpose.


Lack of space forbids discussion here of the occupational
illumination to be provided by literature, travels, biography,
current events, popular technology, stories of inventions.
Each has a large function to perform; and should find large
place in the curriculum of occupational training.

4. Generalization

In the foregoing we have stressed concrete experiences.
But each provides materials for discussion, problem-solving,
abstraction of elements and relations, and generalizations.
The work in the shops, sewing-rooms, kitchens, gardens,
etc., will provide basic materials for generalized understand-
ing of design, physical science, biological science, mathemat-
ics, economic relationships, etc. The history, geography,
travels, current events, etc., will not confine themselves
merely to a concrete construction of life in other ages and
lands. These experiences are preparatory to generalizations.
Pupils are to see the broad lines of influence that operate
in human affairs; to see how some of them may promote
human welfare, and how others may prevent or destroy;
and to see how the influences haVe been and may be con-
trolled for human good. It is mAhis connection that un-
derstanding of most of the economic and social principles
required for effective social supervision is to be developed.




EDUCATION cannot take the first step in training for citi-
zenship until it has particularized the characteristics of the
good citizen. The training task is to develop those charac-
teristics. It is not enough to aim at "good citizenship " in
a vague general way. As well aim at "medicine " in a large
vague way in the training of a physician.

The citizen has functions to perform. We are to develop
ability to perform those functions.' But first we must know
with particularity what they are. He must have certain
social attitudes, valuations, criteria of judgment. We can-
not effectively train for these, except as we have rather
accurately defined them. He must have knowledge; but
we must know how and where he is to use it before we can
know what to give; or how much; or how to focus it.

The need of definite objectives is obvious. It will Be a
long time, however, before our profession can have any
reasonably complete list upon which to base a system of
training. And the reason is, citizens are not sufficiently
agreed among themselves as to the characteristics of the
good citizen, or his modes of thought and action. They
agree so long as they talk mere vagueness; they disagree
the moment they begin to particularize. And education
must be built upon the particulars.

The primitive good citizen

We can best indicate the essential nature of the good citi-
zen by first noting the situation in the small primitive tribes
of our ancestors before the growth of complex institutions


obscured the relationships. In those early times, the human
race was broken up into innumerable small tribes. Each
had little or no connection with its neighbors. Owing to the
severe limitations upon the food-supply and other necessi-
ties, and to the tendency within tribes to expand, each tribe
was usually hostile to neighboring tribes. There was always
a state of active or slumbering war.

Continuing existence of the tribe demanded considerable
social solidarity. In the common struggles with the enemy
and with the hostile forces of Nature, each member of the
tribe was expected to cooperate fully with the other members.
He must deal fairly and honestly with his own people. He
must lend assistance to those in need of it. He must be
loyal to the group, and obedient to constituted authority.
He must restrain his anti-social passions, and adjust his
efforts to promote the tribal welfare. Without this solidar-
ity, the group disintegrated and was destroyed by better-
organized neighbors. So indispensable was group-cohesion
and social virtues that man was endowed with powerful
social instincts. Nature made sure of this type of social

On the other hand, for the tribe to survive under those
hard conditions of primitive struggle, each individual had
to be prepared to fight alien tribes. The rightful attitude of
an individual toward members of alien groups was therefore
anti-social, hostile, destructive. Toward the alien he was
expected to exercise deceit, stratagem, treachery, and vio-
lence. He must despoil them of their property, enslave
them, or destroy them. This exercise of anti-social attitudes
toward the alien was as necessary and as virtuous as the
exercise of the social attitudes toward the members of his
own group. The tribe that would not fight was destroyed,
root and branch. This resistance to the enemy was so im-
portant that Nature gave to man a full array of fighting


instincts. In this manner, she set her seal of approval upon
anti-social attitudes and action. She made sure also of this
second type of social service to one's own group.

In his relations to other individuals, conditions forced
upon primitive man two standards of conduct, two sets of
attitudes, two sets of virtues. (The good citizen of the tribe
was the one who most vigorously exercised the social virtues
toward the members of his tribe, and who most valiantly
exercised the anti-social virtues toward members of the
alien tribes. The bad citizen was the one who exercised the
hostile virtues toward his fellow-tribesmen and the friendly
virtues toward the aliens.

Intra-group virtues Extra-group virtues

Mutual aid; social service Injury; destruction

Fair-dealing Double-dealing; treachery

Truthfulness; honesty Deceit: stratagem

Loyalty; obedience Hostility; opposition

Modesty; humility Arrogance

Submission to group opinion Defiance; antagonism

Courtesy Incivility

Self-restraint Unbridled freedom

Gentleness; mercy Ruthlessness

In the table the two opposite sets of virtues are placed
over against each other. The good citizen of the primitive
tribe had to be active in the exercise of both. But he must
exercise each toward its rightful object of reference. He
must not reverse them. In so doing, he became guilty of
the two sets of crimes. To exercise anti-social attitudes
toward the members of his own group was to select the
wrong objects for their reference and therefore to commit
crime. On the other hand, to exercise the social virtues
toward members of alien groups was to be guilty of render-
ing aid to one's enemies, the capital crime of treason.
Whether an act toward another human being or group of


human beings was virtuous or vicious depended not upon
the nature of the act itself, but upon the object of reference.
To kill women and children, for example, in that day was
virtuous conduct, if they belonged to alien tribes; it was
criminal conduct, if they were of one's own tribe. Any kind
of human conduct toward another was good, or any kind
was bad; it all depended upon the person toward whom it
was exercised. Virtue or vice lay not in the act itself; but
in the right social placing of the act^ Virtues and vices were
relative things, not absolutes.

The modern situation '

As a result of the long-continued group-struggle of primi-
tive days, the weaker tribes disappeared and the stronger
tribes grew fewer in number and larger in population and
territorial area. This absorption or destruction of the weak
by the strong has continued down to the present day until
there now exists over the habitable globe only some forty
or fifty independent national groups. The situation with
respect to the two sets of social attitudes, however, does not
change with the size of the group. It cannot change so long
as wholly independent competing nations exist. Within
the large nation, no less than in primitive days, there still
remains the need of inner solidarity and the exercise of the
social virtues. Toward the alien nations, however, in the
degree that they are felt to be alien, one is still expected
to employ the anti-social attitudes. Between these larger
nations there is, as of old, a constant hostility. This is not
always on the surface. With war so expensive and destruc-
tive now, nations live mostly in a state of truce, simply
because anything else is suicidal in the end, and not because
the world has developed the fundamental basis of peace.

The slumbering presence of extra-group hostility is re-
vealed by the ease with which it flares forth at the slightest


provocation, and the ease with which it bursts into the
flames of war even in the case of nations that we have been
accustomed to call civilized. The independent national
groups still cling to the two standards of conduct and regard
both as wholly justifiable, legitimate, and virtuous, if only
exercised toward the right objects of reference. In times of
international stress, when both intra-group and extra-group
standards of conduct are fully aroused, and when the grow-
ing but yet feeble sentiment of membership in a world
group is stilled in the strife, then the anti-social dictates
become clear and unconfused. To kill the man who is not
a member of one's own nation becomes a matter of entire
virtue. It is not a crime. It is not a matter for reproach. It
calls for decorations of honor. At the present moment it is
the largest, the most expensively equipped and the most
completely organized business in the world.

The nations have institutionalized their anti-social tend-
encies. They have developed laws, traditions, public opin-
ion, military technique, organization, training, weapons,
and other appliances for destroying aliens. And through
newspapers, schools, churches, and public proclamations,
they have arranged to make and to keep all people fully
conscious of their anti-social duties, powers, and possibilities.
M\IL relation to the wholly alien nation, then, who is the
/good citizen? It is the one who is ready and eager to fight
/ the alien the instant called upon ; who is ready to shed his
j blood to the last drop in service to his countrymen. It is
vthe one whose thought and feeling and action are most
completely anti-social with these turned squarely against
iu,e hostile alien.

We may deprecate a world-situation which makes murder
and destruction an inescapable part of social service; and
therefore a necessary function of the good citizen. The situ-
ation is what it is, however; and not what we may wish it


to be. The world is still young and in the green; and yet far
from organized and civilized. An undesirable form of social
service is not to be escaped by blinking it; but by so chang-
ing the world-situation that the noxious type of service is
no longer necessary to continuing national existence and

Patriotism we say is a characteristic of the good citizen.
But in our present state of world-division, there are two
types of patriotism, wholly different, and both indispen-
sable for national welfare. We are here referring to one
of the types, the one that is built upon the anti-alien rela-
tions. It is the desire to serve one's own national group by
restraining or injuring, or even if necessary destroying,
alien groups. It is the aroused anti-social spirit. It is a state
of mind that in the nature of things must persist so long as
this whirling planet holds mankind-in-division.

But let us turn to the other and more agreeable side of
the picture. The national groups not only institutionalize
the spirit of world-division for their outside relations; but
also build ponderous and stable national institutions upon
the intra-social impulses of mankind-in-cooperation. For
promoting the welfare of the group within, the more ad-
vanced nations even though their hands now are reeking
with the blood of alien human-kind have been providing
and developing the humanitarian institutions necessary to a
superb state of civilization. They have been building schools
and churches; and fostering within their boundaries the
reign of intelligence and good-will. They have been pro-
viding hospitals for the sick, systematic state care for the
weak, pensions for the aged and the incapacitated, work-
men's compensation for the injured in industry, protection
of women and children from industrial exploitation, eight-
hour laws for workmen, the enforcement of sanitary living
and work conditions; and a host of other human- welfare


measures. And they have zealously promoted in a thousand
ways those social institutions which perform for a people
the basic intra-group services: industry, commerce, trans-
portation, mining, agriculture, professional service, etc.
Thus institutions growing out of the social virtues flourish
profusely in nations that show no abhorrence to the most
inhuman brutalities when exercised toward alien peoples.
And press and schools and churches diligently foster this
internal socialization; and the awakening of a sensitive
social conscience that is keenly cognizant of intra-group

This brings us to the other type of patriotism the aroused
spirit of intra-group service. It is the desire to serve one's
national group by promoting in every possible way those in-
ternal social adjustments and actions that make in maxi-
mum degree for the general national welfare. Instead of its
being hatred of the enemy as in the other type, it is love of
one's people, and of all of one's people; and positive. This
type of patriotism is in need of greater emphasis since it is not
so clearly conceived. It is coordinate with the other. But
to most men the term refers only to the anti-social type.
Men take great pride in self -sacrifice, and are willing to lay
down even life itself , to promote the welfare of their people,
so long as it is the anti-alien type of social service. Why
should there not be equal willingness for self-sacrifice in the
service of those same people when the service is social?
And why should not the intra-group service be equally hon-
ored? Civic training should complete our ideas of patriot-
ism; and develop attitudes of both types so long as both
are needed.

Functional differentiation

As social groups grow large territorially, they break up
along functional lines into small groups again: commercial,

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Online LibraryJohn Franklin BobbittThe curriculum → online text (page 9 of 22)