Survey Associates.

The Survey (Volume 58) online

. (page 76 of 130)
Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesThe Survey (Volume 58) → online text (page 76 of 130)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

labor movement, Manumit
can arouse public opinion
which will demand the im-
provement and broadening
of our public schools, whose
level can never rise until the
level of public intelligence
rises and bestirs itself con-
sciously toward that end.

By Sara Zausner, aped 1 1

Many experimental schools have been started for the chil-
dren of the well-to-do. Manumit is the first to be started
by workers for their. own children.

With its acreage Manumit can use as project material
current economic processes, rather than artificially devised
schemes. It contemplates a comprehensive view of the
child's need for physical activity and the cultivation of
health habits as a routine of life. It is interested in mental
hygiene oversight, aesthetic development, civic responsibility.
The entire school organization, in short, is planned to serve
as an integrating life experience.

In still another aspect, Manumit School can be viewed
as a far-sighted social enterprise. Presupposing the perma-
nence of our metropolitan areas, it contemplates quite
seriously the possibility of demonstrating how feasible it
would be to have groups of public school children, at first
during the summer months, radiate out from the centres of
population for their education ; in other words, to reconstruct
education on a definite zone system and move metropolitan
schools to the outlying areas. A successful demonstration
school would be the first step in the working out of such
a social scheme.

Because of its intimate relationship with the school prob-
lem, Manumit is seriously concerned further with the im-
provement of human relationships in the home. Through
the school must eventually come the influence that will
reconstruct the home. If it is to be saved as a social institu-
tion, some offsetting influence must be found to counteract
within it the radical disintegration which has been brought
about by a combination of our social attitudes and by
economic pressure. The child in the home acquires certain
reactions toward life, he establishes his values, his sense of
relationship to the community. The school must take the
child from the home and return him again to the home

equipped and prepared to
cope with the problems and
conflicts which exist there.
No ready or easy solution
can be offered to enable the
school to rehabilitate the
home, but Manumit is at
least aware of the direct re-
sponsibility which the school
does and should bear.

Manumit believes that
education, in its last analy-
sis, is life, not lessons. Its
methods are free, but scien-
tific. Its approaches are fac-
tual and concrete, through
projects which the children


me 15, 192?



elect for themselves. The community is self-governing and

emocratic. One person one vote, on all questions save those

f health, safety, and educational procedure, is the principle

iverning the weekly community meeting. Required

cademic standards are met. But Manumit endeavors to

o so by teaching children rather than subjects. It offers

10 prizes nor punishments, but substitutes for authoritarian

ntrol the discipline of life itself in a cooperative social


The curriculum of Manumit includes the essentials of
.rithmetic, English, social science, natural science, creative
nusic, art and craft work. The children study in age
groups, and a conscious effort is made to correlate the in-
truction of all departments. In the music department, for
xample, the centralizing theme is the orchestra. Instru-
nents are manufactured in the carpenter shop, painted in
he art shop, and played in the studio. From these simple
and-made instruments, zithers, ukeleles, drums, made from
igar boxes, chalk boxes, cheese boxes and wooden chopping
owls, the child who evinces unusual musical ability advances

By Sam Nooger, aged 12

to the more complicated piano, cornet, banjo, or violin.
But Manumit is more desirous of drawing out the musical
expression of the many, than of cultivating the talent of
the few.

Interest is always the motive which stimulates the child
to creative activity. Manumit endeavors to create an
atmosphere in which he can freely express his entire per-
sonality. It recognizes the dignity of manual labor, and
practices democracy rather than preaches it, for all of the
work of the school is shared by all of the community alike.
The responsibility thus placed upon the children develops
in them the independence, initiative, power of self-direction
and control which are so vitally needed by the citizens of
a democratic nation. Manumit endeavors to make these
children of workers proud of their fathers and mothers
who work, and of the labor movement which they represent,
to give them a fair perspective on labor's past efforts to
achieve a better world, to equip them to play their part
intelligently and scientifically, and with a new zest for
life's adventure.

New Doors Open


THIS year's was the seventh meeting of the Pro-
gressive Education Association and the first, I
believe, to move West. Although less than two
hundred were present from schools outside Cleve-
land, this number represented an almost equally
large number of schools. Private schools, chiefly country
day schools, made up almost the entire group, yet the most
active corner of the exhibit hall was that occupied by the
public school of Winnetka. In Cleveland itself and in the
suburbs, the public schools were much alive to our

Progressive education has arrived in the established order
Df things. No longer can it be called "experimental ;" there
is a recognizable technique. "Creative" seems a bit ex-
aggerated when one watches the changing fashions taking
lold ; this season we learn civilization no more by way of
the Indians, but by building a Viking hall. (Next year
iomeone may discover my beloved Melanesians and the
sxhibition will be swathed in grass mats and tapa.) The
jerennial sceptic rises in me to inquire whether the young

stuff may not "jell" too soon, before all its proper sugar
is melted in.

The Association this year became institutionalized only
to the extent of securing a full-time executive secretary,
whose inaugural address summed up his observations during
a tour of the progressive schools of the country and
attempted to evaluate the growth and the weaknesses which
the movement as a whole now shows.

The formal meetings of the conference suffered from
being held in a church auditorium too large for our numbers
and conversational voices; it was difficult to maintain a
creative spirit while one's eye was forced to wander over
the machine-stencil reliefs of violet compo-marble which
rilled the apse of a peculiarly debased neo-Roman basilica.
The most lively meeting was, for this or some other reason,
Keeping Parents Informed About the Development of Their
Children, held at the headquarters hotel. Although in a
progressive school a child lives more of his true life than
he did in the readin', writin', 'rithmetic shop of tradition,
yet the inter-action with the home is far closer than when



June 15, 1921

the sole medium of communication was the report card.

What school can do to straighten out tangled home rela-
tions by tactful intervention, how much more the home
inevitably creates or mars character, be the school ever so
bad or ever so good, is continually before the eyes of the
progressive teacher. The tool of the progressive school,
used with increasing technical precision, is the detailed
record of observation. Eugene R. Smith, headmaster of the
Beaver Country Day School, spoke with authority and real
insight of what that meant. His illustration was a story
of the irate father arriving to demand what right the school
had to complain of his son, who was left for a half hour
to cool himself on the complete folder of his boy's day-to-day
record, while the headmaster was the equivalent of "in
conference." At the end of the half hour the father only
wanted to know what he could do to help toward improve-
ment. Too often, the old-fashioned school, unless it was
dealing with gross misconduct, could not prove its case;
the technique of the progressive school should not only
prove but also clarify any case.

That meeting in each conference which, by common con-
sent, is most delightful is the final one given over to Ten
Minute Contributions from the Field. Two forcibly
beautiful impressions were left on my mind from the morn-
ing's offerings which convey the fundamentals of the pro-
gressive education movement.

Laura Garrett, presenting the summer camp for the first
time as an educational institution and, speaking more philo-
sophically, Elsie Wygant of the Francis W. Parker School
of Chicago, stressed the leisure that derives from concentra-
tion and, correlatively, the need for leisure in which the
child can concentrate. Formal school work, Miss Wygant
urged, must be motivated by the need of the creative spirit.
Both the formal work and the child's personality are
endangered by comparison with others in marks, grades and
such devices.

Even stronger was the impression made by the two speak-
ers on the training of teachers for the new schools; a work
far less developed than the new schools in which they will
work. Marietta Johnson, pioneer in this as in so much
else, stirred her audience by her plea for signs of growth
as a criterion of a flourishing child ; thus the training of
the teacher lies in experiencing the means of growth, such
as handicraft, rhythm, story-telling and nature, and in
observing the child a-growing. But more fundamental
because he neither subordinated the child to the teacher as
does the traditional pedagogy, nor the teacher to the child
as would Mrs. Johnson's philosophy, nor leaves them
separate units rotating in their own spheres, as does too
much of our present-day routine text-book test schooling,
was the significant viewpoint suggested by James Tippett
of the Lincoln School of New York. His interest is in the
mutual growth of the child's and the teacher's personality
at work. The test of good teaching as he defines it is the
contribution each makes to each ; the teacher's joy in setting
a stage of environment based on a scientific interest in
child life; the child's joy in finding himself through creation.

Even machine repeated bas-reliefs before one's eyes could
not destroy the lift of such vision. A generation to whom
such possibilities in education are open won't titivate its
nerves, after its eyes have gone dull, with highly colored
repetitions, sumptuous only in expense. One sceptical
listener came away with renewed hope and courage after all.

COMMONWEALTH COLLEGE in the Ozarks is an ex-
periment in cooperative education. In the intervals of lectures,
recitations and study, faculty and students have cleared the
college farm, erected the study hall, dormitories and library,

simplicity of ar-
construction, and
the housekeeping
tural processes.
Commonwealth is
activities to ren-
cated. During the

all of a frontier

chitecture and

carried on both

and the agricul-

This summer

extending i t s

der service to the -p,. " t

which it is lo-

summer months, while the students are away, earning their

tuition and pocket-money for next year, the college plant is

to be thrown open to an experiment in adult education. Men

and women of the mountain farms and villages nearby are

invited to "a summer school of rest and recreation," which

will include "evening readings in poetry and literature, lectures

and forums on present day political, economic and social

problems . . . moonlight hikes, all-hour swimming, picnics

and outdoor and indoor dancing." The college faculty will

conduct informal classes and act as hosts and hostesses. No

tuition fee will be asked, and "one dollar a day will cover

board, lodging and the educational and recreational incidentals."

DO THE boys and girls in a large city high school select their
school on the basis of intelligent guidance? How far are they
conscious of their goal before or after graduation? An attempt
to answer these questions was made by Kenneth W. Wright
and Ellen E. Garrigues of De Witt Clinton High School, New-
York, during the closing school year. A questionnaire, put
before the 6,000 members of the student body, asked why each
pupil chose that particular school and what plans he had for
the future to work before graduation, after graduation, to go
to college, or "undecided." Half the students chose DeWitt
Clinton because it offered a general course, one-sixth because
of its reputation, one-sixth because it was recommended, and
the rest for scattering reasons, including location. 61 per cent
planned to go to college, 17 per cent to work after graduation,
4 per cent to work before graduation and 17 per cent were
undecided. A report of the survey adds, "This would be very
gratifying if a large number of these ambitious young men
were not foredoomed to disappointment. But the preferred
colleges, forced to eliminate a large proportion of those clamor-
ing for admission, demand in most cases an average of 75 per
cent in the applicant's high school work. Thus the holder of a
mediocre record is turned away from one door after another,
until he either comes to rest in some struggling institution too
anxious for students to quibble over standards, or he abandons
his search in disgust and gets a job."

AN ENDOWMENT of $100,000, putting its radical educa-
tional experiment on a permanent basis, is being sought by the
Modern School of Stelton, N. J. The school, "founded by
workers, maintained by workers for the children of workers"
is located in the famous Ferrer colony. Stelton was one of the
pioneer schools in making the attempt to "base its activities on
the child's spontaneous interest." So far as it has a curriculum,
"it aims to represent as much as possible of human experience
and aspiration, to study the universe in its relations to man's
problems and hopes. Everything includes the purpose of pro-
gressive life. The effort is to exclude nothing essential to
that end."

FIRST aid for parents who are trying to choose either a camp
or a school for Jessie and Johnny is offered by Children, the
Magazine for Parents, in two pamphlets by Eva v.B. Hansl.
Choosing the School and Choosing the Camp state briefly the
various phases of the problems involved and include a brief and
pointed "catechism" and an intelligent bibliography.


in Our


"There's a Screw Loose Somewhere"

1 AND CORRIDOR. An Autobiography by Charles L. Clark,
'No 5126, Illinois State Penitentiary. t7nfaTfJ of Cincinnati
ess" Illustrated. Price $2.50 postpaid of The Survey.

This is the unique book review the autobiography
of a convict reviewed by an ex-convict. Jack Black
who contributed his own views on criminals tn his
memoirs of a yeggmanYou Can't Win-last fall
(see The Survey for December I, 1926) now appraises
the conclusions of Convict No. 5126, Illinois State
Penitentiary. We have here expert testimony on the
life of criminals. Jack Black spent thirty years of his
life in and out of jail. Then Fremont Older helped
him get straight, and he has been librarian of the
San Francisco Call. Just now he is at Culver City,
California, doing a prison play in the movies for the
Metro-Goldwyn Company. Judge Charles W. Hoff-
man of the Court of Domestic Relations at Cincin-
nati, says of Lockstep and Corridor: "The real merit
of this book is that it affords the material for the study
of the actuating motives and factors in the life history
of a veteran, professional criminal, the conventional
offender against society, working from his earliest
days along the lines of standardized methods of cnme.^
It stands unique in the literature of crime.

EIBROSO spent years and years trying to prove, in
terms of biology, that there is a "criminal type,
"half lunatic, half savage." If Lombroso did any
good it was buried with his bones. Charles L.
Clark, prowler and stick-up, now finishing his
eighth felony sentence, steals a few transient hours from
the corroding cares of Joliet prison and writes his most
interesting autobiography. Clark doesn't try to prove any-
thing. He sets forth a plain unvarnished tale of his doir
and undoings, and is content to say at the end, of him-
self and his sidekickers, "There's a screw loose somewhere.
Lombroso's conclusions have been exploded. Clark s con-
clusions will never be exploded, for there is a screw loose
somewhere. Well then, who's got the screw driver?
It would appear, from current press reports th;
Hon. Caleb Baumes of New York has it. Our California
State Legislature probably borrowed it, for they have passed
"fifty pieces of legislation" tending to the suppression
crime. Yet, a week after the bills were s.gncd by the gov-
ernor, we have the same old "Saturday special bank stick-
up .- Los Angeles. No doubt the stick-ups were preparing
to run away from California because of the new drastic law
and had to have "running expenses." Anyway, before you
swallow the Baumes law and other ' just as good substi-
tutes you'd better put your nose between the pages of Loc

From a woodcut for the magazine Book Notes by Anton Lock

step and Corridor. A careful reading of its lines and what's
between its lines will give you pause, and you may conch
there's a screw loose in other quarters. And here s som.
thing from Governor Clifford Walker of Georgia about 1
Baumes law, under press date of May 15:

The extreme crime wave reformers would abolish parole,
probation and the indeterminate sentence, increase the .seven y
and length of punishment, and fnghten human nan

of our penal system.

Listen to this-from George Bernard Shaw-unde,

date May 15:

u V, o. npnnle ["criminals] satisfies our vindictive
To punish tnese pei i ^L_ ^_ cof ; c f ar t;nn of hurting them,

black deserves

mad e the inevtae conse

how a small penalty will de er if s cer a



June 15, 191

This is highbrow lingo that I've quoted, but it rings
true to me. Now turn to Lockstep and Corridor and you
get the same thing dramatized in lowbrow lingo plain,
blunt, one-syllable words. More, this book is a prime cut
from life in the underworld true to its last word, and I
want to recommend it to that half who don't know how
the other half lives; and to sociologists and investigators
and crime commissions; to judges, jurors, prosecutors and
policemen. You are all there, right in the book, gentlemen,
just as you are, some crooked, some square. If you don't recog-
nize yourself you will at least recognize some one you know.

What an array of characters line up for you crooked and
honest thieves, crooked and honest "fences," crooked and
honest lawyers. The trusty convict who could have run
away any day but wouldn't throw down the warden who
gave him a good job sawing his way out of prison at night
and "beating it on the square." "Jim Welch," the only
prisoner who could keep the knitting machines in order
consider that: only one machinist in a big penitentiary.
That proves what Clarence Darrow says: "They [the con-
victs] were not scholars. They had no trades. They had
not been carefully trained for the job of living. If what
is so tritely called crime shall ever disappear the change
must come through the education of the youth to some
calling or trade that will give him a chance to live as
others live. With this training probably most crime would

If you want to know about the big machine that's geared
and guaranteed to grind out criminals read this book.
Brother Clark doesn't preach or pray just states facts, and
he's a good loser, too.

There is a good, solid foreword by Judge Charles W.
Hoffman of Cincinnati, and a most complete criminological
summing up of the subject by Earle Edward Eubank, dis-
tinguished head of the Department of Sociology of the Uni-
versity of Cincinnati. JACK. BLACK

In Gangland

Thrasher. University of Chicago Prett. 571 pp. Price $3.00 postpaid
of The Survey.

HOW appropriate in these days of crime waves and
beer running that Chicago should give the world
a book on the gang! One opens the book with visions of
flivver squads, machine guns and jail breaks but before
turning many pages finds himself in the empire of the gang,
wondering why so much mystery has been draped about the
subject. The gang turns out to be an ordinary spontaneous
play group that begins with mischief and sometimes ends
conspicuously with organized crime and bad politics. Gang-
land is an interstitial area, a slum between areas of respect-
ability and decay, where misconduct is high and social life
low. Nobody is to blame and no single remedy applied
locally will cure. Force only aggravates the problem. It is
a problem involving the whole city. There is here quest
for romance and adventure but no less natural than human
behavior anywhere. Thrasher nails the boast of the Boy
Scouts that their boys are never numbered among the
gangsters. His answer is simple: the B. S. A. does not
invade the realm of the gangster. B. S. A. volunteers will
not go there.

Can a college professor who has never been a gangster
write on this subject? The book seems to answer in the
affirmative though it should be added that it was not writ-

ten out of the experience and study of Thrasher alone,
hundred cooks stewed the broth and the findings wel :i
checked against the observations and experience of gangsteil' 1
policemen, politicians, newspapermen. After the fashion I
sociological research in Chicago where scores of studies a I
carried on and the findings pooled, this book emerged, .1
it were from the council table. Much credit is due 1|
Robert E. Park who wrote the editor's preface, for the jou I
nalistic arrangement of the material.

The sub-title implies that the author discovered 1,31 I
gangs in Chicago. No one can know that many gangs an I
keep his data straight. The press made much of this nuirl
her, to Thrasher's hurt. He does not say there were thai
many criminal gangs as implied nor does he say he knev
them all. He got the number through a questionnaire sin
vey and perhaps used it to satisfy statistical hounds wh<
recognize nothing as true unless it is counted. The secom
objection will come from the practical folks. Thrasher i
safe in a classroom in Andy Gump's home town, Blooming
ton, Illinois. He does not feel the press of the questisr
from the probation officers and others who want to know
how to meet the problem. He has one chapter on Attack-
ing the Problem which is not complete. He really helps
us to see the gangster as a human being. We need another
book to tell us what to do about it.

Whlttier House, NELS ANDERSON

Jersey City

The Community Educates Adults

ADULT EDUCATION, by Joseph K. Hart, New York. Thomas Y
Crowell Co. 341 pp. Price $2.75 postpaid of The Survey.

AkiONG the flood of books written under the newest
name for progressive attitudes toward education ii
this significant treatise. Adult education for Hart is a mat
ter of the whole complex of social institutions, rather thar
merely another abstract and intellectual performance. Fol
lowing Dewey, he finds experience of the individual thi
educative force and disparages the Thorndike method of in
culcating in unsuspecting youth habits that the teacher o
a smug community regard as ideal, but leaving the studen
little or no opportunity to learn how to develop habits fo
ends of which he himself may be conscious. A scathinj
criticism of public schools as routine, uninspiring, unpro
gressive, where few children ever become intelligent in th
subjects taught, is followed by a sympathetic criticism of th
"new" schools in which the suggestion is made that the;
might emphasize more the matter that older institution
overemphasize, namely, the necessity in the later life of th
student of fitting into an established order.

The more significant ventures in adult education are men
tioned and wholesome skepticism expressed on the value o
specific measures to complete training left incomplete by th
usual provision ; since the whole educational system is a
fault and since particularly, education in the best sense neve
is complete. It is wisely argued that to remove the prc
vincial-mindedness of adult America, its animistic prejudice
and obsolete customs, will take a long time; and, while i
is the job of adult education, techniques in it are a matte

Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesThe Survey (Volume 58) → online text (page 76 of 130)