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The student will do the reading by himself, and will make
written and oral reports to his instructor. These two will
>e in close touch with one another and upon the basis of their
discussions there will be arranged other readings and other
discussions in larger groups running up to the college as a
whole. We shall be trying by individual and social confer-
ences to build up a community of persons, older and younger,
who are all working on the same problems, sharing in the
same enterprise. It is perhaps a strange thing to say but
what we hope is that a student will get the drive toward
personal initiative in study by finding himself a member of
a community every member of which is engaged in the same
studies. That sense of intellectual solidarity the present col-
lege has lost. Can we regain it ? Can the faculty by laying
down a program of reading define what a college is and what
it is for? Can we fashion a community of teachers and
students so committed to a common enterprise that anyone
who does not share in that enterprise shall feel himself out
of place? We need to say very clearly and definitely that
a college is a place of compelling obligations as well as of
opportunities. My impression is that if we can ourselves
believe it and say it American youth will not fail to

One of the provisions of the vote which defines the project
seems to me very significant in its social as well as its edu-
cational implications. The college will make its experiment
upon freshmen and sophomores; it will not concern itself
with juniors and seniors. There are in this arrangement two
implications which mark it off from most of the experiment-
ing which is now being done in our colleges. The Wisconsin
venture is democratic in the sense that it seeks for light
upon the education, not of limited groups, but of all the
students in a class. It is liberal in the sense that it wishes
to find out how to teach, not special subjects for students
especially interested in them, but the general interests with
which every intelligent person should be acquainted, no
matter what his special interests may be. It may be worth
while to define still further this democracy and this demand


for liberal training as distinguishing

which lies before us. W/>

The faculty of the Experimental College is pieoW/ip''
are students apply than can be accented, m mai

e ventnie

: more students apply than can be accepted, to make"?*}/?/., "
selection ,n such a way as to secure as nearly as possible a
cross-section of the class. And this pledge is, on the social
side, another expression of the notion which appears in the
selection of the freshmen and sophomore years. We wish
to experiment upon the general run of students. It seems
to me that the vital social question in American education
to-day is not, How well can we do with specially qualified
groups of students? but rather, Can our young people as a
whole be liberally educated? Are some of them incapable
of dealing with ideas? Must we accept the aristocratic
division of people into two classes, one of which can be
trained to understand while the other is doomed by its own
incapacity to remain forever outside the field of intelligence ?
It is this issue which it seems to me most of our present
experimenting avoids. In the so-called Orientation courses
for freshmen a slight attempt has been made. But in the
far more common devices of the "honors course" type, small
groups of students are taken in the third and fourth years
when their special interests and capacities have developed
and the question is how far their training along those special
lines can be developed. The question is of course important
and the experiments are worth while. But they seem to
me to wander far from the primary issue which now presents
itself to the American teacher. That issue appears in the
form of a growing pessimism with regard to the institutions
of democracy. In one form or another we are told that
it is a waste of time to try to teach ideas to a large section
of our youth. These non-ideational people, it is asserted,
are capable of using their hands and legs, they can put into
physical execution the ideas which their more intelligent
comrades will create for them; they are the workers of
the world while we, who announce this doctrine we and
our group are the thinkers. Let us then have education in
thinking while the others are trained for something else
whatever forms of activity can be carried on by their differ-
ent natures.

NOW it will not do to approach this issue w>th mere
dogmatism. It will not do to oppose dogma with
dogma, to declare that all people are as such capable of
worth-while activity in the field of ideas. The trouble with
doing that is that the evidence available does not support
our dogma. The only real evidence that people can think is
that they do. And the evidence is not at present very satis-
fying even with respect to many of those who are assumed
to belong to the thinking class. But it is equally certain
that the evidence on the other side is correspondingly lack-
ing. No one has a right to say that a person is incapable
of thinking or of any other activity until he has had a fair
chance at it under favorable conditions. No observation of

ClU^lVC AJ LW vv lift*, v^-j i

radically different conditions. And the plain fact i
our educational procedure does not as yet justify us in say-
ing of what our students are or are not capable.
be time to make that statement when we have
a svstem of education which gives to each individual the
training which he needs to bring out the capacities that
are in him. For the present our primary task is that c
taking all types of young people and discovering their powers.



Our scheme of government, our scheme of morals, our scheme
of social relations, is built, or thinks itself built, upon the
view that all normal persons are capable of understanding.
And the schools of such a social scheme are pledged to
develop that understanding if it can be done. A democracy
has a right to make that demand upon its teachers, and if
teachers give up the task without properly attempting it, a
democracy has a right to condemn them as untrue to their
responsibilities. In so far as oui" colleges can be said to be
seeking to limit their numbers to any special group or class,
or to be confining their best efforts to such groups, I think
\ve can fairly say that they are evading the primary issue.

THE essential questions are How many people can be edu-
cated ? and How can the teaching best be done? It is in
this spirit of these questions that the Experimental College
is commissioned to take a cross-section of the class, to select
the different grades and types of students, to give to all of
them a common task and then to see in each case what can
be done to bring them into the desired form of activity. It
may be that the educational program presupposed by a
democracy is an illusion. It may be that it is the one signi-
ficant insight and hope in all our modern social theory. But
to decide between those two is, in my opinion, to make the
most important social decision now appearing in American
life. In the last resort it is our schools which must decide
whether or not we can have a democratic scheme of life,
and it is time that they were about the making of that deci-
sion on the basis of actual study and experimentation.

A second feature of the limitation to freshmen and sopho-
mores is that it involves dealing with general training rather
than with special work in separate fields. In the junior
and senior years where the elective system holds sway stu-
dents fall naturally into small groups, each of which is
brought together by some separate interest. And with
such groups the teacher can proceed along the lines of his
own professional study. Here the teacher as specialist finds
himself at home with his pupils. Relatively speaking he can
be sure that they come to him only if they have some aptitude
or liking for the work. And in such fields it is easier for
the teacher to keep up his courage, even to venture into
experimentation for the developing of initiative and inde-
pendence among the best of his students. But in the fresh-
man and sophomore years we are dealing primarily with the
required studies, with the interests and activities in which
it is believed all students should share. In these years, there-
fore, we have large unmanageable masses of students taking
work which is prescribed and which must, in the nature of
the case, be elementary in character. Here it is that the
despair of the teacher finds abundant material to feed upon.
And the temptation is very strong to give up the fight for
liberal education, to say that, while here and there students
will find their way into the world of scholarship, as regards
the great mass, liberal teaching is and must be an illusion.

NOW here again, the Experimental College is directed
to take up the fight. Is there such a thing as liberal
understanding? Is it true that all advance in knowledge
must be gained in special fields and technical pursuits? Or
are there intellectual problems common to all intelligent
minds, which every man should study, no matter what his
peculiar pursuit? On that point too there is much pessi-
mism among our scholars and teachers just now. And the
present state of knowledge gives much warrant to the pessi-

mism. But to give up the battle at this point would be, I
think, even more serious than to give up the fight for democ-
racy. It is bad enough to say that some men are incapable
of achieving intelligence, but to say that there is no genuine
intelligence to be achieved to say that is to destroy utterly
the foundations of an educational system. Must we accept
that conclusion? I think not. Certainly not until every
possible attempt to escape it has been made and until every
such attempt has failed. My impression is that our civiliza-
tion is just at the beginning of another struggle to win
generous understanding of the world. And it is in the
midst of that venture that a liberal college finds its work
and its meaning.

The teaching issue with respect to liberal understanding
appears most sharply in the discussion of the "required cur-
riculum." Shall each person, teacher and pupil, be free to
follow his own subject and to follow that alone? Or shall
there be established by a group certain common studies which
every one, teacher or pupil, must pursue if he wishes to be
accepted as a member of the community of learning? It is
just here that, so far as an educational system goes, the
fate of liberal learning and of general understanding is to
be decided. And, as I have said, that decision is tragic in
its importance. But apparently we are drifting in our deal-
ing with it rather than thinking it through. The way of
the specialist in the work of study is so easy, his successes
are so quick and so gratifying, that we Americans who like
success in any form are carried away by it without knowing
where we are going. And on the other hand the task of
general understanding is at present so baffling that any one
who attempts it is open to the charges of vagueness and
inaccuracy and lack of scientific precision. It is a choice
between successful thinking about unimportant matters and
unsuccessful thinking about matters which are vital. Which
shall we take? My own opinion is that every educated per-
son should have both experiences. But if we must choose
then surely it is the common and important interests which
must have the right of way. The way of import must be
preferred to the way of pride. A college of liberal learning
must have in the first two years a required curriculum. It
must recognize certain studies as imperative in their demands
upon any member of the community.

THERE are at present two vigorous forms of protest
against any required curriculum. Before closing this
paper I should like to discuss them briefly.

It is suggested, especially by undergraduates, that we
can secure the interest and initiative of the student by allow-
ing him to follow his own preference as to what and how
he shall study. The required course, it is said, fails because
it is hostile to personal freedom. Let each member of a
group study what he chooses; you will then have a com-
munity of scholars all of whom are eagerly engaged in the
pursuit of knowledge. But the prescription is not a good
one. We need importance and validity, as well as imme-
diate interest, for the nourishing of our minds. And a group
of persons engaged in the study of different subjects is not a
community: it is simply a collection of individuals with no
intellectual significance for each other. Such a collection can
be regarded as a community only upon the assumption that
there are, running through all the separate interests, com-
mon interests which bind them together and give them mean-
ing in relation to one another. But in that case, the com-
munity exists as such only in (Continued <m page 204)

I Go to Work


N a snowy morning between Christmas 1891
and New Year's 1892, I arrived at Hull-
House, Chicago, a little before breakfast
time, and found there Henry Standing Bear,
a Kickapoo Indian, waiting for the front
door to be opened. It was Miss Addams
ho opened it, holding on her left arm a singularly un-
ittractive, fat, pudgy baby belonging to the cook, who was
ihindhand with breakfast. Miss Addams was a little
idered in her movements by a super-energetic kinder-
;arten child, left by its mother while she went to a sweat-
ihop for a bundle of cloaks to be finished.
We were welcomed as though we had been invited. We
lyed, Henry Standing Bear as helper to the engineer
:veral months, when he returned to his tribe; and I as
resident seven happy, active years until May I, 1899,
I returned to New York City to enter upon the
>rk in which I have since been engaged as secretary of the
ational Consumers' League.

I cannot remember ever again seeing Miss Addams hold
baby, but that first picture of her gently keeping the
ittle Italian girl back from charging out into the snow,
:losing the door against the blast of wintry wind off Lake
Michigan, and tranquilly welcoming these newcomers, is
as clear today as it was at that moment.

Henry Standing Bear had been camping under a wooden
sidewalk which surrounded a vacant lot in the neighbor-
hood, with two or three members of his tribe. They had
been precariously employed by a vendor of a hair improver,
who had now gone into bankruptcy leaving his employes
a melancholy Christmas holiday. Though a graduate of a
government Indian school, he had been trained to no way
of earning his living and was a dreadful human commentary
upon Uncle Sam's treatment of his wards in the Nineties.
At breakfast on that eventful morning, there were
present Ellen Gates Starr, friend of many years and
fellow-founder of Hull-House with Jane Addams; Jennie
Dow, a delightful young volunteer kindergartner, whose
good sense and joyous good humor found for her unfailing
daily reward for great physical exertion. She spent vast
energy visiting the homes of her Italian pupils, persuading
their mothers to remove at least two or three times during
the winter their layers of dresses, and give them a thorough
sponge-bath in the sympathetic and reassuring presence of
their kindergartner, Mary Keyser, who had followed Miss
Addams from the family home in Cedarville and through-
out the remainder of her life relieved Miss Addams of all
household care. This was a full-time professional job where
such unforeseen arrivals as Henry Standing Bear's and
mine were daily episodes in the place which Miss Addams'
steadfast will has made and kept, through war and peace,
a center of hospitality for people and for ideas'.

Julia Lathrop, then recently appointed county visitor
for Cook County for those dependent families who received
outdoor relief in money or in kind, was mentioned as away
for the holidays with her family at Rockford, Illinois. Miss

s a i C

nties and from 1912 to lg2l thr h fi .

creative years chief of the Children's Bureau at w
'gton, was then and is now a pillar of Hull House. Two
ers 01 the permanent group were Edward L. Burchard
tor many years curator of the Field Museum; and Anna
Hrnsworth, an agreeable woman of leisure and means,
nappy to be hostess-on-call to some and all who appeared
the front door from breakfast until midnight seven day,
a week 1 hat was before the squalid, recent social conven-
tion had been set up, according to which everyone, however
abundant and well assured her income, must earn her own
living or be censured as a parasite. Miss Farnsworth's
gracious gifts of free time and abundant good-will for
counselling perplexed immigrants, finding comfortable quar-
ters for old people who could do a little work but not
fend for themselves in the labor market, providing happy
Saturdays in the parks for little groups of school children
whose mothers worked away from home, were among the
Settlement's early enrichments of the neighborhood life.
Reaching Hull-House that winter day was no small
undertaking. The streets between car-track and curb were
piled mountain high with coal-black frozen snow. The
street cars, drawn by horses, were frequently blocked by
a fallen horse harnessed to a heavily laden wagon. When-
ever that happened, the long procession of vehicles stopped
short until the horse was restored to its feet or, as some-
times occurred, was shot and lifted to the top of the snow,
there to remain until the next thaw facilitated its removal.
Nor were these difficulties in the way of travel minimized
by free use of the telephone. In all weathers and through
all depths of snow and slush and sleet, we used to navigate
across Halsted Street, the thirty-miles-long thoroughfare
which Hull-House faced, to a drug store where we paid
ten cents a call, stood throughout the process, and in-
cidentally confided our business to the druggist and to any
English-speaking neighbors who might happen in.

A SUPERB embodiment of youth in the Mississippi
Valley was Mary Kenney. Born in Keokuk, Iowa,
of Irish immigrant parents, she had moved with her mother
to a nearby brick tenement house, a distinguished three-
story edifice in that region of drab one- and two-story frame
cottages, in order to be a close neighbor to Hull-House and
participate in its efforts to improve industrial conditions.
Her volunteer work was with self-supporting, wage-earning
young women whom she hoped to form into powerful,
permanent trade unions. Tall, erect, broad-shouldered, with
ruddy face and shining eyes, she carried hope and confidence
whithersoever she went. Her rich Irish voice and friendly
smile inspired men, women and children alike to do what
she wished. Her undertakings prospered and throve.

A highly skilled printer, she was employed by a company
which gave preference to union employes. As a numberer
she earned fourteen dollars a week, supporting herself and
her lovely old mother on that wage. Hers was the initiativr



l {J \V(JK.I\

in making of the brick tenement a cooperative house for by permission from the federal schedules) indicated in

working girls known as the Jane Club, a large part of the colors, ranging from gold which meant twenty dollars or )

success of which was for many years due to the gentle more total a week for a family, to black which was five :

sweetness of Mrs. Kenney, who mothered the cooperators dollars or less total family income. There was precious

little gold and a superabundance of black on that in-
come map!

The discoveries as to home work under the sweating
system thus recorded and charted in 1892 (that first year
of my residence) led to the appointment at the opening of
the legislature of 1893, of a legislative commission of en-
quiry into employment of women and children in manu-
facture, for which Mary Kenney and I volunteered as
guides. Because we knew our neighborhood, we could and
did show the commissioners sights that few legislators had
then beheld ; among them unparalleled congestion in frame
cottages which looked decent enough, though drab and
uninviting, under their thick coats of soft coal soot. One

a few months a small experimental employment member of the Commission would never enter any sweat-
office for working girls and women. It was a tiny space in shop, but stood in the street while the others went in,
a corner of the building then adjoining Hull-House, oc- explaining that he had young children and feared to carry

as though they had been her own.

Although this was an entirely self-governing undertaking,
Miss Addams was elected year after year an honorary di-
rector, having underwritten the experiment from the be-
ginning. Later a friend of the Settlement, as a first step
towards an endowment, paid for a building planned for
the convenience of the cooperators, the rent going to Hull-
House. This became a model for the Eleanor Clubs and
countless other cooperative home clubs for self-supporting
women scattered over the great city and growing with its
growth during the past quarter century.


Y first activity, begun that week, was conducting for

cupied as a morgue and undertaking establishment by an
Irish-American mentioned with respect in the neighborhood
because he was rumored to have various cripples and two
deaths to his credit.

It soon turned out that both employers and applicants
for domestic work were too few in the Hull-House region
to afford a basis for a self-supporting employment office,

them some infection.

This Commission had been intended as a sop to labor
and a sinecure, a protracted junket to Chicago, for a number
f rura l legislators. Our overwhelming hospitality and
devotion to the thoroughness and success of their investiga-
tion, by personally conducted visits to sweatshops, though
irksome in the extreme to the lawgivers, ended in a report

Yet finding work for people of every conceivable qualifica- so compendious, so readable, so surprising that they presented

tion, from high federal and state offices to rat-catching,
forms a continuing chapter in the history of the House.
But this has never been commercial.

In my first year at Hull-House, Carroll D. Wright,
U. S. commissioner of commerce and labor, in charge of
a federal study of the slums of great cities, entrusted me
with the Chicago part of the enquiry. With a group of

it with pride to the legislature. We had offered it to them
under the modest title, Memorandum for Legislative Com-
mission of 1893. They renamed it. The subject was a new
one in Chicago. For the press the sweating system was
that winter a sensation. No one was yet blase.

"\V7ITH backing from labor, from Hull-House, from

schedule men under my guidance, we canvassed a square ^\f the Henry Demarest Lloyds and their numberless

mile extending from Hull-House on the west to State
Street on the east, and several long blocks south. In this
area we encountered people of eighteen nationalities.

Hull-House was, we soon discovered, surrounded in
every direction by homework carried on under the sweating
system. From the age of eighteen months few children
able to sit in high chairs at tables were safe from being
required to pull basting threads. In the Hull-House kinder-
garten children used with pleasure

friends, the Commission and the report carried almost with-
out opposition a bill applying to manufacture, and prescrib-
ing a maximum working day not to exceed eight hours for
women, girls and children, together with child labor safe-
guards based on laws then existing in New York and Ohio,
and quite advanced. There was a drastic requirement in
the interest of the public health that tenement houses be
searched for garments in process of manufacture, and goods
found exposed in homes to contagious

blunt, coarse needles ior sewing The "mauve nineties" have been diseases be destroyed on the spot.

bright silk into perforated outlines of celebrated for the culmination of Owner s of goods produced under the

horses, dogs, cats, parrots, and less dilettantism for great numbers of Wea . ti f n 8 sv f tem were rtqw^A to

known creatures on cards. 1 hey did , t /i ~* -v * i furnish to the inspectors on demand

this in the intervals between singing, the women of America. Y et during complete ^ of nameg and ^

modeling and playing active games. '. very decade women swarmed dresses of both contractors and home

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