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subjects very thoroughly. The family would not consider
his transfer to another school if such a shift could be ar-
ranged, because all his brothers and sisters have attended
this one and James' failure to do so might indicate that
"he isn't smart enough to stay here."

Constance, I. Q. 96, is a very pretty child, small in
stature, and graceful. At the age of fourteen years and
eight months, she finds herself in high school, hating the
work. Ever since she was six, she has been a dancer, and
has been many times before the public.

"I can do 'splits.' You see, I'm double-jointed and can
twist myself all around."

She demonstrates a difficult figure, balancing on one foot.
So authentic a source as the Metropolitan School of the
Ballet has pronounced her unusually gifted. Her family i
well known in theatrical and vaudeville circles and the girl
will inevitably be drawn into this sort of activity.

"When I'm sixteen, I can go to the conservatory and go
to continuation school for a year. I guess I don't like school.
I don't pay any attention to it. I'm always thinking^ of
when I will get out and be a big success on the stage.'

She can see no need for Latin, civics, algebra, Chauce
as a background for her dancing. High school has habituat-
ed her to failure in all three terms of her attendance.
situation has also engendered day-dreaming habits whfch a
likely to continue to handicap her after she leaves

T GUIS I Q.86, is the fifth child in a fraternity of seven.
One child in the family is feebleminded. The others
all started high school work but have not advance
nd the first year. Louis was fourteen at entrance ,
school and in five terms has accomphshed two terms
of work. He dislikes high school.

"It can't do you any good if you want to go to work.
He? employed after school four hours daily m h
uncle's shoe store. The uncle says that Louis .s a com-

he ,WI not come I. the re a,,,
home and study."

Louis' face fell when this was proposed, but the father
was persuaded not to carry out his threat. The boy said
afterward, "If he does that I'll light out."

The boy has visited shoe factories and wants to learn
about the shoe business "from the ground up." When he
is seventeen he can become a shoe salesman and look for-
ward to becoming a manager. Academic schooling is pretty
remote from this practical ambition.

Herbert, I. Q. 91, wanted to go to Boys' Vocational
School because his brother, a printer with a successful shop
of his own, learned his trade there. The borough has only
one Boys' Vocational School and it is so overcrowded that
application to enter must be made long in advance of ele-
mentary school graduation. Herbert was rejected on account
of the overcrowding; he was told that he must go on to
high school. At once, he became truant and spent his time
sitting on the doorstep of the Vocational School waiting for
some one to drop out so that he could fill the vacancy.

" r I 'HEY can't make me go to a school I don't want to

\_ go to. I want to learn printin' and that's where they
got the machines."

The truant officer explained the law.

"Then I want to go to a printin' office an' go to work.
But no high school. I don't want to learn Spanish. I want
to work in a big shop with machines."

The case was explained to the vocational school authorities
but they could not accept another student. Working papers
could not be secured because the boy had to have dental
work done and was under-weight. The truancy persisted.
We solved the problem by forcing the case to a court trial
of the parents and, when the situation had been explained
to the judge, Herbert was admitted to vocational school by
court order!

There are certain interesting characteristics of all these
cases. None of them is below normal mentality, but none
of them is suited to an academic high school course. They
are not lazy. Each one of them has some kind of com-
petence to offer and some very clear notion of what he wants
to do. Compulsory schooling has added very little to their
education in factual knowledge ; it has certainly created
for them situations which have led to undesirable behavior.
All of them have been truant, running away from the in-
tolerable, learning to dodge, to neglect and to cover their
tracks. All of them are potential successes in occupation.
If they succeed there, however, it will be in spite of, not
because of, the school.

Is the New York City high school making no attempt
to meet this situation? There are some specialized high
schools dealing with commercial subjects, with technical
training and with trades. Two factors keep these schools
from functioning on any adequate scale. The particular
school may be situated too far from the person who needs
it; have to travel to Manhattan trade high
schools, and no parent can lightly thrust his child into the
maelstrom of present day city travel. What is more im-
portant, parents are often unwilling to send their children
to schools with differentiated curricula because they have
other ambitions 'for Tommy and Mary.

A possible solution seems to be the cooperative course,
an arrangement in which the students alternate between
school and job in weekly or monthly cycles and the school
work is made more "practical" to suit their needs. Less
than two years ago, a Brooklyn high school advertised to

the other schools the opening of such a course. Adminisl
trators were urged to send students from all over the borl
ough. 'By the end of the first term, it was necessary to lirai !
enrollment because of the demand. School administrators j
casting about for a selective agency, decided that truant
could not be admitted strange misunderstanding of thi
leading cause of truancy! Even so, in only a little over a year
the experiment has grown so out of bounds that the prindpa]
has restricted the course to students of his own school, proj
testing that he can not shoulder the burdens of the wholi
city. Here was an important educational need and educator
met it as the ostrich proverbially solves his problems, b;
refusing to see it at all.

When 28 per cent of a class of about 850 entering ai
academic high school is unable to carry the course by thi
end of the first year, and almost 4 per cent of the sami
class is unable to do so by the end of the second, it woult
seem that the course should be made more elastic and accom
modating. The few carefully followed cases in which stu
dents have been transferred from an academic to a voca
tional course encouraged us to go further. Herbert, previ
ously cited, was never missing from the printing class. An
other persistent truant was "reformed" when he was allowet
to go to the State College of Agriculture to learn some
thing about farming. Another, followed for a year am
three months, never missed a day after the Bureau of Re
habilitation rescued him from the classics and placed hin
where he could learn the jewelry trade. A third, persuadec
to make the daily trip to Manhattan to attend trade school
has put in a steady, interested year learning textile dyeing
Still another has followed a straight road toward the com-
pletion of a two-year course in linotyping. These instance:
could be multiplied many times over.

This brings us to a consideration of the type of coura
that would solve part of this problem.

It is not easy to survey the landscape and cry, "There ii
is!" because it exists only in a piece-meal way. We know
that the course should be frankly occupational rather thar
preparatory for college; we know, too, that the student*!
time should be largely spent in actual use of the tools of hi:
trade. Something approaching this plan already exists ii
the evening trade schools where there are shops as well a
classrooms, and carpentry, sheet-metal turning, plumbing
architectural drawing, dye casting, sign painting, dressmak
ing, cooking, and the like are learned by doing. The sue
cessful evening schools of this character also include course
in applied arithmetic and English, spoken and written, al
related to the student's own vital interests. We know how
to start this course from the materials at hand and one o
its virtues must be its ability to meet needs as they arise.

The lack of articulation between education and individua
need is a result of community attitudes and the failure, s<
far, of the science of education to help us to see beyond thi
nose. We need to make testing a more certain instrument o
predictability. We need to make vocational guidance a mon
trustworthy means of sorting people and jobs so that ulti
mately they click. We need to dress high school educatior
in modern clothes and make it keep pace with fashion as i
evolves. We need to change the standard implicit in thi
parental notion, "His father works very hard but I want mi
son to have an education so he won't have to work." W<
need to believe that all work is worthy if well done. We nee(
to pocket our pride. We need, above all, to learn that edu
cation is not an escape from toil but a preparation for it



A Public School I
That Dares


ONE of the biggest problems for all kinds of
progressive and experimental schools in
America is how to make the connection
with college entrance requirements. What
is the use of having the most wonderful
system or lack of system, whichever you
prefer in the lower grades if, beginning with the fresh-
man year at high school, you have to sacrifice every
enunciated principle, if you have to cram and whip, to
coax and coach the children to make the grade? Here we
have a dilemma in which that school will find itself that
wishes to combine real education in the earlier years of life
with something of a guarantee that their products will be
acceptable to the institutions of so-called higher education.

The school of which I am going to speak in this article
has not only abolished cramming in the higher grades, it
has abolished a fixed curriculum altogether. It even be-
comes peripatetic at times, taking its pupils into 'foreign
lands. And yet it is a public school, part of an otherwise
rigid system in the land of the goose-step. This school was
not founded te work out some specific educational principle
but, starting from a conventional type, adapted itself to a
new point of view, as success with each liberating step pro-
duced new courage. It challenges the objection so frequently
heard in our own country to the plans of educational re-
formers: "I entirely agree with you, my dear fellow, but
what you propose means that we must scrap our five-million
dollar plant, that we must dismiss our whole teaching force
and engage a new one. This old city is not the place to try
out your ideas. You should go with them to one of those
new towns in Florida or the Southwest, where they have
not yet invested so much in their school system." Well,
Hamburg, Germany, is not exactly a recent boom town ;
and it is not a city that can afford, just now, to build from
the bottom up. But s- many things have, of necessity,
changed there in recent years that the good burghers are
not, perhaps, quite as afraid of change today as they might
have been in former times. But let me tell my story

In the city-state of Hamburg, where the influence of
labor and of social democracy has been strong for many
decades but has become stronger during and since the War,
the public-school teachers have long enjoyed a reputation
of unusual progressiveness and pugnacity. But it was the
German Revolution and the change in the constitution that
gave them their biggest opportunity. Most of those who
have seen at work the school which I am going to describe,
admit that it is as close to real education as a public insti-
tution paid for by the taxpayers and under the super-
vision of a municipal department can come in our day.

The Lichtwarkschule is built on the outskirts of the city
near a large public park where it has air and quiet and
enough room. But unfortunately, though it is a handsome

Linoleum cut designed and made by a fifteen-year-old
pupil of the Lichtwarkschule

structure, the building was put up several years before the
present educational policy was fully developed and already
proves unsuited to what is going on within its walls.

The school nominally belongs to that new type of com-
bined elementary and high school, the Deutsche Oberschule.
(The grade divisions, promotions and ages are practically
the same as from about our fifth grade to the senior high
jchool class.) This type was created during the War, as
distinct from the humanistic Gymnasium and the more
technical and practical Realschule and Ober-Realschule, to
provide a general cultural education through a large variety
of parallel courses, with emphasis on history and the natural
sciences, language and literature in short, on the subjects
most apt to be crowded out of the schools that lead up to
the universities and the technical colleges. What gave the
greatest impetus to the creation of schools of this character
which Friedrich Paulsen and other educators had been
clamoring for years before was the patriotic wave that
swept over the Fatherland during the war and the demand
for schools that would cultivate more especially the mother
tongue, and the national history, legend, topography and
literature that is, the natural and social heritage of race
and nation.

FROM this general type, however, the new school in
Hamburg soon deviated. Curiously enough, it was not
the influential citizens with their far-flung mercantile asso-
ciations who first doubted the wisdom of a narrowly na-
tionalistic education but the teachers with their more
localized interests and background. The head of the school,
as it happens, is a member of one of the old aristocratic
families of this Hansa citv, but also a democrat and some-




thing of an educational genius. The faculty, with the free-
dom it enjoys under the new constitution, decided that the
multiple choice offered in the curriculum, while it increased
the freedom of both pupils and teachers, did not meet the
first need common to all, which is a consistent search for a
fuller appreciation of life and the individual's place in it.
They named their school after a great son of the city,
recently pissed away, who had taught that reasoning and
memory alone do not make a full equipment for life but
must be joined to power of observation, aesthetic perception,
imagination, quick sympathies, awareness of large ethical
and religious aims. He had said, in one of his essays, "The
school of today starts from the subject matter, and there it
remains. It ought to start from power and develop more
power. With its too exclusive concern for the material to
be taught, the school satiates the pupil. It ought to make
him hungry."

SO, taking the name of Alfred Lichtwark for their
challenging symbol, these teachers abolished the
separate courses of study altogether and concentrated on a
single, cultural objective. Retention of the general form
and constitution of the Deutsche Oberschule was made
necessary, however, if passage of the final examination was
to be recognized as certificate of admission to the universities
in the other states. The minimum number of hours de-
manded for the teaching of various subjects had to be
included; but there was no need to prescribe in advance
exactly when and how the individual teacher should take
up a given subject with his class. The idea of a gradually
developing tree of knowledge where one subject might be
pursued as the living sap flows through stem and branch
and twig to leaf and flower was substituted for a curriculum
made up of a mixture of unrelated, separate subjects.

I have no evidence that these men have ever heard of
Dewey or, if they have, that they have been particularly
influenced by him. But somehow, independently of the
current of educational thought in the West, they seem to
have come to the conclusion that the teacher is more im-
portant thaw the text-book, and that the living stream of
experience and inquiry is educationally more dynamic than
the most neatly diagrammed course of study. Somehow,
they discovered that the amount of subject matter covered
in a given space of time is quite irrelevant to the educational
values created and incorporated in that time; that it may
be interesting but is by no means necessary in the pursuit
of an inquiry to follow the particular route which others,
at other times and in other situations, have followed ; that
information can be stored in libraries and need not be stored
in memories except in so far as it is relevant to and sig-
nificant for frequent
pursuit ; that what takes
place in the mental hab-
its of students as they
go adventuring with
their teacher is more
important for their in-
tellectual growth than
their total mileage.

These arc not new
ideas. They are bound
to crop up wherever a
genuinely educational
attitude is at work.

The Lichtwarkschule of Hamburg, Qe

But while with us, generally speaking, new thought must
adapt itself to old channels of systematized education, it
has been permitted in post-war Germany here and there
to break through the dam and create its own edifice. The
Lichtwarkschule one of several such recent developments
is of interest to us precisely because it shows what we might
accomplish here in the United States if, with our infinitely
greater resources and our more traditional progressiveness
in educational matters, we would once in a while abandon
our slow road of gradual reform and permit a group of
inspired teachers to cut straight through the established

Of course, this would mean more than a change in
method. I am using the word "inspired" advisedly; for
what is needed is a new spirit, a new relationship between
teacher and pupils. Incidentally, such a renewal would
mean that the teaching of a class is concentrated as it is
in the Lichtwarkschule in one teacher, an enthusiast for
culture in the largest sense, not for a specialty. He must
be permitted to travel with his students at high speed along
a line of inquiry until their interest flags or is distracted
and then to switch over into a related line of inquiry with
equal zest and competence. Thus an interest in history
might branch out quite unexpectedly into the pursuit of the
growth of scientific knowledge and, hence, of scientific
knowledge itself. Or an observation of natural phenomena
might lead to laboratory work one day and a comparative
discussion of religious myths another day. Of course, not
all is left to spontaneity ; the skill of the teacher will show
itself precisely in the art with which he introduces relevant
studies at the point where they most directly bear u?on
some matter of vital interest to the pupils. That is an old
story with progressive schools which we do not here need
to expand.

SO the geography lesson starts at a point, let us say,
where the class, interested in the story of its own city,
has to know something of a distant continent; and maybe
here the use of a foreign map and the explanation of foreign
place-names introduces the desirability of knowing a
language English or Spanish. In the lower grades the
"creative instinct" is likely to be less untrammelled, and
from the desire to make things there spring all sorts of in-
tellectual interests. Physical culture, music and the arts
have always been the step-children in German education.
Here, for the first time, they move into the front rank,
so much so that an achievement in one of the arts a
drawing, a musical composition, a poem or a thesis
on some physical culture theme may be accepted as
equivalent to the conventional written examination.

There runs through
the school an under-
current of primary con-
cern, of both teachers
and pupils, with the
present world crisis and
all it implies in revolu-
tionized and revolution-
ary ideas not a static
concern however, with
a phenomenon of sur-
passing interest to on-
lookers, but a dynamic
(Continued on p. 288)

Pirie MacDonald


"Any plan for the creation of a better world to live in, as peace instead of
war, the spirit of co-operation between employers and workers, and more
of beauty and enduring felicity in the sex relations, is not feasible unless
individual men and women are educated to meet the requirements of the
plan." From Felix AJler's announcement of the Ethical Culture Pre-professional School

A Teacher Forges New Tool;

Illustrations by pupils of the Ethical Culture School

IX) improve human condi-
| tions it is necessary to im-
ove human beings. The
nverse also is true. Better
ople to achieve better con-
rions, better conditions to
Jve better people the ef-
Irt of change must be under-
licen from both ends. But
fsoon as we agree that edu-
"on is a mighty tool from
ch the greatest things are
I be expected, we are chal-
hged to examine the tool
e have in hand with a view
J determining whether it is
Ifmpetent to perform its
No, certainly in its
nt state it is not. If
Jucation is to improve man-
id, the first imperative ne-
isity is that education itself
: improved. Felix Adler

VOU may educate a hu-
* man being most effective-
ly, not by giving him a cul-
ture which he can only make
use of in his leisure time
but by training him to ach-
ieve excellence in his work-
ing time The object is to

train him to exercise his vo-
cation as though it were a
fine art, to find the road that
leads to the most excellent
way of fulfilling it, that the
process of his living, this
trade, this profession, this
handicraft, shall become at
the same time a process of
developing his highest fac-
ulties of mind and character.
- L P. Jocfej, Principal of
Manchester College, Oxford.

Robert D. Kohn & Clarence S. Stein, architects
Architect's sketch for the pre-professional school

DUCATION is restless. The formula has
been, "Know everything a little and one
thing well," but in recent years human
knowledge has become so wide, human life
so complex, that neither half of the injunc-
tion can be obeyed. Education is again
prown back on the old dilemma of over-specialization
krsus a dilettante culture. To unite two educational aims
ptherto believed incompatible requires a new educational
fcchnique ; and because we believe we have found it, we are
leenly interested in the experiment we are undertaking at
he New York Ethical Culture School. We are convinced
hat our reorganization is sound in theory and useful in
ractice. Briefly stated, we seek while offering a thorough
Tactical education, to make this practical training the
ehicle of a liberal culture.

To be cultured is to be abreast of the onward movement
f humanity along all the different lines of its progress, to
eel the throb of its forward urge, and to appraise its
scertainable results. But culture is even more than that,
t is to see the aim to which one's life is devoted in its
elations favorable and unfavorable to other human inter-
sts, to measure one's own work by its effect on the work
f one's fellows. Culture is to direct one's own effort, with
ie minimum of friction and waste, along the forward
novement of social progress.

Here are two factors: "to know what other people are
oing and to know how to make one's job fit into the larger
reative process which gives meaning and color to all human

endeavor. We are combining both in a technique of educa-
tion which has main regard to the relations that exist be-
tween one's own and others' vocations. Our task is to keep
the individual's special interest well to the 'fore but to dis-
cover and emphasize lines of radiation that go out from
and return to the specialty. For instance, there is in the
modern world give and take between business and science,
between business and art, between business and government,
between business and religion. We suffer today in our
imperfect civilization from what may be called the single-
track interest. The man of science is interested in science,
the artist in art, the medical man in medicine; and each
pursues his course regardless of the rest of the world, often
harming other lives not perhaps deliberately, but none the
less disastrously by his self-absorbed plunging ahead.

The new aim with which we are experimenting, then,
is to educate a generation of specialists who will estimate
success in their own line by the degree to which they ad-
vance in all related lines the progressive movement of hu-

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