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Seventh-grade geography.—The geography of the
first half of the seventh grade is a study of “Some prominent nations of the world,” including, for example, Holland, France, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, China, Japan, Argentina, Brazil. In the second half of the year, “The world in general,” “The conditions of commerce,” and “Four great nations of the world—British Empire, German Empire, Russian Empire, the United States "–are the subjects of study. A general geography and a commercial geography are used as texts to supply the material for study. The method of study is the same as in the sixth year. Some typical problems are: In spite of its size, Holland is one of the great mercantile nations of the world. Show why the Dutch were compelled to seek their fortunes in trade and why they were so successful. The Argentine Republic has a better opportunity for
future development than any other country of South America. Why?
The study of “The world in general ” is organized around such topics as
The sea, the great commercial highway.
Causes that give rise to commerce.
Natural conditions that affect commerce.
Human control of commerce.
Means of transportation.
The study of the British Empire is organized around the following main topics:
Size and population.
Wide distribution of territory.
Principal parts of the Empire.
How the parts are helpful to one another.
Means of knitting the parts together.
Relation of the Empire to the rest of the world, especially to the United States.
Among the central topics for the study of the United States are:
What has caused it to become almost self-sustaining?
What has caused it to become one of the great commercial powers of the world?
Its present commercial status.
Conservation the great problem of the future if the present position at home and abroad is to be maintained.
Seventh-grade history.—Again the strong historical element in the geography of this year is to be noted. History, however, is also given a separate place throughout the year. In the history study geography becomes an essential factor.
Owing to the use of different texts no attempt is made to outline the work in history of the 7B grade in detail. The point of view used in teaching this work should, however, be the same throughout.
In his “Moral principles in education,” Dewey says: “History is vital or dead to the child according as it is, or is not, presented from the sociological standpoint. When treated simply as a record of what has passed and gone, it must be mechanical, because the past, as past, is remote. Simply as the past there is no motive for attending to it. The ethical value of history teaching will be measured by the extent to which past events are made the means of understanding the present.” No history, therefore, should be treated as though it had meaning or value in itself, but should constantly be made to show its relation or contribution to the present. . . .
In the work of this grade make the children feel that the history of our country is a part of the history of the world and that it had its beginnings many centuries before its discovery. . . . . Accordingly, the elements of European history, which are studied throughout this grade, are organized under the general title, “European beginnings in American history,” and are treated as such. Eighth-grade history.—Geography has no place in this grade as a separate subject, though it is always an important factor in the study of history. The history of this year is American history, taken up systematically in connection with a text. A somewhat full suggestive outline is given in the course of study, but need not be repeated here. The spirit controlling the history instruction in this grade is the same as that which controls in the preceding grade. The characteristic feature of this year is the introduction of “community civics" as a separate subject throughout the year, and its close co-ordination with the history. This means primarily that the history of the Nation is treated as the story of the growth of a national “community,” involving all the “elements of welfare" with which the pupils are made familiar in their civics work, the same development of means of co-operation, especially through government, and so on. More particularly, it means that special aspects of civic life and organization are emphasized in connection with those periods of American history in which they are most significant. The pupils find, for example, that the motives that led to exploration and colonization (whether on the Atlantic coast or in the far West) were the same as those which have led to the development of their own local community and State, and that the process of development is the same in the one case as in the other. Advantage is taken of the period of development of transportation and communication to emphasize the importance of these factors from the point of view of the study of the same topics in civics. Before leaving the subject of geography and history in the seventh and eighth years, attention should be called to the emphasis that is given in the Indianapolis course of study to economic facts and relations, not only in the subjects of geography and history, but also in civics. This has an important relation to the development of the same field of social study in the later cycle of the years X-XII (see pp. 16, 23).
adopted as a part of its present general report, and issued as a manual on “The Teaching of Community Civics " in Bulletin, 1915, No. 23, United States Bureau of Education. Its availability in that bulletin makes unnecessary, in the present report, a detailed description of the course and its methods. Some of the essential features, however, are here summarized. (a) Significance of the term “community.”—Community civics lays emphasis upon the local community because (1) it is the community with which every citizen, especially the child, comes into most intimate relations, and which is always in the foreground of experience; (2) it is easier for the child, as for any citizen, to realize his membership in the local community, to feel a sense of personal responsibility for it, and to enter into actual co-operation with it, than is the case with the national community. But our Nation and our State are communities, as well as our city or village, and a child is a citizen of the larger as of the smaller community. The significance of the term “community civics " does not lie in its geographical implications, but in its implication of community relations, of a community of interests. . . . It is a question of point of view, and community civics applies this point of view to the study of the national community as well as to the study of the local community. (b) Aims of community civics.-The aim of community civics is to help the child to know his community—not merely a lot of facts about it, but the meaning of his community life, what it does for him, and how it does it, what the community has a right to expect from him, and how he may fulfill his obligation, meanwhile cultivating in him the essential qualities and habits of good citizenship. More specifically this aim is analyzed as follows: To accomplish its part in training for citizenship, community civics should aim primarily to lead the pupil (1) to see the importance and significance of the elements of community welfare in their relations to himself and to the communities of which he is a member; (2) to know the social agencies, governmental and voluntary, that exist to secure these elements of community welfare; (3) to recognize his civic obligations, present and future, and to respond to them by appropriate action. A unique feature of the method of community civics described in this report lies in the fact that there is the closest relation between these three essential aims and the three steps by means of which each of the main topics is to be taught (see d, below). (c) Content of community civics.-A characteristic feature of community civics is that it focusses attention upon the “elements of community welfare" rather than upon the machinery of government. The latter is discussed only in the light of a prior study of the “elements of welfare,” and in relation to them. The “elements of welfare" afford the organizing principle for this new type of civics. It is suggested that the following elements of welfare be studies as topics: (1) Health; (2) Protection of life and property; (3) Recreation; (4) Education; (5) Civic beauty; (6) Wealth; (7) Communication; (8) Transportation; (9) Migration; (10) Charities; (11) Correction.
In addition, the course may well include the following topics dealing with the mechanism of community agencies: (12) How governmental agencies are conducted; (13) How governmental agencies are financed; (14) How voluntary agencies are conducted and financed.
(d) Methods of community civics.-I. Social facts upon which the method should be based: (1) The pupil is a young citizen with real present interests at stake. . . . It is the first task of the teacher, therefore, not to create an interest for future use, but to demonstrate existing interests and present citizenship. (2) The pupil as a young citizen is a real factor in community affairs. . . . Therefore it is a task of the teacher to cultivate in the pupil a sense of his responsibility, present as well as future. (3) If a citizen has an interest in civic matters and a sense of his personal responsibility, he will want to act. Therefore the teacher must help the pupil to express his conviction in word and deed. He must be given an opportunity . . . to live his civics, both in the school and in the community outside. (4) Right action depends not only upon information, interest, and will, but also upon good judgment. Hence the young citizen must be trained to weigh facts and to judge relative values, both in regard to what constitute the essential elements in a situation and in regard to the best means of meeting it. (5) Every citizen possesses a large amount of unorganized information regarding community affairs. . . . It is, therefore, important to teach the pupils how to test and organize their knowledge. (6) People are . . . most ready to act upon those convictions that they have helped to form by their own mental processes and that are based upon their own experience and observation. Hence the teacher should . . . lead the class: (1) To contribute facts from their own experience; (2) To contribute other facts gathered by themselves; (3) To use their own reasoning powers in forming conclusions; and (4) To submit these conclusions to criticism.
(7) The class has the essential characteristics of a community. Therefore the method by which the class exercises are conducted is of the utmost importance in the cultivation of civic qualities and habits. . . .
II. Three steps in teaching an element of welfare: (1) Appoach to the topic.—In beginning the study of an
element of welfare the teacher should lead the pupils to
realize its importance to themselves, to their neighborhood, and to the community, and to see the dependence of the individual upon social agencies. Much depends upon the method of approach. The planning of an approach appropriate to a given topic and applicable to a given class calls for ingenuity and resourcefulness. In this bulletin approaches to various topics are suggested by way of illustration, but the teacher should try to find another approach whenever he thinks the one suggested is not the best one for the class.
(2) Investigation of agencies.—The knowledge of the class should now be extended by a concrete and more or less detailed investigation of agencies such as those suggested in the bulletin. These investigations should consist largely of first-hand observation and study of local conditions. The agencies suggested under each topic are so many that no attempt should be made to have the class as a whole study them all intensively. Such an attempt would result in superficiality, kill interest, and defeat the purpose of the course. . . .
(3) Recognition of responsibility.—A lesson in community civics is not complete unless it leaves with the pupil a sense of his personal responsibility and results in right action. To attain these ends is perhaps the most difficult and delicate task of the teacher. It is discussed here as the third step in teaching an element of welfare; in practice, however, it is a process coincident with the first two steps and resulting from them. If the work suggested in the foregoing paragraphs on “Approach * and “Investigation of agencies” has been well done, the pupil's sense of responsibility, his desire to act, and his knowledge of how to act will thereby have been developed. Indeed, the extent to which they have been developed is in a measure a test of the effectiveness of the approach and the study of agencies.
2. Ninth-year civics.--When provision is made for community civics in the eighth year the way is prepared for work in the ninth year that would not otherwise be possible. The work of the ninth year should build upon, or grow out of, the eighth-year course; but it should have a broader horizon, develop new points of view and new relations, and emphasize aspects of social and civic life that were only lightly touched upon or wholly omitted in the earlier course. Incidentally, also, this ninth-year course should lay substantial foundations for the social studies of succeeding years.
(a) Amplification of national concepts.-The reaction against the exclusive and formal study of national government and the increasing attention given to the study of local community relations have resulted in a noticeable tendency to minimize the study of civics in a national sense. It would be inexpressibly unfortunate if the study of local community life and local civic relations should supplant a study of national community life and national civic relations. The two aspects of civic life should clearly supplement each other. While we are impressing the pupil with the importance of his local civic relations and utilizing them as a means of cultivating fundamental civic concepts and habits, we should not allow this to divert attention from the increasingly intimate relations between local and national interests, and the increasing importance of a recognition by the individual of his responsibility for the national welfare.
It is extremely difficult for the average citizen in a democracy to think in terms of national interest, especially when there is any apparent conflict between it and the local or group interest. An illustration of this is seen in the local influence brought to bear upon the members of the National Congress which often prevent them from voting on public questions in the interest of the Nation as a whole when it seems to be antagonistic to the interests of the local districts. Questions of health, of education, of industry, can no longer be considered in their local bearings alone, but must be dealt with in the light of national policy and to the end of national efficiency. As our population grows, means of communication perfected and the interests of the individual more closely interwoven with the interests of others, the opportunities for friction and conflict increase. So much the greater is the necessity for training the pupil to recognize the common general interest in the midst
of conflicting group interests and for cultivating the will to subordinate the latter to the former. On the other hand, there is another tendency which, though good in itself, sometimes has a tendency to undermine our sense of the importance of national solidarity. This is the conception of “internationalism,” of “humanity as greater than its divisions,” of a “world community.” This conception indeed needs cultivation, as suggested in the following section; but it is necessary to keep our minds upon the elemental fact that before there can be effective “internationalism" there must be efficient and self-respecting nationalism; that the first step toward the realization of a “world community" must be the cultivation of sound ideals, and of efficiency in attaining these ideals, on the part of the several nations which must constitute the “world community.” The word “patriotism" has been much abused; but it is a good word. Instead of avoiding it because of its abuse, and instead of consciously or unconsciously giving young citizens the impression that the thing for which the word stands has somehow lost its significance, every effort should be made to imbue it with real meaning and to make it a potent influence in the development of a sound national life. The committee submits that this should be a definite aim of secondary education, and that one of the means of attaining it is by applying to the study of our national interests, activities, and organization the point of view, the spirit, and the methods of community civics. This may be done in some measure in the eighth year and earlier, but it may be accomplished more fully and more effectively in the ninth year, and later, on the basis of the earlier work. (b) Amplification of world interests.-As individuals within a community, or local communities within a State, or the States constituting the Nation, are dependent upon one another and are bound together into the larger community life by their common interests and co-operative action, so it can easily be shown that nations are becoming more and more closely dependent upon each other. Common world interests need emphasis, world sympathies need cultivation. Pupils will be quite prepared for instruction to this end on the basis of the principles developed in community civics. Such study should be concrete and based upon current events and problems. It offers a socially important line of development, and every available opportunity to this end should be seized upon. (See also under “History,” pp. 16, 17.) (c) Civic relations of vocational life.—Still another opportunity presented in the ninth year is for the stressing of the civic relations of vocational life. There is evidence that, as a rule, ninth-year pupils have begun to think more or less earnestly about what they are “going to do,” even though they may not have made any connection in their minds between their future vocations and the particular studies they are taking. Much of the mortality that occurs during the eighth and ninth years is due to the failure of pupils and parents to see the economic value of the high
school course. An opportunity exists to make highschool education seem “worth while ” by taking the budding vocational or economic interest as one point of departure. It is one of the essential qualities of the good citizen to be self-supporting, and through the activities necessary to his self-support to contribute efficiently to the world's progress. Not only is it important that this fact be emphasized in the civic education of the youth, but it is also appropriate that he be given as much enlightenment as possible to assist him in choosing his vocation wisely from the standpoint of social efficiency as well as from that of personal success. The question of vocational guidance is very much in the foreground at present. While there is general agreement that the young need “guidance" for the vocational aspect of life, as for its other aspects, there is wide divergence of opinion as to the nature of this guidance and the means by which it may best be given. The committee on social studies believes that education as a whole should take account of vocational needs and should contribute to the preparation of the youth for an intelligent choice of vocation and for efficiency in it. As for the ninth-year study now under consideration, the committee is here interested in its vocational guidance aspect only as an incident to the broader social and civic training of the youth. If it can be made to contribute anything to his guidance toward a wise choice of vocation and intelligent preparation for it, it is that much gain. The chief purpose of the phase of the ninth-year work now being emphasized should be the development of an appreciation of the social significance of all work; of the social value and interdependence of all occupations; of the social responsibility of the worker, not only for the character of his work but for the use of its fruits; of the opportunities and necessity for good citizenship in vocational life; of the duty of the community to the worker; of the necessity for social control, governmental and otherwise, of the economic activities of the community; and of the part that government actually plays in regulating the economic life of the community and of the individual. In other words, the work here proposed is an application of community civics to a phase of individual and community life that is now coming into the foreground of the pupil's interest. It has for its background the earlier work, and differs from it primarily in the larger emphasis given to the economic interest and its resulting activities. The other aspects of community life dealt with in the earlier course should receive renewed attention—the family, the protection of life, health, and property, education, recreation, etc.; but even they may be approached from the point of view of their relations to the activities and arrangements involved in “getting a living.” The term “vocational civics" has been suggested for this phase of the ninth-year work. The term is hardly adequate, however, since it is as important at this time to give instruction regarding the civic responsibility connected with the use of wealth as it is regarding responsibility in its production.
Community civics deals with real situations and relations in the pupil's own life. This vocational or economic phase of the subject should be no exception. It may well be approached through an examination of occupations or industries in which the pupils have some direct interest—those for which the several members of the class have a predilection, those in which their parents are engaged, or those of most importance in the immediate community.
Nowhere has a course in vocational civics been found that seems fully to satisfy the requirements postulated. Some steps have been taken in this direction, however, and, as an illustration of what has actually been done, reference may be made to the work of Superintendent William A. Wheatley, of the Middletown (Conn.) public schools.
“Pocational enlightenment ’’ at Middletown, Conn. —In the Middletown High School a half-year course has been introduced in the first year under the title of “A Survey of Vocations,” or “Vocational Enlightenment.” It consists of three parts:
1. Consideration of the importance of vocational information from the viewpoint of the individual and society, the characteristics of a good vocation, and how to study vocations. 2. Detailed treatment of 80 or 90 professions, trades, and occupations, grouped under agriculture, commerce, railroading, civil service, manufacturing, machine trades, engineering, building trades, learned professions, miscellaneous and new openings. 3. Practical discussion of choosing a life work, preparation for that work, securing a position, and efficient service and its reward. In studying each of the vocations selected, we touch upon its healthfulness, remuneration, value to society, and social standing, as well as upon the natural qualifications general education, and special preparation necessary for success. We investigate at first hand as many as possible of the vocations found in our city and vicinity. Each pupil is encouraged to bring from home first-hand and, as far as practicable, “inside" facts concerning his father's occupation. Local professional men, engineers, business men, manufacturers, mechanics, and agriculturists are invited to present informally and quite personally the salient features of their various vocations. In the class exercise of the mechanical engineer such topics as these are discussed: Which of the three engineers so far studied renders society the greatest service? Which is most necessary to your own community? Which one's work seems most attractive? What natural qualifications, general education, and special training are necessary? What subjects should constitute a high-school course preparatory to this profession? What subjects do the best technical schools demand for entrance? What advantages and disadvantages are there in preparing for this profession in a co-operative school and shop course? What kind of work during the summer would serve best to determine aptitude for it? Difference between expert machinist and mechanical engineer? What is a contracting engineer? etc. .
Superintendent Wheatley says of this course that— Besides being intrinsically interesting to the pupils, it gives them greater respect for all kinds of honorable work, helps them to choose more wisely their life work, convinces them of the absolute necessity for a thorough preparation
before entering any vocation, and holds to the end of the high-school course many who would otherwise drop out early in the race.
The committee would encourage experiment along this line. It would, however, repeat its suggestion that in the further development of such course particular attention be given to its broader social and civic implications; that instruction in vocations from the point of view of individual success be made not the end but a means to a more fundamental social education. The approach should be through a consideration of the services rendered by any particular vocation rather than from the point of view of remuneration. It is a principle no less important that the vocation, if it plays its true part in the life of the individual, is the chief means for the develop of personality; consequently the pupil should be taught to seek a vocation that will call forth his best efforts. There should be something of the personal challenge in “vocational enlightenment.” 8. Adaptation of community civics to rural conditions.—Community civics has been developed principally to meet urban needs. There is need for an adaptation of the subject to rural conditions. The community relations of the rural youth are different from those of the city youth. In a sense they are simpler. They also seem more vague. Their very simplicity apparently adds to the difficulty of developing a systematic course in community civics. Furthermore, the teachers in rural schools are often less experienced and less readily recognize the opportunities and materials for civic training. Prof. J. F. Smith, of the Berea College (Ky.) Normal School, has successfully developed a course in community civics to meet local rural conditions. One of his lesson plans on roads is given in Bulletin, 1915, No. 23, United States Bureau of Education, page 39, and is here reproduced because of its suggestiveness. In this study numerous photographs were used, walks were taken over good and bad roads, and the pupils and teachers actually did a piece of road work. Study and report on condition of roads in the community. Draw a map of the community, indicating roads. Which are dirt roads, rock roads, other kinds? Which are well graded, well crowned? Note side ditches; are they adequate? Note culverts and bridges. Estimate miles of road in the community, public and private. Study road-making material in the community. Note places where limestone is found; sandstone, slate, gravel. Are these materials accessible? Find out cost of hauling in the community. Consult wagoners and learn charges per 100 pounds for freight and farm produce. Can farmers afford to market produce at present cost of cartage? Find out how much freight is hauled into the community annually and compute amount paid for this. How long will wagon and set of harness last on the roads? How long on good roads? Difference in cost for 10 years. How much could people who buy supplies afford to spend on road upkeep each year in order to cut down freight rates? Compare cost of hauling here with cost in European countries where the best roads exist. What overtax do the people have to pay? Note that this overtax is in the form of higher prices for household necessities and in smaller profits for farm produce.
Road building: Determine kind of road; the location; grades; how grades affect the haul; the drainage level and steep roads, side ditches; culverts, subdrainage, crown; actual construction, tools, funds, means employed. Road maintenance: Kind of material to use; regular attention necessary; the tools. What good roads mean to a community; the economic problem. How they enhance the value of land. Means of communication. Better social life. The history of the development of roads, canals, and railways in your State and in the Nation, in its relation to the growth of community spirit and co-operation, will be fruitful. What effect did the steam railway have upon the development of canals? Why? Show how the Panama Canal tends to unite our Nation more firmly. Study the problems of rapid transportation in cities and their relation to various phases of city life. Also the effects of the parcel post and of electric interurban lines on the welfare of farmers and city dwellers. Make a comprehensive study of the work of the Federal Government in promoting and safeguarding transportation. The ship-purchase bill and the Government ownership of railways and of street railway lines afford material for discussion and debate.
It is probable that the rural citizen comes into direct contact with State and National Governments with greater relative frequency than does the urban citizen, whose life is largely regulated by the municipality. Under the topic, “Protection of property,” for example, the following discussion was introduced in rural classes in Delaware:
The United States Department of Agriculture, in a recent report, estimates that $795,100,000 worth of damage was done by insects to the crops of this country in a single year. What insects, birds, and animals are destructive of property in your community? What plant and animal diseases are prevalent in your locality or State? Investigate the work of your State agricultural college to prevent loss from these causes. (Get reports and other publications directly from the college. Ask the children whether their fathers receive publications.) Is there any department of your State government or any State officer whose work contributes to the protection of property against such enemies? Investigate and report on the work of the Federal Department of Agriculture for the protection of property against destruction by the causes named. Why should the Federal Government interest itself in this matter in your community? (Reports on this subject may be obtained directly from the department. These reports may also be in your local library.) Protection of birds; value to the farmer of insect-eating birds.
Under “Fire protection ” the following topics were developed in the same classes:
Show how the farmer is largely dependent upon his own efforts and the friendly co-operation of neighbors? Contrast with the elaborate arrangement in cities. Why the difference? Point out the extreme importance of fire prevention in rural communities. Value of the telephone as a means of fire protection. If you live in a village or a small town, describe the arrangements for fire protection; method of alarm; water supply; bucket brigade; volunteer companies; etc. Compare with the conditions of the farm and of large cities. Have the children find out whether their fathers' property is insured. In what companies? Where are the main offices of these companies? (Probably in distant cities or States.) Discuss the methods of insurance, to show the wide-spread co-operation through the payment of premiums. Is there a grange in your community? Does it provide a means of insurance? If so, describe it.