Survey Associates.

The Survey (Volume 58) online

. (page 56 of 130)
Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesThe Survey (Volume 58) → online text (page 56 of 130)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

tive, all lu/io are interested are invited to apply for
prices, itineraries, end other detailed infarmation to


2 West 46th Street : New York City

P. 248

P- 277

p. 249

Analytic Index to This Number

June 1, 1927
Child Welfare:

High schools educate by the squirrel cage method
Child Labor in the '908, p. 270

Family Welfare:

Sweatshop families in the '903, p. 270
Relief work and the Mississippi Flood,
The Law and Law Breakers :

Truant culprits in New York, p. 248
Factory inspection evaders, p. 270
Outlawry of war, p. 276
Sacco-Vanzetti case, p. 284
The case of Anita Whitney, p. 284

Mental Hygiene:

Educational methods which demoralize,
Promotion of Health:

Inoculation of Flood Refugees, p. 277
Economics of medicine, p. 292

School and Communitv :

Learning for living, p. 247
How school systems hurt the individual
No curriculum at Hamburg, p. 252
Educating specialists to serve humanity,
Antioch, education and the job, p. 259
Education at Whittier, p. 266
Wisconsin and Meiklejohn, p. 268

Industrial Conditions:

The First Woman Factory Inspector, p. 271
Ramsay MacDonald and the labor struggle in Parlia-
ment, p. 283

Peace and International Relations:

The International Economic Conference, p. 275
Disarmament, and President Coolidge's policies, p. 276
Chinese and Nicaraguan affairs, p. 276
A drama that makes war look silly, p. 285

Motives and Ideals:

Ideals for education, p. 247

Inspired teaching in Germany, p. 253

To improve mankind by better education, p. 255

Symmetrical development of personality at Antioch, p. 259

Training for living, at Whittier, p. 267

Meiklejohn's students make their own education, p. 269

p. 248

P- 255

(In annuering advertisements please mention THE SURVEY.



RUTH is four years old. Her father is one of the illumina
in the noble profession of social work. Her mother
the salt of the earth and not a too ardent devotee of the go.
dess Style. In fact none of the publications featuring tl
goddess are to be found in the vast amount of literature whi<
the house affords.

Ruth came down stairs to call. Practically all the style
be found in the neighbor's house is what Ruth herself brin;
to it. Attired in her hostess's hat, goloshes, scarf and be
gloves Ruth becomes highly ornamental and the neighbor fee
flattered to have such an elegant person use her couch for
taxi and the fire-side bench for a subway. And as for fashii
magazines, they are as scarce downstairs as upstairs.

On this particular occasion Ruth felt like being bookish. SI
asked her hostess for a magazine and was told to pick one o
from the pile on the table. Chattering glibly she looked the
over. Finally she said, "I am looking for The Footsteps
Style. Yes, here it is." She had found the March Surv
Graphic. Hastily thumbing its pages she gazed upon tl
pictures of II Duce and other Italian notables.

"Look at these nice pictures," she begged of her hostes
And then with a roguish smile and a delicately lifted eyebro
she remarked, "Yes, I always read The Footsteps of Sty
every day."

And if you ask us, we think that any social work joura
which through the blessed alchemy of a four year old's imaj
nation becomes anything so fascinating as The Footsteps
Style is a howling springtime success.


// helps us, it identifies you.)

Graphic Number

Vol. LVIII, No. 5

lune 1, 1927


COVER DESIGN: Woodcut ..../. J. Lankes

FRONTISPIECE: Education on the Job

Shirley Norman 246

LEARNING FOR LIVING . . . Beulah Amidon 247
THE SQUIRREL CAGE . . . Agnes M. Conk/in 248
SCISSORS PICTURE . . Martha Bensley Bruere 251


Bruno Lasker 252


Herbert W. Smith 255

Robert W . Bruere 259

Joseph Herschel Coffin 266

Alexander Meiklejohn 268

I GO TO WORK Florence Kelley 271

HORIZON LINES .... James G. McDonald 275
BEHIND THE LEVEES .... Arthur Kellogg 277


LETTERS & LIFE . . . Edited by Leon If hippie 285

The Gist of It

FIRST the high school people and then the college
people discuss the theme of this number (Learning
for Living, page. 247).

IN a student population of 5,000 at the Erasmus Hall High
School, Brooklyn, there are hundreds of "unadjusted"
youngsters, out of step and out of patience with an aca-
demic routine. These "problem pupils" bring their diffi-
culties to the Student Welfare Committee of which Agnes
M. Conklin ia the head. A graduate of Barnard College,
Miss Conklin took her higher degree in psychology at
Columbia. Page 248.

ON a recent visit to his native Germany, Bruno Lasker
spent some time as the guest of the educators who
are carrying forward the Lichtwarkschule experiment.
Mr. Lasker, formerly head of The Survey's foreign service
department is now secretary of the Commission on Race
Relations of The Inquiry. Page 252.

AFTER graduating from Harvard, Herbert W. Smith
taught for four years at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology and for five years at his alma mater. As
Principal of the Ethical Culture High School, he has joined
with Felix Adler in working out the plans for the new
Pre-Professional School which is to open in the fall of
1928. His article is illustrated with examples of work
done by students of the present Arts High School, who
are receiving their technical training under Herbert N.
Kniffen. Page 255.

HIS early adventures as an instructor of English at the
University of Chicago and his later absorption in
problems of labor-management relations supplied the two-
fold stimulus which recently sent Robert W. Bruere of
The Survey staff "home by way of Antioch" where he
spent several crowded days studying this attempt to knit
education into the industrial processes of the modern
world. Page 259. At Antioch he met Shirley Norman,
an undergraduate who, with his alternate, runs a photo-
grapher's studio in Yellow Springs. The result was
our frontispiece and the series of pictures, page 261 ff.

'T EARNING for Living" in college terms is inter-
im pretecl by the second group of articles in our educa-
ional sheaf. On the campus at Whittier College, Whittier,

California, Dean Joseph Herschel Coffin is guiding
experiment in applying the apprenticeship plan and the
"project method" of the elementary schools to college
conditions. Dean Coffin, a graduate of Penn College who
took his doctor's degree at Cornell, was professor of
philosophy at Earlham before going to the Coast. Page 266.

THOUGH Who's Who lists him as "prof, philosophy"
Alexander Meiklejohn is much better known as a
breaker of new ground in education. Before his twelve
years as president of Amherst, he had served his appren-
ticeship as a teacher and later as dean at Brown Univer-
sity. Now the faculty and the regents of the University of
Wisconsin have given him a laboratory of his own design-
ing where he may put into practice the significant educa-
tional philosophy which he states, page 258.

FLORENCE KELLEY'S broad educational experience
and her zeal for social justice were harnessed to
practical effort at Hull-House in the Nineties, when she
studied the prevalent sweat shop system and stepped from
the rounds of a settlement visitor into the office of head
factory inspector of the state of Illinois. This is a chapter
from her Notes of Sixty Years. Page 271.

A RTHUR KELLOGG, managing editor of The Survey,
/~V left his desk to journey down the devastated Missis-
sippi Valley on a relief boat with Secretary Hoover and
the Red Cross executives. He pictures here the social
import as well as the stirring details of the disaster and
the emergent work that follows the crest of the great
flood. Page 277.

as its leading article a discussion of flood prevention
the whole broad question of levees, spillways, storage
reservoirs, reforestation, soil conservation and other fac-
tors in the thirty-one states whose drainage flows into the
Mississippi River by J. Russell Smith, professor of econo-
mic geography at Columbia University. Professor Smith
is widely known for his volumes North America, Indus-
trial and Commercial Geography, and Human Geography.
Accompanying articles will describe further aspects of the
flood and of the picturesque peoples who live in the in-
undated Delta.

READERS of THE SURVEY may anticipate further interpre-
tations of the educational problem of the modern city by
Joseph K. Hart in sequence to his article on the (
situation in The Survey Graphic for February, 1927-


H2 East 19 Street, New York







THE SURVEY Twice-a-month $5-00 a year
SURVEY GRAPHIC Monthly $3-oo a year

ARTHUR KELLOGG, Managing Editor

Associate Editors









Photo by H . Lee Jones, Antioch




Volume LVIII
No. 5

Learning for Living

DUCATION is in the midst of two great
adventures: the discovery of the individual
as an individual, and the discovery of human
beings in relation to the dusty, hurrying,
clattering, beautiful, perilous world in which
we live. The articles brought together in
I his June number for "commencement time," have to do
Ivith such explorings.

Books, plays, pictures, as well as our own senses, tell us
hat more and more we are living in a machine made world.
vVe expect our music, our drama, our recreation, our tales,
I o be made for us, as well as our houses, our clothes, our
. ood, our means of transportation. And as our part in it,
: nore and more of us find ourselves engaged in standardized
hobs which fit into a large and complex process. To some
I this means futile rebellion against the world as we find it ;
others of us accept dullness and mediocrity, and cease to
look beyond the round of our narrow days. A few of us
sreak through gloriously in individual and creative achieve-
ment, but more grope uncertainly toward some sort of per-
sonal satisfaction, delicate or gross, not knowing what we
want or how to find what seems in any degree our own.

A MID this confusion, education is one of the things that
/~\_ people talk about as a "remedy" or a "solution."
They mean usually a "remedy" for both personal and social
maladjustment, a "solution" of their drifting perplexities and
the blundering activities which lead the society of which they
are a part into war, into industrial conflict, into intolerance
and cruelty and waste.

It is being born in upon us that parcels of information
the dates of Pippin the Fat, Virgil's meters, the extraction
of the square root have slight worth in helping Bill Jones
decide whether to join the union, in making Mary Brown
more capable of the difficult adjustments of marriage and
maternity, in giving citizens standards by which to judge
candidates or understand the purposes of voting.

In the first of our sheaf of articles a psychologist makes
us look at the wreckage of young lives warped and stunted
by the "squirrel cage" futility of rigid, academic schooling.
The succeeding articles tell of high school and college
projects which approach a solution from two directions.

One has its starting point in vocational interests close to
the center of the individual life. In the Ethical Culture
Arts High School, soon to be broadened into a specially
equipped pre-professional school, in the blend of educa-
tional and industrial disciplines at Antioch, on the
campus of a small California college, this is the direction
of experiment.

The second line springs from the belief that a background
of culture and understanding, an acquaintance with certain
spiritual and intellectual riches is the surest hope of a full,
complete personal life and a sense of human values and hu-
man responsibilities. In a public school in Germany, and in
the new college at the University of Wisconsin, this educa-
tional philosophy gives meaning to remarkable experiments.

SUCH efforts to integrate school experience with life ex-
perience shake down old antitheses between the classics
and science, between the liberal college and the professional
school, into new terms, closer to the realities of our modern
world, and closer to the vast new reaches of youth brought
within the wide arc of education in a democracy. From
whichever angle the educational problem is approached, more
and more we are realizing that what we need and what our
social organization needs is men and women with insight
into themselves, and into their scheme of life and work and
its relation to that of other people. Our failures are failures
of understanding. We do not know how to look at our-
selves, how to see our problems, in a personal or in a com-
munity sense. Education ought to let children and adults
look out over the world as it is, not the vanished world
known to Caesar's legions or Washington's Continentals,
but this world of factories and movies and radio and tractor
farming and mass production, and all the complex inter-
dependencies of the machine process. We need to see our
jobs, not as dead, repetitive, standardized tasks, but as neces-
sary parts of a vast, integrated process on which modern
life depends. We need to look at ourselves, detachedly,
without excitement or despair, with good humor and genuine
understanding of the springs of human behavior and the
meanings of our reactions and desires. We need to look at
ourselves collectively and catch the rhythm of generations,
races, crafts in their epic struggle. BEULAH AMIDON


The Squirrel Cage


EROM the doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief of
the nursery rhyme, through rich man, poor
man, to beggar man and thief, most Ameri-
cans step into adult occupation from some
sort of schr-ol. This schooling may be long
or short, superior or half-baked, highly spe-
cialized or totally undifferentiated, but whatever the quality
of the educational experience, it is usually the stepping-stone
to the job.

Before the job, how much schooling should there he?
The parent answers, "As much as I can afford." The
employer answers, "As much as will make the child an
efficient worker." The educator answers, "As much as the
child can absorb." The child answers, "As much as you
can compel me to take." Only the last statement takes effect.

IN New York City, we have been having a unique ex-
perience in education since the War. That disruptive in-
strument of science, Army Alpha, opened our eyes to many
things, some of which were true and some of which were
not. It seemed to indicate, however, that if there was one
thing more than another that America needed, it was
education. The remedy seemed simple: The way to
educate people is to force them to go to school at least
until they are physically mature ; let the mind grow with
the body ; it will if you compel it. With the gusto of
schoolboys, the legislators hurried back to pass laws.

In New York State, children must now attend school
until they are seventeen years old. After the fourteenth
birthday, the child may obtain working papers, but he must
attend continuation school. This uses four hours a week
of the employer's time and attendance at night school may
not be offered as a substitute. Some employers have estab-
lished continuation schools in the place of business ; others
allow time off for the schooling. The majority prefer to
wait until the child has passed his seventeenth birthday.
For all practical purposes, the law operates to keep numbers
of children in schools they dislike when mere staying in
school does not educate them.

This is not surprising when we know that any step to
keep children in school from the ages of fourteen to seven-
teen means keeping them in high school. The high school
in which we are planning to educate them is built on a
nineteenth century pattern, and is academic in character.
This type of education deals largely with abstract material
studied, not as an end in itself, but as a preparation for
college entrance. The course includes four years of English ;
two foreign languages, one studied for three years and the
other for two; mathematics algebra, plane geometry,
trigonometry; social sciences civics, government, history,
economics; three years of science chosen among biology,
chemistry, physics and physiography; together with certain
minor subjects such as free-hand drawing, singing, elocu-
tion and physical training. The selection of subject matter
grew out of the conception of education as a mental
discipline; in America, it is a universal product standardized

by the entrance requirements one finds listed in every college
catalogue. In the consciousness of people at large, an
academic high school education has cultural values and
market values ; better than either of these, it is a sine qua
non for the college career, which looms so large in the
wishful thinking of the general population.

The present article is based on first-hand experiences with
academic high school education in New York City, hut
what is here said applies with equal validity to other
communities 'all over the country. The predominant type
of education in any community arises from the predominant
desires of its influential citizens. The education desired by
the majority of our best families everywhere is a preparation
for college, and the high school is designed to meet that
need. From 1890 to 1920, the number of high school
students in the United States increased from approximately
200,000 to almost 2,000,000. By 1920, the number of
children in the total population in the age range _ fourteen
to eighteen, exceeded 8,000,000, so that, before the opera-
tion of laws compelling high school attendance, selective
agencies must have determined who went to high school
and who did not. The basis of any such selection is bound
to be a complicated affair but it is safe to say that the very
nature of the high school course was one of the factors.

A compulsory education law ignores factors of selection,
In New York City, a force of 308 truant officers perform
the service of goading and driving the young out of theii
chosen pathways into the schools "where they belong," bui
it is far from clear that they do belong in high schools oi
the present day. The United States Bureau of Educatior
published, in January of this year, the statement that, ir
the country as a whole, twenty-two out of every one hundred
children enter high school. Only nine in one hundrec
graduate from high school and only six in one thousanc
enter college. If the high school is to meet the needs o:
one hundred out oi every hundred, it must alter :
standards by nothing short of upheaval. For a considcrahli
number of children, we have made the span, fourteen tc
seventeen years, a veritable squirrel cage.

GEORGE entered high school at the age of thirteer
years and eight months. He had graduated from ar
elementary school in Scotland and had come to Ameriei
"to go to work." He is the oldest of six, a small, thin
forlorn little boy, I.Q. 94- His father is a plasterer am
when work is plentiful, earns eighty dollars a week,
the strength of this, the family purchased a house near th<
school because they had been advised that it was better thai
paying rent "with a family to raise." During the firs
winter in a new environment, George's father found diffi
culty in securing work. The children had to pick up bit
of wood in vacant lots because there was no money fo
coal. Bread and potatoes were served three times a da;
with a dreary monotony.

George hated high school work and was far from success
ful in it. As soon as he passed his fourteenth birthday, th




cal minister found him a job as errand boy in a bank at
n dollars a week. George could have done this well, as
s willingness and reliability in running school errands
id already shown. Application for working papers was
ade and the boy reported to the Board of Health for the
>ual examination. He was found nine pounds under-
eight. The working papers were refused and the boy
turned to school. The mother sighed over the regular
ish income that might have been of such help to the family.
The boy has continued to fail in his work, and the
hool, although it has changed his program and tried to
totivate him, has not been able to effect his satisfactory
iaptation. After four terms, he is still in the first grade
nd making no progress. He has not been able to bring his
eight up to standard and he will no doubt leave school
t seventeen without meeting this part of the requirement,
"he attempt to transfer him to another school in his first
ear met with the obstacle of carfare which the family
ould not afford. Since then, the family has taken the atti-
ude that a change of school is unwise since "he may go

work at any time now."

Meanwhile George has hated school and learned nothing
here. He has been building habits of failure instead of
abits of success, he has lived two important years of his life
xpecting at any moment to be rescued from facing the task

1 hand. George is at present a demoralized person. If he
'oes out to a job tomorrow, he will approach it with habits
ind attitudes that will unquestionably impair his efficiency
is they have already impaired his self-respect. The only
olution to this problem was the bank job or, on return to
.chool, definite preparation for another job. George got
wither, since the law and the school are still too far apart

help him.

A RTHUR had never wanted to come to high school.
/\ He was fourteen when he entered, I.Q. 94, tall and
lively; in business, he would be called a hustler. From the
time he was thirteen, he had worked in a drug store near
his home and his plan had been to work his way up and
; 'learn pharmacy." Because of physical difficulties, he had
liot entered elementary school until he was eight. He always
(felt over-age, and this no doubt contributed to his desire to
leave school as soon as possible.

His father protested: "Arthur is not stupid. He puts
all the labels on the bottles and does it good. He can find
anything in that drug store! They send him out. Why,
he can remember all the addresses better than I can, or you
can. He goes everywhere and never gets lost. A boy like
that is not dunr.b."

When we knew about the drug store, we attempted
linterest Arthur in Latin, pointing out that Latin ought to
'help with the names on the labels and later on, help with
the prescriptions. But Arthur was unconvinced.

"It's all about Caesar and he goes to wars. That doi
help in a drug store."

He had a speech defect and was sent to a specia
There he really applied himself to his school work,
iwas eager to learn how to pronounce the difficult nam.
of chemicals and this class seemed to him to have a definite
. connection with life as he wanted to live it. Yet, m t
terms, he has accomplished less than two terms of work.

1 His father takes the attitude that there is no use in chang-
ing his school as he gets as much out of this school as he
would out of any. He is simply marking time until

seventeenth birthday but meanwhile, what a waste of youth
and energy and eager enthusiasm!

James, I. Q. 102, entered high school at the age of fifteen,
after being a leader in elementary school. He was then
almost six feet tall. He was one of five children in a
family all of whom attended high school for varying lengths
of time but only one of whom completed the second grade.
James himself remained three terms in the first grade.

"TF you were allowed to do what you want to do, what
X would it be, James?"
"Draw cartoons. I do it for fun."
He pulls some dirty scraps of paper out of his pocket and
exhibits them.

"But you could hardly make a living out of that, could

"Sure, I could if I learned more about drawing. The
Home News paid me for cartoons last summer, three of

Nothing in an academic high school course can start
a lad in this direction unless he is able to pass the stated
amount of prerequisite work, and James dislikes his academic

Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesThe Survey (Volume 58) → online text (page 56 of 130)