Marguerite Stockman Dickson.

Vocational Guidance for Girls online

. (page 1 of 14)
Online LibraryMarguerite Stockman DicksonVocational Guidance for Girls → online text (page 1 of 14)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


E-text prepared by Audrey Longhurst, Jeannie Howse, and the Project
Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team (http://www.pgdp.net)



Note: Project Gutenberg also has an HTML version of this
file which includes the original illustrations.
See 15595-h.htm or 15595-h.zip:
(http://www.gutenberg.net/dirs/1/5/5/9/15595/15595-h/15595-h.htm)
or
(http://www.gutenberg.net/dirs/1/5/5/9/15595/15595-h.zip)






+ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -+
| |
| OTHER VOCATIONAL |
| GUIDANCE BOOKS |
| |
| J. ADAMS PUFFER, Editor |
| |
| _VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE - THE TEACHER AS A COUNSELOR_ |
| By J. Adams Puffer |
| |
| _A VOCATIONAL READER_ |
| By C. Park Pressey |
| |
| _VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE FOR THE PROFESSIONS_ |
| By Edwin Tenney Brewster |
| |
+ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -+



"Vocational guidance seeks the largest realization of the
possibilities of every child and youth, measured in terms of
worthy service."


[Illustration: Photograph by Brown Bros.
CAMP FIRE GIRLS
The lessons of patriotism, kindness, and industry taught by the Camp
Fire Girls' organization make it a power for good]




VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE FOR GIRLS

by

MARGUERITE STOCKMAN DICKSON

Author of _From the Old World to the New_, _A Hundred Years of
Warfare. 1689-1789_, _Stories of Camp and Trail_, _Pioneers and
Patriots in American History_

Rand Mcnally & Company
Chicago New York

1919






THE CONTENTS

PAGE
A Foreword ix

PART I. PRESENT-DAY IDEALS OF WOMANHOOD

CHAPTER
I. WOMAN'S PLACE IN SOCIETY 3

II. THE IDEAL HOME 18

III. ESTABLISHING A HOME 27

IV. RUNNING THE DOMESTIC MACHINERY 49


PART II. GUIDING GIRLS TOWARD THE IDEAL

V. THE EDUCATIONAL AGENCIES INVOLVED 75

VI. TRAINING THE LITTLE CHILD 86

VII. TEACHING THE MECHANICS OF HOUSEKEEPING 102

VIII. THE GIRL'S INNER LIFE 122

IX. THE ADOLESCENT GIRL 130

X. THE GIRL'S WORK 151

XI. THE GIRL'S WORK (Continued) - CLASSIFICATION
OF OCCUPATIONS 163

XII. THE GIRL'S WORK (Continued) - VOCATIONS AS
AFFECTING HOMEMAKING 194

XIII. THE GIRL'S WORK (Continued) - VOCATIONS
DETERMINED BY TRAINING 203

XIV. MARRIAGE 218

Suggested Readings 241

The Index 243




A LIST OF THE PORTRAITS

PAGE
LOUISA M. ALCOTT 221

RUTH MCENERY STUART 223

LOUISE HOMER AND HER FAMILY 225

MARGARET JUNKIN PRESTON 227

COLONEL AND MRS. ROOSEVELT WITH MEMBERS OF THEIR FAMILY 229

JULIA WARD HOWE AND HER GRANDDAUGHTER 231

CAROLINE BARTLETT CRANE 233

ALICE FREEMAN PALMER 235

AMELIA E. BARR 237




A FOREWORD


Fortunate are we to have from the pen of Mrs. Dickson a book on the
vocational guidance of girls. Mrs. Dickson has the all-round life
experiences which give her the kind of training needed for a broad and
sympathetic approach to the delicate, intricate, and complex problems
of woman's life in the swiftly changing social and industrial world.

Mrs. Dickson was a teacher for seven years in the grades in the city
of New York. She then became the partner of a superintendent of
schools in the business of making a home. In these early homemaking
years there came from the pen of Mrs. Dickson a series of historical
books for the grades which have placed her among the leading
educational writers of the country. During the long sickness of her
husband she filled for a while two administrative positions - homemaker
and superintendent of schools.

Her three children are now in high school and are beginning to plan
for their own life work. With the broad training of homemaker, wife,
mother, teacher, writer, and administrator, Mrs. Dickson has the
combination of experiences to enable her to introduce teachers and
mothers to the very difficult problems of planning wisely big life
careers for our girls.

The book is so plainly and guardedly written that it can also be used
as a textbook for the girls themselves in connection with civic and
vocational courses. The only difficulty with the book for a text is
that it is so attractively written on such vital problems that the
student will not stop reading at the end of the lesson.

J. ADAMS PUFFER




"Vocational guidance has for its ideal the granting to
every individual of the chance to attain his highest
efficiency under the best conditions it is humanly possible
to provide."




PART I

PRESENT-DAY IDEALS OF WOMANHOOD




"How to preserve to the individual his right to aspire, to
make of himself what he will, and at the same time find
himself early, accurately, and with certainty, is the
problem of vocational guidance."




VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE FOR GIRLS


CHAPTER I

WOMAN'S PLACE IN SOCIETY


Any scheme of education must be built upon answers to two basic
questions: first, What do we desire those being educated to become?
second, How shall we proceed to make them into that which we desire
them to be?

In our answers to these questions, plans for education fall naturally
into two great divisions. One concerns itself with ideals; the other,
with methods. No matter how complex plans and theories may become, we
may always reach back to these fundamental ideas: What do we want to
make? How shall we make it?

Applying this principle to the education of girls, we ask, first: What
ought girls to be? And with this simple question we are plunged
immediately into a vortex of differing opinions.

Girls ought to be - or ought to be in the way of becoming - whatever the
women of the next generation should be. So far all are doubtless
agreed. We therefore find ourselves under the necessity of restating
the question, making it: What ought women to be?

Probably never in the world's history has this question occupied so
large a place in thought as it does to-day. In familiar discussion, in
the press, in the library, on the platform, the "woman question" is an
all-absorbing topic. Even the most cursory review of the literature
of the subject leads to a realization of its importance. It leads also
into the very heart of controversy.

[Illustration: Photograph by Brown Bros.
Suffrage parade in Washington. Women will parade or even fight for
their rights]

It is safe to say that no woman, in our own country at least, escapes
entirely the unrest which this controversy has brought. Even the most
conservative and "old-fashioned" of women know that their daughters
are living in a world already changed from the days of their own young
womanhood; and few indeed fail to see that these changes are but
forerunners of others yet to come. They know little, perhaps, of the
right or wrong of woman's industrial position, but "woman in industry"
is all about them. They perhaps have never heard of Ellen Key's
arraignment of existing marriage and sex relations, but they cannot
fail to see unhappy marriages in their own circle. They may care
little about the suffrage question, but they can hardly avoid hearing
echoes of strife over the subject of "votes for women." And however
much or little women are personally conscious of the significance of
these questions, the questions are nevertheless of vital import to
them all.

The "uneasy woman" is undeniably with us. We may account for her
presence in various ways. We may prophesy the outcome of her
uneasiness as the signs seem to us to point. But in the meantime - she
is here!

Naturally both radical and conservative have panaceas to suggest. The
radicals would have us believe that the question of woman's status in
the world requires an upheaval of society for its settlement. Says
one, the "man's world" must be transformed into a human world, with no
baleful insistence on the femininity of women. It is the human
qualities, shared by both man and woman, which must be emphasized. The
work of the world - with the single exception of childbearing - is not
man's work nor woman's work, but the work of the race. Woman must be
liberated from the overemphasized feminine. Let women live and work as
men live and work, with as little attention as may be to the accident
of sex.

Says another, it is the ancient and dishonored institution of marriage
which must feel the blow of the iconoclast. Reform marriage, and the
whole woman question will adjust itself.

Says still another, do away with marriage. "Celibacy is the
aristocracy of the future." Let the woman be free forever from the
drudgery of family life, free from the slavery of the marriage
relation, free to "live," to "work," to have a "career." Men and women
were intended to be in all things the same, except for the slight
difference of sex. Let us throw away the cramping folly of the ages
and let woman take her place beside man.

Not so, replies the conservative. In just so far as masculine and
feminine types approach each other, we shall see degeneracy. Men and
women were never intended to be alike.

Thus we might go on. Without the radicals there would of course be no
progress. Without the conservatives our social fabric would scarcely
hold. Between the two extremes, however, in this as in all things,
stands the great middle class, believing and urging that not social
upheaval, but better understanding of existing conditions, is the
world remedy for unrest; that not new careers, but better adjustment
of old ones, will bring peace; that not formal political power, even
though that be their just due, but the better use of powers that women
have long possessed, is most needed for the betterment of mankind.

It is not the province of this book to enter into controversy with
either radical or reactionary, but rather to search for truth which
may be used for adjusting to fuller advantage the relation of woman to
society. First of all must be recognized the fact that the "woman
movement" deserves the thoughtful attention of every teacher or other
social worker, and indeed of every thoughtful man or woman. The
movement can no longer be considered in the light of isolated surface
outbreaks. It is rather the result of deep industrial and social
undercurrents which are stirring the whole world.

In our study of the modern woman movement, which as teachers in any
department of educational work we are bound to make, the fact is
immediately impressed upon us that home life has undergone marked
changes. Conditions once favorable to the existence of the home as a
sustaining economic unit are no longer to be found. New conditions
have arisen, compelling the home, like other permanent institutions,
to alter its mode of existence in order to meet them.

Briefly reviewing the causes which have brought about these changes in
home life, we find, first, the industrial revolution. A large number
of the activities once carried on in the home have removed to other
quarters. In earlier times the mother of a family served as cook,
housemaid, laundress, spinner, weaver, seamstress, dairymaid, nurse,
and general caretaker. The father was about the house, at work in the
field, or in his workshop close at hand. The children grew up
naturally in the midst of the industries which provided for the
maintenance of the home, and for which, in part, the home existed. The
home, in those days, was the place where work was done.

With the invention of labor-saving machinery came an entire revolution
in the place and manner of work. The father of the family has been
forced by this industrial change to follow his trade from the home
workshop to the mechanically equipped factory. One by one, many of the
housewife's tasks also have been taken from the home. To-day the
processes of cloth making are practically unknown outside the factory.
Knitting has become largely a machine industry. Ready-made clothing
has largely reduced the sewing done in the home. In the matter of
food, the housekeeper may, if she chooses, have a large part of her
work performed by the baker, the canner, and the delicatessen
shopkeeper. Even the care of her children, after the years of infancy,
has been partly assumed by the state.

The home, as a place where work is done, has lost a large part of its
excuse for being. Among the poorer classes, women, like their
husbands, being obliged to earn, and no longer able to do so in their
homes, have followed the work to the factory. As a result we have
many thousands of them away from their homes through long days of
toil. Among persons of larger income, removal of the home industries
to the factory has resulted in increased leisure for the woman - with
what results we shall later consider. Practically the only
constructive work left which the woman may not shift if she will to
other shoulders, or shirk entirely, is the bearing of children and, to
at least some degree, their care in early years. The interests once
centered in the home are now scattered - the father goes to shop or
office, the children to school, the mother either to work outside the
home or in quest of other occupation and amusement to which leisure
drives her.

[Illustration: Photograph by Brown Bros.
Glove making. Women, like their husbands, have followed work to the
factories]

A second change in the conditions affecting home life is found in the
increased educational aspirations of women. Once the accepted and
frankly anticipated career for a woman was marriage and the making of
a home. Her education was centered upon this end. To-day all this is
changed. A girl claims, and is quite free to obtain, an education in
all points like her brother's, and the career she plans and prepares
for may be almost anything he contemplates. She may, or may not, enter
upon the career for which she prepares. Marriage may - often
does - interfere with the career, although nearly as often the career
seems to interfere with marriage. Under the new alignment of ideals,
there is less interest shown in homemaking and more in "the world's
work," with a decided feeling that the two are entirely incompatible.

[Illustration: Keystone View Co.
Employees leaving the Elgin Watch Company factory. Thousands of women
are away from their homes through long days of toil]

The girl, educated to earn her living in the market of the world, no
longer marries simply because no other career is open to her; when
she does marry, she is less likely than formerly, statistics tell us,
to have children - the only remaining work which, in these days,
definitely requires a home. Marriage and homemaking, therefore, are no
longer inseparably connected in the woman's mind. Girls are willing to
undertake matrimony, but often with the distinct understanding that
their "careers" are not to be interfered with. To them, then, marriage
becomes more and more an incident in life rather than a life work.

[Illustration: Photograph by Brown Bros.
A typical tenement house. Congestion means discomfort within the home
and decreasing possibility for satisfying there either material or
social needs]

A third disintegrating influence as affecting home life is the great
increase of city homes. Urban conditions are almost without exception
detrimental to home life. Congestion means discomfort within the home
and decreasing possibility for satisfying there either material or
social needs; while on every hand are increasing possibilities for
satisfying these needs outside the home. Family life under such
conditions often lacks, to an alarming degree, the quality of
solidarity which makes the dwelling place a home. No longer the place
where work is done, no longer the place where common interests are
shared, the home becomes only "the place where I eat and sleep," or
perhaps merely "where I sleep." The great increase of urban life
during the last half century is thus a very real menace, and, since
the agricultural communities constantly feed the towns, the menace
concerns the country-as well as the city-dweller.

[Illustration: Photograph by Brown Bros.
In the cities there are increasing opportunities for satisfying
material and social needs outside the home]

Believing that for the good of coming generations the true home spirit
must be saved, we shall do well to admit at once that the old-time
home was an institution suited to its own day, but that we cannot now
call it back to being. Nor would we wish to do so. There is no
possible reason for wishing our women to spin, weave, knit, bake,
brew, preserve, clean, _if_ the products she formerly made can be
produced more cheaply and more efficiently outside the home.

There is danger, however, of generalizing too soon in regard to these
industries. There is little doubt that in some directions, at least,
the factory method has not yet brought really satisfactory results.
How many women can give you reasons _why_ they believe that it no
longer "pays" to do this or that at home as they once did? Do the
factories always turn out as good a product as the housekeeper? If
they do, does the housekeeper obtain that product with as little
expenditure as when she made it? If she spends more, can she show that
the leisure she has thus bought has been a wise purchase? Is she
justified in accepting vague generalizations to the effect that it is
better economy to buy than to make, or should she test for herself,
checking up her individual conditions and results?

The fact is that the pendulum has swung away from the "homemade"
article, and most of us have not taken the trouble to investigate
whether we are benefited or harmed. It may be that investigation will
show us that the pendulum has swung too far, and that, in spite of
factories mechanically equipped to serve us, some work may be done
much more advantageously at home. It is even possible, and in some
lines of work we know that it is a fact, that homes may be
mechanically equipped at very little cost to rival and even to
outclass the factory in producing certain kinds of products for home
consumption.

Spinning, weaving, and knitting are doubtless best left in the hands
of the factory worker. But, under present conditions, buying ready
made all the garments needed for a family may be an expensive and
unsatisfactory method if the elements of worth, wear, finish, and
individuality are worthy of consideration, just as buying practically
all foodstuffs "ready made" presents a complex and disturbing problem
to the fastidious and conscientious housewife. There is at least a
possibility that it would be as well for the home of to-day to retain
or resume, systematize, and perfect some of the industries that are
slipping or have already slipped from its grasp. It is possible to
reduce some processes to a too purely mechanical basis.

[Illustration: Keystone View Co.
Linen-mill workers. Spinning and weaving, whether of cotton, linen,
silk, or wool, are more satisfactorily done by factory workers than in
the home]


A woman lived in our town who wasn't very wise.
She had a reputation for making homemade pies.
And when she found her pies would sell, with all her might and main
She opened up a factory, and spoiled it all again.

Nonsense? Yes - but with a strong element of sense, nevertheless.

Entirely aside, however, from the industrial status of the home,
unless we are to see a practical cessation of childbearing and
rearing, homes must apparently continue to exist. No one has yet found
a substitute place for this particular industry. It is a commonly
accepted fact that young children do better, both mentally and
physically, in even rather poor homes than in a perfectly planned and
conducted institution. And we need go no farther than this in seeking
a sufficient reason for saving the home. This one is enough to enlist
our best service in aid of homemaking and home support.

From earliest ages woman has been the homemaker. No plan for the
preservation of the home or for its evolution into a satisfactory
social factor can fail to recognize her vital and necessary connection
with the problem. Therefore in answer to the question "What ought
woman to be?" we say boldly, "A homemaker." Reduced to simplest terms,
the conditions are these: if homes are to be made more serviceable
tools for social betterment, women must make them what they ought to
be. Consequently homemaking must continue to be woman's
business - _the_ business of woman, if you like - a considerable,
recognized, and respected part of her "business of being a woman." Nor
may we overlook the fact that it is only in this work of making homes
and rearing offspring that either men or women reach their highest
development. Motherhood and fatherhood are educative processes,
greater and more vital than the artificial training that we call
education. In teaching their children, even in merely living with
their children, parents are themselves trained to lead fuller lives.

"The central fact of the woman's life - Nature's reason for her - is the
child, his bearing and rearing. There is no escape from the divine
order that her life must be built around this constraint, duty, or
privilege, as she may please to consider it."[1] It is the fashion
among some women to assume that it is time all this were changed, and
that therefore it will be changed. They look forward to seeing
womankind released from this "constraint, duty, or privilege," and yet
see in their prophetic vision the race moving on to a future of
achievement. The fact, however, ignore it as we may, cannot be
gainsaid: no man-made or woman-made "emancipation" will change
nature's law.

It was well that after centuries of repression and subjection woman
sought emancipation. She needed it. But the wildest flight of fancy
cannot long conceal the ultimate fact. Woman is the mother of the
race. "The female not only typifies the race, but, metaphor aside, she
_is_ the race."[2] Emancipation can never free her from this destiny.
In the United States, where woman has the largest freedom to enter the
industrial world and maintain herself in entire independence, the
percentage of those who marry is higher than in the countries where
woman is a slave. Ninety per cent of the mature women in our country
become homemakers for a certain period, and probably over 90 per cent
are assistant homemakers for another period of years before or after
marriage.

Any vocational counselor who fails to reckon first with the homemaking
career of girls is therefore blind to the facts of life. All
education, all training, must be considered in its bearing on the one
vocation, homemaking. The time will come when the occupations of boys
and men must likewise be considered in relation to homemaking, but
that problem is not the province of this book.

Women will bear and rear the children of the future, just as they have
borne and reared the children of the past. But _under what
conditions_ - the best or those less worthy? And _what women_ - again,
the best or those less worthy? Has woman been freed from subjection,
from an inferior place in the scheme of life, only to become so


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Online LibraryMarguerite Stockman DicksonVocational Guidance for Girls → online text (page 1 of 14)