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Copyright, 1920, by 




The value of co-operation in place of individualism is 
rapidly rising in the consciousness of the American people. 
For many reasons we are far more closely related to more 
people of the world than formerly and are more conscious of 
the relationship. This expansion of personality is ready 
to-day to conceive and to realize feelingly the brotherhood 
of man and both national and world citizenship. The ad- 
joining farms or nearest small villages do not circumscribe 
the breadth of our interests, acquaintance, nor economic 
exchange. To-day we think more in terms of the county, 
the State, the nation, and the world, instead of provincially 
limiting ourselves to the farm and the little one-room school 

The automobile, telephone, good roads, trolley cars, news- 
papers, magazines, and larger administrative participation 
tend greatly to widen the area of our social connections. 
The stupendous world war with its unprecedented stimulus 
to close national organization of railroads, agriculture, and 
manufacturing, with all their implications of sacrificing indi- 
vidualism to social efficiency, has sent the world, and espe- 
cially America, a long way toward a desirable organization 
of. all of each nation's forces. The consolidated rural school 
is part and partner of this broader socialization and integra- 
tion. It stands for educational efficiency in the interests of 
the nation and humanity by means of a greater degree of 
co-operation and organization over a wider area of territory. 

Already thousands of such schools have displaced the 
little one-room structures of restricted neighborhoods and 
mental outlooks from sea to sea. Every State has done 


something to develop such schools and a considerable body 
of literature has appeared in the form of reports, magazine 
accounts, and isolated chapters in books, describing more or 
less accurately this new and important type of educational 
advancement. Along with the larger, graded school, taking 
the place of as many as ten or more single-room schools of 
the pioneer type with transportation of pupils for long, dis- 
tances, frequently five or more miles from all directions, we 
find developing also at the consolidated-school centre such 
strategic factors as a school farm, a home for the principal 
teacher and his family, homes for other teachers and janitor 
on the school property, the integration of the village trading 
centre and farms, an increased use of the school as a com- 
munity centre, especially where a good auditorium is pro- 
vided, and a very much closer adaptation of the work of the 
school to definitely social and particularly rural needs. 

These remarkable transformations are worthy of the 
closest study, interpretation, and publicity. Isolated reports, 
surveys, and single chapters fail to do justice to the theme 
and fail also in acquainting many people with this type of 
solution of the great rural-school problem. We greatly need 
a first-class, thoroughgoing book, based on investigation, 
nation-wide acquaintance with this type of School, and thor- 
oughly and cautiously worked out and illustrated. Such a 
volume few busy educators have time to produce. Feeling 
the need, however, the editor has done his best in producing 
such a volume by the method of co-operation of specialists 
found successful in other volumes of this series. We do not 
hesitate to pioneer and open up the way for more thorough- 
going works in the future. Our purpose is practical, directed 
to immediate and wide publicity of a very worthy hypothesis 
for the solution of a very grave problem, how to secure better 
rural education in this democracy. 

The volume is based on rather definite aims of education 
and on a social theory of the function of the rural public 
school. The general aim held is that of social efficiency 


while the subordinate aims under which may be grouped the 
principal needs of country people and the principal problems 
of life which they solve well or ill somewhat according to the 
nature of the schooling which they receive are analyzed as: 
(i) Vital efficiency, (2) vocational efficiency, (3) avocational 
efficiency, (4) civic efficiency, and (5) moral efficiency. These 
are the fundamental goals of each chapter and are treated 
explicitly in the chapters on the programme of studies. If 
the principal problems of life lie in these fields then it is the 
business of education to make minimal essentials those school 
activities which produce efficiency in solving them. How 
children may be changed physically and mentally by suitable 
methods to secure these five efficiencies of character is treated 
briefly in two chapters on the learning and teaching processes. 

We have selected a few of the leading specialists and suc- 
cessful workers in this field to help in the production of a 
first volume on the consolidated rural school. This method 
of co-operation needs no defense. It has long been success- 
fully used by the medical profession and others, and has 
demonstrated its utility in education by a number of good 
books, among which we may mention the volumes by Pro- 
fessor Paul Monroe and the lamented Professor Charles 
Hughes Johnston, and our own "Educational Hygiene" and 
''Teaching Elementary School Subjects." Another volume 
written by the editor alone, on ''Rural School Hygiene," 
will in part also treat of the consoUdated school. 

The editor here expresses his warm appreciation for the 
assistance of the contributors, of the many who have fur- 
nished photographs and data from personal experiences, of 
Doctor Harold W. Foght while in the United States Bureau 
of Education, and of his wife, Frances Chandler Rapeer. 

L. W. R. 

Washington, D. C, January, 1920. 



I. National and Rural Consolidation .... i 

By Louis W, Rapeer, M.A., Ph.D., Director, National School of So- 
cial Research, and President of Federation for American Childhood, 
Washington, D . C . Author of ' ' School Health Administration, ' ' ' ' The 
Administration of School Medical Inspection," Coauthor and Editor 
of "Educational Hygiene," "Teaching Elementary School Subjects," 
and "How to Teach the Elementary School Subjects"; Associate 
Editor of American Education and of the American Journal of School 

II. The American Rural School 21 

By Philander P. Claxton, Litt.D., LL.D., United States Commis- 
sioner of Education, Washington, D. C. Joint Author of "Effective 
English" and of numerous government reports. 

III. Community Organization and Consolidation . 

By Warren H. Wilson, Ph.D., Professor of Rural Education, Teachers 
College, Columbia University, New York City. 

. V 

IV. Rural Economics and Consolidation .... 66 ( — 

By T. N. Carver, Ph.D., Professor of Economics, Harvard University, 
Cambridge, Mass. Author of "Rural Economics" and "Readings 
in Riural Economics." 

V. School Administration and Consolidation . . 91 L- 

By the Editor. 

VI. The Growth of Consolidation 108 

By Major A. C. Monahan, B.S., Sometime Specialist in Rural Educa- 
tion, United States Bureau of Education, Assistant Director of Re- 
construction in Hospitals, United States Army, Washington, D. C. 
Author of numerous government bulletins such as "The Consolidation 
of Rural Schools" and "Transportation of Pupils at Public Expense." 



VII. A Visit to a Consolidated School .... 130 

By Katherine M. Cook, Specialist in Rural Education, United States 
Bureau of Education, Washington, D, C. Formerly State Superin- 
tendent of Public Instruction of Colorado. Author and Coauthor of 
numerous government bulletins such as "Rural School Supervision 
in the United States," "Surveys of the school systems of Alabama, 
Colorado, Wyoming," and "A Manual of Educational Legislation." 

^ VIII. The Consolidated-School Site and Its Use . 149 

By A. C. MoNAHAN and the Editor. 

IX. The Consolidated-School Building .... 166 

By the Editor. 

X. The Teacherage 190 

By the Editor. 

XI. Transportation of Pupils at Public Expense . 208 


iy^ XII. Methods and Facts of Consolidation . . . 239 

By W. S. FoGARTV, County Superintendent of Preble County, Ohio, 
Lee F. Driver, County Superintendent of Randolph County, 
Indiana, A. C. Fuller, Jr., State Inspector of Rural Schools 
of Iowa, A. M. Merrill, Principal, Jordan High School, Sandy, 
Utah, C. G. Sargent, Professor of Education, Colorado Agricul- 
tural College, Fort CoUins, Colorado, and Superintendent C. H. 
Skidmore, Granite School District, Salt Lake County, Utah. 

XIII. The Curriculum of the Consolidated School. 284 

By the Editor. 

XIV. The Curriculum of the Consolidated School 

(Continued) 301 

By the Editor. 

1/ XV. Rural-Life Needs and College-Entrance De- 
mands 317 

By the Editor. 

XVI. The Outside of the Cup— Relative Values in 

English Instruction 344 

By the Editor. 



XVII. Learning Processes of Country Children . . 364 

By the Editor. 

XVIII. The Teaching Process in the Consolidated 

School 392 

By the Editor. 

XIX. The Country Girl and the Consolidated 

School 425 

By Katherine M. Cook. 

XX. Rural Recreation and Consolidation . . . 444 

By the Editor. 

XXI. The Difficulties of Consolidation . . . . 475 

By L. J. Hanifan, M.A., State Supervisor of Rural Schools, Charles- 
town, West Virginia. Author of "Social and Community Ac- 

XXII. The New Consolidated School 497 ^ 

By the Editor. 

Bibliography on Consolidation 520 

Index 543 


A corn project — Instruction in cultivation, Virginia Frontispiece 


Country boys at practical work 12 

Building a silo. A project in farm mechanics in Minnesota 12 

A nineteenth-century school and twentieth-century fanning implements 

side by side 24 

A brooder and laying house, Berks County, Pa . 40 

Poultry club work of Pennsylvania State College 40 

A home-made brooder 40 

Cast of "Midsummer Night's Dream" as presented by the school children 

of Rockingham, N. C 60 

A school assembly room 60 

Learning how to prune an orchard 76 

An orchard project 76 

Animal-husbandry study at first-hand 84 

Pupils studying tree grafting at Sherrard, West Virginia 84 

Studying alfalfa at first-hand 98 

Learning to judge cattle in club work 98 

A home project with seed com 98 

A Wyoming consolidated school 114 

A type of many abandoned pioneer schools 114 

A consolidated school, Woodstown, N. J 118 

From five to twenty such structures may be eliminated by one consoli- 
dated school 118 

The Colorado school visited by Mrs. Cook 134 




A movable partition for auditorium use, Cache La Poudre school ... 134 

Girls gaining domestic eflficiency 142 

Practical sewing for Colorado girls 142 

A model bam in North Carolina 152 

A model bam at a country-life school 152 

Play at a consolidated school, Preble County, Ohio 158 

Supervised play at a consolidated school in Marion County, Ohio ... 158 

A one-story building erected at Aberdeen, Washington 174 

An attractive building and site 184 

A neat example of the two-story type with basement 184 

A modest teacherage in West Virginia 204 

A good bam for horses, vans, bicycles, auto-busses, and other vehicles, 

Preble County, Ohio 218 

Ten in a row ready for the home trip, Preble County, Ohio 218 

A start toward farm carpentry 248 

Bird houses constructed in Preble County Schools, Ohio 248 

Agriculture is the central subject in rural education 294 

A class in botany at a summer school 294 

Members of the Boys' Com Club with agent explaining the root system, 

Alabama 298 

A school agricultural exhibit in the Philippines 298 

A domestic arts exhibit 308 

A day of recreation in the mountains 308 

Grading and testing com in a school laboratory, West Virginia 320 

A class in soil study in Wisconsin 320 

Farm mechanical drawing in a Maryland school 320 

The library wagon of Washington County, Maryland, stopping at a farm- 
house 356 

A well used library room 35^ 

A small printing outfit is a great help in English and m community spirit 362 



Pig-club work in Pennsylvania 372 

Stud)dng a milking-machine 372 

A lesson on the horse 372 

Teachers learning vegetable gardening at a summer school 398 

Giving the girls a chance at West Alexandria, Ohio 398 

Outdoor group games for girls at the Cache La Poudre consolidated school 434 

A canning-club girl, Oregon 434 

A garden project by Girl Scouts 440 

A field day in Preble County, Ohio 460 

Junior orchestra, ages 6 to 12 470 

Vital efl&ciency through physical education is emphasized in all Philippine 

schools 470 

Students in costumes for a play which they produced in connection with 

their graduation exercises, Manila, P. 1 492 

Float representing the San Andres primary school in the floral parade, 

Philippine carnival, Manila, 1915 493 



Preliminary Problems 

1. What have been some of the principal effects on democracy of 

the Great War? 

2. What is a democracy and in what ways is it superior to autocracy? 

3. What are some of the principal weaknesses of our democracy? 

4. In what ways can public schools promote the best democracy? 

5. What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of rural and 

urban life ? " 

6. What are some of the principal problems and needs of country 

people as you know them? Classify these needs under the fol- 
lowing headings: 
(i) Health and physical-development needs. 

(2) Economic and vocational needs. 

(3) Recreational and avocational needs. 

(4) Civic and co-operative needs. 

(5) Moral and religious needs. 

7. In what ways do the single-room schools help and fail to help sig- 

nificantly in the solution of the above rural-life problems? 

8. What is your present conception of a consolidated school? On 

what is this conception based? 

9. What is the best type of consoHdated school of which you have 

knowledge ? 
10. To the solution and satisfaction of which of the above rural-life 
problems and needs might a first-class consolidated school be 
expected to contribute? 

I. The Present Rapid Increase of Social Integration 

National Consolidation. — The World War has worked 
unprecedented transformations in the organization of Ameri- 
can life. Individualism and competition were the great 


economic and civic watchwords of the period before. Hu- 
man brotherhood, universal democracy, world citizenship, a 
league of nations, and co-operation for social efficiency are 
the watchwords to-day. We have witnessed the interesting 
social anomaly of the Supreme Court of the United States 
prosecuting and fining corporations for co-operation and 
integration on a large scale and at the same time arranging 
with the individual members of the corporations for a greater 
and stronger co-operative organization and a more rigorous 
setting of prices than ever. The old Antitrust Sherman Law, 
on the one hand, and the organization of all the railroads of 
the country under a single government head, on the other, 
represent the rapid and inevitable change of view-point. 
The war has done for us in a few years what perhaps a 
century would not have accomplished in making us a united, 
organized, purposeful, and efficient nation.^ 

A tremendous centralization of government has sudden- 
ly taken place, never to decentralize to our former status. 
Our young men have been taken from their homes, their 
factories, and their farms, and have been sent by the hun- 
dred thousand to Europe *'to make the world safe for de- 
mocracy"; the government has taken over many entire 
industries, nation-wide in scope, such as the railroads men- 
tioned, and has integrated and ruled them as a unit and 
with a firm hand; prices have been set for all the principal 
commodities; and both production and consumption have 
been interfered with and regulated in the interest of national 
welfare to an extent formerly deemed utterly impossible ex- 
cept in a socialistic state. As the federal government has 
become entirely dominant and masterful in the nation, so, 
too, the individual State governments have drawn to them- 
selves extensive powers formerly thought to be the posses- 

1 See address by the late President Charles R. Van Hise on " Some Eco- 
nomic Aspects of the World War," as published in Science for January 4 and 
II, 1918, and his "Conservation and Regulation in the United States During 
the World War," published by the Food Administration, Washington, D. C. 


sion of smaller governmental units or of individuals them- 
selves. The nation and each unit of the nation, be it State, 
county, or township, has become to a large extent a mighty 
organized team of workers with a single purpose doing a 
great piece of work. Individuals joining such co-operative 
groups both lose and gain by the process. Usually they gain 
far more than they lose. In a democracy a fine balance be- 
tween the individual and the state is maintained and its 
government ever comes from the consent and co-operation 
of the governed. 

Becoming part of a great organization necessitates a 
knowledge of the whole co-operative enterprise and the part 
each plays in it; it necessitates trained habits of working co- 
operatively with broadened views and purposes; it requires 
of all that they use their initiative, originality, and energy 
for the promotion of the ideals and aspirations of the group. 
In such a world, with all the new and mighty engines and 
instruments of transportation and communication available, 
the social horizon of each person necessarily must be very 
much broader than in the days when the members of a 
family were practically all-sufficing, producing and consum- 
ing all they needed, and finding little stimulus to wide ac- 
quaintance and social give-and-take. Then the world was 
vast and unknown, as in the time of Columbus and later, to 
the provincial individualists on the little farm living unto 
themselves. To-day the world is rapidly becoming smaller 
and nearer to us all and it may safely be affirmed that a large 
county, with its good roads, telephones, newspapers, rural 
delivery, larger market, varied interchange of products and 
specialization of labor even in farming, and better schools 
with their wider view is, for all practical purposes, much 
smaller to-day than was a township forty years ago. In 
fact, for many thousands of people, a state with its many 
counties is better and more intimately known than was 
the township for the same number a few generations back. 
The journey of a family of children to a consolidated rural 


school five miles away in a school-owned and controlled 
auto-bus or school-hack may be less of a journey with far 
less hardship and exposure and with possibility of far better 
attendance than the tramp through snow and mud, or even 
over good roads, to the single-room "district" school of the 
days gone by. As personahty grows large and social the 
boundaries of the world recede until we become citizens of 
the little community of the world. Not to feel this close- 
ness and kinship argues our own limited social develop- 

The City's Advantage. — The chief point of vigorous 
growth and development in the United States has, however, 
been not in the country but in the cities. It is in the cities 
in the last fifty years that we have seen most of the decided 
inventions and improvements in living. The best brains and 
brawn of the country have flown thither several hundred 
thousand strong each year. Arriving there these persons, 
naturally individuahstic by farm-training and isolation, have 
at first worked for themselves or at most for the city at the 
expense of the country. Here practically all the noteworthy 
developments in government, in sanitation, in association, in 
recreation, in business, and in education have taken place. 
The city has steadily beaten the country in competition. 
The schools of the city have been the marvel of the rural 
regions, and one of the chief reasons of many people for 
"leaving the farm" has been to obtain the advantages of the 
superior city schools. As a consequence of so many absentee 
landlords of farms, we have the grave evil of wide-spread and 
rapidly increasing farm tenantry, the "renters." Strange 
as it may seem, city life has been made more attractive 
for millions than country life. Even in health, the great city 
of New York has surpassed the rest of the State with a 
lower death-rate. The city has procured this attractiveness 
by being open-minded, social, progressive, co-operative, 
alert and inventive. The country has stood still or moved 
more slowly because of the opposite of such qualities. 


In the legislature, in the business deal, in enterprise, and 
in the schools the city has achieved a marked advantage 
over the country. The school buildings have been far more 
sanitary and attractive; the courses of study have been 
more closely related to the needs of life and more meaningful 
to the pupils; the principal additions to the ordinary school- 
ing have nearly all been made in the city; the teachers have 
been much better trained, better paid, and have stayed in 
the profession in many more instances until they have 
learned to do well this most important work of modern 
democratic governments; the school years have been longer; 
attendance of pupils has been more punctual and regular; 
medical supervision, physical education, vocational and 
domestic education, art and musical education, have been 
made regular parts of the school activities. The teachers 
have not only been superior and more permanent but they 
have had excellent supervision and training, both before 
they have entered the schools and while in service — through 
principals, supervisors, and superintendents. The leaders 
of country children and youth, on the contrary, have been, 
for the most part, young untrained girls who have never seen 
superior teaching done, have never learned how to do it, 
and who do not have the age and breadth of view, nor re- 
main in the work long enough to get to be much more than 
"blind leaders of the blind/' "The rural school has been a 
little house, on a little ground, with a little equipment, where 
a little teacher at a little salary, for a little while, teaches 
Httle children little things." Such teachers, who, according 
to Commissioner Claxton's figures in the next chapter, are 
the typical teachers of the nation's rural schools, cannot give 
pupils a wider view of life and the world to-day than they 
themselves possess. If their horizon does not extend beyond 
the adjoining farms the horizons of the children will not 
except by chance extend farther. Such teachers necessarily 
create ineffective provincials where they need to create 
socially efficient citizens of the world. 


II. The Rural-Education Problem and the 
Consolidation Hypothesis 

The Rural-Education Problem. — Some of the best minds 
of our nation and others have wrestled with the problem of 
how to improve rural education. The problem seems to 
break up principally into the following analysis: 

1. How can we get better and more permanent teachers? 

2. How can we get better and more needed subject-matter? 

3. How can we get better and more supervision and administra- 

4. How can we get better and more buildings and equipment? 

These usually resolve themselves into the problem: 
How can we get more money for rural schools ? and its cor- 
ollary, How can we get this money wisely spent? 

The consolidated school is one hypothesis, or tentative 
solution, for this great problem of how to secure more ef- 
fective rural education and thus a higher type of country 
life. The principal suggested solutions are, among others, 
the ten following: 

1. Strengthen the state departments of public education. 

2. Provide compulsory laws for minimum salaries, terms, attend- 
ance, etc. 

3. Provide new sources of revenue for schools. 

4. Provide a better distribution of the money now spent. 

5. Strengthen the county departments of education in various 
ways, and provide for the county unit where absent. 

6. Provide for extensive supervision of teachers in rural schools. 

7. Provide consolidated schools in place of the many single-room 

8. Provide school-farms and a better living for the principal 

9. Provide transportation of pupils to large schools. 

10. Provide for high-school, normal-school, and other professional 
training for rural teachers. 


Many different solutions in actual practice as schools are 
to be found scattered over the United States.^ 

Now all of these are good. Probably all are necessary. 
We can get fairly good schools without consolidation and its 
concomitants. County Superintendent Cook of Baltimore 
County, Maryland, has undoubtedly obtained fairly good 
schools without consolidation, through extensive and pro- 
fessional supervision and a number of the other nine fac- 
tors. Consolidation is hard to secure in many places and in 
some spots it is probably undesirable. We should like to 
take the space and time to analyze the advantages and dis- 
advantages of each of the ten typical solutions mentioned 
above and compare them with the aim of selecting the single 
solution or group of solutions which has most of advantage 
and least of disadvantages. Before proceeding further some 
definition may be desirable. 

A consolidated rural school may be defined tentatively 
as a school produced by bringing together the pupils of two 
or more single-room or othe^ schools in a graded school of 
at least two rooms and two teachers for the purpose of better 
educational advantages. It is of various types and increases 
in excellence as it adds various features. Such additions 
may be listed as follows: 

1. Classrooms — from two to many. 

2. With but the upper grades to an entire elementary school and 
high school. 

3. From no assembly-room and study-hall to excellent ones. 

4. From no rooms for agriculture and household arts to excellent 

5. From no laboratories for the sciences to one or more for each. 

6. From no lunch-room to an excellent one. 

7. From no gymnasium, shower-baths, and outdoor-play appara- 
tus to full equipment. 

8. From outdoor privies to best modem indoor flush toilets. 

» See Monahan's bulletin of the U. S. Bureau of Education on Consolida- 
tion and Foght's "The Rural Teacher and His Work" (Macmillan). 


9. From no office for principal or teachers' retiring-rooms up to 
the best for both sexes and an excellent office with waiting-room. 

10. From small grounds of less than an acre up to a site with fifty 
or more. 

11. From no transportation of pupils up to the best, in exhaust- 
heated, glass-lighted auto-vans. 

12. From no teachers' and principal's cottages, or teacherages, up 
to the best. 

13. From no experimental and demonstration use of land up to 

14. From no good ruralized course of study up to the best. 

15. From poor, inexperienced, inadequately trained teachers up to 
best normal and college graduates. 

The list might easily be extended as a class exercise. 

The first-class consolidated school, serving an area re- 
quiring pupils to be en route either way no longer than an 
hour as a maximum when transported at public expense, 
seems to combine more advantages and fewer disadvantages 
than any other solution, covers more of the other solutions, 
and does so with greater economy for the results obtained 
than any other. For brevity, we list below some of its chief 
advantages and disadvantages which might easily be ex- 
tended, expanded, and discussed at length. 

ni. Superior Consolidation and Its Advantages 

Some Advantages of First-Class Consolidation. — i. It 
greatly widens the acquaintance groups uniting several 
small or partial communities into one, and so broadens the 
individuals socially, and meets the imperative demand for a 
broadening of economic and social co-operation. Pupils 
who go to school together from an area ten miles or more in 
diameter for five to twelve years, through elementary and 
high school in many cases, will possess in adult life a neigh- 
borhood much larger and richer in its relationships than the 
narrow one produced by the one-room school. Where this 
consolidated area is a natural, economic, racial, transporta- 


tional, and distributional unit, as it should be, we have an 
area as large as a Western township or larger developed into 
a neighborhood. 

2. It provides inevitably for better educational, econom- 
ic, and social leadership. The larger school with from one 
to several hundred pupils must be placed under strong 
management and wise leadership. It necessitates from the 
nature of the case a man or woman as principal teacher and 
supervisor, with a strong personality and good educational 
training. As soon as the strategic importance of this post 
is recognized, there will be the inevitable demand that the 
principal give his entire time, winter and summer, to the 
school and the community, and be an educational, agricul- 
tural, and social leader. This immediately involves a home 
for the principal on the school property and a school-farm. 
The free use of the teacherage and the farm will add some- 
thing to what should be a good money salary, not less than 
a hundred dollars a month, twelve months in the year, and 
thus make it possible to obtain and retain a man with a 
family who has been trained in education, agriculture, rural 
economics and sociology, and in the elements of rural 
leadership, a man with at least a bachelor's degree from a 
good agricultural college. Since the farm and teacherage 
can be purchased at once or through bonds at the time the 
school building is erected, a fair share of the principal's 
pay has been provided for at the beginning without the 
usual annual financial agony. Under the one-room system 
there seems to be no way by which a sufficient salary for 
each teacher can be secured when paid as annual or monthly 
wages. House-rent and the free use of the farm and its 
products may soon be taken as a matter of course, to which 
a good salary is to be added. 

3. More professional teachers subordinate to the prin- 
cipal will be procured and developed. Such a principal will 
not be satisfied with young-girl novices, a new one each year, 
without education, experience, training, or vision, to prac- 


tise on the children. He will have an opportunity to con- 
vince the school board of the economy of superior teachers 
at any salary necessary to obtain them. His graded school 
with its better division of labor and opportunity for special- 
ization by the department plan, each teacher teaching a few 
instead of many subjects, the contingent opportunity, 
growing out of the nature of the situation, of living at a 
good boarding-place in a house also erected on the school 
property for the use of the unmarried women teachers, and 
perhaps another for the single men teachers, the better 
social opportunities for recreation and association, and the 
fine opportunity to observe some good teaching and to get 
frequent and professional supervision and help in becoming 
a better teacher — these advantages add greatly to the value 
of the position for a teacher; and for seven to twelve hundred 
dollars a year real country-minded teachers can frequently 
be secured as able as those in cities obtaining larger annual 
salaries, although the consolidated school must usually equal 
at least the city salary and the attractions there. 

The one-room school has been entirely unable to procure 
such teachers. Every consolidated-school teacher can be a 
normal-school graduate and equipped perhaps with a year 
or more of experience in a one-room school and in many cases 
with some college work. Weekly teachers' meetings, read- 
ing circles, a good school library, the presence of high-school 
teachers in the same building, the constant study of com- 
munity and general social needs, and the interest and free- 
dom obtained by a new type of school for adjusting the 
school to both the nature of children and society, will all 
prove stimuli to growth not available in a smaller school 
with an isolated teacher and children of all ages in all 
grades. That first-class consolidated schools (not "cheap 
imitations of the real thing") can secure such teachers the 
statistics from many States, as indicated in succeeding chap- 
ters, show. Break the ice of tradition with such a school 
and people somehow release the grip on their purses and are 


more ready to purchase a genuine rural education for their 

4. As suggested, high-school provisions may usually come 
at the beginning or develop with such a school. The larger 
area, the better attendance, the increased number of pupils 
passing through the grades, the better opportunity to give 
publicity to the desirability of secondary education, and 
the greater interest and stimulus coming from numbers, 
lead inevitably under good leadership to a vigorous high 
school closely adapted to community welfare. That con- 
solidation actually secures high schools and a vastly increased 
high-school attendance over the one-room-school plan has 
been amply demonstrated by reliable statistics. We be- 
lieve that such a school is preferable to a county high school 
with dormitories for girls and boys as are found in Mis- 
sissippi, North Carolina, and elsewhere. Daily rides in a 
school-bus are probably preferable to being away from 
home at this age. If we are to realize the slogan of the 
United States Bureau of Education and rise to the educa- 
tional standard which the modern age is making imperative, 
a high-school education for every hoy and girl, no other plan 
seems to bring it more quickly and permanently in the 
country and village than the consolidated school with free 
transportation in school-owned vehicles. 

5. Where such schools are established in large numbers 
in a State, as in several States already, the inevitable ten- 
dency will be for these high schools to increase the attendance 
and service of agricultural colleges and normal schools, both of 
which have a great dearth of students in comparison with 
State and national needs. The demand of the times for 
trained rural teachers and agriculturists and for real leaders 
in these two supremely important lines is at present either 
not met at all or but meagrely satisfied. Such schools more 
and more guide pupils back to rural service. The con- 
solidated school, in our judgment, is the hope of these im- 
portant and fundamental higher schools and thus the hope 



of the country. What they should do in encouraging the 
entrance of high-school graduates to their schools and courses 
we suggest in a later chapter. 

6. A better programme of studies can be provided, based 
on social needs and the nature of mental and physical 
growth in children. The range and quality of educational 
activities in a one-room school are necessarily limited. 
Nearly every factor in the situation hinders enrichment 
and modernness here. Nothing is more fraught with prom- 
ise fovr rural life than the many original experiments now 
being carried on in these consolidated schools from Cali- 
fornia to Maine and from Washington to Florida. Even the 
Philippines and Alaska have important contributions to 
suggest. Psychologically, a new country or a new type of 
social institution, such as the consolidated school, clears 
the ground of retarding tradition and opens the way for 
progressive experiment and adjustment. Another chapter 
by the editor enters more fully into the problem of the pro- 
gramme of studies and rural-school curriculums. A city 
school in the country is very far from our standard for this 
new country school. The needs of life as determined by in- 
telligent surveys of actual life furnish the starting-point 
for real education, and rural needs are in many ways very 
different from city needs. 

7. A much-needed and better social centre for the 
larger community is provided, or can be provided and 
made possible, through the consolidated school. An audi- 
torium and gymnasium, or the two combined, are becoming 
standard features of such schools as of the best city schools. 
The playground is larger and has more drawing power on 
the community and pupils. The school-farm, however small, 
is a source of interest, comment, instruction, and community- 
meeting- together for agricultural conference. A motion-pic- 
ture show in the auditorium is one of the chief recreations 
of the people of many consolidated- school neighborhoods. 
A glimpse of one in Ohio is given in a later chapter. The 

Repioduced by courtesy oj Diuision of Agricultural Idstruction, U. S. Dept. of Agriculture 

Building a silo. A project in farm mechanics in Minnesota 


daily assembly in an auditorium can be made more 
valuable to many pupils than their knowledge of any sub- 
ject, and may legitimately be considered an important 
subject of the curriculum. Indeed, auditorium activities 
succeed best where the principal, faculty, and students give 
as much time to preparation of this as to any one of the 
regular subjects. School fairs, athletic meets, debating and 
public-speaking societies, ''literaries," agricultural and other 
exhibits, public voting, non-sectarian religious meetings, 
and many other social-centre activities naturally take place 
here in the single public building possessed by all the peo- 
ple. The post-office is being located in a number of schools 
and parcel-post buying and selling, eliminating large middle- 
men profits, is being experimentally developed. This fea- 
ture is also expanded in later chapters. 

Many other advantages might profitably be discussed. 
The enlarged social mind of the modern countryman who 
gets about in his automobile over a wider range of territory 
than his fathers and who is in connection by other means 
with a great variety of persons and social activities easily 
adapts itself to the consolidated school. Some difficulty 
may be met in establishing such a school, but once estab- 
lished it quickly becomes a part of the community life, even 
as the motion-picture machine, the automobile, or any 
other clearly desirable creation of the modern age, as the 
following letter suggests: 

Worcester, N. Y., Sept. 15, 1915. 
Doctor Thomas E. Finegan, 

AssL Commissioner, Education Department, Albany, N. Y. 

Dear Sir: — I am owner of a farm in union free-school district 
number 3, Otsego County, N. Y. In 1915 six school districts con- 

I was strongly opposed to the consolidation and to the new school 
and I harbored resentment toward our district superintendent for 
establishing it. 

After one year's trial and observation I have changed my mind. 
We are delighted with the new regime. Our twelve-year-old girl 


passed Regents' examination in English, geography, arithmetic, and 
United States history during the year. She is now entering the high- 
school department. 

For six teachers in poorly equipped buildings we have received 
five normal-school and college graduates in one modern plant. The 
work is now graded and scientifically conducted, while an auto- 
mobile school-bus calls at our door daily to transport the children. 
No one with a family to educate would willingly go back to the old 
conditions. Very truly yours, 

L. J. CoE. 

A number of other similar letters from representative 
patrons, pupils, and others in the State of New York may 
be found in the annual report for 191 7 entitled *^ Elemen- 
tary Education^' of the Education Department of the Uni- 
versity of the State of New York. The volume, by the 
way, h a mine of information on and illustrations of con- 
solidation in that great State which until recently has been 
doing comparatively little in this line. These letters could 
be matched by correspondence from patrons in most parts 
of the country. That by the time this chapter is read some 
ten thousand or more such schools (with consequent aban- 
donment of from fifty to a hundred thousand little schools) 
will have been established is our best argument. After giv- 
ing a summary of advantg,ges of consolidation, as expressed 
by the present State Superintendent of North Dakota who 
has had much experience in this field, we shall leave dis- 
cussion of further advantages to later chapters. 

A detailed statement of the benefits of consolidation: 

1. Increases the attendance. 

2. Makes the attendance more regular. 

3. Increases the enrolment. 

4. Keeps the older pupils in school longer. 

5. Provides high school privileges at one-third the cost. 

6. Makes possible the securing of better-trained teachers. 

7. Results in higher salaries for better-trained teachers. 

8. Makes possible more and better grade work. 

9. Improves industrial conditions in the country. 

10. Enriches the civic-social Ufe activities. 


11. Conserves more largely the health and morals of the children. 

12. Increases the number of eighth-grade completions. 

13. Provides adequate supervision. 

14. Reduces truancy and tardiness. 

15. Develops better school spirit, i 

16. Gives more time for recitations. 

17. Increases the value of real estate. 

18. Produces greater pride and interest in country life. 

19. Prevents the drift to the larger towns and cities. 

20. Brings more and better-equipped buildings. 

21. Eliminates the small weak school. 

22. Creates a school of greater worth, dignity, and usefulness. 

23. Makes possible a more economical school. 

24. Provides equal educational opportunities. 

25. Gives much greater and better results in every way. 

IV. The Disadvantages of the Consolidation 

The disadvantages, difficulties, and problems of the con- 
solidated rural school are taken up in a later chapter and met 
by convincing argument. We need not summarize them 
here. The chapter may be read immediately if desired. 
The hardest problem is to get a real consolidated school, 
with complete or fairly complete plant, transportation, and 
staff, established. After that it is its own best argument. 
State aid, county administration, strong county superin- 
tendents, and able publicity are desirable. The teacher is, 
however, the single most important factor in education and 
no consolidated or other school can be a success with poor 
teachers. These teachers must have supervision, training 
while in service, reasonable inducements to stay at the 
school for a number of years, and satisfactory equipment. 
The pupils should be gathered from a large enough taxing 
and transportational area to make possible a good rural 
graded school with high-school provisions. They should be 
transported at public expense in first-class conveyances 
under the best supervision obtainable. Supervision of the 
recreation of the pupils in the auto or other bus is ^ot second 


in importance to such supervision at school or home. The 
principal must be an educational and agricultural leader, 
teacher, supervisor, and trainer of teachers. 

Frequently where a consolidated school is found disap- 
pointing or little better than the one-room system but few 
such essentials are provided. The plant may be called a 
consolidated school when it is little more than a two to 
six room building for a large number of children who have 
to walk long distances and be instructed by poor teachers 
without supervision, using a course of study made for a 
city-school system. This is like the disappointment aris- 
ing from the purchase of an automobile without a top, side- 
curtains, tires, tool-box, electric starter, instruction-book, 
bumper, brakes, mud-guards, and so on. The thing is en- 
titled to the name automobile, but automobiles in general 
should not be judged by the performance of a poor, ignorant 
driver with such a machine. A complete, first-class car and 
a skilled chauffeur give durable satisfactions of a high order. 
Later chapters give detailed descriptions of the kind of con- 
solidated school that is worthy of the name and will furnish 
a real rural-life education near the home farms. 

V. Summarizing Principles 

In Conclusion. — National consolidation of interests and 
efforts are taking place on a gigantic scale and with great 
rapidity due to the World War and stimulated enterprise. 
The vast industrial activities of the country are being or- 
ganized into combinations that tend to eliminate waste and 
competitive inefficiency, but now under the leadership and 
regulation of a democratic government instead of its active 
opposition and hindering laws. If government regulation 
fails or is less effective, everything considered, then gov- 
ernment ownership, then nationalization or socialization, of 
these enterprises will be undertaken as the government has 
already taken over the postal service, much of the express 


business in the parcel-post, the schools, water-supplies, and 
many other natural monopolies. The prices and distribu- 
tion of wheat, corn, cattle, and many other farm products 
will hereafter be handled more on a national scale and 
under government direction. We enter to-day a period of 
rapid economic and social nationalization. Any rural region 
that remains individualistic, reactionary, with an education 
no better than that of the pioneer type of single-room school, 
is bound to fall behind in all five types of social efficiency, 
vital, vocational, avocational, civic, and moral. 

This national concentration and management will prob- 
ably not tend to increase the size of farms, as Professor 
Vogt indicates in his "Rural Sociology," although it will 
greatly increase the need of broader national knowledge 
and co-operation among farmers. The farm will and should 
probably remain at that size which can best be handled 
economically by the average rural family with the best 
of modern machinery and agricultural science. Tenant 
farming will be decreased and ownership will again become 
characteristic. More ideal living will be achieved in the 
rural community, and a chief factor in this rise to a new 
standard in response to pressing needs will be a new type of 
public, democratic school appropriate to broader rural or- 
ganization and higher efficiency. We have made the start 
toward such an institution by the present consolidated 
school. That it is a cure-all for every rural and national ill 
we do not believe. That it is a safe and progressive line of 
advance we have no doubt. May its tribe increase ! 

National Rural-Educational Principles. — ^As a fitting 
close to this chapter and introduction to Commissioner 
Claxton's masterly survey in the next, we append the fol- 
lowing resolutions which were unanimously adopted at a 
recent national conference on rural education and leader- 

''We appeal to all interests for hearty co-operation in a 
nation-wide campaign for the improvement of our rural 


schools, and to this end we indorse the following items 
agreed on and adopted at the Nashville Conference in the 
fall of 191 5: 

1. An academic term of not less than 160 days in every rural- 
school commtmity. 

2. A sufficient number of teachers adequately prepared for their 

3. Consolidation of rural schools where practicable. 

4. A teachers' home and a demonstration farm of five. or more 
acres as a part of the school property. 

5. An all-year school adapted to local conditions. 

6. A county library with branch libraries at the centres of popu- 
lation, the public schools to be used as distributing centres. 

7. Community organization, with the school as the intellectual, 
industrial, educational, and social centre. 

8. High-school education for all country boys and girls without 
severing home ties in obtaining that education. 

9. Such readjustment and reformation of the courses of study in 
elementary and secondary rural schools as will adapt them to the 
needs of rural life. 

We respectfully submit the following additional items for the 
improvement of the rural-school situation: 

10. We express our approval of a larger unit in school adminis- 
tration to the end that the democratic ideal of equal opportunities for 
all children may prevail. Americanism should mean adequacy, but 
this quality can be demonstrated in American citizenship only when 
the greatest good to the greatest number shall become the cardinal 
principle of American education. 

11. We believe that the great need of rural elementary teachers is 
a broad mastery of a fairly limited group of subjects, each rich in 
social values. To this end the course of study for rural teachers in 
the normal schools should relate specifically to the problems of the 
rural teachers. Accordingly, the course of study should give large 
place to history, English language and literature, the rural sciences, 
including economics, marketing, rural organizations and administra- 
tion, and recreation and play. There should be eliminated the for- 
eign languages, the higher branches of mathematics, and such other 
subjects as do not contribute rather definitely to the full performance 
of the rural teachers' task. 

12. We believe that the great American need is an intelligent and 
productive home-loving, home-owning rural population. We urge, 
therefore, the great demand upon the rural schools, elementary and 


high, for the effective teaching of agriculture and other rural ac- 
tivities. We believe that a home-project plan by which each child 
conducts some agricultural home project under the direction and 
guidance of the school, coupled with the demonstration and experi- 
mental farm on the school grounds offers a satisfactory and effective 

13. We recommend the establishment of rural normal-training 
teachers' courses in normal schools, teachers* colleges, universities, 
and agricultural colleges for the purpose of preparing normal-training 
instructors, that these instructors may train their students for a 
better understanding of rural conditions and how to meet them, and 
ultimately prepare them for better teaching and more effective service. 

14. We recommend the establishment of county travelling li- 
braries for use of rural schools, with the county superintendents' 
office as the distributing centre. 

15. Since the public school is the foundation of our democracy and 
since the ultimate purpose of that democracy is to perpetuate itself, 
we believe the surest road to this end is for the people to exemplify 
in the community itself the lessons of free institutions in the manage- 
ment of their public schools. We realize that our rural schools have 
not kept pace with other lines of progress and that new levels must be 
reached. In order to realize this it becomes necessary for us to employ 
the best talent to co-operate with us, for which we must return a just 
remuneration. If we as a people are to maintain our strength we must 
retain our responsibility. Good teaching seeks to encourage the child 
to develop and rely upon his own resources, so good government 
seeks to inspire a people to unfold their own powers through the 
proper exercise of the same." 


1. If possible, visit at least one single-room school and a consolidated 

school and compare their advantages and disadvantages. 

2. Which would cost a community more: providing first-class, single- 

room rural-school plants and teachers or a first-class consoli- 
dated-school system? 

3. Which of the ten suggested solutions of the rural-education prob- 

lem have been put into successful operation in your present 
county ? 

4. What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of a county 

high school or schools with pupils living in dormitories and of 
a number of consolidated elementary and high schools combined 
with free public transportation? (See Doctor Foght's book on 


"The Rural Teacher and His Work" for descriptions of some of 
the Southern boarding-schools.) 
$. Make a list of rural problems as suggested by Doctor Vogt's vol- 
ume on "Rural Sociology." 

6. Has the city had any such advantage over the country as sug- 

gested in this chapter? Give your reasons. 

7. What advantages of first-class consolidation have been omitted 

from discussion in the chapter? 

8. Before reading further make a list of the arguments country 

parents and others would make against consolidation. 

9. Is free transportation in publicly owned vehicles essential to the 

definition of a consolidated school? 

10. In what ways could a first-class consolidated school promote 

larger social movements? 

11. How many consolidated schools are there in the United States? 

At this writing (191 9) there are nearly eleven thousand, defining 
the school very liberally as one formed by the union of two or 
more schools for better educational advantages, and at least two 
teachers doing graded work. It should include public transpor- 
tation, a model building, and superior teachers and curriculum. 


1. Vogt — "Rural Sociology." Appleton. 

2. Carver — "Rural Economics." Macmillan. 

3. Year-Books of the United States Department of Agriculture, 

Washington, D. C. 

4. Butterfield — Chapters in "Rural Progress." University of Chi- 

cago Press. 

5. Suggestions for Parcels-Post Marketing, United States Depart- 

ment of Agriculture, Farmer's Bulletin, No. 703. 

6. Rural-Life Surveys by: The Roosevelt Commission; The Presby- 

terian Board of Home Missions; United States Bureau of Edu- 
cation, in its Educational Surveys; various other State and 
private organizations. 

7. Foght— "The Rural Teacher and His Work," Bibliography, pp. 

345-354- Macmillan. 

8. Rapeer — "Educational Hygiene," sections on health sociology 

and chapters on rural health. Scribner. 

9. "Teaching Elementary School Subjects," chap. I. Scribner. 

10. Foght, "Rural Education," Bulletin, 1919, No. 7, U. S. Bureau of 

Education. Contains list of surveys of rural education and 
present country-life commissions. 


Preliminary Problems 

1. To what extent have cities profited by the expenditures of the 

country for the schooling of country boys and girls? (See 
chap. VII, on Movements of Population, in Vogt's "Rural 

2. To what extent are cities and entire states and the nation inter- 

ested in and responsible for the proper schooling of all country 
children ? 

3. If people remained all their lives in the communities where they 

obtained their schooling, and each community thus obtained the 
product of its expenditures, great or little, to what extent would 
this lessen the need for county. State, and national support? 

4. What did the draft of the young men of the land show the health 

conditions to be? What per cent were rejected for physical 
defects? What per cent were iUiterate? See " Second Report 
of the Provost Marshal General," Government Printing Office, 
Washington, D. C. 

5. How many single-room schools of your home State have less than 

fifteen pupils? 

6. What per cent of the rural teachers in your home State have a 

high-school education? What per cent have had at least two 
years of normal-school training ? What per cent are college grad- 
uates ? 

7. How does the professional and general training of the rural teacher 

compare with that of the rural physician? Is the work of the 
one less skilled, scientific, professional, or less important than 
the other? 

8. What per cent of the rural pupils of your home State graduate 

from the eighth grade? From high school? 

9. What is the unit of school administration in your home State, 

district, township or town, or county control? 
10. What are the principal educational reforms needed in your home 
State for the betterment of rural education? 

Note. — The reports of your State superintendent or commissioner 
of public schools, the reports of county superintendents, the proceed- 


ings of State teachers* associations, and the reports of any educational 
and social surveys made by the United States Bureau of Education 
or other organization will be of help in this preliminary orientation. 
The annual reports of the United States Commissioner of Education 
give summaries of rural-school progress and conditions. Some of the 
above problems may be left for the problems in application after read- 
ing the chapter if desired, although this is not recommended. 

I. The Rural-School Problem 

In our industrial, social, civic, and religious democracy 
everything waits on education. No real progress and no 
lasting improvement in any line of life is possible except 
through the better education of the people. The deepest 
meaning of democracy is equality of opportunity. This is 
impossible without equality of opportunity for that edu- 
cation which prepares for life, for citizenship, and for pro- 
ductive occupations. Therefore the right education of all 
the people becomes our chief concern, and to provide better 
and more adequate means thereto must be the most im- 
portant task of society and State. Among the agencies of 
education, the public school may, I believe, fairly be con- 
sidered the most important. 

Since almost three-fifths of the children of school age live 
in the open country and in small towns under rural con- 
ditions, and since more than three-fifths of the enrolment in 
the public schools of the nation is in the public schools of 
rural communities, the rural public school represents the 
larger half of the public-school problem. Since the drift- 
ing of population from country to city is approximately 
400,000 a year and that from city to country is almost 
negligible, the city is interested in the schools of the coun- 
try in a manner and to a degree which do not obtain in the 
reverse direction. Since only two- thirds of the people of 
the country as a whole are living in the States in which they 
were born, and nearly one-fifth were born in other States of 
the Union than those in which they now live, and since these 


movements from State to State are largely of the rural popu- 
lation, the improvement of the rural schools of any State 
becomes a matter of interest to all other States and to the 
nation at large. Of course this is also important for other 
and still more important reasons. The many studies of 
various phases of the rural school made in recent years and 
the voluminous discussions in books, magazines, and the 
daily press, and on the platform indicate an increasing gen- 
eral consciousness of these facts. It is therefore no new nor 
small problem of which I am to present here a brief outline, 
and for the solution of which I am to try to offer some sug- 

Approximately 16,000,000 children of school age (6 to 
20) live in the rural communities of the United States; about 
11,000,000 of these are enrolled in the public schools. 
Something like 60 per cent of those enrolled are in the 212,- 
000 one- teacher schools; the remaining 40 per cent are in 
consolidated and village schools having two or more teach- 
ers. The average enrolment in the one-teacher schools 
is approximately 31, which is less by 6 or 8 than the aver- 
age enrolment in other schools of country and city. In 
more than one-fourth of these one-teacher schools the total 
enrolment is under 15, and in a large part of these it is less 
than 10. In many such schools, therefore, the enrolment 
must be considerably more than the average of 31. In 
many schools the actual attendance on any day is so small 
as to make the per-pupil cost of the schools very large and 
to make it difficult for both teachers and children to main- 
tain the interest necessary for any profitable work. The 
State superintendent of Iowa reported for the month of 
January, 19 10, 250 schools in that State with an enrol- 
ment of five or less, and 1,814 with an enrolment of from 
6 to II. On the best day in the third week of that month 
10 schools reported an actual attendance of one pupil only; 
35, two each; 73, three each; 160, four each; 244, five each; 
thus 522 schools reported an actual attendance of five or 


less. The average daily attendance out of every loo pupils 
enrolled was in 1910, for the city schools, 79.3, and for the 
rural schools only 67.6. The average daily attendance 
based on enrolment fell as low as 54.4 per cent in Missis- 
sippi, 51.4 per cent in Delaware, and 51 per cent in Mary- 

Even in the great State of New York in 191 5, as shown 
in a letter on the imperative need of a larger unit of rural- 
school administration and school consolidation written to 
the legislature of the State by Commissioner Finley, there 
were 11,642 elementary schools. Of these, 8,430 were one- 
room schools. In almost half of these (3,580) the average 
attendance for 19 13 was ten or less, as follows: 

Average Average 

Schools Attendance Schools Attendance 

13 I 440 6 

74 2 533 7 

172 3 544 8 

235 4 631 9 

362 5 576 10 

The Terms. — The average length of rural-school terms 
in 1910 was but 137.7 days; for city schools it was 184.3 
days, a difference of 46.6 days in favor of the city schools. 
The average length of term of the rural school varied in the 
several States, from 90.1 days in New Mexico, 93.3 days in 
North Carolina, 94.5 days in South Carolina, 98 days in 
Arkansas, to 178 days in California, 178.6 days in New 
York, 1 8 1. 2 days in Connecticut, and 190.2 days in Rhode 
Island. The difference between the average length of rural- 
school term and that of city-school term varied in the sev- 
eral States from 3.8 days in Rhode Island and Connecticut, 
8 days in California, and 9.8 days in New York, to 68.5 days 
in North Carolina, 69.8 days in Alabama, 71.2 days in Ken- 
tucky, and 88.5 days in South Carolina. But averages do 
not tell the whole story of the lack of equality in opportu- 



nity for education in the rural communities. Recently the 
Bureau of Education asked all the county and township 
superintendents of the several States for facts about in- 
dividual schools. This inquiry revealed the fact that not a 
few rural schools are in' session less than three school months 
of 20 days each, and a few only a little more than one 
month. In Jeff Davis County, Georgia, the average length 
of all white schools was reported as 60 days; in Liberty 
County, Georgia, white schools were reported of 40, 50, 60, 
and 80 days, colored schools of 30, 40, and 50 days; in Wal- 
ton County, Florida, white schools of 30 and 60 days, the 
average for the county being 80 days; in Putnam County, 
Tennessee, white schools of 27 and 40 days were reported, 
the average for all schools being 90 days; in Lincoln County, 
Nebraska, schools were reported of 59, 79, 86, 98, 99, and 
up to 160 days; in Shannon County, Missouri, the terms 
ranged from 60 to 160 days. These examples taken at ran- 
dom serve to indicate the wide variety of conditions in 
many States. The average daily attendance of children 
enrolled in rural schools of the entire country is approxi- 
mately 95 days. For a few States it is less than 60 days 
and for many counties less than 40 days. 

The School Plants. — Within the last ten years there has 
been a very encouraging improvement in rural schoolhouses 
and their equipment, but many schools are still taught in 
houses wholly unfit for the homes of children during the 
years when environment means so much for health of body 
and character of soul. One room, poorly built, ugly, badly 
lighted, heated, and ventilated, dirty, with uncared-for 
grounds, no adequate supply of pure water, and with filthy 
outhouses or none — these specifications indicate the type of 
rural schoolhouse still all too common, in most parts of the 

The Administration. — Within the last few years there 
has also been a commendable increase of interest in the im- 
provement of rural-school organization, control, and super- 


vision, and some improvement has been made in most 
States. However, the single-school district is still the most 
common unit of organization and control. It is the only 
basis of organization and control for the rural elementary- 
schools of seventeen States and partly so for four other 
States. It is the largest factor in organization and control 
in seven other States which have a semi-county system in 
which the balance of power rests with the districts rather 
than with the counties. There may be as many as 30,000 
or 40,000 school directors in some of these States. Some 
years ago one State superintendent reported that there were 
in his State 25,000 district school directors, of whom 5,000, 
he said, could not write their names. Historically neces- 
sary, the usefulness of this plan of school organization is 
now passed and the tendency is away from the single-school 
district to the large unit of town, township, magisterial dis- 
trict, or county. 

The tendency toward the county is becoming stronger. 
Nineteen States are organized on the county basis and 
several others have a semi-county organization, dividing 
control between county and some smaller unit — union dis- 
trict, township, or single-school district. Several other 
States have county boards of education with limited func- 
tions; thirty-nine States have county supervision, three have 
county and supervisory district supervision. All others 
have some kind of township or district supervision, but in 
most States the supervision is not efficient and under pres- 
ent conditions cannot be. A county superintendent, hav- 
ing meagre education and no professional knowledge, elected 
or appointed for partisan political reasons, paid a salary so 
small that he must devote most of his time to some other 
means of making a living, and dividing the remainder of his 
time between the routine business of his office and the super- 
vision of a hundred or more schools scattered over a terri- 
tory of three to five hundred square miles, this territory 
being traversed by bad roads during a good part of the 


One Reason Why Positions in the Country Schools of. 
Fisher County are Not Desirable 


- ) 

93.5 Per cent 
of the teachers changed 
positions in 1913-14i 

6.5 Per cent 
of the teachers did not 
change positions in 191 3-1 4» 


58 changed positions at beginning of last session. 
4 taught two years at same place. 
None taught three years at same place. 
43 were new teachers in the county. 

Contrast this with the schools abroad where teachers seldom change 
more than once in a lifetime. 

Does any other public or private business permit such a waste by 
the constant changing of employees? 

If positions are to be made more attractive to the best teachers 
and if the school is to attain its highest efficiency, there must be a 


— From "A Study of Rural Schools in Texas, ^^ 

Bulletin of University of Texas. 


time the schools are in session, cannot be expected to render 
much help to the individual schools and teachers nominally 
under his charge. In some States in the South professional 
supervisors, one or more to a county, are employed to assist 
the county superintendents in their professional duties, but 
the number of such supervisors is still comparatively small. 
The Teachers. — While many earnest and scholarly men 
and women are to be found among teachers of rural schools 
in all States, the average preparation of these teachers is 
much lower than that of the teachers in our city schools. 
Some studies made by A. C. Monahan and Harold W. 
Foght of the Bureau of Education show quite clearly that 
most of the teachers in the rural schools have neither the 
education nor the professional knowledge and training 
necessary for success, either in teaching or in school manage- 
ment, nor do they remain at one place long enough to enable 
them to gain the influence in the community which the 
teacher must have for the full accomplishment of his duties. 
There are approximately 265,000 rural-school teachers in 
the United States. Foght sent a questionnaire to 6,000 of 
these in 55 typical counties, every State being represented. 
He received 2,941 replies. It may be safely concluded that 
those from whom the returns were received were the better 
teachers rather than the worst. Twenty-five per cent of 
these were men, 75 per cent women, 18 per cent of all were 
married. Four per cent had less than eight years of school- 
ing; 32.3 per cent (one- third) had no professional training, 
not even that which can be gained by attendance a few 
weeks at a summer school. Their average age at the time 
they began teaching was 19.2 years; at the time of the in- 
vestigation 26 years. They had an average of 45 months' 
experience in teaching, gained through an average period 
of 6.8 years in an average of 3.4 different schools. They 
had been 12.2 months in the schools in which they were 
then teaching and had remained in each school in which 
they had taught an average of 13.8 months. Twenty-six 


and five-tenths per cent had attended a normal school and 
3.4 per cent had finished a normal-school course; 19 per 
cent had attended a college of some kind, and 7.3 per cent 
had completed some sort of college course. Only 20 out of 
the entire number had attended schools preparing especially 
for work in rural schools and giving courses in rural economics. 

The average salaries of the teachers replying to Foght's 
questionnaire was $350. Monahan reported the average 
yearly salary of teachers in one- teacher schools in 19 States 
to be $307.51, and the average salaries of all teachers in 
these States to be $430.60. In one State the average annual 
salary in one- teacher rural schools was $143.73, j^^^ $2.27 
less than the cost of feeding a prisoner two meals a day in 
the county jails of the State. There were, of course, many 
teachers whose salaries were less than the average. 

The studies in most rural schools, despite all talk about 
redirection, are still practically the same as they were when 
they were copied without much adaptation from the schools 
of the cities. There has been in some places some adapta- 
tion of readers and arithmetics to the special needs of coun- 
try children, and in some rural high schools some instruction 
is given in agriculture. The laws of several States require 
that agriculture shall be taught in the elementary schools, 
but httle effective teaching of these subjects can be found 
in most schools of this grade. A girl who does not know 
barley from oats cannot accomplish much with a flower- 
pot for a demonstration farm in a school that closes before 
the time of planting field and garden crops begins. 

Of the teachers replying to Foght's questionnaire, 66 
per cent were giving instruction in eight grades or more 
and heard from 25 to 35 recitations per day; probably the 
average number of class recitations per teacher per day in 
the one-room country school is 32. Muerman gives this 
number as the typical number for the schools of the West. 
If every minute of the five-hour school-day could be used for 
recitations, the recitations would have an average of g}4 


minutes each. But much less than the full time can be so 
used, probably not more than three hours — i8o minutes. 

There are many interruptions. Coming and going of 
classes consumes much time, as do also cases of discipline. 
Muerman counted 273 questions, more or less useless, asked 
by pupils of the teacher in one school in the course of one 
day. The lesson periods average six or seven minutes, three 
or four minutes for classes in lower grades and 10 or 12 in 
some of the more important classes of the higher grades. 
It may easily be seen that the actual time any child gives 
to school work cannot be long. Studies made in schools in 
different parts of the country indicate an average time of 
lyi to 2 hours for children in the first two or three grades, 
2 or 3 hours at most for children in the intermediate grades, 
and not more than 3K or 4 hours for those of the higher 
grades. I have found schools in which the smaller children 
gave attention to any school work either at study or at 
recitation less than 30 minutes a day. If all children of 
most rural schools did intensive work for 2^ hours in the 
morning and then went home, much more might be accom- 
plished than is now accomplished. 

Until a half-dozen years ago there were very few high 
schools in the rural communities of most States and more 
than half of the boys and girls of rural America are still 
without free access to any good high school with full courses 
of four years. One-fourth or more of all boys and girls of 
this generation get some high-school education, but the 
proportion is much smaller in the communities in the open 
country than in villages, towns, and cities. Frequently the 
country high school has only one 'or two teachers, and often 
these are very poorly prepared to do high-school work. 

So much for the schools as they are; now a few words as 
to their more important needs and some suggestions as to 
how these needs may be met. 


II. Rural-School Needs 

Longer School Terms. — Probably the most patent need 
of the rural schools is a very large increase in the average 
length of school term and a nearer approach to equality in 
length of term in all these schools. The American school 
term, even in the cities, is short as compared with the school 
terms of other countries. In most of Europe the schools 
are in session from 200 to 250 days. In Australia rural 
schools run 225 days or more. I know no reason why Amer- 
ican boys and girls need fewer days of schooling than those 
of other progressive and cultured countries, nor do I know 
any reason why boys and girls in the country need fewer 
days of schooling than they would need if they lived in 
city or town. It would be still more difficult to imagine a 
reason why in our democratic republic made up of these 
States we should be content to give the children of one 
rural community opportunity of schooling through only 40 
or 50 days when those living in other communities have 
access to better schools and for three or four times as many 
days, or why we should as a people be content that the 
children of one State may have only 90 days of schooling 
in the year while those of another may have 180 days or 
more. Surely we no longer think of education as a private 
matter, ajffecting only the individual. The public welfare, 
in which the private weal is bound up, depends on and de- 
mands the education of all. 

More Money Better Spent. — For longer terms and a 
nearer approach to uniformity in length, larger tax rates, 
wiser economy in the use of funds, and in many States 
larger units of support and administration will be necessary. 
All these should be comparatively easy of attainment. 
School taxes are, as a rule, very low and expenditures for 
education very small as compared with taxes and expendi- 
tures for other purposes and with the value and impor- 
tance of the results. We are yet far from Doctor Eliot's ideal 


of expenditure for the education of the child equal to that 
for its food or clothing. In 191 2 the total expenditure for 
all public-school purposes in the United States averaged 
$5.05 per capita of the total population. This average 
ranged from $1.52 in Alabama and $1.53 in South Carolina 
to $9.18 in Utah and $9.30 in California. In that year the 
total expenditure for public schools was approximately 
$483,000,000; but only $285,000,000, less than 59 per cent 
of the whole, was for teachers' salaries. Teachers' salaries, 
the most important item in the lengthening of the school 
term, could therefore be doubled with an increase of less 
than 60 per cent in the total expenditures. This would 
give a substantial increase in the monthly salaries of teach- 
ers and at the same time lengthen the school term to an 
average of 180 or 200 days. Since the average for city 
schools is already more than 184 days, the increase possible 
by this increase of 60 per cent in the total expenditure 
might be so used as to bring the rural schools up to the full 
term of the city schools, even after adding both to the 
monthly salary of city and country teachers and to the 
length of the city-school term. Even if no addition were 
made to the monthly salary of the teacher, the larger an- 
nual salary that would come with a longer school term 
would increase the efficiency of the schools in other ways 
and especially by putting and keeping in the schools better 
teachers and giving them more opportunity for experience 
and enabling them to concentrate their energies to a greater 
extent on the work of the school. It is the salary for the 
year rather than for the month that counts. I believe no 
thinking man or woman with any knowledge of economic 
causes and conditions will deny that this increase in school 
funds might be made both easily and profitably. It would 
be easy to show where much more than this amount could 
be saved in public or private expenditures without injury 
to any useful cause. 

Larger Units of Support and Control. — Per capita wealth 
varies sharply from section to section and from one local 


community to another and the variations are not always 
due to the industry or other virtues of the people or to the 
lack of them. Fertile lands, mines, the convergence of 
highways and railways, position with regard to natural 
routes of commerce, for none of which the people of the 
community are primarily responsible, enable the people of 
one community to obtain larger results upon their invest- 
ments of labor and capital than those of another, and possi- 
bly to levy tribute upon the smaller returns of others. 
Therefore, while local communities may and probably 
should tax themselves for houses and equipment, and to a 
sufficient extent to insure the maximum interest in the 
schools, the larger part of the school funds should be raised 
by taxes levied on all the taxable property, rural and urban 
alike, of both county and State. In most States half the 
funds for running expenses for the schools might well come 
from county taxes and half from State taxes, no county to 
receive any part of the State funds until it had levied a 
county school tax of not less than a given minimum. Some 
part of the school fund s hould always be set apart toliSp 
counties m proportion to their Heedsi This part might be 
apportioned to the several counties of the State in propor- 
tion to school population (or aggregate attendance) and in- 
versely as the ratio of taxable property to school population, 
as is done in Tennessee. The idea that the federal govern- 
ment through some modification of its earlier policy by 
which it gave millions of acres of public lands for the sup- 
port of public schools should conserve and promote all its 
most important interests by devoting some part of its large 
revenues (larger by much than the total revenues of all the 
States combined) to public education and so apportion its 
appropriations for this purpose as to even up to some ex- 
tent at least the great difference in school facilities caused 
by difference in taxpaying ability in the several States, and 
at the same time give the largest possible encouragement to 
the States to help themselves, leaving to the States full 
freedom in the development and control of their school 


systems, is too fascinating and at the same time too difficult 
and wide of application for discussion in this paper; but it 
is worthy of the most careful consideration of all patriots, 
economists, and statesmen. The large federal contributions 
to the States now for vocational education are no more 
worthily spent than millions more each year could be ex- 
pended for other objects. 

With the larger units of support must, of course, come 
larger units of control and more efficient agencies of ad- 
ministration and supervision. It is seldom wise to give to 
small communities funds from what appears to them a for- 
eign treasury without making at the same time suitable pro- 
vision for its expenditure. Examples of the bad effects of 
such a policy are too numerous to require specification. In 
^ all those States in which the county is the unit for other 
/^governmental purposes it should be the unit also for school 
•'administration. In the New England States, where the 
town is the governmental unit, it should also, no doubt, be 
the unit of school administration, as it is. In the State of 
New York, with its strongly centralized system, supervision 
may well be under the immediate direction of the State 
with its district superintendents as its agents. 

Plan of County-School Organization. — In a circular let- 
ter sent out some time ago by the Bureau of Education 
and republished in bulletin 1914, No. 44, the Bureau of 
Education suggests the following plan of county-school or- 

1. The county the unit of taxation and administration of schools 
(except that, in administration, independent city districts employing 
a superintendent would not be included). 

2. A county-school tax levied on all taxable property in the county, 
covered into the county treasury, and divided between the independent 
city districts and the rest of the coimty on a basis of the school popu- 
lation. ^ 

^ This basis is suggested for the division between the county district and 
the independent city districts. The county board of education would expend 


3 The county-school funds, including those raised by taxation and 
those received from the State, expended in such a way as would as 
nearly as possible insure equal educational opportunities in all parts of 
the county, regardless of the amount raised in any particular part. 
(Any subdistrict should be permitted to raise, by taxation or otherwise, 
additional funds to supplement the county funds, provided the sub- 
district desired a better school plant, additional equipment, or a 
more efficient teaching force than could be provided from the county 

4. A county board of education, in which is vested the adminis- 
tration of the public schools of the county (except those in independent 
city districts), composed of from five to nine persons, elected or ap- 
pointed from the county at large; the board to be non-partisan; the 
term of office to be at least five years, and the terms arranged so that 
not more than one-fifth would expire in any one year. 

5. A county superintendent of schools, a professional educator, 
selected by the county board of education, from within or without the 
county or State, for a long term (at least two years), who shall serve 
as the secretary and executive ofiicer of the county board and as such 
be the recognized head of the public schools in the county (except 
those in independent city districts). 

6. District trustees in each subdistrict of the county, one or more 
persons, elected by the voters of the district or selected by the county 
board, to be custodians of the school property and to serve in an ad- 
visory capacity to the county board. The expenditures of local funds 
raised by the subdistrict would rest with the trustees subject to the 
approval of the county board. 

7. The powers and duties of the county board of education: 

(a) To select a county superintendent, who would be its secretary 
and executive ofiicer in the performance of all of its other functions, 
and to appoint assistants as required. 

(b) To have general control and management of the schools of the 

(c) To submit to the regular county taxing authority estimates of 
the amount of money needed to support the schools. 

(d) To regulate the boundaries of the school subdistricts of the 
county, making from time to time such alterations as in its judgment 
would serve the best interests of the county system. 

(e) To locate and erect school buildings. 

the funds of the county district according to the needs of the various schools, 
not according to school population. This does not mean among the subdis- 
tricts on the school popvdation basis. 


(/) To supply the necessary equipment. 

(g) To fix the course of study and select text-books (using the State 
course and State-adopted text-books in the States where action has 
been taken). 

(h) To enforce the compulsory education laws. 

(i) To employ teachers, fix their salaries and the salaries of other 

Experience shows, I believe, the wisdom of some such 

Better State Administration. — In most States there is 
urgent need of some reform in State administration. Possi- 
bly the ideal organization for the State would, in most 
cases, be a State board of education of seven or nine mem- 
bers, elected or appointed from the State at large, the terms 
of office for the members expiring in such a way as to reduce 
to a minimum the possibility of packing the board for 
sinister purposes. In a board of nine members the tenure 
of office might well be nine years, the terms of not more than 
two members expiring in any biennium. This board should 
elect a State superintendent or commissioner of education 
and all his assistants from the world at large and should 
have power to remove any of them for cause. Among the 
assistants of the chief State school officer should be a suffi- 
cient number of supervising specialists and the office should 
have the power to require prompt, faithful, and intelligent 
performance of duty by county-school officials. 

Ruralized High Schools for All. — In rural communities, 
as elsewhere, all boys and girls should have free access to 
good high schools so organized as to give such education as 
is adapted to the early and middle years of adolescence and 
to prepare them for the duties and responsibilities of life 
and citizenship and for some useful occupation by which 
they may make their living and contribute toward the sup- 
port of the commonwealth. Let me quote here from my 
introduction to the Report of the Commissioner of Educa- 
tion for the year ended June 30, 1913: 


The complex problems of our political, civic, industrial, social, and 
spiritual democracy demand of the masses of the people more exten- 
sive knowledge of facts and principles than can be given by the ele- 
mentary schools, and a discipline and training different from any 
which can be gained in childhood before the years of adolescence. 
Children learn by imitation and accept and act on authority. In the 
preadolescent years they are unable to reason inductively to great 
fundamental principles, formulate them into words, and reason from 
them by deduction to intelligent practical applications in concrete 
new instances. But this is just what is most needed for the self- 
guidance required by democratic institutions and life. The education 
possible in childhood may be sufficient for citizenship in a benevolent 
despotism where a "little father" rules over his "children," in a 
society of rigid and unyielding stratification, in a feudaUstic indus- 
trial organization in which the masses of people are only unthinking 
"hands," and in a spiritual despotism in which freedom of thought is 
unknown; but democratic government, government of the people,' by 
the people, and for the people, is manhood government. Democratic 
institutions of whatever kind demand of all who participate in them 
such self-guidance as is impossible without an understanding of gen- 
eral principles and the habit of consecutive, abstract reasoning and 
individual initiative and self-restraint. 

We must find some way of continuing the education of the great 
majority of children through the high-school period, through the 
years of early and middle adolescence. Under present economic con- 
ditions this will be possible only when we can find or devise some way 
by which boys and girls may contribute to their own support while 
attending school, or of continuing their studies out of school. In rural 
farming communities this is comparatively easy. Where good high 
schools are maintained in such communities and there are good ele- 
mentary schools to prepare for them, the per cent of high-school at- 
tendance is much larger than in most cities and manufacturing towns. 

Better Subject-Matter. — Courses of study in rural 
schools need reconstruction and redirection. As human be- 
ings and as citizens, men and women living in the country 
have the same or similar interests in the humanities (the 
term is used in its broad sense) and things pertaining to 
civic life and citizenship as other people have. But as 
farmers and farmers' wives, making their living from the 
soil and living in isolated country homes, their interests 


differ widely from those of men and women of the laboring 
and professional classes in the cities. Whatever may have 
been the case in the past, it has now come about that farm- 
ers need a fuller and more extensive, more varied and thor- 
ough, knowledge and more comprehensive grasp of funda- 
mental principles and greater power of adjustment than 
men in any other trade or profession. The same is true of 
the farmer's wife as compared with other women. Of the 
chemistry and physics of the soil, of plant and animal life, 
of methods of tillage, of the feeding and care of animals, of 
plant and animal diseases and the means of protection 
against them, of farm machinery and its operation, care, and 
management, of buying and selling, of bookkeeping and the 
business side of farm life, of fertilizers and the means of pre- 
serving the fertility of the soil, of the breeding of plants 
and animals, of road-making and forestry, of drainage and 
irrigation, of the sanitation of the farm home, of the best 
use of the food products of the farm, of the care of children 
in isolated country homes (where the physician cannot be 
called at a moment's notice and where municipal engineers 
do not look after every detail of sanitation), of the early 
education of children, and of many other things on a knowl- 
edge of which the success, prosperity, and happiness of the 
farmer and his wife depend — nearly all country schools at 
the present time take little account. Their courses of study 
need to be remade upon the basis of what the farmer needs 
to know, and their teaching must take into consideration the 
environment and the raw material and experience which the 
country boy and girl bring to school. 

Need of Rural Surveys. — Just what the course or courses 
of study in any rural school should be cannot be determined 
until careful and thorough studies have been made of the 
vocational life of men and women living normal lives in 
normal rural communities. Such studies must take into 
consideration what these men and women need to learn of 
each branch of knowledge and of its possible and probable 


applications in their life-work. As a first step in such a 
study the Bureau of Education some time ago sent question- 
naires to a thousand farmers and as many farmers' wives 
living on and by their farms in the open country in several 
different States. The questions were as follows; 

Please state briefly what the farmer should know about 
i) Physics. 

2) Chemistry. 

3) Biology. 

4) Meteorology. 

5) The soil. 

6) Cultivation of the soil. 

7) Fertilizers. 

8) Plant life. 

9) Selecting seeds. 

10) Propagation by budding, grafting, etc. 

11) Harvesting crops. 

12) Animal life. 

13) Insects and birds. 

14) Feeding. 

15) Breeding. 

16) Marketing crops and live stock. 

17) Farmers' buying, selling, and credit co-operation. 

18) Preserving fruits and meats. 

19) Machinery, its operation and its care. 

20) Care of trees and forests. 

21) Keeping accounts. 

22) Banking. 

23) Commercial and common law. 

24) Farm buildings. 

25) Engineering. 

26) Road building. 

27) Farm sanitation. 

28) Other subjects connected directly with the farmer's life. 

It is the purpose of the bureau to send these to other 
thousands of farmers and farmers' wives and to supplement 
this by somewhat similar questions for supervisors and in- 
structors in agriculture and home economics in colleges and 
high schools, and for students of rural economy. But all 


these will not help far. They can serve only as a beginning. 
Thorough, extensive rural surveys must be made by experts 
on the ground in different parts of the country very much as 
industrial surveys have been made in Richmond, Minne- 
apolis, and many other cities. There must also be simi- 
lar surveys as to the duties and responsibilities of citi- 
zenship in civic and social life in rural communities and of 
the preparation necessary for their intelligent and success- 
ful performance. When these surveys have been made and 
a body of necessary knowledges, skills, ideals, and abilities 
has been formulated, men and women learned and wise in 
methods of education and of child development must de- 
termine which of them can be taught in the schools; how and 
in what order, and to what extent, and also how they can 
be organized and transmuted into the things we call dis- 
cipline and culture; for the man who turns the clods must 
not be permitted to be a clod himself, even though an in- 
telligent and skilled one. There must be in him also some- 
thing that aspires and sings. 

In the country even more than in the city is it important 
that there should be a very close co-operation between the 
school and the home. If the teacher knows how to discover 
and use it, the out-of-school experiences of country children 
give them a larger fund of rich raw material for reworking 
and interpretation in the schools than the out-of-school ex- 
periences of city children give to them. For most of the 
knowledge which should be gained in school by country 
children there is a readier and wider application in country 
life than for the knowledge gained by city children in city 
schools. In making courses of study for rural schools it 
must be remembered that farming is still a trade, or rather 
a combination of many whole and complex trades, if, in- 
deed, it should not be called a learned profession, and not a 
single, simple process or a series of such processes, as is the 
occupation of many people in the industrial life of the city. 
Little or nothing on the farm and in the farm home can be 

A brooder and laying house, Berks County, Pa. 

Poultry club work of Pennsylvania State College 

A home-made brooder 
"The New Spirit" at work in rural Pennsylvania 


done by rule of thumb. The freedom of adjustment that 
comes only from a mastery of fundamental principles is ab- 
solutely necessary. The independent farmer must have the 
power of self-guidance under complex and constantly chang- 
ing conditions. To make sure that principles are under- 
stood and flexible in their use and that they have real con- 
tent, they must be constantly tested in practical applica- 
tion. Therefore rural school and farm and home must be- 
come as nearly as possible one for the education of the 
farmer's boy and girl, and each should be intelligent about 
and sympathetic with the other in a way and to a degree 
now seldom found. 

Professional Teachers. — But no policy of support, con- 
trol, and administration however wise, and no courses of 
study however thorough and logical, may be expected to 
accomplish much without competent teachers. Teachers 
make the schools and they are larger factors in the making 
of rural schools than they can be under modern conditions 
in the making of urban schools. The teacher of a grade or 
of a subject in a city school is a part of a large and more or 
less efficient machine, which, once started, continues largely 
by its own momentum. Her tasks are definite and narrowly 
limited. It is quite otherwise with the teacher in the small 
country school of one, two, or three teachers. Here the ma- 
chinery is light and loosely put together, if indeed there 
can be said to be any machinery at all. The teacher's tasks 
are large and indefinite. There are opportunity and need for 
men of power of initiative and self-guidance. Personality, 
scholarship, professional knowledge, and the skill which 
comes from intelligent experience count for more in the 
country school than they can in the city school. More care- 
ful consideration needs to be given to the selection of teach- 
ers in the rural schools and to schools in which to prepare 
them for their work. 

We may not hope to offer to all children even approxi- 
mately equal opportunities for education nor to obtain any- 


thing like satisfactory returns from our investments of 
money, time, and interest in our public schools until in all 
the States we shall have higher and more nearly uniform 
standards of qualification for teachers, which standards for 
teachers in rural schools must include a good beginning at 
least in knowledge of rural life, rural occupations, and rural 
economics. At present we are giving some kind of profes- 
sional preparation to only a small per cent of those who 
are to become teachers in the rural schools, and only in a 
few normal schools does this preparation include even a 
good beginning in those things which pertain especially to 
the work of the rural schools. I have already stated that 
in a study of rural teachers in 55 typical counties, repre- 
senting all the States of the Union, Foght found that only 
3.4 per cent of the 2,941 teachers replying to the questions 
sent to 6,000 teachers were graduates of any normal school, 
that only 26.5 had attended normal schools at all, and that 
only 20 teachers out of the whole number had attended 
schools giving special preparation for rural school work. 
For many years we have maintained normal schools at the 
cost of taxes paid by all the people in country and city 
alike, but in most States almost all the graduates of these 
schools have found places as teachers in city schools and 
the country schools have been benefited very little. If 
graduation from college with some work in courses in edu- 
cation or from public or private normal schools or from 
high schools with teacher-training courses be accounted the 
minimum adequate preparation for teaching — and cer- 
tainly nothing less should be so accounted — then we are not 
preparing anything like a sufficient number of teachers to 
meet the yearly demands for new teachers in the public 
schools. In 191 2-13 there were in such schools and courses 
as I have named approximately 135,000 students, about 
28,000 of whom graduated in the spring of that year. In 
the summer and fall of 191 3 more than 100,000 new teach- 
ers were needed in the public schools alone. If all these 


graduates of the spring had begun teaching in the fall, more 
than 60,000 places would have remained to be filled by new 
teachers without the minimum of preparation indicated by 
the fact of graduation from a school of one of these kinds. 

I must be permitted to enter here a firm protest against 
any idea that we are to be content that teachers may con- 
tinue to be admitted to work in the rural schools with such 
meagre academic and professional preparation as may be 
gained in high schools of four years with a little time given 
in the fourth year to the history of education, psychology, 
methods of teaching, and school management. That such 
preparation may be better than most rural teachers now 
have I admit, but I have already called attention to the fact 
that the rural teachers have more difficult tasks to perform 
and therefore need more thorough and comprehensive prep- 
aration than city teachers. The training courses in high 
schools and county normal schools may be necessary as 
temporary makeshifts and as stepping-stones to something 
better, but to accept them as permanent means of preparing 
rural teachers would be to condemn forever the rural schools 
to inefficiency and rural life to poverty and futility. If the 
American people are in earnest about education and about 
the betterment of country life, they must demand of rural 
teachers higher standards of preparation and see to it that 
schools with adequate standards and appropriate courses of 
instruction are maintained in sufficient numbers for their 
preparation. I know of no important culture country 
whose teachers are so poorly prepared for their work as are 
the majority of rural teachers in most of our States. 

Consolidation of Schools. — But even with all teachers 
prepared reasonably well for their work the rural schools 
must continue to be inefficient and unsatisfactory if most 
schools are to continue to be one-teacher schools and if 
teachers are to continue to change from place to place as 
they now do. No teacher can teach well twenty-five chil- 
dren of all ages and of all grades of advancement from the 


first grade to the high school. Thirty-five classes a day 
with a teaching time for each class of from four to twelve 
minutes will continue to baffle the skill of the best. Even 
if by skilful combination the number of classes in such schools 
should be reduced to twenty, as I believe they may in most 
schools, the number would still be too large. 

The coming and going of teachers, reducing their work 
to a kind of day labor, is still more detrimental to the work 
of the schools. For successful teaching much more is neces- 
sary than knowledge of subjects taught and of methods and 
devices of teaching and school management. Teachers 
must know something of the powers, capacities, tendencies, 
weakness, and strength of the children they teach. Such 
knowledge implies a knowledge of their parentage. They 
must know something of their experiences in the home, in 
the field, in the shop, at work and at play, and in associa- 
tion with kindred and friends, else they will not know how 
to use the results of these vital experiences as the raw ma- 
terial of lessons to be learned in school. They must know 
something of the contemporary home life of the children, 
their occupations and interests and their relations to their 
parents, else they will not be able to bring about that close 
co-operation between school and home and the unity of 
school and home interests without which the work of the 
school cannot be made to take hold on the lives of the chil- 
dren. They must know the details of the work which the 
children have done in the lower grades that they may use 
the knowledge gained in these grades as the basis of new 
lessons to be learned, and that the children may learn and 
interpret the new in terms of the old and dovetail the one 
into the other in such a way as to make the work of one 
year a development and continuation of that of previous 
years. They must know something of the inner life of the 
children, of their ideals, hopes, and dreams of the future, else 
they will be unable to make the lessons of the school take 
hold on these, modifying them and being enriched by them 


as they must be before the school, its lessons, and its dis- 
ciplines can be made to project themselves into the future 
and take hold on life as they should, and as they must be- 
fore they can become fruitful in deeds, in life, and in char- 

III. Suggestions for Improving Such Conditions 
Through Consolidation 

As a means of bringing about such a consolidation of 
schools as will obviate the necessity of one teacher attempt- 
ing to teach children in all the grades of the elementary 
school and at the same time secure a longer stay of com- 
petent teachers in the same schools together with many other 
desirable improvements not otherwise possible, I make the 
following suggestions: 

1. That in all States the unit jor school administration 
be made as large as possible — the town in the New England 
States, the county or parish in most other States — so as to 
permit the greatest possible freedom in forming single-school 
districts and adjusting their boundaries to geographic fea- 
tures and the outlines of settlements, and to insure to all 
schools of the township or county equally adequate support. 

2. That the school laws of all States should make it easy 
for town and county boards of education to co-operate in 
forming union districts of territory from two or more town- 
ships or counties and in establishing, maintaining, controll- 
ing, and supervising schools in them when this is necessary 
to the best interests of the people. 

3. That careful surveys be made of the territory of all 
school-administration units and that on the basis of these 
surveys they be divided into school districts of from ten 
to fifteen square miles each, the exact size and shape of any 
district depending on physical features, location and char- 
acter of roads, means of transportation, density of popula- 
tion, trade centre, and other conditions. Where roads are 


numerous, good, and convergent, the district may well be 
larger than where they are few, bad, and parallel or per- 
pendicular to each other. Twelve square miles, three by 
four or three and a half miles square, will probably be a 
good average in two-thirds of the towns and counties of the 
country. The Bureau of Education is now making a care- 
ful and exhaustive study of the possibilities of organization 
on this basis. It is already apparent that in most counties 
the number of schools may be reduced by one-half, in many 
by two-thirds or three-fourths, and in some by as much as 
four-fifths or five-sixths. In some counties of Pennsylvania 
and probably of other States as many as eight one-teacher 
schools might be brought together in a territory of this size. 

4. That at the most suitable and accessible place in each 
consolidated district a good schoolhouse be built, attractive, 
comfortable, and sanitary, with classrooms, laboratories, 
and library equipped for the work which such a rural school 
should do, and an assembly-hall large enough, not only to 
seat comfortably at one time all the pupils of the school, 
but also to serve as a meeting-place for the people of the 
school district. 

5. That on the school grounds a house be built for a 
home for the principal and possibly also for other teachers. 
This house should not be expensive, but neat and attrac- 
tive, a model for the community, such a house as any thrifty 
farmer with good taste might hope to build for himself. 

6. That as a part of the equipment of the school there 
should be a small farm, from four to five acres or more if in 
a village or densely populated community, and from twenty- 
five to fifty acres or more if in the open country. The prin- 
cipal of the school should be required to live in the prin- 
cipal's home, keep it as a model home for the community, 
and cultivate the farm as a model farm, with garden, or- 
chard, poultry-yard, small dairy, and whatever else should 
be found on a well-conducted, well-tilled farm in that com- 
munity. He should put himself into close contact with the 


agricultural college and agricultural experiment station of 
his State^ the departments of agriculture of State and na- 
tion, farm-demonstration agents, and other similar agencies, 
and it should be made their duty to help him in every way 
possible. The use of the house and the products of the 
farm should be given the principal as a part of his salary in 
addition to the salary paid in money. 

7. That after a satisfactory trial of a year or two a 
contract should be made with the principal for life or good 
behavior, or at least for a long term of years. 

8. That the school sessions be adapted to the industrial 
needs and climatic conditions of the district. It is not 
necessary that primary and advanced pupils attend at the 
same time. In the North and in mountainous sections pri- 
mary children should attend school in the spring, summer, 
and fall. 

The Consolidated-School Centre. — In this way it will be 
possible to get and keep in the schools men of first-class abil- 
ity, competent to teach children and to become leaders in 
their communities. The principal of a country school 
should know country life. A large part of country life has 
to do with the cultivation and care of the farm. The best 
test of knowledge here as elsewhere is the ability to do. The 
principal of a country school in a farming community should 
be able to cultivate and care for a small farm better than 
any other man in the community or at least as well. It 
may be true that ^Hhose who can, do; and those who can^t, 
teach," but it should noi be so. It must not be so if the 
teacher is to do the work and have the influence in the com- 
munity that he should. 

The school-farm will, of course, serve as a demonstra- 
tion farm for the district, with the principal of the school, 
to some extent at least, as a farm-demonstration agent, di- 
recting the home work of boys and advising the men as to 
their work and the whole community in many important 
matters of citizenship and life. 


I am assuming that the principal of the consolidated 
country school will be a man. As a rule, it should be so. 
In every school attended by large boys there should be at 
least one man; other teachers may well be women. 

The increased prosperity and wealth that would come to 
any community with such a school as would be possible un- 
der the plan suggested would soon enable it to pay sufficient 
salaries to obtain the services of men and women of the best 
native ability, education, training, and skill. Any man 
who ought to be allowed to teach as the principal of a 
country school in a farming community can make the use 
of such a home and school-farm worth to him as much or 
more than the money salary now paid to rural-school prin- 
cipals anywhere in America. Under the plan suggested the 
principal's wife might in many instances become the leader 
of the social life of the community and help in making the 
teacher's home and the school a social centre. She might 
also assist the women teachers in extending the school work 
to the homes of the district, making the work and the care 
of the homes more intelligent and tying the women and 
their homes to the school as the principal would tie the 
men and their farms. 

The plan here suggested would not prove very costly. 
If bonds were issued to pay the first cost of house and land, 
by the time the bonds matured the increase in the value of 
the land would in most communities amount to as much as 
its first cost and the community would have at a compara- 
tively small cost property of a much greater permanent 

After a long and careful study of the problems of the 
rural schools I see no other way in which any thoroughgoing 
permanent improvement may be wrought out for our rural 
schools in most parts of the country. But this way is clear 
and practicable and the principles involved are not untried 
in this country and elsewhere. Its general adoption would 
increase the value and efficiency of the American rural 


school more than we can now understand. Anything that 
will add in even a small degree to their effectiveness is worthy 
of careful consideration and patient trial. 


1. To what extent has consolidation been accomplished in your 

home State? 

2. What per cent of these schools are simply graded schools in the 

country without the other features necessary to make them first- 
class ruralized schools ? 

3. What per cent of the one-room schools in your State have mod- 

ern school plants with trained teachers and satisfactory rural 
courses of study ? 

4. What changes, if any, would be necessary to establish the county- 

unit system of school administration in your State ? 

5. What are some of the things that rural pupils most need to learn 

in school? 

6. Can these well be provided economically in single-room schools? 

7. What suggestions are given in the chapter for securing satisfac- 

tory consolidation? 

8. How are bonds obtained for building consolidated schools in your 


9. How much money would be available for a consolidated school if 

the appropriation for each child equalled ex-President Eliot's 
standard of the amount spent for its food and clothing? 
[Q. How can such expenditures be justified in the minds of country 
people? What per cent of this sum should be paid by the 
consolidated-school community, the coimty, the State, and the 
nation ? 


1. Recent reports of county and State superintendents of public 

schools and the United States Bureau of Education. 

2. Surveys of rural schools and country life. 

3. Carney — "Country Life and the Country School." Row, Peter- 

son & Co. 

4. Foght— "The Rural Teacher and His Work." Macmillan. 

5. Arp — "Rural Education and the Consolidated School." World 

Book Co. 

6. Cubberley — "Rural Life and Education." Houghton, Mifflin Co. 


7. Hart — "Educational Resources of Village and Rural Communi- 

ties." Macmillan. 

8. Vogt — "Rural Sociology." Appleton. 

9. Field and Nearing — "Community Civics." Macmillan. 
10. Smith — "Educational Sociology." Houghton, Miflflin Co. 


A. State surveys by the U. S. Bureau of Education: 

1. Educational survey of Wyoming. 

2. Educational conditions in Arizona. 

3. Educational survey of Tennessee. 

4. Educational survey of the schools of South Dakota. . 

B. Self surveys by States: 

1. Minnesota, State Department of Public Instruction. 

2. Wisconsin, State Department of Public Instruction. 

3. Missouri, State Department of Public Instruction. 

4. Montana, State Department of Public Instruction. 

5. Pennsylvania, State Department of Public Instruction. 

C. By boards and bureaus: 

1. Public Education in Maryland, by the General Education 

Board, New York. 

2. Surveys of a number of rural counties by the Presbyterian 

Board, New York. 

3. Sanitary survey of Porter County, Indiana, and others, 

United States Public Health Service. 

D. By universities: 

1. Survey of Lane County, Oregon. 

2. Survey of a county in California, by Williams, published by 

the United States Bureau of Education. 


Preliminary Problems 

1. Describe some rural co-operative enterprise, such as a creamery, 

elevator, or store, of which you have knowledge. 

2. What has led to these " getting- together " movements? 

3. Why are not more of these organizations established? 

4. What forces have favored and hindered such co-operation? 

5. Do the best farmers to-day attempt to ''raise all they need for the 

family" as in 1850? Why? 

6. In what ways does specialization in farming lead to greater world- 

wide connections? 

7. How does the consolidated school enlarge the acquaintance unit 

of a rural community? 

8. Why do farmers so frequently "move to town"? 

9. Is farm tenantry a good or bad thing socially? 

10. In what ways are the interest of the farmers and the rural village 
trading-centre identical ? 

As has been ably set forth in the preceding chapter, the 
community gives character to country life in our time. 
This is another name for the organized neighborhood. 
The name describes the people with their properties and 
institutions who live within easy reach of one another in 
the country. The community is the habitat of a farm fam- 
ily. In it personal acquaintance takes on a very intimate 
form and verifies personal character. In the country com- 
munity everybody is known to everybody else. The weak 
are known to be weak; the honest are known to be honest. 
The reason for this is in the fact that those who farm can- 
not go far from home, and must return to the farm prac- 
tically every night. Therefore, acquaintance with those 



near at home is very close. With persons outside the limits 
of the home community acquaintance is scanty. The com- 
munity in the country intensifies acquaintance but limits it. 
Upon this acquaintance unit are based all the new social 
institutions of rural life. The co-operative credit unions 
depend upon personal acquaintance for their security. 
The co-operative creameries and grain-elevators could not 
admit to membership men not known well to their fellow 
members. Likewise consolidated schools take a district as 
large as the circle of personal acquaintance and co-operation 
activity for their legislative boundaries. Federated churches 
assemble all the people who can attend their services by a 
convenient team-haul or automobile-ride. 

I. Necessity at Work 

Economic forces are moulding anew the social form of 
country life. The chief of these forces are in the city which 
acts as an assembly of people who do not produce raw ma- 
terials. The city depends for the supply of such materials 
upon the people in the country, at the same time so adding 
to the value of these products as to create a demand for the 
finished articles such that even the farmer must buy of 
the city. 

It must not be lost to sight that the city is the central 
fact or expression of the forces which to-day mould country 
life. The necessity which forces country people, prone to 
household forms of existence, to organize their households 
into communities is imposed by the cities. 

The World Market. — The second fact which is to-day 
remodelling the form of the country community is the inter- 
national character of the market. This is often expressed 
in the term ''the world market." Of this world market the 
cities are the centres, but the remotest farmhouse comes to 
that world market as a customer. Few or none are the 
households in mountain-coves where to-day men wear 


homespun. Few are the renters or "croppers" who do not 
''live out of a store." I have seen the transformation in 
remote settlements where a self-sufficing industry prevailed 
twenty-five years ago. To-day these people are so eager 
for the cash with which to buy ''store-clothes" that the 
man of the house, father often of six to ten children before 
he is forty, journeys many miles to seek employment upon 
railroad or lumber enterprises in order that he may, by 
working most of the weeks of the year in a camp, enable his 
children to wear what others wear and eat and enjoy what 
others have. The opulence and cheapness of the city mar- 
kets, which are furnished with all that England or China 
produces, tempt every member of a self-sufficing household 
to become a wage-earner and so to become a consumer of 
other men's and of other nations' goods. 

Communication and Transportation. — Transportation is 
another name for a force which, with the power of necessity, 
irresistibly moulds the social life of the country and makes it 
over into the community form. The goods, the people, and 
the news from all the world are brought into every region. 
Country people come to see that they must associate them- 
selves into community organization in order to secure and 
to enjoy what the world sends. A good illustration of this 
use of the neighborhood form is in the Chautauqua enter- 
tainment, to which country people are devoted. Most of 
these organizations for the hearing and seeing of celeb- 
rities, lecturers, and entertainers are village or open-coun- 
try affairs. The system has had to accommodate itself to 
the community form. The local Chautauqua is an illus- 
tration of the social form country life takes in utilizing 
world ideas and enjoyments. The consolidated school is a 
form of community organization made necessary by the de- 
sire of country people to learn in the world school. Of all these 
forces the city is the centre and the expression. 


II. Historical Review 

Household organization is a permanent form of country 
living. It is older than America — as old as Deuteronomy. 
When there were no cities in America the household was 
self-sufficing. Socially and economically it maintained it- 
self, depending upon other households only as convenience 
or as exigency demanded. Co-operation was for emergen- 
cies only. What was needed was made on the premises. 
Stores were mostly places of exchange of neighborhood goods. 
Schools were one- teacher supplements of the home learning; 
for the parents considered themselves the proper and suffi- 
cient teachers of their children. Churches were places of 
meeting, often irregularly used, in which religious services 
were supplementary to those of the family. Their doctrine 
was patriarchal, a family interpretation of Christianity. 
Such social life is still somewhat common. But wherever 
the household rules the countryside it indicates that the 
city and the world market have not yet effected the reor- 
ganization which is inevitably and rapidly approaching. 

Before 1870 household farming was the rule. There was 
no other form of social organization except that which, like 
the one- teacher school, supplemented the household. Now 
the emergence of determining institutions of a community sort 
signifies that a new era has come in American country life. 

Solitary Farming. — When free land in an earlier day 
affected vitally the organization of American life, it created 
the individualistic type of person, which has always in 
American history exerted a great influence. Land so free 
that it was of no value intoxicated the children of European 
serfs and bondsmen and almost set them mad with the 
spirit of independence. They began to idealize personality, 
to magnify the value of individual opinion, of private prop- 
erty, and to regard individual freedom as an ultimate ideal 
instead of a means to spiritual and social ends. Yet in- 
dividualists did not forswear the world. They did not be- 


come monks or nuns. Hermits and individualists are not 
alike, but most unlike. And as American individualists live 
very much in society there have been many clashes and 
conflicts between their theories of the freedom of the in- 
dividual will and the obligations of an organized society. 
Yet that earlier time has made in our history an indelible 
impression, contributing to our philosophy, religion, and 
education the individualistic elements which idealized the 
loneliness and isolation of the wilderness life. 

The Migrant Farmer. — When the homesteads were 
given away — free land offered in a legalized form — to those 
who had come to set value upon land, we find arising in 
America a new social type, the migrating farmer. Migra- 
tion, especially between 1870 and 1890, has had lasting ef- 
fects upon American country people. Families went west- 
ward, leaving behind many of the social elements of life, 
and founded neighborhoods without traditions, churches 
without creeds, schools without culture, and industries 
without reserves of capital. The history of the Western 
States is only now emerging from the period wherein the 
effects of an artificially formalized migration which at- 
tempted in twenty years to set up in uniform ways over all 
our domain the social culture based upon farming that the 
Eastern States had matured in the slow growth of two hun- 
dred years. Often the social forms are there, but the value 
of them is absent. The homesteading process degenerated 
into a speculation in land, in timber, and in minerals, and 
this has often debauched the government's high purpose. 
The migratory social forms are temporary, as the exploita- 
tion which followed the migration is to be temporary. For 
our present purpose it is enough to record the force of the 
migration in its effects upon such institutions as the school 
and the church. They have not been advanced nor per- 
fected by the period, with its artificial *' homesteading.'' 
The improvement of the schools has come from the older 
settlement, not from the newer. 


The Exploiters of Land. — There followed the year 1890 
a period of exploitation of farm values which produced 
social forms not before seen in America. The retired farmer 
appeared first in the Middle West, having sold his homestead 
in order to secure in cash the land values which he had not 
earned. Securing perhaps $100 per acre for lands which he 
had received free from the government, he came to live in 
town with that freedom from social obligation which one 
might expect in a man who could regard land bestowed by 
the State as a private possession. The retired farmer has 
a bad record, for his situation has been one of slavery to 
hostile necessities. He has ever been known as the foe of 
all community progress. Succeeding him has come the 
landlord, a type different only in his holding his lands for a 
bigger rise in price instead of selling. The American farm 
landlord has usually been an absentee, living in town away 
from his farm, and a social absentee, in that he has insulated 
himself from responsibility for the social improvements 
which his properties were expected to support. We have, 
for example, known owners of five-thousand-acre tracts in 
Illinois and in Texas to command their tenants, on penalty 
of losing their leases, to vote against school consolidation. 

The children of tenants really require a better school 
than the children of owners, because their home resources 
are more meagre, but the American landlord, bound by no 
legal requirements, sense of social responsibility, nor social 
usages, such as usually determine the conduct of European 
landlords, has persistently declined to improve the local 
school, church, or playground. Being an exploiter, he has 
regarded only the financial advantage of his position. Be- 
ing a speculator, he is waiting for the cash gains of increased 
land prices, not for the more remote but sound economic re- 
wards of more intelligent agriculture. 

The Tenure of Land. — The farm tenant, or "renter," as 
he is usually called with fine precision, is *4n a worse con- 
dition than that of any European tenant.'' He has, as a 


rule, a lease of only one year. He can secure no better, 
because the landlord expects to sell and will not encumber 
the property. The tenant usually desires no longer lease, 
because he hopes to "skin the land," and actually does often 
get a better reward from the year's work than the landlord 
receives. The land, which is essentially an asset of society 
and of the community, has to pay the costs of this expensive 
exploiting process. It is true that not all landlords nor all 
tenants are as bad as the type, but the situation is unpro- 
tected by legal safeguards, and the pressure of economic 
motive works out just about as we have described. In 
counties of the Middle Western States, in which tenancy 
rises as high as fifty, or even seventy, per cent of the popula- 
tion, the social improvement of the community is retarded 
while financial gains are being made. The means of money- 
making are provided while the schools and roads are left 
by the local authorities just where they were in the time 
when the farm household was self-sufficing. Some money 
is made in the present at the expense of present and future 
character and social efficiency. Money eclipses men. 

III. Organized Society in Control 

Social control has come to the farm. This control is en- 
forced not by the State but by the city, the railway, and the 
market. The State has little direct control over the farmer. 
In the city, policemen have much to say about the daily 
conduct of affairs; but in the country, social control, not a 
whit less potent, is exerted by international prices of wheat 
or beef, by railway and mail influences, and by the compact 
will of the masses of consumers whom "the farmer feeds." 
The husbandman has come into existence under these con- 
ditions, that is, the farmer who farms according to social 
control. He is characterized by two new elements, not in 
other types of countryman observed: he co-operates and he 
uses scientific methods. 


Wherever husbandry appears there are found colleges of 
agriculture and schools capable of carrying into the local 
community the teachings of the laboratory and of the ex- 
perimental farm. Husbandry always organizes in the form 
of such co-operative enterprises as grain-elevators, cream- 
eries, egg-gathering associations, and credit associations. 
These educational and business forms are expressions of the 
community. They are always of the size of the commu- 
nity. They depend upon one another. Without the trained 
minds developed by and in the consolidated-school district, 
co-operation cannot endure. Without the distributed profits 
which co-operation alone can assure, better education will 
be impossible. 

Temporary and Permanent Forms. — The household and 
the community are permanent forms. The individualist, 
the migrant, and the exploiter are temporary; they may ap- 
pear and reappear and constitute an always present fringe, 
but these are farmers in the way of becoming something 
else. The country must depend upon households to till the 
soil. The household group is God's plough for breaking the 
sod of nature and reducing chaos to fertility. Families 
alone can endure in the country. Persons are nothing in 
the contest with nature; the household group is everything 
victorious, fruitful, productive. The individuaHst is an 
antisocial tiller of the soil. The migrant and the ex- 
ploiter, produced as they have been by necessities expressed 
in legal terms, are temporary social forms. The household 
and the community are the permanent forms of rural 

While the household was self-sufficing it dominated the 
country. Roads were not of primary importance. Schools 
required to be only handmaids of the home, and the one- 
teacher school did very well in the narrow place allowed by 
the parents to any teacher other than themselves. Churches 
were forums of the opinions which thoughtful patriarchs 
held. Doctrinal argument was the chief duty of the church. 


Spiritual nurture, like intellectual culture, had no need to 
rise above that fitness which a man requires who lives among 
his kindred on an isolated farm. 

IV. The Community and the World 

Integration. — With the emergence of cities — whose causes 
are not here being explored — country people have been 
obliged to form themselves into communities. It is rightly 
said in some sections: "We have no community here, only a 
settle-ment." Men have settled there and stayed but they 
have not co-operated; they have not been drawn together 
by the study of the marvels of transportation and of inter- 
national commerce. When the first foods have come from 
afar — sugar from Cuba more tasty than sorghum, bananas 
from the tropics cheaper than native apples, ginger in Chi- 
nese wrappings more salable than spruce-gum — then the 
process has begun which will not end until the local com- 
munity has organized for the manufacture of its raw products 
and their sale in the interests of the neighborhood purse. 

With the coming of intelligence about the great world, 
it is no longer sufiicient to be taught to read and write and 
cipher; a great competition sets in requiring the local com- 
munity to educate its children until eighteen years of age 
in the best learning and culture of the times. This involves 
the creation of institutions as large as the country can 
afford. The household farmer kept his institutions small, 
in order that he might live at home in a maximum degree. 
The community farmer makes his schools, his churches, and 
his business enterprises as big as he can, on the principle of 
modern economy and for the further reasons that leaders 
adequate to the country business are few and the larger 
the grouping the better the chance of finding a leader. 

A Larger Unit Needed. — The household is inadequate 
because its members go away, leaving it diminished in size. 
The stronger go and leave the weak; the leaders go and 


leave the tame and docile clustered in the farmhouse, with- 
out initiative and without defense. The household is edu- 
cationally inadequate; and the one- teacher school which 
is its handmaiden has no abilities with which to command 
any situation. The content of modern teaching cannot be 
written on the small blackboard of the one-room school, 
any more than the passion of world service can be embodied 
in a church without either a pastor, an organization, or a 
social philosophy. 

When wheat is priced in London, wool prices are fixed 
by the Australian fleece, butter dominated by Denmark, 
beef by Argentina, and American cotton lifts its white boll 
to greet the cotton of Egypt, then community organization 
begins to be talked of in every farming country. Tillers of 
the soil all over the world say "farmers must organize." 
In all lands, from Japan to Oregon and back again the other 
way, the form of permanent organization is as big as may 
be, consistently with the absolute necessity of personal ac- 
quaintance. Farmers who organize must trust one another, 
and the basis of trust is the verifying of personal character 
by personal acquaintance. This means in business the co- 
operative unit. It means in education the consolidated 
school. It means in religion the federated church. 

The Enlarged Horizon. — The organization of country 
people to confront the world is the community, and as a 
natural thing the community is as large as possible. Its 
size is limited only by the team-haul. As soon as the auto- 
mobile shall have superseded horse-drawn vehicles the 
country community will be made larger. The spirit at 
work in it is one of bigness. In this the present time differs 
from the period of household farming, for in that time men 
idealized the small neighborhood. The family was self- 
sufhcient, with its mind concentred upon itself. Men did 
not look afar, but very intensely at home. Now the farmer 
or villager is offered broad views of the world and he must 
seek broad relations with his neighbors. 

Cast of "Midsummer Night's Dream" as presented by the school children 
of Rockingham, N. C. 

A school assembly room 
A place where the whole community may congregate 


Reasons for this are found in the fact that open-country 
communities are less populous than they were before ma- 
chinery displaced farm-hands. Village communities are 
based upon commercial enterprises which of their very na- 
ture seek enlargement. The margin of profit being small, 
merchants and agents, lawyers and contractors, physicians 
and commission men who make up village populations, seek 
to enlarge their community boundaries by extending their 
clientele. Thus the village-centred country communities 
are to-day as big as they can be. 

The dominant type of farmer in this era of the social 
control of agriculture is a man who respects bigness. He 
wants big machinery, big cattle, big horses, and he aspires 
to till an acreage up to the economic limit. Such men have 
a great influence in the direction of enlarging the community. 
Their influence is always exerted toward an enlistment in 
the big world in as big companies as possible. They are 
impatient of little churches, of petty educational work, and 
of country Ufe too localized. As this type of husbandman 
attains a greater influence in the country, community or- 
ganization takes the place of tiny ^'settle-ment'' organiza- 
tion. The sense of neighborhood is extended to a larger 
circle. But always within the limitation that the community 
can he as large as personal acquaintance and no larger. The 
consolidated school is a great invention for enlarging, en- 
riching, and refining this acquaintance unit. Here is one of 
its dominant aims. 

V. Community Ways 

The internal organization of the country community is 
peculiar to itself. Among European and American rural 
populations it partakes of certain characteristics which, if 
the term be not misunderstood, may be called ^^demo- 
cratic." The country community, with its radius of five 
and diameter of ten miles, is just about big enough to dis- 














cover leaders and to correlate personality with leadership. 
As the rule in all community organizations, financial and 
other, one man has one vote — at least there is a limit put 
upon the power of any one man, such as to reserve for per- 
sonality a secure place. In a Middle West grain-elevator 
organization, for example, one man may own four shares, 
but he may have only one vote in the control of this com- 
munity enterprise. 

Another way of the country might be expressed in the 
term country-mindedness. Granges exclude those who are 
not in businesses which insure their having rural sympathy. 
Country communities are jealous of outsiders. In some way 
the man of influence must belong to the sacred industry, 
the fellowship of those who till the soil. He must know the 
fight with nature from personal experience or they will not 
work with him. Farmers believe themselves to be in an 
industry set apart, unlike any other, but necessary to all 
others. To be country-born, to till and own, to be a country- 
school teacher, minister, or physician, or of some essentially 
related trade, is necessary if one is to get within the circle 
of rural influence. 

The functions of the country community, which must be 
locally performed, are production, with its attendant tasks 
of breeding, orcharding, and so forth; manufacture of raw 
materials raised; the final organization of credit, in exchanges 
of borrowers; education in schools which teach the child 
until he is eighteen years of age during the period of his en- 
largement upon the whole world; and religion, in the con- 
gregation of worshippers. Social welfare among country 
people requires a community performing these in a maxi- 
mum degree. The consolidated school is the natural out- 
come of social evolution, in which personality bursts the 
confines of family and merges with community and world 
experience. This thought will be amplified in the following 



The country community is the acquaintance unit, the 
habitat of the farm or village family. 

Necessities of life determine the form of the social unit 
of country life. 

Household organization has been superseded by com- 
munity organization, with several intermediate and sec- 
ondary types, such as individuaUst, migrants, speculators, 
all created by the forces of necessity. 

The husbandman is the countryman who responds to 
social control of the whole world, which centres in cities, 
railroads, and markets. 

To the world control the household is not adequate, and 
the community, because it is bigger, a better field of leader- 
ship and a safer arena of personality, is consciously organ- 
ized by husbandmen in co-operative business and consoli- 
dated schools. 


See end of next chapter. These two chapters may be considered as a 
unit, both dealing with the forces which enlarge the rural social 
mind in its knowledge, habits, and ideals to county-unit and con- 
solidated-school size. These forces lie at the basis of all school 
reform and must be thoroughly understood in considering demo- 
cratic modes of advance in our country. These social forces are 
frequently overlooked and underestimated in attempting to es- 
tablish consolidation. Democracy is a mode of living in which 
all gain education and growth by participation and sharing social 
responsibility. Communities must grow to the co-operation level 
before consolidation of interests and efforts will flourish. The 
school is both an outcome and a potent cause of such social 
development . — Ed . 


See end of jollowing chapter 


Preliminary Problems 

1. See those at the beginning of the preceding chapter. 

2. What is the unit of school organization in your county? What is 

the unit of civil (governmental) organization ? What is the unit 
of trade, of buying and selling? Are these the same? Should 
they be? 

3. What has the rural church done in any community with which you 

are familiar in promoting the broader social mind and spirit of 
co-operation necessary to consolidation? What could it do? 

4. If possible give an example of a church that promotes broad com- 

munity organization and consciousness. (See chaps. XVII and 
XVIII of Vogt's "Rural Sociology" and chap. IV in Foght's 
"The Rural Teacher and His Work.") 

5. Examine the writer's volumes on "Rural Economics" and "Hand- 

book of Readings in Rural Economics." Macmillan. 

I. Social Unity Preceding Consolidation 

Need of Neighborhood Self-Consciousness. — One of t!ie 
greatest obstacles in the way of an effective organization of 
rural communities for the co-operation of consolidation or 
anything else, as shown in the preceding chapter, is the 
difficulty which the people have in realizing their own unity. 
The perception by the people that they really are a com- 
munity must precede any effective organization. The basis 
of all community of action is territorial unity. There should 
also be racial unity and ideational unity, but without ter- 
ritorial unity the others can scarcely exist. Whether we are 
speaking of the great community called the nation or a small 
community called a neighborhood, the principles are very 
much the same. 



Suppose, for example, we were to try to realize the unity 
of the great community called the nation under the follow- 
ing conditions: Let us suppose that for purposes of military 
defense the present territory of the United States was in- 
cluded with its existing boundaries, coasts, and frontiers. 
Then let us suppose that for purposes of civil administra- 
tion the territory west of the Mississippi River, and also 
Mexico and Alaska, were a unit and were entirely separated 
from the territory east of the Mississippi River, which might 
include a good part of the Dominion of Canada. Then sup- 
pose that for purposes of education the old Mason and 
Dixon's line were taken as the dividing-line between dif- 
ferent systems, all of North America north of the Ohio 
River, including the Dominion of Canada, being treated as 
one unit, and all south of the Ohio, including Mexico, being 
treated as another unit. In this mixed-up state of affairs 
it is apparent that none of us would have a very clear idea 
as to what our nation was. 

We are to-day suffering from some such confusion with 
respect to the small community known as the neighborhood. 
Most of us have rather vague ideas as to what our neighbor- 
hood is. For educational purposes (i) we have, for example, 
one territorial unit. For marketing purposes (2) we have 
another, more or less understood but not usually found 
located on our maps. That is to say, farmers will drive a 
certain distance to a certain town or trading centre; the 
territory which is tributary to that centre is not very well 
marked, and does not coincide with any political boundary. 
Then for purposes of civil administration (3) we have the 
town and township, the county, etc. I am afraid that we 
shall never develop the genuine neighborhood conscience 
until we achieve something like unity in these three inter- 
ests. The school district, the civil township, and the eco- 
nomic unit should coincide as nearly as possible. When 
farmers have to go to one place on election day, to another 
place for trading and shipping, and to still a third for their 


school meetings, they cannot be blamed for their lack of 
neighborhood conscience. Where the school and the civil 
administration and the market-place are in the same centre, 
with the same territory tributary in all three respects, it is 
possible to develop a genuine neighborhood conscience. 
This, in my opinion, is one of the strongest economic rea- 
sons for the consolidated school. 

The Economic Boundaries. — However, I think danger 
may some time arise. The work of consolidation may go 
too far. The territorial unit which should be included in a 
school district should not be greater on the average than the 
township, though in sparsely settled regions it might be 
larger. If the boundaries of the township can be redrawn 
so as to coincide with the boundaries of the marketing dis- 
trict, still another advantage will be gained. If the school 
district should be made too large, it might defeat the develop- 
ment of the neighborhood conscience as surely as though it 
were too small. 

It seems to me that the determination of the boundaries 
of the consolidated district should be a part of a general plan 
for community building and should not stand alone. If the 
planning is done with a view to the administrative efficiency 
of the school system and that alone, some very large and 
important social interests are certain to be neglected. Be- 
cause the small single-room school district of the old type 
does not coincide with any other economic or social unit is, 
in my opinion, one of the chief reasons for condemning it. 

One of the first objects which the consolidated school 
ought to achieve is to acquaint the pupils intimately and 
comprehensively with their geographical habitat; that is, 
with the geographical features of the school district. There 
should, for example, be an outline map of the district 
painted permanently on the blackboard, showing not only 
the boundaries of the district but every road and by-road, 
every creek and swimming-hole, every important hill and 
valley, the boundaries of every farm, the location of the 


farm buildings, and even the boundaries of the fields on the 
farm, with something to indicate woodland, pasture, and 
ploughland. Then from year to year the crop which is grow- 
ing in each field could be indicated by means of colored 
chalk. With this map constantly before the eyes of the 
pupils, and with constant encouragement to correct it, 
complete, and fill it in, indicating from week to week the 
condition of the crop in each field, the pupils would begin to 
know their own geographic habitat. Again, they should be 
made acquainted with the products of the district and the 
outlets of the inlets. 

When the school district coincides with an economic 
unit, that is, when practically all the farmers of the school 
district do their marketing at the same place, this is made 
possible; but it is hardly possible with the school district as 
it is now organized in many of our States. The pupils, or 
at least the older pupils, should know from year to year 
what is shipped out of the school district and at least the 
larger items which are shipped in to supply the needs of 
the district. When every person who grows up within a 
school district is thus familiar with the basic economic facts 
regarding it, there will be knowledge enough to form the 
basis for neighborhood discussion; and out of this will grow 
something which may be not inaptly called neighborhood 

I am convinced that the average neighborhood needs 
statesmanship quite as intensely as the large community 
known as the nation needs it. One reason why we have 
national statesmanship is because people have a fairly 
definite conception of national unity and of national in- 
terests. The average high-school pupil to-day learns more 
about national exports and imports than about the exports 
and imports from his own neighborhood. He knows more 
about crop areas and maximum and minimum production 
in the nation as a whole than he knows about his own com- 
munity. People are therefore thinking about national prob- 


lems and discussing them, and out of this knowledge, 
thought, and discussion grows national statesmanship. Let 
us by all means promote in every possible way the develop- 
ment also of neighborhood statesmanship. If every neigh- 
borhood develops something akin to statesmanship and 
really begins to take measures to promote its own prosper- 
ity, one might almost say that the prosperity of the nation 
as a whole would take care of itself, though, of course, there 
would still be need for national statesmanship. However, 
they who have been able to think clearly and plan wisely 
regarding the economic interests of the neighborhood, will 
furnish the very best material out of which to develop men 
who can think clearly and plan wisely regarding the larger 
national interests. 

II. Integrating Country Life 

Organization of Rural Communities. — The writer has 
been actively interested for a number of years in promoting 
a better organization of rural interests. The more he 
studies the problem the more he is convinced that the ef- 
fective organizations of these rural interests must begin 
with a definite neighborhood conscience. He sees in the 
consolidated school the key to the whole situation, provided, as 
suggested above, the boundaries of the school district co- 
incide fairly closely with the boundaries of the unit of civil 
administration and of the economic unit as described above. 
After this has been achieved, the school may very well 
become a centre of the organization movement. One of the 
most striking things about the effective rural organization 
of Denmark as well as of Holland, Germany, Belgium, and 
Ireland, is the part which the school has played. There the 
local schoolmaster is usually the secretary of the farmers' 
co-operative association; and one reason why he can func- 
tion so well in this capacity is that the school district is a 
real neighborhood and not merely a certain number of square 
miles of territory. 


I P:Hl.llt|fi;:!ll 

h^|3| sit 

ii ^ lilii^lPKl!: Ill 


>5h £ si? i8s< : S.S 6S^hI^2 

(From the Year-Book of the United States Department of Agriculture for 




It is not very difficult to convince farmers of the advan- 
tage of organization. There is probably not a farming com- 
munity in the United States which does not need some 
form of organization. Much excellent work has been done 
by certain national associations, such as the Grange, the 
Farmers' Union, the Gleaners, the Society of Equity, etc. 
But the thing that still is lacking is community organization. 

However, organization for its own sake is a very poor 
programme. Organization to supply certain definite needs 
is a very good programme. No two communities are likely 
to have precisely the same needs; therefore no two com- 
munities are likely to be served by precisely the same kind 
of an organization. A considerable study of the problem 
has convinced the writer that the following outline includes 
the principal needs of the average rural community: 

Needs of 
rural com- 
munities s 
which require 

I. Business 

II. Social 

Better farm production. 

Better marketing facilities. 

Better means of securing farm supplies. 

Better credit facilities. 

Better means of communication: 

a. Roads. 

h. Telephones. 

1. Better educational facilities. 

2. Better sanitation. 

3. Better opportunities for recreation. 

4. Beautification of the countryside. 

5. Better home economics. 

Social Needs. — The business needs of the farmers have 
received somewhat more attention than the social needs, 
and yet it is probable that the social needs are quite as acute 
as the business needs. It was at one time believed that the 
one thing needful for the improvement of country life was 
to increase the income of the farmers. We are now begin- 
ning to discover that that is only half of the problem, and by 
no means the most difficult half. We find, for example, that 
the wealthy farmer is more likely to move to town than the 


unprosperous farmer. In fact, the wealthy farmer some- 
times moves to town simply because he is wealthy — because 
he has accumulated a competence and is therefore able to 
afford the luxuries of city life. Those sections of the country 
where agriculture has been most prosperous, where land is 
highest in price, and where farmers have grown rich in the 
largest numbers, are the very sections from which they have 
retired to town with the greatest unanimity, and where 
there is in consequence the largest percentage of tenancy. 

In some of these rich sections we find the schools and 
churches and other agencies as badly run down as in the 
poorest sections. In fact, if you want to find the best gen- 
eral social, educational, and economic conditions in the 
open country you should go, not to the regions where the 
soil is rich nor to the very poorest, but to sections where the 
land is just moderately productive. Here you will find 
farmers who are moderately well-to-do hut not rich enough to 
retire. They stay on their farms and educate their chil- 
dren, and build up schools, churches, roads, and other 
things to make country life tolerable. In the very poorest 
sections of course they cannot afford these things. In the 
very richest sections the landowners are living in town and 
spending their money there, and spending just as little in 
their old neighborhoods as they possibly can. 

The writer well remembers a certain school district in 
the heart of the corn belt as it was about forty years ago. 
He has recently been back to the same neighborhood. The 
schoolhouse is just as it was forty years ago. It has been 
kept in fair repair, but so far as improvements are concerned 
not ten dollars have been expended either on the building 
or on the grounds. The school-teachers get very little more 
in the way of salary than they got forty years ago, yet forty 
years ago the whole district could have been bought at $25 
an acre. Now there is scarcely an acre that could be bought 
for less than $150, and the price runs from that up to $200 
an acre. It would seem as though the people were finan- 


dally able to support a much better school. However, 
forty years ago but two farms in the district were farmed 
by tenants. Now more than three-fourths of them are so 
farmed. The owners are "living in town.'^ 

Where this situation exists we get into a vicious circle. 
Because the school is so poor farmers who care for the 
education of their children do not Kke to live there; they 
move to town as soon as they can afford it. Because they 
move to town the schools remain poor and inefficient, and so 
things go from bad to worse. Something must be done, ap- 
parently, to make it more worth while for well-to-do farmers 
who really care for good schools to remain in the country 
where they can support good schools. One difficulty with 
the school just described is that the district included but 
four square miles. The consolidated school, which would 
give the farm children some of the advantages which they 
get in a city graded school, would have gone a long way to- 
ward keeping some of those farmers on the land. 

The Cityward Tendency. — If we were distressed to find 
that water was flowing from one lake into another, we should 
not think it a very wise plan to try to pump some of it back 
into the upper lake. That would only accelerate the flow 
downward again. We should try rather to prevent the flow 
downward. For a long time many people have been dis- 
tressed to find that population is moving from the country 
districts to the cities and towns. It has occurred to some 
of them that the thing to do is to colonize city people in the 
country. This plan is just about as wise as that of pump- 
ing water back from the lower into the upper lake. It would 
only accelerate the movement cityward. It ought not to 
take a very wise man to see that it would be wiser to find out 
why the people are moving cityward and then, if possible, 
to remove the cause. 

One reason undoubtedly is that, for some years at least, 
the rewards of labor have been higher in the cities than in 
the country. That which we now call the rising cost of 


living is partly a movement toward an equilibrium; that is, 
toward a condition where the rewards of industry will be 
approximately as great in the country as in the city. When 
the farmers are enabled to get a little higher price still for 
their products we may expect that the equilibrium will be 

There is another reason, perhaps still more important, 
why country people move to the city. Some of the most 
prosperous of the country people do not find in the country 
the means of social, intellectual, and esthetic satisfaction 
which their prosperity enables them to afford. They find 
them in somewhat greater measure in the towns and, since 
they can afford to do so, they retire from the farms to the 
towns. This movement of prosperous people from the farms 
to the towns will never he stopped until the country offers as 
great attractions as the towns. Until this is done, the faster 
farmers become prosperous enough to afford to retire to the 
towns, the faster they will retire. 

Another reason why country people move to cities is 
that some of them have not been trained to see and appreci- 
ate the real satisfaction which country life affords. People 
who think that an electric sign is more beautiful than a 
sunset, that shop-windows are more beautiful than grass 
and trees and flowers, that crowded streets are more beau- 
tiful than open fields, that one of our modern plays, most of 
which are written by men who mistake neurosis for men- 
tality, is more beautiful than an outdoor pageant, will prob- 
ably continue to go to the cities. Well, the country will 
perhaps be well rid of them. But the desire for change and 
variety of experience in a lifetime will always remain a big 
factor as long as town and country are so unlike in so many 

There are two things above all others which need to be 
done. The rewards of labor, abstinence, and enterprise in 
the country must be still further increased, and more of the 
adornments and embellishments of life must be made avail- 


able for country people. In order to increase the farmers' 
income we must spread scientific information more effec- 
tively, we must have better methods of marketing, of pur- 
chasing farm supplies, and of financing the farmers' busi- 
ness enterprises. In order to increase the adornments and 
embellishments of life in the country, we must have better 
schools, better sanitation, better recreation, and more gen- 
eral beautification of the countryside. These are all essen- 
tial parts of a constructive rural programme. Every item 
in that programme calls for organization. 

The School at the Centre. — The key to most of the edu- 
cational problems of the country is the country school. 
There is scarcely a single phase of country life in which the 
country school may not become a vitalizing factor. The 
boys' and girls' clubs should begin there. The study of 
farm production, of marketing, of sources of supply, of farm 
accounts, and of road and telephone construction should be 
a part of the work of the country school. But this work 
should be extended over the social interests of the commu- 
nity also. The knowledge of one's environment should in- 
clude one's economic and social as well as one's physical 
environment. The first attention of the committee on edu- 
cation should obviously be directed toward the country 

There should be a distinct and persistent movement to 
make the country schools at least as efficient as the city 
schools. To accomplish this the entire school system of the 
State must eventually be supported and administered as a 
unit, as the school system of a city is now. That one sec- 
tion of a city is less wealthy than another is not considered 
a valid reason why the children of the poorer section should 
have poorer schools than those of the richer section. This 
policy should be made to apply to the entire State. That 
there is less wealth in the country than in the city ought not 
to be considered a valid reason why the country children 
should have poorer schools than the city children. They 

Learning now lo prune an orchard 



iW^fff^^'^^^WWi JMW 

^ «'* ' . ' ' jr^nC ''.d^^l^rlKj!^ 






Reproduced by courtesy of Division of Agriculliiral Instruction, U . S. Depl. of Agriculture 

An orchard project. Renovation of an old orchard by high-school boys in 



should all have equal support out of the tax fund of the en- 
tire State, and they should all be administered as a unit. 
If each ward of the city were restricted to the taxes of that 
ward for school purposes, it would often happen that the 
most populous wards, where there were the most children 
needing schools, would have the least money to support 
their schools, because of the scarcity of taxable property, 
while the least populous wards, where children were scarc- 
est, would have the most money for schools, because of the 
large amounts of taxable property. This would be so ob- 
viously wasteful and inefficient that no enlightened city 
would tolerate it. Yet that is precisely what happens in all 
of our States. Schools are supported, not in proportion to 
the need for them, which is the only correct principle, but 
mainly in proportion to the amount which each community 
can raise. 

In order that the State school system may be adminis- 
tered as a unit there must be at the head of the State sys- 
tem a highly trained expert, not elected, but appointed as 
is the superintendent of a city-school system. He should 
have ample power and an adequate staff of assistants and 
inspectors to enable him actually to inspect the schools of 
every county in the State. 

Again, in each county there should be an educator, not 
elected as most county superintendents are now, but ap- 
pointed by a board of education as are city superintendents, 
with ample power and a staff of assistants which will en- 
able him to inspect and control every school in the county. 
Again, the county should be redistricted so that every 
school district shall be large enough to support a first-rate 
school which shall compare favorably with the schools of 
the cities and the larger towns. The boundaries of this dis- 
trict should, as stated above, coincide so far as possible with 
those of the unit of civil administration and also, so far as 
they can be determined, with those of an economic unit. 

Until these things can be brought about through State 


legislation each community can do a great deal toward the 
improvement of its own schools through concerted action. 
The study of the broader questions of national economy 
may well be turned over to the higher institutions of learn- 
ing, where students are more mature than they who attend 
the district school. But the questions of local or neighbor- 
hood economy, with which the study of economics ought 
always to begin, may be studied to advantage in every 
country school. 

But the country school cannot possibly do everything in 
the way of education that is needed. At any rate, there are 
some things which one can learn better outside of. school 
than within. The committee should learn how to utilize 
other educational resources, such as study clubs, natural- 
history clubs, circulating libraries, not entirely of cheap 
fiction ,'^but in part at least of solid reading which will be of 
economic use to the community, and so on. Use should 
also be made of such educational agencies as the stereopticon 
and motion-picture outfits, and lecturers from the state 
colleges and other higher institutions. 

III. Idealizing and Realizing Rural Values 

The moral advantages of a closer neighborhood organi- 
zation and a more definite neighborhood conscience are al- 
most as important as the economic advantages. That man 
is a political animal, we have on the authority of Aristotle. 
As he used the expression, political animal meant precisely 
the same as social animal. Recent psychologists have given 
a new support to this doctrine by showing that the individual 
never reaches his normal development except in a social 
organization. Isolation and lack of definite correlation 
among individuals produce moral reactions of the most 
lamentable nature. The individual comes in much closer 
contact with his neighborhood than with his state or his 
nation. His moral reactions are more largely determined 


by the type of neighborhood organization than by the type 
of state or national organization. 

^ They who cannot or will not work together are the natural and, 
one might almost say, the legitimate prey of those who can. Whether 
we like it or not, it is a law of life, a part of the economy of nature. 
There is no use kicking against it; the only thing to do is to conform 
to it. Unless we can manage to work together with our fellows we 
must expect to be preyed upon, governed, or exploited by those who 

No people ever succeed in governing themselves until they are able 
to work together. Until they learn that, they will be governed by 
some one else, either an outside power which subjugates them, a ruling 
class within their own members, or a boss. So long as they quarrel 
among themselves or work at cross purposes, others who have learned 
the art of working together will rule and exploit them. 

It is as true in business as in government that the people who 
work together will rule or exploit those who work at cross purposes. 
That is one thing which ails the farmer at the present time. It is not 
necessarily true that farmers are more cantankerous than other peo- 
ple, though it sometimes seems so. But there are so many of them, 
they are so widely scattered, and they are so much more expert in 
dealing with the forces of nature than with the forces of society, that 
it is physically more difficult for them to work together than it is for 
other classes. However, these natural obstacles in the way of united 
effort must be overcome by a greater wisdom and moral discipline 
than other classes possess, otherwise the farmer will always be at a 
disadvantage. That is what wisdom and moral qualities are for — to 
overcome difficulties. 

Now we need not waste any sympathy on those who will not or 
cannot work together. They get what they deserve. Of course we 
all have our own opinions as to what a good man or a bad man is 
like. We generally call him a good man who possesses the qualities 
which we admire, which is very likely to mean the qualities which we 
think that we ourselves possess. Looked at broadly and imperson- 
ally, however, the essential difference between good men and bad 
men is that the former are very careful of their own obligations and 
other people's rights, whereas the latter are very particular about 
their own rights and other people's obligations. Every great moral 
teacher has tried to make men good by telling them of their obliga- 

*The substance of the next few paragraphs was published in the Agricul- 
tural Student in October, 1913. 


tions and not of their rights. We are naturally so much inclined the 
other way that this is necessary in order to restore a proper equilibrium. 
Now it is rather obvious, is it not, that people who are careful of 
their own obligations and other people's rights are easy to get along 
with. A community made up of such people can always work to- 
gether. On the other hand, people who are very particular about their 
own rights and other people's obligations are hard to get along with. 
A community made up of such people cannot work together at all. 
In our impatience we are sometimes tempted to say that such people 
have no rights and deserve to be exploited. However, the question 
becomes complicated when we have a community made up in part of 
people who would like to work with their neighbors and in part of 
people who will not. 

The foregoing is presented here to show how closely the 
problem of organizing rural interests is bound up with the 
question of religion and morals. Unless the right moral in- 
fluences are at work creating the spirit of working together 
and mutual helpfulness, no effective organization will be 
possible. The church, the school, the religious press, and 
every other moral agency must begin at the bottom by 
teaching people to be careful of their own obligations and 
of the rights of others, and overcome the tendency to be 
insistent upon our own rights and other people's obligations. 

City Life vs. Country Life.^ — Our branch of the human race has 
not yet demonstrated its ability to live in cities. We have been a 
pioneering race for something like two thousand years, and no one 
knows how much longer. It is probably harder for a race to change 
the habits of its lifetime than it is for an individual. This habit has 
made us an outdoor race, whose chief characteristic is strenuous mus- 
cularity. Such a race degenerates rapidly whenever it attempts to 
live an indoor life of bodily ease and luxury. It is always at its best 
when it is pioneering — when it is obeying the first command written 
in its sacred book: "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, 
and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over 
the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the 

We have all heard stories of the children of certain families who 

* The substance of the next few paragraphs was published in the Delineator , 
June 8, 1914, 


hang around home waiting for the patrimony and then quarrel over 
its distribution. Over against despicable examples of this kind we 
have the more robust and inspiring examples of those children who 
go out into the world and create families and patrimonies of their 
own instead of quarrelling over their share of the estate. When a 
race ceases to be a pioneering race, that is, when, instead of going out 
to find new opportunities, the children of the race hang around the 
older centres of civilization waiting for the accumulated riches of the 
past generations, they generally fall to quarrelling over their distribu- 
tion. This is even more despicable than for the children of a family 
to wait for their patrimony, and it is a more certain mark of degenera- 

Much of that which goes under the euphonious name of social re- 
form is merely a symptom of this kind of degeneration. Its home is 
in the cities, it springs from urbanized minds, and its prophets are 
mainly members of urbanized races. Strong, robust, self-disciphned, 
individualistic men are never exploited. If they do not like their 
treatment in one place, they go where there is land, where they can be 
independent. Weak, whimsical, timid, gregarious men, who are afraid 
to get very far from the herd, are always exploited. They cannot 
even be truly organized. They can be herded together as mobs, 
browbeaten by their own leaders, excited to spasmodic group action, 
but so far as constructive, consistent, united action is concerned, it 
is beyond their power. Only self-disciplined men, capable of con- 
trolling their impulses, willing to suffer loss for a principle, but capable 
of working together with their fellows for distant ends, either with or 
without leaders, are capable of genuine organization. Such men can- 
not be exploited. 

Another symptom of the degeneration which comes to our race 
from city life is ''class consciousness." Once upon a time there was 
an important dialogue between a man from the city and a man from 
the country. Please remember the important fact, commonly over- 
looked, that the one was from the city and the other was from the 
country. The man from the city asked: "Who is my neighbor?" Such 
a question would not occur to a real countryman. He has no doubt 
as to who his neighbors are. But a man from the city does not al- 
ways know. He is inclined to consider whether they are members of 
the same occupation, profession, or religion as himself, or whether 
they are people with about the same income who can entertain on about 
the same scale as himself, or whether they are the people who live 
within easy reach. 

The man from the country who answered this question by telling 
the story of the good Samaritan was in the habit of emphasizing the 


fundamental relations of life. The geometrical relations are very 
much more fundamental than are the class relations. In fact, all 
class consciousness, such as was shown by the priest and the Levite, is 
contrary to the scheme of life and social relations which this man 
from the country came to establish. The wisest social workers even 
in our cities are beginning to realize that the neighborhood must be 
the basis of a genuine reconstruction of city life. 

Broadening the idea of neighborhood we have the principle of ter- 
ritoriality as the basis of nationality. Enlarge the neighborhood 
sufficiently and we have the 'territorial group called the State. Sev- 
eral times in the history of the race other groups than the territorial 
group, other organizations than the territorial State, have claimed 
the loyalty of the individual. Whenever the average citizen is more 
loyal to another group, say a church, a party, a labor organization, 
than to the State, the State has disappeared. That is to say, when he 
will obey the orders of some other organization rather than the law 
of the land, the territorial State has already been subverted. Needless 
to say, these other groups, based on a common rehgion, or a common 
occupation, which sometimes stand as rivals for the loyalty of the 
people against the group, commonly called the State, which is based 
on the occupation of the same territory, have their origin in cities. 
Indoor people are the only ones who can easily forget the principle of 
territoriality and the law of the la^td. 

Pioneering in this country needs redirection. During the past 
decade it has taken thousands of our most valuable citizens beyond 
our own borders to enrich the life and increase the power of other 
nations. In place of these sturdy, self-reliant, courageous citizens, 
who are willing to face hardship, and capable of creating their own 
opportunities, we are receiving in vast numbers men who prefer to 
go where opportunities have already been created for them by pioneer- 
ing activities of others, to fill positions created for them by the busi- 
ness enterprise of a sturdier race. In other words, we are losing men 
who can create opportunities and are receiving men who are only 
capable of filling opportunities created by others. This means that 
we are in process of becoming an urbanized, and therefore a degener- 
ate, nation. 

The difficulty is not, as some seem to think, that we do not dis- 
tribute our immigrants. They probably do better to stay in the cities 
because they would be useless on our farms. Our farmers would not 
hire many of them, and they have not the qualities which make 
pioneer farmers. Besides, if we could send more of them to the coun- 
try and keep them there it would only accelerate the movement to- 
ward Canada and the cities. The stream of population is moving 


away from our farm regions. It is much more important that we re- 
tard the flow of that stream than that we try to turn a new stream to- 
ward the farms. 

While so many thousands of our farmers are emigrating beyond 
our boundaries in search of more land, it has been ascertained that 
not more than forty per cent of our tillable area is actually under 
tillage, and of this not more than fifteen per cent is actually yielding 
satisfactory returns. If the untilled sixty per cent were all poor land, 
while better land could be had for the asking just over the boundary, it 
would be difficult to convince many of these farmers that they ought 
to stay at home and cultivate this poor land. But there are reasons 
for believing that this is not generally the case. The lands which they 
are seeking abroad have two characteristics which fit them for isolated 
and individual farming. The soils are new and fertile and therefore 
require no investment to bring them to a high state of productivity. 
Again, they are suitable for the growing of a staple crop — wheat — 
for which there is a ready sale in a highly organized market. Thus 
the marketing of this product takes care of itself. 

Much of the land still untilled in this country is capable of a 
high degree of productivity, but will require some investment of capital 
to bring it to that state. The problem of financing the farmer during 
this period of waiting must be solved. Again, much of this land is 
suitable for mixed crops and agricultural specialties rather than for 
one or two great staple crops. The products of this kind of farm- 
ing do not market themselves. It requires organized effort on the 
part of the farmers; therefore the problem of marketing must be 
solved before these lands will attract farmers and keep them from 
going abroad. Here is a new kind of pioneering which challenges the 
young men and women of our race. 

The Young Women. — The challenge is even more to the 
young women than to the young men. They will have the 
harder half of the burden and they will find less to attract 
them, ^ost young men are attracted by an outdoor life, 
and even physical hardships do not deter them, if there is a 
chance for real achievement, together with genuine com- 
radeship. That is what a soldier's life involves. But none 
would want to be a soldier if he were deprived of comrade- 
ship and if there was no chance of achievement. Young 
women are not so strongly attracted to this kind of life. 
Nothing but religion will sustain them in it, and unfortu- 


nately women are, contrary to the common belief, far less 
religious than men. The reason for this common error is 
that what we commonly call religion is of a namby-pamby 
sort. There is little in it to sustain the spirit of a crusader, 
which is characteristic of any genuine religion, at least, the 
only kind which appeals to men. 

To conquer our untilled lands, to subjugate them, and 
force them to yield food for a great people, to build great 
families with high ideals in order that we may become a 
great people worthy of being fed, is a task which ought to 
fire the ardor of our young American crusaders as no old 
crusader's zeal was ever fired. It is a vastly greater task 
and vastly more worthy of accomplishment than any which 
the old crusader faced. 

We have therefore the opportunity for great achieve- 
ment. Can we give the young men and women also the 
comradeship which is, next to the opportunity for achieve- 
ment, the most important factor in sweetening the outdoor 
life of hardship to which we are calling them ? They must 
go in groups and colonies. We need a revival and readap- 
tation of the old New England method of settlement by 
colonies. Sometimes a preacher would gather a congrega- 
tion around himself and lead them out into the wilderness 
and build up a little colony around his church. We no longer 
have a wilderness where free land can be had, but with less 
hardship a colony could now be started on land which would 
have to be purchased. It would be necessary for the col- 
ony as a whole to work out the problem of credit and farm 
finance. An organized rural Hfe, whether it be of the old 
New England type or of some other type, will be necessary 
to give the sense of comradeship in this great rural crusade. 

But what has this crusade to offer to the young men and 
women of America? From the standpoint of a pig- trough 
philosophy of life it has nothing to offer. They who prefer 
the flesh-pots of Egypt would better stay in Egypt. In- 
door work, freedom from responsibility, short hours, time 

Animal-husbandry study at first-hand 

Pupils studying tree grafting at Sherrard, West Virginia 


for carousal in rooms full of lurid oratory, beer, and tobacco, 
will never be the lot of those who enlist for this productive 
campaign. But from the standpoint of the creative philos- 
ophy of life it has the best things in the world to offer. 

^'To young men it offers days of toil and nights of study. 
It offers frugal fare and plain clothes. It offers lean bodies, 
hard muscles, horny hands, or furrowed brows. It offers 
wholesome recreation to the extent necessary to maintain 
the highest efficiency. It offers the burdens of bringing up 
families and training them in the productive life. It offers 
the obligation of using all wealth as tools and not as a 
means of self-gratification. It does not offer the insult of 
a life of ease, or esthetic enjoyment, or graceful consump- 
tion, or emotional ecstasy. It offers, instead, the joy of pro- 
ductive achievement and of noble comradeship in the pro- 
ductive life. 

'*To young women also it offers toil, study, frugal fare, 
and plain clothes, such as befit those who are honored with 
a great and difficult task. It offers also the pains, the bur- 
dens, and responsibilities of motherhood. It offers also the 
obligation of perpetuating in succeeding generations the 
principles of the productive life made manifest in them- 
selves. It does not offer the insult of a life of pride and 
vanity. It offers the joy of achievement, of self-expression, 
not alone in dead marble and canvas but also in the plastic 
lives of children, to be shaped and moulded into those ideal 
forms of mind and heart which their dreams have pictured. 
To them also it opens up the joy of productive achievement 
and the noble comradeship of the productive life.'^ 

This does not mean that there are no possibilities of 
material reward in the new type of agriculture to which 
young men and women are called. During the last two 
generations, owing to the rapid opening of the Western 
lands, agriculture has been so depressed that many farm- 
ers have felt discouraged. They have seemed to be pouring 
their lives into a soil which drank it up and gave little in re- 


turn. Thus the strenuous life of the farmer was robbed, in 
part at least, of the joy of achievement. He could not al- 
ways see that he was achieving anything. That condition 
is now at an end. Henceforth the growing power of con- 
sumption and the retarded expansion of our farm area 
will give the farmers who know how to adjust themselves 
to the new situation a more ample reward for their labor. 
Nevertheless, every farm will continue to cry, like the 
daughters of the horse-leech: ^'Give, give.'* The more pro- 
ductive it is the greater will be the opportunity for further 
investment of labor and capital in its improvement. The 
farmer will find little encouragement for a life of ease and 
luxury. They who desire that kind of life will continue to 
go to town. They will be bought out by those who retain 
their strenuosity and their faith in the productive life. To 
such as these the world belongs. 

rV. The Free Farmer and CoNSOLroATioN 

The Small Farmer. — One of the most important of all 
economic problems is the preservation of the prosperity of 
the small farmer who does most of his own work on his own 
farm. His salvation depends upon his ability to compete 
with the large farmer or the farming corporation. Two 
things threaten to place him under a handicap and to give 
the large farmer an advantage over him in competition. If 
these two things are allowed to operate, the big farmer will 
beat him in competition and force him down to a lower 
standard of living and possibly to extinction. 

One thing which would tend in that direction is a large 
supply of cheap labor. The small farmer now has an ad- 
vantage because of the difficulty which the big farmer has 
in getting help. So great is this difficulty that many of the 
bonanza farmers are giving up the fight and selling out to 
small farmers. That is, the big farms, the farms that can 
only be cultivated by gangs of hired laborers, are being di- 


vided up. Give the owners of those farms an abundant sup- 
ply of cheap labor — ^make it easy for them to solve the prob- 
lem of efficient help — and they will begin again to compete 
successfully with the small farmer, who, because he does his 
own work, has no labor problem. If we can keep conditions 
such that the capitalistic farmer has great difficulty in 
getting help, the small farmer will continue to beat him in 
competition, and the bonanza farm will continue to give 
way to the one-family farm. 

Another thing which threatens the prosperity and even 
the existence of the small farmer is the handicap under 
which he finds himself in buying and selling. The big 
farmer who can buy and sell in large quantities, and also 
employ expert talent in buying and selling and in securing 
credit, has an advantage over the small farmer who must 
buy and sell in small quantities and give his time and atten- 
tion mainly to the growing of crops rather than to, selling 
them. Much of the supposed economy of large-scale pro- 
duction, even in merchandising and manufacturing, is found, 
upon examination, to consist wholly in an advantage in 
bargaining, that is, in buying and selling. When it comes 
to the work of growing farm crops, as distinct from selling 
them and buying raw materials, the one-family farm is the 
most efficient unit that has yet been found. But the big 
farmer can beat the individual small farmer in buying and 
selling. It would seem desirable, from the standpoint of 
national efficiency, to preserve the small farm as the pro- 
ductive unit, but to organize a number of small farms into 
larger units for buying and selling. Thus we should have 
the most efficient units both in producing and in buying 
and selling. 

If this is not done, the only farmers who can enter suc- 
cessfully into the production of agricultural specialties, 
where the problem of marketing is greater than the problem 
of producing, will be the big capitalistic farmers. The small 
farmer may hold his own in the growing of staple crops, in 


which field the problem of economic production is perhaps 
greater than that of efficient marketing. The reason for 
this is that there is a well-organized market for staple crops 
and the problem of marketing is therefore somewhat less 
difficult than in the case of agricultural specialties. But 
even in the growing of staple crops the small farmer will 
have a hard time of it if he is forced to compete with the big 
farm when it is cultivated by gangs of cheap laborers. The 
two worst enemies of the small farmer are the opponents of 
co-operative buying and selling, on the one hand, and the 
advocates of enlarged immigration to the rural districts, on 
the other. The latter would help the big farmer in the buy- 
ing of labor for his farm, and reduce the price of the small 
farmer's own labor when he undertook to sell it in the form 
of products. 

Organization must be the watchword of the small farmer 
in the immediate future. He is the one remaining person in 
our industrial civilization who both works with his hands 
and is self-directed. He is the only laborer who, in large 
numbers, is his own boss. It is our deliberate opinion that 
the real strength of the republic depends upon him more 
than upon any other one class. But he will disappear unless 
the Hving conditions of the country are made attractive to 
men who are capable of self-direction. If they are not, 
every man who is capable of self-direction will leave the 
country to be tilled by men who can only work under the 
direction of a superior. 

Consolidation. — The key to this situation is the neigh- 
borhood, or the rural community. The key to the neighbor- 
hood is the rural school as a community centre. But the 
rural school cannot possibly function as a community centre 
unless there is a community, and unless this school is at, or 
near, the centre. To have several isolated district schools 
scattered about over what is really the community, no one 
of them being by any chance at the natural centre of any- 
thing, hinders this work of community building and this 
makes impossible the building of a genuine rural civilization* 



1. From your study of these two chapters make a Hst of the social 

conditions necessary or desirable for school consolidation. 

2. What light do these two chapters throw on methods of promoting 


3. In what kinds of communities would consolidation proposed by 

school officials be apt to fail? 

4. What has the Y. M. C. A., the Y. W. C. A., the Red Cross, the 

Grange, or other similar organization done to promote com- 
munity enlargement and ^'getting together"? 

5. How can the county newspapers and farm journals be used to 

show the people what consolidated schools are doing and could 

6. In what ways could an organization of young men and women, 

teachers, parents, merchants, and professional men promote com- 
munity co-operation ? 

7. Why is it sometimes desirable to start recreational and trade co- 

operation in such form as community motion-picture shows and 
creameries before consoHdation of schools is attempted? 

8. What literature could you procure to place in the hands of in- 

telligent farmers that would inform community leaders on con- 
solidation ? 

9. Why is it desirable to have farmers themselves initiate consolida- 

tion rather than have it started by the teacher, preacher, 
physician, county agent, or other such individual or group? 
10. With what opinions in the two previous chapters do you disagree? 


1. Wilson — "Evolution of the Country Community." Pilgrim 

Press, Boston. 

2. Carver — "Principles of Rural Economics." Macmillan. 

3. Rapeer — "Educational Hygiene," chaps. V and VI, on co-opera- 

tion. Scribner. 

4. Plunkett— "The Rural Life Problem of the United States." Mac- 


5. Fiske — "The Challenge of the Country." Association Press, 

New York. 

6. Bailey — "The Country Life Movement." Macmillan. 

7. Anderson — "The Country Town." Baker and Taylor. 

8. Report of the Country Life Commission. Government Printing 

Office, Washington, D. C. 


9. Butterfield— "The Country Church and the Rural Problem." 
University of Chicago Press. 

10. Quick— "The Brown Mouse." Bobbs, Merrill Co. 

11. "The Fairview Idea." Bobbs, Merrill Co. 

12. Hayes— "An Introduction to Sociology." Appleton. 

13. Wilson— "The Church at the Centre." Missionary Education 

Movement, New York. 

14. Coulter— "Co-operation Among Farmers." Sturgis and Walton. 

15. Rural Surveys in Various States, by the Board of Home Missions, 

156 Fifth Avenue, New York. 

16. Monahan — "Consolidation of Rural Schools and Transporta- 

tion at Public Expense." Bulletin of the U. S. Bureau of Edu- 


Preliminary Problems 

1. Reread the concluding section of Chapter I and note the prin- 

ciples of rural-school administration held by prominent edu- 

2. What administrative proposals are made in Chapter II ? 

3. Why was the district unit of school control natural and desirable 

in pioneer times before State responsibility for education had 
very much developed? 

4. Describe the form of administrative control in Utah and Ohio. 

(See Foght's "The Rural Teacher and His Work," p. 130.) 

5. What States still have the district system, the county system, the 

township, town, or mixed system? (See map on next page.) 

6. What States have the most consolidated schools? What form of 

administration do these States have? 

7. What recent contributions have been made on a large scale to 

school support and encouragement of progress? 

8. What are the objections to a small county board of education in- 

stead of three "directors" for each little school and teacher? 

9. How can democracy and efficiency best be harmonized in this 

10. What power have your State and county officers in promoting 
consolidation beyond "agitation" and publicity? 

Problems of Small Systems. — Superior men and women 
may be able to get along fairly well even though they live in 
poor, tumble-down houses and outgrown forms of govern- 
mental control, but the average run of people are undoubt- 
edly greatly helped in their growth by favorable environ- 
mental conditions. Progressive communities in country 
districts may obtain good schools, including consolidation, 
under any form of educational administration, but the evi- 
dence goes to show that improving the general organization 




and administration of the schools decidedly raises the gen- 
eral educational level. 

It is possible administratively for the State school code 
to make it necessary for the State superintendent or com- 
missioner to hand out the State appropriations, for example, 
in such a way as almost to demoralize the schools, and then 
again it may insure such an apportionment of the funds as 
will stimulate the best efforts of communities along the best 
lines. Giving out school money on the basis of the number 
of children living in districts, regardless of whether they at- 
tend school or not, fails to stimulate attendance. Giving it 
out partly (say, one-third) on the basis of the total aggre- 
gate number of days attended by all pupils stimulates 
school communities to get their children to school every 
day in the school year. Giving it out partly on the basis of 
the number of teachers employed (say, another third or 
more) frequently stimulates school directors to add another 
teacher for an overcrowded school. Reserving some of 
the fund to encourage good movements, like consolidation, 
helps greatly to bring it about, especially where the fund, 
as in Minnesota and some other States, is large. 

Where each separate school in the country is managed 
by a board of school directors (the district system) we have 
a plan of administration that encourages the habit of think- 
ing of each separate school unit as an isolated thing, whereas 
if the board of directors had charge of ten to a thousand 
schools they could more readily consider bringing little 
weak schools together at one centre with or without trans- 

I. City Experimentation and Its Lessons 

City Experimentation in Administration. — We need 
hardly explain and illustrate the principle that the form of 
administration we use for a State or county greatly modifies 
the development of good schools. The principle has been 


amply demonstrated for many years. In the last few dec- 
ades, in fact since the industrial revolution has built up the 
city mode of living, administrative progress has been very 
great in these new and congested centres. In Germany and 
England the progress has in many ways been greater than 
in our own country, although we have done a tremendous 
amount of costly administrative experimentation. From 
the most decentralized local or ward political control the 
people have been driven by hard experience to adopt one 
after another of the administrative measures which in busi- 
ness and in European cities have brought more efficient and 
honest government. 

Cities, starting as small towns with perhaps a single 
school board for a single school, have grown rapidly into 
large municipalities with thousands or hundreds of thou- 
sands of inhabitants. Each new accession to the city in the 
form of a ward or a school has had its representative board 
of directors. Frequently there have been as many or more 
directors than teachers, even as in rural districts in many 
States there are three times as many able-bodied men as 
directors and managers as there are teachers. Board mem- 
bers have multiplied in many cities until over a hundred 
members have tried to manage the schools at one time; the 
city territory has in some cases spread over an entire 

Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth. — The results almost 
inevitably have been in city after city the ruination of the 
schools and wide-spread failure to furnish education of the 
right kinds and where it was most needed. Where the dif- 
ferent local members have met as a central board the situ- 
ation has been little improved over the purely local system 
if at all. Members have got into each other's way; the 
board meeting-room has been turned into an oratorical hall 
in which to play to the galleries, talk for the newspapers, 
and to do business so formally, or with so many committees, 
that much business was lost in the red tape; members have 


fought and "log-rolled" for their respective localities, fre- 
quently getting schools built where they were not needed 
in order to boost land values or their own prestige while 
other schools in the city were overcrowded and on part time; 
teachers have been employed because they had friends on 
the board rather than for teaching efficiency; politics have 
ruled to such an extent that the best men would not be- 
come members of such an organization; in general, there 
has been a great lack of that business efficiency which 
American business men of the best type have been evolving 
in their great industries for a half century. 

We need not stop to give particular illustrations of the 
inefficiency of such a system. As the needs for real school- 
ing became more manifest and the expenses of the schools 
grew until they became a burden, cities began to call for 
efficiency in public-school administration, and they have 
obtained it chiefly by centralizing control: lessening the 
number of directors, getting them elected or appointed at 
large, from any part of the city, arranging for them to limit 
themselves to legislative work and hiring executives to do 
the work of superintending and supervising schools and 
carrying on the business end of the work. Boards were 
reduced from as high as one hundred and forty-six members 
to five, and three members on a large city board with hun- 
dreds of teachers to-day is not uncommon. Now we can 
get some of the best men of the city to serve without pay; 
they can meet around a table in a small room with a few 
chairs about for auditors, and can despatch legislative work 
as it is done in the best business concerns of the day. In 
some cases, as in New York City, the local boards have 
been kept as school visitors and advisers of the principals 
and central board. The people have not felt with time that 
they have lost any democratic privileges or responsibilities 
which they should bear. The schools have prospered as 
never before, and a new era in school administration in cities 
has taken place. The recent surveys have helped greatly 


in facilitating these changes in many cities that had not 
whole-heartedly gone over to the new system. 

Centralization in the Country. — Another reason for the 
greater centralization has been the increase of population. 
When people were scattered about over the land and schools 
were separate and isolated from one another, the thought 
of handling several of them as a group did not rise. Still 
another reason has been the relative decrease in the size 
of the country with the invention of all the many new 
means of bringing people together and into closer communi- 
cation. It was harder to travel over one district or town- 
ship in the early days than it is in most cases to travel over 
a whole county or very large city now. Telephones, tele- 
graphs, railroads, trolley-cars, automobiles, increasingly 
better roads, free mail and parcel-post delivery at our 
doors in city or country, better wagons for transportation 
of numbers of persons, such as the coal-heated busses and the 
exhaust-heated autos, have all worked together to banish 
isolation and to bring great numbers of people over large 
areas into quite close and intimate touch with each other. 
The world as a great human brotherhood is rapidly ap- 
proaching, even by the aid of terrible wars. But "co- 
operation is becoming more than a belligerent virtue.'* 
The administration of all the schools in large areas, hundreds 
of square miles in extent, is as inevitable as has been the 
integration of administration in cities. 

II. The Three Systems of Control 

The district system with its purely local control was 
fairly satisfactory for pioneer life. With the growth of 
population and modern improvements and inventions it 
must give way to more efficient forms. Cubberley summa- 
rizes some of the chief faults of the district system as follows : 

The chief objections to the district system of school organization 
are that it is no longer so well adapted to meet present conditions and 


needs as are other systems of larger scope; that the district authorities 
but seldom see the real needs of their schools or the possibilities of 
rural education; that as a system of school administration it is expen- 
sive, short-sighted, inefficient, inconsistent, and unprogressive; that 
it leads to great and unnecessary inequalities in schools, terms, edu- 
cational advantages, and to an unwise multiplication of schools; that 
the taxing unit is too small, and the trustees too penurious; that 
trustees because they hold the purse-strings, frequently assume au- 
thority over many matters which they are not competent to manage; 
and that most of the progress in rural-school improvement has been 
made without the support and often against the opposition of the 
trustees and of the people they represent. . . . This large number of 
school ojSicers stands to-day as one of the most serious blocks in the 
way of progressive educational action.^ 

The district system is doomed in American schools. 
In the last few years many States have tried to make the 
change over to the township or county system and a large 
number have succeeded, especially in getting the county 
unit. Consolidation cannot flourish under the district sys- 
tem. It takes outside agencies to get the various school 
directors, usually three to each little one-room school, to- 
gether and to agree. Indiana with the township system and 
with hundreds of consolidated schools and Illinois just 
across the line with the district system and very few illus- 
trate the point. New York has recently advanced to the 
township stage, and then unfortunately receded to the in- 
efficient district system, but not for long. Under such a 
system the county superintendent is politically elected and 
has Kttle real influence or power to educate directors up 
to an appreciation of the value of a change. If he has un- 
usual power, his directors are too many and too changing for 
him to meet and influence during his brief tenure of office. 

In making the change over to the larger unit of adminis- 
tration there is sometimes expressed the natural fear that 
there will be less democracy, less interest in and control 
over the schools by the people. The answer is that the pres- 

» "Rural Life and Education," p. 184. 


ent interest in schools in the district or even in the township 
could hardly be worse than it is, and that it certainly is 
little greater than if the county were the unit. Further- 
more, democracy and interest do not depend greatly upon 
the piecemeal character of the control and participation. 
The schools are still to be managed for the people, by the 
people, and of the people. Their control over their repre- 
sentatives for an entire township or county is not less and 
frequently far more than of the individuals of the Httle 
school community, and they are able to demand and ob- 
tain far superior schools in the main. There are manifold 
opportunities to share in the Hfe and teaching of the school 
if the people will participate in the many ways possible 
aside from direct management. While there are possibly 
some dangers for the remote future of democracy in cen- 
tralization over a larger area, yet we feel that it is desir- 
able to take this one step which appears clearly necessary 
and rest assured that democracy will meet the larger prob- 
lem. If democracy means a wider sharing of common in- 
terests and activities, then a county system with a series 
of consolidated schools directed by real leaders and with 
means at hand for getting the people together to share in 
a larger and richer community and county life may easily 
give farmers more real democracy than the hundreds of lit- 
tle individualistic and isolated schools without leadership 
and agencies for bringing the people together. 

The township system has several advantages. In the 
East it is called the town system. In Indiana a single 
school trustee manages the schools of the township, such as 
are not separate districts under separate boards within the 
township. In Pennsylvania each township outside of in- 
corporated boroughs with their own boards and superin- 
tendents or supervising principals has a board of school di- 
rectors elected for six-year terms. In Massachusetts the 
town is not bounded by straight longitudinal and latitu- 
dinal lines drawn without reference to natural features, such 

Studying alfalfa at first-hand 

Learning to judge cattle in club work 

A home project with seed corn 
This is the education which administration must facilitate 


as streams and mountains, but is the country about one or 
several small villages or even rather large cities. These 
villages and cities are not independent, but are taxed for the 
country schools, and all share alike. Investigations of the 
best and most equitable apportionment of school taxes and 
responsibilities of public education show that this is more 

showing Ttaf 
rious Districts 
Cenixr CountvPa 

just than the system where the village or larger place is 
separate entirely in taxation. Education is a kind of com- 
modity that does not stay put. If you pay taxes for a fire 
department, street-lighting, or anything of the kind, you get 
what you pay for and it remains in your town thereafter. 
When a community pays for the schooling of a child he 
frequently, and we might say usually in America, does not 
remain to live and work where he obtained his schooling. 

We are a migratory people. The country and the village 
community frequently suffer most since they educate pupils 
who later go to the cities. The cities have more property 
belonging to the entire State economically to tax and thus 
get large sums of money by a low millage. The maximum 
limit for cities of the first class may be six mills, while for 
rural communities it is twenty-five mills. Even then the 


rural district frequently cannot get enough money for good 
schools. The city makes a smaller relative sacrifice for 
schooling and yet it gets free of cost the product of several 
years' school of the country and small town. The drift is 
practically all cityward. These and many other considera- 
tions, such as the fact that schools are not, like most public 
utihties, local affairs but are strictly State institutions, 
getting their rights and powers from the State as a whole, 
lead to an appreciation of the town system of New England 
which taxes all and unites all of a natural community with 
farms and central towns and stores and makes all share 
alike in educating, or at least schooling, the children. The 
value of such an organization has been well brought out by 
Professors Wilson and Carver in preceding chapters. 

Yet even such natural districts may be too small or may 
fail to fit a scientific plan of consolidation over a wide terri- 
tory. The best plan for the development of consolidation 
is to have thorough surveys of areas at least as large as 
counties, which of course vary very greatly in size, and then 
plan very carefully for future consolidation, where it is 
desirable, plotting desirable transportation routes and in- 
dicating the location of the consolidated-school plants. 
Where the township has not followed natural lines, such as 
rivers, mountain ranges, and the outlines of the community 
trading at one centre, as in a great part of the West where 
townships are bounded by six-mile sides regardless of 
physiographical or social conditions, the limitations of this 
unit of administration become clearly apparent. While the 
township is better than the district system, it is not big 
enough for the new consolidation and concentration taking 
place. In most States the governmental unit is the county, 
and the tendency is strong for all to use the same unit. 
There is no good reason for keeping the schools on a smaller, 
narrower base than the general government, and we proph- 
esy that States with township systems will have either to 
establish the county system or make many changes to pro- 


cure the advantages of the larger unit and escape the dis- 
advantages of the smaller. 

The County Unit. — A strong State control of education 
is everywhere necessary. The whole educational system is 
the child of the State, not of the federal government nor 
of the local community, district, township, or county. We 
have our State school laws, and these supersede all others. 
For administrative efficiency the governmental work of the 
State is divided into counties. In the county the most im- 
portant and expensive activity is that of public education. 
It has the largest force of government workers in the form 
of teachers, and we may naturally expect in every State the 
county, large or small, to administer all the schools as a 
unit. There is opposition to these larger units by those 
whose taxes will be raised, or who fear they will be raised, by 
those who oppose any change, and by those who will lose 
some of their official powers. The county system permits 
of a small county board of education, instead of many 
boards, from which we could expect broad-minded views and 
administration of consolidation. It permits of a county 
superintendent free from party politics appointed by the 
board from among the educators of the State or nation, and 
from him we could expect efficient leadership in consolida- 
tion. It would make possible taxation of the entire county 
for the schools of the entire county, and obliterate some of 
the great inequalities of opportunity offered in poor and 
rich districts or districts happening to be traversed by rail- 
roads or containing mines to be taxed. Cubberley has well 
expressed the general plan of county school administration 
in his various books, and since not only State aid and im- 
proved State apportionment of school funds but the county 
unit are desirable for the best development of rural educa- 
tion through the consolidated school, we beg here to set 
forth his general plan: 


III. Plan of County Administration Desirable for 

Details of a County-Unit Plan. — Good principles of edu- 
cational organization and administration would indicate 
approximately the following as a desirable form for county 
educational reorganization: 

/. General Control.^ 

1. The consolidation, for purposes of administration, of all schools 
in a county, outside of cities having city superintendents of schools, 
into one county school district. 

2. The election of a county board of education of five represen- 
tative citizens, from the county at large and for five-year terms, the 
first board however to so classify themselves that the term of one 
shall expire each year thereafter. This board to occupy for the schools 
of the county approximately the same position as a city board of edu- 
cation does for a city. 

3. Each county board of education to seek out and elect a well- 
trained professional expert to act as a county superintendent of 
schools, and to fix his salary. Such officer to enjoy approximately the 
same tenure, rights, and privileges as a city superintendent of schools, 
and to have somewhat analogous administrative and supervisory 
duties and responsibilities. 

4. Each county board of education to hold title to all school prop- 
erty, outside of separately organized city school districts, with power 
to purchase, sell, build, repair, and insure school property. 

5. Each county board of education to act also as the board of 
control for any county high schools, county vocational schools, county 
agricultural high schools, and the county library, and to have power 
to order established such types of special schools as may seem neces- 
sary or desirable. 

* In chap. X of Cubberley*s "Rural Life and Education," drawings show- 
ing a number of counties before and after reorganization are given also; while 
in Appendix D of his "State and County Educational Reorganization," a county 
containing a city, five towns, and one hundred and three rural districts is shown 
in one drawing, and in another as reorganized into one city school district and 
one county-unit school district, the latter subdivided into fourteen attendance 
subdistricts, with a graded consolidated school and a partial or complete high 
school attached in each. Full statistics as to teachers, costs, and tax rates for 
this county are also given. 


6. Each county board of education to be directed to order a care- 
ful educational and social survey of its county, and upon the basis of 
such to proceed to reorganize the school system of the county by abol- 
ishing all unnecessary small schools, substituting therefor a few cen- 
trally located and graded consohdated schools, with partial or com- 
plete high schools attached, and to transport children to and from 
these central schools. Each such school and its tributary territory to 
be known as an attendance subdistrict, the bounds of which may be 
changed from time to time as in the case of city attendance lines. 

7. Each county board of education to have power to appoint, 
either alone or in co-operation with a city school district, or some 
adjoining county school district, a school health officer, a school at- 
tendance officer, and such other special officers or supervisors as the 
educational needs of the county school district may seem to require, 
and to establish or join in the establishment of special type schools. 

//. Educational Control. 

1. Each county school district to be managed as an educational 
and financial unit by the county board of education and its executive 
officers. Cities contained within the county, which maintain a full 
elementary and secondary school system, employing a certain number 
of teachers (for example, twenty-five) and a city superintendent of 
schools, may ask for and obtain a separate educational organization, 
except that all general school laws of the State shall apply, and that 
the county school tax shall be levied uniformly on all property within 
the county. 

2. On the recommendation of the county superintendent of schools, 
each county board of education is to appoint all principals and teachers 
for the different schools of the county, outside of the separately or- 
ganized city school districts, and to fix and order paid their salaries. 

3. On the recommendation of the county superintendent of schools, 
each county board of education is to approve the courses of study and 
text-books to be used in the schools, the unit for the adoption of each 
being the unit of supervision. 

4. Each county board of education to approve the employment of 
special teachers and supervisors for the schools, and, on recommenda- 
tion of the county superintendent of schools, to appoint them, and to 
fix and order paid their salaries. 

5. Each county board of education to have charge of the county 
library, and all of its branches, to appoint a county librarian and as- 
sistant librarians, and to provide for the care and development of the 
library and the circulation of books. The school libraries would be- 
come a part of the county library, and a branch library would be pro- 
vided for in connection with most of the consolidated schools. 


///. Business and Clerical Control. 

1. Each county board of education shall appoint a secretary and 
business manager, who shall act as secretary for the board and shall 
have charge of the clerical, statistical, and financial work connected 
with the administration of the schools of the county school district. 
He is to approve all warrants drawn on the funds of the county, and 
to prepare the financial and statistical portions of the required annual 
school report. 

2. The secretary of the county board of education to have general 
charge of all purchases of supplies for the schools and the distribution 
of the same, and to have general oversight of all janitor service and 
repair work, except as otherwise provided for by the county board of 

3. For each consolidated school or small school retained (atten- 
dance subdistrict) the county board of education to appoint one local 
school director, to act as agent of the county board in the attendance 
subdistrict, and with power to make repairs as directed, see that the 
necessary supplies are provided, assist the principal or teachers in 
the maintenance of discipline, and act as a means of communication 
between the people whose children attend the school and the county 
board of education and its executive officers. 

4. The secretary of each county board of education- to be the 
custodian of all legal papers belonging to the county school district; 
to approve all bills and, when such have been ordered paid, to draw 
warrants for the same; to give all required notices; administer oaths; 
sign contracts as directed by the board; register all teachers* certif- 
icates; distribute blank forms and collect and tabulate the statistical 
returns; keep a complete set of books covering all financial transactions 
and all funds; and perform such other clerical and statistical functions 
as he may be directed to do. 

5. Each county board of education to approve an annual budget 
of expenses for the schools of the county, both for school maintenance 
and for buildings and repairs, and may order levied, within certain 
legal limits, a county school district tax to supplement the funds re- 
ceived from the State school tax and the county school tax, the latter 
to be levied on all property in the county and divided between the 
city school district and the county school district on some equitable 
apportionment basis. ^ 

^ This greatly simplifies and equalizes taxation. Under such a plan there 
would be a State tax (or appropriation) for education, a general county school 
tax levied on all property in the county, and then such city-district or county- 
district taxes as may be needed to supplement the amounts received from State 
and county funds. The inequalities of the present small district taxation 
would be abolished, and a pooling of effort on a large scale substituted instead. 


6. Each county treasurer to act as treasurer for all city or county 
school districts in his county, and to pay out all funds on the orders 
of the proper city or county school district authorities, when approved 
by the secretary of the county board of education. 

IV. Powers and Duties of the Superintendent. 

In addition to those previously enumerated, the county super- 
intendent of schools is: 

1. To act as the executive officer of the county board of educa- 
tion, and to execute, either in person or through subordinates, all 
educational policies decided upon by it. 

2. To act as the chief educational officer in the county, and as the 
representative of the state educational authorities. To this end he 
shall see that the school laws of the State and the rules and regulations 
of the State board of education are carried out. 

3. To have supervisory control of all schools and libraries under 
the county board of education, and general supervisory control of all 
officers in its employ, with power to outline, direct, and co-ordinate 
their work, and, for cause, to recommend their dismissal. 

4. To nominate for election, and when elected to assign, transfer, 
and suspend all teachers and principals, and, for cause, recommend 
the promotion or dismissal of such. 

5. To visit the schools of the county, to advise and assist teachers 
and principals, to hold teachers' meetings and institutes, to direct the 
reading-circle work in his county, and to labor in every practicable 
way to improve educational conditions within his county. 

6. To act as the agent for the State department of education 
in the examining and certificating of teachers, and to decide, upon 
appeal to him, all disputes arising within the county as to the in- 
terpretation of the school law or the powers and duties of school 

7. To oversee the preparation of the courses of study and to ap- 
prove the same, to study the educational work done in the schools, 
and to approve for purchase all text and supplemental books and all 
apparatus and supplies. 

8. To recommend changes in the distribution or the organization 
of the schools, to recommend the establishment of new schools or 
branch libraries, and to assist in the correlation of the work of the 
schools with that of the libraries, agricultural activities, and other 
forms of educational service. 

9. To prepare and issue an annual printed report showing the 
work, progress, and needs of the schools of the county. 


Such a Reorganization Not Easy. — To inaugurate such a 
reorganization will require that the methods of three gen- 
erations and the selfish interests of individuals and com- 
munities will need to be overcome. Such a fundamental 
reorganization, too, cannot be expected to come through the 
voluntary co-operation of district authorities, upon which 
we have so far placed our chief hope. District authorities 
are too short-sighted, and know too little as to fundamental 
rural or educational needs. Neither can we expect much as- 
sistance from the average politically elected county super- 
intendent. The system of which he is a product too often to 
him seems a sacred system, and, in the district-system 
States, he is too afraid of the enemies he may make in the 
districts, and the opportunities he may give an opponent to 
defeat him for re-election, to render much service looking to 
any fundamental reorganization of rural education. 


1. What steps are necessary or desirable in your State for a larger 

unit of school control and more effective educational measures? 

2. Do your consolidated schools receive State aid? How much? 

3. Examine Cubberiey's plan of county educational organization in 

his "State and County Educational Reorganization." 

4. Summarize the features of good rural-school administration as 

given by Monahan in his bulletin of the U. S. Bureau of Edu- 
cation entitled "County-Unit Organization for the Adminis- 
tration of Rural Schools.'* 

5. How many school directors manage the schools of New York 

City? How do the number of teachers, the value of school 
property, and the annual appropriation for schools compare 
with the same factors in the rural schools of your State ? What 
is the difference in number of directors? 

6. Is a large territory necessarily managed by many boards? 

7. Give the good and bad points of the pure county system as illus- 

trated by Louisiana. 

8. When a State is cut up by mountains, as in Pennsylvania or Mon- 

tana, what hindrances to consolidation are occasioned by the 
township system? 


9. How should consolidated schools in your State obtain their funds 

and why ? 
10. Is it wise to have local boards with very limited powers even where 
we have the township, town, or county systems? 


1. Cubberley — "Public School Administration." Houghton Mif- 

flin Co. 

2. "State and County Educational Reorganization." Mac- 


3. Monahan — "County-Unit Organization for the Administration of 

Rural Schools." U. S. Government Printing Office. 

4. Foght — " The Rural Teacher and His Work." Macmillan. 

5. Surveys of Various States by the U. S. Bureau of Education. 

6. Arp — "Rural Education and the Consolidated School." World 

Book Co. 

7. Betts and Hall— "Better Rural Schools." Bobbs, Merrill Co. 

8. Cubberley — "Rural Life and Education." Houghton Mifl^n Co. 

9. Flexner and Bachman — "Public Education in Maryland." (A 

survey.) General Education Board, New York. 
10. Monahan — " Consolidation of Rural Schools and Transportation of 
Pupils at Public Expense." Government Printing Office. 


Preliminary Problems 

1. Consolidation began about fifty years ago. Can you account for 

its rapid development in only the last decade or two? 

2. What factors have contributed most to the spread of consolidation ? 

3. What influences work most to bring about consolidation in your 

own State? 

4. Why is the consolidation movement so slow in some sections of the 

country where it would be an entire success? 

5. How can such retarding influences be met? 

I. The Beginning of the Consolidation Movement 

It seems desirable at this time to set forth the main 
facts of consolidation in the United States. When con- 
solidation, as the word is generally understood, began in the 
United States is difficult to say. Probably in the older 
States from very early times schools were abandoned for 
the sake of economy and the children sent to neighboring 
schools. In Massachusetts sufficient instances had occurred 
previous to 1869 to bring the question before the State 
legislature in that year as to whether children from an aban- 
doned school district might be transported to another dis- 
trict at public expense. The legislature acted favorably 
and school trustees were authorized to pay for the trans- 
portation of children to a neighboring district out of the 
school funds. The law reads as follows: 

Any town in the commonwealth may raise by taxation or other- 
wise and appropriate money to be expended by the school committee 
in their discretion in providing for the conveyance of pupils to and 
from the public schools. 



Honorable Joseph White, formerly secretary of the Mas- 
sachusetts State Board of Education, stated that the act 
was introduced into the legislature through the efforts of a 
practical man from one of the rural townships of large terri- 
tory and sparse population, where the constant problem is 
how to bring equal school privileges to all without undue 
taxation. The first children carried to school at public ex- 
pense under the provisions of this act were in the town of 
Quincy, in the eastern part of the State, the town in which 
Colonel Francis Parker gained his fame as a progressive 
school superintendent. There, in 1874, a school with less 
than a dozen children was closed and the pupils carried to 
another one-teacher school, the union making a school not 
too large for one teacher. The district abandoning its 
school, after paying tuition and transportation expenses, 
found that its outlay was less than the amount which would 
have been required to maintain the old school. No special 
educational advantages came to the pupils transported to 
such a union school, of course, except from the association 
with a greater number of children. 

The Montague Consolidated School. — The first con- 
solidation for the definite purpose of securing for the chil- 
dren better educational opportunities appears to have oc- 
curred in Montague, Massachusetts. There, in 1875, as a 
result of a campaign conducted principally by one of the 
school committee, Mr. Seymour Rockwell, three ^'district" 
schools were abandoned and a new brick building was erected 
at a central location, to which the children from the aban- 
doned districts were transported at pubHc expense. This 
school is still in a flourishing condition. It serves a terri- 
tory of approximately twenty square miles. A high-school 
department was added very soon after the school was es- 
tablished and graduated its first four-year class in 1884. 

The Concord Consolidated School. — The second con- 
solidated school in the United States was probably one es- 
tablished in Concord, Massachusetts, the home of Emerson, 


Hawthorne, Alcott, and others. A central building was 
erected in 1879, replacing several one-teacher schools. Con- 
cord at that time, with the township, included about 4,000 
inhabitants. The area was about twenty-five square miles. 
For school administration purposes it was divided into two 
village districts and five rural districts. Prior to 1879 the 
common schools were twelve in number, occupying eleven 
houses. Five of these schools were in the central village; 
two, in the same building, were at West Concord; the re^ 
maining five were in the outlying farming districts. The 
district schoolhouses were at distances of from one and a 
half to three miles from the centre. At the centre was a 
high school to which pupils came from all parts of the town- 
ship. The new building was appropriately called the 
Emerson School and contained eight rooms. When first 
opened it replaced the five schools of the central village. 
Later the other seven were taken in, one at a time. Thus 
both at Quincy and Concord we find the consolidated 
school arising in communities made intelligent and co-opera- 
tive probably by their able men. "An institution is but 
the lengthened shadow of a man." 

II. The Spread of Consolidation 

Other Consolidation in Massachusetts. — Following the 
establishment of the Concord consolidated school came 
others in the neighboring townships. By the year 1888, 
104 townships out of a total of 240 in the State were spend- 
ing money for the conveyance of pupils. In the school year 
1888-89 the amount paid for that purpose was $22,118.38. 
In 1891-92, 160 townships and cities were paying a total 
of $38,726.07 for transportation. In 191 2-13 almost ex- 
actly ten times this amount was paid for the same purpose. 
Finally, in 1913-14, the amount so expended was $426,- 
274, and to-day it is over a half million dollars. 


Consolidation in Ohio. — The movement spread from 
Massachusetts to other northeastern States and the West 
and South, until now it is doubtful if a State can be found 
in the Union without a number of examples of successful 
consolidated schools. Ohio and Indiana took hold of the 
idea earlier than most of the other States. Consolidation 
was easier to establish in these States than in the great 
majority of States, because both Ohio and Indiana, like 
Massachusetts, were organized on the township basis, al- 
though of a different type. 

The first consolidated school in Ohio was the Kings- 
ville school, in Ashtabula County. A. B. Graham, in a 
bulletin of the Ohio State University, says: 

In 1892 the Kingsville township board of education was confronted 
with the necessity of providing a new school building. Their schools 
were small, and the per capita expense was unduly large. It was 
finally agreed to transport the children of the township to Kingsville, 
which was one of the district schools of the township. For the cost 
gf transportation a special bill was introduced into the general as- 
sembly and became a law April 17, 1894. The measure applied only 
to Kingsville township. In the succeeding general assembly another 
measure was passed for the relief of the counties of Stark, Ashtabula, 
and Portage. On April 5, 1898, the assembly passed a general law 
on the subject. In 1897, one year before the law was made general, 
Mad River township, in Champaign County, transported eighteen 
children to Westville rather than establish a new subdistrict and build 
a new schoolhouse. This was the first step toward establishing a 
centralized school in western Ohio. 

A law of Ohio, approved April 25, 1904, authorized the 
board of education in any township to suspend schools in 
any or all subdistricts in the township and convey pupils to 
a centralized school, with the provision that no school with 
an average daily attendance of twelve or more could be 
abolished against the opposition of the majority of the 
voters of the district. Following the passage of this law the 
movement for consolidation progressed rapidly. In 19 10 
there were 178 centralized or consolidated schools in the 


State; 49 of these were township schools serving the entire 
township. In 191 2 there were 192 townships out of 1,370 
in the State with their schools completely or partially cen- 
tralized. By 1914 there were 358 consolidated schools; by 
191 5 there were 468; and in 1916 there were 539. The last 
few years, as illustrated later by Preble County, have wit- 
nessed greatly accelerated progress. 

Consolidation in Indiana. — Consolidation in Indiana was 
first agitated by Caleb Mills in 1856. Nothing of impor- 
tance, however, was done until 1889, when the legislature 
passed an act recognizing the right of township trustees to 
pay for the transportation of pupils to consolidated schools. 
In 191 2 there were in the State 589 consolidated schools, 
distributed in 70 of the 92 counties of the State. In 19 14 
there were 665 consolidated schools in 73 of the 92 counties 
in the State, attended by 73,404 children, or 35.9 per cent 
of all the pupils attending rural schools; 26,403 children 
were transported at an expense to the public of $491,265. 
This is approximately 36 per cent of the children attending 
the consolidated schools. Between 19 14 and 191 6, 41 ad- 
ditional consolidated schools were established, making a 
total of 706. 

A study of the consolidated schools in Indiana by the 
State Department of Education in 1916 revealed clear 
evidences that better educational opportunities are pre- 
sented in the consolidated schools than in other rural 
schools. For instance, that better teachers are provided 
is demonstrated by the fact that the average daily wages 
paid in consolidated schools are $3.37, as compared with 
$2.76 in other rural schools. In spite of this greatly in- 
creased salary, the cost per pupil in the consolidated school 
is not much greater than in the other rural schools, the 
figures being $25.64 and $22.71 respectively; an insig- 
nificant difference when considering the greatly increased 
advantages. The establishment of so many consolidated 
schools has made high-school education possible to country 


children within easy reach of their homes. This is evi- 
denced by the fact that of the total number of children en- 
rolled in the consolidated schools 22 per cent are in the high- 
school departments. That Indiana, after twenty-five years 
of experience with such a large number of consolidated 
schools, is satisfied with the type of school even when the 
expense is greater than that of the old type is evidenced by 
the rapidity with which district schools are being aban- 
doned for consolidated schools. In the past five years, for 
example, the number of schools abandoned was over one 

Consolidation in Other States. — Massachusetts, Ohio, 
and Indiana have established up to the present a greater 
proportion of consolidated schools than any other States. 
The extent of the movement elsewhere is given in the fol- 
lowing pages. It will be noticed that it has gone furthest in 
States with large administrative units for school affairs — 
that is, in those with the county or the township organiza- 
tion; and that it has made little headway in States with the 
small *' school-district" unit, except in a few where a rela- 
tively large amount of financial aid is given by the State as 
a stimulus. 

III. District, Township, or County Unit — Which? 

The Unit of Organization and Consolidation. — The de- 
pendence of the movement for consolidation upon the form 
of organization is well illustrated by the neighboring States 
of Indiana and Illinois, the first with about 706 consoli- 
dated schools, the second with less than 40. Indiana has 
been organized on the township basis since 1852, with all 
the schools in any township under the control of one agency. 
Illinois is organized on the district basis, the district being 
usually in rural territory, the area served by a single school. 
Each district has three trustees to manage the affairs of the 

* Later returns may be obtained from the State Department of Education. 


single school and to regulate the work of the teacher. The 
State has more than 10,000 one- teacher schools; these 
10,000 schools with 10,000 teachers are managed by 30,- 
000 trustees, three directors for each teacher. Consolida- 
tion under such conditions is difficult, since it means the 
formation of new districts out of two or more old districts, 
which is accomplished only after an adjustment of the 
business affairs and of the jealousies of the old districts has 
been reached. Experience shows that sometimes the dis- 
trict trustees are the most difficult persons in the district 
to convince of the advantages of consolidation. The honor 
of serving in their position is sweet to them and given up 
reluctantly. Many States are coming to the conclusion that 
three strong men are not necessary to hire and manage 
every young-woman teacher and are getting boards of five 
for units as large as counties. 

The two States organized for the management of rural- 
school affairs on the single-district basis which have made 
notable progress in consolidation are Washington and 
Minnesota. Washington has paid from the State school 
funds to consolidated schools an annual bonus of $170 for 
each school abandoned less one. To illustrate, if six dis- 
tricts combine and establish a single consolidated school, 
the new school has received each year from the State five 
times $170. In Minnesota, previous to 191 2, practically no- 
consolidations were effected. In 191 1 the legislature passed 
the Holmberg Act, under which consolidated schools are 
classified and aided from State funds. The first year un- 
der the operation of the act 141 old districts were formed 
into 60 new districts. In 191 6 the State had 220 consoli- 
dated schools which replaced 454 schools of the old type. 
North Dakota, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Iowa adopted, in 
the 19 13 session of their legislatures, measures somewhat 
similar to the Holmberg Act. North Dakota had at this 
writing 401 consolidated schools, Missouri 122, and Iowa 
211. The greater progress in North Dakota is due to the 

A Wyoming consolidated school 

A type of many abandoned pioneer schools 


fact that the State is organized for school administration in 
nearly all counties on the larger township basis. 

Union Schools of North Carolina and Tennessee, — Both 
North Carolina and Tennessee made much progress in 
consolidation immediately after the adoption of the county 
unit of administration. In ten years, under the county 
system, North Carolina abolished 1,200 small districts and 
replaced 1,200 small one- teacher schools with less than 500 
** union" schools, each with tv/o or more teachers. To such 
consolidated schools public transportation was not neces- 
sary, as the districts were but from eight to ten square miles 
in area. Other consolidations with larger districts have 
taken place since, and transportation is furnished to about 
50 schools. The union schools frequently draw in sufficient 
one-room schools to become first-class consolidated schools. 

Tennessee, after giving up the district system in 1903, 
aboHshed more than 1,000 small country schools and re- 
placed them with less than one-half as many union schools, 
of the same type as those in North Carolina. The larger 
consolidated school has been established also in many in- 
stances, approximately 60 requiring transportation at public 

IV. Consolidation in Semimountainous Regions 

Consolidation in Anderson County, Tennessee. — An- 
derson County recently completed an extensive plan of 
providing consolidated schools for all children in the county. 
This is an east Tennessee county, directly west of Knox 
County, in which the city of Knoxville is located. It is 
semimountainous. In the southern part the valleys are 
broad and there are good agricultural lands ; in the northern 
part the valleys are narrow and the tillable land small in 
proportion to the total area. Coal is mined in parts of the 
county. In the northwest part of the county is located the 
coal village of Briceville, which became well known on ac- 


count of two separate explosions in mines in the neighbor- 
hood, resulting in heavy loss of life. The county-seat is at 
Clinton, and Clinton has its own school corporation. The 
rest of the county in school affairs is under the county board 
of education. 

In the county there are now in operation i6 consolidated 
schools, the last 9 of which were constructed and put into 
use the ist of September, 191 5. Most of these buildings are 
6-room buildings and serve a territory of from 8 to 14 
square miles. There is much land on the tops of the ridges 
on which no one is living. The population is therefore col- 
lected in districts smaller than the total areas served by 
the schools. A total of 7 transportation wagons are used 
for the 16 consolidated schools. The greatest distance that 
children may be required to walk in the State is two and a 
half miles. These buildings are so located that compara- 
tively few children will be required to walk more than two 
miles. The territory served by each school stretches along 
the valleys between the mountain ridges, the children com- 
ing almost wholly from two directions. 

All but 2 of the consolidated schools are brick buildings. 
The 9 buildings recently constructed cost approximately 
$50,000, exclusive of equipment. Eight of them are ex- 
actly ahke, with 4 classrooms located on the ground floor 
and 2 basement rooms half above ground, designed for 
manual training, agriculture, and cooking. From 4 to 9 
teachers are required at each school. Provision is made for 
two years of high-school work at each school, in addition to 
the elementary work. Manual training, agriculture, or 
household economics is required of all children. The school 
lots are from 5 to 14 acres in extent, the land in every case 
being donated by persons living in the neighborhood. On each 
school site will be provided a cottage for the principal and 
his family, and they will be expected to board the other 
teachers. In several instances old schoolhouses are being 
converted into cottages. A part of the school grounds will 


be used for school gardens; a large part, however, will be 
given to the principal for his own use with the understanding 
that it is to be cultivated as a model farm for the commu- 
nity and as a demonstration for the classes in agriculture in 
the school. The principals receive about the same salary 
as principals of similar schools elsewhere, but in" addition 
are furnished the cottage rent free and the land for farming. 

The school buildings and as many of the teachers' cot- 
tsiges as are in use serve as demonstrations. Each build- 
ing is supplied with running-water piped from springs on 
the neighboring hills. The teachers' cottages are equipped 
with modern bathrooms. The people living in the district 
served by the school have an opportunity to see how houses 
may be provided with running-water, bathrooms, and sani- 
tary closets, and it is expected that the example will cause 
the installation of similar conveniences in many homes. 
Two of the largest school buildings are heated by steam, the 
others by hot air. 

In one of the new buildings a separate auditorium has 
been built from money subscribed by persons living in the 
neighborhood. In all of the other buildings an auditorium 
is provided by throwing together two rooms ordinarily 
separated by a movable partition. The seating capacity of 
the auditorium in the eight buildings is about 200 each. 

Each county in Tennessee is a unit in the administration 
of rural-school affairs. The county board of education has 
power to locate schools wherever it deems best and the 
schools are built from county funds supplied usually by bond 
issue; the bond issue, however, must be authorized by ma- 
jority vote of the qualified electors of the county. At the 
regular election in Clinton County, November, 19 14, a 
bond issue of $50,000 for new school buildings was author- 
ized. These bonds were sold to the highest bidder, one 
broker buying the entire lot at nearly $400 premium. The 
county board determined where the new buildings should be 
erected and the kind of buildings to be supplied. When 


these buildings were opened in September, 191 5, 16 con- 
solidated schools replaced approximately 58 one and two 
teacher schools. The county board is following a definite 
plan for the consolidation of all schools in the county. 
Its plans call for 28 buildings for the entire county; that 
is, there are 12 more to be built at a later date. It is 
probable that another bond issue for these 12 buildings has 
already been voted. The area of the county is approxi- 
mately 350 square miles. Each of the 28 schools will serve, 
therefore, a territory of approximately i2>^ miles. On ac- 
count of the mountainous character of much of the coun- 
try, the inhabited territory served by each school is less 
than this amount. Thus the argument that consolidated 
schools cannot be established in mountainous regions falls 
flat through the force of this and similar examples. A long 
mountain valley with a trading village may be an ideal 
consolidated-school community. 

V. Recent Rapid Progress 

The consolidated-school movement in all but a rela- 
tively small number of States is less than two decades old. 
In 1900 there were very few outside of Massachusetts, New 
Hampshire, Ohio, and Indiana. Since 1900 there has been 
an awakening; results came slowly at first, but have come 
very rapidly since 19 10. From 1910 to 1916 there were 
probably twice as many consolidated and union schools 
established as in the sixty years before that period. The 
year 191 1 is notable in school legislation, because of the laws 
passed by a large number of States in that period intended 
to promote consolidation. Among these is the legislation in 
Minnesota referred to above; also of importance legislation 
in Wisconsin, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Georgia, 
and Kentucky. In 191 2 and 19 13 other favorable legis- 
lation was passed, several States, notably Iowa, Wisconsin, 
Missouri, North Dakota, and South Carolina, passing laws 

A consolidated school, Woodslown, X. J. 
Not as desirable as the one-story type where land is comparatively cheap 





From five to twenty such structures may be eliminated by one consolidated 



similar to those of Minnesota, under which special State 
aid is given. 

The results in several of these States have already been 
noted. In others it is as follows: Arkansas had at this writ- 
ing 125 consolidated schools, practically all having been 
established in the past five years; South Carolina had 700 
rural graded schools receiving special State aid under the 
act of 191 2 to encourage consolidation and graded schools 
in country districts; Kentucky had 41 consolidated schools 
which replaced 140 one- teacher schools. Transportation 
was furnished to 14. Georgia in 191 5 had 159 consolidated 
schools to which 3,123 pupils were transported. There 
were approximately 40 more in 19 16. 

VI. The Movement in Other States 

How Louisiana Began Consolidation. — The following in- 
teresting statement of the beginnings of consolidation in 
Louisiana is by the State superintendent of public instruc- 
tion. Louisiana is organized on the county basis, the parish 
(county) board of education having complete control of 
the educational affairs of the parish. 

The consolidation idea in Louisiana had its birth in 1902, and was 
due to a cyclone. In the parish of Lafayette a cyclone destroyed a 
one-room schoolhouse located about six miles from the town of Scott. 
This occurred during the session, and as the building of a new school- 
house would cause the children to be out of school for a month or so, 
two pubHc-spirited citizens, members of the school board, Doctor Moss 
and Mr. Judice, proposed to furnish a wagonette temporarily at their 
own expense to be used in transferring the children who had been at- 
tending the little school that was destroyed to the school located in 
the town of Scott. Their proposition was accepted by the board and 
the new plan put into operation. The idea worked out so success- 
fully that the board decided not to rebuild the house, but to put in a 
permanent wagonette. Other communities in Lafayette heard of the 
new plan and petitioned the school board to place their children in 
central graded schools. In a year or so Lafayette parish had made 
practically every consolidation that was possible and was operating a 


large number of wagonettes in which children were transported to 
central schools. Gradually the idea worked out through all parts of 
the State, and other parishes began trying the plan. The system now 
is general throughout Louisiana, practically every parish in the State 
having consolidated schools and most of them operating school 

The number of strictly consolidated country schools (in 191 3) is 
210, and the number of school wagonettes in use is 259. 

Since the above was written the number of consolidated 
schools has more than doubled. 

Consolidation in Mississippi and Missouri. — The rapid- 
ity of the movement in the past few years is indicated by 
data from a few States. That of Mississippi is interesting. 
In the fall of 1907 the State superintendent appointed a 
committee of three county superintendents to prepare a 
report on the subject of the consolidation of schools. This 
report was adopted by the association of county superin- 
tendents, and a bill prepared providing for consolidation and 
transportation for the 1908 legislature. It failed to pass. 
The bill was reintroduced in 19 10, amended and strength- 
ened, and passed. Further amendments were found neces- 
sary, and these were provided in 191 2. As the result of the 
1910 bill and the 191 2 amendments the State has estab- 
lished more than 290 consolidated schools and has more 
than 725 wagons in operation. 

In 191 2-13 there were organized 75 consolidated schools, 
with the children transported in 100 wagons. The average 
area of these 75 consolidated districts is 30 square miles; 
the 75 buildings erected cost approximately $140,000. 
During the year Pearl River County replaced 31 schools 
with 6 consolidated schools, to which children are trans- 
ported in 21 school wagons; Harrison County, one of the 
largest in the State, had 15 consolidated schools, and only 
30 one-teacher schools were left at this writing. 

In 1 91 5 there were 192 consolidated schools to which 
7,788 children were transported in 426 school wagons. By 


191 7 there were 290 consolidated schools with 14,643 children 
transported in 725 school wagons. This is less than one- 
half the enrolment, it being approximately 33,000 or an 
average of 112 to each school. 

The story in Missouri is of similar interest. In August, 
191 2, Mr. W. P. Evans, then State Superintendent of Public 
Instruction, wrote: 

The story of consolidation in Missouri is a short one. The laws 
are ready and nothing is needed but that they be taken advantage of; 
yet practically no consolidation exists. The laws of Missouri permit 
three or more common-school districts or a village district with two 
or more common-school districts to unite into a consolidated district. 
By a law passed in 191 1, if two-thirds of the voters authorize it, trans- 
portation may be provided for from the school funds. While common- 
school districts are not authorized to maintain high schools, such con- 
solidated districts may maintain high schools as well as elementary 
schools. Comparatively little has been done toward consolidation 
under these statutes, although the law permitting consolidation has 
been on the statute-books for eleven years. 

Since this was written the State legislature, in 19 13, 
revised the laws on consolidated schools and now special 
State aid to urge consolidation is given. By January i, 
1914, 29 consolidated schools had been established. Two 
years later Missouri reported 122 consolidated schools to 
which 7,000 children were transported in 400 wagons. 
Three of these have first-class approved high-school de- 
partments, 10 have second-class high schools, 50 have third- 
class. State aid brings results. 

Activity in North Dakota. — North Dakota reported 333 
consolidated schools in 1915, 205 of which are in towns and 
128 in open country. This was an increase of 60 during the 
past year. In 191 7 there were in operation 401, which have 
replaced 1,200, one-teacher schools. The records of the 
State inspector of rural schools show that the proportion 
of pupils enrolled in the eighth grade in the consolidated 
schools of the State is twice as great as in the eighth grades 


of the other rural schools; also, that on account of these 
consolidated schools, the high-school enrolment of country- 
children has increased over threefold in the past four years. 
Consolidation in North Dakota has been stimulated by the 
vigorous educational campaign conducted by the State De- 
partment and by special State aid during the past two years 
In 1 9 14 there were 271 legally consolidated schools in th^ 
State, 170 of which were located in villages and loi in the 
open country. In addition there were 683 schools, each 
serving a large territory with pupils living more than two 
and a half miles from the school. Of these 683 schools, 263 
transported pupils at public expense. Only 53 of them were 
commonly spoken of as consolidated. 

Iowa Consolidations. — In 191 2 Iowa had 47 consolidated 
schools with approximately 1,600 children transported. 
This was about one-fifth of the attendance at these schools. 
In 1 9 13 legislation was secured to assist the movement. 
During the year following 55 were established, nearly all 
with two to four year high-school departments. These 
schools have been established under the provisions of an 
act of the legislature of 1913, giving special State aid for 
departments of agriculture, domestic science, and manual 
training in consolidated schools. Each school has a site of 
from 4 to 10 acres for agricultural teaching. In order to 
receive State aid the consolidated schools must meet the 
requirements of the State Department of Education concern- 
ing buildings, grounds, course of study, and qualification of 
teachers. All of these buildings have been approved by 
the department; all have satisfactory equipment for work 
in agriculture, manual training, and domestic science. 
Several of them have teachers' cottages on the grounds. 
The total number of consolidated schools in the State at 
this writing is 211. 

The following statement, prepared by A. C. Fuller, State 
Inspector of Rural Schools, gives suggestive details of later 


Consolidation of rural schools in Iowa means the organization by 
vote, town and country voting separately, of a district which shall 
contain at least sixteen sections of land. If a town is included in the 
district the building must be located there. Transportation along the 
pubhc highway is provided for every child outside the town. If a 
school so organized possesses five acres of ground for playground and 
agricultural demonstration, plus suitable buildings and standard 
teaching force. State aid is given. 

State aid and the steady promotion and publicity work of the De- 
partment of Public Instruction and allied agencies are responsible for 
the great interest and activity in forming consolidated districts. 

For twelve or thirteen years a few communities maintained suc- 
cessful consolidated schools, new ones organizing near older centres. 
In April, 1913, there were seventeen schools. At that time the law 
authorizing aid went into effect and a field force was added to the 
State Department. Since then consolidated schools have been added 
at the rate of fifty-five annually, two hundred and thirty-nine being 
the number at date. 

The following condensed statement indicates the present status: 

1. Number of consolidated districts prior to April, 1913 17 

2. Total number of consolidated districts August i, 1917 239 

3. Number of consolidated districts established in open country 28 

4. Number of consolidated districts including towns over one 

thousand population 4 

5. Number of consolidated districts including towns between one 

thousand and five hundred in population 27 

6. Number of consolidated districts including villages less than 

five hundred in population 180 

7. Average total enrolment in the consolidated schools 180 

8. Average total enrolment in the high-school department 35 

(Every consolidated school will have a standard four-year 

high school.) 

9. Percentage of pupils from rural districts 57 

10. Average size of consolidated district, in sections of land 26 

11. Minimum district receiving State aid, sections 16 

12. Maximum district at date, sections 48 

(Recent tendency is to form the larger districts.) 

13. Average size of school ground in acres 5-\- 

(Many schools have eight and ten acres, and have employed 

landscape architects to lay out premises.) 

14. Number of consolidated districts providing a principal's 

home and a teachers' home 15 

15. Average number of rooms in school buildings 12 


(Nearly all the buildings are new, provide modern facilities 
for teaching agriculture, manual training, and domestic 
science, include a gymnasium and a room for community- 
centre activities.) 

1 6. Increased school facilities provided by consolidation, 
(a) Standard school work for i8o instead of i6o days. 
(J)) Twelve years of work instead of eight. 

17. Increased cost per acre, in rural portion, for consolidated 

schools 1 2 to 18 cents 

18. Number of one-room schools already closed through con- 

solidation 1200 

19. Number of consolidated schools disbanding after once trying 

out the plan thoroughly o 

ConsoHdation in Iowa is a success. It is regarded as the only 
satisfactory solution of the rural-school problem. These schools are 
forming more rapidly than leaders and principals who have the vision 
and rural-mindedness required to carry on the work are becoming 
available. Normal schools, educational departments, and all agencies 
concerned with the development of rural life should stress the prepara- 
tion of leaders for consolidated schools. 

No more potent activity exists than that which affects the welfare 
of our rural-school population. Every boy and girl should be within 
easy daily reach of a standard twelve-year school. 

" Graded Rural " and " Intermediate " Agricultural 
Schools. — Wisconsin reported a considerable number of new 
consolidated schools. The State superintendent says: 

The interest in the subject is continually increasing, and the senti- 
ment is growing more and more favorable. 

One phase of the consolidation question that is frequently over- 
looked is the rather marvellous growth of State graded schools. We 
have now in Wisconsin almost 600 of these institutions, employing 
1,450 teachers, scattered over the State. About one-half of them are 
doing some work beyond the eighth grade. Each of these schools 
really becomes an educational centre which in many cases is equiva- 
lent to a consolidation centre. Another phase of the consolidation 
work is quite prominent in the State, namely, the estabhshment of 
joint and union high schools. This is essentially a phase of consoli- 
dation for high-school purposes. In these places the elementary edu- 
cation is taken care of in the local one-room district schools, while the 
secondary education is taken care of by the large high-school district. 


New York State reported that about 100 consolidated 
schools have been established during the past year. In one 
instance 1 1 districts have been consolidated at West Chazy, 
Clinton County, in the Champlain Valley; and a philan- 
thropic citizen of that vicinity is erecting an endowed 
building which will be one of the most completely equipped 
school buildings in the State. 

Deputy Commissioner of Education Thomas E. Fine- 
gan points out that as a result of this movement in the 
consolidation of one-room schools several schools have been 
organized which will do the usual work of the eight grades 
in the elementary course and two years of high-school work. 
He says: 

These schools are generally known as intermediate agricultural 
schools. The courses of study are along the lines of agriculture for 
boys and domestic science and home-making for girls. Teachers of 
agriculture have been employed in these schools on the understanding 
that they do continuation work during the summer vacation. The 
whole general trend in the courses for elementary schools is to include 
some work along agricultural lines so that the work of the school is 
brought into closer relation and has a direct bearing on the life on 
the farm. Special effort has been made to organize new schools. 

Other States. — The number of consolidated schools in 
a few other States as reported by the State departments of 
education is as follows: California 27, Colorado 21, Dela- 
ware I, Kansas 94, Nebraska 26, Nevada 3, South Dakota 
24, West Virginia 24, with transportation and many with- 
out. In 191 5-16, 250 one-room schools were abandoned 
and consolidated into small graded schools. In Wayne 
County 60 one-teacher schools have been replaced by 26 
graded schools, with from two to four teachers. 

VII. Consolidation of Rural Schools, 191 7 

On February 13, 191 7, a request was sent to each State 
superintendent, asking the number of consolidated schools 
in the State at that time and the number that had been 


established during the past three years. Answers were 
received from all except Arizona. The following is digested 
from the answers received from 30. The 17 not included 
reported that no data were available or their answers were 
too indefinite to be used. These 17 included Connecticut, 
Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, 
New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, 
Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. Of course, 
the war slowed up or stopped building operations. 

Of the 30 mentioned below, 26 report 5,132 consoli- 
dated schools. The number in Maine, Florida, North Caro- 
lina, and West Virginia is not given. These latter three, 
together with Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Utah, 
Virginia, and Wisconsin, have many consolidated or 
schools similar to consolidated schools. A conservative 
estimate of the total number in the United States, includ- 
ing "consolidated," "centralized," and "union" schools, is 


Alabama. — Total, 69 consolidated schools, 61 of which 
were established during the past school year; 166 schools 
were abandoned in making these consolidations; 48 of the 
consolidations were efifected by bringing together two 
schools, 16 by three schools, 3 by four schools, and 2 by 
five or more schools. 

Arkansas. — Total, 125, of which 86 were established 
during the past three years. 

California. — Total, 27. 

Colorado. — Total, 21. 

Delaware. — Total, i. 

Florida. — The State Department has no record of the 
total number; approximately $50,000 was paid in 191 5-1 6 
for transportation to consolidated schools. 

Georgia. — In 191 5-16 there were 159 consolidated schools 
to which 3,123 pupils were transported at public expense. 
"The number of consolidated schools is increasing approxi- 
mately 25 per cent each year." 


Illinois. — The State Department reports 10 consoli- 
dated schools, three of which were established during the 
past three years by abolishing 11 district schools. 

Indiana. — Total, 706, 41 of which were established in 
the past two years. 

Iowa. — Total, 214, 181 of which were established in the 
past three years. The number of schools abandoned for 
consolidated schools is 1,284; the average area for consoli- 
dated districts is 24 square miles. 

Kansas. — Of the 94 consolidated schools in the State, 1 2 
have been estabHshed during the past three years; 236 dis- 
tricts were consolidated to form these 94. 

Kentucky. — Total, 41, 36 of which were established dur- 
ing the past three years. The 7,6 replaced 120 one-teacher 
schools. Only 14 of the consolidated schools furnish free 

Louisiana. — The State Department reports 818 consoli- 
dated schools, of which 580 were established during the 
past three years. Included in this total number, however, 
are "all rural schools having two or more teachers, that is, 
all such schools located in communities of 2,500 population 
or less." 

Maine. — No statistics are available relative to the total 
number; the number of one-room rural schools has de- 
creased in the past three years from 2,459 to 2,358. 

Michigan. — Total, 8. 

Minnesota. — In 19 16 there were 220 consolidated schools, 
of which 140 were established in the past three years. The 
consolidated schools replaced 454 schools of the old type. 

Mississippi. — Nearly all the consolidation has taken 
place in the last five years. In 1916 consolidated schools 
were found in 64 counties. There were 290 schools with 
977 teachers, 725 wagons, and 14,643 pupils transported. 
The enrolment in the schools was 33,037. 

Missouri. — Total, 122, all consolidated within the past 
three years. 


Nebraska. — Total, 28. 

Nevada. — Three consolidated schools effected during 
the past three years take the place of six schools of the old 

North Carolina. — In the year ending July, 191 6, 84 dis- 
tricts were consolidated into 36 new districts. Since 19 13 
the number of one- teacher schools has decreased 516, or 
14 per cent. 

North Dakota. — Total, 401, 211 having been established 
in the past three years. The 401 replace approximately 
i,2cx) schools of the old type. 

Ohio. — Ohio in 19 14 had 358 consolidated schools; in 
1915, 468; in 1916, 539. 

Oklahoma, — Total, 103, of which 19 were established dur- 
ing the past two years; 77 of these consolidated districts re- 
place 215 old districts. 

Rhode Island. — In the State there is one consolidated 
school established by the union of four ungraded schools; 
23 other ungraded schools have been closed and the pupils 
transported to graded schools already established. 

South Carolina. — Four hundred "rural graded schools" 
were in operation in 1914-15, 562 in 1915-16, and 700 in 
1916-17. These are the schools receiving special State aid 
under the act of the State legislature of 191 2 "to encourage 
consoKdated and graded schools in country districts." 

South Dakota. — Total, 24, of which 20 were effected dur- 
ing the past year. 

Tennessee. — Total, 404, of which 261 were established 
during the past three years. 

Washington. — June 30, 1916, there were 161, 39 of which 
were established during the past three years. 

West Virginia. — There are 24 consolidated schools which 
provide transportation, and a considerable number of others 
without transportation. In 191 5-16, 250 one-room schools 
were abandoned and consolidated into small graded schools. 
In Wayne County in six years 60 one-room schools have 


been consolidated into 26 graded schools of from two to 
four rooms. 

Thus we see that this movement is rapidly spreading 
over the entire country. Good roads, the increased use of 
automobiles, the county unit for school administration, 
State aid, and teachers better educated for rural-life leader- 
ship will greatly accelerate the movement. 


1. Study the growth of consolidation in some one county if possible 

and note particulady the factors that promote and retard the 

2. What is the record as to the giving up of consolidation after it has 

been established in this country? 

3. What States have most consolidated schools of the highest type? 

4. What type of region had best not attempt consolidation? 

5. Are there any typical regions in the United States where there are 

not now successful consolidated schools — thus, mountainous, cold, 
blizzardy, bad-roads, long-haul, backward-population, poor, and 
other regions? 


The bibliography here is mainly in the form of State, national, and 
other reports. A few writers have given brief histories of consolida- 
tion but the essential facts will be found in the writer's "Consolida- 
tion of Schools and Transportation of Pupils at Public Expense." 
The reports of the United States Bureau of Education should be 
watched for resumes of the spread and development of consolidation. 
Just now it is spreading more than developing. Later will come a 
period of improvement in which the best schools that have started well 
and grown by experimentation and study will become the standard for 
all to attain. 


Preliminary Problems 

1. "Get yourself ready" for a delightful visit with Mrs. Cook, of the 

United States Bureau of Education, to a progressive consolidated 
school in the West and secure also a bird's-eye view and the 
concrete detail necessary for a close study of many aspects of the 
consolidated school in succeeding chapters. 

2. If possible, visit a consolidated school within your reach. 

I. Location and History 

After the preceding discussions of the practical problem 
and the social and administrative setting of the consolidated 
rural school, the reader will be interested to visit with us 
such a school. 

The "crossroads" village of La Porte, Colorado, con- 
tains a blacksmith-shop, post-office, and store combined, 
and a few houses, and is located about three miles north and 
west of the city of Fort Collins, the seat of the Colorado 
State College of Agriculture. The village does not present 
a dignified appearance from an architectural standpoint, 
although it has a distinguished history, for at one time it 
aspired to be the capital of the State, an honor which it 
lost by but one vote to the neighboring city of Golden; and 
it was for some years the county-seat of Larimer County. 
While the village itself, judging from its present appear- 
ance, has degenerated somewhat from those illustrious days, 
the surrounding country has not suffered a similar experi- 
ence. It is one of the most productive sections of northern 
Colorado. Orchards line the roadways and apple-laden 
hay-racks pass the visitor on the way; small fruits, sugar- 
beets, alfalfa, and grain are raised in abundance, and stock 



and dairy products help to make a thrifty and prosperous 

Near the village trading centre in the midst of farms and 
orchards located in the open country is the Cache La Poudre 
Consolidated School. Less than four years ago five one- 
teacher schools and one three- teacher school in four differ- 
ent districts served the educational needs of the farm peo- 
ple living in the vicinity of the village of La Porte. About 
that time the State College gf Agriculture near by was 
moved by the spirit of better country life and appointed a 
*' rural-school visitor '* as a member of its faculty. The 
visitor in December, 191 2, on the invitation of the principal 
of the school at La Porte, spent several days visiting and 
interviewing the people in the homes of the neighborhood 
and collecting statistical data on attendance and financial 
conditions and possibilities, from the schools and from the 
county superintendent's office. According to the investi- 
gator, the buildings were in bad condition, four of them un- 
fit for use; the majority of the teachers were such as you 
usually find in country schools of this kind; the attendance 
was poor and the schools in general woefully inefficient. 

A Survey and Publicity. — The result of this survey of 
the districts seemed to the majority of the leaders in the 
community to justify immediate consolidation. The weeks 
following the survey were devoted to a campaign of educa- 
tion for the community during which meetings were held 
in all of the districts involved and the matter of school con- 
solidation enthusiastically agitated. In April, 1913, an 
election was held to decide the question and the majority 
voted in favor of the new plan. In June bonds were voted 
for a $26,000 building, the corner-stone of which was laid 
July 2, 1 9 13. In the following September the new building 
was opened to the children of the combined territory of 
the four districts immediately surrounding it and was named 
from a near-by river, the Cache La Poudre. The consoli- 
dated district is approximately 25 square miles in area, 


contains 170 families and 325 census children. The school 
building, while not in the geographical centre, is strategically 
located with reference to the population. The visit here 
described was made when the school was in its third year. 

II. The School Plant and Transportation 

Rarely does one find a more beautiful natural site for a 
school building than that selected by the trustees in charge. 
Majestic old cottonwoods are lined in rows at each side and 
at the back of the building and massed at one side in the 
rear near the playground. In the background, less than 
fifty miles to the west — seeming, in the clear atmosphere 
of the November day, not more than ten — is the main 
range of the Rocky Mountains, capped in the distance 
by three of its highest peaks. From the athletic field, from 
the front entrance, from the west and south windows there 
is, at all times, for the delight of the nature-lover — and all 
country dwellers, especially children, should be nature- 
lovers — a magnificent view of more than one hundred miles 
of perpetually snow-covered mountains. 

As the visitor enters the building from the road he may 
notice among the tall trees at the left swings and other play 
equipment. Still at the left and toward the rear of the 
building is the manual-training shop. At the right are more 
trees, a larger playground, the athletic fields, and the super- 
intendent's cottage. Surrounding the school grounds are 
farms and orchards — apples and small fruits being important 
products of this section. 

The building itself is a substantial brick structure of 
two stories with a commodious basement. The latter is 
almost entirely above ground, and the schoolrooms proper 
must, therefore, be reached by a number of stone steps 
leading directly to the wide hallway. In the centre of the 
hallway a staircase leads to the upper floor. On either side 
are two classrooms for the elementary grades. Ascending 


the stairway one passes on the landing and at the rear of 
the building a small sunny sewing-room whose sashed win- 
dows shut it from view from the stairway and at the same 
time proclaim its purpose to the visitor. Continuing to the 
second floor there are two small rooms at the front. One 
serves as library and superintendent's office and one as the 
teachers' retiring and rest room. The high-school assembly- 
room occupies one entire side of the upper floor with the door 
entering it near the head of the staircase on the left. On 
the right are the laboratory and a large classroom. 

The assembly-room is lighted from the south and west. 
The side nearest the hall has a movable wooden partition. 
This can be so raised as to form, with the hallway, an audi- 
torium of reasonable size. The school owns a supply of 
folding-chairs, and comfortable seating arrangements can 
thus be provided for the various recreational activities of 
which the school is the centre. 

The rest-room is furnished with a couch, rug, table, and 
chairs, and is comfortable and inviting. The library is not 
large at present but the books are well selected and will 
form a nucleus for a reference and circulating library of 
more pretentious size when circumstances permit. The 
laboratory is supplied simply with the usual apparatus for 
chemistry and physics, a separator, and an eight-hole Bab- 
cock milk-tester. 

The basement contains two large rooms, one at each side 
of the front entrance. These serve as lunchrooms and 
stormy-day playrooms. One side is assigned to the boys 
and the other to the girls. Adjoining these rooms are the 
toilets, which are of modern sanitary type and are kept 
clean and wholesome. The floors in the basement are of 
cement, and the rooms here are all light, dry, and "airy." 
At the rear of the building and near the foot of the inside 
stairway is the kitchen, equipped with individual cooking- 
tables and closets; cupboards for supplies, sink, water, oil- 
stoves, and other necessaries. 


The outside manual- training shop, previously mentioned, 
is a commodious frame building remodelled from one of the 
old schoolhouses. The benches are of simple home-made 
variety and the equipment is adequate but not elaborate. 
This shop is made to approximate as nearly as possible the 
better type of workshop of the ordinary farm. It is heated 
with a stove and contains two rooms. 

The superintendent's home is also a remodelled build- 
ing, being one of the best of the old abandoned frame school- 
houses. It has large, pleasant rooms, a screened porch along 
the front and rear, and a bathroom. This ^'teacherage" is 
part of the school property, built especially as the home of 
the superintendent. No rent is charged, its use being al- 
lowed by the board in addition to the regular salary paid. 

The school board has also a three-year lease on a small 
orchard, house, and barn which adjoins the school grounds. 
This is subleased to the eighth-grade teacher, who is a mar- 
ried man and who occupies the cottage and cultivates the 
ground. During the year preceding the time of visiting the 
school this teacher sold almost enough from the land to pay 
the rent in addition to supplying his own table. In addition 
to these two residences controlled by the school board, four 
rooms in the basement of the main building were finished 
and set apart for the janitor^s residence. So the district 
really houses three of its employees with their families. 
The janitor receives $45 per month, house room, light, 
water, and fuel. He lives in the building throughout the 
year and is responsible to the board for its proper care at 
all timps. According to the rules of the board published in 
pamphlet form for general distribution, the "janitor shall 
be the assistant executive officer of the superintendent to 
help carry out all the rules and regulations of the board 
and superintendent so far as they may apply to the build- 
ings, grounds, and discipline. When school is not in ses- 
sion he shall be in complete control of the building, subject 
only to the orders of the school board." 










i F^^^B 





■R'' ' ' "■ 

The Colorado school visited by Mrs. Cook 
Two-story building of old-style architecture, but good school work within and without 

A movable partition for auditorium use, Cache La Poudre school 


The classrooms are all large and well lighted. There 
are cement walks, oiled floors, and adjustable desks of a 
modern and approved type. There are sanitary drinking- 
fountains on both floors. The water is piped from the Fort 
Collins city system and is pure, soft, mountain water. The 
walls are finished in hard plaster and in each room is hung 
at least one good picture, several of which are copies of 
well-known masterpieces of art. The woodwork is in natural 
finish; the windows are fitted with shades, and in general 
the interior has the appearance of simplicity, appropriate- 
ness, and comfort. 

The play and athletic grounds are marvels of good sense 
in selection. The plant, exclusive of the leased orchard, 
covers four and one-half acres, including a half-acre orchard 
and garden used by the superintendent and the janitor. 
The grounds are made not alone beautiful but cool and in- 
viting by the shade of majestic trees, and the play apparatus, 
all of which is home-made, is so placed as to utilize this ad- 
vantage. There are two swings, two giant strides, and eight 
teeters, all placed about the building close to the trees and 
out of range of the ball-fields. The accompanying pictures 
give some idea of the distribution. On the athletic field are 
two basket-ball fields, football gridiron, and baseball dia- 
mond. The principal says they are all in constant use, in- 
cluding the apparatus for play. 

Transportation. — Transportation being the rock on 
which so many thriving consolidation schemes have split, it 
is a real pleasure to find that there are no complaints and 
no dissatisfied murmurs in regard to this phase of the school 
management. The district owns seven substantial covered 
wagons, each of which cost approximately $200. The teams 
are owned by the drivers and are valued at about $400 each. 
The district, as related above, covers twenty-five square 
miles, and the wagons transport the children distances vary- 
ing from three to five miles. The number of children carried 
in each wagon varies from seventeen to twenty-four or 


more, the aim being to keep the number below twenty-four 
if possible. The total number transported averages 160 
pupils daily. The school board awards a contract to the 
lowest bidder, providing he is a satisfactory person, but re- 
serves the right to reject any or all bids. The qualifications 
required are very exacting, only mature, responsible men 
being eligible, and a $500 bond required. By the terms of 
the contract the driver is to take entire charge of the chil- 
dren on his route, to be accountable for their welfare, to 
see that they conduct themselves in a proper manner, 
and to report all misconduct on the part of the chil- 
dren to the principal. The contract also stipulates that no 
profane language shall be used either by driver or the chil- 
dren and that the driver maintain a time schedule and 
provide proper housing and care for the wagon. In ad- 
dition to these stipulated regulations the rules of the school 
before referred to provide that there shall be two time- 
tables furnished to patrons on a "route-sheet,'' one for good 
roads and one for bad roads; that the driver must not vary 
from the time-table once established and must not pass the 
point of stopping if the pupils are not ready until five min- 
utes after the time scheduled, unless he be notified that the 
pupils will not attend school that day. 

Pupils are required to remain seated while the wagon is 
in motion; to be at the proper pl'ace on time; to refrain from 
boisterous or profane language. The use of tobacco by 
pupils or driver is forbidden while on the wagons. Even 
parents may not censure drivers on penalty of having their 
children excluded from the privilege of the wagons. All 
necessary complaints must be made to the superintendent. 

The routes are so planned that no child rides in a round- 
about way. When he enters the wagon he is headed di- 
rectly for the schoolhouse. In the morning the drivers go 
to the end of the route and pick up children on the return. 
After school the children are taken directly home. The sala- 
ries of drivers and distances travelled by each are as follows: 





No. I. 




Average . 

49 50 


7,yi miles 


3^ miles 

III. The Work of the School 

During the last two years under the old system, with 
four districts and six schools, the territory now comprised 
in the consolidated district had a school census, enrolment, 
and attendance as follows: 













Enrolment • 

Average daily attendance 

Percentage of attendance to enrolment 

Enrolled in high school in district 

For the year 19 16, in the consolidated school, corre- 
sponding figures are as follows: 






Here we see a high-school enrolment raised from nothing 
to forty- five pupils, and an attendance increased 30 per cent. 

For the month of December, 191 6, the principal reports 
no tardiness in the elementary school and but six cases in 
the high school. There are relatively few foreigners in the 
district and Americans predominate in the school enrol- 


ment. There are, however, about 22 per cent of Mexican 
and 12 per cent of German parentage. 

The increase in attendance and percentage of attendance 
to enrolment since consolidation has continued very marked. 
Before the consolidation was effected there was no high 
school nearer than that located at Fort Collins, a city of 
about 10,000 inhabitants, at a distance of more than six 
miles from some of the homes. At the time of the visit 
there were 45 pupils enrolled in high school and 175 in the 
grades. In June, 191 5, twelve pupils finished the eighth 
grade, ten of whom entered high school the following au- 
tumn. In June, 1916, ten completed the eighth grade, all 
of whom entered high school in the fall of 191 6. Others 
from outside the class entered high school, giving the en- 
tering class an enrolment of 18. The school's ability to 
hold children through the grades is represented roughly by 
the following data showing enrolment for all grades for the 
four months preceding January, 191 7. Little decrease in 
grade enrolment as we go upward through the grades is 

Year i 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 I II HI IV 

Enrolment 29 25 25 30 37 19 16 12 18 11 19 8 

Teachers. — Including the superintendent, who teaches 
mathematics and agriculture, nine teachers are employed. 
Of these, three are men and six are women. Three women 
and one man devote their entire time to the elementary 
grades, two grades being assigned to each; three devote 
their entire time to the high school, and two special teachers 
divide their time between the high school and the elemen- 
tary grades. All of the teachers but one are graduates of 
normal school or college, five having A.B. or B.S. degrees. 
Four receive $75 per month, one $80, and three $85 per 
month. The seventh and eighth grade teacher is paid for 
twelve months in the year, the others for nine months. The 
superintendent was serving his second year of a three-year 


contract by the terms of which he was to receive $1,300 
the first year and $100 per year increase for each of the re- 
maining two years. He was then getting $1,400 and the 
use of a house and orchard. Two of the men teachers, as 
related above, have homes on the school grounds. One un- 
married man and three women board in the district. The 
other three are permanent residents in the district and live 
in the homes of their families. The cost of board and room 
is about $22.50 per month. 

Organization. — With respect to the organization of the 
work of the school we have stated that the school includes 
the eight regular elementary grades and. four years of high 
school. Manual training, cooking, and sewing begin in the 
sixth grade and continue through the remainder of the ele- 
mentary course and high school. Agriculture begins in the 
seventh grade and continues throughout the remaining six 
years of the course. The sixth-grade girls have one recita- 
tion per week of ninety minutes' duration in domestic 
science, while the boys devote the same period to manual 
training. The pupils of the seventh and eighth grades and 
high school devote two periods of one and one-half hours 
each per week to these subjects. In addition to manual 
training and household economics, agriculture has a promi- 
nent place in the curriculum. In the seventh and eighth 
grades a course in elementary agriculture is given; in the 
ninth grade physical and commercial geography and soils; 
in the tenth grade animal life and agricultural botany; in 
the eleventh grade advanced agriculture and stock-judging; 
in the twelfth grade rural economics. Special attention is 
given to milk-testing for neighboring farmers and to testing 
cream and skimmed milk. 

Drawing and music are taught throughout the grades 
and high school. One half-hour period per week in the 
grades and one forty-five-minute period per week in high 
school are devoted to each of these subjects. There are 
four sections in the elementary school, two grades in each, 


and one in high school for this purpose. The teacher in 
charge of manual training also teaches history and algebra 
in the high school. Another special teacher has charge of 
all the music, drawing, cooking, and sewing in the grades 
and high school. This arrangement allows the inclusion in 
the curriculum of a variety of special subjects at a mini- 
mum cost. The high school is one of the 70 high schools 
(of the total of 247 in the State) which are on the accredit- 
ed list of the State University. 

Six-Six Plan. — After 191 7 the superintendent expects to 
adopt the six-six plan of organization. At the time of our 
visit the following subjects were offered in the high school. 
Electives are placed in the second column. It should be 
noted that history, four years of English, and drawing and 
music were then all required subjects: 



General history. 


American history. 







Physical geography. 


Commercial geography, 

English composition. 


English literature. 

Animal husbandry. 

American literature. 

Farm arithmetic. 


Farm management. 


Rural economics. 

Agricultural botany. 



Manual training. 



As an illustration of the organization for the instruction 
in manual training, sewing, cooking, music, and drawing, a 
portion of the daily schedule of the seventh and eighth 
grades is appended. The full programme for the sixth grade 
is given as an illustration of the division of time possible in 



a consolidated school as compared with that of a one- 
teacher school in which there are from 25 to 40 recitations 

Sixth Grade Programme 

A. M. 

9.00- 9 

9.15- 9 



1 1. 40-1 2 
P. M. 
I.OO- I 


Music and drawing on 
Wednesdays and Fridays 

1 5 — Music — Opening exercises 

40 — Recite reading 

10 — Study geography 

30 — Recite geography 

45 — Recess 

15 — Study arithmetic 

40 — Recite arithmetic 

00 — Study physiology. (History first half year) 

20 — Penmanship 
50 — Study language 
00 — Grammar drill 
10 — Physical exercises 
30 — Recite language 
45 — Recess 
10 — Study spelling 
20 — Recite spelling 
35 — Recite physiology. 

(History first half year) 

Seventh and Eighth Grade Programme 

30, Mon., Tues., Wed., and Fri. — Reading and arithmetic 

Thurs. — Music, drawing 
00, Fri. — Sewing and manual training 
45, Mon., Tues., Wed., and Thurs.— Civics and history 
00, Mon and Wed. — Physical exercises 

Tues., Wed., and Thurs. — Physiology 

30, Mon., Wed., Thurs., and Fri. — Reading, language, writ- 
Tues. — Sewing and manual training 

Course of Study. — The course of study followed differs 
from the conventional course in the emphasis placed on 
manual training, agriculture, cooking, and sewing, and the 
opportunity which the inclusion of these subjects gives to 

A. M. 


10. 50-1 1. 

p. M. 
I.OO- 2. 


correlate the traditional topics with matters concerned with 
home and farm work. The course offered is highly voca- 
tional from the point of view of the boys and girls who are 
to make farming and farm home-making a life-work. In or- 
der that the work given at school may reflect as correctly 
and as closely as possible that which should be carried on 
in the homes and on the farms, not only are the projects 
given in the vocational subjects of a highly practical nature 
but the equipment used, tools, benches, cooking utensils, 
materials used in making articles and in preparing foods, 
are such as are at hand on the neighboring farms. In the 
manual-training classes, planing, joining, squaring, and the 
fundamentals of primary woodwork are taught to the 
younger boys; the making of milk-stools, benches, wagon- 
jacks, letter-boxes, chicken-coops, yard^gates, bookcases, 
cement work, and other projects of a similar nature are 
carried through the upper grades. The cooking is of the 
practical every-day foods used on the farms in the commu- 
nity and a very close estimate of costs and food values is ad- 
hered to. The visitor found each girl in the sewing-class 
making a different garment or working on a different ar- 
ticle. The girls are required to do home sewing, and must 
bring materials from home for making articles which are 
needed and used after completion in the home. They have 
freedom of choice as to styles, materials, etc., under the 
guidance, of course, of the teacher in charge. The aim is 
both to fit for and to help improve the customary activities 
of the home and farm. 

Another departure from the traditional rural-school 
curriculum is the teaching of music and drawing throughout 
the course and the emphasis placed on games and athletics. 
The high school offers also not only the vocational subjects 
mentioned but also a reasonable variety for selection of his- 
tory, science, languages, and mathematics which must be 
studied to prepare for the professional or liberal-arts college 
courses. The student who wishes to enter a higher institu- 
tion and prepare for a profession or for a vocation other 

Girls gaining domestic efficiency- 

Practical sewing for Colorado girls 
Cache La Poudre School 


than farming has the opportunity by a wise selection of 
subjects to obtain full preparation. The high-school depart- 
ment offers four years of English, two of history, and two 
each of Latin and German, besides four years of music and 

In these practical days when so great emphasis is being 
placed on the education which leads to better and more 
intensive soil cultivation and a higher state of productive- 
ness, it is well not to lose sight of the fact that improved 
rural life is not all mere bushels to the acre. The highest 
mission of the school is but partially accomplished when this 
end is reached. Vocational efficiency is but one of the five 
social aims previously stated. Economic prosperity must 
be accompanied by spiritual and ethical development and 
the ability for enjoying refined leisure before the country 
school will produce an intelligent and contented farm popu- 
lation. To this end more emphasis will probably be placed 
in the future on such subjects as literature, civics, ethics, 
and avocational subjects. 

Supervised play and school athletics also receive care- 
ful attention in both the high and elementary school. The 
grounds are well equipped with home-made apparatus for 
the small children and are carefully supervised by the 
teachers. Both boys and girls have basket-ball teams which 
are shown in the accompanying photographs, as is also the 
football squad. We have mentioned the baseball diamond 
used by pupils from the grades and high school. The high- 
school boys are expected to spend one-half to one hour each 
day in some form of athletics. The girls have gymnastics 
three days a week and glee-club work two days. 

IV. Community Service 

The influence of the school is not confined to the walls 
of the building or the boundaries of the campus, but ex- 
tends to the limits of the district and even beyond it into 
other rural districts of the county. The community gath- 


erings begin in September with the annual county play- 
festival for third-class (rural) districts and continue until 
the commencement programme closes the ''season" in 
June. The programme for the 191 6 county play-festival is 
given on the opposite page. Worthy of special note are the 
community singing, high-school orchestra, and the basket 
lunch. The inside gatherings begin in November and are 
held in the auditorium previously mentioned. A lecture 
course of seven numbers begins about November 3 and ends 
about March 17. Reproductions of handbill announce- 
ments are given on accompanying pages. 

Besides the festival and lecture course the year's enter- 
tainment programme includes seven literary society eve- 
nings, which are, according to the superintendent's descrip- 
tion, "old-fashioned lyceums," a box supper, ladies' aid 
supper, Hallowe'en social, Christmas programme (school), 
a lecture and play by home talent, four political meetings, 
eight parent-teacher association meetings, two plays, a 
public auction, two receptions, and two commencement 
programmes. The announcement of the parent-teacher 
association for 191 6 is appended: 

November 8 
Uniform Dress in School and Graduation Mrs. W. Mullen 

December 6 
Demonstration of School Lunches Miss Clara Mellor 

January 3 

Mission of the County Superintendent 

Larimer County Superintendent 

February 7 
Teaching Children Thrift J. A. Sidney 

March 7 
Rural Life in Home and School Mrs. H. T. French 

April ^ 
Care of the Children's Teeth Dr. H. J. Livingstone 

May 2 
Special Programme by Girls* Camp-fire Organization. 

Larimer County's Second Annual Play Festival for 
Third Class School Districts 


Cache La Poudre Consolidated School 

Teachers, Parents, Pupils and Friends are Cordially Invited to 

Attend. Come Early, Bring Your Lunch 

and Spend the Day 

PROGRAM, 10 A. M. 

MUSIC _. High School Orchestra 



School Children 


. ....... . . . .Mrs. John H. Weldon, District No. 8 

MUSIC . . High School Orchestra 



.-,. .Mrs. Hiram T. Pirench, Fort Collins 

STORY TELLING ..^......^^ «., 

MUSIC — ~^., ^ . . ..^. ^ .. „^^ Community Singihg 

(Noon Hour— Basket Lunch) 

PROGRAM, 1:30 P.M. 

50 YARD DASH-^mLS \ a R«« For F^-h Pr^rf* 
50 YARD DASH-BOYS J ^ Race For Each Grade 

100 FT. RACE . .....^^^,,^Member8 of School Board 



Reproduction of handbill 


Buy a Family Ticket 



Lecture Course 

All Your Family to be Admitted 

to the Seven Numbers 

for $1.00 

Dr. E. D. Phillips, "What Everybody 
Likes," November 4. 

C. A. C. Conservatory Faculty, Music and 
Reading, November 25. 

Prof. Jno. R. Bell, "The Significance of 
Attitude," December 16. 

Colorado Agricultural College Band, 
January 13, 

Prof H. D. Black. •'The Cliff Dwellers." 
February 3. 

C. A. C. Ladies' Glee Club. February 24. 

C A. C, Men's Glee Club. March 17. 


Th« Mernint Sxprct* Print 

Reproduction of handbill 



Up to the date of writing (February, 191 7) the various 
entertainment features have attracted during the present 
year an aggregate attendance of 3,000 people. Family tickets 
at $1 each for the lecture course have been sold to 120 

Besides these activities, the regular school election day 
in May is made the occasion of a kind of spring festival. 
It has become the custom since consolidation to include 
among the board membership a resident of each of the old 
districts as they existed before consolidation in order to 
keep the board as representative as possible. A half-holiday 
is declared and a programme is given by the school. An ex- 
hibit of the year's work, both manual and academic, is 
shown; articles made in the manual-training department are 
auctioned off, and a food sale is managed by the cooking 
classes. The proceeds of this sale supply much of the ma- 
terial used during the school term for cooking and manual 
training. The voting for school-board members follows the 
above programme. It is not difficult to see how community 
spirit is preserved and promoted in the district, co-operation 
between parents and teachers encouraged, school pride 
strengthened, and the spirit of fellowship which fosters the 
desire to keep the board representative of the whole of the 
consolidated territory maintained. Altogether we have here 
the beginnings of a type of school far superior and infinitely 
more progressive than the type of schools displaced. As 
an experiment in a new type of rural education the con- 
solidated school is very promising. That it will immensely 
improve as time goes on is to be expected in democratic, pro- 
gressive America. 


1. What features of this particular school most appeal to you as 

worth while? 

2. What features would you condemn? 

3. If possible, learn of later improvements in the school. 


4. In the first edition of the editor's " Educational Hygiene '* the 

school building of this school is by a typographical error called 
model instead of modern. In what ways do you consider the 
lighting arrangements inferior to the Jordan school of Utah, the 
Sargent of Colorado, or the one-story type suggested in Chap- 
ter IX? 

5. Read Doctor Foght's account of the Jordan and other consoli- 

dated schools in his "The Rural Teacher and His Work," 
chaps. IV and V. 

6. Other members of your study group may report on other con- 

solidated schools, such as the Sargent School at Fort Collins, 
Colorado, the schools described in Monahan's bulletin on 
consolidation mentioned previously, and any that are described 
in State and county school reports. Many States have special 
bulletins on consolidation with descriptions of some of the best 
schools. What are the advantages of the one-story school 
building in the country? 

7. Why do children attend the consolidated school better than the 

one-room school ? Give reasons. 

8. Is this school at Cache La Poudre a true community-centre school ? 

9. What does it do for the recreation of the community? Why 

should the rural curriculum include cultural, or avocational, 
as well as vocational and other subjects? 
10. How does it attempt to improve home and farm conditions? 


The bibliography has been indicated in the problems in applica- 
tion. See also bibliography at end of the volume. 


Preliminary Problems 

1. What out-of-door activities are desirable at a consolidated school? 

2. For what purposes is a school-farm desirable? 

3. What should be the size of such a farm? 

4. How much space is desirable for a playground, athletic field, and 

out-of-door recreation centre? 

5. What kinds of soil are unsuited for such activities? 

6. What are some of the principal mistakes made in selecting con- 

solidated-school sites ? 

7. What types of sites should be avoided? 

8. Describe the uses to which a good consolidated-school site of 

which you have knowledge is put? 

9. What play apparatus is desirable for such a site? 

10. What buildings are desirable at a first-class consolidated school? 

I. The Larger School Plant 

The Modem versus the Old Consolidated-School Idea. 
— In discussing consolidated schools in the introductory 
chapter of his annual report for 1913, Doctor P. P. Claxton, 
United States Commissioner of Education, says: 

When such consolidation is made, a good schoolhouse should be 
built, attractive, comfortable, and sanitary, with classrooms, labora- 
tories, and library, and an assembly-hall large enough not only to 
seat comfortably all the pupils of the school but also to serve as a 
meeting-place for the people of the district. For the principal's 
home a house should be built on the school grounds. This house 
should not be expensive, but neat and attractive, a model for the com- 
munity, such a house as any thrifty farmer with good taste might hope 
to build or have built for himself. And as a part of the equipment of 
the school there should be a small farm, from 4 to 5 acres if in a vil- 
lage or densely populated community, and from 25 to 50 acres if in 



the open countiy. The principal of the school should be required to 
live in the principal's home, keep it as a model home for the commu- 
nity and cultivate the farm as a model farm, with garden, orchard, 
poultry-yard, dairy, and whatever else should be found on a well- 
conducted, well-tilled farm in that community. He should put him- 
self into close contact with the agricultural college and agricultural 
experiment station of his State, the departments of agriculture of 
State and nation, farm-demonstration agents, and other similar agen- 
cies, and it should be made their duty to help him in every way possi- 
ble. The use of the house and the products of the farm should be 
given the principal as a part of his salary, in addition to the salary 
now paid in money. After a satisfactory trial of a year or two a con- 
tract should be made with the principal for life or good behavior, or 
at least for a long term of years. 

In this way it would be possible to get and keep in the schools 
men of first-class ability, competent to teach children and to become 
leaders in their communities. The principal of a country school 
should know country life. A large part of country life has to do with 
the cultivation and care of the farm. The best test here as elsewhere 
is the ability to do. The principal of a country school in a farming 
community should be able to cultivate and care for a small farm 
better than, or at least as well as, any other man in the com- 

This summarizes some of the principal considerations 
relative to the site and the uses of the site of the modern 
consolidated school established to teach country boys and 
girls in terms of rural Hfe and industries. Most of the 
earlier consolidated schools were located in villages. This 
was particularly so in Massachusetts, where the term in gen- 
eral use, "town school" instead of consolidated school, in- 
dicates the location. It was a school to serve the entire 
town or township, and was as a rule located in the village 
at the most central point so far as the population was con- 
cerned. It meant that the school in the village was en- 
larged and schools in the surrounding farming sections were 
closed, and the children brought in to the town. This was 
true also in Indiana and in Ohio, where the term centralized 
school was adopted instead of consolidated. The tendency 
in the past few years is to locate the consolidated school in 


the country where several acres of land are available for 
playground and for agricultural purposes. It usually must 
be adjacent to a village, as has been clearly indicated in 
preceding chapters, but so located that it may become a 
real rural school, teaching in terms of rural life and giving 
opportunities for vocational education in rural occupations 
to boys and girls of twelve to eighteen years of age. It is no 
longer merely a city school for country boys with city text- 
books, courses of study, and city methods. The trading- 
centre people working with and for the country can and 
should be educated with those with whom they are to live 
and co-operate. 

A Tennessee Consolidated-School Site. — An excellent 
example of a consolidated school with an ideal site put to 
good use is the Farragut School of Concord, Tennessee. It 
is in the open country, a mile from the nearest village. 

II. The Building and Its Site 

The Farragut School. — The building is a two-story 
brick structure with basement, and cost, with the original 
equipment, $12,000. Additional equipment and a water 
system installed since have brought the total cost of the 
school up to about $17,000. The high-school department 
occupies the second floor, one large room on the first floor, 
and part of the basement. Three other rooms on the first 
floor are occupied by the elementary school. The household- 
economics room, the girls' lunch and toilet rooms occupy 
one-half of the basement. The manual-training room, the 
boys' lunch and toilet rooms occupy the other half. On the 
second floor nearly one-half of the space is occupied by a 
study hall, in which all high-school pupils are assigned desks. 
There is space for additional seats whenever it is desirable 
to use the room as an auditorium or assembly-hall. When 
properly arranged as an assembly-hall, it will seat 300 per- 
sons. The renjiainder of the second floor is divided into a 


hallway and three rooms — two recitation-rooms and a li- 

On the school grounds is located a cottage for the prin- 
cipal, the use of which is given to him rent free. The build- 
ing is plain and simple, but well arranged and adequate for 
the purpose for which it was built. It is equipped with a 
complete bathroom, private toilet for servant, and a ''cool 
room," with concrete sink, through which water is kept 
running in warm weather. This serves as a refrigerator. 
The cost of this cottage was very small, as the main part of 
the cottage consists of one of the abandoned schoolhouses of 
the district moved here and remodelled. 

At the junction of the Kingston Pike and the Concord 
Pike, at the corner of the school grounds, a concrete water- 
box for horses and a public drinking-fountain with concrete 
bowl and base for people have been erected. The fountain 
has proved to be of great convenience, not only to the com- 
munity but also to travellers on the pike. The money for 
the water-box and fountain was subscribed by the pupils, 
teachers, and patrons of the school. Every pupil subscribed, 
and has therefore a feeling of ownership. As much of the 
work as possible was done by the high-school boys in the 
manual-training classes. On the water-box, in brass letters, 
are these words: Erected by the Farragut School and Com- 
munity , 1 9 10. On the fountain are the words: Farragut 
Drinking Fountain. 

In addition to the school building and the principal's 
home, situated on the school grounds, there are a barn and a 
chicken-house. The school owns a brood mare and several 
Percheron colts; it also owns a flock of pure-bred Plymouth 
Rock chickens. The mare, colts, and the chickens are the 
only animals owned by the school, and are used for teaching 
the principles of breeding and for other instructional pur- 
poses. The chicken-house is fitted with good, substantial 
equipment, including trap-nests, so that it is possible to 
keep a careful record of the number of eggs laid by each 

A model barn in North Carolina 


iilli 1 llr feirr^ilBi^JiiiliililM 

M|MH||g H- ^l^Hi 



m-liliK^'^. ' 'VMB| 



A model barn at a country-life school 


hen. The principles of selection and breeding, which may 
be demonstrated so easily with poultry, apply with equal 
force to all kinds of animals. 

The School Grounds. — In addition to the 12 acres 
which the school owns, it has leased for a period of years 8 
acres adjoining its property. 

The lot owned by the school is divided into two parts; 
6 acres about the buildings are in permanent grass for play- 
grounds; the other 6 acres are used for demonstration pur- 
poses. The school employs one man by the year to serve 
both as janitor and farm laborer. The grass-plat immedi- 
ately surrounding the buildings has been beautified by the 
addition of shrubbery and flower-beds. Part of it is laid 
out for a baseball-field, for tennis courts, and for an out door 
basket-ball court. These playgrounds are used by the com- 
munity at any time, and their use constitutes one of the 
principal contributions of the school to the community. 

Demonstration Plats. — The chief aim in the demonstra- 
tion work has been to show the farmer and the pupils in the 
agricultural courses how to bring the soil from a state of 
low fertility to a state of high fertility in the shortest possi- 
ble time. The plats are used for demonstration and not for 
experimental purposes. One demonstration of particular 
interest is conducted on a half-acre of land divided into 40 
plats. The half-acre is divided first into four ranges. Each 
range is divided lengthwise into two parts. One-half of each 
has had an application of two tons of ground limestone per 
acre. On these ranges are conducted a rotation and a fer- 
tilizer demonstration, planned to show side by side the 
four phases of a four-year rotation. The following is a de- 
scription by the principal: 

In the summer of 1913 range A has rye ploughed under for cow-peas. 
Range B is in wheat, seeded with clover and timothy. Range C is in 
clover and timothy. Range D is in corn. The cow-peas of range A 
will be turned under for wheat in the fall. Thus the crops follow one 
another in regular succession, each range bearing the same crop once 


in four years. The ranges are divided crosswise into lo parts of one- 
eightieth of an acre each. Plats 5 and 6 receive no fertilizer and serve 
as checks. Each of the other 8 plats has a different application of fer- 
tilizer. From this demonstration the students and people of the com- 
munity are learning two very important lessons: First, that the soil 
is very poor in nitrogen, and that the quickest and most economical 
way to increase the nitrogen supply to the soil is to grow and turn un- 
der large crops of leguminous plants, such as vetch, cow-peas, and soy- 
beans, which gather and convert into plant food the free nitrogen of 
the air. The second lesson is the value of an application of ground 
limestone. The difference between the limed and unlimed sections of 
the ranges is very apparent at any time during the growing season 
and is also apparent at the time of harvest. Many farmers in the com- 
munity have profited by the lessons; some have not. The great value 
of rotation demonstration is that the demonstration keeps going on 
and on. It tells its story each year. The story is more impressive 
each succeeding year. The lesson becomes plainer and more valuable 
as the time goes by. 

Another part of the 6 acres is used as a model garden. 
It is known in the community as the "principal's garden." 
The rest of the land is used for general crops, particularly 
to furnish fodder for the horse, colts, and poultry. The 
model garden and the use made of the rented land are de- 
scribed by the principal as follows: 

The most important field on the farm is the home garden. The 
principal's garden consists of one acre of land enclosed by a woven-wire 
fence. It is planned as a model for the busy farmer who must do as 
much of his work as possible with a horse. Everything is in rows far 
enough apart for the one-horse cultivator. All of the common vegeta- 
bles and small fruits are planned for. Here intensive tillage, crop 
rotation, the use of fertilizers and stable manure, and the ploughing 
under of leguminous cover crops are all practised to a great extent. 

Four acres of the rented land have been divided into one-acre plats, 
upon which is to be carried on a four-year crop-rotation demonstra- 
tion. The idea in this is that not only shall the plats be large enough 
to be cultivated with two-horse implements, hke the fields of a farm, 
but that there shall be measured equal tracts which may be used as 
a basis to compare the results at the school with the results obtained 
by the boys in the agricultural course who are members of the boys' 
corn club and with those of farmers in the community who are carry- 


ing on co-operative demonstrations. The other four acres of rented 
land will be devoted to pasture demonstrations. One-half of the field 
will be seeded for permanent pasture. The other half will be used to 
show how, by proper selection of cereals, clovers, and grasses, good 
pasture may be obtained for nearly all seasons of the year. 

Community Service. — The Farragut School means more 
to the community than the ordinary school which confines 
its attention to instructing the boys and girls who come to 
it as pupils. It is attempting to be an institution of the 
widest use and of direct value to every man, woman, and 
child in the community. The following are some of the ways 
in which the school is serving the community: 

On the last Friday night before each full moon there have 
been held at the schoolhouse, for the past eight years, meet- 
ings called "moonlight socials." These are community 
gatherings to which all are welcome. The programme varies 
from meeting to meeting. There is always a liberal allow- 
ance of music and usually a talk on a subject of general in- 
terest pertaining to some phase of farm and home life. 
Sometimes the talks are given by outside persons, from the 
State Agricultural College or elsewhere. More often, how- 
ever, there is a general discussion of a selected subject, led 
by a few members of the community selected before the 
meeting. If the subject to be discussed deals with tech- 
nical phases of agriculture in which they are not interested, 
the women will meet in another room and discuss some prob- 
lem of housekeeping. The discussions are made as prac- 
tical as possible. After the regular programme is over the 
evening is given to general sociability, playing games, and 
singing familiar songs. Usually some sort of lunch is served. 
The domestic-science room has facilities which make the 
serving of a lunch very easy. The meetings are well at- 
tended and have become a very important part of the com- 
munity life. Other evening meetings are held in the school- 
house on many special occasions. If the people of the com- 
munity desire to get together for any purpose, the school- 
house is always designated as the place of meeting. 


The biggest meeting of the year, however, is on Com- 
mencement Day. The programme lasts all day. In the 
forenoon the graduating exercises take place, with essays 
or short talks by members of the graduating class. These 
essays and talks are usually upon subjects pertaining to 
farm and country life, and are therefore of more interest to 
the audience than the ordinary high-school graduation essay 
or oration. At this forenoon meeting the graduates receive 
their diplomas. At noon a basket-dinner is served on the 
grounds under the large shade trees. The food contributed 
by each family is put in a common lot and served as a com- 
munity dinner. The domestic-science room is utilized to 
make the lunch more complete. This plan helps make the 
lunch hour a real social hour. After dinner the visitors in- 
spect the plat demonstrations in rotation of crops, and the 
progress of the various crops under the different treatments 
is noted. The features of the demonstration are explained 
by the principal of the school. At two o'clock the people 
assemble in the school, and there is a commencement ad- 
dress, usually by some prominent outside speaker. Follow- 
ing this is a baseball game between the high-school team 
and either a team from some other school or a selected team 
from among the farmers of the community. In the evening 
a drama is presented by the students of the school. This 
part of the programme creates great interest and is always 
well attended. 

Another service of the school is in furnishing agricultural 
reading for the farmers and their wives in the community. 
The school library contains about 200 books and a large 
number of government reports. It also contains about 
4,000 bulletins from various experiment stations in the 
United States. There is an abundance of valuable reading 
in these bulletins which is not ordinarily available for 
farmers, because they have no way of determining where 
the most valuable material is to be found. This school has 
been very successful in its attempts to overcome this diffi- 
culty. One teacher of the school examines all bulletins re- 


ceived. He notes particularly what in the bulletins is of 
value to the farmers and housekeepers in the territory 
served by the school. He therefore not only has informa- 
tion on the particular subject discussed by the bulletins but 
also is able to put into the hands of the people of his com- 
munity the material which will be of most value to them. 
All the bulletins and books of the library are constantly in 
circulation in the community and are available for young 
and old people alike. The school building is open on 
Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the summer vaca- 
tion for those who care to visit the library to consult the 
books and bulletins in the library or to get books, reports, 
bulletins, or periodicals for home reading. 

During the vacations the school playgrounds are used 
freely by people in the district. They are, in fact, commu- 
nity playgrounds, on which the boys gather for baseball and 
other games whenever their duties permit. The tennis- 
courts and basket-ball courts are in considerable demand. 
The school and its property are regarded by the individuals 
of the community as belonging to them, and they are wel- 
come at all times to make any use of them which does not 
work injury to the school. On days during the summer 
vacation on which the school library is open the shower- 
baths are also open and many visitors use them. 

The school grounds and demonstration plats are open 
to inspection at all times, and farmers driving by frequently 
stop to examine the crops. Many of them visit the plats 
at regular periods and study carefully their progress. 

Another important community service comes through 
the outside activities of the principal of the school. He has 
become an expert adviser in agriculture to all the farmers 
of the community. He is employed throughout the year, 
and a horse is furnished him. When school is not in session 
he spends much of his time in driving about the commu- 
nity, visiting the farmers on their farms, and getting in touch 
with local agricultural conditions and problems. This en- 


ables him to know well the agricultural conditions of the 
community, to adapt the work of the school to the needs of 
the community as he finds them, to bring to each farmer 
expert advice for his own particular needs, and to give to 
all information in regard to the best things done by any. 
It also enables him to keep in touch with the boys' corn- 
club work and other agricultural work, and to see that in 
their practical work on the farm they apply the principles 
learned in school. 

III. Wake County (N. C.) School-Farm Movement 

Another Example. — A unique plan for the use of the 
school site was developed five years ago in Wake County, 
North Carolina, under the leadership of Z. V. Judd, then 
county superintendent of public instruction. The plan is 
called the ''School-Farm Movement," and comprehends the 
establishment of a small farm of from two to ten acres in 
connection with every country school. This farm is culti- 
vated by the children and their parents, working together 
on certain days in what Mr. Judd terms "school-farm work- 
ing bees." The working bees are gatherings for social pur- 
poses, as well as for the cultivation of the school land. Each 
school-farm is usually given to one crop. A regular system 
of rotation is planned. The agricultural work is done un- 
der the supervision of the best farmer in the community, so 
that good methods are used. Every person, therefore, tak- 
ing part is given the opportunity to observe the most suc- 
cessful systems of raising the crops under cultivation. The 
income received from the sale of the products raised on the 
school-farm is used for general school purposes. 

It is hoped by this movement to accomplish three 
things: first, to make money to be used in supplementing 
the school fund; second, to offer an opportunity to make 
the teaching of agriculture in the rural school entirely prac- 
tical and to illustrate how pleasant farm work can be made 

Play at a consolidated school, Preble County, Ohio 

Supervised play at a consolidated sjhool in JNlarion County, Ohio 


under proper conditions; and, third, to offer rural commu- 
nities opportunities for gatherings to develop the social side 
of farm life, with the schoolhouse the social centre of the 
community and the principal occupation of the people, 
farming, the centre of interest. 

The first work was done at Holly Springs, where seven 
years ago two acres of land were planted in cotton. The 
lighter work was done by the women and children. A 
community dinner was a part of the programme for each 
gathering. Two bales of cotton were raised, netting the 
school $119. The next year the plan was tried at eleven 
schools, the crops raised including cotton, corn, tobacco, 
and wheat. On the eleven farms 1,200 persons participated 
in the work. The net profit was nearly $1,200. The next 
year six additional farms were established, making a total of 
seventeen farms. 

The children of the county want these school-farms, and 
the older people are in sympathy with the idea. The re- 
sults have been an increased interest in the schools and the 
school work, an improvement in the appearance of the 
buildings and grounds, and the lengthening of the school 
year; also the development of a better community spirit 
and an improvement in general farming in the county. 

Information concerning the Wake County plan has 
spread to all parts of the country and it has been adopted in 
many other places. 

Character of the Site. — The site of the Farragut School 
was well selected. The country is rolling, the school build- 
ing and principal's cottage stand on an elevation 25 or 30 
feet higher than the roadway, 100 feet in front. The entire 
20 acres have good natural drainage. The elevation is not 
high enough to be too exposed to winter winds. The soil is 
a sandy loam with fertility enough to make cultivation 
profitable. The principalis garden and the demonstration 
plats are in an excellent state of cultivation. The site, in a 
word, includes all the essentials that the desirable school 


site in the country district should include. Its location at 
the crossroads of two main pikes makes it accessible from 
four directions. 

If the site of the building were not perfectly drained by 
natural drainage, considerable expense would have been 
necessary to lay tiles. It would be exceedingly unwise to 
build a structure of the size of the building needed for a 
consolidated school with from four to a dozen classrooms 
without substantial foundations, and such cannot be had 
except with good drainage, natural or otherwise. 

Water-Supply. — The Farragut School has an excellent 
water-supply, although the cost was greater than is ordi- 
narily necessary, if available water is considered in the selec- 
tion of the site. The new system was installed in 191 1 
at a cost of $3,000 after well-water had been used for seven 
years. Water is taken from a spring 1,200 feet away from 
and below the school building. It is pumped to the building 
and into two 1,000-gallon tanks in the attic by a No. 40 
double-acting Rife ram, with a capacity of 3,600 gallons 
per day. The ram is driven by creek-water, but delivers 
only spring-water to the buildings. From the tanks, water 
is conveyed to all parts of the school building, to the prin- 
cipal's house, the barn, and to the drinking-fountain on 
the pike. In the hall on the second floor are two sanitary 
drinking-fountains for the high school. On the lower floor 
there are two more for the elementary school. There is a 
drinking-fountain in each lunch-room. There are two sinks 
and one wash-bowl in the domestic-economy room, one 
wash-bowl in the manual-training room, and three sinks in 
the science laboratory. 

Each toilet-room is equipped with six Douglas-siphon- jet 
closets, two wash-bowls, two plate-glass mirrors, and two 
shower-baths with dressing-rooms. All sinks and wash- 
bowls are furnished with liquid-soap dispensers and paper 
towels. The partitions between the closets are galvanized 
iron painted with white enamel. The girls' shower-baths 
are enclosed with white enamelled iron; the boys' shower- 


baths with white enamelled wood. The walls of the base- 
ment are all painted white. The floor is of concrete. All 
sinks, bowls, and showers are supplied with hot water, the 
former from a 300-gallon hot-water tank connected with a 
coil in the furnace and also with a special tank-heater, with a 
capacity of 250 gallons per hour, to be used when there is 
no fire in the furnace. 

If a site as good otherwise could have been found with 
water available by digging or driving a well, the water- 
supply would have been secured at a less expense. The 
driven well is as a rule very satisfactory, and for storage 
and pressure the pneumatic tank is more satisfactory than 
the tank in the attic or cupola. 

IV. Factors in the Selection of the School Site 

Many of the most important factors in the selection of 
the school site are discussed above in the description of the 
Farragut School. One consideration not mentioned is in 
regard to the surroundings. Particular care should be taken 
to see that the school is not located adjacent to ill-smelling 
places, such as stables, nor near noisy disturbances, such as 
cattle-yards and railroads. Not only is the noise of passing 
trains distracting but there is danger, particularly during 
play hours, of children in their games running upon the 
tracks and, because of the noise and excitement of the play, 
not hearing approaching trains. 

The Playground. — The need of a good playground can- 
not be overemphasized. It has been generally assumed in 
the past that for the country school no playground need be 
provided, because country boys and girls do not need to 
play, as they have plenty of physical exercise in their home 
work. This shows no real conception of the value of play. 
Its chief value is its socializing effect and the pleasure that 
it gives. Both are especially needed in the life of the coun- 
try boy and girl. 



Farming in the past has been an individualistic life; the 
farmer's most prominent characteristic has been individ- 
ualism. Most games teach team-work and co-operation. 
Such things learned in play in early life become in later 
life a factor in work and living. Besides, co-operative play 

Total area of 
School Orounds 


Area avail&ble 
for organized iflfly 


Ornamentation of 
School Orounds 




■less then 1 acre 
Ol acre and more 

Proportion having 

131^ acre and more 

School Sites in Ohio 
From The Rural School Survey 

Proportion ie^ 
■Poor B Fair 

teaches the proper attitude toward fellow players and 
workers; it develops grace and suppleness, it quickens the 
wits, and it creates a joy in living. 

The school site should be of ample size so that good play- 
grounds may be provided. There should be separate sec- 
tions for the younger children, the older boys, and the older 
girls. There should be a space large enough for a baseball- 
field, so that baseball may be played without danger to the 
little children. There should be space for basket-ball and 
volley-ball for both boys and girls, and other space for 
playground apparatus, such as swings, seesaws, sand-boxes, 
etc., for the smaller children. Altogether, at least five 


acres should be provided for playgrounds for the consoli- 
dated school with 200 to 3cx> children of from 6 to 18 years 
of age. 

On the days when the school is in session the playgrounds 
should be for the exclusive use of the pupils. In the eve- 
nings, on Saturdays, and during vacations they should be 
open to the boys and girls of the entire district. In fact, 
special efforts should be made to encourage the young men 
and older farm boys to meet upon the school ball-field for 
baseball and athletic contests as often as possible. It not 
only is of benefit to those making such use of the grounds 
but it is of direct value to the school in keeping it promi- 
nently before the people. When the people of a country 
district use the school grounds for all kinds of assemblies, 
baseball games, community picnics, farmers' conferences, 
etc., the school becomes an institution of greater importance, 
and as a result receives better support both moral and finan- 
cial than it does otherwise. 


1. The site should be dry with natural drainage if possible, preferably 

gravel or sandy-loam soil, but should be near a source of supply 
of water for drinking and other purposes. 

2. The site should contain from 10 to 25 acres of land for the school 

building and surrounding lawns, the principal's cottage, play- 
grounds, demonstration plats for teaching agriculture, the prin- 
cipal's garden, and the farm. 

3. The buildings should be placed away from unpleasant and unde- 

sirable surroundings, such as ill-smelling barnyards and noisy 
traffic, either on the railroad or highway. 

4. The playground should be ample in size so that separate parts can 

be assigned to the younger and to the older children. Base- 
ball-fields, basket-ball and volley-ball courts, tennis-courts, etc., 
should be provided. The playgrounds should be used by all 
residents of the community, as much as possible, when school is 
not in session. 

5. The demonstration plats should be conducted to show the boys 

studying agriculture and the farmers of the district the value of 


scientific cultivation, of various kinds of treatment of soils, of 
different fertilizers, and of new varieties of farm plants. 
6. The principal's garden and the farm should be conducted as nearly 
as a model as possible. In order that this may be done the prin- 
cipal should be a man with agricultural training; he should be 
employed for twelve months in the year; and should be furnished 
a cottage, rent free, in which to live. 


1. What requisites of a good school site are discussed in Dresslar's 

"Rural Schoolhouses and Grounds," a bulletin of the U. S. 
Bureau of Education? 

2. Note the requirements of a school site as given in Ayres and Wood's 

"Healthful Schools." Houghton Mifflin Co. 

3. Judge the site of some available school site by the standards 

suggested. Criticise the plan for a complete school plant given 
in the last chapter. 

4. Would it be possible to rate a consolidated-school site on a score- 

card as buildings can now be rated, each point receiving a score 
and the combined scores being the rating? 

5. How can a school site in your home State best be beautified? 

6. What suggestions for landscaping a school site are made in bulletin 

form by your State department of education? 

7. What suggestions along these lines are made by Dresslar in his 

bulletin mentioned above? 

8. Describe some noteworthy school-site adornment, as given by 

Kern in his "Among Rural Schools" (Ginn), by King of the 
University of Iowa in his bulletin on "Hygienic Conditions in 
Iowa Schools," or some other writer of a book or report. 

9. What do the school surveys usually find regarding the size, charac- 

ter, equipment, and adornment of school sites (e. g., the Ohio 
School Survey) ? 
10. What can pupils and parents be led to do voluntarily for school- 
site improvement? 


1. Dresslar — "Rural Schoolhouses and Grounds." U. S. Govern- 

ment Printing Office. 

2. Challman— "The Rural-School Pant." Bruce Publishing Co. 

3. Rapeer — "Standardizing the Rural-School Plant.*' School and 

Society for Feb. 13, 1915. 


4. "Rural-School Hygiene," a survey. (Section of the Penn- 
sylvania Rural-School Survey, published by the editor.) 

5. Ayres, Williams, and Wood — "Healthful Schools." Houghton 

Mifflin Co. 

6. Dresslar — "School Hygiene." Macmillan. 

7. Rapeer — "Educational Hygiene." Scribner. 

8. Kern — "Among Country Schools." Ginn. 

9. Arbor-day and special bulletins on improvement of school grounds, 

the school farm, the school manse, etc. 
10. See the American School Board Journal (Milwaukee, Wis.) and 
the American Journal of School Hygiene (Worcester, Mass.) for 
occasional suggestions on sites. The State departments of ed- 
ucation of a number of States issue bulletins dealing with the 
school site. 


Preliminary Problems 

1. How are the needs and conditions of a consolidated school diflfer- 

ent from those of a city school? 

2. What differences in the building might grow out of adaptation to 

the needs of proper transportation? 

3. What advantages and disadvantages come from having elemen- 

tary and high-school pupils in the same building ? 

4. What adaptations in the building should be made to bring a maxi- 

mum of advantages and a minimum of disadvantages where 
children are of all ages from six to eighteen? 

5. Describe the best school auditorium you have seen. 

6. What are the relative advantages of one-story and two-story school 

buildings for rural education? 

7. What rating would you give a four-room school building with no 

special rooms except cloak-rooms, standing out in the open coun- 
try, as a consolidated rural-school building — first, second, third, 
fourth, or fifth, on a five-point score-card? 

I. City versus Country Buildings 

The heart of the consolidated-school plant is the build- 
ing. It should be thoroughly adapted to the purposes for 
which consolidation has been made. It should be neither 
a city school set down in the country or village trading 
centre nor a building of the traditional type, since the pur- 
poses of these are so different. Less scientifiic thinking and 
experimentation have been carried on in adapting the build- 
ing to consolidation than to any other feature. Transporta- 
tion, teachers' cottages, barns, the curriculum in relation to 
country needs, and the rural school as a community centre, 
have all been less on a dead level of mediocrity than the 
building. Educators have introduced or developed the 



former; educators, unfortunately, too frequently have little 
or nothing to say about planning and constructing . rural- 
school buildings. 

A man who has built a few barns and country or town 
houses frequently gets the contracts for architectural plans 
and construction. He knows nothing of education and has 
never heard of school architecture and expert school archi- 
tects. Often he cannot read blue-prints nor follow printed 
specifications. Frequently the State has done little or noth- 
ing to standardize and suggest good plans for school build- 
ings through the State school superintendent's office, al- 
though conditions in this respect are changin^g. The school 
directors blunder along in the dark and the results of their 
blundering stand as monuments to democratic stupidity at 
its worse for fifty years or more — woefully unadapted to 
country educational needs, crippling rural schooling at the 
very first, and growing worse each year with the progress of 
educational thought. It would really be far better if the 
school building could be constructed fifty years in advance 
of educational thinking rather than fifty to a hundred years 
behind it. 

To be sure, there are a growing number of hopeful ex- 
ceptions to the above statements. School architects who 
are specialists in their profession are becoming every day 
more in evidence. State laws and State departments of 
education are gaining more power over school-building 
operations; and a number of excellent examples of what 
consolidated rural-school buildings should be are in evi- 
dence in several States. The national government is also 
helping in schoolhouse improvement, and a great many 
valuable suggestions are being brought together by the 
National Bureau of Education and other organizations. 
Yet, on the whole, it is still very discouraging to look over 
the bulletins on school architecture prepared by most States 
for the help of school boards and note the poverty of con- 
structive ideas in evidence. 


Contrasting Consolidated and City Buildings. — The 
differences in purposes and conditions between the city and 
the consolidated school are worth noticing. Frequently 
overlooked, some of these distinctions which must be kept 
in mind may be summarized as follows: 

1. Land is more plentiful and available in the open 
country or adjacent to a village trading centre. The build- 
ing may spread out more and thus obviate the necessity of 
second and third floors and basements with their greater 
cost, needless stair-climbing, and sanitary and educational 
disadvantages. A one-story building with no basement 
and no part below ground is possible in the country and is 
educationally much to be desired. The city school is more 
or less of a monstrosity because it has had to adapt itself 
to too small a site. 

2. The building must provide for growth and exten- 
sions. The unit building plan must be utilized and plans 
for growth to the fullest consolidated size must be made at 
the outset. The one-story building makes these extensions 
rather simple. A two or three story building complete at 
erection is an architectural bar to building growth. The 
consolidated school of the future will probably be but one 
story in height. 

3. The rural-school building is commonly without fire- 
fighting departments within easy call, such as the city pro- 
vides, and must thus be constructed with particular adap- 
tations to the fire hazards. Two school buildings are now 
burning each day of the year. In the Collinwood fire, in 
a typical two-story building, one hundred and seventy-three 
children burned to death in a few minutes. The one-story 
plan is desirable here and this should be as completely fire- 
proof and panic-proof as possible. One row of rooms with 
a corridor about a large open space, and constructed largely 
of concrete, gives a good type of fireproof building. 

4. No city-water or lighting systems for the building will 
usually be available in the country and these will have to be 
supplied within the building itself as independent systems. 


5. Transportation for a number of children in school- 
owned automobiles or other vehicles and in private vehicles 
of all kinds will, in the complete consolidated plant, be in 
operation. The building should be adapted to the loading 
and unloading of children in such a way as to prevent ex- 
posure to rain, snow, and cold winds. Some have suggested 
that the building should be constructed with an arcade in 
order that the vehicles might drive right through the build- 
ing; but usually a driveway covered with a wide porch on a 
protected side, probably the south or east, will be sufficient. 
Buildings for storing the vehicles and any horses or other 
animals used will also be necessary. 

6. Modern country life is based on science, largely agri- 
cultural science and home science. AppHed botany, zo- 
ology, chemistry, and physics will be central subjects. 
These subjects require proper laboratories, beginning for 
the pupils at least with the fifth or sixth grade. These 
rooms require more than ordinary planning to meet country 
conditions. The old classroom in which country children 
were persecuted with studies such as Latin, Greek, German, 
French, algebra, and geometry will not be much in evidence. 
The rooms must be adapted and equipped for helping coun- 
try people solve country problems. 

7. The consolidated building serves more Junctions for 
the community than the city building. There is practically 
no institution frequently to compete with it. 

8. The city has many places for recreation and social 
meeting. The consolidated school is the only centre to 
which the whole community may turn for community-centre 
activities. The churches are for sections of the people; the 
school is for all. The auditorium is central in such a build- 

9. Similarly, the city has fine public libraries and many 
easily accessible opportunities for reading. The consoli- 
dated-school library for the entire community within the 
transportation area is essential. Such a room requires 
careful planning. 


10. The consolidated school is about the only public 
building in the open country. It should be attractive and 
dignified, in keeping with its high educational and social 
purposes. Beautiful grounds and suitable architecture are 
essential for this central civic institution. This does not 
mean high steeples, Grecian columns, and "gingerbread" 
decorations. Most rural-school buildings are hideous. It 
does mean simple beauty and appropriateness. 

11. In the city the high school j except at Gary, Indiana, 
and a few other cities, is separated from the elementary 
schools. Some cities have also separate buildings for the 
intermediate and junior high-school grades, sixth to ninth, 
or other combination. Manual training and domestic 
science are frequently given at central points in the city 
but not at every school. Pupils frequently have to go some 
distance to their athletic fields or school gardens. In the 
country, however, all these features can and should be 
combined in one school plant. High-school and elementary- 
school pupils are housed in the same building. All other 
features are concentred, consolidated. The laboratories, 
library, shops, and grounds can be used early in the ele- 
mentary school as they are in the Gary system. The audi- 
torium will be used by all for all. Each group can help the 
other. The school life of the child may be kept continuous 
rather than disparate. Everything must be adapted to 
this wider use. Along this line the consolidated school has 
a unique opportunity to work out experimentally a superior 
type of education for our democracy. The Gary plan and 
school plants may be studied with profit by consolidated- 
school leaders. Being in the city, so far, the Gary type of 
building is of two or more stories, but there are many features 
used by all the children. 

12. The school should be an object-lesson in its water, 
lighting, and toilet systems, and in its landscaping and other 
features. A pressure- tank, force-pump, gas-engine, or elec- 
tric motor, flush toilets, independent lighting system, and 


other modern features that should be installed on our farms, 
frequently go out from the consolidated school to the home- 
steads by the contagion of example. In the city these things 
are taken as a matter of course, in the home and in the 

13. In the city, too, the building must frequently be 
located without reference to light, noise, wind directions, 
etc., because of the small size and shape of the building lot 
available. In the country the long outsides of the class- 
rooms can be made to face the east and the west and thus 
obtain desirable sunlight and other factors and avoid the 
disadvantages of north and south exposure. In the South 
and the tropics the classrooms can be placed broadside to- 
ward the prevailing winds, such as the trade wind in the 
West Indies. Overhead lighting helps solve this problem. 

14. The consolidated school is a year-round plant for at 
least the younger children and the principal and his family. 
The building must be adapted to summer uses and must be 
built with the thought in mind that it is always to be under 
the watchful eye of the principal of the school. In foreign 
countries it is quite common for the home of the principal 
to be in the school building, a custom growing out of board- 
ing-school times and a wider use of the principal as a com- 
munity secretary arid leader. The one-story building with 
a single row of classrooms flanked by a corridor meets sum- 
mer conditions admirably because it is so open to the breeze. 
Care must be taken not to get the auditorium too much 
closed about by classrooms, although this may be neces- 
sary in cities. 

15. The building must be as inexpensive financially as 
possible. Our distribution and apportionment of the bene- 
fits of taxation are still so unequal and unjust that the 
locaKty has frequently to bear more than it should of the 
financial burden. Consequently, money comes hard and 
must reach as far as possible. High roofs and fancy dec- 
orations may well give way to more room for library, 


auditorium, laboratories, teachers' retiring-rooms, etc. The 
flat roof with some overhead lighting, not omitting plenty 
of window ventilation, may well become typical of the 
country school — a low, flat building it would seem to many 
until they were used to it and had been on the inside and 
seen its educational advantages. However, financial sacri- 
fice on the part of a community, with some county and 
State aid in putting up a first-class building, completely 
fireproof and thoroughly adapted to rural-life needs, is one 
as worthy as any to be made in this life. Many communi- 
ties are making noble sacrifices and are reaping almost 
immediately the full rewards of such sacrifices. 

1 6. One further difference may be noted in closing. 
The consoHdated school with possibly but one row of class- 
rooms and a corridor, or even with two and a corridor be- 
tween, may have bilateral or trilateral and overhead light-' 
ing, and thus have desirably wider and shorter classrooms. 
The unilateral-lighting fad has made schoolrooms too long 
and narrow for the best teaching. 

n. General Standards Applied 

Thus the consolidated rural-school building is unique and 
in a class of its own, requiring its own architecture and 
adaptations. Certain great standards that govern all schools 
should be applied, but in the main it is an original con- 
formity to new conditions and needs. The opportunity for 
careful experimentation and climatic and other adaptations 
is before us in this era of reconstruction. Great opportu- 
nities for American inventive genius are bound up in the 
consolidated-school building. 

The details of consolidated-schoolhouse construction can- 
not be entered into in this volume. The theme is one 
fit for a volume by itself. The writer has dealt with the 
matter at greater length elsewhere.^ Challman has dealt 

^In "Educational Hygiene," Scribner's Sons. See also the last chapter in 
this volume. 


briefly with the matter in his volume on **The Rural-School 
Plant" and in bulletins of the State Department of Public 
Instruction of Minnesota. *^ Healthful Schools," by Ayres, 
Williams, and Wood, and Dresslar's *^ Rural Schoolhouses 
and Grounds" and "School Hygiene" are suggestive. 
Betts and HalFs "Better Rural Schools" deals with the 
building problem. Most valuable are the actual schools 
that progressive leaders and communities are constructing, 
such as the Sargent and the Jordan schools described in 
this volume. The various plans of one-story and other 
buildings appearing almost monthy in the School Board 
Journal and the plans to be published in the large bulletin 
on rural-school consolidation by the Bureau of Education 
will prove helpful. Some of the advantages of the one- 
story type of building are given in our final chapter. 

Lighting and Orientation. — The whole problem of ven- 
tilation is as yet unsolved. Present scientific investigation 
has about proved that the important factors in good and bad 
ventilation are not the chemical composition of the air — rel- 
ative amounts of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and organic mat- 
ters — so much as its relative condition as regards movement 
of the air, temperature, and humidity. Other factors, such 
as relative amount of exercise of the occupants of a room, 
their physical condition, and clothing and bathing, enter in. 
Ventilation affects the heat-regulating mechanism of the 
skin rather than the lungs. Respiration and ventilation 
must be kept separate. Since windows are also wind-ows 
for wind as well as light to enter, the problem of lighting is 
inextricably bound up with ventilation, except in those as 
yet largely non-existent schools where a good fan system of 
ventilation is in operation every day of the school year. 

To avoid the shadows of the little fists of right-handed 
pupils on their writing, and for other reasons, we have as a 
standard to-day that at least most of the light of a class- 
room should enter from the left of the pupils as seated. 
Many schools have all the light of a room enter from the 


left and a number of educators have by various adminis- 
trative and publicity devices enforced the standard. But 
they tend to overlook the ventilation function of windows, 
or assume that *'the fans will be running all the year," or 
that sufficient movement of air is produced by opening 
windows on but one side of a room. Both assumptions are 
practically universally contrary to fact, and this strict uni- 
lateral-lighting fad has done much harm, not only in the 
tropics where Northern schools are copied but everywhere in 
our own country. The writer has dealt with the problem 
more at length in "The Case Against Unilateral Lighting" 
in the School Board Journal (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) for 
July, 1918, and "Summer School Sanitation" in The Amer- 
ican Journal of School Hygiene (Worcester, Massachusetts) 
for June, 191 8. The ventilation problem was dealt with 
under the title of "Changing Standards of Schoolhouse 
Ventilation" in the first-named journal for April, 19 19. 

In order to give each regular classroom of the typical 
elementary school size (about 24 to 25 by 30 to 32) the ad- 
vantages of largely left-hand lighting and east or west* 
sunshine, the typical building is coming to be one with the 
longer axis running north and south with a corridor be- 
tween the two rows of rooms. In the West, but one row of 
rooms with a long porch is a type. For hot climates the 
writer has advocated one or two rows of classrooms, end to 
end, covered by a single roof and flanked by porches on 
both sides and the whole at right angles to the prevailing 
winds. A single row of rooms is better than two rows with 
a hall between, for several reasons. 

High windows on the rear and right of the pupils we be- 
lieve are also desirable. These windows, about the size of 
the upper sashes on the left, are desirable for ventilation if 
not for light. Where there is a central corridor it will be 
very much better lighted by this system than by the uni- 
lateral-lighting plan. Of course the system provides cross- 
ventilation, the only kind possible much of the time, the 


breeze going entirely through the building across the cor- 
ridor. No injurious cross-lights or shadows are to be antici- 
pated by this plan. As suggested above and later, the 
classroom may be wider and shorter than the above dimen- 
sions and partly lighted from above. 

The windows on the left of the pupils should extend from 
about the level of the pupils' eyes entirely to the ceiling. A 
twelve to thirteen foot ceiling is high enough. These win- 
dows, five or six in number usually, should have as little 
space between them as possible and should extend from 
about six feet from the front of the classroom entirely to 
the rear of the room, and practically as a single window. 
Steel muUions instead of brick piers between the windows 
are best for this purpose. In some schools a large third 
sash or transom is used to get a full-length window. The 
sashes should usually be wide and with single panes of glass. 
The steel window is being widely used to-day. 

The single-sash windows on the rear and right may be 
about as close together as those on the left. If they are put 
on hinges at the rear (if opening to the outer air instead of 
into another classroom or cloak-room) and if those on the 
right are on pivots, top and bottom, these windows may be 
easily managed even if above the blackboard level, as they 
should be. In very hot climates or in rooms used for summer 
classes, ventilators which admit air but not light (horizontal 
boards set at an angle near together) may well be put in for 
ventilation, even in the front of the room. 

Overhead lighting may be utilized to good advantage in 
all one-story schools, but should not lead to fewer or closed 
windows on the sides, because this cuts down opportunity 
for natural ventilation, the only economical and practi- 
cable kind during warm weather. 

Shades. — The best shades are poor indeed. They fre- 
quently obstruct both light and air. The ordinary dark- 
green shade, which has become so common because of the 
theory that "green is good for the eyes," has ruined more 


eyes than it has helped, by making rooms dark and cave- 
like when pulled over the window in order to cut off the 
blinding rays of the sun. This color should practically 
never be used except for stereopticon purposes. Light tan 
is a much better color. The shade should be translucent, 
letting in plenty of light but toning down the intensity of 
direct rays. Cloth shades are probably the best for schools. 
The folding-shade has the disadvantage of cutting out light 
if pulled to the top of the window, since it can be folded no 
narrower than about a foot to eighteen inches in width. 
The roller cloth shade with the roller hanging by a single 
cord from the middle top of the window is good. The 
roller cloth shade with the roller attached at the ends to a 
cross-stick and this attached by a cord to the middle top of 
the window is the best the writer has seen for combining a 
number of advantages with the fewest disadvantages. 

Various hanging slat devices, like Venetian blinds, which 
are supposed to admit plenty of gentle air-currents and 
sunlight and to keep out too much light, wind, and rain, are 
splendid in theory but usually poor in operation. Teachers 
must be trained and supervised continually to keep shades 
properly adjusted for the best light conditions in these book- 
reading school-days. Defects of vision increase in prac- 
tically every school upward through the grades. It is time 
that this crime against childhood be stopped. 

Workrooms, libraries, laboratories, auditoriums, and 
other rooms should have plenty of light and be governed by 
about the same principles, although the different seating 
arrangements may make north or south light satisfactory. 
Below-ground rooms should not be tolerated in such schools, 
not even two or three feet below the surface. If this is 
avoided the lighting problem will not be serious. In a one- 
story building the auditorium and gymnasium wing is usually 
two stories in height and semi-detached. 

Ventilation and Heating Devices. — The consolidated 
school that deserves the name and is in a latitude where 


considerable heat must be furnished during the winter has 
a central heating-plant — vapor, hot water, steam, or hot 
air. The first three require a separate ventilating device 
and air-ducts through which air is forced by a fan run by 
steam, gas, or electricity. The hot-air furnace alone should 
not be relied upon entirely in cold climates, since the air 
must be overheated and made too dry. Radiators must be 
used also. The fan system is by far the best ventilating 
system — fan ventilation and the temperature of the in- 
coming air kept rather cool and stimulating and hot-water, 
vapor, or steam heating in classrooms. There is great danger 
of overheating the air in the fan-room, thus depriving it of 
moisture and the stimulation of coolness. Each system of 
this kind must have a thorough humidifying arrangement, 
its effect being to aid the body in eliminating excess heat. 

The air-washing system by which the air after passing 
through the fan is forced through a small room in which 
there is a shower of water forced out of brass nozzles in a 
fine spray or mist is necessary for humidifying and cleaning 
the air. In such a building the outlet ducts should be con- 
nected with the inlet ducts to permit of recirculation of air 
when desired. The plan has not been tried out yet to any 
considerable extent, but where tried saves about half the 
coal, takes out odors of the air from classrooms, puts in 
moisture, and gives the three great essentials of ventilation: 
moisture (about 50 to 70 per cent of saturation which can 
easily be measured by a simple hair hygrometer), tempera- 
ture (about 65 to 68 degrees, with above-stated humidity), 
and movement of the air (not drafts but perceptible mo- 
tion). Changing temperatures are more stimulating than a 
steady one. Perkins suggests several modifications of the 
usual heating and ventilating arrangements for one-story 
schools. Vernon suggests others. Some schools have elec- 
tric fans in the walls of each classroom, which force air 
through radiators into the rooms, under control of the 


Some schools use jacketed stoves, but these have no 
place in a real consolidated school. Of course the consoli- 
dated school frequently has to go through a period of in- 
fancy in which the school is small because of incomplete 
consolidation of the district, a small but growing popula- 
tion, etc. In such cases these stoves may be used but are 
not recommended for even a two-room building. Where 
there is a furnace for a central system and several rooms, it 
should usually be placed in a detached fireproof building, 
not in a basement. The small heating-pla»t behind the 
school building is best. Of course a good janitor and man- 
of-all-work will be provided for a real consolidated school. 

III. Rooms 

The Classrooms. — The standard classrooms are the 
most important features of a school building and nothing 
should be permitted to interfere with them in planning the 
architecture. Frequently an architect plans the outside of 
a building with respect to appearances and then puts rooms 
into such a structure wherever he can. A better plan is to 
provide the desired number of standard classrooms and add 
such high-school rooms, auditorium, etc., as are desired, and 
then make the exterior as attractive as possible consistent 
with good taste. Standard essentials come first. 

A very desirable form for the classroom is oblong with 
a cloak-room at the front end, behind the teacher ^s desk, 
where she may supervise it. The latter may be six to eight 
feet wide and have two doors entering the classroom, but 
none opening into the corridor or porch. Perkins has an in- 
teresting variation as shown in the accompanying plan with 
cloak-room at the rear. It leaves more blackboard space at 
the front. The size of the standard classroom is about 24 by 
32 ; but if the right-hand and rear-lighting plan recommended 
here is used, the room may be much wider and need not be 
so long. In fact, for even interior classrooms with the usual 
twelve to fourteen foot hall where there will be no light 



from the rear unless it be through high windows on both 
side walls of the cloak-room of another classroom, the room 

Floor plan of Holly high and elementary school, Holly, Mich. For the con- 
solidated school the editor recommends two spaces about the width of a 
classroom, or wider, between the two long corridors and the assembly- 
room, and wide, short classrooms. See his floor plan in the last chapter. 
Perkins, Fellows & Hamilton, architects, Chicago. 

may be about square, say 27 by 27. This is an advantage, 
since most teachers divide the pupils of the classroom into 


two sections, right and left; and the wider room makes 
each class group more compact and better to handle for 
recitation and for general management than three long 
rows of children on either side. A classroom seven rows 
of seats wide and six rows long is better than its opposite 
for most teachers and pupils. The personality of at least 
the ordinary teacher is of short range. The farthermost 
*'big boy" should be well within the magnetism of her per- 
sonality. Overhead lighting plus the bilateral or trilateral 
lighting here advocated makes a very wide classroom pos- 
sible. In fact, the customary standard dimensions given above 
(24 by j2) may well be reversed for educational purposes, and 
no less light, but more in most cases, for each pupil than in 
the "standard" unilateral-lighting plan be secured. What 
the best width is we do not attempt to say. We greatly need 
first-class experimental study, with easily modifiable rooms 
and types of porches, on these problems. See last chapter. 
The seats may well be of the movable kind for many edu- 
cational and hygienic reasons. Dresslar offers some good 
standards for seating in Monroe's "Cyclopedia of Educa- 
tion" (Macmillan). The writer inchnes strongly to mova- 
ble school furniture as opposed to the screwed-to-the-iloor 
variety. The blackboards should be of slate and prefera- 
bly four feet wide, low enough for the pupils and high 
enough for the teacher. They should extend around three 
sides of the room, front, between the cloak-room doors, 
right side, and rear. The ceilings should preferably be 
white and the walls light tan or cream color down to a level 
with the bottom of the blackboards, and dark tan or buff 
below. Other combinations that provide a light and cheer- 
ful room on even cloudy days are possible. The floor should 
be of hard non-splintering wood and double. If the build- 
ing is of two floors, at least the second-story floor should 
be soundproofed with deadening quilt of some kind. No 
platform is needed in the modern democratic school. Hard 
chalk only should be allowed. A large window should light 
the cloak-room. Reference to some of the best books on 


school hygiene should be made in planning the artificial 
lighting of schoolrooms. Not only the character of the 
light but the placing of the lights is important. In the 
high school, rooms of different sizes are desirable, and the 
cloak-room problem may be solved in another manner. One 
of the best ways is to provide a steel locker for each pupil. 
^ Other rooms. — A complete consolidated school, one that 
has grown up or has been made a complete plant from the 
start, will have also a good farm- carpentry room, a forge 
and auto-repair room, nature-study and agriculture room, 
home-economics room and lunch-room, applied chemistry 
and physics laboratories, a library, an assembly-room and 
study hall, a gymnasium, a teachers' room for each sex, a 
principal's office, a medical supervision and retiring room, 
and suitable classrooms for art and other subjects that re- 
quire special adaptation. A swimming pool has been found 
indispensable in rural consolidated schools of the west. 

The toilet-rooms will, of course, be indoors unless water 
is absolutely unobtainable. Even then chemical closets are 
better than the abhorred outdoor privies. Few schools will 
be placed in such locations as to be without plenty of water. 
A good septic tank, or cesspool, with a force pump run by 
a motor of some kind, and a large pressure- tank easily make 
modern sanitary toilets in most regions possible. They 
must also be placed in farm homes if the latter are to be 
redeemed from constant medieval drudgery, and the school 
must lead and set the pace. The toilets should not be in 
basements. There should be no basements, remember. 
They should be well lighted and of the very best. A good 
book on school hygiene which covers this phase of sanita- 
tion acceptably, such as Dresslar's book by that name, 
should be consulted. Note the location of toilets in the 
accompanying plans and the last chapter. They are well 
placed for convenience, separation of the sexes, future ex- 
tensions of the building, etc. 

These rooms cannot be too well lighted and adapted to 
sanitary requirements. The number of stools and urinals 


and their arrangement have all been worked out carefully 
and the best of modern help is none too good here. The 
old outdoor privy must be banished. It is only the incom- 
plete, unfinished consolidated school that has this, and it 
is questionable whether the school deserves the reputation 
of a consoHdated school with such pioneer inconveniences. 
The cost of first-class outdoor privies with concrete wells 
and septic tanks, such as are described in Dresslar's bulle- 
tin, '* Rural Schoolhouses and Grounds," for both sexes is a 
considerable share of the cost of an indoor water-system. 
The principal disadvantage of constructing such outdoor 
buildings at the outset of consolidation, aside from sanitary 
ones, is that they tend to prevent the installation of proper 
and modern facilities when the building is enlarged. 

Such privies, if found inescapable, should be models for 
those at the farms — absolutely flyproof, decent, comfort- 
able, screened by vines and hedge or bushes, and protected 
from vandalism. Usually such buildings at single-room 
schools cultivate typhoid-spreading habits, since frequently 
no toilet-paper is furnished, and no warm water, no paper 
towels, and no soap are available to make cleanliness and 
sanitation habitual. The outdoor toilet is far below mod- 
ern standards for even the single-room school and the best 
country homes. It certainly is entirely out of place at a 
consolidated school. The modern octuple presses of our 
city printing-plants which turn out a hundred thousand 
folded, complete newspapers an hour are not associated in 
the same building with the hand-press of Benjamin Frank- 
lin's time. Such presses as Franklin's are seen to-day only 
in museums. Yet at consolidated schools it is sometimes 
proposed to build outdoor toilets, even where a good water- 
system is easily available and there is no danger of pipes 
freezing at night. Up-to-date business scraps outgrown 
machinery and plans. The business of education in a 
democracy needs a large scrap-heap. Outdoor privies 
should be scrapped first. Septic tanks and, where neces- 


sary, cesspools are as much beyond the outdoor privy as is 
the rotary beyond the hand-press. See reference 12. 

The assembly-room is the centre of rural community 
life and of the consolidated school's activities. A school 
that does not come together daily, or at least two or three 
times a week, is hardly a school. It is a collection of sepa- 
rate rooms of pupils and teachers that cannot well be 
moulded into an organized, common-group consciousness, 
with a strong spirit of loyalty, responsibility, and common 
purposes. A rural community that does not meet thus at 
least once a month is not a community. It is a largely in- 
dividualistic collection of persons living in the same region, 
unorganized to a great extent and perhaps at variance with 
each other. 

The Gary school system uses the auditorium all day 
long. In the Froebel and Emerson schools at Gary the 
auditorium is a fine theatre with a large stage in each, with 
motion-picture apparatus, etc., and used by different groups 
of pupils all the day and week. The uses of these audi- 
toriums is described in the recent survey of the Gary schools 
by the General Education Board (New York) and in various 
bulletins and books on the Gary system. But the expense 
of such a room in the country is justified if it is used but 
three half-hours and one night a week. In a one-story 
building the auditorium can have a ceiling of any height 
and can thus extend well above the classrooms and secure 
light, ventilation, and assembly space. It should be thor- 
oughly fireproof and easy of access both from without and 
within the building. For evening use it should be so ar- 
ranged as to make possible freedom from interference with 
the classrooms, laboratories, etc. Usually the gymnasium 
may be in the same wing as the auditorium. It is hard to 
use a suitable auditorium as a gymnasium, yet it may be 
done where a sacrifice is necessary. 

In many schools this room can be utilized as a study 
hall and in some cases as a lunch-room. In small buildings 


two or three classrooms may be thrown together by movable 
partitions into one assembly-room. In some cases movable 
school desks are used, and in others, where schools are still 
using the old variety, the desks are screwed to strips of 
wood which rest on the floor. Thus three or four or more 
desks can be pushed out of the way to give room for chairs 
for adults. In some cases a space under a permanent stage 
is arranged for storing temporarily small desks and chairs. 
The assembly-room feature deserves a special bulletin of 
the government. We cannot take the space here to do more 
than mention and recommend some of the features which 
help to make the consolidated school building a productive 
rural educational plant. 

in. Good Buildings for Different Conditions 

Types of Buildings. — Remembering that a consolidated- 
school building in its infancy may be but a four-room build- 
ing and that it may be a long time in growing up, we realize 
that the types of buildings will range from the small three- 
teacher graded school with few rural-education conveni- 
ences up to those complete plants that vie in cost and scope 
with the best city schools. In standardizing consolidated 
schools these types must be arranged for. Standards for 
the building alone, for the building and entire site, and for 
the building, site, teachers, and instruction may be set up 
and promulgated and enforced. Plans for several different 
sizes of buildings must be prepared. All must be devised 
with reference to future extensions, both of classrooms and 
of the other features suggested above, such as assembly- 
room, gymnasium, high-school department, with labora- 
tories and library, agriculture and home-economics rooms, 
indoor toilets, etc. Plans now on foot would place the post- 
office in many schools of the country and make the post- 
master not only a community secretary, helping the school 
principal, but a community middleman for marketing and 



An attractive building and site. Room at ends for extensions to the 

A neat example of the two-story type with basement, 
provision for extensions 



purchasing commodities. Public libraries and voting-rooms 
are being provided in many city schools. 

We offer herewith some plans for schools of different 
sizes and educational scope. It is recommended that wher- 
ever possible the taxing and transportation area be made 
large enough at first to make possible the erection of not 
less than a four-room graded school with auditorium, hot- 
water or other central heat, indoor toilets of the water- 
flush type, a library, home-economics and agriculture rooms, 
and a teacher's room. To insure proper care of the build- 
ing and the full utilization and care of the plant, not less 
than fifteen acres of land should be purchased and a home 
for the principal teacher, preferably a man with a family, 
provided. Products of the farm should be at the princi- 
pal's disposal to add to his income. Transportation should 
be provided in school-owned automobiles. A good barn 
should be provided for housing vehicles and animals. This 
should stand as the minimum consolidated-school plant. 

Where the district at first brings in only pupils for two 
rooms, the other two classrooms suggested may be used in 
place of the agriculture and home-economics rooms, but 
there are serious disadvantages here. The equipment may 
require moving later, and if pupils are put into the rooms 
as regular classes, as the district grows in size and perhaps 
in population there may be no extensions provided for these 
most necessary features of rural education until a high 
school is needed. There will also be other types of build- 
ings of three kinds, namely, as to size, climatic variation, 
and inventive variation. New types will long continue to 
be invented. North Dakota and Louisiana will have con- 
siderable climatic differences. There will be almost as many 
types as to size as there are rooms and special features. 
There may also be one-story, one-story and basement, two- 
story, and two-story and basement types, but the one-story 
type should be kept if at all possible. There will also be 
types as to materials of construction and cost. These 



cannot be discussed. A further statement of the advan- 
tages of the one-story building will be found in the last 

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This is an elementary school devised by Perkins for a town. The auditori- 
um-gymnasium seems to be too closely surrounded for good natural ventilation. 

chapter. Help in school planning can usually be had from 
the U. S. Bureau of Education and from the State depart- 
ments of public education in the capital cities. No consoli- 


dated school should be erected without the full approval of 
the State department mentioned, and this should have in 
its employ a school hygienist who is conversant with the 
details of consolidated-school architecture and practical 
building problems in the State. 

Teachers should use every effort to secure truly educa- 
tional school plants and rigid supervision and inspection 
from the educational point of view. Most so-called con- 
solidated rural schools to-day are doomed to disappoint 
the community and teachers from the first by the lack of 
plant and equipment suited to the needs of the problem. 
Something may be reasonably expected from consolidation 
only when we have real consolidation. We can thresh grain 
with a flail but our results cannot be compared with those 
of the best modern threshing-machines. Let no one say 
consolidation is a failure until he knows not only what kind 
of teachers and curricula are used but with what kind of 
a building plant they are either helped or hindered. The 
well-set-up school plant contributes to the spiritual as does 
the well-set-up body. In the words of Browning: 

"And soul helps not body more 
Than body helps soul." 


1. What phases of the consolidated rural-school building need 

further explanation than here given? 

2. Describe in detail the method of providing a satisfactory water 

and toilet system (including drinking-fountains, wash-bowls, 
swimming pool, and sinks) for an eight-room consolidated 
school-building provided with a good well. 

3. Describe in detail a good artificial lighting system, preferably elec- 

tric, for such a school. 

4. What advantages and disadvantages do you see in the plan of 

having the auditorium, with possibly the library and some other 
special rooms, along the front of the building, and with the 
elementary school extending back from one end and the high 
school from the other U shape) ? See final chapter. 


5. Give a list of some of the best books to use in studying consoli- 

dated rural-school architecture. 

6. What educational magazine gives most attention to such archi- 

tecture ? 

7. What are the arguments for and against a lunch-room in such a 

school? Should the assembly-room be used as lunch-room or 
library? Why? 

8. Should the gymnasium and assembly-room be combined as the 

same room? Can they be combined satisfactorily? May the 
floor be of cement or composition material in the gymnasium 
and halls? 

9. Report on at least one of the one-story school buildings described 

and illustrated in the American School Board Journal. 
10. What are its advantages and disadvantages as a rural consoli- 
dated school ? 
Note : The final chapter may well be read before chapter X. 


1. Dresslar — "Rural Schoolhouses and Grounds." Government 

Printing Office. 

2. "School Hygiene." Macmillan. 

3. Rapeer — "Educational Hygiene." Scribner. 

4. "Standardizing the Rural-School Plant." School and 

Society for February 13, 191 5. 

5. Challman— "The Rural School Plant." Bruce Publishing Co. 

6. Bulletins on school architecture and on consolidation of schools 

published by many State departments of education. 

7. Ayres, Williams, and Wood — "Healthful Schools." Houghton 

Mifflin Co. 

8. Sargent — "Rural School Improvement in Colorado." Bulletin of 

the State College of Agriculture, Fort Collins, Colorado. 

9. A forthcoming bulletin on consolidation by the U. S. Bureau of 


10. Arp — "Rural Education and the Consolidated School." World 

Book Co. 

11. Perkins, D. H., architect, Chicago. Pamphlets on one-story 

elementary and high schools. 

12. Lumsden, L. L. — " Rural Sanitation." Public Health Bulletin No. 

94, of the U. S, Public Health Service, and published by the 
Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C. 


Preliminary Problems 

1. What are the principal advantages and disadvantages of requiring 

teachers to board with any who will keep them? 

2. What retarding influence, if any, has this plan had on rural schools? 

3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of providing a teacher- 

age for the principal of the consolidated school? 

4. Why should the principal usually be a married man who is em- 

ployed for twelve months in the year? 

5. What is the argument for providing school homes on school prop- 

erty for the other teachers? 

6. Do you know of any instance where such homes have been pro- 

vided for the man-of -all-work and caretaker of the school also? 

I. What Country Teachers Need 

The Present Status of Rural Teachers. — The annual 
wage of teachers is so far below a professional and necessary 
salary, not only in war-times and periods of rapidly advanc- 
ing prices, but at all times, that everything must be done to 
make the conditions of work and living as attractive as 
possible. The community must get together and obtain 
superior teachers at whatever cost and then must use every 
device possible to make them happy in their work. Good 
teachers must be treated as honored guests in the neighbor- 
hood. All gossip and petty, injurious talk and tattle about 
them must be rigidly stamped out. Never should the chil- 
dren be allowed to hear adverse criticism of teachers by 
parents and others. Loyalty to those who are trying to do a 
noble work, easily ruined, should be the watchword. The 
building and grounds should be made as inviting and at- 
tractive as possible not only for the children but for the 



teachers. There should be in each building teachers' rest- 
rooms for both sexes, furnished in a homelike way with 
easy-chairs and other comforts. 

Why does the country lose its best teachers to the city 
so rapidly, usually after they have served their apprentice- 
ship by practising on country children? Simply because 
the country has been so blind and stingy that it has saved 
pennies to lose dollars, stinted the children and teachers by 
a parsimony that stopped or reversed the wheels of progress, 
employed poor, unprepared teachers, given them meagre 
and unsatisfactory accommodations, and then wondered 
why "city folks" always get ahead of "country folks.'' The 
city that understands the problem attracts teachers and 
the country must do the same; for our democracy will not 
be "safe" with poor country teachers and superior city 

The Opportunity. — The consolidated school furnishes a 
rare opportunity to provide suitable working conditions. 
It also offers more promise than any other plan for the pro- 
vision of satisfactory living conditions. The consolidated 
school can provide a good building with all modern con- 
veniences for pupils and teachers, can give teachers good 
salaries and all the encouragement, hospitality, and loyalty 
desirable, and still fail to keep good teachers year after year 
in its service. In European countries this problem has been 
met by providing homes for teachers, or at least a home for 
the principal and his family, frequently as part of the school 
building. Many of the early schools grew out of the church 
and nearly all the schools for the upper classes were, until 
recent times, boarding-schools, institutions to which people 
came from a distance and remained day and night for weeks 
or months at a time. Frequently, too, the only church of 
the community abroad is provided for under the same roof 
as the school and teacher's home. 

It is customary in France, Germany, and elsewhere to 
find both the head teacher and his wife employed by the 


government to manage such a rural social centre even where 
the pupils come daily from their homes to the school. Where 
the church is a part of the general educational institution 
the district is usually all Catholic or all Protestant, and the 
Protestants are of but one sect, say Lutherans. The com- 
bined building is often a beautiful rural structure with a 
red-tiled roof showing from afar, and the principal is usually 
almost, if not quite, as important a man in the church, where 
he is frequently chorister, violin-player, or organist, and 
teacher of ethics and religion to the children. Where com- 
munities can abolish their sectarian differences, usually 
petty, if not actually based on superstitions long since dis- 
proved by science, why would it not be a good thing in this 
country to connect the general religious work of a community 
with the consolidated-school centre as at the Sargent school ? 

Photographs and floor plans of buildings for teachers' 
homes, entirely separate from the schoolhouses, in the Brit- 
ish Isles show an attractive architecture characteristic of 
modern England, and a consideration for teachers as highly 
important government officials that compels admiration. 
It seems strange that in this country we should have to 
invent the idea of the publicly provided teacher's home and 
have it grow from such primitive experiments as were carried 
on near Walla Walla in the State of Washington in the year 
1905. Many schools connected with churches as private 
ventures in our own country were long before this provided 
with a parsonage or teacherage for the teacher. 

In the experiment at Walla Walla, which seems to be a 
typical, if not the first, instance of the kind, the teacher for 
whom a home was provided was a public-school teacher. 
Unable to obtain board and room at the home of the only 
family that had been prepared and willing in the past to 
give teachers lodging, because the people had "moved to 
town to educate their children," this teacher made the as- 
sociation between an old cook-wagon she had noticed on a 
visit to the school community and a place in which to live. 

^ Doable Cottage 
S«c(Mtd floor 

A good type of teacherage 


She secured the wagon and in company with a small brother 
lived all year in this makeshift ''kitchenette apartment." 
Rain and cold assailed it and conditions were far from pleas- 
ant much of the time; but this hypothesis led the next 
summer to the construction of a neat two-room cottage in 
which this teacher lived two more years, when she went 
away to complete her schooling at college. Since then the 
teacherage movement has grown in Washington, and other 
States have provided "teachers' cottages," until, at this writ- 
ing, there are several thousand, both in connection with small 
one to three-room schools and with consolidated ones. The 
teacherage is highly desirable in many communities, but with 
the consolidated schools, especially those situated in the 
open country, it is indispensable to real consolidation. 

II. The Reasons Why 

The arguments for the provision of one or more teacher- 
ages at the consolidated school may be abbreviated as follows: 

I. Dignity and Independence. — Persons who must de- 
pend upon the hospitality of others in limited circum- 
stances cannot obtain the freedom and dignity necessary 
to a great profession. The teacher must have the home of a 
teacher, which must contain among other things a room for 
quiet study, with books, magazines, possibly a typewriter 
and duplicating machine of some kind (if only a hecto- 
graph); and further than this the teacher himself must 
be able to secure there certain periods of freedom from in- 
terruption, such as the life of scholarship and professional 
service necessitates. The teachers who are compelled to 
live as boarders in the homes of the people sometimes have 
very desirable surroundings and study conditions conveni- 
ent to the school, and frequently they learn much of the 
intimate life of their people that it is well that they should 
know. Yet this is not a stable, independent existence, such 
as could be obtained when the principal and faculty live in 
suitable homes provided by the school. Frequently the 


differences in standards of living of the farmer's family and 
the teacher lead to friction and misunderstanding. In 
order to do really professional work and hold up high 
standards the teacher should be enabled to develop well his 
own powers, support himself in dignity, and lead a self- 
respecting, superior life. The school home as a regular 
part of the educational plant helps to give the respectability 
of a definite social status in the community. The physician, 
the lawyer, the pastor, all have their homes. In the federal 
government service, wherever it is, and especially in for- 
eign countries, where it is hard to get satisfactory living 
conditions such homes are furnished to many officials. 
England and the United States have entered into a great 
development not only of single dwellings for government 
workers, but even of entire cities, well laid out and attrac- 
tively constructed, and these are for both clerical workers 
and other employees in munition factories. Wholesale strikes 
occurred or threatened at first at many great government 
plants because of impossible housing conditions. Since the 
erection of such cities the workers have been enabled to 
live peacefully, happily, and decently in their homes, as 
they should. No silly cries of paternalism, socialism, or 
other arguments have retarded these democratic govern- 
ments in such developments. The other government 
workers of the country must have standard living conditions 
also, and everything in and about their homes must likewise 
contribute to happiness, dignity, self-respect, and indepen- 
dence. The several admirable homes at the consolidated 
school at Franklin, New Jersey, are as much or more needed 
in our public consolidated rural schools managed by the 
government as in other important public work. They lift 
the profession to a higher standard. 

2. // Makes Possible a Fair Salary. — The first essential 
in improved rural education as clearly demonstrated in 
former chapters is a salary commensurate with both the 
cost of living and high types of principal and teachers. 


Many factors contribute to make the annual salary of 
country teachers far below what is necessary to procure 
professional educators. A small money salary in the coun- 
try seems larger by far than it actually is, since farmers get 
their annual salaries in other forms than money, such as 
house rent, fuel, food, transportation, and other factors of 
living. They handle less money by far than that which 
represents their entire living and income. Thus they come 
to regard a small salary as a big outlay. The homes for 
principals and teachers can be built at the consolidated 
school as part of the initial outlay for the school plant, and 
the difference in the total outlay, in bonds or otherwise, is 
not large. A thirty to sixty thousand dollar outlay is little 
increased by three to ten thousand dollars for teachers' 
dwellings. When erected, however, they, like the school- 
farm, provide a definite part of the annual income for the 
schoolmaster that lays little burden on the community and 
dispenses with much of the psychological agony which 
would annually attend the problem of paying a fair and 
sufficient salary, including house and farm rent. Just as 
the church with a parsonage is relieved of much struggle in 
money-getting and can procure better pastors, so the school 
will find itself at an advantage in obtaining good teachers 
if house and farm rent can be included with a fair salary. 
The city will then lose some of its advantage as it does now 
in those counties where country teachers get from five to ten 
dollars more a month than town teachers. 

3. Good Boarding Places Are Hard to Find in Many 
Rural Communities. — The location of the new type of con- 
solidated school must be determined scientifically in full 
consideration of many factors. It may be in the open 
country. A village may in time grow up about it; but at 
the time of erection no convenient boarding places are avail- 
able. The large and relatively expensive building and 
grounds need the solicitous care of one or more schoolmen. 
An ordinary caretaker is insufficient. In the open country, 


as at Franklin, New Jersey, tjie only thing to do is to pro- 
vide homes, even if they must be erected by a private 
building company, receiving a long lease from the school 
board. At other times there may be several convenient 
homes but no satisfactory accommodations. In many 
places the landowner has moved off his farm and has ''gone 
to town to educate his children,'' and the old farmhouse 
has either run down or a new and much smaller renter's 
house has been built. Tenantry management does not pro- 
vide the type of household of the old days. In other cases 
the distances to the homes are too great, and while teachers 
might ride long distances each day in the school hacks or 
busses, this would be unsatisfactory and undignified com- 
pared with a government home on the school property. 

In the reports of State superintendents of public in- 
struction and in the several pamphlets published on the 
school manse, the teacher's cottage, or whatever it is called, 
there are many dark pictures painted of the unsatisfactory 
conditions of boarding out in the homes of the pupils or 
others of the district. Frequently teachers resign because 
of the impossible living conditions to which they must sub- 
mit. The people of this country are to be commended for 
their hospitality and care of teachers in their homes. They 
have usually given them the best they have. In former 
days they even "boarded the teacher 'round," as described 
in ''The Hoosier Schoolmaster," by Eggleston. But coun- 
try life is changing; the teachers are changing in their 
standards and ideals and standards of living; and the de- 
mands of the times are increasing. Without painting the 
black picture of how much below the right living standard 
for the country many teachers are compelled to live, when 
their domiciles should instead be fine examples of what is 
possible, we leave this argument with only a mention of 
some of the sources of dissatisfaction with the boarding 
place: the poorly chosen food unsuited to brain- workers and 
perhaps to any workers, poor cooking of the food furnished, 


uncultured people, no room in which to study, and no pri- 
vacy, no opportunity to entertain friends, the necessity of 
regulating hours of eating, rising, and going to bed by those 
of the farm instead of by those of school Hfe, etc. Where 
the consolidated school is located in a trading centre village 
or adjoining one the problem is not so great, but many con- 
siderations still point to the advisability of considering as a 
necessary part of the school plant the homes of the teachers. 
4. The Teacherage as an Example. — The teacherage pro- 
vides a possible example of a good country home. We have 
experimental and demonstration farms and stations in many 
sections of the United States and we need them in every 
rural community. The consolidated school and home must 
have a modern water-supply system from springs, wells, or 
cisterns and supplied by gravity, pressure-tank, engine- 
pump, or other method. This home should be a model in 
kitchen, bathroom, outdoor, and barn conveniences. The 
architecture of the home should set a standard for the com- 
munity and should be adapted strictly to local conditions. 
It is hardly possible that a cottage for Arizona, Florida, 
California, Missouri, Maine, and Montana should be the 
same. A good plan for one region might be a poor one for 
another. Of course, the home must be for a schoolman's 
purpose as well as for a farm-home example. Where a farm 
is provided the home can be a real farmhouse. Otherwise 
numerous compromises must be made between adaptation 
to school and farm uses. The home-economics depart- 
ment of the school must always find the cottage a good 
place for demonstration of modern domestic science and 
art. Any one who has seen farmers^ wives tramp through 
such a school home on opening day by the hour and any 
one who has seen the daily demonstrations of modern 
planning, decoration, and home-management devices in 
these schools, either established independently or partially 
endowed by the General Education Board, will realize the 
important function of the school-farm home as a demon- 



stration and domestic experiment station. The home is 
justified on these grounds alone. 

"^"^'-""V^^ ^/^ 

An Artistic 
and 8ubttantt« 
■lly^Built P*nn ^^ 

Residence of " ^^ 
Moderau Cost 



riast>>ru}OP Plan 

Artistic home for the progressive farmer. Teacherages lead to such homes 
by the force of example 

5. Full-Year Service. — The home helps to make possible 
year-round service. Former chapters have emphasized the 


desirability of service for twelve instead of from three to 
ten months a year. Home projects must be carried out 
largely in the summer, a costly school plant requires care 
in summer as in winter, the people need their meetings and 
recreation at the school centre as in winter. The principal 
should be at work on his own school-farm and should be in 
intimate connection with the work of the county agent, the 
teacher of agriculture, the experiment-station workers, and 
other experts on farm problems. Moreover, teachers have 
to eat and meet the high cost of living just as other people 
do in summer as well as in winter. When we get year- 
round workers and year-round salaries we may hope to get 
into rural-school work permanent, skilled workers who, as 
the years go by, can be of increasing service both winter 
and summer. The varied work that has been done in 
summer projects in Cook County, Illinois, and other 
places is suggestive of increased developments of this kind 
in the future. The consolidated school is a year-round in- 
stitution with its work closely related to the needs of the 
people at all seasons of the year. The teacher's cottage 
makes it easy for the community to retain expert services 
in educational leadership twelve months in the year. Vaca- 
tions can, of course, be more easily provided for teachers 
and principals when most convenient for the community. 

6. The Elimination of Gossip. — The school home helps 
eliminate gossip and small talk about teachers that fre- 
quently arises when they are scattered about among the 
homes of the community. The teachers are supposed to be 
an educated, cultured, honorable group of people, living up 
to high standards and free from many of the artificial re- 
strictions and customs inherited from previous times in- 
tended to hedge about and to guard relatively ignorant and 
uncultured youth and older people. The college or normal 
school graduate would like to live a life where he can apply 
himself with whole-souled devotion to his task, free from 
the danger of gossip which constantly threatens teachers 


ana other put)lic officials. The one, two, three, or more 
homes on the school campus provide a place somewhat re- 
moved from this menace and irritation caused by differ- 
ences in standards and occupations. The present term of 
service of rural teachers in one school is very short, Kttle 
over one school year. Gossip on the part of patrons, teach- 
ers, and others is one of the chief reasons given for moving 
on. A degree of seclusion, professional association with 
other members of his craft, and abihty to live a life accord- 
ing to his own standards, yet with full respect for and 
deference to country standards, will help save many a teacher 
for a number of years of service to the community. The 
typical rural teacher to-day is, unfortunately, a young girl, 
a novice in the service, with barely a high-school education, 
who will stay in the work but two to four years. Half of 
the more than two hundred thousand rural teachers have 
not so much as a high-school schooling, and the whole stand- 
ard of what the rural educator must be is, therefore, ludi- 
crously low. No other business in the world would succeed 
on such a basis. The standards for public-school service 
should be at least equal to those of banking, grocery, and 
drug-store work, and farming itself. Young girls in their 
teens cannot be typical of public-school workers, neither 
can immature young men, or older men who may know 
farming but not the teaching profession. Married men 
with families in any business make possible a solid founda- 
tion of first-class service and lasting efficiency. The condi- 
tions of living in the teaching profession must be adapted 
to make possible a settling down in the work on a perma- 
nent, life-work basis. The home for the principal and his 
family promotes this elevation of the profession, and of 
course other cottages can be provided, as they now are in 
some places, for other married teachers. Marriage here 
between teachers need not mean their elimination from the 
profession. The teachers' home or homes for unmarried 
teachers of each sex, with long terms of service, naturally 


promote that acquaintanceship that leads to marriage, 
which is rather to be encouraged, as it is abroad, than con- 
demned by the community. The teacher is to become a 
normal adult member of the community in which he lives, 
broadly socially efficient, not a transient young celibate 
employed at a servant's wage for a short time. The con- 
solidated-school home is the best means yet devised for 
promoting this noxinality and efficiency of living. That 
such homes can be provided for other workers, such as 
janitors and drivers of school hacks or motor-busses, goes 
without saying. In some cases old school buildings can be 
utilized and remodelled; in others the boys in farm car- 
pentry can build one or more cottages; in other instances 
building companies may be given land leases and permitted 
to charge rents; and in others the school board may erect 
the cottages, as in most cases they should. 

8. Easy to Obtain. — The cottages are not as difficult to 
obtain as may be imagined. As suggested above, the 
needed increase in the bond issue or tax levy to secure cot- 
tages in a community possessing upward of a half million 
dollars in taxable wealth is not great. Outside companies, 
or student or adult volunteer labor may be utilized. I have 
seen admirable concrete, wood, and brick structures put up 
by students of no higher grade than those attending a con- 
solidated school. Frequently old schools may be utilized 
in one way or another, and sometimes the land obtained as 
a site may have on it an old rural home and outbuildings. 
When the national and the State governments come to the 
rescue of public education for such features with large fi- 
nancial appropriations, as they must (and are now coming 
for vocational education), a large share of the cost of such 
homes may be borne by the people generally. Education 
to-day is a national as well as a State function. 

9. A Visiting and Social Centre. — The teacher *s cottage 
may be made a dehghtful visiting and social centre apart 
from the school itself. When the teacher is either a boarder 


or comes into the district from a city each Monday and 
leaves promptly each Friday afternoon, there is hardly any 
family visiting with the teacher. Such contact is the prin- 
cipal bond of sociability in rural regions, and when the 
school teachers are cut off from it, a chasm exists between 
the "school people" and the "country people." We have 
read a number of interesting accounts of how teachers' cot- 
tages, even in connection with single-room schools, have 
been used to bring young and old together occasionally in 
small groups and thus closely bind the school to the life of 
the community. One principal reported that twice during 
the year his family had entertained the pupils of the high 
school and eighth grade, including some young people not 
members of the school. He could not have afforded to do 
this entertaining, he said, if he had been required to pay 
rent in a private dwelling. Pupils and parents drop in occa- 
sionally at such a cottage for a social visit, to play and sing 
the good old community songs at the piano, and to meet 
the teacher on the familiar footing of a man rather than a 
schoolman. There can be no doubt that this simple social 
function of the consolidated-school home is of prime im- 
portance to the success of the institution as a rural edu- 
cational force. 

10. ^ Happy Life. — Finally, the school home helps to 
make the teachers happy in their work. A group of like- 
minded people, highly trained, and at work in a nerve- 
straining profession, can become either very miserable or 
very happy. It is the duty of the rural-school boards to 
provide for the happiness of their workers, since they thereby 
increase greatly the efficiency of the work which they do. 
Social happiness is the goal of life for teachers as well as 
farmers. If a small addition to the general cost of the 
consolidated-school plant will add greatly to the happiness 
of the teachers and their famihes, giving them a settled, 
dignified social position in the community where they can 
live, teach, farm, and rear their families in ease of mind and 


with reasonable comfort, farmers will not deny their most 
important officials the right to life, liberty, and the pur- 
suit of happiness which they claim as their own. Those 
who have most to do with the very characters, lives, future 
happiness and ability to promote social happiness through 
social service, of their boys and girls, the progressive country 
family will support in their effort to perform this service 

In general summary, the ten arguments settle the claims 
for the school home as a regular part of the consolidated 
rural-school plant, and meet the objections which some 
may bring against it. 

III. The Prospects Good 

Doctor George E. Vincent, President of the General 
Education Board, New York, formerly President of the 
University of Minnesota, reports as follows on the teacher- 

A teacher's house or school manse is peculiarly necessary to the 
success of the consolidated rural school, which, it is now agreed, is 
to be the typical country school of the future. There should be built, 
in connection with the consolidated school, on the same grounds 
with the school building and heated by the same plant, a permanent 
house for the use of the teaching staff. This building should con- 
tain a wholly separate apartment for the principal and his family, 
living-room and bedrooms for the women teachers, laundry, kitchen, 
etc. It should be equipped with a view to providing in the com- 
munity a model of tasteful and economical domestic furnishing and 
decoration. The rentals and other charges should be so regulated 
as to provide for the maintenance, insurance, repairs, and renewals 
of equipment, but not for a sinking fund. The house should be re- 
garded as a part of the school plant and included in the regular bond 
issue for construction. A privately owned manse in Illinois is net- 
ting eight per cent on an investment of $10,000. 

The manse has a bearing in several ways upon the educational 
work of the school. Flowers and vegetable gardens are natural 
features of school premises which are also residence quarters. The 
domestic-science work of the school can be connected in valuable 



ways with the practical problems of manse management. The cost 
accounting offers a capital example of bookkeeping. The use of the 
school as a community centre is widened and its value enhanced. 
The school as an institution takes on a more vital character in the eyes 
of the countryside. 

Most of all is the effect upon the teacher. Comfortably heated, 
well-lighted quarters, comradeship with colleagues — and at the same 
time personal privacy — a satisfying, co-operatively managed table, 
independence of the petty family rivalries of a small community, a 
recognized institutional status, combine to attract to the consolidated 
rural-school manse teachers of a type which will put the country 
school abreast of the modern educational movement. It is futile to 
preach the gospel of sacrifice for the cause of rural education. There 
is no reason why rural teachers should be called upon to sacrifice 
themselves. They ought not to do it, and they will not do it. The 
school manse is not a fad, nor a luxury; it is a fundamental necessity. 

The General Plan. — The architecture and location of 
the home, or homes, should be pleasing and convenient. 
A landscape artist should plan the location and beautifica- 
tion of the various buildings, the farm, the playgrounds, 
and other features. If the principal's home alone is con- 
structed at first, space in the ground-planning should be 
left for the other homes for teachers and men-of-all-work 
about the school plant. The school building also should be 
erected with the future extensions plotted so that the whole 
plant and site will be planned with reference to possible 
future developments. Many general designs for such plants 
have been printed in the reports of various State superin- 
tendents and students of this question. The United States 
Bureau of Education has a model of a complete plant which 
was exhibited at the Pan-American Exposition, and is 
published in its volume on the exhibit there. A reproduction 
of it will be found in the last chapter of this volume. With 
not less than twenty acres of land, a school building as de- 
scribed in Chapter IX, and modern homes for teachers and 
caretaker, such exhibits might well be set up in every county 
seat. One of these may be taken and adapted, or used 


merely as a suggestion. Our plea here is for forward look- 
ing and consistent planning, which at present is an almost 
entirely absent quantity in the work of perhaps most school 
boards in the United States. 

Herewith we present a few suggestive plans with photo- 
graphs of exteriors of school homes that have been erected. 
The best is not too good for the teacherage. Less than the 
best is a poor investment if it is to function as an example 
and an inspiration or the contrary to country folk for fifty 
or more years. Enterprising communities will soon go far 
beyond what has already been done in this new and very 
interesting line of development in American rural education. 


1. Josephine Corliss Preston — "Teachers' Cottages in Washington." 

Bulletin No. 27, 191 5. Olympia, Washington. 

2. "Cottage Homes for Teachers." Southern School Journal^ 24 : 11- 

12, May, 1913. 

3. Southern School Journal, 24 : 11-13, July, 191 3. 

4. Mary B. Flemington — **The Teachers' Boarding Place." Amer- 

ican School Board Journal, 50 : 18, February, 191 5. 

5. "Homes for Rural Teachers." North Carolina Educationy 9 : 18, 

March, 191 5. 

6. Mrs. Percy V. Pennybacker — "Need of Teachers' Homes." 

Ladies' Home Journal, 32 : 25, February, 191 5. Illustrated. 

7. "Teacherage." Ladies' Home Journal, 31 : 5, September, 1914. 

8. Mrs. Mary I. Wood— "The School Manse in Reality." Ladies' 

Home Journal, 32 : 25, February, 191 5. 
Other publications which will be found particularly helpful in 
this connection are: 

9. Fletcher B. Dresslar — "Rural Schoolhouses and Grounds." 

Bulletin, 1914, No. 12, U. S. Bureau of Education. 

10. Wm. L. Hall — "Tree Planting on Rural School Grounds." Farm- 

ers' Bulletin, No. 134, U. S. Department of Agriculture. 

11. A. C. Monahan and Adams Phillips — "The Farragut School." 

Bulletin, 1913, No. 49, U. S. Bureau of Education. 

12. A. C. Monahan — "The Status of Rural Education in the United 

States." Bulletin, 1913, No. 8, U. S. Bureau of Education. 
13. "County Unit Organization for the Administration of 


Rural Schools." Bulletin, 1914, No. 44, U. S. Bureau of Edu- 

14. R. S. Kellog — "Teachers' Cottages." The National Lumber Manu- 

facturers' Association. 

15. L. L. Lumsden, M.D. — "Rural Sanitation." U. S, Government 

Printing Office. 


1. Look up the work and success of the General Education Board 

in establishing model consolidated-school plants, including 
teacherages, in various parts of the country, as at Alberta, 
Minn. Should teacherages be rented by school boards or pro- 
vided free or as part of the salary? 

2. In the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social 

Science, September, 191 7, President Vincent, as quoted above, 
shows what a profit a private corporation is making on a teach- 
erage costing $10,000. Would it be desirable to encourage 
building firms to put up such teacherages adjoining consolidated 
schools and rent them to teachers? 

3. Report on the Alberta teacherage, gathering data from several 

sources, such as a letter to the principal, Arp's book on "Rural 
Education and the Consolidated School" (World Book Co.), etc. 

4. Get reports on the teacherage, teacher's cottage, or school manse, 

from such States as Washington and Texas, each with several 
hundred teacherages at this time of writing. Select the best type 
for your part of the country and give reasons for selecting it. 

5. What advantages and disadvantages would accrue from having 

such a teacherage as the one at Alberta in connection with a 
consolidated school situated, not in the open country, but in a 
village trading centre? 

6. What help can you obtain in settling on the best type of teacher- 

age from your State Board of Education or the U. S. Bureau of 


Preliminary Problems 

1. What are some of the chief advantages and disadvantages of pupils 

walking to the one-room schools? 

2. What effect does it frequently have on attendance? On health? 

On morals? On punctuaHty? 

3. What is the difference in these respects arising from transportation 

of the right kind? 

4. In what ways may consolidation be a means of obtaining better 

roads ? 

5. What regular routes of wagon and automobile travel and trans- 

portation are maintained throughout the year by the government 
post-ofhce and other agencies? 

I. When Transportation Is Necessary 

Public transportation of pupils is not always a neces- 
sary part of the programme of consolidation. It depends 
upon the size of the district to be served by the consoli- 
dated schools. If the district is not greater than 10 square 
miles, and nearly as wide as long, with the school located 
near the centre of the territory, no child under ordinary 
conditions would live beyond walking distance. A square 
3 miles on the side would contain 9 square miles of terri- 
tory, 80 per cent of which would be within 1.5 miles of the 
centre. No point of the square would be farther away 
from a school if located at the centre than 1.73 miles. Of 
course the distances by travelled roadways would be greater 
than this. If no rural school served a territory of less than 
9 miles, however, there would be but approximately one-half 
of the present number of rural schools in the half of the 
United States east of a line extending north and south to 
our borders, through the centre of Nebraska and Kansas. 



In many parts of the United States (in most of the 
strictly farming country) districts larger than 9 square miles 
will have to be taken to secure enough children to make a 
school large enough to require the services of three or more 
teachers — the minimal number of teachers if the school is 
to be really satisfactory. To obtain large enough taxing 
areas to provide not only sufficient pupils but enough money 
to provide a first-class school plant and upkeep, a larger 
area is desirable. Transportation then becomes necessary, 
although there are many consolidated schools in all parts 
of the country serving much greater or larger districts than 
9 square miles that do not furnish public transportation, 
the parents making such arrangements as they see fit to get 
their children to school. 

II. Requirements 

Importance of Satisfactory Transportation. — Without 
doubt the question of transportation is the most difficult 
one connected with the consoHdation of schools. The 
transportation furnished must be absolutely satisfactory or 
there will be constant dissatisfaction with the school. Fifty 
years of experience in transporting country children to pubUc 
schools in the United States has shown quite definitely the 
essentials that must be provided if the transportation is to 
be satisfactory. These essentials are: 

1. A route not too long to be covered in reasonable 

2. A definite time schedule for each wagon. 

3. A comfortable and safe vehicle. 

4. A satisfactory driver. 

The Transportation Route. — The length of the satis- 
factory route cannot be stated in miles — the important con- 
sideration is the time element, and this of course depends 
upon many things besides the distance. No route should 
be longer than can be covered under average conditions in 
45 minutes, or in bad conditions in about an hour. This 


means usually with good roads and horse vehicles not over 
6 miles. If automobiles are used, the distance may be 

The transportation wagon should run on a fixed schedule, 
leaving certain points along the route at the exact time 
announced. Children will then know at what time to 
leave their homes to meet the wagons without being re- 
quired to stand and wait. Wagons should not wait for the 
children if they are not at the proper places on the scheduled 
time. The condition of the road should not be allowed to 
interfere with the schedule; the contract with the driver 
should require him to furnish the necessary ''horse-power" 
to get through on time. Of course, two different schedules 
may be arranged — one for good travelling and one for the 
bad road season. Where children live off the road at some 
distance a small shelter-house may be erected. A mail and 
parcel-post box may be placed in the shelter. 

Whether the wagons should follow the main highways 
or should go to the homes to pick up the children is a ques- 
tion which has caused considerable trouble. In the early 
experiments with transportation, the conveyance was from 
the abandoned school building to the new school, the 
children assembling at the old building. Later, starting- 
places were established at points nearer the homes of the 
children who lived farthest away from the school, and the 
other children were picked up along the route. To settle 
difficulties which arose over arranging the routes nearer to 
one home than to another, the practice began of having the 
school wagons leave the main road and travel in and out 
byways to the homes. Such practice lengthens greatly the 
time required to cover the route, and is never satisfactory. 
The most satisfactory plan is to arrange the routes in such 
a manner as to accommodate the majority of children, re- 
quiring all to meet the wagon at fixed places along the 
route. For children living more than a mile from any route 
special arrangements must be made. A suggestion is given 


later in discussing the practice more or less common of 
paying the parents who provide transportation for their 

The Wagon. — A comfortable and safe wagon is ab- 
solutely necessary. In the earlier days districts did not fur- 
nish wagons, leaving the matter to the persons awarded the 
contract. This necessarily limited the number who would 
undertake the job, as the cost of a satisfactory wagon was 
too great. It resulted in the employment of unsatisfactory 
drivers and in the use of many unsatisfactory conveyances. 
Now the majority of schools own the wagons, hiring the 
drivers, who furnish the teams. Some of the essentials of 
a good wagon are given below. So important is the kind of 
wagon that Minnesota, which gives special State aid to assist 
transportation, requires the use of wagons answering definite 
specifications as a condition upon which State aid is received. 

Essentials of the Wagon. — The wagon must be well built, 
strong, safe, and warm. It must be covered and equipped 
with side-pieces to keep out wind and storm. Glass sides 
are much better than curtains, since the children then 
never sit in semi-darkness, and in addition they can see the 
country as they pass along. This results in better conduct. 
Doors should be provided at both ends, and the front wheels 
should " cut under," making turning easy. The best wagons 
are built so that the driver sits inside with the children. 
He is then in a position to require proper conduct and con- 
versation on the part of the boys and girls under his charge. 
In cold weather the floor is covered with rugs or with straw, 
and lap-robes are provided. Often wagons are heated by 
coal or oil stoves placed sometimes inside and sometimes 
outside, and under the wagons. Footstones or planks of 
hardwood are sometimes used, being heated by parents at 
their homes in the morning, and again on the school stove 
for the return trip. In the West bags of heated wheat are 
sometimes used. Artificial heat, however, is unnecessary 
except in extreme cold, or on long routes. 


The Driver. — Among those who have had experience 
with transportation in school wagons and in other public 
carriers, the sentiment seems to be much in favor of the 
wagon when properly managed. The trip in the steam or 
electric trolley car is made more quickly and in greater com- 
fort, but the conduct of the children on public carriers is 
not always so satisfactory as in school wagons where com- 
petent drivers are employed. The children recognize the 
right of the school directors to dictate their conduct while 
they are riding on wagons owned or leased by the school 
and driven by men or women who have the same authority 
over them as their teachers. When riding in other public 
carriers, children, as a rule, feel that they are outside the 
authority of the school directors. 

Satisfactory transportation is obtained only when com- 
petent drivers are employed. Great care must be taken to 
select drivers who are trustworthy, temperate, careful, and 
whose words will be respected and obeyed. In some in- 
stances, older schoolboys living near the end of the route 
drive the wagons, keeping the teams in the vicinity of the 
school during the day. The plan is seldom satisfactory. 
In many cases wagons are driven by women, particularly 
during the busy seasons on the farm. In bad weather their 
places are taken by their husbands. This arrangement is 
usually satisfactory. The use of a farm teamster or ''hired 
man" is not to be recommended. Whenever a parent of 
one or more of the children transported is employed the ser- 
vice is usually satisfactory. 

As evidence of the importance of proper wagons and 
drivers the following from the Carnegie Foundation Report 
on Education in Vermont is given: 

In places where transportation has not been satisfactory the diffi- 
culty is often due either to the driver or to the conveyance. Parents 
charged that a rough boy driver had taught their boys to smoke, and 
tolerated and even encouraged disorder. Older drivers were sometimes 
intoxicated. Satisfaction almost always follows when a driver is 


either a father or a mother of some of the children. A second source 
of difficulty is the type of wagon or sleigh used. Wagons may be so 
crowded that the children are uncomfortable. . . . Sometimes other 
loads also are carried, and the children are made to walk up hills and 
over bad roads. Sometimes sufficient blankets are not supplied. 
The greatest satisfaction has been experienced with the ''school 
barges" purchased by some of the towns. For fall and spring these 
are spring wagons with top and sides curtained for protection from 
rain and sun. The seats extend along the sides and are cushioned. 
For winter use there are sleighs with closed tops. In none of those 
observed was there provision for heating, but the drivers had often 
procured soapstone or pieces of hardwood, which they heated over 
the school stove and placed at the feet of the pupils on their way 
home. These same objects were heated in the homes of the pupils 
in the morning and used on the way to school. 

The following also in reference to Vermont, but not 
from the report just quoted, is further evidence: 

It is gratifying to report that several towns during the past bien- 
nium have purchased barges specially constructed for the conveyance 
of school children. In consequence the opposition to consolidation 
in those towns has been greatly reduced, as parents in general are not 
so much exercised over the question of transportation as they are 
over the kind provided. The experience of those towns which have 
provided proper and comfortable conveyance ought to be suggestive 
to the towns which have not so provided. 

The Automobile for Transportation. — The automobile 
is being used in large numbers for transportation of school 
children in many sections of the country, particularly in the 
Eastern States and in California. It is exceedingly satis- 
factory under proper management, and with good roads 
much more rapid than the horse-drawn vehicle. In many 
instances where ''auto-busses" are used, it is found neces- 
sary to use horses and sleds during the heavy snows, and 
wagons for a short while during the muddy season. This 
plan is very feasible, since the time of the year when the 
automobile cannot well be used is the time when farm 
teams have the least work and can be obtained most easily. 

In several places where automobiles are used one car 


brings to the school each day two separate loads. The 
writer is familiar with a consolidated school located at a 
cross-roads. There are no children on the road to the north. 
Twenty-five children from the west are brought in in one 
wagon. There are thirty on the road to the east, the 
farthest living 4 miles from the school. An automobile-bus 
leaves the end of this route at 8 o'clock, reaching school at 
8.30. It immediately departs to the south to the end of the 
route 3 miles away, bringing in on the return trip twenty 
children, who arrive at the school before 9.10. School opens 
at 8.45 and closes for those on the route from the east at 
3.00 p. m., for the others at 3.30. The first period in the 
morning and the last in the afternoon are devoted to indus- 
trial work, so that the "graded" work is not in any way in- 
terfered with by the absence of part of the school these two 
periods. In many places, of course, automobiles are used 
every day in the school year, are heated by the exhaust, 
and are entirely satisfactory. In numerous consolidated 
areas the automobile is displacing the wagon. 

Transportation and the Roads. — Transportation is, of 
course, much easier in a district with good roads than in 
one with bad roads, and there are many roads in the coun- 
try so bad that transportation of school children is impossi- 
ble over them during certain seasons of the year. However, 
if the roads are good enough for the children to pass over 
on foot they are passable for wagons, and the wagons would 
bring them to the school with dry feet and clothes. In 
muddy and wet weather many children who walk to school 
over bad roads are required to sit with wet feet during the 
day. Much ill health is undoubtedly due to this exposure. 

The large number of wagons used in all parts of the 
country, and over all sorts of roads, is the best evidence that 
the consolidated school with public transportation may be 
established in a section with poor roads. Mr. J. B. Eggle- 
ston, formerly State superintendent of Virginia, speaking of 
the success of transportation in that State, says: 


During the fifth year (191 2) of this policy we have over 200 
wagons running in all sections of the State and under almost every 
possible condition. We have routes as long as 8 miles and as short 
as 2>^ miles. We have wagons on good roads and bad roads, on level 
roads and mountain roads, on rocky roads and sand roads, on mac- 
adam roads and red-clay roads. We have transportation wagons 
of the latest and most modern type, and we have ordinary farm- 
wagons fitted up for the new and precious freight. We have one- 
horse and two-horse wagons, and in one instance we have a four-horse 
transportation wagon, or "kid cart," as it is called, which hauls be- 
tween 45 and 50 children to school every day. 

The Minnesota commissioner of rural schools says: 

For a considerable period of years, too, children have been suc- 
cessfully transported in this State, in widely separated portions, under 
road and weather conditions about as favorable and about as unfa- 
vorable as the State affords. Personal investigation of the situation 
has shown that transportation in Minnesota is entirely practicable 
and generally satisfactory. 

Nothing stimulates good-road building like the necessity for road 
travel. Consolidation has fairly intoxicated communities with a 
zeal for road-building. Some districts still have very poor transporta- 
tion routes; but many miles of road previously impassable in wet 
seasons have already been put in good condition, and the good work 
will be taken up again with the next open season. In a word, poor 
roads can be made into good roads and this transformation will be made 
with promptitude where transportation of school children is in vogue. 

Thus consolidation brings good roads, and a community- 
need not refrain from consolidation because of poor roads. 
The consolidated school is the best device for promoting 
good roads. 

Payment to Parents in Lieu of Transportation. — The 
plan of allowing parents or guardians a certain amount per 
day for providing conveyance for their own children is in 
operation to a certain extent in many States. It is proba- 
bly the only plan feasible in sparsely settled districts, and 
where roads are very poor. In such cases children journey 
to school in buggies, on horseback, or on bicycles. Often 
the school furnishes a shed for the horses. The amount 


allowed parents in South Dakota, Wisconsin, and a few- 
other States varies from lo cents per child per day to 25 
cents, the amount depending upon the distance from the 
home to the school. Allowance is made only for the actual 
number of days attended. 

The plan has several advantages and several disadvan- 
tages. Its principal advantage is that children ride from 
their own homes to the school by the most direct route and, 
as a rule, in less time than would be taken by a school 
wagon. One of the principal disadvantages is the expense. 
It does not require a larger expenditure of school funds, but 
the total expended by the school patrons is much greater. 
A large amount must be invested in horses and vehicles, 
and stabling and feed for the horses provided. If the chil- 
dren themselves drive, the horse is not available for other 
work on school-days. Another disadvantage is that it does 
not assure the regularity of attendance and the freedom 
from tardiness resulting from the use of transportation 
wagons, or of public electric or steam railroads. 

III. General Considerations 

The Success of Transportation. — The success of furnish- 
ing transportation seems to be universal wherever properly 
handled. An interesting study made in Connecticut by 
the secretary of the State board of education is reported 
in his annual report for 19 13. 

The expense per pupil for conveyance to elementary 
schools in Connecticut for 1911-12 was $23.69 for the school 
year of 184 days. The total number of children conveyed 
was 3,481; the total expenditure, $82,465.97. This does 
not include $42,968.83 paid for the transportation of high- 
school pupils. The elementary children were transported 
by school wagons, trolley-cars, steam railroads, and by pri- 
vate conveyances. In many cases parents are paid a cer- 
tain amount per day in heu of transportation. 

The report mentioned gives for each .township in the 
State the number of elementary school children transported, 


the cost for the year, and whether or not the transportation 
is, on the whole, satisfactory to the parents and beneficial 
to the schools. There are 120 townships in the State that 
reported children transported. Of these, 8 failed to report 
on the last item. The others reported as follows, the re- 
ports being made by the local school authorities: 

Satisfactory to parents and beneficial to schools 95 

Unsatisfactory to parents but beneficial to schools 9 

Unsatisfactory to parents and not beneficial to schools 4 

Unsatisfactory to parents and no report whether beneficial or not 4 

Professor A. B. Graham, formerly at the head of the 
agricultural extension service of the Ohio State University, 
made a study of the satisfaction to school patrons of trans- 
portation to Ohio consolidated schools. He states that: 

80 per cent of the parents report that their children attend more 
regularly xinder transportation than they did previously. 

90 per cent report their children more interested in school than 

95 per cent think their teachers show more interest in their work. 
100 per cent practically agree that the social and educational inter- 
ests of the township consolidated have greatly improved. 

75 per cent of those who were formerly opposed to consolidation and 
transportation are now in favor of it. 

Miss Mabel C. Williams, superintendent of Shelby 
County, Tenn., writes as follows: 

The transportation of pupils in public-school wagons has proved 
to be a great success in Shelby County. The system was instituted 
eight years ago. We now have 15 wagons running, with petitions for 
many more as soon as we can build the consolidated schools. It 
would be impossible to persuade the pupils who ride in the wagons 
to leave the consolidated schools and go back to the one-teacher or 
two-teacher schools from whence they came. The parents and 
teachers appreciate the greater advantages which the large school 
offers. We find that the attendance is better on the wagon routes, 
as the children do not have to consider the weather. Only one child 
has ever been hurt on the wagons, and that was not serious. We have 
carried as many as 50 in. one wagon. I do not remember that we have 


ever had a complaint of drunkenness, profanity, tardiness, or care- 
lessness on the part of the wagon drivers. In fact, most of the trouble 
which is anticipated from the adoption of the public-school wagon 
never happens. 

Seymour Rockwell, in 1893, wrote as follows regarding 
the Montague consolidated school in Massachusetts, men- 
tioned in a previous chapter: 

For 18 years we have had the best attendance from the trans- 
ported children; no more sickness among them, and no accidents. 
The children like the plan exceedingly. We have saved the town at 
least $600 a year. All these children now attend a well-equipped 
schoolhouse at the centre. The schools are graded; everybody is 
converted to the plan. We encountered all the opposition found any- 
where, but we asserted our sensible and legal rights and accomplished 
the work. I see no way of bringing the country schools up but to 
consolidate them, making them worth seeing; then the people will be 
more likely to do their duty by visiting them. 

With its largest attendance the school enrolled about 
175 pupils, more than one-fourth of whom were in high-school 
grades. Pupils came to the high school from neighboring 
districts, which were able to take care of elementary pupils 
locally, but wanted the special high-school opportunities. 
The children were transported in six school wagons, and 
later in five wagons and one trolley-car. 

The total number of children transported in 191 2-13 
was 85, at a total expenditure of $1,550.82, or 10 cents per 
pupil per day. Each driver received an average of $1.70 
per day, or $312 per year, and carried an average of 17 
children. The shortest route is 2 miles, the longest 4.5 
miles. The drivers furnish their own wagons and teams. 
The wagons must be enclosed in stormy weather, and 
equipped with straw or rugs under foot, and with robes. 
The drivers are under contract with the school authorities 
and must cover the routes on schedule time. They have 
full authority over the children while on the road, and en- 
force good conduct. The wagons do not stop at all the 
houses where pupils live, but follow routes laid out by the 

A good barn for horses, vans, bicycles, auto-busses, and other vehicles, 
Preble County, Ohio 

Ten in a row ready for the home trip, Preble County, Ohio. Automobiles 
are rapidly replacing these 


school authorities, picking up the children along these 

The 41 years of its existence have given ample oppor- 
tunity to compare the value of the consolidated school with 
the one-teacher school and to work out satisfactorily many 
of the problems in connection with public transportation 
Also there has been afforded an opportunity to study the 
advantages and disadvantages of transportation in school 
wagons under school authority and in public electric cars. 
The experience has resulted in a sentiment in favor of the 
school wagons. Little disorderly conduct or improper 
speech ever occurred on the wagons, while both occurred 
more or less frequently on the cars. The wagon drivers, 
because they were engaged by the school board, were recog- 
nized by the children as in authority; the carmen were not 
so recognized. 

W. L. Eaton, formerly superintendent of schools of 
Concord, Mass., wrote about the same year of the Emerson 
ConsoHdated School of that town, established in 1879, with 
transportation to the school, as follows: 

The natural reluctance of parents to send their young children 
so far from home and for all day, to attend the centre school, has 
vanished. The children are conveyed in comfortable vehicles fitted 
up for their accommodation. They are in charge of trusty drivers 
en route, and at noon they are under the especial care of one of the 
teachers, who has an extra compensation for the service. When it is 
practicable, a farmer living near the extreme end of the district is 
employed to convey the children. Often the farmer's wife drives 
the conveyance — an arrangement that meets the entire approval of 
the school committee, and is, perhaps, the most satisfactory one pos- 
sible. As a rule the committee do not approve of intrusting the duty 
to the hired man. Three 2-horse barges and two i-horse wagons are 
in use at present. All these vehicles are fitted with seats running 
lengthwise and are closed or open at sides and ends as the weather 
requires, and in cold weather are provided with blankets and straw. 
The driver starts from or near the remote end of his district and drives 
down the principal thoroughfare, taking up the children at their own 
doors or at cross-street corners. 

The attendance of the children conveyed is several per cent better 



than that of the village children, and it is far higher than it was in 
the old district schools. This is not strange when one reflects that 
the children are taken at or near their own doors and conveyed to 
school without exposure in stormy weather and with entire comfort 
in cold or snowy weather. Discipline in the carriages is maintained 
readily, as the driver has authority to put out any unruly child. 
The children are conveyed from i>2 to 3^ miles. 

Contract with Driver. — A definite written contract with 
the driver is very important. The following is in use in 
.Randolph County, Ind.: 


Route No. 


Contract entered into on 19 • • , between , 

party of the first part, and , trustee of 

school township of Randolph County, Ind., party of the second part. 

The party of the first part (for the sum named below to be paid 
by the party of the second part) agrees to perform the following work: 

To drive the school wagon on route No in school 

township of Randolph County, Ind., and haul all the children of 
school age now residing and adjacent to said route (or who may be 
along said route during the life of this contract) to and from the school, 
according to the following schedule. The said schedule to be as fol- 
lows unless changed by the trustee: 

Commencing at the — 

Standard sun. 


Standard sun. 

Thence to the .... 

Leaving School at 

School arriving at. 


Said work is to be governed by the following conditions: 

1 . The said school township is to furnish the wagon 

to be used and keep it in repair. 

2. The said party of the first part is to furnish, keep, and feed all 
the horses, and furnish harness, necessary to haul the wagon on the said 

route, without any expense to the said school township, 

other than the pay agreed upon for the party of the first part in this 
contract. (Here insert conditions as to stable)* 

3. The party of the first part is to have control of all the school 
children so hauled to and from school, to keep order and maintain 
discipline while in the wagon or along the route, and to treat all chil- 
dren in a gentlemanly and civil manner and to see that no child is 
imposed upon or mistreated while in his charge, and shall use every 
care for the safety of the children under his charge. All school hacks 
shall come to a full stop immediately before crossing steam or electric 
railways and the driver shall ascertain positively as to the approach 
of any danger. The party of the first part hereby agrees to prevent 
the use of tobacco in any form, by himself or any other person upon 
the school wagon while under his charge. 

4. The party of the first part is to drive the wagon and take the 
children along the route every day that school is in session during the 
school year of 19. . and 19. .. 

5. The party of the first part shall inform the parents of the school 
children as to the time he will arrive at the place where the children 
are to take the school wagon each morning, so that the children can 
be ready to get into the wagon with the least possible delay. He shall 
wait a reasonable length of time for the children in case they are not 
ready when the wagon arrives in the morning, but he will not be re- 
quired to so wait over two minutes. Said party of the first part is 
to use as many horses as necessary to haul the wagon on the schedule 
as laid down in this contract. The party of the first part is to per- 
sonally perform all the said work as laid down in this agreement, 
unless permission for a substitute be given by the trustee, who shall 
designate who such substitute shall be. This contract shall not be 
assigned to another person to perform without the written consent 
of the said township trustee, as party of the second part, and to be 
so written upon the back of this contract. The party of the first 
part is to wash and clean up the wagon at end of term and place it 
in the school barn, or elsewhere, as directed by the trustee without 
extra compensation. 

6. Party of the first part hereby agrees to make all reports called 
for by the trustee or anyone authorized by the trustee to call for them. 


7. The party of the second part hereby agrees to pay the party 

of the first part the sum of dollars ($ ) per day 

for every day such work is performed. Pay for such work can only 
be drawn each month during school term or at the end of the term, 
or on the same plan and terms as with the school-teachers if the 
trustee so desires. 

8. The wilful violation of any of the provisions of this contract 
shall be cause for its forfeiture. 

9. In case anything should arise not named or covered by this 
contract, the matter shall be adjusted by the township trustee, whose 
decision shall govern all parties concerned. 

To all of the above we do hereby agree in every particular by 
signing our names on this, the day of 19. . . 

Party 0} the First Part. 

Trustee of School Township, Randolph County, 

Ind., and Party of the Second Part. 

Legislation Permitting Transportation at Public Expense. 
— Authority is given to school ofliicers by the State legisla- 
tures in at least 44 States to expend public school funds for 
the transportation of children to schools, provided the chil- 
dren live outside of a reasonable walking distance. Such 
authorization is necessary before large consoHdated districts 
can be established. In certain States transportation at 
public expense is permissive only, in others obligatory. 
Ohio, for instance, requires free transportation to be fur- 
nished to all children living 2 miles or more from the school. 
Children living nearer may be conveyed free at the option 
of the school board. In Missouri free transportation must 
be provided to children living 2}4 miles or more from a school. 
Colorado school districts may furnish free transportation 
to children whose homes are i}i miles or more away. The 
consolidated district boards of Kansas must furnish trans- 
portation to children 2 miles or more from school, those of 
Oklahoma to children i }i miles or more from school. Penn- 
sylvania provides that ^'no pupils of abandoned schools 


shall be required to walk more than i}4 miles to the new 
school building." Indiana requires all schools with fewer 
than 12 children to be closed and education for the children 
provided elsewhere. Children are transported at public 
expense to neighboring schools. The State has had much 
experience, therefore, in transportation, and realizes the 
seriousness ot the problem. The Indiana State superin- 
tendent of public instruction, in a chapter on consolidation 
in his annual report for 191 2, discusses it as follows: 

The great objection which must be met in consolidating our rural 
schools is transportation. Many parents object, and with good cause, 
to the fact that their children are transported too great a distance 
and that they are compelled to leave home too early in the morning 
and are returned too late in the evening. This demonstrates that the 
unit of consolidation is too large. A readjustment of the consolidated 
area should be made, and the pupils affected should be transported a 
reasonable distance. In rural communities where good roads cannot 
be maintained throughout the year the people must be content with 
the district school. Where the unit of consolidation is not too large 
transportation of pupils has made attendance larger, more regular, 
and eliminated tardiness. Transportation has been a great aid to 
the health of the children. They are not compelled to walk through 
the rain and in the mud, wearing wet shoes all day. In the majority 
of places where we have consolidation the school officials have been 
very careful to get responsible men as drivers of the school wagons. 
Consequently, the pupils are under the care of some responsible person 
all day, and the girls are protected on the way to and from school, 
and the boys influenced from the temptation to quarrels and other 

The success of the consolidated school depends in very large 
measure upon transportation. If the transportation is safe, comforta- 
ble, rapid, and in charge of men of high character, no troubles result 
from it. When men of low ideals are in charge of transportation or 
when transportation is slow, or when the distance is too great, then 
certain evils are at once seen, and just complaint is made against the 
consolidated schools. These evils, however, are all remediable. If 
the people demand drivers of high character they can be secured. 
If the officials insist upon rapidity of transportation that too can be 
done. None of these evils in any way affect the real work of con- 


rV. Transportation Experience 

To give further concreteness and serviceableness to our 
discussion of this very important phase of consolidation, 
we print here by permission a discussion by W. S. Fogarty, 
county superintendent of Preble County, Ohio, entitled: 
''Transportation of School Children." 

The Ohio School Awakening. — In the past three years 
Ohio has had an educational awakening which has been 
unparalleled. One of the greatest opportunities of the new 
county system is that of awakening the rural people to a 
realization of the condition of their schools and the possi- 
bilities of improvement. One of the best compliments paid 
me was spoken by a very angry farmer because we were 
trying to consolidate the schools of his township, when he 
said: "You go around over the county stirring up things." 
The tragedy of the educational situation in Ohio was the 
country school. Three years ago as we went over Preble 
County and saw forlorn and dilapidated one-room school 
buildings, with ill-kept grounds, while just across the road 
could be seen beautiful homes with all modern conveniences 
and fine barns for the stock, we knew that the good rural 
people of this wealthy agricultural county needed to be 
''stirred up." The dismal one-room, box-car type of school 
building, with the old, unsightly stove in the centre with its 
whitewashed walls, cross-lights, window ventilation, with 
its dreary grounds and its insanitary condition in general, a 
disgrace to the community, soon will be only a memory in 
this county. Consolidation is the key-note of rural-school 
improvement. In the past three years 65 one-room school 
buildings have been abandoned in our county, and next 
year we expect to have only 25 one-room schools. We 
now have 10 consolidated schools, and next year will see 
another in operation. These buildings cost from $10,000 
to $75,000 each, and are modern in every respect. Our 
purpose has been to consolidate in as large areas as possi- 
ble, so that the best high-school advantages may be given 


all the boys and girls. All of our consolidated-school dis- 
tricts are 18 to 36 square miles in area, and every one 
maintains a three-year or a four-year high-school course. 

The limits of this chapter do not permit a discussion of 
the value of the consolidated school as to a modern build- 
ing, adequate equipment, better teaching, larger socialization 
of the community, better facilities for play, maintenance of 
health, and a richer curriculum. One phase only, trans- 
portation of the children, will be treated. 

The Routes. — It is no small problem to arrange the 
routes in a township to the best advantage. We have found 
that the best plan is to drive over every road and find out 
where each pupil lives, and the number of school children 
in each home. A plan of the township is then drawn show- 
ing all roads, the location of the homes, and the number of 
school children in each. With the plan and data before one, 
he can run the routes to the best advantage. This work 
cannot be done quickly, as many trial routes must be drawn 
before the best plan for all routes is found. Wagon routes 
should start at the edge of the consoHdated area and take 
as direct route to the central building as possible. Very 
little, if any, retracing should be done. 

Of course the number of routes in a school district is de- 
termined by the number of children to be carried. In our 
county the average number of routes in a township is twelve. 
A route travelled by a school-van drawn by a team should 
not be over six miles long from the place where the first 
child enters the wagon, and if possible it should be less. 
Auto routes are sometimes longer. We have good gravelled 
roads with about 30 miles of macadamized roads. The 
average length of the routes in our county is 5.7 miles. The 
conveyances pass by nearly every home, so that there are 
very few children who walk any distance. Children living 
off the pubHc road must meet the conveyance. With autos 
frequently two trips can be made both morning and eve- 
ning. At some Western schools the autos are even using 
''trailers" to carry more pupils. 


The character of the driver has much to do with the 
success of transportation. Only men who are rehable are 
employed. The profane or vulgar, the reckless and the 
drinker are rejected. Parents trust their children to these 
drivers as they do to the care of teachers. Boards of educa- 
tion should use great care in the selection of both. A few 
of our drivers are trustworthy young men attending the 
high school. On the whole they prove to be satisfactory; 
yet all in all we prefer reliable older men for this service, 
men who are considerate of the welfare of their children, 
and conscious of their great responsibility. 

Before the war drivers were paid from two dollars to 
four dollars per day, depending on the length and character 
of the route. The cost for this service has increased the 
past year, and will be more next year, due to the rising cost 
of living. They are paid by the day, and in most cases are 
not paid for time lost when the school is closed on account 
of epidemics or lack of coal. Since the fuel shortage of last 
winter considerable disagreement has arisen over the ques- 
tion of paying drivers when school is closed for the above 
reasons. The attorney-general of Ohio has ruled that the 
terms of the contract determine what shall be done. We 
believe that drivers should be paid for the days only on 
which service is rendered. Probably in time they will be 
paid as are the teachers, by the year, and "whether school 
keeps or not.'' All of our boards require drivers to give 
bond for the faithful performance of the contract. The 
amount varies from $ioo to $200. The contract and bond 
used in this county are here given: 



Transportation of Pupils of Schools 

Tms Contract made by and between the Board of Education 

of , Preble County, Ohio, party of the first part, and 

, party of the second part. 


WITNESSETH, That said party of the second part agrees to trans- 
port to and from the Central School Building the pupils along the 
route known herein as Number for the full school year, in ac- 
cordance with the specifications which form a part of this contract, 

for the sum of $ per day, payable monthly, which sum 

said party of the first part agrees to pay for services well and truly 
rendered in accordance with specifications of this contract. 

Said party of the second part agrees 

1. To transport all pupils to and from the Central Building along 
Route No which route is described as follows: 

Beginning at the home of and thence to 

and thence to the Central School 


2. To cause conveyance with pupils to start for the Central School 
Building not earlier than 7.00 A. M. Standard time, and arrive between 
8.00 and 8.20 A. M. 

3. To use the conveyance furnished by the Board of Education 
and to furnish a shelter for said conveyance and to place the same 
there over night, or when not in use. 

4. To keep the conveyance clean and to furnish robes and blankets 
to keep the children comfortable, and in cold weather to keep con- 
veyance heated. 

5. To abstain absolutely from the use of profane and immoral 
language, and from the use of tobacco and intoxicating liquors in any 
form and prevent others from using them about the conveyance while 
the children are therein. 

6. To provide a good team of horses. Said team must be gentle 
and not afraid of cars and automobiles, and must be acceptable to the 
party of the first part. 

7. To perform personally all duties laid down in this contract, 
unless permission for a substitute be given by the party of the first 
part. Said substitute must be acceptable to the party of the first 

8. To exercise full control of the children while under his charge 
and be responsible for their conduct. 

9. To come to a full stop at each place where children are taken 
into the conveyance or let out. 


lo. To follow a regular time schedule in driving the route. 


Parties of the First Part 

Party of the Second Part 
, Ohio, , 191 . . 


Know All Men by These Presents, That we 

as principal and and as 

sureties are held and firmly bound unto the Board of Education of 

, Preble County, Ohio, in the penal sum 

of $ for the payment of which we jointly and severally 

bind ourselves. 

The condition of the above obligation is this: That the said 

has this day entered into the above contract 

to transport pupils along Route No of said township to 

and from the Central School Building. Now if the said 

shall well and truly perform the conditions of said contract, 

on his part to be performed, then this obligation shall be void. Other- 
wise to remain in full force and virtue in law. 

Bond approved this day of , 



President Surety 

Clerk Surety 

The above rules are for drivers of teams. Auto drivers 
have the same rules modified to suit their conveyance. 
Transportation of children has proven entirely satisfactory, 
both as to the safety of the children and as to the care exer- 
cised by drivers. Seven steam and electric railroads cross 
our county. We have not had an accident of any kind, 
which is remarkable when we remember that nearly 1,700 
children were transported to school last year. 









MtP Of Wagon Routes in a Typical Consolidated Township of Preble County. OMo 

The Vehicles. — Most of our 91 conveyances are horse- 
drawn, and are specially built for school use. These cars 
seem to be as perfect cars as can be constructed. It is a 
great mistake to buy cheap school conveyances. Good 
school wagons cost from $200 to $250. Most of our wagons 
are 12 feet long and carry 18 to 24 children. We demand a 
vehicle strong enough to support the load on any road, with 
close-fitting doors and windows that will keep out wind and 
rain, provision for heating and ventilating. In our cars ven- 


tilation is assured through overhead enamelled ventilators 
which can be adjusted from the inside and allow protection 
to the children from the elements. The heating is done by- 
heaters placed beneath the body of the wagon with a regis- 
ter in the floor, by foot-warmers or by coal-oil stoves. With 
blankets the wagons are always comfortable even in the 
severest weather. Seating requires deep-angled seats and 
backs with leather upholstery, and wide aisles between. 
Proper lighting is given by glass windows all around. The 
driver sits inside with the children, supervising their con- 
duct. Our auto school cars are proving entirely satisfac- 
tory, and several boards expect to use this conveyance en- 
tirely in a short time. If roads permit, automobile trans- 
portation is preferable. Motor transportation is quicker, 
equally reliable, and usually more economical. The chief 
advantage of this method lies in the quickness of the ser- 
vice. Children are on the road about half as long as when 
carried in wagons. It is usual for each motor-driven car 
to make two trips — a long one first and then a short trip. 
In the evening the children Hving on the short route are re- 
turned home first, and those on the long route next. At 
the Leesport school in Pennsylvania, the wide auto has 
seats on each side and a double one in the middle, thus 
seating forty or more children. A photograph of it is shown 
in the editor's ** Teaching Elementary-School Subjects," 

p. 378. 

Owned by the Community. — All of our conveyances are 
owned and operated by the school district. Any other plan 
would surely invite disaster. If the driver furnished his 
own van, naturally it would be cheap, as he would want to 
make the greatest profit possible, and, moreover, he does 
not know how long he will hold the contract. Such a plan 
would call out strong protests from parents and would cause 
a condemnation of consolidation. For the same reason our 
conveyances are maintained by the district. As soon as 
repairs are needed they are made, and our conveyances are 


kept in good condition at all times. However, it is found by 
experience that where breaks or injuries are due to the care- 
lessness of drivers, the cost of these repairs should be borne 
by the driver. Some drivers are careless of public property 
and under this plan breakage is greatly reduced. The drivers 
must house their conveyances when not in use, and during 
the summer the wagons are stored in the school barn. 
Superintendent C. R. Coblentz of New Paris, who has been 
unusually successful in working out transportation of school 
children in Jackson township, this county, says: ^'With 
proper care these wagons will last a long time. In Jackson 
township, some of the wagons have been in use now for 
eight years. Two or three have had new sets of wheels, 
they have been painted twice, I think, and retired about 
twice. The cost of maintenance has not been as much as 
was at first anticipated." 

All of our consolidated schools except those located in 
villages have a barn on the grounds to house the horses and 
the conveyances. These barns vary in size. A typical 
barn is 130 by 40 feet. Stalls for 32 horses are built on 
one side and the other side is left for wagons and auto- 
mobiles. The barns are well lighted and arranged. The 
cost of a barn is about $2,500. 

Management. — The success of transportation depends 
very largely upon its management. This problem is largely 
solved when we secure a spirit of helpful co-operation 
among parents, teachers, drivers, and children. Definite, 
sensible rules must be formulated. The rules for drivers 
are given above in the contract. Drivers should under- 
stand that they are working under the direction of the super- 
intendent and that all rules are subject to reasonable modi- 
fication by the board of education. 

Rules for children should be printed and distributed 
among the parents. Children while in the conveyance must 
be subject to a wise disciplinary power exercised by the 
driver. This discipline, however, must always be under the 


guidance and control of the superintendent. A few neces- 
sary rules for children are: To be seated in the conveyance 
where placed by the driver, to refrain from all profane and 
indecent language or actions, to be respectful to persons 
whom they meet or pass on the road, to never get into or 
out of the conveyance while it is in motion, to neither leave 
nor enter the conveyance except with consent of the driver, 
and to know when the conveyance is due and be ready for 
it. Penalties for disobedience should be fixed by the super- 
intendent. The right kind of consultation with parents 
nearly always secures their co-operation. 

One boy in one of our townships persisted in not being 
ready when the wagon arrived, causing quite a Httle delay. 
The superintendent instructed the driver not to wait. The 
next morning the boy did some yelling when the wagon 
drove on and he was left for the day. He was cured. 

Teachers should assist pupils in getting on their wraps 
and in doing whatever is necessary to be ready to leave 
school on time. Teachers should send pupils to the toilets 
before starting home, and parents should be equally thought- 
ful mornings. They both should talk to their children 
about their conduct in the conveyances. 

Parents should co-operate with drivers and teachers in 
having their children ready on time and insist that their 
conduct in conveyances be proper. Parents are duty bound 
to have a friendly and helpful attitude toward the whole 

Definite time schedules are arranged. Our contract 
with drivers of wagons requires them not to take on the 
first child before seven o'clock standard time, which is 
twenty-two minutes slower than sun time. The above 
time is that which we had before the government ordered 
the clocks moved up one hour. For shorter wagon routes 
and automobile routes the time of starting is later. Con- 
veyances should not vary in time of starting regardless of 
roads and weather. It is better that the opening of schools 



♦55.000 BLO6 


554 PUPJW 

2.000 BLDG 

j 195 



tiOiOOO 6LD0. 




|4C\00O &LDG 




I40.000 euxi 









^10000 8L06 

^20,000 BlM. 
152 PUPIp 


Map of Preble County, Ohio, showing Consolidated Schools 



should be delayed a few minutes than for conveyances to 
be irregular in time of starting. Every parent should have 
a time schedule at home showing exactly when the con- 
veyance is due to arrive at his home. Many conveyances 
in this county run so regularly that they are not more than 
two or three minutes off schedule for many weeks at a time. 
The average time in this county for driving a horse-drawn 
van a mile is thirteen minutes. When the roads are heavy 
it takes two to five minutes longer. With this data it is 
not difficult for parents to calculate closely the time of 
arrival of the conveyance in any kind of weather. During 
the short days of winter the noon recess is shortened and the 
children are started home at 3.15 p.m. Data that may 
prove suggestive are submitted herewith. 

No. of 


Av. length 
of routes 

Av. time to 
drive routes 

Av. cost 
per child 


Dixon . 










5. miles 
6.6 miles 
4.6 miles 

6. miles 
5 . 4 miles 
6 . 2 miles 
5.4 miles 
6.8 miles 
5.6 miles 


I hr. 28 min. 


I hi". 17 min. 

I hr. 12 min. 

I hr. 12 min. 

I hr. 17 min. 

I hr. 28 min. 

I hr. 3 min. 

$ .153 







West Elkton . . . 




5.7 miles 

I hr. 13 min. 
Average for 
the County 

$ .166 

V. Conclusions 

Advantages. — When consolidation is first broached in a 
community, it is found that conveyance of the children is 
responsible for much of the opposition. Many will not 
investigate communities where the system has proved a 


success, others fail to see the numerous advantages of the 
larger rural school which can be secured only by conveying 
the children. Where consolidation has been tried a few- 
years 90 to 95 per cent of the patrons give it their hearty 
support. Before the system is tried there are many wild 
statements about never seeing your children in daylight, 
teams running away, and trains crashing into vans, etc. 
Our answer is that these disasters don't happen. Of course 
no sensible person expects perfection in a system that in- 
volves so many persons and conditions. A careful superin- 
tendent in possession of the facts should have Kttle trouble 
in starting a consohdated school. 

The health of children is provided for better when they 
are carried to school. The children come to school in con- 
veyances which are well ventilated, heated, and lighted. 
Their clothing and feet are dry. They are not exposed to 
wind, snow, and rain. The larger school building is properly 
heated, ventilated, and lighted. Those of us who attended 
the one-room country school remember how we trudged 
through snow, mud, and rain, and sat in a poorly heated 
room until feet and clothing were dry. Our experience is 
that there is less sickness in the consolidated school than 
there is in the one-room school. 

Transportation is an advantage in taking care of morals. 
Children carried in wagons have no opportunity of fighting 
or hearing bad language on the way to and from school. 
One of the greatest difficulties of teachers of one-room schools 
is the behavior of children on the way to school and home. 
While under the care of the driver there is no misbehavior. 
In the consolidated-school building the toilet-rooms are kept 
in the best condition. Every parent knows that satisfac- 
tory conditions in such matters is of vital importance. 

To convey children to school makes the attendance far 
better. Hear what one farmer says: "Think of the Kttle 
children plodding schoolward in cold and wet and mire — 
when they go at all! Then count up the number of days 


they are kept home altogether because of bad roads and 
severe weather! " Read what the records show in one town- 
ship of this county the next year after the schools were con- 
solidated. ''The consolidated system of managing the 
schools showed many improvements over the old way. One 
of these was in attendance. The attendance the last year 
of the rural schools was 81 per cent, while this year it was 
92 per cent — an increase of 11 per cent. Another was in 
regard to tardiness. During the last year of the rural schools 
in one month in one of the schools there were ^^ cases of 
tardiness. This year, under the consolidated system, we 
had scarcely that number for the entire year." Who can 
figure the value of such an increase in attendance and punc- 

Those who are sceptical should visit a consolidated school 
and see the interest on the part of the children. Why do 
so many boys and girls drop out of the one-room school be- 
fore completing the work ? The answer is: Few or no play- 
mates of the same age and sex, school work mostly memory 
work and from the book, not enough attention from the 
overworked teacher — witness the carved desks in the coun- 
try schools — unattractive building and grounds, and no 
high-school provision. The school should be a pleasant 
place. The attractive building, good equipment, pupils of 
the same age for games, and time for study of things as well 
as books make the consolidated school a place of interest to 
boys and girls. The organized athletics, Hterary and music 
work, and social Hfe of such a school have a large influence 
in creating interest and securing the best educational results. 

These suggestions from Ohio experience should make 
plain the details to take into consideration in providing 
transportation in any State. A point to remember is that 
transportation not only requires good roads but that it 
brings them. The community meetings and larger view 
will soon secure good roads. We may collect some of the 
main principles in the following: 



1. Many consolidated schools with from 3 to 6 or more teachers could 

be established in the eastern half of the United States in dis- 
tricts of approximately nine square miles, for which public trans- 
portation would not be necessary. 

2. In districts large enough so that transportation must be furnished, 

too great care in its arrangement cannot be exercised. Unsatis- 
factory transportation will cause constant dissatisfaction with 
the school. 

3. Dissatisfaction always results if routes are too long. No route 

should be longer than can be covered under average conditions 
in an hour, or better, 45 minutes, the transportation wagon or 
automobile travelling on a fixed schedule. 

4. In order that safe, comfortable, suitable wagons and automobiles 

shall be used, they should be purchased by and remain the prop- 
erty of the school district. 

5. The driver must be a reliable person, able and willing to keep dis- 

cipline in his wagon, and have the same power to do so as is given 
to teachers in the school building. 

6. Transportation cannot wait for good roads; the two come together. 

Wherever the roads are so bad that it is not possible to furnish 
transportation, they are certainly too bad to ask children to walk. 

7. Transportation to public schools has been furnished in the United 

States for over 40 years. It can be made entirely satisfactory 
from every standpoint. Wherever it has not been satisfactory, 
the fault has been the school directors who failed to make proper 
arrangement for it. It causes better attendance, it keeps chil- 
dren out of mischief on the way to and from school, and it is 
safe. Very few accidents have ever happened to children in 
school wagons. 


1. Secure or make a good map of your county, or a part of it, and 

locate the best sites for consolidated schools. 

2. Trace the transportation routes of each vehicle. Plan for auto- 

mobiles if they are feasible. 

3. What are the best types of modern roads for your county, and by 

what procedure are they obtained? 

4. Is the supervision of pupils in the transportation van less im- 

portant than on the playground, in the classroom, or at home ? 
What virtues may be cultivated in pupils by efficient drivers? 


5. Should pupils with homes far from the routes be encouraged to 

build waiting shelter-houses at the roadside, or are these un- 
necessary ? 

6. How should a school be built to provide for loading and unloading 

pupils without exposure? 

7. Are parents ever paid for the transportation of their own children ? 

Is this desirable? 

8. Could the repair of the transportation automobiles be profitably 

undertaken by high-school pupils as a phase of science or voca- 
tional work? 

9. Cite any instances of the use of transportation hacks being used 

for the carrying of patrons to social-centre events in the evenings. 
Is this feasible? 
10. What types of school transportation have failed to give success ? 


1. Monahan — "Consolidation of Schools and Transportation of 

Pupils at Public Expense.'* Government Printing Office. 

2. Betts and Hall— "Better Rural Schools." Bobbs-Merrill Co. 

3. Arp — "Rural Education and the Consolidated School." World 

Book Co. 

4. Monroe — "Cyclopedia of Education." Macmillan. 

5. Cubberley — "Rural Life and Education." Houghton Mifflin Co. 

6. Bulletins on transportation and consolidation published by various 

State departments of education. 


Preliminary Problems 

1. What is a satisfactory cost for a first-class consolidated school, with 

auditorium, gymnasium, laboratories, and necessary workrooms 
for about three hundred elementary and high-school pupils ? 

2. How can the community be brought to wish and to will the con- 

solidated-school plan into existence? 

3. What is the cost of transportation of pupils per day and per pupil? 

4. How does this cost compare with the cost of running a one-room 

school ? 

5. What would it cost in a consolidation area to provide first-class 

one-room schools, and how does this combined cost compare with 
that of a first-class consolidated-school plant? 

6. Relate the methods used in accomplishing consolidation in a par- 

ticular instance of which you have direct or indirect knowledge. 

I. In Preble County, Ohio 

A Campaign for Consolidation. — The great school code 
of Ohio became a law in 19 14. The corner-stone of this 
excellent new school code is compulsory county and district 

Some conditions before the consolidation movement 
began in Preble County were: a wealthy agricultural county 
with good roads, seven villages with modern schools, many 
poor *' box-car," one-room buildings in rural districts, and 
only one of the townships with full-time supervision. 

Six district superintendents giving full time to supervi- 
sion, and all in favor of consolidation, assisted me. Our aim 
was to improve the rural schools of the county. Believing 
that the strategic point in this movement is consolidation, 
we began our campaign.^iSS^ planned to consolidate as 

V ^^^ / 


large areas as possible, and in no case has the territory con- 
solidated been less than one-half of a congressional town- 
ship. If a village was located right, the rural district about 
and the village were consolidated. 

In conducting our campaign we had a general plan, but 
it varied to suit the local conditions. First we sought the 
help of the school officials, the teachers, and some influen- 
tial patrons. Elections were called upon petition of the 
people, and not by the county board of education, nor the 
local board of education. This method has two advan- 
tages: first, the movement apparently comes from the 
people, and second, those who carry the petition become 
active supporters, and also learn who favor and who oppose. 
Both consohdation and issuance of bonds were submitted 
at the same election. This method saves the expense of 
two elections. 

Our policy was to conduct an educational campaign for 
about ten days immediately preceding the election. The 
people must be shown the advantages. Of course, we have 
those who will not be shown; some who wish to keep taxes 
to the lowest limit, who believe that the cheap school is the 
best; and some who have so much sentiment for the "little 
red schoolhouse" that they can endure no change. Both 
superintendents and interested patrons got out and did 
personal work from house to house. Some of the campaigns 
were so organized that no voter was missed. A card index 
was made, and every voter's name was Hsted upon a card. 
If he was doubtful, he received several different calls. We 
converted some farmers in the corn-field. 

Public meetings were held in the schoolhouses. These 
meetings were advertised, and in almost every instance drew 
a good crowd of interested men and women. Two speakers 
were assigned to each meeting. We used superintendents, 
available men from the State Department, and patrons. 
The people were invited to ask questions and to take part 
in the discussions. Some lively meetings were held. 


About two days before election we mailed every voter 
a bulletin which contained a cut and description of the pro- 
posed building, gave some of the advantages of consolida- 
tion, and furnished financial data to show that they could 
build and consoHdate their schools. Sometimes we sent a 
personal letter to each voter. We believe these circulars 
had great influence. 

Jackson township, shown on page 229, had been central- 
ized with great success for four years. The transportation 
problem there had been worked out to entire satisfaction. 
We made good use of this example in our propaganda. 

To secure consolidation we stressed these advantages: 
A modern building, adequate equipment, better teaching, 
larger socialization of the community, better facilities for 
play, and a good high school for all. 

Good Results. — Consolidation became the fashion in our 
county, and the epidemic helped us. Ten elections were 
held within five months. Eight new school buildings were 
constructed within two years; the ninth has recently been 
completed. These school buildings cost from $10,000 to 
$60,000 each, and their total cost is $371,000. See page 233. 

Eleven consolidated schools in this county are giving 
the children the best advantages of a modern education. 
These schools make for efficiency by division of labor, they 
provide for maintaining good health, they offer opportuni- 
ties for good science work through their laboratories, they 
provide ample grounds and equipment for play, and through 
the auditorium they make possible good community work. 

Significant Facts. — The following data are taken from 
this year's annual report of the schools in Preble County: 

Before Con- Since Con- 
County solidation solidation Increase 
1914 1917 

School property $374,925 $601,120 60% 

Volumes in school libraries 14,881 20,836 40% 

Enumeration of school youth 5, 13 5 5j076 less 

Total enrolment 4,374 4,508 3% 

Before Con- 

Since Con- 
































Enrolment in high schools 

School buildings used 

One-room schools in use 

Consolidated schools with high school 

Wagons carrying children 

Teachers graduates of college or nor- 

High-school graduates 

Eighth-grade graduates 

Domestic Science and Manual Training 

Before Con- Since Con- 
solidation solidation Increase 
1914 1917 

Pupils in domestic-science work 121 392 224% 

Manual training 61 155 154% 


1914 1917 

Value of exhibits $25 $800 

Educational hall provided No Yes 

Annual County Play Day 

Before Con- Since Con- 
solidation solidation 
1914 1917 

People present None 3,000 

Entries None 1,494 

Different pupils entered None 524 

Transfers of Territory by County Board 
About 58 square miles. 

One village. 
Two townships. 

Districts Dissolved 

Interschool Contests 

Baseball, football, basket-baU. 
Literary and music, spelling. 




Landscaped and part of them planted. 
Play apparatus provided. 


Consolidation of schools is giving us better-trained and more ex- 
perienced teachers, with a longer tenure of position. These teachers 
working together have all the advantages of close association that 
comes from frequent teachers' meetings, and also the advantage of 
close supervision. 

Teachers who are college graduates . 
Teachers who are normal graduates . 
Graduates of first-grade high school 

One-year certificates 

Three-year certificates 

Before Con- 

Since Con- 















High-School Education 

Before Con- 

High-school enrolment in county 523 

Lanier township 22 

Jackson township 32 

Monroe township 27 

Since Con- 












Startling High-School Facts 

Washington inrtcon 

Graduates — eighth grades in last 4 years 80 60 

Number of them in high school 33 55 

Per cent going to high school 41 91 

Careful investigation by many able men, as stated above, proves 
that every day of a boy's high-school education is worth more than 
$10. Then the loss to Washington township every year is (47 pupils 
at $10 per day for 160 days) $75,200. The money loss in this town- 
ship every year is astounding. The loss in happiness and success 
in life is a tragedy. 


Boys' and Girls' Club Work 
14 clubs. 
200 members. 
3 boys and i girl sent to Washington, D. C. 
I boy and 2 girls sent for a week at State university. 
$68 in cash prizes distributed. 

School Community Meetings 
January i, 1917-June i, 1917 

Lanier Tp. S°r^n 

(ConsoUdated) (Not^Con- 

Attendance 2,625 890 

Money raised $225.90 $3.75 

Jackson Tp. ^^^i^g?"* 
' (ConsoUdated) cdSl^dltLi) 

Attendance 2,833 657 

Money raised $183.20 $10.30 



Monroe Tp. ^"'JiTf''" 
(ConsoUdated) (-^.cn^^ii. 


Average annual cost for tuition and trans- 
portation $37.62 $50.90 

Somers Tp. Somen Tp. 
(Before Con- (Since Con- 
solidation) solidation) 

Average daily attendance 81% 92% 

Money spent for education is an investment in boys and 
girls. Men are investing more in wheat-sowing that they 
may reap larger harvests, and they are putting more money 
into the housing, feeding, and breeding of stock that larger 
returns may be attained. Our cities and more progressive 
villages are making very large investments in the education 
of their boys and girls, beheving that no money spent for 
the public brings such large returns as that invested in edu- 
cation. It is common knowledge that the farmers of Preble 
County are very prosperous. Is there any good cause 


why they should not have the best modern school for their 
children ? 

The country can produce its share of socially efficient 
men and women best by providing the best kind of school. 
The consolidated school as it will inevitably be developed is 
this school. Some of the advantages as given in my recent 
annual report are as follows: 

II. Advantages of the Consolidated School 

Building. — Who can measure the uplifting influence 
upon the child who for twelve years goes to school in one of 
our beautiful modern consolidated school buildings instead 
of going to a dreary one- room school building ? The school- 
house should be the best building in the community and 
should meet the requirements of a modern school. Such 
a building in this twentieth century must consist of more 
than one room. Our cities and villages have fine buildings 
constructed to carry on the work in education of the age 
in which we live. There is something wrong with a com- 
munity where you find the average barn more commodious 
and better fitted for the purpose for which it was built than 
is the schoolhouse. What is said in Chapter IX and the 
final chapter of the volume points the way to an ideal 
consolidated-school building. 

Health. — Our new buildings have regard for the eyesight 
of pupils, providing for better lighting than in one-room 
schools. The consolidated school has a modern system of 
distributing heat evenly over the building. Even yet in 
this progressive county one may see in one-room schools 
some children roasting near the unjacketed stove and some 
freezing near the windows. Our new buildings have excel- 
lent systems of ventilation by which air is supplied continu- 
ously. The one-room school was constructed without any 
provision for ventilation. The consolidated school employs 
a janitor who keeps the building clean. The children come 


to school in wagons that are wanned arid ventilated. Their 
clothing and feet are dry. They are not exposed to wind, 
snow, and rain. The health of our children should be of 
prime importance and we should give large attention to 
their welfare in the school building. 

Morals. — In the new school buildings toilet- rooms are 
kept in the best condition. Every thoughtful parent knows 
that satisfactory conditions in this matter are highly desira- 
ble. Children carried in wagons have no opportunity of 
fighting nor hearing bad language on the way to and from 
school. One of the greatest difficulties of teachers of one- 
room schools is the behavior of children on the way to school 
and home. The question of morals is of vital importance 
to all. 

Beauty. — The beautiful has always been associated with 
the good, and the ugly with the bad. The question of beauty 
never entered into the construction of the old *' box-car'' 
one-room school building. To-day people are building more 
beautiful houses, barns, and school buildings. The archi- 
tectural beauty of our new school buildings and their well- 
landscaped grounds will prove to be silent and powerful 
forces influencing the characters of the boys and girls. 

Teachers. — While there are many good one-room schools 
and some capable and experienced teachers are working 
therein and doing their best for the children under their 
charge, yet the fact is that a large per cent of the teachers 
of this class are inexperienced and are poorly equippec?. 
Teachers of experience and training leave the one-roor.i 
school because of lack of association with other teachers, 
and because there are so many grades and classes. The 
teachers in a centralized school form a congenial, happy 
group. By meeting every day and through discussion of 
mutual problems they stimulate one another to the best 
efforts. Having one or two grades, they become efficient 
in that line of work. This is an age of specialists, and no 
teacher should teach more than two, or at the most three 


grades. Children of different ages need different methods 
of instruction and leadership and should have teachers 
specially prepared for certain grades. In the consolidated 
school, the teacher of the primary grades is chosen because 
she is naturally fitted to teach little children; the teacher of 
the upper grades because he is equipped as a leader of 
boys and girls. The increased value of the teaching is un- 
told. No teacher with eight grades and the enlarged cur- 
riculum demanded in this age can do effective work. 

Class Work. — The larger school means larger classes. 
One of the most important things in the education of the 
child is to come in contact with children of his own age. 
In many one-room schools this stimulating influence is en- 
tirely lost. One may see class after class called up with 
only one or two pupils. Such children are very unfortunate. 
Ten to thirty pupils in a class is far better. In the one-room 
school the teacher has twenty to thirty classes a day and 
has from five to fifteen minutes for a recitation. In our 
larger schools the teacher has one or two grades and the 
recitation will be twenty to thirty minutes in length. In 
the one-room school of eight grades the teacher gives one- 
eighth of her time to your child, while in the centralized 
school she gives one-half or all of her time to your child. 
This fact alone justifies the new plan of giving better schools 
to the country children. 

Curriculum. — The one-room school has an overworked 
teacher, too many classes, and no laboratory facilities. The 
consolidated school has teachers qualified for the special 
work required by a modern curriculum, has fewer classes 
and longer recitations, and has good laboratories. One of 
the great faults of the one-room school is the predominance 
of memory work taken from the text-book. The fault is 
caused by too many classes and an overworked teacher. 
In the consolidated school there is opportunity, not alone 
to teach text-book facts, but to take up such subjects as 
will acquaint the child with his environment. He will learn 


something of the great laws of nature. The boys and girls 
who are to mould the rural life of the next generation are 
in the rural school to-day, and most of them will go directly 
from this school to their life's work. Agriculture, domestic 
science, and manual training cannot be taught successfully 
in a one-room school. In the new schools the old funda- 
mentals will not be neglected, but a new emphasis will be 
placed upon them. Education now is not thought of as 
mere culture or discipline of the mind. To-day it includes 
these and more. It deals more with practical concrete sub- 
jects and prepares for vocational life. The centralized 
school teaches the ^* three R's" better, gives more culture and 
discipline, and also offers the opportunity for study of farm 
crops, the farm stock, and the farm home. For ages agri- 
culture has been thought of as an art only, but it is a sci- 
ence and a business as well. Home-making and agricul- 
ture are the biggest vocations in our country and they in- 
volve more complicated problems than do any other two 
vocations. The influence of the centralized school in offer- 
ing a more practical and interesting curriculum cannot be 

Interest. — Those who are sceptical should visit a con- 
solidated school and see the interest on the part of the chil- 
dren. Why do so many boys and girls drop out of the one- 
room school before completing the work? The answer is: 
Few or no playmates of the same age and sex, school work 
mostly memory work and from the book, not enough at- 
tention from the overworked teacher — witness the carved 
desks in the country schools — unattractive building and 
grounds, and no high-school provision. The school ought 
to be a pleasant place. The attractive building, good equip- 
ment, pupils of same age for games, and time for study of 
things as well as books make the consolidated school a 
place of interest to boys and girls. The organized athletics, 
literary and music work, and social life of such a school 
have a large influence in creating interest and securing the 
best educational results. 

A start toward farm carpentry 

Bird houses constructed in Preble County schools, Ohio 


At one time it was generally thought that education was 
a study of books. To-day we know that the child is edu- 
cated by all of his activities and his environment. So we 
provide for the best play -and social Hfe, we provide oppor- 
tunities for such expressions as will educate, and we give 
the child a school life which prepares him for more complete 
living. The successful farmer is a man interested in his 
farm, the successful business man is one interested in his 
business. The consolidated school in every way is suited 
to make children interested in their school life. 

Play. — Our consolidated and centralized schools are pro- 
viding from six to ten acres of land for buildings, play, school 
gardens, and other agricultural experiment work. These 
schools are putting out playground equipment, such as 
swings, sHdes, seesaws, giant stride, and horizontal bars. 
Some of this apparatus is made by the manual-training class. 
In addition, we find baseball diamonds, basket-ball, lawn- 
tennis, and volley-ball. Teachers are more interested and 
learn new games to teach the children. In many of the one- 
room schools not enough boys are found for a good baseball 
game. In fact, there is little organized play, because there 
are not enough children of the same age to have a good 
game. They stand around in small groups and plan some 
mischief. Organized play is a great help in saving our boys 
and girls. On stormy days the children play in the gym- 
nasium or in play- rooms. 

High Schools Made Available. — Clearly it is our duty 
in this twentieth century to provide a good high school 
within easy reach of every boy and girl. One of the big ad- 
vantages of the consolidated system is the provision for a 
rural high school. In 19 14 the high-school enrolment in 
the Preble County school district was 523, and last year the 
enrolment was 698, an increase of 175, or 33 per cent. This 
increase is remarkable when it is remembered that the 
enumeration of school youth has decreased by 59 in that 
time. The great increase is due mostly to consolidation of 
schools. Two years ago, before Lanier township central- 


ized, she was sending 22 pupils to neighboring high schools, 
and now her enrolment is 44, which is just double. Previous 
to consolidating her schools, Jackson township had 32 pupils 
in high school, and now under the consolidated system she 
has 65 pupils in high school. Two years ago the Monroe 
township school district had 27 pupils in high school, while 
now 71 of the 94 pupils enrolled in the consolidated high 
school come from the township district. This is an increase 
of 163 per cent. In the light of the times in which we live 
these facts are startling. Our progressive farmers are re- 
solved that a high school shall be accessible to all. 

Probably 90 per cent of the boys and girls in the country 
will remain on the farm, so the rural high school should em- 
phasize the life of the farm in its curriculum and in its teach- 
ing. To a large degree the rural high school should be a 
vocational school, preparing for the occupation of the farm 
and the farm home. In our cities, schools are preparing 
boys and girls for the great occupations of the city. They 
are endeavoring to give them the education that prepares 
them best for the life a majority of them will lead. A very 
large per cent of their pupils will engage in the industries of 
the city. Should not the rural high school prepare for the 
farm life in place of preparing for college and the profes- 
sional life? The emphasis of the curriculum of the rural 
high school should be placed on the scientific and industrial 
side and not on the Hnguistic and mathematical. One of the 
great advantages of the centralized township over those not 
centralized is the fact that it gives practically all of their 
boys and girls a high-school education. 

Let us compare Jackson, a township centralized for four 
years, with Washington, a township not centraHzed. Jack- 
son township maintains a first-grade high school. Wash- 
ington township does not maintain a high school, but within 
the township district is the county seat, Eaton, which has a 
first-grade high school. In the past four years there have 
been graduated from the eighth grade of the Jackson town- 


ship school 60 pupils and from the Washington township 
schools 80 pupils. Jackson township has 55 of the 60 eighth- 
grade graduates in high school, while Washington township 
has 33 of her 80 graduates in high school. In these four 
years 91 per cent of the Jackson township eighth-grade 
graduates have entered high school, while only 41 per cent 
of the Washington township pupils have gone to high school. 
What is the result? In the past four years in Washington 
township, with her one-room schools, 47 pupils were deprived 
of a high-school education. These boys and girls are handi- 
capped for life. Careful investigation by many able men 
proves that every day of a boy's high-school education is 
worth more than ten dollars. The financial loss in this 
township every year is astounding. The loss in happiness 
and success in Hfe is a tragedy. Why is there this differ- 
ence? In the consolidated township the children are accus- 
tomed to going to the central school, and when they are 
ready for the high school they are acquainted and do not 
feel timid about entering. In the second place, they are 
carried free to the high school. In townships not consoli- 
dated they must provide their own conveyance. In some 
cases parents cannot afford the cost of keeping an extra 
horse for this purpose, and in some cases a girl cannot be 
trusted to drive alone five or six miles. 

In the larger school there is a better organization and 
classification of the work which also is being modernized to 
meet the intellectual, industrial, and social needs of rural 
community life. In our consolidated schools there are 
courses in agriculture, manual arts, domestic science and 
household arts, and commercial subjects. In 1914, before 
consolidation, we had 121 pupils in domestic-science work 
and 61 in the manual-training courses. In 191 7, after con- 
solidation, there were 392 pupils taking domestic- science 
work and 155 taking manual training, an increase of 224 
per cent in domestic science and 154 per cent in manual 


Costs and Returns. — Good consolidated schools cost 
more money than ©ne-room schools. The houses and barns 
being built to-day cost more than they did forty years ago. 
The farming implements now used cost more than they did 
in the days of the scythe and the cradle. We are buying 
expensive automobiles instead of using the cheap convey- 
ances of many years ago. Shall we not have a modern 
school even though it costs somewhat more? 

Money spent for education is an investment in boys and 
girls. Men are investing more in wheat- sowing that they 
may reap larger harvests, and they are putting more money 
into the housing, feeding, and breeding of stock that larger 
returns may be attained. Our cities and more progressive 
villages are making very large investments in the education 
of their boys and girls, believing that no money spent for 
the public brings such large returns as that invested in edu- 
cation. It is common knowledge that the farmers of our 
county are very prosperous. Is there any good cause why 
they should not have the best modern school for their 
children ? 

In comparing the cost of a consolidated-school system 
with a one- room system, there are several facts other than 
the total cost to be considered. One fact is the per capita 
basis for cost, which is an accurate method of comparison. 
Let us compare Monroe township, which is centralized, 
with the nearest one-room school, sub. district No. 10, in 
Washington township. In Monroe township the average 
annual cost for both tuition and transportation for each 
child in the elementary school is $37.62. In the above-men- 
tioned one-room school in Washington township, where the 
enrolment is 11, the average annual cost for tuition is 
$50.90. Another fact to be kept in mind is that attendance 
of children in consolidated schools is much better and more 
regular. The attendance in Somers township was 81 per 
cent for the last year under the one-room system; the next 
year under the consohdated system the attendance was 92 


per cent. With several hundred pupils enrolled an increase 
of II per cent in attendance means that the total amount 
of schooling was increased many hundreds of days. In one 
month one rural school had as many cases of tardiness as 
the whole consolidated school had in the whole year. Not 
only is there the loss of school attendance but the work of 
the school is greatly crippled by the irregular attendance of 
children. Another fact to be considered is that boys and 
girls remain in school longer. The enrolment of both upper 
grades and the high school increases when schools are con- 
solidated. In most of our consolidated schools the high- 
school enrolment has more than doubled. This increased 
attendance in high schools has a money value of almost 
unbelievable size. What shall we say of the value to the 
boys and girls in greater usefulness and happiness? Still 
another fact to be considered in comparing costs is the greater 
interest in school work. The value of interest in one's work 
cannot be estimated in dollars and cents, and yet it is of 
the highest value. Many a child has quit school because 
the work was poor and uninteresting. The larger teaching 
force, better building and equipment, larger number of 
pupils, and more work with things of vital interest as found 
in the consolidated school are surely bringing a more abun- 
dant Ufe to many communities. Then transportation saves 
for parents in clothes and shoe-leather. One mother in a 
centralized township in this county estimated that her 
family was saved not less than $25 a year in this way. All 
of the above facts must be kept distinctly in mind when we 
compare costs of consolidated and one-room school systems. 
In this progressive age who wants cheap rural schools? 

In this chapter there is no space for a discussion of such 
value of the consolidated school as building, equipment, 
play, auditorium, socialization, better teachers, better class- 
work through division of labor, modern curriculum, and 
closer supervision. They are treated in other chapters. 

In general, it can be asserted truthfully that consolida- 


tion improves the whole community. Land values increase 
because of better school advantages. Such a school draws 
the people of the whole township together and awakens a 
deeper interest not only in the school but in every activity 
of the community. It helps to keep people in the country. 
It brings better roads. The old-time one-room school must 
give way to something better, to a more efficient school in 
keeping with the progressive age in which we live. 

Social. — The consolidated school has an enrolment large 
enough to give the social and cultural contact with agree- 
able associates necessary for the best development of every 

The social life which one time centred around the coun- 
try school in spelling-bees, debating, singing-schools, etc., 
has passed. The drift of the country population to the 
city is partly social. To-day the social life of the rural 
community must be reconstructed. The new social life 
will find its best centre in the consolidated school. Here 
will be held farmers' institutes, lectures, concerts, socials, 
and entertainments of various kinds. The schoolhouse has 
been a monument of neglected opportunity. It is used by 
about one-fifth of the people about six hours a day for about 
half the days of the year. The people pay taxes for the 
school and it belongs to them; they should use it more. 
It is too valuable to stand idle so much of the time. The 
large auditorium and gymnasium offer facilities for gather- 
ings, both social and recreational, which cannot be obtained 
in the small school. In this day of good roads, telephones, 
automobiles, and traction-cars, a township is a social group 
no larger in area than was the subdistrict fifty years ago. 
The larger social group has many advantages. More talent 
is found for conducting social and recreational events, and 
the whole township is united as never before. The cen- 
tralized school is a great means of developing a spirit of co- 
operation among the people of the township. As the people 
of the various communities become acquainted at the school 


meetings, a feeling of fellowship and common interest is 
developed which is of much value to all. A township li- 
brary may be maintained at the school building. The data 
given below should be noted for the purpose of comparing 
the community work of the consoHdated school and the one- 
room school. 

Community Meetings. — In the past three years a great 
many community meetings have been held by the schools. 
With all schools under supervision and nearly all consoli- 
dated, the number of community meetings has increased 
many hundred per cent, and this movement will increase 
in extent and effectiveness. The resulting advantages to 
both school and home are invaluable. Some results are en- 
tertainment and recreation, intellectual improvement, moral 
uplift, social intercourse, encouragement and inspiration in 
one's daily vocation. A comparison between townships 
with one-room schools and consoHdated townships is very 
interesting in showing the value of the consolidated school 
in sociaUzing the community. In a period of five months' 
time last winter our records show that Twin township with 
one two-room and eight one-room buildings had 890 persons 
present at community meetings, while Lanier township, 
her neighbor on the south, a centraHzed township, had 2,625 
present. Compare the amount of money raised to help the 
school. The uncentralized township received $3.75 and 
the centralized school received $255.90. The two townships 
have about the same school population, and are of the same 

Washington and Jackson are two adjoining townships. 
Washington has eight one-room schools, while Jackson is 
centralized. In topography, occupation, and wealth they 
are very similar. Washington's school population is just a 
little larger. Jackson, the centralized township, held 20 
school and community meetings, with an attendance of 
2,833, ^^^ received $183.20 to improve the school; Wash- 
ington, with her one-room schools, held 18 meetings, with 



an attendance of 657, and received $10.30 for school improve- 

Every school should have a permanent organization such 
as community club, literary society, parent- teachers' associa- 
tion, mothers' club, country life club, singing school, read- 
ing club, etc. In almost every community there is much 
music talent, dramatic talent, and speaking talent going to 
waste. And how important it is to give the opportunity of 
expressing this talent, especially among young people. 

The following brief summary of school and community 
meetings held in the schoolhouses in the last five months of 
the school year from January i, 191 7, to June i, 191 7, is 
taken from reports submitted by the superintendents. The 
character of these meetings was quite varied. The more 
important meetings were entertainments by the school, 
interschool literary contests, illustrated lectures by the 
school, community patriotic sings, class plays, commence- 
ment exercises, interschool athletic contests, lyceum num- 
bers, socials, spelling schools, class parties, teachers' asso- 
ciations, junior receptions, parent- teachers' meetings, school 



Number of 



College Corner 

Dixon township 

Gasper township 


L. D. Brouse 


E. E. McClellan. . . 
E. E. McClellan. . . 

Reuben Koch 

E.E. McClellan... 
C. R. Coblentz. . . . 
E. E. McClellan. . . 
H. A. Hoffman. . . . 

L. F. Schieser 

Reuben Koch 

Reuben Koch 

Reuben Koch 

C. A. Matheny. . . . 
E. E. McClellan. . . 
Reuben Koch 





















91 50 

183 . 20 

255 90 









Harrison township 

Israel township 

Jackson township 

Lanier township 


Monroe township 

Twin township 

Verona .... ... 

Washington township. . 

West Alexandria 

West Elkton 

West Manchester 


exhibits, fanners' improvement associations, mothers' meet- 
ings, and school home-comings. Many Red Cross meetings 
and farm bureau meetings were held in the school buildings. 
In the report below, lyceum lectures are given if the lyceum 
course was conducted by the school. Admission was charged 
for some of the meetings and the receipts are for such meet- 
ings. Of course, many of the meetings were free. One 
school used 800 slides with their stereopticon in community 

Supervision. — The consolidated school has the advantage 
of more and closer supervision. In such a school the super- 
intendent may inspect the work of the teacher every day. 
He can give the advice and help to the teacher just when 
it is needed. He can take care of cases of discipline at once. 
The superintendent of the one-room schools necessarily 
must lose much time in travelling to and from schools, and 
he cannot be in as close touch with the work as the superin- 
tendent of the consolidated school. 

The above facts must be kept distinctly in mind when 
we compare costs of consolidated and one-room school 
systems. In this wealthy country and in this progressive 
age, who wants cheap schools? 

Transportation. — When consolidation is first broached 
in a community, it is found that conveyance of the children 
is responsible for much of the opposition. Many fail to 
see the numerous advantages of the larger school which 
can be secured only by conveying the children. As shown 
in the preceding chapter, where consolidation has been 
tried for a few years, 90 to 95 per cent of the patrons 
give it their hearty support. This system has been thor- 
oughly tried out in many States and is proving a great 

Some children live two miles from the one-room school. 
Who has not seen them trudging home through mud and 
snow as the shades of night were falling? A prominent 
farmer in Washington township near the Monroe line lives 


two miles from the nearest subdistrict school in his town- 
ship and four and one-half miles from the Monroe town- 
ship centralized school. He recently said that his boy 
started for school in the morning at the same time a Mon- 
roe township school wagon came past his place. The boy 
arrived at school about the same time the wagon reached its 
destination. In the evening his boy arrived home about 
ten minutes before the wagon arrived. This farmer at one 
time opposed centralization, but now has petitioned to be 
transferred to the Monroe consolidated school nearly five 
miles away. 

It is rather strange that farmers living within a few 
miles of transportation routes of consolidated schools will 
not go near enough to investigate rumors about unsatisfac- 
tory hauling of school children, but will beUeve some wild 
statement of some irresponsible person about transportation 
in such a system. No sensible person expects perfection 
in a system that involves so many persons and conditions. 
On the other hand, let us not forget the disadvantages of 
walking to the one- room school. 

A route travelled by a school bus drawn by a team should 
not be over six miles long from the place where the first 
child enters the wagon. If possible it should be less. No 
child should enter the school wagon earher than seven 
o'clock, standard time. On shorter routes the time should 
be later. Wagons should not vary in the time of starting 
regardless of roads and weather. It is better that the open- 
ing of school be delayed a few minutes than for wagons to 
be irregular in time of starting. Every parent should have 
a time schedule at home showing exactly when the wagon 
is due to arrive at his home. Many wagons in our county 
run so regularly that they are not more than two or three 
minutes off schedule for many weeks at a time. 

It is likely that in a few years most of the children in 
this county will be carried to school in motor school cars. 
The motor-car has many advantages over the wagon drawn 


by horses. Of course, the chief advantage is that a route 
can be travelled by the motor-car in less than half the time 
it takes a team. Such cars are being used successfully in 
several States where roads are not as good as they are in 
Preble County. 

In our centralized townships more than 60 per cent of the 
children ride but three miles or less. The children like to 
ride. The wagons are enclosed with glass sides, have 
cushioned seats, and are heated and ventilated. The chil- 
dren are protected from cold, rain, snow, and mud. 

Drivers of wagons sit inside and have the same control 
over pupils as the teacher and are under bond to give ser- 
vice according to contract. The drivers should be men 
carefully selected. 

Transportation of children does away with fighting, bad 
language, and other misconduct on the way to and from 

There is a saving to parents in clothes and shoe-leather. 
One mother in a centralized township in this county esti- 
mated that their family was saved not less than twenty-five 
dollars a year in this way. 

To convey children to school makes the attendance far 
better. Hear what one farmer says: "Think of the little 
children plodding schoolward in cold and wet and mire — 
when they go at all! Then count up the number of days 
they are kept home altogether because of bad roads and 
severe weather ! " Read what the records show in one town- 
ship of this county the next year after the schools were 
consolidated: "The consolidated system of managing the 
schools showed many improvements over the old way. One 
of these was in attendance. The attendance the last year 
of the rural schools was 81 per cent, while this year it was 
92 per cent — an increase of 11 per cent. Another was in 
regard to tardiness. During the last year of the rural schools 
in one month in one of the schools there were thirty-three 
cases of tardiness. This year, under the consolidated sys- 


tern, we had scarcely that many for the entire year." Who 
can figure the value of such an increase in attendance and 
punctuality ? 

In general, it can truthfully be asserted that consolida- 
tion improves the entire township or consolidation area. 
Land values increase because of better school advantages. 
Such a school draws the people of the whole township to- 
gether and awakens a deeper interest not only in the school 
but in every activity of the community. It helps to keep 
people in the country. It brings better roads. 

The old-time one-room school must give way to some- 
thing better, to a more efficient school in keeping with the 
progressive age in which we live. The answer is consoli- 

III. In Randolph County, Indiana 

Randolph County is situated in the east-central part 
of Indiana. Its surface is somewhat level, being, however, 
easily drained, making good roads easy to secure. 

Consolidation first began in this county at Losantville, 
Nettle Creek township. The school authorities thought it 
wise to transport two small district schools to this place. 
Although this brought about a storm of opposition, the ex- 
periment was tried and has proved a great success. The 
building was erected in 1905, and is of concrete, costing 
$14,000. It has since been equipped at a cost of about 
$1,000, including desks, globes, maps, library, laboratories 
for manual training, cooking, sewing, and agriculture. For 
the first time in the history of the county schools the flush 
system of toilets was installed in a township building. A 
high school was established with a three years' course of 
six months each. This has been increased to a four years' 
course of eight months, and is now a commissioned school, 
meeting state requirements. From the very first this school 
has been a success, which is shown by the fact that 94 per 


cent of the eighth-year graduates have entered high schools. 

The school corporation of Lynn was laid down, and the 
township took charge of its school and built a six-room 
building at a cost of about $24,000. At the dedication of 
this building Doctor Hurty, of the State Board of Health, in 
making an address, spoke of the "large and commodious 
building, sanitary in every part, large enough to meet the 
needs of the community for years." The people of the com- 
munity, realizing the advantages of such a school, abandoned 
two of the district schools, and it became the duty of the 
same Doctor Hurty to condemn the building because of its 
lack of room in 1909. A six-room addition was built to 
meet the growing needs of this school, but again we find 
an insufficiency of room, as the building is now crowded in 
every part. This shows the importance of planning for 
all extensions at the start, an object attained readily by 
means of the one-story school as shown in Chapter IX. 
Laboratories for physics, botany, agriculture, manual train- 
ing, sewing, and cooking are installed. From a school re- 
quiring but six teachers and having a high-school course 
of three years this one has quickly grown to a school requir- 
ing thirteen teachers, and is commissioned. The enrol- 
ment of eighth-year graduates has increased from 80 per 
cent to 97 per cent. 

In 191 2 five districts in the north part of this same town- 
ship petitioned the trustee to abandon the district schools 
and consolidate them. To this end the Beech Grove, a 
$15,000 five-room building, was erected in 191 2. 

In 1908 a four-room dilapidated, insanitary fire- trap of 
a schoolhouse in Greensfork township gave way to a mod- 
ern ten-room building. This building is not only sanitary 
and modern in every particular, but is an architectural 
beauty. It is situated in a maple-grove near the centre of 
the township, and accommodates the pupils from six dis- 

The high school maintained here has grown from a three 


years' course of six months to a four years' course of eight 
months, and was commissioned in 191 1. The per cent of 
attendance of the eighth-year graduates has increased from 
60 per cent to 97 per cent since the erection of this build- 

In 1908 the trustee of White River township found him- 
self facing the problem of several small schools and poor 
buildings in the western part of his township. It was 
deemed advisable to build a consolidated school. To this 
end a four- room building was erected at a cost of $14,000. 
Many people looked upon it as a foolish undertaking, as it 
is situated entirely remote from any town or village. In 
fact, at the dedication of this building, known as the "Lin- 
coln," prophets were heard to say that the time would never 
come when the building would be half filled. This school 
began with an enrolment of 43. Its advantages were soon 
seen by the people of the surrounding districts, and the fol- 
lowing year three heavily populated districts petitioned to 
be abandoned and transported to this school. Many others 
from surrounding districts, also, seeing its advantages, trans- 
ported their children at their own expense. This reduced 
the attendance in the other schools until three went down 
for lack of attendance. The high school was established in 
1 9 10, and is now commissioned. 

The experiment was so successful and the attendance 
so large that the building soon became inadequate. As 
some of the high-school children were transported from the 
east end of the township, it was thought that the situation 
might be relieved by erecting another large building in the 
eastern part of the township. This was done in 191 1, but 
so great was the demand and need of more room in the 
"Lincoln," that 97 patrons out of loi petitioned the trus- 
tees and advisory board to double the capacity of the school 
building. This was done in the summer of 191 2, and in- 
stead of a failure, as was predicted by some, we find it a 
ten-room building equipped for botany, agriculture, manual 






8 ILLIN015 

9 colorado 

10 Indiana 




14 UTAH 



15 N &AKDTA 


21 IOWA 

2^ MAINE. 


14 KAN5A5 

W/////Ay/////A ^'/m.v''/v^vy^^M 
\w//XA\v/?///Ay///jm I 

v//y///A/ \y/////AV//// //A\ 


2fi WkiCONSlKI 







37 TtNNE5St£ 







45 M»^*^^PP» 

47 C). CARDL»NA 


Rank of States in Each of Ten Educational Features, igio. 
White indicates that the State ranks in the highest 12 of the 48 — Black ranks 
in the lowest 12. 



training, sewing, cooking, and attended by 257 pupils. 
There are five acres in the school lot. This does not in- 
clude a one-acre lot upon which the school residence is 

The other building referred to in the above paragraph is 
known as the ''McKinley," and is situated on a six-acre 
lot one mile east of Winchester. It is an eight-room build- 
ing, costing $28,000, modern in every particular, and fully 
equipped for all the needs of a modern school. Pupils of 
seven abandoned schools are being transported to this 
building. The enrolment for the current year is 215. 
The high school maintained here is also commissioned. 

For five years previous to the establishment of the town- 
ship high schools in this township the enrolment of eighth- 
year graduates was 53 per cent. Since these high schools 
have been started, 93 per cent of the eighth-year graduates 
have been enrolled in the high school. 

In 1909 Parker abandoned its school corporation, and its 
management was assumed by Monroe township. A new 
building was necessary. Four acres of ground near town 
were purchased by the trustee, and a building costing $34,500 
was erected. This is also well equipped, maintains a com- 
missioned school, and has twelve teachers. The children in 
the western half of the township are transported by wagons 
and interurban trolley-car to this school. This building is 
equipped for manual training, sewing, cooking, botany, 
agriculture, and physics. The per cent of attendance of 
eighth-year graduates has increased from 67 per cent to 90. 
The children in the eastern half of the township are trans- 
ported to Farmland joint consolidated school. This build- 
ing was erected in 1908 at a cost of $45,000. It is equipped 
similarly to the one just described. 

The banner year for schoolhouse construction was 19 10, 
when three townships erected consolidated buildings. 

Green township erected a six-room $19,000 building upon 
a three-acre school lot in the centre of the township. 


This was the first township in the county to have complete 
consolidation. All of the eight schools were abandoned and 
transported to the central school. For five years previous 
to the establishment of this school but 21 per cent of its 
eighth-year graduates enrolled in high school. This low 
per cent is perhaps due to the fact that no high schools were 
near this township. The growth of this school has been 
remarkable, and a four years' commissioned high school is 
maintained. The per cent of attendance of the eighth- 
year graduates has increased from 21 to 92 per cent. 

Jackson township is another that built in the year 19 10. 
Its building was erected in the centre of the township, and, 
like the others, is modern in every particular. It had six 
rooms and was built at a cost of $18,000. Two rooms were 
occupied the first year, but in 191 2, every nook and corner 
being filled, a three-room addition was built. This build- 
ing, like the others in the county, is complete in every 
respect. Consolidation of the township is complete. The 
high school is commissioned and has an attendance of 63 

Ward township had a high school at Saratoga previous 
to the year 19 10, but Saratoga is in the extreme corner of 
the township, which made the high school inaccessible to 
most of the children of the township. Two schools aban- 
doned for lack of attendance, together with three abandoned 
by petition, were centraUzed in the "Jefferson," near Deer- 
field, in the western part of the township. This building 
has six classrooms and two recitation rooms, and was 
built at a cost of $17,000. The high school is now commis- 
sioned and is growing very rapidly. The attendance of 
eighth-year graduates in the territory covered by this school 
has increased from 31 per cent to 92 per cent. An addition 
is now being built. 

In the spring of 191 1 the State Board of Health con- 
demned the joint school building between Nettle Creek and 
West River townships at Modoc, and the trustees of these 


townships built a seven-room building at a cost of $18,000. 
During the summer three district schools petitioned to be 
abandoned and consolidated with the school at Modoc. 
The high school, which had been a two years' course of seven 
months, was put upon a commissioned basis immediately, 
and has grown from an attendance of 1 5 to 40. The sqhool 
is now commissioned, and the per cent of enrolment of 
eighth-grade graduates in the territory covered by this 
school has increased from 68 per cent to 96. 

At the same time in which the Modoc school building 
was condemned another structure in West River township 
at Huntsville was also condemned, but the Board of Health, 
realizing that a township would be burdened by erecting 
two buildings during the same year, extended the time of 
condemnation to 191 2. In the summer of 191 2 a four- room 
building was erected at Huntsville at a cost of $15,000. 
This school, like the one at Modoc, has been increased from 
a two years' course of seven months and placed upon a 
commissioned basis. Pupils of four abandoned schools are 
being transported to this school, leaving but two district 
schools in the township. The eighth-year enrolment has 
increased from 68 per cent to 92 per cent. 

In the spring of 191 2 four districts in the central part of 
Wayne township petitioned to be abandoned and consoli- 
dated in a central school. To this end five acres of ground 
were purchased and a contract let for a seven-room build- 
ing at a cost of $23,000. The old school building is converted 
into a teacherage and is occupied by the principal of the 
school. The school has an attendance of 225. The high 
school is commissioned, with an attendance of 40. The per 
cent of enrolment in the high school has increased from 
44 per cent to 95. A seven- room building is now being 
built in the northern part of this same township. All of 
the district schools have been abandoned. 

The last building to be constructed is in Stony Creek 
township. This is an eight-room building, like the other 


schools, equipped in every particular for complete com- 
munity service. 

Construction. — In mentioning the number of rooms in 
each of the buildings named above we have made no at- 
tempt to enumerate such rooms as might be termed recita- 
tion, library, laboratory, rest, or play rooms. Each build- 
ing has from two to six such rooms, which are as valuable 
in their place as the rooms mentioned in the description. 
During the war building ceased, of course. 

These buildings have been built according to the rules 
and regulations of the State Board of Health, as to lighting, 
heating, and ventilating. The heating is by furnace and 
steam, the ventilation being by fans. Automatic regulation 
is installed in most of these buildings, thus insuring a con- 
stant temperature. The flush system of toilets is made 
possible by cesspools, which are easily drained, and which 
have proved very satisfactory. 

The cost given is in most cases the contract price, and 
does not include any improvements or equipment. 

In some cases the old school buildings are used for barns 
and in others new barns have been built. These are used 
for the horses of the hack drivers and of children who fur- 
nish their own transportation. 

These barns are constructed so that by removing a 
temporary stall the school hacks may be stored during the 

Transportation. — The greatest problem in consolidated 
schools is the transportation of the children. The testi- 
mony in preceding chapters is convincing and sufficient. 
Emphasis has been laid on securing the best men as drivers 
with the best teams to be had, and these attached to the 
best hacks possible. Too great care cannot be taken to 
insure the best service in this line. The hack routes must 
be as short as possible, so that children may be in the 
wagons for a minimum period only. The hacks should be 
commodious, warm, and well ventilated. To this end the 


trustees of this county are purchasing only hacks that have 
glass sides and ventilators. They should be heated by 
coal-stoves and thus eliminate any fumes. 

The glass sides give good opportunity for ventilation and 
insure plenty of Hght, both of which are not only essential 
to good health but are conducive to good deportment. 
Hack drivers who formerly drove the hacks with curtained 
sides report that the discipline in the modern hacks is 
much better. This is due largely to the fact that the hacks 
have plenty of light, and that the children can see over the 
country as they pass along. This is also an insurance 
against accidents while crossing railroads. 

The hacks used here have double floors, which also adds 
much to the comfort of the children. 

To reiterate, good roads are a necessity to successful 
transportation. Since these hacks have to go over the roads 
at all times of the winter, they are equipped with wheels 
having two-and-one-fourth-inch tires, to prevent any un- 
necessary wear upon the road. Hack routes, like mail 
routes, bring about good roads, since the best service is 
only possible under the most favorable conditions. 

Only men of the highest moral worth should be employed 
as drivers. As much care should be exercised in the selec- 
tion of a hack driver who has charge of the children to and 
from school as in the teacher who has charge of them while 
in school. The best of men can qnly be secured when the 
position pays the price demanded by a first-class man. 
Bids for driving a hack should never be taken by a trustee, 
as this brings about unsatisfactory complications. 

The rules and regulations of the hack service should be 
a part of the contract into which the hack driver enters 
and in which he gives bond for the successful performance 
of the work. The contract here shown is the one used in 
this county, and attempts to reach and overcome some of 
the difficulties encountered in the past. 

Each hack driver is required to make a daily report to 


the principal of the school. This not only secures his co- 
operation but the children in this way learn of their re- 
sponsibility to the driver. A report is also required of each 
driver to the county superintendent in order that he may be 
made acquainted with prevailing conditions. 

Community Centres. — These buildings are constructed 
for a broader purpose than mere school buildings. They 
have become the centres of community interests because of 
their facihties for the accommodation of public gatherings. 
Many of the townships have no other public buildings of 
sufficient size to accommodate general meetings of the com- 
munity. Without exception these buildings have audi- 
toriums which are made by combining two to four rooms, 
and sometimes the corridor. Folding-doors of unusual height 
are used for this purpose. These auditoriums vary in size, 
depending on the size of the building, but in most instances 
will seat 300 to 600 people. These facihties have brought 
about many entertainments such as are given in lecture 
courses of high quaUty. Commencements, township insti- 
tutes, both teachers' and farmers' poUtical meetings, Sunday- 
school conventions, farmers' organizations, parents' and 
teachers' meetings — in fact, all meetings found in any high- 
grade community are being held in these buildings. This 
has brought about a closer relation between patrons, chil- 
dren, and the schools, and this alone is well worth the extra 
cost of any auditorium. 

These schools have also brought about a higher appre- 
ciation of school work beyond the eighth grade. Families 
are now represented in the high schools of the townships 
which were never represented before. Children no longer 
discuss the question of stopping at the eighth grade, be- 
cause they have in their own midst an institution of higher 
learning. We know of no more convincing proof of the 
above-mentioned influences than a reference to the statistical 
report of this county. In 1908-9, the year before these 
schools were started outside the towns, this county had 371 


eighth-grade pupils enrolled, 61 high-school pupils, in com- 
missioned high schools. In 191 5-1 6, by a strange coinci- 
dence, the report shows the same number of eighth-grade 
pupils, but the enrolment in the high school has in- 
creased from 61 to 657. Eighty-seven per cent of the 
pupils of the townships of the county are in consolidated 

This influence not only reaches to those of the eighth 
year, but extends entirely throughout the grades, and the 
general attitude of these lower grades toward the, schools 
and school problems is perceptibly better. As one reflects 
upon the schools of the past and compares them with those 
of the present with all their advantages, the question arises : 
"What great things are in store for the children of the next 

IV. Jordan Consolidated Rural High School 

The Jordan school district is situated in the southern 
part of the fertile Salt Lake Valley, nine miles south of 
Salt Lake City, Utah, and embraces within its boundaries 
2,800 square miles of territory, which includes the follow- 
ing communities: Bingham, Riverton, Sandy, South Jordan, 
Union, West Jordan, Bluffdale, Butler, Crescent, Draper, 
Granite, Herriman, Lark, and Midvale; it is traversed by 
the Oregon Short Line, Denver and Rio Grande, Bingham 
and Garfield, San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Rail- 
roads, and the Orem Electric Interurban Line. 

The district is reached and traversed for a short distance 
by the Utah Light and Power Railway Company, which is 
the street railroad operating in and around Salt Lake City. 
There are 100 miles of railroad in the district. The as- 
sessed valuation of the district in 19 18 was $49,000,000; 
population estimated, 20,000; the school population was 



The school district maintains two high schools, the Jor- 
dan high school at Sandy and the Jordan high school at 
Bingham. The latter accommodates the students of the 
two mining towns of Bingham, population 5,000, and 
Lark, population 500; the remaining part of the district 
being largely agricultural, supports the Jordan high school 
at Sandy. 

The building shown elsewhere is the home of the Jordan 
high school at Sandy. It stands near the geographical 
centre of the Jordan district, the southern part of Salt Lake 
County. It is 235 feet long by 166 wide and 45 feet high. 
It contains 40 large, well-lighted rooms, adapted to various 
high-school acti\dties. The auditorium is 60 feet by 90 
feet, has a large stage, a commodious balcony, and is 
equipped with 900 opera-chairs of the best design. It is 
well adapted for assemblies and dramatic activities. The 
gymnasium is 60 by 90 feet, the standard size, and has a 
balcony for spectators, a balcony music-stand, and com- 
modious dressing-rooms and showers adjoining, for both 
boys and girls. The building is well adapted to social 
and physical activities. The study hall is a well-lighted 
room containing 100 seats of the best modern type; ad- 
joining the study hall is a small but very choice library. 
Besides the rooms described, there are 35 rooms adapted to 
recitation and laboratory work. These have been especially 
designed for domestic science, domestic art, mechanic arts, 
agriculture, physics, chemistry, biology, and other class- 
room activities. The building is thus well adapted for 
modern high-school activities. 

The heating and the ventilating plants are likewise well 
equipped. The former has two 80 horse-power boilers that 
are fed by electric stokers. The latter has a large electric 
fan connected by air-ducts with all the rooms. The boilers 
heat the rooms by means of steam radiators, while the fan 
draws in pure air from a height of 25 feet on the outside, and 
sends it wanned to all parts of the building. The tempera- 


ture is regulated automatically, so that it ranges constantly 
between 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The campus has twenty- three acres of ground. This is 
devoted to agriculture and to athletics. A small model 
dairy farm is maintained in connection with the courses 
in agriculture. Football-courts, tennis-courts, baseball dia- 
mond, and running courses are laid off for use in athletics 
and sports. Around the building the ground is devoted 
to appropriate landscape-gardens. On one corner of the 
campus is a new brick cottage for the principal and another 
for the superintendent of schools; another corner is occu- 
pied by the custodian, who is engaged the year round and 
supervises the building and grounds. 

This plant is that of a consolidated rural high school. 
Located in the open country as it is, it is not in any sense 
local. The nearest community, Sandy, is one mile away. 
Other communities that patronize the school range from 
one up to twelve miles distant. These communities sepa- 
rately are too small to maintain a first-class modern high 
school; conjointly in consolidation they have estabhshed 
one of the largest and best high-school plants in the 

The cost of this plant has been high. To date the sum 
expended is about $165,000. When completed it will go 
over $200,000. This could not be met even by all the 
prosperous communities of this district by direct taxation, 
so the district was bonded, thus giving the generation that 
receives the educational benefit an opportunity to help pay 
the expenses. Consolidation and bonding thus enable the 
building of big institutions without the assumption of an 
unbearable burden. 

This building will accommodate 750 students. It will 
probably meet the needs of the district for the next eight or 
ten years. The school now enrolls about 400 students. 
We present herewith the names of the contributing towns 
with distance from the school and approximate population. 




Distance in Miles 







Crescent . . . . 



Riverton .... 


South Jordan 
West Jordan. 










The transportation is free and is carried on by the dis- 
trict mostly in automobile vans. 

Coming as these students do from small communities, 
ranging from 1,000 inhabitants down to 100, high-school 
opportunities would not have been accessible to them had 
it not been for consolidation. 

The school is large enough to give breadth of scope to 
its activities. It has the usual social and athletic activities. 
In addition it has a broad curriculum, flexible enough so 
that students can find something to fit their native bent. 

The school here represented and all the elementary 
schools that feed it are administered by a board of five 
broad-minded men who work not for particular constitu- 
encies, but for the people of the entire county. 

Under the old district system over fifty men as trustees 
would have administered separate schools without -even a 
possibility of high-school work. This administration of 
the education of all these communities with one central 
high school by a board of five big men who engage a com- 
petent superintendent is attained in these rural communi- 
ties only by means of consolidation. 

Consolidation thus enables rural communities to estab- 


lish modern high schools. The plant including campus, 
building, and equipment is of the best type. The curriculum 
is broad enough in its scope to give opportunity for the 
development of individuality. The curriculum and social 
activities of the school are adapted to the environment and 
to the needs of the community. Without consolidation 
high schools of any sort are beyond reach of the smaller 
communities. The so-called one and two teacher high 
schools in the slightly larger communities are not modern, 
because, even if the administrators are converted to modern 
ideas, they are limited in their power and cannot embody 
the features named above that characterize a modern high 
school. Schools may exist in the twentieth century in coun- 
try or in city and not be modern. But, with the proper 
view-point, and with an enabling law such as is now in effect 
in our State, a modern high school ought shortly to be within 
reach of every eligible child in Utah. For other counties 
and States it may be better to have several consolidated 
schools in each county and not have such large, separate 
county high schools, but here the people nearly all live in 
the towns mentioned, not in the open country, and the little 
children are well cared for in the elementary town schools. 
We have met the situation as we found it, and have an 
almost unique high school. 

V. The Sargent CoNSOLroATED School and Com- 
munity Church, Colorado 

One day in the simimer of 191 6 more than 100 people 
from two communities in Rio Grande County who were 
interested in consolidation visited the La Jara consolidated 
school. The trip was made in autos and some of the people 
came more than 50 miles. They took lunch-baskets and 
spent the day inspecting this remarkable school. At noon 
they were served hot coffee and cocoa by the domestic-sci- 
ence class. After a pleasant and profitable day they re- 


turned home. One of the communities is situated eight 
miles north of Monte Vista. All were convinced of the 
merits of consolidation. An election was immediately called 
in five districts and carried by an overwhelming majority. 
By this time it was too late in the summer to think of get- 
ting a new building ready for the approaching school year, 
so school was opened in the old buildings while the school 
board was completing its plans. In February, 191 7, a bond 
issue for $35,000 carried without opposition, a competent 
architect was employed, plans were drawn, a ten-acre site 
was donated, the contract was let, and building operations 
were begun. In the summer following, a superintendent 
was employed who had already made a reputation for start- 
ing one famous consolidated school, and from this time on 
everything moved like clock-work. People living in ad- 
joining districts saw this fine school nearing completion 
and were anxious to share its benefits. In a short time four 
large transfers of territory from contiguous districts were 
added by petition, making the equivalent of nine districts 
in the enlarged consolidation. Never in the history of 
rural-school improvement in Colorado have such united 
efforts been put forth to complete a school building, nor 
has such enthusiasm been displayed or more complete and 
hearty co-operation been shown in any community than 
there was in this case. 

It takes time to complete such a building as this, and 
it was not until January, 191 8, that the new building was 
occupied, being then unfinished. It was dedicated and 
christened April 23, at which time fifty autos were parked 
on the campus, and more than 300 enthusiastic country 
people were packed into the large school and community 
auditorium to witness the event to which they had looked 
forward with so much pleasure. 

This fine modern $35,000 school building was scarcely 
finished when another bond issue for $18,000 was voted. 
From this, an eight-room building was erected to serve as 


a home for the superintendent. A ten-room teacherage 
for the other eight teachers and a garage 40 by 70 feet 
were constructed and a gymnasium was finished in the 
school basement. 

In this, one of the most modern and up-to-date rural- 
school plants in the United States, $72,000 have already 
been expended. These people have not only provided for 
the present, but have anticipated their future needs for 
years to come. 

The building itself is complete in every detail. It is a 
beautiful structure, well designed for all the Unes of work 
that should be carried on in a modern rural school. It 
has standard classrooms sufficient to accommodate 500 
children. It has a large school and community auditorium 
for both school and neighborhood meetings. It has well- 
equipped agricultural and domestic-science laboratories and 
a manual-training shop, these three lines of work being in- 
troduced the first year. Thirty boys, each of whom owns 
a registered gilt, have organized a pig club. Already pig- 
pens and chicken-coops dot the rear of the ten-acre school 
site. A gasoHne-engine furnishes water under pressure for 
drinking-fountains, lavatories, and toilets, and generates 
electricity for lighting the building as well as for charging 
the storage batteries of the auto-busses used in transporta- 
tion. It is still further utilized as laboratory equipment in 
the study of electricity and auto repair. 

Two hundred and eight children enrolled the first year, 
30 of these being in the new high school. 

About 350 school children now live in the district, and 
it is estimated that over 300 of these will be in school next 
year with about 50 of the number in the high school. 

Last year 180 children were transported to and from 
school in five large Studebaker busses, a few riding 14 miles 
each way. Three more busses of the same kind have been 
purchased, and next year at least 300 children will be trans- 



All of the nine teachers, each of whom has had either 
college or normal training, are nicely and comfortably pro- 
vided for in the two large new teacher ages. No more 
itinerant teachers, coming into the district Monday morn- 
ing and returning to some town early Friday afternoon, 

Basement Plan of Sargent Consolidated School. 

will be tolerated in this district. They will be expected 
to live in the district and to identify themselves with the 
community life therein. Moreover, each teacher will be 
employed because of special preparation and fitness for 
work in a rural school and rural community. The superin- 
tendent is a young man with a vision and has already earned 
a reputation as a community builder. 

This school has also been approved for federal aid in 
home economics under the Smith-Hughes Act. 

Community Co-Operation. — The people of this remarka- 
ble district have not been content in just improving their 
school, even though that improvement far surpasses any 

First Floor Plan. 



Second Floor Plan. 

Sargent Consolidated School, Monte Vista, Colorado. 
John J. Huddart, Architect. 



other district of which we know, but they have already 
actually gone clear *'over the top'' in community co-opera- 
tion. As soon as the new building was occupied, they or- 
ganized a union Sunday-school, which grew in attendance 
rapidly until on Easter Sunday the enrolment was 299, the 
average Sunday attendance being in the neighborhood of 
225, with a men's Bible class of 40, a women's Bible class 
of the same number, and a cradle roll of 30, which seems 
to guarantee future attendance. 

The next step was the organization of a union com- 
munity church. A pastor who gives his full time to this 
field was called and his salary of $1,500 was raised by vol- 
untary subscriptions. He reached the field in April, 191 8, 
and began work at once. The church organization was 
perfected in May, and on June 9, 70 members, representing 
some ten or a dozen different denominations, were received 
into membership, 11 of these being upon confession of faith. 
On July 7, 20 more were received into membership in the 
new church, making a total of 90 members. Twenty-four 
of these are adult males and 38 adult females. There is 
also a Christian Endeavor Society with an attendance of 50. 

This magnificent rural-school building is used five days 
in the week during the school term for the regular school 
work, and on Sunday for Sunday-school and church services. 
The large assembly-room is used for preaching services and 
the classrooms for the Sunday-school classes. It is ad- 
mirably adapted to serve this double purpose, thereby effect- 
ing a great saving to the people of the community, who do 
not need to expend additional money for a separate building 
which could only be used a few hours each week. Besides, 
the fact that the church services were to be held in the school- 
house, a neutral building, open to and belonging to every- 
body in the district, made it easier for the people to forget 
their denominational differences and unite in one organiza- 
tion, to worship at one altar and to bring up their children 
in the "fear and admonition of the Lord," instead of trying 


to maintain some half-dozen competing organizations, none 
of which could ever hope to be strong enough to be self- 
supporting. For if any one of these had ever tried to 
erect a building of its own it must have solicited the sup- 
port of the entire community, and then have had a building 
similar to some of the old schoolhouses which they have 
already abandoned. 

One year ago this community had only one-room schools, 
a struggling little Sunday-school with but few in atten- 
dance, and no church organization. There was no central 
community meeting-place and no community solidarity. 
To-day these people have a modern school plant and an 
efficient school organization, a community church and 
Sunday-school that all can take pride in helping to support, 
and the entire community is learning to co-operate in the 
solution of its problems. The parsonage has been com- 
pleted, making the total cost of this real consolidated-school 
plant to date about $72,000. The people seem to be a unit 
in the support of both the school and church, and no objec- 
tion has yet been raised to bond issues or tax levies. The 
people seem to have real inspiration, the kind that is con- 
tagious, for other communities near by, seeing the good work 
already accomplished by this district, are planning to do 
likewise, and one large consolidation north and two south 
of it are now developing. This is perhaps the most con- 
spicuous example of complete community co-operation that 
can be found in Colorado. They have made more real 
substantial progress in two years since the movement first 
started than many rural communities make in a quarter of 
a century. 

VI. Consolidation Plan Makes Good 

Each successive year for nine years consolidation has 
become more favorably fixed in the minds of the people 
until now, in Granite school district, , Salt Lake County, 


Utah, opposition to it is considered a thing of the past. 
Looking backward upon these years of experience, it can 
be said that consolidation has accomplished, among other 
things, the following: 

1. Established a deeper confidence in the schoolman's 
most vitalizing agency. 

2. Brought first-class schools to the country pupils and 
overcome the necessity of country pupils leaving their 
homes to go to city schools. 

3. Made homes in the country more desirable and 
thereby raised the value of rural real estate. 

4. Erased boundary-lines and worked for the common 
good of all the people. 

5. Stimulated the " getting- together " habit. 

6. Introduced the "transportation idea" and supplied 
better means of travel. 

7. Caused, and is causing, better roads to be built. 

8. Equahzed taxation for school purposes and the ad- 
vantages which result therefrom. 

9. Provided more funds for school purposes. 

10. Expended school money more judiciously. 

11. Awakened as keen, or keener, interest in school elec- 
tions, though non-partisan, as in general elections. 

12. Eliminated a multitude of district trustees of but 
ordinary qualifications. 

13. Created in their place a board of education con- 
sisting of five very competent members. 

PI4. Abandoned poor, isolated buildings. 
15. Erected new, modern, central school buildings, with 
improved lighting, heating, and ventilating systems. 

16. Furnished these buildings with large halls, tinted 
walls, and ample blackboards; and equipped them with 
pianos, single desks, working-tables, and other desirable 
furniture, as well as adequate apparatus, material, and 

17. Kept these buildings in first-class condition. 


1 8. Expanded school grounds to a size which encour- 
ages organized outdoor play and the planting of school- 

19. Graded these grounds, put down cement walks, and 
installed sanitary drinking-fountains. 

20. Sought the assistance of the ablest specialists in 
rural education that our nation affords. 

21. Introduced a high quality of school supervision. 

22. Employed expert supervisors in primary methods, 
music, art, physical education, manual training, agriculture, 
and domestic crafts. 

23. Retained special help of the juvenile court in work- 
ing with delinquent pupils, and engaged the services of 
trained nurses to examine each pupil at least once each week. 

24. Raised the standard of efficiency of the whole 
teaching force. 

25. Held a liberal number of male teachers in the gram- 
mar grades, most of whom are making teaching their Hfe- 

26. Put fewer pupils with each teacher, thereby giving 
the pupils more personal attention. 

27. Resulted in enrolling a larger percentage of the 
school population. 

28. Increased the percentage of daily attendance of this 
increased enrolment. 

29. Increased the percentage of promotions of this in- 
creased attendance of this increased enrolment. 

30. Added at least an average of 10 days' attendance 
per pupil per year. 

31. Reduced the percentage of failures and retentions 
more than one-third. 

32. Overcome, to a considerable extent, the tendency 
to quit school before graduating. 

33. Made a standard rural high school possible. 

34. Inspired a high percentage of eighth-grade graduates 
to attend high school. 


35. Reduced truancy to a minimum. 

36. Classified and graded the schools better. 

37. Came closer to the real interests of the children. 

38. Obtained the good- will and co-operation of patrons. 

39. Economized the time of pupils, teachers, and patrons. 

40. Overcome local petty prejudice; made the remote 
country child associate with children of other localities; 
gave him a broader view, and extended his circle of friends 
and acquaintances. 

41. Created social centres, with their libraries, Hterary 
societies, business and industrial organizations, athletic asso- 
ciations, and amusements. 

42. Fostered a taste for the best that life can give, and 
enriched the whole life of the people. 

43. Placed strong class leaders in every school. 

44. Aroused enthusiasm for healthful rivalry and fair 
competition in all school work. 

45. Made pupils progressive, contented, comfortable, 
and happy. 

46. Taught punctuality and dependability by example. 

47. Safeguarded the health of the children. 

48. Emphasized a high moral tone. 

49. Formed a better basis for the study of the school as 
a factor of economics and sociology. 

50. Made better school legislation necessary. 


We leave the problems and bibliography, if any, here to the in- 
structors, reading-circle directors, or others to devise if they think 
them desirable. 



Preliminary Problems 

1. How should a consolidated school be distinguished by its pro- 

gramme of studies from city schools, elementary and high? 

2. What important rural needs for knowledge, habits, and aspirations 

not obtainable outside of schools are unmet by the present con- 
solidated-school curricula ? 

3. What advantages has a school for sequential curriculum-making 

in which both elementary and high schools are in the same 
building? Need there be a sharp mark of cleavage between ele- 
mentary and secondary education? Why? 

4. In what ways is the consolidated school like the Gary schools in 

organization and possibilities ? (See bulletin on the Gary schools 
published by the U. S. Bureau of Education through the Gov- 
ernment Printing Office, and the survey of the Gary schools, in 
several volumes, published by the General Education Board, 
New York City.) 

5. If possible, examine the programmes of study of several consoli- 

dated schools and test them by the principles expressed by 
Doctor Bobbitt in his book on "The Curriculum" (Houghton 
Mifflin Co.). 

I. General Principles of Curriculum Construction 

The activities in which children engage by which are 
produced the educational changes, physical and mental, 
which society needs for the accomplishment of the social 
purpose constitute the curriculum. Society desires "life, 
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" for each of its members 
individually, and for itself as a co-operative organism. It 
must create individuals possessed of social knowledge, habits, 
and aspirations developed in the direction of vital, voca- 



tional, avocational, civic, and moral efficiency. Thus will 
the highest good of the individual and of the entire group 
be progressively promoted. To acquire these efficiencies for 
promoting general welfare and happiness, the young are 
stimulated by various means to gain social insight, ability, 
and responsiveness. They gain these through co-ordinated 
and purposeful activities, mental and physical, of the senses, 
the emotions, the remembering and thinking abilities, and 
of the various parts of the body. 

Growth in these efficiencies through these activities 
must be progressive and sequential. Such sequence and 
progress are provided for many important social efficiencies 
by the ordinary activities of the home. The child learns 
how to act by acting, how to live by living. Thus he learns 
to walk and to talk, two great accomplishments, to partici- 
pate in many home activities, and to "be good to live with.'* 
His instincts of play, imitation, curiosity, communication, 
and many others lead him to do many things that provide 
him with definite and necessary forms of social efficiency. 
In the colonial rural home, or "household,'* practically all 
the abihties needed for promoting individual and social 
happiness were acquired at an early age. There was little 
need for specialized institutions to add to this training. 
Half of the American homes to-day, however, are city 
homes, and lack most of the opportunity for broad home 
education through participation. The farm home has lost 
much of its educative value, both because of the growing 
speciahzation and reduction in the breadth of training, and 
because of the tremendous increase of scientific knowledge 
and complexity of human life, for much of which the home 
alone cannot well prepare. These facts might be proved 
beyond the patience of any reader. 

The school is a specialized institution, usually of the 
government, which should do for children educationally 
what other institutions are not doing to help them grow 
best in social efficiency — ^power to promote the general wel- 


fare, or universal happiness of the finest kinds. It is a 
supplemental institution. Children who are being more 
adequately and economically educated at home for social 
efficiency than they could be at school need not go to school. 
If the church does a large share of educational training, less 
is required of the school. The superior school investigates 
social needs and desires; it studies the nature of the chil- 
dren; it learns what is being done and not being done for 
them educationally out of the school; it determines the 
limitations under which it operates; it then attacks the 
problem of selecting the most fundamental types of effi- 
ciency which it should and can undertake; and finally ar- 
ranges these most essential activities, "the studies," pro- 
gressively and psychologically for the learning and teaching 
processes. These most needed and most feasible activities 
undertaken by the school constitute the curriculum, or the 
*' course of study," as it is frequently termed, and, more 
scientifically, the programme of studies which may contain 
several curriculums, or courses. 

In recent years we have developed printed courses, or 
curriculums, of study, or activity, for many types of effi- 
ciency. Frequently, the course for each group of abilities, 
such as a statement of desirable knowledge, skill, and ap- 
preciation in music or reading, is printed in a separate vol- 
ume, or even in three volumes — one for the lower grades, 
another for the upper grades, and another for the high school. 
In some cases each of these volumes is quite large and in- 
dicates what activities to encourage, in what order, in what 
manner, or methods, and how to test results of teaching in 
the form of socially desirable efficiencies. Recently pub- 
lished volumes are also setting up reasonable standards of 
attainment for children of different grades and kinds. A 
certain degree of speed and comprehension is, for example, 
sought in reading for each grade for each natural grouping 
of time, such as first term, second term, etc., for each year. 

All of the determinants of the public school vary greatly 


from place to place. The country child, the country life, 
the country needs, the other educational institutions of the 
country, such as the church and motion-picture show, differ 
widely in different sections of the nation. The minimal 
essentials of educational activities of the public school as a 
universal, supplemental, compulsory, and free institution, 
dedicated to the welfare of the whole people, can hardly be 
the same for a community of foreign coal-miners living in 
miserable shacks as for a community of settled American 
landowners in a farming community when we consider that 
these essentials must relate to vital, vocational, avocational, 
civic, and moral efficiency. A certain core of essentials 
will be common, of course, but this will probably not be 
large. Even the educational needs of cotton-raisers, wheat- 
growers, fruit-raisers, and gardeners differ greatly, although 
they fall into common groups and a certain core of minimal 
essentials within each group is to be discovered. 

In another place the writer has attempted to state the 
leading principles underlying the course of study, or cur- 
riculum of activities, for public schools ("Teaching Ele- 
mentary-School Subjects," Chapter I). The principles are 
many, and are as broad as social philosophy and as prac- 
tical as current school procedure, yet very unsatisfactory at 
present since we know so little about either the nature of 
the child and his growth toward social efficiency, of society 
with its various needs and modes of development, and of 
the best methods and activities for bringing about mutual 
adjustment between the two determinants of the process. 
Most of the people of the world to-day believe in that type 
of social Ufe which we term democratic. We have waged 
a war to "make the world safe for democracy"; we are 
constantly improving the methods of democracy itself, and 
thus making democracy safe for the world; the public school 
is the principal institution for making the people safe for 
democracy and democracy safe for the people by bringing 
up the young in the democratic mode of life. This should 


be its chief and broadest aim. We must have individuals 
from our schools in great numbers who can both live suc- 
cessfully the life of freedom and responsibility, of democracy, 
and to help make that democracy better suited to the nature 
and needs of human life. A summary of such principles 
follows, not in full, but those of most significance. 

1. The school curriculum of activities must be adapted 
to the nature and needs of society and the children. 

2. The aim of education and society is individual and 
social happiness through social efficiency of all members. 

3. The factors of the aim of social efficiency may be 
stated as vital, vocational, avocational, civic, and moral 

4. The changes which can be made in children in the 
direction of these aims are both physical and mental in 
character, the latter being changes in knowledge, in habits, 
and in feelings; or, in Dewey's language, in insight, power, 
and responsiveness, or again, knowledge, habits, ideals, and 
appreciations, all of these classifications being unsatisfactory 
but helpful to a degree. 

5. The public school is a supplemental institution and 
consequently must do what other institutions are not doing 
in promoting social efficiency within the limits of its powers. 
No traditional notion of what a school should be must limit 
it. Its function is that of adapting the present child as he 
is known and understood to the present and future society 
as it is known and understood. In the farm community 
there are usually few educational functions performed by 
other institutions than the school and home. 

6. Needless to say, the rural consolidated school must 
help young and old to live efficiently in a rural environment, 
and particularly in the environment of the school. Whether 
it should prepare the young for city life even though some 
undoubtedly will later spend much of their lives in cities 
is a question of social policy. Training in open-mindedness 
and adaptability, and in such knowledge^ habits, and feel- 


ings as country people need for the best co-operation with 
cities may be all that is justified. In some cases, of course, 
a class may be formed of those surely going to the city, and 
this work, say a course in commercial work, may be worth 
more to the State than what it eliminates. However, much 
of the money now spent on rural education benefits the city 
rather than the country, since so many leave the farm in 
early life for the city. Perhaps rural education should be 
strictly rural, and devoted to adapting most children to 
country and rural village life. This is certainly its dominant 
and essential aim, but not to be interpreted too narrowly. 
Each person must be a citizen of his State, his nation, and 
of the world. 

7. There should be eliminated from the course, or not 
included, all that is 

(a) Not plainly and directly related to furthering the 
fivefold aim of education. 

(b) Less valuable for promotion of the aim than any- 
thing that can be substituted, 

(c) Not highly useful to a majority of the pupils or to 
the majority of a group that is legitimately specializing in 
some field of study. 

(d) Being effectively taught to all or a majority of the 
pupils by outside institutions such as the home, the voca- 
tion, the church, the recreational activities of the com- 
munity, the Y. M. and Y. W. C. A.'s, and the government 
through military drill, agricultural agents, etc. 

(e) Not comprehensible nor interesting to pupils, except 
as it is a minimal essential and so must be taught whether 
interesting or not, and may be retained until it becomes 
comprehensible later in life. 

(/) Isolated and irrelevant, or cannot be connected up 
in the mind in such organization as will insure its retention 
until used and fixed. 

(g) Detrimental to initiative evoked in pupils and teach- 
ers, to the development of the scientific attitude and habit 


of mind, to training in judgment of relative values, and to 
following worthy purposes. 

(h) Of such character as cannot be adequately taught 
in a school. 

To these other principles may be added, but these cer- 
tainly provide for the elimination of most relatively unde- 
sirable subject-matter. 

8. Arrange the subject-matter selected on the basis of 
the above principles as 

(a) Minimally essential subject-matter, or activities, 
surely needed by all. 

{b) Alternative subject-matter where choice of several 
required groups of subject-matter is left to teachers. 

{c) Optional subject-matter, which may or may not be 
taught, as the teacher chooses, as time permits, or individual 
ability and preference of pupils indicate. 

9. The following principles must also be kept in mind: 
{a) The ability of the teachers available must be consid- 
ered; the amount of teaching they can do in a given time, 
their need of detailed or general directions and suggestions 
as to aims, methods, topics or problems, devices, etc. 

{b) The most economical, pleasant, and natural methods 
and sequence of learning and growth, physical and mental, 
on the part of the children must be paralleled by the or- 
ganization and sequence of the curriculum. 

{c) The arrangement should promote, not hinder, the 
best methods of teaching, such as the problem method, in 
which a problem or project rather than a topic is the basis 
of learning; and such as the group, co-operative, or demo- 
cratic, method of study and recitation instead of the indi- 
vidualistic, strongly or exclusively competitive methods so 
much in vogue. 

{d) Where there are grades and terms, "years" and 
"half-years," as customary, the work should show approxi- 
mately these divisions of progress expected in general, with 
large freedom for individual and particular-class variation. 


{e) The arrangement should foster iextended appliccition 
of what is learned to the every-day practical affairs of living. 

Home and farm projects should go along with school learn- 
ing. Civic projects will also be used more than in the past. 

10. The curriculum should lead teachers to place em- 
phasis not so much on ground covered, pages studied, things 
made, songs sung, experiments written up, and problems 
solved as upon the chamges of an educative character in the di- 
rection of the five aims made in the children and in social life, 

11. The curriculum should be so expressed, selected, 
arranged, and printed as to make it a convenient and easily 
used tool in the teaching process, guiding effort, furnishing 
suggestions and inspiration, correlating the activities of a 
number of persons who must work co-operatively on the 
joint problem of child and nation building. Growth in 
power of complete living, in ability to promote one's own 
and the world's highest happiness and well-being is the 
broad test of the child's profit from the use of the course of 
study. Rapidity and normality of such growth may be 
secured partly by use of the rapidly improving standardized 
tests of educative changes along lines of the school studies 
and activities. The immediate future is bright with promise 
for an education that the common man can see at a glance 
is vital and essential, and that can be objectively tested to 
prove the character and degrees of progress made. 

To apply these principles in the selection, organization, 
and application of a rural curriculum is very difficult be- 
cause such a course must be worked out over a number of 
years experimentally, and because the principles are so 
numerous and comparatively vague. The federal Bureau 
of Education has been struggling with the problem for some 
time. We imperatively need to-day fifty avowedly experi- 
mental consolidated schools in various parts of the country 
for the discovery of what rural education should be. If our 
classification of the problems of life, or factors of social 
efficiency, is correct, namely, that of vital, vocational, avoca- 


tional, civic, and moral efficiency, we should expect some 
activities in the school corresponding to each division and 
contributing to each type, if outside agencies are not sup- 
plying the training for one or more entire aims. 

We offer below a few suggestions for each group of these 
social aims of education in country communities: 

A. Vital Efficiency.^ — i. Medical supervision of the chil- 
dren by doctors, nurses, and teachers, with such instruction 
and training of the children as shall be found necessary to 
help them do and understand what they should do to co- 
operate best to improve their health is necessary and essen- 
tial. This instruction and training must go into the home 
and help the child wherever he is to practise such curative 
measures as may be necessary, and to prevent disease and 
defects. Vital efficiency is the first aim of education, the 
corner-stone of the structure. 

2. School sanitation and home sanitation afford a field of 
practice in which the children can learn "the reason why" 
and "do the deed through which to understand the doc- 
trine." All can be led to co-operate to make the school, 
home, and community environment sanitary. Eliminating 
conditions making for the spread of hookworm, typhoid, bad 
colds, tuberculosis, malaria, and other ailments in a practical 
manner through actual participation would be a part of the 
school's purpose and curriculum. The congressional hear- 
ings on rural sanitation and the various reports on the 
subject by the federal Public Health Service should be 
used and applied to the locality. 

3. Physical education must in some form be a part of 
the activities of every school through play, physical work, 
Boy-Scout and Girl-Scout activities, gymnasium training 
of a more formal character, etc. Excellent physical-educa- 
tion curricula are being introduced in the schools of 
many States by the departments of education (as in New 

^The writer's volumes on " Educational Hygiene " (Scribners) and " Rural 
School Hygiene " (in preparation) deal with this fivefold problem. 


Jersey) for use by all schools. Special adaptations of these 
for the consolidated school and country conditions are being 
made by progressive educators in many States. Rural 
recreation and physical development can be combined, and 
will do much to raise the present low standard of physical 
development of country people disclosed by surveys and 
army examinations. 

4. Hygiene instruction through definite and practical 
teaching of knowledge, habits, ideals, and appreciations ap- 
plied to life situations and problems of health, facing pupils 
and country people in general, must also be emphasized, since 
"health is the first wealth," and our people perish for want 
of health knowledge and training. Personal, public, voca- 
tional (agricultural), and domestic hygiene must be taught 
and practised. Selections of subject-matter must be made 
from the stand-point of rural problems and needs. A knowl- 
edge of reading is a necessary basis for such teaching in the 
upper grades as it is for other forms of efficiency to-day. 

5. Hygienic methods of teaching, managing, and guiding 
pupils must be taught teachers, and these must teach pupils 
and train them in mental hygiene and the psychology of 
healthy-minded living. The hygiene of joy, the philosophy 
of "being good to live with," the spirit of "sweetness and 
light," "power through repose," making others in the school 
happy, and thereby healthy, and the entire influence of 
mind over body must in some way, without sentimentality, 
be made a living characteristic of the school. Formal, 
mihtary, slave-driving, prescriptive, inquisitorial, and con- 
demnatory methods must be changed for those that are 
democratic, optimistic, co-operative, generous, gracious, and 

B. Vocational Efficiency. — i. Domestic efficiency is the 
efficiency of the members of the home, and especially of " the 
woman of the house." Supplementary to and correlated 
with the home, this work for the girls must take in the 
entire range of activities of the home, not alone cooking and 


sewing, and help where help is needed. Necessarily such 
work will vary much in its optional and fringe content from 
community to community. In Porto Rico, for example, 
much or most of the content found desirable in American 
courses is found undesirable and unrelated to human needs. 
How to cook and can apples is of little significance to those 
who have no apples. How to purchase and care for carpets 
and rugs is of little or no value where such things are not 
used and are undesirable or impossible of use. Parts of the 
United States vary almost as much from each other as 
Porto Rico does from the continent. 

2. Agricultural efficiency depends upon a common basis 
of agricultural knowledge and practice, closely related to 
conditions for both sexes and for various groups, and upon 
specialization for groups requiring different kinds of school 
help because they have different kinds of farm problems. 
One group of pupils may well spend considerable time on 
the raising of potatoes, while another group in the same 
school may need little instruction in detail on potato-raising, 
but much, for example, on fruit-raising or corn culture. 
Such specialization may be made possible especially for 
those of the upper grades and high school. Dairying, animal 
husbandry, gardening, bee-keeping, fruit culture, raising 
cereals, rotation of crops, recovering old soils, irrigation, 
dry-land farming, and hundreds of other topics suggest 
problems of intense practical value in many parts of the 
country. How much time can be devoted to such activi- 
ties, including home projects and other applications, must 
be solved with all social needs before one. The social sur- 
vey of the rural community is coming to be the best single 
instrument for discovering these needs for vocational and 
all other aims. The elementary essentials of arithmetic, 
closely applied, will be needed here, also simple reading, 
writing, and the spelling of words needed in letter- writing. 

3. Teaching efficiency may be an aim for a special division 
of the rural high school in many consolidated communities. 

Agriculture is the central subject in rural education 

A class in botany at a summer school 


In a number of States the rural schools have been so poorly 
provided with teachers by the normal schools that teacher- 
training departments have been instituted in hundreds of 
high schools in the last few years. Where there are many 
single-room schools still in use, as will be true for much of 
the present century, and while normal schools are so few 
and inadequately supported, these divisions may be of as 
much value to the community and the nation as anything 
they displace from the curriculum or school. They cannot 
be provided, of course, where there are only sufficient teach- 
ers to handle the non-specialized branches, the "core cur- 
riculum." Minnesota and other States have solved this by 
designating one high school in each county as a teachers'- 
training school, to have such a department, and provide 
generous State aid therefor. 

4. Professional preparation may in some cases be pro- 
vided also for those who are going to higher schools, and 
thus require subjects required for entrance. Only when a 
sufficiently large group make a fair-sized class should such 
work be provided, unless the school is much larger than 
usual, with a number of elective courses. In certain cases, 
too, commercial courses can be provided, but are not funda- 
mental to the big aim of the rural school, which must be 
dominantly and concentratedly directed toward rural life 
and country needs. Force the higher schools, especially 
the State colleges and universities, to admit graduates of 
four-year high schools when their work has been good, 
regardless largely of subjects taken, and this problem is 
solved. This great problem of the hampering of all high- 
school development is candidly dealt with in the following 

C. Avocational Efficiency. — Avocational efficiency is a 
term used to apply to that efficiency which makes for the 
right use of leisure, ability to enjoy life and to engage in 
worthy recreations and wholesome enjoyments. In a 
democracy, as Inglis has pointed out, a person is first of all 


a citizen with the problems of good citizenship in a democ- 
racy; secondly, he is a worker and producer of wealth for 
himself and others, and thirdly, he is an individual with 
certain personal interests and activities, a consumer of goods, 
and an enjoyer of pleasures.^ One has relations to himself, 
to his work, and to his country, so to speak. Training for 
avocation, for the eight hours or so of leisure apart from 
work and sleep, we have discussed in two later chapters. 
Here we may call attention to it as a factor largely over- 
looked in American rural education, although it was the 
chief aim of the glorious Athenian education of old. A 
teacher of a rural school was once asked by the writer why 
she did not use an organ stored in a back corner of the 
school, and why she did not have singing at opening exer- 
cises. She replied that the parents of that district '^did not 
believe in such things" — that they thought that such 
*' things" were a waste of time, and that, although she could 
play the organ and sing, she didn't dare to take the time of 
the pupils for such activities, because the patrons wanted 
her to put the time in on arithmetic and such studies. Yet 
country people frequently slave themselves to an early 
death, or to lives of only partial happiness and real efficiency, 
because of a lack of a training and appreciation for avoca- 
tions and suitable enjoyments. 

Country children need to know how to play and enjoy 
many games, to learn the delights of reading and how to 
continue these pleasures after school-days are over, to get 
esthetic satisfaction from the many things of beauty in the 
world, to learn to enjoy the natural and social sciences and 
intellectual activity for self -development and pleasures in 
the every-day world, to gain the delights of imagination 
and its aeroplane flights over the noisy world — in short, 
to gain happiness very immediately and directly in accord 
with the natural instincts of life and social necessities. Such 

Un "Principles of Secondary Education." See also Bobbitt's volume 
on "The Curriculum" and Parker's "Methods of Teaching in High Schools." 


recreational and avocational activities should make the labor 
side of life more pleasurable and efficient. Joy in work is 
impossible when the latter is degraded into drudgery by 
overspecializing in this one phase of life. The eight-hour 
day, improved farm machinery, the growing number of 
holidays and more recreational use of Sundays, the auto- 
mobile, and many other similar factors are forcing schools 
to give more attention to education for avocation. How 
much of literature, play, athletics, constructive work, dram- 
atization, music, dancing, motion-pictures, festivals, fairs, 
entertainments, assembly exercises, "socials," receptions, 
parties, travelogues, speeches, debates, oratoricals, nature- 
study clubs, camera clubs, literary societies, spelling and 
ciphering matches, etc., are needed by the community 
and how much can and should be encouraged at the school 
is a matter of careful study and good judgment. The 
tendency is for much more time to be spent in these direc- 
tions which are so valuable for personal and social culture and 
happiness. Happiness is the goal of life, not a stolen sweet. 

D. Civic Efficiency. — Civic efficiency in a democracy is 
second to no other efficiency, and is probably more neglected 
in American education than any other, with the probable 
exception of vital efficiency. General, unapplied education 
will not produce citizenship and save the world through 
democracy any more than general unapplied education will 
make physicians and lawyers. Training for democracy is 
like training for any profession or trade, and definite knowl- 
edge, skill, and attitudes are necessary that are closely re- 
lated to co-operative effort for community and national 
progress. Pupils will not know how to work together, will 
not have skill to work together, will not have the ideal and 
initiative for working together without special training be- 
yond what is given by customary non-school agencies. 

Community civics is now coming to be an important 
subject and activity in all grades, for study, for practice, 
for every-day living. Co-operative methods of study, of 


play, of constructive work, of community improvement, 
beginning with the school environment, are to-day in the 
best schools working the spirit of democracy into the very 
warp and woof of the children's lives. The work of the 
school as a social centre is keeping the habits and spirit 
alive in those who have left the school and engendering it in 
the lives of others who have not attended in the days since 
schools have begun to carry on a democratic Hfe. There is 
hardly anything good that can be conceived as practically 
desirable for a community that cannot be started and 
pushed through to realization by a school working in the 
spirit of democracy. Good roads, consolidation, co-opera- 
tive stores, creameries, elevators, and laundries, better 
churches, improved recreational facilities, better govern- 
ment officials, improved methods of farming, greater use of 
the State and national governments for helping farmers, 
and so on — all may spring from proper civic education in 
schools. North Dakota is setting an example. 

Citizenship courses, Hterature developing high and at- 
tainable civic ideals, emphasis on the social and civic aspects 
of several subjects, such as history and geography, as well 
as actual learning to do by doing, becoming a citizen by 
being a citizen up to one's powers, must in some way be 
incorporated in the curriculum even at the expense of some 
of the old-time formal grammar, impractical arithmetic, the 
non-English languages and non-arithmetical mathematics, 
rhetoric, and the spelling of long lists of words never used 
in letter-writing. Ability to speak and to write simple 
EngHsh correctly will be desirable here. Training in public 
speaking will be a regular part of the school Hfe. The U. S. 
Bureau of Education has been doing excellent work in this 
field, and has printed valuable pamphlets on the subject. 
Some opposition to these community lessons issued by the 
federal Bureau of Education was made by a manufacturers' 
association, but civic instruction and the people's rights 
cannot be successfully denied. Civic efficiency will grow 

a\l ' *^M OCMONSTRATtON ^^PlB W 1 

■•■■-" ^M^. 

1 MK^ttt^ 

Members of the Boys' Corn Club with agent explaining the root system, 


^' ''*' '1 



,' ■' :". I 









A school agricultural exhibit in the PhiUppines 


up as naturally in the civically directed consolidated school 
as will vocational efficiency, or any other, when proper time 
and attention are devoted to it effectively. 

E. Moral Efficiency. — Moral efficiency probably re- 
quires special attention in most schools, although the ideal 
is, perhaps, to gain morality by living morally and gaining 
the precepts incidentally in connection with ever-recurring 
moral problems. However, accurate ethical knowledge, 
habits, ideals, and appreciations are undoubtedly promoted 
very much by something more than incidental attention. 
As citizenship is acquired through careful, sequential educa- 
tion, so morality can and must be strengthened by moral 
education. Here the co-operative training and study for 
citizenship also plays into the hands of morality. Literature 
may be selected for reading, as shown in a later chapter, that 
tends to develop each of the great racial ideals necessary for 
the common Kfe, the life of the present-day rural community, 
and for meeting the great temptations as well as opportuni- 
ties in modern complex civilization. In some schools se- 
quential courses in moral training, or moral instruction, 
have been successfully introduced.^ While there is danger 
of making little prigs and "goody-goodies" with poor teach- 
ers, yet with able supervision, carefully prepared curric- 
ulums, and a great deal of attention to texts, devices, 
methods, selections, and suggestions, much can be accom- 
plished not now being attempted by either home, church, 
or school to raise the level of moral efficiency in the greater 
rural neighborhood. At present, considerable attention is 
being paid to moral instruction. The United States Moral- 
ity Codes encouraged by the Bureau of Education will be 
of help in this movement, as are also the various texts de- 
vised for morning exercises and classroom instruction. 

Without going into further detail, we can illustrate the 
method of keeping educational aims and the changes which 

^ See Sharp, " Moral Instruction," Bobbs-Merrill Co. 



can be made in children, physically and mentally, before one 
by the accompanying chart. At the left are the five great 
phases of social efficiency as aims of education, while at the 
right are some of the appropriate general changes to be pro- 
duced in children in the direction of these efiiciencies. The 
chart is largely self-evident after the preceding explanation. 
The essentials of the three R's, or tool subjects, are neces- 
sary, of course. Other classifications of both the aims and 
the changes are possible. At the left might be individual, 
civic, and vocational ejQ&ciency, and at the right the changes, 
physical and mental, the latter stated as changes in knowl- 
edge, skills, and feelings. 




Mental Changes 















Removal of ade- 
noids, building 
up physique 

Physical prepa- 
ration for voca- 

Physical changes 
due to right 

Any physical 
changes related 
to citizenship 

Any physical 
changes related 
to moral living 

Health in- 

and occu- 

of avoca- 

Rural citi- 

Social ser- 

Training in liv- 
ing hygienic- 
ally. The hab- 
its of health 

The habits and 
skills of the vo- 

The habits and 
skills of avoca- 
tions and use 
of leisure 

The habits of 
civic participa- 

The habits of 
the moral life 

The ideals of 
health and 
physical effi- 

Ideals related to 

Ideals of recrea- 
tions and avo- 

Ideals of citizen- 

Ideals of moral- 
ity, religion, 
and social ser- 

The interests 
and attitudes 
of health 

The interests 
and attitudes 
of vocation 

The interests 
and attitudes 
of avocations 

The interests 
and attitudes 
of citizenship 

The interests 
and attitudes 
of the moral 




II. Programmes of Study 

The curriculum for the elementary school would contain 
subject-matter selected and arranged on the above prin- 
ciples, and would be selected from hygiene, physical training, 
play activities, elementary rural economics, agriculture, 
domestic science, home projects, gardening (except in regions 
where gardening is impossible or is being provided by out- 
side agencies), farm arithmetic, simple English composition 
with emphasis on letter-writing, spelling of one or two 
thousand words most used in rural correspondence by chil- 
dren and adults, such few elements of grammar applied as 
really help children in improving oral and written composi- 
tion, probably not to be taught at all as a separate subject 
but in close connection with composition and ordinary 
speech, the most usable and attractive phases of geography 
and history, elementary science for vital, vocational, and 
avocational efficiency, especially music, including par- 
ticularly ability and delight in singing fifty or more of the 
great "community songs," such elements of drawing and 
fine art as can successfully compete for a place in the school 
and home lives of country boys and girls in competition 
with other subjects, civics, biography, reading, writing, 
thrift, good roads, rural sanitation, elementary ethics, farm 
carpentry, elementary blacksmithing and auto repair, methods 
of co-operation for community enterprises, life insurance, 
taxation, and other subjects, problems, and topics. 

We can point to hardly any curriculum in the United 
States at the present time satisfactorily adapted to country 
boys and girls in consolidated rural schools. The courses 



published for the rural schools (largely single-room schools) 
of Baltimore County, Maryland, are of the new order, but 
thoroughgoing courses worked out on the basis of a sound 
philosophy of education and the essential needs and prob- 
lems of a country community educating its children in con- 
solidated schools are yet to be developed. Here is a great 
opportunity for an organization of consolidated-school prin- 
cipals of various States. A curriculum for the rural ele- 
mentary and high school properly developed would make a 
large volume, and must be created by years of study, adapta- 
tion, and experimentation, leaving much opportunity, of 
course, for local initiative, adjustment, and modification. 

The elementary-school curriculum would necessarily have 
to be organized with reference to the high-school curriculum, 
especially since the two schools are usually in one building 
in the consolidated school. In this, the plan resembles the 
Gary system, in which pupils go to the same building for 
twelve years if they graduate from high school, and in which 
teachers teach more by departments of work, caring for 
both elementary and high-school pupils, than by strict 
horizontal divisions, including certain years. In fact, many 
of the important and best features of the Gary system fit in 
well with the consolidated rural school. We should, then, 
expect most of the work in the consolidated school to be 
departmental, thus making provision for individual differ- 
ences and for specialization by teachers. The ordinary 
country-school teacher is so overburdened with a great 
number of subjects to teach that she can become highly 
efficient in none. Yet the rural teacher, because of insuffi- 
cient normal-school and other preparation, needs such op- 
portunity most. 

The entire curriculum could be organized into four cycles 
of three grades, or years, each: primary, upper, junior high, 
and senior high. Probably all but the first three grades 
should be placed on the departmental plan, by which, as 
suggested, each teacher teaches one or more subjects to 


several classes instead of all subjects to one class. Further 
investigation of individual differences may even lead to the 
desirability of providing departmental work for all grades. 
The first six grades would be the elementary school and the 
last (five or) six the high school. Perhaps a year in the 
child's school life can be saved by such improved organization. 

The accompanying programme of studies is for the upper 
five or six grades, and is merely suggestive of a very general 
plan. In the consolidated school several of the alternative 
courses, such as the industrial and college-entrance courses, 
will ordinarily be omitted, and greater differentiation may 
be made in the agricultural courses. In small schools with 
few teachers little more than the common, "core'' curric- 
ulum should be attempted.^ The vocational work for boys 
in the common course would be agricultural training in 
an agricultural region. In a cattle country it would be 
more of the nature of animal husbandry. No languages 
except English, and no mathematics except arithmetic (the 
non-English languages and the non-arithmetical mathe- 
matics), would be studied by pupils unless a group large 
enough for a class, say seven to ten pupils, required them, 
either for daily use or for entrance to a higher school, and 
then only when the school had the teaching force to do so, 
and these subjects were certainly preferable to any that 
could be put into their places. The economics taught 
would, of course, be rural economics. The commercial and 
the normal courses should be given in but few schools, the 
latter preferably in but one high school in a county. Excel- 
lent developments of this teachers'- training course have 
been made, as suggested, in several States, such as Minnesota. 

The chief limitations of the present consolidated rural- 
school curriculums at present are that they too often are 
merely college-entrance courses, and are thus suited to but 
very few pupils, or none, and that they have little conscious 
adaptation to the principal problems of rural life. Universi- 

1 See page 314. 



(upper six grades of twelve- year school) 

Seven 40-minute periods daily 







Assembly — 20 minutes daily, or study 







Study period for all pupils daily 







Hygiene and physical education 







Agricultural and home education 







Arithmetic and farm accounts 



Community civics and current events 




Advanced civics and rural economics 


United States history 



General history 



English: Literature, composition, public 







Music, drawing, esthetic appreciation 







Rural sociology and applied ethics 


General science 


Physics and chemistry 






Total required periods, excluding study. . . . 
Number of elective j)eriods 










ties and colleges, especially agricultural colleges, must come 
soon to an understanding that their entrance requirements 
of non-English languages and non-arithmetical mathematics 
defeat the very purposes for which they stand, the enlight- 
enment, training, and inspiration of rural life, and that they 


must help rather than hinder the close adaptation of high 
schools to their tasks. Engineering schools within colleges 
may, of course, require mathematics and classical schools the 
languages; but it would be far better for most States to 
have these taught in colleges than in the typically small 
high schools where the teaching staffs are but large enough 
to teach the vital essentials for rural social efficiency. Pro- 
fessors of education in colleges and principals of high schools 
must band together to lead and to force, if necessary, the 
colleges to make the four-year high-school curriculum, what- 
ever it may best be, sufficient (with good scholarship and a 
principaFs recommendation) to satisfy the entrance require- 
ments. The lamentable inefficiency of the present rural 
elementary and high school, consolidated or not, is, in these 
times, so dangerous to democracy and intolerable as to re- 
quire forceful measures. The highly specialized profes- 
sional or academic subjects must not be imposed on our 
prospective farmers. 

We present herewith two suggestive programmes of 
study. The short, single-course one above attempts to pro- 
vide the upper six grades of a twelve-year consoUdated 
school with a rural education along the line of the five aims 
of education. It is arranged for a small school with few 
teachers, the minimum number possible. We do not suggest 
the elective subjects. Few can be given. If we assume that 
teachers should not be required to teach more than twenty- 
five class periods a week, with possibly five more periods for 
library or study-hall supervision, we have a need here at 
once for about six or seven teachers, including the principal, 
who would be responsible for class- teaching not more than 
two-thirds of the time, say not more than twenty hours 
a week, preferably fifteen. Of course, two of the teachers 
will take the place of seventh and eighth grade teachers. 
When fewer teachers are provided it will be desirable to 
omit one or more of the last years of the course, and not 
attempt to teach them. By carrying probably too heavy 


a load one teacher for each year can handle the work, but 
this is not recommended. 

The class periods are shorter than desirable for a con- 
solidated or any other secondary school, perhaps. There 
should be little home study required for pupils, a number of 
whom are long on the road each day, some upward of an 
hour each way in many places. The longer class period up 
to an hour gives opportunity for supervised study, say the 
first half of the period for recitation and the second half 
for study, or other methods as suggested in Hallquest's and 
other books on the subject. Fifty or fifty-five minute periods 
are desirable. A good plan has been found to have fifty- 
minute periods and have pupils change on the hour with 
the intervening ten minutes for social intercourse, relaxa- 
tion, conferences with teachers, an out-of-door walk or run, 
etc. However, when elementary and secondary school are 
in the same building, as usual in this type of school, these 
free periods may disturb the elementary school and the 
elementary-school recesses may disturb the secondary 
school. If so, elementary and secondary school pupils may 
have recesses at the same time, and little time may be per- 
mitted for passing from room to room between periods. It 
is difficult to arrange a daily programme that will coincide 
well with such arrangement, but it is being done. The one- 
story building is a help here. Elementary pupils may 
play on the opposite side of the building from the high- 
school wing, and each classroom opens to both the corridor 
and playground. There is quite a movement on foot to 
lengthen the school-day where considerable motor activi- 
ties such as manual training, physical education, laboratory 
work, etc., are furnished. Some consolidated schools start 
work at 8.30 and close at 4. Little children are let out to 
play or go home, if they live near, at 3.30. 

Assembly is provided for each day. The time should 
be thirty minutes, but we have suggested twenty here. For 
programme convenience it may be well in some cases to 


have it the first thing in the afternoon, when it is harder to 
do class work. A study period for all pupils daily is pro- 
vided. If necessary, some of the assembly periods may 
each week be devoted to study, but such a procedure would 
indicate that the principal and teachers do not know how, 
or lack skill, to make the assembly one of the most educative 
meetings of the pupils in the day. Here all get together, 
and the possibilities for social training, singing, orchestra 
music, public speaking, debates, speaking by outsiders, 
ethical readings, current events, community problems, Httle 
plays, and general social intercourse and friendhness in a 
joyous, co-operative manner are educationally very great. 
With an able singing leader and good community songs as are 
published in such song-books as are published by Birchards 
of Boston ("Fifty-five Community Songs'')? 3- school of 
pupils may be lifted up and unified spiritually by music 
alone. What they have done for foreign groups and for 
our soldiers is well known. A large assembly-room is de- 
sirable, and the least that can be done is to provide a com- 
bination assembly, study-hall, and gymnasium. Throwing 
two classrooms together by a movable partition will hardly 
solve the problem, although this may be done for the ele- 
mentary school for separate assemblies at times. 

Hygiene is an important subject that lies at the basis 
of a needed health revolution in the country. It may well 
be studied each week, and closely related to life for enough 
years to give a thorough grounding in its principles and 
ideals, and especially in the habits necessary to health. 
One hour a week for this and two for play, physical training, 
and athletics are satisfactory if no more time can be ob- 
tained. Of course a good gymnasium is desirable, but the 
out-of-doors furnishes a good place, too, much of the year. 
If possible, obtain the gymnasium and develop our young 
people better than previous generations. In Utah, the 
swimming-pool has been proved indispensable. When nearly 
half of our recruits must be rejected for preventable physical 


defects and ailments in country and city, the schools should 
wake up to their national responsibilities. Personal hygiene, 
rural hygiene, rural sanitation, public hygiene, and voca- 
tional hygiene as relating to country conditions should be 
studied and practised. Coleman's "The People's Health," 
the O'Shea-Kellogg series, the Gulick series, the Ritchie 
series, Tolman's "Hygiene for the Worker," and Richards' 
" Hygiene for Girls " are of the new order. Ditman's "Home 
Hygiene and Prevention of Disease" is probably the best 
book for the home, and should be at hand always for refer- 
ence. Hygiene is rapidly being socialized. The physical- 
training manuals, in three volumes, of the State of New 
Jersey are probably the best published for all grades as yet. 
The latest books on rural sanitation should be on reference. 
Texts in hygiene are yet to be prepared for rural schools.^ 

Agricultural and home education has as much time in 
this common curriculum as has EngHsh, and it certainly 
deserves it. Vocational education for home and field is a 
minimal essential to take no second place. For boys, farm 
manual training and carpentry and concrete work, home 
projects, fruit-raising, care of farm animals, and the various 
phases of agricultural instruction that can be separated and 
taught to boys alone may be given. For girls, sewing, cook- 
ing, laundry-work, home decoration, the care of children, 
home literature, home projects, poultry-raising and care of 
the dairy, and so on, may be provided. For boys and girls 
in common classes the subjects of botany and elementary 
agriculture, household accounting, and others, may be pro- 
vided. If the botany and agriculture take two years of 
about five hours a week, and the separate subjects three or 
four years, the pupils should get rather definite training for 
the vocations of farming. Perhaps rural economics and rural 
sociology may be put in here for one year instead of sepa- 
rately, according to our plan. Of course five periods a week 
is only a suggestion. Double periods or half days may be 

* " Health Education in Rural Schools " is recommended for teachers. 

A domestic arts exhibit 

A day of recreation in the mountains 


arranged. Short courses for those who have left school are 
being provided in many consolidated schools. 

Arithmetic, farm accounts, and bookkeeping, and all 
the applications of arithmetic needed for good farming and 
home-keeping, should be given. Much of the ordinary 
arithmetic can be cut out and rural arithmetics used, of 
which there are several. The work of the national com- 
mittees in selecting the essentials of arithmetic should be 
studied in making the course. Much of the work will be 
devised by the teacher in connection with practical activities. 

Good penmanship, or handwriting, up to a reasonable 
standard of efficiency in speed and quality of writing is 
desirable. By use of the Ayres, Thorndike, or other scales 
of quality, and the most desirable standards of speed, those 
pupils may be selected who need regular drill. Fifteen 
minutes a day may be taken from some other subject for 
those pupils who need drill. Other pupils of a class may 
advance beyond the minimum standards set for ordinary 
correspondence, or study something else in the time. 
Spelling, writing, and English should be considered, cor- 
rected, and marked in all courses and subjects. A few 
minutes a day may be taken for spelling drills from EngKsh 
or other studies. All pupils before entering the upper six 
grades should be a hundred per cent correct on most of the 
thousand words given in Ayres' spelHng scale, or the larger 
number in the Pryor list. 

Rural-community civics is of prime importance in democ- 
racy's schools and has in the past been criminally neglected. 
Field and Nearing have a delightful little book on the sub- 
ject for rural schools, which, with current events and library 
and magazine readings, will furnish work for the first and 
second (seventh and eighth) grades. It really could be 
handled in the sixth grade of the elementary school, and thus 
catch many pupils who drop out early. Dunn's *'The Com- 
munity and the Citizen," Towne's *' Social Problems," the 
community-civics lessons in pamphlet form published by 


the Bureau of Education, and other volumes rapidly ap- 
pearing may be desirable. The third year should be a solid 
grounding in the subject, but leaving state and national 
civics and government largely to a later time. Beard's 
"American Citizenship" and such books fit the latter 
course, which here is put into the last year with rural 
economics. Carver's "Rural Economics" and separate 
volume of "Readings in Rural Economics" is somewhat 
heavy, perhaps, for a class not prepared by social studies, 
as this will be. Burch and Nearing have a good elementary 
book on "Elementary Economics," but not especially 
adapted to rural schools. If the teacher and principal are 
graduates of an agricultural school they will know of good 
volumes on the subject for their own personal use. 

United States history has now good texts like Muzzey's 
and James and Sanford's, and there are good books on the 
teaching of history (as well as most other subjects), such as 
Johnson's. Three times a week for two years are sufficient 
to cover the subject fairly well. Some put the course in 
again in the last year, as I have done in the second and 
larger general programme presented later. 

General history with its broad social studies, when well 
taught, gives an international breadth to the pupil's experi- 
ence. In the new internationalism of our country two years 
could be said to be desirable, five hours a week. Of course 
this will include another survey of United States history as 
a part of the general. Good history teachers are very hard 
to get, and too many let the subject (and the pupil's interest) 
die on their hands. Yet they have a wonderful opportunity. 
History should be used as a means of explaining and sim- 
plifying modern complex social life. The growth of rural 
life, inventions, and institutions will be emphasized. 

English is discussed later in a separate chapter, as are 
also the non-Enghsh languages. The non-arithmetical 
mathematics (algebra and geometry) are also discussed 
briefly. Our programme permits of some elective periods. 


and more may be provided for a group going to a college 
that still demands these subjects. Well-taught and selected 
English literature and composition, with all it may include, 
is a minimal-essential subject. The non-English languages 
and non-arithmetical mathematics are not, I believe, al- 
though some feel that they may possibly be worth what 
they cost, if not what they exclude. Public speaking and 
the use of magazines, the methods of organizing community 
literary, reading, and improvement clubs, letter-writing 
which is the minimal essential of written composition, and 
so on, may be thoroughly treated. Letter-writing may be 
made to include all forms of composition and can hardly 
be overemphasized. Some professors in agricultural col- 
leges have recently put excellent stories and essays on coun- 
try life in volumes for classes in English in country higher 

Avocational efficiency demands many types of activities, 
such as music and recreation. The various fine arts can be 
treated in close connection with country problems, and per- 
haps not only art and nature appreciation may be developed 
but regular classes in drawing and painting, or other types 
of artistic expression, may be provided. Music should be 
given to nearly all pupils one or two periods a week through- 
out the course for technical knowledge and skill and for 
the appreciation and dehghts afforded. The old-fashioned 
singing-schools are being revived as community singing. 

Moral efficiency, with the general breakdown of the 
rural church (at least a common church which all attend), 
demands special attention. The subject has been given 
great attention in recent years. Much can be done through 
the previous courses, and some would omit moral efficiency 
as a separate aim, but a separate course for a half year, 
gradually merging into rural sociology, is undoubtedly de- 
sirable. Sharp of Wisconsin, Fairchild, and others have 
recently been elevating this study. Sharp's book is pub- 
lished by the Bobbs-Merrill firm at Indianapolis. Mrs. 


Cabot^s books on ''Everyday Ethics" (Holt) and other 
similar subjects are valuable texts. 

General science has a great message and service to ren- 
der modern life, and especially the country. A renaissance 
of science teaching has taken place and the subject is being 
hooked to the practical problems of life along the great lines 
of health, vocation, avocation, etc. Elhuff has a valuable 
text and manual (Heath), but I know of no book especially 
for rural schools. General physics and chemistry are each 
given five hours a week for a year later. They also must be 
profoundly influenced by farm needs and the great aims of 
education. The teacher should have good laboratories 
and a demonstration room with raised seats for the pupils. 
I hesitate to name a text even as an example, since change 
is taking place so rapidly. Botany we may put in with the 
vocational subjects, if six years are too much for the more 
purely vocational subjects. It should have at least one 
year, and of course be especially full of help and suggestion 
for people living by and among a world of plants. The avo- 
cational value of the sciences is also very great. One may 
study the stars, not to know when to plant his corn or kill 
his hogs, according to old superstitions, but to increase his 
enjoyment and harmless happiness through life. The mys- 
teries of nature are instinctively matters of great interest. 
The elements of zoology may be connected with the one 
hour a week devoted to hygiene and its basis of physiology 
and anatomy. Perhaps a good half-year course or longer, 
five hours a week, may be found for it elsewhere. It may 
be that a half year of botany and a half year of zoology may 
well be provided. The elementary course should be full of 
nature study and thus prepare for these high-school studies. 
These sciences may well be classified about life problems. 

Geography may minister much to man's understanding 
of his scene of action and the great natural and social forces 
at work in the world. Physical, commercial, and political 
geography from the standpoint of the mjodern rural worker 


and citizen, who has world-wide relations along many lines 
especially economic, are all desirable, not as technical, highly 
classified sciences, but as selections of matter of most worth 
to country people, and organized on the basis of interest, the 
psychology of learning, and of human need. Dodge and 
Kirchway have a good book on the teaching of the sub- 
ject. Twiss has a very good volume on "Teaching the 
Natural Sciences'' (Macmillan). The writer's volume on 
"Teaching Elementary School Subjects" gives rather com- 
plete bibliographies on the elementary-school subjects dis- 
cussed above. Inglis' volume on "Principles of Secondary 
Education" (Macmillan) and Johnston's volumes on "High- 
School Education" and the "Modern High School" (Scrib- 
ners) treat well of the high school. 

The second programme of studies offered herewith is 
much more ambitious, and requires a larger staff such as 
could probably be provided in a large village or small city 
with consolidation. It was developed originally as a gen- 
erally suggestive programme of studies for all secondary 
schools, and as here modified it perhaps would fit no local 
situation. A longer day is here suggested, but the periods 
may remain the same as in the previous one. An eight- 
period day is, I believe, a mistake, and one of six periods 
would probably be highly desirable if each were longer. 
To avoid so many studies a week for each pupil the future 
will undoubtedly provide extensive correlations. The social 
sciences might be organized as one continuous subject, for 
example, and the natural sciences and the vocational sub- 
jects will probably be given in less disjointed form than 
usually. Of course most good consolidated and rural- 
village schools, as previously suggested, will give a good deal 
of extension and demonstration work, and will provide short 
courses in the winter for those who can attend the entire 
school year. The large programme gives, also, alternative 
curriculums differentiated for seven different groups. The 





Probably Seven 40 to 50 Minute Periods DaUy 












Assembly — 30 minutes dailv 







Study period for all 

pupils daily 

Required oe 
Most Pupils 

" Core Curricu- 
lum " or " Com- 
mon Curriculum" 

English — comp. lit., pub. speaking 

Hygiene— personal, public, vocational. . 

Physical education and recreation 

Music, fine art (drawing), appreciation. . 
Vocational, ed'n, incl. household arts. . . . 

Arithmetic and farm accounting 

Geography and elementary science 

History, U. S 













Community civics, survey of vocations. 
General science 

Applied ethics and el. sociology 

General history, or to 1700. . . 

Another science, or more general science 
United States history or general history . 
Gov. civics and el. economics 

Total required periods, excl. of study. 






I. General 

Probably largely optional, with educat 
Ten hours in fourtn and fifteen hours in 






2. Agricultural 

Farm arithmetic and accounts 

Rural economics 

3. Home-Economics 










Household accounts and laundry . . 

Home management, bacteriology, literat 

ure. . 


Business arithmetic and business Englisb 



Typewriting . . . 

5. Normal CoxTRSE 

Elementary educational i)sychology 

Class management and school subjects . . 
Observation and practice 


6. Industrial 

Business arithmetic and accounts 




7. College- 

A foreign language: Sp)anish, French, etc 




» Revised from one published in School and Society for May 12, 19 17. 


industrial group may, in most rural regions, be omitted, 
although farm blacksmithing and other such work may be 
provided in the vocational course and be termed shop work. 
We cannot take space to discuss the second programme, 
nor can we suggest desirable programmes of recitations for 
different numbers of teachers for either programme of studies. 
We only hope that some valuable suggestions may arise 
from perusal of the different chapters. A college-entrance 
course is provided, but this does not mean that the former 
course prevents preparation for the conservative college 
that still requires languages and mathematics for entrance. 
The pamphlet on "Cardinal Principles of Secondary Edu- 
cation '' by the National Committee on the Reorganization 
of Secondary Education, published by the Government 
Printing Office, should be read in this connection. My aim 
here is to lead to experimentation and original study, not 
to settle this most important question in any particular. 

After securing able teachers the most important problem 
of rural education is the programme of studies. Yet the help 
one can secure on making such a programme from responsible 
educational bodies is almost insignificant. The writer at- 
tempts to plough but a few outlining furrows in this '^stumpy" 
ground. A crop of experimentation and vigorous adaptation 
of the school to the farm is all that may be expected. 


1. What principles of curriculum-making may desirably be added 

to the list given in this chapter? 

2. What practical suggestions on curricula for the upper grades and 

high school are given by Doctor Inglis in his volume "Principles 
of Secondary Education," chap. XX? 

3. Read chap. VIII of Arp's "Rural Education and the Consolidated 

School," entitled The Rural Community and Its Needs, and 
then read his chaps. VI and VII, deaHng with curricula, and de- 
termine whether these needs would be met by the types of cur- 
ricula he recommends. 


4. What suggestions for rural high-school curriculum-making can 

you find in Lane's bulletin on "Agricultural Instruction in the 
High Schools of Six Eastern States"? Government Printing 

5. What further suggestions do you obtain from Nolan's volume on 

"The Teaching of Agriculture," chaps. Ill and IV? Houghton 
Mifflin Co. 

6. When do people need to know how to spell words? If we pre- 

pared pupils to spell the words most frequently used and mis- 
spelled in letter-writing, what eliminations could be made from 
the ordinary spelling courses ? See chaps. I and III of Rapeer's 
"Teaching Elementary School Subjects" (Scribner). 

7. If the aims of education are vital, vocational, avocational, civic, 

and moral efficiency, what types of knowledge, habits, and ideals 
are of most worth to country boys and girls? Put them in a 
large chart. A group of teachers may well work on but one 
square of the chart such as the health or the civic ideals or 
habits desirable in a particular community. 

8. What subjects have been emphasized as of little and of great 

comparative value by the war? 

9. What per cent of time have the rural public schools, elementary 

and high, given to instruction and training along health lines? 
See report of investigation in School and Society magazine for 
December 18, 1918. See also Bobbitt's "The Curriculum." 
10. What per cent of school time from the sixth grade on may legit- 
imately be devoted to direct vocational education (agricultural 
and domestic), partly on the farm and partly in school? Does 
this exclude or minimize real cultural and avocational prepara- 


Note. — So little of value has been written on the curriculum for the 
consolidated school, apart from the references in the chapter, that no special 
list is here given. 



Preliminary Problems 

1. What per cent of the graduates of some well-estabHshed consoH- 

dated school of which you have knowledge go to college? 

2. To what colleges in the same State do they go? 

3. What subjects are required for entrance by these colleges? 

4. What subjects do these requirements indirectly force high schools 

to teach ? 

5. What is the average, or median, number of teachers in the rural 

high schools of your State? 

6. If the college-entrance requirements name subjects that are not 

of most worth to rural youth, how can the typical high school 
with very few teachers provide both college-entrance curriculums 
for the few and rural-life curriculums for all? 

7. What steps have been taken by colleges in your State to make it 

easy for pupils to make thorough preparation for meeting the 
most pressing problems of life, and at the same time to enter 
college if they are able to do so on graduation? 

8. What effect have the requirements of colleges without your State 

on your rural high-school programme of studies? 

9. Is a rural consoHdated school justified in attempting to meet 

the non-English-language and non-arithmetical-mathematics re- 
quirements of conservative Eastern colleges, considering the 
percentage of high-school graduates who go to them? 
10. What has Professor Bobbitt to say on the non-English language 
question in his volume on "The Curriculum"? Houghton 
Mifflin Co. 

I. The Essentials and the Requirements 

A crucial problem in American education to-day is that 
of adjusting the conflict between giving our pupils a real 
education and of preparing some of them for college. In the 
rural consolidated school this problem everywhere is acute 



because this type of school must not fail to give boys and 
girls a thoroughly efficient rural schooling. In the history 
of education new schools have failed the people by becoming 
formal and aristocratic, catering to a few instead of the 
many. The gymnasium, the real school, the academy, and 
the ordinary high school have each started as a popular 
reform school, and gradually lost their early high aim. The 
educator who has studied the psychological, historical, and 
social aspects of the curriculum sees that a natural, tradi- 
tional association has to-day grown up in the minds of 
many between the idea of secondary schooling and a curric- 
ulum made up of such subjects as Latin, Greek, algebra, 
geometry, French, German, etc. Many think of the sec- 
ondary school as being the institution which teaches these 
subjects, and that a six, five, or four year secondary school 
would lose its identity if it taught others instead. 

The educator looks upon schooling, however, not as a 
traditional, static, fixed thing, so far as subjects of study 
go, but as a vital agency for helping the people to meet in 
the most effective manner their principal problems of life. 
He is interested in the dominant unmet needs of our civiliza- 
tion, in the social composition of the student population, 
and in the types of knowledge, habits, ideals, and apprecia- 
tions which will best contribute to the solution of grave 
individual and social problems. Latin, geometry, algebra, 
German, and other subjects are to him but tools to be used 
only when they fit the purpose of education better than 
any others which may possibly be selected or constructed. 
There is to him no sanctified subject-matter to question 
the relative value of which is sacrilege. All phases of a 
curriculum are to be submitted to the test of relative con- 
tribution to the dominant purposes of schooling in our 
present-day complex and rapidly changing industrial democ- 

The social composition of the high school has within a 
few years vastly changed. From being an aristocratic in- 


stitution fitted for the few who went to college, the high 
school has in the last fifteen years doubled its number of 
pupils, over 90 per cent of whom will never attend a college. 
From being an institution which could not well be tested by 
its serviceability in meeting the pressing needs of life (since 
the children of well-to-do parents have many means of suc- 
cess aside from their schooling) , it has become one in which 
such fallacies as those of broad "formal discipline" cannot 
be disguised by fine words and phrases, such as "culture," 
"discipline," "preparation for college," and the like. We 
are to-day facing the problem of giving a secondary educa- 
tion to nearly 2,000,000 children from all ranks of society 
instead of merely to those of the "upper crust." 

Life Problems and Educational Problems. — The prob- 
lems which most of these pupils face when they leave school 
are the common problems of life rather than the artificial 
demands of an academic college. These principal life 
problems, about five in number, form the chief aims of edu- 
cation about which we are practically all agreed. These 
aims of public education, as we have previously suggested, 
are the following forms of ability or efficiency: 

1. Vital efficiency — health and physical development. 

2. Vocational efficiency — agricultural, domestic, and 

3. Avocational efficiency — right use of leisure, wholesome 
enjoyment, recreation. 

4. Civic efficiency— citizenship. 

5. Moral efficiency — morality, true religion, and social 

These are the chief social aims of all phases of educa- 
tion from the pre-school period upward. Knowledge, habits, 
ideals, and appreciations (including attitudes, prejudices, 
tastes, points of view, etc.) must be developed along all of 
these five lines and also for such fundamental tools as the 
three R's. Placing at the left of the page these seven com- 
monly accepted aims, and at the top of the page the four 


types of psychological changes which can be made in indi- 
viduals, as shown in the previous chapter, we may form by 
horizontal and vertical lines a chart, in the squares of which 
we may place the minimal essential of an education, ele- 
mentary, secondary, higher. Some of the general subjects 
and activities (greatly modified, rearranged, and stated) 
which we shall require in the rural school corresponding to 
these aims, as above given, are those of 

Hygiene and physical education. 

Agricultural training. 

Rural economics. 


Home education. 

American citizenship. 


Introductory social science. 

Introductory natural science. 

Applied ethics. 

English language and literature. 



Public speaking. 

Avocational and recreational activities. 

Rural sociology. 

It can be seen that these subjects are, or can be, closely 
related to the five dominant classes of needs of our people 
as individuals and as a nation and thus to the five dominant 
aims of schooling. The Hst is noteworthy for two great 
omissions, covering six to eight subjects, namely, the ** non- 
English languages " and the ''non-arithmetical mathematics.'' 
These cannot in America be justly required of any large 
proportion of our pupils. . They are highly specialized sub- 
jects, meeting the dominant and fundamental needs of ex- 
ceedingly few persons. They cannot be listed with the 
minimal essentials of a commonly required education. If 
we were a European country in close association with peo- 

Grading and lesting corn in a school laboratory, West Virginia 

A class in soil studv in Wisconsin 

Reproduced by courtesy of Division of Agricultural Instruction, U. S. Dept. of AgricuUure 
Farm mechanical drawing in a Maryland school 


pies using other languages than our own, if all our students 
went into engineering, foreign service, or translation, if there 
were not so many mechanical substitutes for calculation in 
use, if we could depend upon training regardless of subject- 
matter (formal discipline), if all students had from ten to 
fifteen years for secondary and higher education, if the 
problems of life were not so insistent and pressing for our 
people, if our students were all exactly alike, and if the added 
cost for teaching such subjects to all were not prohibitive, 
we might entertain the suggestion that these five or more 
subjects might well be kept as the staples, or staple electives, 
of secondary education, and be required for entrance by 
all colleges, even State agricultural colleges. 

Traditional Subject-Matter vs. Essentials. — As it is 
to-day, the omitted subjects are usually required for entrance 
to colleges, and our great popular high schools, with their 
thousands of students to the college's hundreds, must, willy- 
nilly, in many cases, and because of the force of aristocratic 
and traditional standards in others, teach the non-essential 
instead of the essential, since algebra, geometry, Latin, 
French, German, Greek, Spanish, etc., are not minimal 
essentials of an education. They are the tools of a very 
limited group of persons, and most who study them to-day 
in our rural or city schools have much better use for their 

Even where a high school has a large teaching force it 
is difficult to make up a strictly, and effective, educational 
course for a student, and at the same time provide a college- 
entrance course for the few who propose going to college. 
But the typical high school of this country has but two to 
four teachers. It cannot give a separate course for those 
going to college and at the same time take up the courses 
that are closely related to the fundamental needs of our 
students and the country at large. Out in the cactus and 
sage-brush regions of the West, in the little '* God-forsaken" 
Eastern village which so much needs intelligent study and 



citizenship alive to its needs, and scattered over the broad 
agricultural valleys, as well as in the high schools of our 
cities, we find pupils droning over Caesar's wars in ancient 
Gaul, covering blackboards with relatively meaningless 
algebraic or geometric symbols, and vainly endeavoring to 
gain a respectable knowledge of one or two non-English 
languages. This is the greatest tragedy witnessed by the 
educator as he visits the schools of America to-day. A few 
decades more and a social, truly American education will 
have been provided, and these anomalies will not be seen. 
To-day our problem is to connect education with life. Let 
the few colleges adjust themselves to the many high schools 
rather than the opposite, and proper sequence in studies will 
be naturally arranged. 

Nearly a million preventable deaths occur each year 
in our country, and yet our secondary pupils study little or 
no hygiene; and almost no time is given to physical develop- 
ment. The pupils may, after several years' study, be able 
to translate the legend on the medal presented to Colonel 
Gorgas, "Salus Populi Suprema Lex," but the preventable 
death, illness, and physical-defects rates remain uninflu- 
enced by such study. No country ever had a greater need 
of energetic and enlightened citizenship, and yet but a small 
proportion of our high-school students get even the usual 
desiccated half-year course in "dry-bone civics." Indus- 
trial and domestic intelligence and skill the typical small 
high school leaves very largely, or entirely, undeveloped, 
even though self-preservation is the first law of life, and no 
real ''culture" can omit such fundamental development as 
that connected with one's life calling. Pupils do not have 
time for essentials, since the college and tradition demand 
much time on non-essentials. 

The serious recommendation of the educator to the col- 
lege is that it either demand the minimal essentials needed 
for American life, or free the high school entirely by making 
no conditions beyond graduation from , a four-year high- 


school course for entrance. No college can afford to injure 
and handicap American education in these stirring and ex- 
acting times. No college will fail to profit by helping the 
high schools as much as possible to meet directly the domi- 
nant needs of American life for real culture and real efficiency. 

That evolution is all in the direction outlined above we 
have many indications. High schools are in many places 
finding ways and means by which to make of themselves 
real "people's colleges '*; the rapidly coming six- six plan of 
organization is sure to help; colleges are modifying entrance 
requirements in the right direction, several of the best in 
the country already meeting fairly well the demands of this 
chapter; and advanced students of education are everywhere 
practically unanimous in this requirement of "hands off.*' 
The recent surveys of secondary-school systems contain 
strong indorsements of this policy, such, for example, as 
Larned's investigation of secondary education in Vermont 
for the Carnegie Foundation, and Davis's investigation of 
the high schools of New York City for the School Inquiry. 
The surveys of higher education by the U. S. Bureau of 
Education suggest greater freedom and adaptation to life 
needs. The recent books on secondary education are prac- 
tically unanimous in this direction, as is also the report of 
the National Committee on the Reorganization of Secondary 
Education. Yet all of these will probably be considered 
conservative in a brief time because of the present rapid 

In response to a letter of inquiry a number of leading 
educators have expressed to the writer their best judgments 
on this general problem; and, as can be seen by the following 
quotations, the general verdict is that the college must help 
education toward a fundamental reorganization to meet 
the needs of life by accepting the product of the four to 
six years' course with little or no qualification outside of the 
five fundamental lines above mentioned. If algebra and 
geometry are a part of the necessary technical preparation 


for engineering, if Latin and other non-English languages 
are needed for teachers of these languages, or for academic 
specialization, let these subjects be taught as a part of the 
regular technical courses in either the college, or, by option, 
in the high schools with large enough groups specializing 
in these lines, and with sufficient teachers and money to 
give fundamental education for all as well as technical or 
academic preparation for the few. Beyond requiring Eng- 
lish and recommending sequence in courses, perhaps little 
should be demanded along other than absolutely essential 
lines. On the other hand, every American college should, 
as soon as possible, refuse to accept students who have not 
studied hygiene, citizenship, appHed ethics, elementary ap- 
plied economics, English, general science, and perhaps a few 
other fundamental subjects. It is both safe and patriotic 
to demand essentials for democracy and rural life. If col- 
leges will study the causes of failure of students, and will 
report to the high schools on the relative success of their 
former pupils, giving reasons for failures, if they will in- 
sist upon good methods and high standards of work, and 
if they will use their great power to influence rural high 
schools really to do something socially effective for the 
country, most of the necessary readjustment between the 
two institutions will be easily effected. 

II. What Leading Educators Say About Entrance 

From a professor of education in a Western State uni- 
versity we obtained the following judgment on this question; 

A State-supported institution must admit to its student body 
students of moderate ability who would properly be excluded by in- 
stitutions established and financed by private or denominational 
agencies. It cannot establish an intellectual aristocracy. If this 
principle is embarrassing because of the presence of students who are 
unable to take advantage of traditionally scholarly lines of work, 


other lines of work must be established better fitted to such students. 
... I believe in differentiation of entrance requirements for the sev- 
eral courses. ... In this connection it should always be remembered 
that high-school students often fail to know until late in their high- 
school work what they wish to do in the matter of further education. 
. . . When a student wakes up to the idea of taking a course in the 
university for which his high-school course was not exactly the best 
preparation, he should be allowed to match up in the university. . . . 
Our State universities should not refuse to accept any student who is 
approved for higher educational work by a high school in his State. 
... I think high-school men ought specifically to express an opinion 
as to the ability of a student to take up this or that course. ... As 
to what subjects should be accepted, . . . university men should be 
liberal in allowing high schools to meet local demands. 

From the dean of the school of education in an Eastern 

I am committed to the policy of admitting to college any stu- 
dent who has completed, with creditable grades, any good four-year 
high-school course, regardless of the studies, and who has the recom- 
mendation of the faculty as one fit to profit by college work. Further, 
I would admit any student past twenty-one years of age, without a 
full secondary course, on probation, and if he proves in the course of 
the first year that he is able to carry college courses with credit, I 
would cancel all conditions against him. 

From the dean of the school of education in a central 
State university: 

The school of liberal arts in any State college should accept for 
entrance four years of high-school work without specification of what 
the units studied in the four years should be. . . . It has been my 
impression for some time, and this impression is supported by some 
figures collected recently, that the university can get as good results 
in particular fields as at present by having the student begin work in 
those fields without preliminary work in the same fields in the high 
school. . . . The high school should determine what subjects best 
fit the student for life; the university should accept these for entrance, 
and should in the first two years supplement the work of the high 


From the dean of the college of education in a far 
Western State university: 

The high schools know better than the college what work they 
can do, and the colleges should take the graduates of the high schools 
where they find them. The work prescribed for graduation from the 
college can be made whatever the college desires, but there should be 
abundant opportunity to get into college after taking practically any 
of the courses in the ordinary high school. 

From the dean of the division of education in a far 
Eastern university: 

It seems to me that the entrance requirements of the University 
of Chicago embody the important characteristics of a good plan for 
admission to college. The features of this plan that seem to me es- 
pecially desirable are as follows: 

1. No subject other than English is prescribed. 

2. The candidate is required to do a certain amount of consecutive 
work in the high school in order that he may meet the requirement 
of a major of three units and a minor of two units. 

3. A free margin of five units is permitted, whereby progressive 
schools may develop courses of instruction that seem particularly 
valuable either for the purpose of meeting the needs of individual 
pupils or for the purpose of meeting special demands in the com- 

(The editor considers even this plan too conservative 
and expects more liberality at this university soon. Even 
Yale and Princeton have recently shown a disposition to 
meet the high schools half-way.) 

From the head of the department of education in a 
Western university: 

It has always seemed to me that our entrance requirements are 
based on the right principle. The only fixed subject is the use of the 
English language. For the remainder a wide choice is offered, the 
university taking the ground that while the high schools may need 
to set certain fixed requirements, it is not the province of the univer- 
sity to say to the high schools what these fixed requirements shall be. 


On the other hand, we feel very strongly that it is best for each high 
school to do those things which in its community seems most worth 
while, and that the university entrance requirements should be shaped 
so as to permit of such a condition of affairs. The university later 
may pass on the quantity and quality of work done when the student 
comes to enter the university; but it ought not to prescribe its char- 
acter for all the high-school students. 

These statements may stand as the general judgment of 
our educational experts. The writer would go beyond these 
and urge colleges to require students to present evidence not 
only of English study but of knowledge, skill, and ideals in 
each of the five lines of social demands of our democracy. 

III. Non-English Languages Amy Non-Arithmetical 

The alternative of eliminating all requirements that do 
not relate closely to the five factors, frequently reiterated, 
of (i) health, (2) vocational (including domestic) efficiency, 
(3) citizenship, (4) morality (and social service), and (5) 
harmless enjoyment, has hardly been considered in this 
country. Colleges have been more concerned with devising 
means by which to hold the high school in the ruts of tradi- 
tion rather than in stimulating them to do their share in 
educating the youth of the land. Many would even try 
to use the junior high-school movement to thrust the non- 
English languages and non-arithmetical mathematics down- 
ward upon elementary-school boys and girls. When the 
entire history of college-entrance requirements is better 
known, the truth of this statement will be recognized. Col- 
leges of the future may be found, however, giving special 
credit for health and physical development (or for definite 
training in these lines), for general knowledge of the world 
in which the high-school graduates live, for experience and 
power along the lines of the principal problems of life which 
all people must face, and which they are to-day facing 


poorly because of the lack of a thoroughgoing socialized and 
American education. Students of education do not object 
to college requirements. They object to requirements of the 
less valuable in place of the absolutely essential. 

Arguments for the Non-English Languages. — It seems 
desirable to outline briefly some of the reasons for the 
elimination of the requirements of the variously stated 
number of "units" in algebra, geometry, Latin, Greek, 
French, German, etc., both for the general student body 
and for college-entering students. We shall examine more 
particularly here the great burden of language study. Latin 
was practically the entire curriculum of the Latin-grammar 
school out of which finally came the academy and the 
modern high school. Some time after the Renaissance it 
was the principal college subject. Modern languages and 
mathematics had to fight for college credit for a long time 
before they got it. But once in, the latter have, for dis- 
ciplinary reasons, held their own. French and German 
were not counted for admission until the seventies. The 
influences which have put the modern languages, for the 
most part German, into the American high schools were 
many, but chiefly the following ten sets of facts and notions: 

1. The rather servile imitation of the German gymnasium 
and the French lycee. 

2. The desire of many Germans in this country, hy- 
phenated and unhyphenated, to keep alive here the lan- 
guage of the Fatherland. As a boy in Cincinnati, the writer 
studied in the public schools under an English teacher in 
the mornings, and under a German teacher, speaking only 
the German language, in the afternoons. In certain cases 
one or both of these languages has been helped into our 
schools by foreign money and influence. Thus in German 
centres a large amount of time has been misspent in teach- 
ing German to many who could have little use for it. 

3. The doctrine of "formal discipHne," namely, that the 
value of the mental training which one gets from certain 


subjects is sufficient to justify them even if they have little 
or no content value for meeting any of the great needs of 
life; i. e., that one need not use these languages in speaking 
or otherwise in childhood or later Hfe to get more educa- 
tional benefit than could otherwise be obtained for the 
same expenditure of time and effort. 

4. The theory that a person can learn the languages in 
school better early in life than in the period, say, from 
eighteen to twenty-two, a very common notion. 

5. The fallacious idea of certain teachers that all or 
most college students should study French or German, 
because they will need to read in these languages for ad- 
vanced scholarship. 

6. The fact that the methods of teaching these languages 
were organized, easily followed without much knowledge or 
skill, and that until recently the sciences of hygiene, eco- 
nomics, civics, ethics, vocational studies, home education, 
etc., were largely "without form and void," or not yet or- 
ganized, selected, and adapted for use in teaching secondary 

7. The notion that students would probably need these 
modern languages for harmless enjoyment of leisure — in 
travel abroad, in reading Moliere and Goethe, in singing the 
songs of these countries, and in interpreting quotations or 

8. The theory that a knowledge of these languages along 
with Latin and Greek contributed considerable ability in 
the use of EngHsh. 

9. The notion that students may just as well as not 
take these languages while in high school or college, since 
they have the time, and many rather enjoy studying them 
— that this is a satisfactory use of the time. 

10. The conventional idea that pupils should study these 
languages because the ''best people" do so. 

Refutation of These Arguments. — What can the edu- 
cator say when faced by this formidable array ? Our ques- 


tion here is not exactly whether modern languages have any 
value. The question always is what knowledge, habits, 
ideals, and appreciations are of most value for meeting the 
fivefold aims of education in this country to-day, the ques- 
tion asked so ably years ago by Herbert Spencer, and pre- 
viously by Benjamin Franklin (in his 1789 protest against 
the classical degeneration of the academy he had started 
with such high hopes in 1750). Not what we should like 
to have all pupils study if they had twenty years for educa- 
tion and a life of leisure ahead of them as in ancient Athens! 
But what our great democratic institutions filled with stu- 
dents from all ranks of society, most of them never entering 
colleges, need to help them and America meet effectively 
the issues of preventable poverty, disease, crime, vocational 
and domestic inefficiency, degradingly used leisure, and a 
generally low status of educational and scientific opinion! 
Not what a child of a large polyglot city filled from many 
lands by almost unrestricted immigration may be able to 
use if we wish to cater to the use of foreign tongues in 
America! But what the country and village boy and girl 
in more typical American communities must have to help 
the country people provide a balance-wheel to degenerative 
and unnatural city tendencies. 

But let us look at this decimal array, anyway, and see 
what these opinions and facts amount to. 

I. European Ideals. — There can be no doubt that the 
great group of schoolmen who went to Germany for their 
higher education a few decades ago came back filled with 
the desire to get into our high-school curricula the subjects 
which they found there. Some of these men, in high places, 
still revere the German gymnasium curriculum. The falla- 
cies here were those of thinking that the schooling devised 
to accentuate class distinctions and fit an aristocracy for 
awing and ruling the masses should be appropriate here, 
and that our country, separated by an ocean far from 
France and Germany, should have any such need of ability 
to use in intercourse and reading the languages which these 


peoples, in close and intimate relationship, in peace or war, 
very much need. No. Our pupils have always needed 
English, more and better than they obtained. Our teaching 
of modern foreign languages has taken valuable time much 
better spent on this and similar American problems. They 
need Spanish more than they need German or French, and 
Spanish should be made elective in only a relatively few 
high schools of the land. " Go slow about introducing sub- 
jects not found among the minimal essentials'' is a good 
conservative rule. We are opposed to any of these subjects 
as general requirements for all students. 

2. Immigrant Demands. — It was probably unwise to 
let the sentiments of even very desirable alien peoples here 
dominate curricula enough to make possible the recognition 
of German and French as staple subjects. This has tended 
to obstruct the Americanization of our aliens by eliminating 
from their possible courses subjects which function directly 
in Americanization, such as American citizenship, and by 
cultivating such close attachments for foreign countries as 
to prove a menace to us in our international crises. Why 
not teach Spanish, Itahan, Japanese, and Russian in all 
high schools? Simply because we have not had powerful 
groups of sentimental zealots and outside forces to push 
them in ! Once get a subject into the schools and the ten- 
dency is for the schoolmaster and the pubhc to fall down 
and worship it as one of the indispensable pillars of the 
school edifice! Our language and our curricula must be 
American. Through a very few linguistic speciaHsts America 
may, as Professor Snedden points out, keep thoroughly 
in touch with France and Germany. This group may be 
smaller than one one-thousandth of the number of high- 
school students who are now compelled to study these lan- 
guages, even though exceedingly few learn them well enough 
to use them. 

3. Formal Discipline. — The doctrine of broad formal 
discipHne is also untenable. We probably get a modicum 
of general discipHne, or training in ^'reasoning," in "mem- 


ory," in "will-power," etc., in any of the supposed *' facul- 
ties," from any similar groups of purposive activities. The 
teachers in a large number of Eastern secondary schools and 
colleges, for example, as shown in a study by Thorndike, 
recently attributed little less *' discipline," so called, to 
waiting on tables and playing on the college football teams 
than to the old "classical" or "cultural" subjects. 

The literature on this subject is quite extensive, and 
we have many psychological experiments to test the old 
theory. Judd, in his " Psychology of the High School Sub- 
jects," expresses the most conservative views on the problem 
and becomes almost reactionary in meeting the arguments 
of Thorndike, who expresses, in his "Educational Psy- 
chology," the more progressive views. A sound middle 
position would be to teach no subject unless it can be justi- 
fied in content, or subject-matter, as being clearly and plainly 
worth more than anything that could be put into its place 
for meeting the principal aims of education. "Formal dis- 
cipHne in its sweeping interpretation is an unproved hy- 
pothesis for which there are more refuting than supporting 

We cannot take the time of students in our schools to 
teach them subjects, costing more per pupil-hour than others 
more essential, which have little more than vague opinions 
and tradition back of them. 

Farm carpentry, agricultural, domestic, and commercial 
subjects are costly because of the equipment necessary and 
supplies used, but the studies of Professor Bobbitt show 
that the non-English languages and Latin cost per pupil- 
hour of instruction in a typical city as much as or more than 
do shop work, mechanical drawing, and commercial subjects 
(10.3 cents of a dollar each), while the modern languages 
cost even more (11.4 cents), the average of all the other 
subjects being only a little over seven cents. Greek was 
put out of the Newton, Massachusetts, high school only a 
few years ago because, as Superintendent Spaulding said, 


his cost accounting showed that Greek was costing far more 
than it was evidently worth to the people supporting the 
schools, considering what other education might be pur- 
chased with the money. 

Wait until the people generally learn of such facts, and 
their present distrust of the formal-discipline notion will 
lead them to challenge effectively this overburdening study 
of "words, words, words," especially foreign words. We 
need some of the wisdom of Horace Mann, who early pro- 
tested against putting the cart before the horse in education 
— in requiring what should be electives and making elective 
or non-existent what should be required of all. If we could 
compute the number of preventable deaths caused by the 
crowding out of hygiene from our high schools in the last 
fifty years, and see the miles of dead march by for months 
in columns of four, we should possess in this alone sufficient 
proof and intense realization of lamentable waste. 

4. Is Childhood the Best Time ? — For those who believe 
that "the only time to learn languages is in childhood and 
not in the college period, '^ we refer to the studies summarized 
by Professor Parker, of the University of Chicago, in his 
volume on "Methods of Teaching in High Schools" (Ginn) 
in a chapter entitled The Influence of Age on Learning. 
Here again naive opinion based on isolated or peculiar in- 
stances falls before expert psychological tests. The ability 
to memorize and retain a language vocabulary increases 
gradually with experience and age up to about twenty, as 
does the ability to reason or any other mental trait. It cer- 
tainly does not decrease. Parker speaks ably against hav- 
ing any large proportion of high-school students studying 
foreign languages on the grounds that they can learn them 
much better in less time and with less loss in relearning if 
they postpone them until the college period, and that such 
high-school teaching is poor social economy. We can here 
do little more than refer to the chapter. More of such open- 
minded investigation and analysis of this problem is needed. 


Practically all colleges now have beginning courses in French 
and German. Why not have them for practically all stu- 
dents who will be required to study these subjects in college ? 
(And why not have Latin and non-arithmetical mathe- 
matics also begun there instead of requiring them as we now 
do of about a million high-school students ?) We must con- 
clude that the time to study foreign languages for those who 
are going to college is in the college period. Practically no 
others will need them sufficiently to exclude other subjects 
by taking them. 

S' Are They Needed for. Advanced Study? — Parker meets 
well also in the above-mentioned chapter the fifth argu- 
ment, that students need to study the non-English modern 
languages in high school because they will need to read these 
languages for advanced scholarship. We beg to quote his 

Let us consider i,ooo students who enter high school. Of these, 
probably 500 will not continue to graduation. Practically none of 
the non-graduates will have occasion to use French or German as a 
practical tool for further study. Of the 500, 250 may go to college. 
Of these, 100 may graduate and be eligible to become candidates for 
the doctor's degree. But as a matter of fact only 10 out of the orig- 
inal 1,000 will ever do serious graduate study to the extent of receiv- 
ing the master's degree (that is, one year after graduation from col- 
lege). Probably not 5 out of the original 1,000 who entered high 
school will become serious candidates for the doctor's degree. Of the 
5, some will try to choose topics for dissertations in connection with 
which they will not have to use French or German. Of those who 
secure the degree, very few will continue to do productive research 
work which will require a reading knowledge of a foreign language. 
Many of them will get positions as professors in small colleges, normal 
schools, or high schools, and do routine teaching the rest of their 

The professors of chemistry and of engineering in the 
college could be answered in much the same way. Their 

^ I recommend for reading also the passages in Professor Bobbitt's "Sur- 
vey of the School System of San Antonio, Texas," on these phases of wasted 
effort, as well as his volume on "The Curriculum'.' of later date. 


students after years of study do not gain facility in reading 
these languages. They drop them as soon as the professors' 
backs are turned. They sensibly depend upon translators 
to put into the English technical journals and books the 
most valuable writings of the foreign investigators. Most of 
them cannot keep up with even the Hterature of their pro- 
fession published in English, let alone the foreign technical 
journals. A questionnaire sent by the writer to five hun- 
dred graduate engineers all out of college over ten years 
showed that this is true for them and that they regard time 
spent on French and German as largely wasted. Soon we 
should have to read Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Italian, and 
other languages to get in the original the chief scientific 
productions. The whole ideal is largely impractical and the 
extremely few really benefited will not warrant wholesale 
required-foreign-language study in high schools. A few 
specialists who really know the languages can each month 
review for engineers and technologists the principal foreign 
works in our EngHsh journals of technology.^ 

6. Are There Unmet Demands ? — These languages need 
not now be taught because there is nothing else to teach. 
Excellent courses in American citizenship, in applied ethics, 
in elementary sociology, in industrial, agricultural, and home 
education, in hygiene and physical development, and so on, 
have been well worked out. Their pedagogy is being de- 
veloped, some now being organized as a series of projects, 
or problems, almost as closely chiselled as the "pure'' (un- 
applied and inapplicable) mathematics of the old mathema- 
tician, and at least as well organized for any kind of "men- 
tal discipline" as foreign languages. 

Besides, these socially directed subjects possess the tre- 
mendous psychological advantage of having a content that 
is full of suggestions and associations with the affairs of life, 
making possible the recall, use, and functioning of knowl- 

^ See Professor C. R. Mann's bulletin of the Bureau of Education on 
"The American Spirit in Education," No. 30, 1919. 


edge, habits, ideals, and appreciations gained, whereas the 
pure mathematics and non-EngKsh languages connect ex- 
ceedingly little with the concrete lives of most people out of 
the academic world. It could be truthfully said of many 
high-school courses of the type which conforms most closely 
to the Unguistic college-preparatory ideal, that there are more 
socially valuable, educative, teachable, and interesting sub- 
jects outside the curricula than within them. We live at a 
fortunate time when first-class text-books have been worked 
out for most of the subjects which need to be taught in the 
high school and when each year sees many marked improve- 
ments. The organization of introductory economics at the 
University of Chicago as a series of problems by which stu- 
dents gain power to think on the economic problems of life, 
rather than on those of abstract mathematics, is very sug- 
gestive. Professor Parker has set a good example to writers 
of books for teachers, which in the past have been very 
unpedagogical and hard to learn or teach, by furnishing 
with his volume on ^'Methods of Teaching in High Schools'* 
a volume of projects and problems in application. The 
new general science texts and laboratory manuals are also 
of a new and vital character. Professor Sharp's work at 
the University of Wisconsin in the field of high-school ethics, 
or moral instruction (taboo for a long time), is highly sug- 
gestive in another field. (See his volume on "Moral In- 
struction," Bobbs-Merrill.) The books by Beard and by 
Dunn on citizenship are of a new order. The right use of 
leisure, recreational and avocational activities, are being 
developed and made available for school procedure.^ A 
great wealth of educative material closely related to the 
aims of education lies before us. Why remain bound to 
the curricula of those who were without a knowledge of 
psychology, without subject-matter outside of the "classics," 

^ See, for example, the recreational surveys of Springfield, Ipswich, Madison, 
and Cleveland, all made within recent years and the first of their kind. 
(Recreation Division of the Russell Sage Foundation, New York.) 


and were ''hard up'' for something to put into the high- 
school course to fill up four years of time? 

7. English for Harmless Enjoyment. — The a vocational, 
cultural, or leisure argument for the study of foreign lan- 
guages by high-school and college students is about the only 
one which seems to have any weight. We are not speaking 
of a refinement of mind, a *' discipline," but of such harmless 
enjoyment as that of reading French or German plays and 
novels in the original, of singing French and German songs, 
being able to interpret quotations in a foreign tongue, un- 
derstanding French fashion-terms and menus, being able to 
talk the language when abroad, and so on. The answer here 
is that the pedantic habit of sprinkling pages with a foreign 
tongue is rapidly dying out, that the average high-school or 
even college student will never see the Rhine or the Rhone, 
that admirable translations of the worthiest foreign litera- 
ture soon appear — far more satisfactory for study than the 
results of the kind of knowledge of these languages even the 
best type of student usually obtains — that we can get along 
with the fashions and the menus pretty well without sacrific- 
ing years of time in foreign-language study, and that in the 
years spent in such study we could be gaining education in 
many types of avocations and harmless enjoyment which are 
now denied us. We are not organizing our high-school or 
college courses especially for academic specialists, for the 
leisure classes, nor for any who can afford to fritter away 
precious time and energy. Education in America means 
something else. Our schools have not yet proved themselves 
very able at teaching essentials. 

8. Need They Be Taken as Electives? — The eighth ar- 
gument, that students may just as well as not take such sub- 
jects while they are in high schools, shows a lack of knowl- 
edge of what should be done in the high school, how little 
time there is for extras, and how much time and money is 
lost by taking them. Many speak for these languages in the 
high school with as little comprehension of purpose and 


relative value as the girl who on being asked why she was 
studying French and German in the high school said: ^'Oh, 
I don't know, really. People ask you what language you 
have studied, you know, and you Hke to have something to 
tell them." 

We shall let Professor Parker meet this argument. In 
the above-mentioned chapter he says: 

Putting together the psychological evidence concerning the fa- 
cility with which a reading knowledge or the vocabulary of a language 
is acquired at different ages, and the facts concerning the enormous 
social waste that is entailed by requiring or advising students to begin 
the study of foreign languages early, we feel justified in maintaining 
that in most cases the study of a foreign language should be begun in 
later adolescence (from eighteen to twenty-two years of age), when 
the few students who will use the language begin to arrange their 
elections of studies with definite reference to a practical goal in con- 
nection with which they will use them. . . . 

Inasmuch as over 90 per cent of high-school students will Dot 
have occasion to use a foreign language as a practical tool in later 
life, we shall avoid an enormous social waste (of community money, 
teacher's time and energy, and student's time and energy) by making 
little or no provision for the study of a foreign language by most 
students in American high schools. Those who will use it as a prac- 
tical tool in reading may begin to learn it when it becomes reasonably 
certain which students they are. If they are to be candidates for the 
degree of Doctor of Philosophy, as many of those are who use the 
language as a tool for studying, they can learn French in one year 
and German in two years during their college course. 

Moreover, learning the language at this period will obviate the 
waste of time ordinarily entailed in relearning the language when it 
has been studied early in life. That this necessity of relearning is a 
serious fact is shown by the large numbers of failures in efficiency and 
reading examinations in French and German by students in college 
who have studied the languages from two to ten years before taking 
the examination. 

Our own argument has been stated. American high 
schools are typically very small and poorly supported, with 
only time to teach some of the essentials. These languages 
are not essentials. Time is the most precious thing in the 


student^s life. It would be desirable if the elementary 
and high-school period could be reduced from twelve to 
eleven years and the college period to three. 

9. Do They Help Much in Use of English ? — The ninth 
argument is that a study of the non-English languages gives 
one proficiency in the use of English. Professor Starch has 
met this argument by a scientific investigation. And one 
ounce of accurate scientific investigation is worth tons of 
opinions, resolutions, and surmises. In his article entitled 
''Some Experimental Data on the Value of Studying For- 
eign Languages, '* in the School Review , of recent date, he 
gives the results of extensive investigations in this field. 
The average marks of students in high school and college 
failed to increase significantly with the number of years 
the various students had studied foreign languages, from 
o to 15, in actual tested ability to use the English language, 
''good usage." In fact, the average scores for correctness 
of usage of university juniors and seniors decreased with 
the number of years they had studied foreign languages. 
The more they studied French and German, the less ability 
they showed in correct usage. 

Professor Starch necessarily attributes some increase of 
knowledge of ''grammar" shown to the influence of the 
foreign-language study, but this may largely be accounted 
for by the fact that many students study English grammar in 
the high school and that the rhetoric in high school and col- 
lege and the constant writing of themes gives considerable 
insight into grammar aside from foreign-language study. 
Furthermore, he finds that "Latin obviously has no advan- 
tage over any other foreign language in increasing gram- 
matical knowledge or usage of English." The reader is re-t 
ferred to the statistics in the article itself. Such tests may 
readily be repeated at other institutions. On this and 
other similar evidence we may conclude that knowledge, 
skill, and taste in Enghsh evidently cannot be obtained by 
studying something else, and that even if there are slight 


additions to ability in English from foreign-language study, 
they are bought at an exorbitant price. And if there is an 
increase in grammatical knowledge, such knowledge, as 
shown by many tests, does not correlate with ability to use 
good English.^ 

Other data appearing in School and Society for August 14, 
1915, and November 20, 1915, bear out the same general 
conclusion. A little more scientific investigation of this 
group of problems will be sufficient to prove the general 
proposition. The efforts and pleas of Benjamin Franklin 
and of those who started high schools here to achieve real 
democratic secondary education may yet be realized. The 
rural consolidated school with its probable six-year high- 
school course must fight for the essentials of rural educa- 
tion or degenerate into formalism like all its predecessors, 
the grammar-school, the German gymnasium, the French 
lycee, the English public school, and the old American 
four-year high school of the time of the "Committee of 

10. Should They Be Required or Elected Because It Is the 
Thing to Do? — The "conventional" value, although strong 
for getting students to take foreign-language studies includ- 
ing "the classics," has no weight as an argument for costly 
courses in our American high schools. Booker T. Washing- 
ton said that after the Civil War the negroes had but two 
great aims in life. One was to hold office, thus reahzing their 
sovereignty as free citizens, and the other was to study 
Latin. The latter meant to them a liberal education. The 
"young folks" of their wealthy owners had been going North 
for Latin, with some French and German, and had come back 
able to chant certain cabalistic conjugations, thus striking 
awe into those who knew not the charm ! We have not the 
time, energy, nor money to waste in meeting such conven- 
tional, traditional, aristocratic aims as this in our schools and 

1 See chapter on Grammar in the editor's volume on "Teaching Elementary 
School Subjects" (Scribner). 


colleges when real culture and real efficiency must be de- 
veloped for meeting the stirring problems of life which press 
on all for solution. 

Such doctrine is not utilitarian in the sense of a mere 
bread-and-butter aim. It is a plea for ''culture." Let us 
make neither academic nor vocational specialists of our boys 
and girls without furnishing first a broad cultural foundation 
meeting the first aims of education. We want American 
boys and girls to get an American education, not a wooden- 
nutmeg substitute. The ten arguments for the modern 
foreign languages when examined are found without force. 

IV. The Outcome 

What has been said above applies largely also to the study 
of the dead languages, Latin and Greek, and of abstract 
non-arithmetical mathematics, i. e., algebra and geometry. 
We cannot here take up the arguments given for these 
studies. We should attempt to prove by analysis and verifi- 
able data that these subjects give no special ''disciplinary 
effects" which are more valuable to young Americans than 
they could obtain by other use of their time, that they do not 
especially develop the "memory" or the "reasoning powers," 
or those of "accuracy," "discrimination," and the long Hst 
frequently mentioned by those with vested interests in the 

We should attempt to demonstrate that the thinking in 
mathematics is unlike that which we must use in meeting the 
problems of life, as analyzed by Dewey and others, both in 
method of mental activity and in the content or subject- 
matter. We can gain power in solving the manifold prob- 
lems of life by solving them, by dealing with them in class 
or community, and not by deahng deductively with x, y, z, 

1 See Moore's new volume on "What Is Education?" (Ginn), chapter on 
The Doctrine of General Discipline ; also Moritz's article in School and Society 
for May, 1918. Bobbitt's "The Curriculum" has been favorably men- 


or the lines and angles of geometric figures. But we must 
leave these subjects for further examination by our readers 
and the investigators who are to-day busily studying subject 

Why did the schoolmasters of the past fasten upon our 
school traditions the method of attempting to educate 
children backward, indirectly, abandoning the near and 
the evidently educative, and seizing upon far-off, hypo- 
thetical subjects which only a remoteness from the experi- 
ences of real life and a very vivid imagination would ever 
lead one to regard as educative in any large degree? The 
history of education reveals that many Hues of non-reason in 
the form of blind imitation, mere tradition, and other- 
worldly aristocracy gradually converged to bring about this 
anomalous situation to-day. Fixing our eyes on the social 
aims of education, on the nature and needs of the youth to 
be educated, and perseverance in the scientific evaluation of 
subject-matter, results, and methods are the only means 
which will help us to break away and inventively and cre- 
atively to construct the cultural^ education of future Amer- 
ica. For rural education in consolidated schools, the need 
of constant use of such a method of establishing a real 
country education for country people constitutes nothing 
less than a social emergency in these early years of its de- 
velopment. We urge Uberty for experimental adjustment. 


1. What special applications to the consolidated rural school can you 

make from the principles developed by Professor Bobbitt in 
his volume on "The Curriculum"? 

2. What important domestic problems which women meet on taking 

responsibility for a rural household are untouched by the or- 
dinary home-economics' curricula for girls? Could the school 
wisely undertake to prepare girls for these responsibilities, con- 
sidering other demands on the time available for schooling? 

1 See Dewey's definitions and discussions of culture and character in Mon- 
roe's "Cyclopedia of Education." 


3. Which of the college-entrance plans suggested by the writers of 

the letters in the chapter fit best your own State colleges ? 

4. What additions to the argument for the elimination of so much 

foreign and dead language study in rural high schools can you 

5. Which of the arguments of the editor would you contest? 

6. What phases of history are of most value to rural-school pupils, 

elementary and high? 

7. What recreational, avocational, or cultural needs of country folk 

as you know them are poorly met by the typical rural high 
school? Do algebra, geometry, Latin, French, and German 
satisfy these needs? 

8. If possible, secure a survey of rural recreation made by some com- 

petent persons, and note the cultural needs there set forth. 

9. What parts of the United States are most progressive in experi- 

mentally developing real American and rural curricula for meet- 
ing dominant rural-life needs? 
10. How can you explain the great surplus of books and articles on 
methods of teaching, and the very few until recently on cur- 
riculum-making ? 


1. Bobbitt— "The Curriculum." Houghton Mifflin Co. 

2. Inglis — "Principles of Secondary Education." Houghton Mifflin 


3. "Cardinal Principles of Secondary Education." Government 

Printing Office. 

4. Parker — " Methods of Teaching in High Schools." Ginn. 

5. Johnston — " High School Education " and " The Modern High 


6. Monroe — " Principles of Secondary Education." Macmillan. 

7. Moore — " What Is Education? " Houghton Mifflin Co. 

8. Vogt— " Rural Sociology." Appleton. 



Preliminary Problems 

1. What types of fiction and essays have been collected that develop 

high ideals of country life ? (See, for example, Bowman's books, 
published by Scribners.) 

2. Do any of these compare well in their contribution to the funda- 

mental aims of rural education with "selections" now used? 

3. What books and magazines could well be incorporated in the read- 

ing courses of junior and senior high-school youth ? 

4. What is the most common form of writing, of "composition," that 

people do in ordinary rural life? Where could these letters be 
found ? 

5. What per cent of the composition time in school is devoted to 

training in letter-writing? Would the defects and merits in the 
collected correspondence of a typical rural county for one year 
indicate that the time spent was sufficient for ordinary people? 

I. The New Aims of English Teaching 

One of the former '^best sellers'' by a well-known author 
bears the curious title, **The Inside of the Cup,'' which he 
justifies by an apt biblical reference. This suggested the 
title for the present chapter, which is incorporated here more 
as an illustration of how to use the social aims of education 
in selecting all subject-matter than because of the supreme 
value of English. My text is taken from the writings of a 
modern religious teacher and diplomat. He says somewhere 
that we should all drink deep from the cup of knowledge, but 
warns us that we must not become so deeply engrossed in 
the beauty of the tracery and the coloring of the designs on 
the cup as to fail to drink and pass on refreshed and in- 



The peculiar temptation and sin of the teacher is to be- 
come engrossed in the study of the vessel of knowledge and to 
forget his function as the nourisher of souls. It is especially 
the temptation of teachers of English, although the mathe- 
matician, the historian, the linguist, and the scientist in 
their teacher's chairs all likewise succumb. Teachers of 
English have before them a multitude to be fed with Kving 
education; they have the greatest opportunity available in 
the schools of to-day to mould the character of the American 
people; their chief fault, which we attempt here to dissect 
and diagnose in order to cure and prevent, is that of not dis- 
covering and reaUzing their peculiar social function. Too 
often they are not guided by the great aims of education, 
but, turning away from Hfe, they fix their gaze on the tech- 
nical linguistic properties of the so-called classics and of the 
compositions they teach. They become engrossed in the con- 
templation of the outside of the cup. 

Relative Values and Educational Aims. — An understand- 
ing of relative values in the teaching of English can come only 
from a study of educational purposes and aims. A thing is 
good or bad, valuable, less valuable, or valueless, in so far as 
it functions more or less efficiently in the achievement of the 
purpose for which it is used. The teacher of English, in the 
upper-graded or six-year high school especially, performs 
part of the work of educating boys and girls in early adoles- 
cence. Her work must contribute to the aims of education 
in this period. If we can get before us the principal purposes 
of schooling, we can obtain standards by which to judge the 
relative values of all teaching and of the special work of the 
teachers of English. 

The traditional aim of schooling inherited by the high 
and upper-grade school is that of formal discipline, which 
impKes that it does not matter what we study, provided 
that we agonize over it sufficiently. This relic of medieval 
asceticism was originally brought forward to justify the ped- 
ant schoolmasters in holding the only subject which they 


could teach, namely, Latin grammar, in the Latin-grammar 
schools after the time of Elizabeth, Bacon, and Milton, 
when Latin went out of use as the language of scholarship 
and diplomacy. Other names for this aim of teaching, such 
as "mental discipline," "mind- training," "culture," "de- 
velopment of the mental faculties," "training of the powers 
of reasoning, concentration, discrimination, memory, etc.," 
were, and are still, commonly used. The principal of a large 
secondary school said to the writer only recently that he 
wanted algebra and Latin taught in the first year in order 
to give his students "minds to work with," to "develop 
their power to remember and to think." It is little wonder 
that the English teacher, who for a long time was not recog- 
nized by classical teachers and the colleges because she did 
not hold to this doctrine, finally came around to the same 
false standard that English is to be taught as a discipline 
and that all other values are by-products. 

This aim for both elementary and secondary schooling 
has been rejected by all modern educators. We can get 
training and valuable subject-matter at the same time; and 
the training which is divorced from its concrete applica- 
tions will largely fail to function. We must look elsewhere 
for the aims and purposes of modern education. Any 
scrutiny of the quadrupling of attendance from all ranks 
of society in our high schools in the last two decades, of the 
manifold types of work now being carried on in them, and 
of the numerous grave social problems curable by sound 
schooling, will show that the aim of formal discipline is no 
longer an actual or sufficient guide for democracy's public 
schools. Out in the country, where people are so close to 
nature and the great vital facts of life, such an aim for the 
consolidated school is farcical and ignoble. 

The Fivefold Aim. — The chief social aims of education, 
which the leaders in education from Spencer down have 
recognized, and which the recent great educational surveys 
are bringing out clearly into the lights are about five in 


number. They form the principal aims because they furnish 
the principal problems of the American people. These 
five aims, stated before as phases of social efficiency, may 
be reiterated here as follows: (i) Vital efficiency — health 
and physical development; (2) vocational efficiency — agri- 
cultural, domestic, professional, industrial, etc.; (3) civic 
efficiency — citizenship; (4) moral efficiency — morality and 
social service; (5) avocational efficiency — recreation, harm- 
less enjoyment, and the right use of leisure. 

Most teachers in public schools or elsewhere will readily 
accept these five great purposes as the purposes of educa- 
tion. But these are not the aims which have established 
either our curricula or methods of teaching. Our schooling 
is not yet based on them. For instance, about a million 
people die each year in the United States of preventable 
diseases due largely to preventable ignorance, and yet our 
schools (especially the high schools) give little or no effective 
education in hygiene and physical development for all. 
The status of our vocational (including domestic) efficiency 
is about as low as is our citizenship, and yet most public 
schools give little or no effective training along these lines. 
In general, a statement of the pressing problems of the 
American people which can be solved largely by means of 
an education that hits the mark, when compared with the 
subjects and methods of a majority of our high schools, will 
instantly show that we are doing other things than putting 
first things first and meeting the dominant unmet educational 
needs of our people. A number of English teachers realize 
this, and their meetings and journals are taken up to-day 
with statements of dissatisfaction with the results of their 
work, a most favorable sign, since out of such dissatisfaction 
grows better adjustment. The best results so far are such 
studies as the national report on the reorganization of English 
in secondary schools, new and practical texts, and sociaHzed 


n. Readjusting the Subject to Rural Needs 

Application to English. — Now what can be done to pupils 
to help them to produce the changes which will promote 
this fivefold aim of education? The psychological changes 
which can be produced in pupils are about four in number: 
out of our golden cup we can pour, to all, educational nour- 
ishment which makes for changes in knowledge, in habits^ 
in ideals, and in appreciations. With the five aims arranged 
vertically at the left of the page, and the four types of 
psychological changes which we can make in individuals 
at the top of the page, we may make, by means of vertical 
and horizontal lines, as shown in a previous chapter, a chart, 
into the twenty squares of which we can write the minimum 
essentials of an education. 

Then we can ask of each subject and course of study 
now in the programme of studies this question: What are 
you contributing in the way of knowledge, habits, ideals, 
and appreciations? What are you doing for health? For 
making the home life of our people better and brighter? 
For solving our grave vocational problems? For improving 
harmless enjoyment and the right use of leisure for our people 
who are to-day struggling for the eight-hour day? What 
do you, Latin, Greek, French, German, algebra, formal 
grammar, or geometry, taken one at a time for scruti'ny, 
contribute to these five great aims? What courses must 
we throw out entirely, or, at least, greatly modify ? What 
must be put into our courses to meet the great problems of 
morality and social service? Do we need a course in ap- 
plied ethics? What about citizenship? Can we meet this 
problem effectively by giving only a portion of the high- 
school students a brief half-year course in desiccated ^'dry- 
bone civics,'^ or do we need courses at least a year in length, 
with such beginning texts in the grades as Field and Near- 
ing's "Community Civics" and Dunn's ''The Community 
and the Citizen," and in the high school with Beard's '' Ameri- 


can Citizenship" and others? What about the methods of 
teaching and relative emphasis on different phases of sub- 
ject-matter and training? Is it more valuable to know- 
how to be a citizen at home and to help to clean up the 
community and to work for its welfare, or to pass good 
examinations on the tenure of office of judges of the United 
States Supreme Court, the process of impeachment of a 
president, and on the details of the Constitution? 

Now, bring English up to the bar. What aims are you 
promoting? Do you put first things first? You are the 
only subject required without alternatives in all high schools. 
From being a despised creature, unrecognized by the col- 
leges, and even by other teachers of the school, you have 
crowded in until in the high school you take three or four 
years of each student's time. You are the chief educator 
of the child at this age in point of time available. What 
have you to show in the way of that knowledge and those 
habits, ideals, and appreciations which will most effectively 
meet the five principal educational needs of our people, or 
has English no responsibility for helping the people solve 
these five principal problems of life connected with health, 
vocation, leisure, citizenship, and morality? 

Do we need you at all, Miss English? It was formerly 
thought that the other teachers of the school could do your 
work, and they did it. Cannot children be pretty well 
understood, and do they not get along fairly well in the 
world, without you, i. e., if they miss high school or drop out 
in the first year, as a large percentage do ? Cannot all high- 
school teachers be trained and compelled to correct gram- 
matical and other errors in the speech and writing of pupils, 
and thus save much time now spent on EngHsh teaching 
in one class, with a comparative neglect of it in all others? 
If we can get into the six-year high-school courses the essen- 
tial educational subjects relating closely to the five great 
aims of education, and then train our secondary teachers to 
develop not only changes in the information or knowledge 


of pupils but to develop also habits, ideals, and apprecia- 
tions (including attitudes, tastes, perspectives, prejudices, 
etc.) for each of the essential subjects, shall we find it 
necessary to have teachers of English at all? Probably 
not. Some of these schools are already trying the experi- 
ment of using good literature in connection with other sub- 
jects, and providing composition and oral English correction 
in connection with all school work. But that time is far 
in the future; we yet have a great immigrant population 
for our melting-pot, and more will follow the war unless 
immigration is restricted; and we confront a present situa- 
tion. Undoubtedly it will be of great service for the Eng- 
lish teachers, however, to look upon themselves for the 
moment as assistants to the other teachers of the school, 
who are more or less directly serving the ends of health, 
citizenship, morality, vocational efficiency, and so on. The 
teacher of EngHsh thus has the opportunity to complement 
their work and do the phases of the general task which they 
cannot well promote. 

Her activity would then probably be directed more 
along the following lines: (i) The cultivation of those great 
ideals and appreciations which make for social efficiency 
and social happiness along each of the five lines indicated 
above; (2) assistance in the development of certain abili- 
ties or habits along the lines of both reading and expression, 
such as the ability in public speaking for the aim of citizen- 
ship, and the reading of literature which promotes the five- 
fold aim; (3) assistance in methods of study, in outlining 
and organizing tasks, finding references and seeking data, 
getting the kernels out of paragraphs, chapters, books, and 
so on; (4) especially perhaps, the cultivation of habits of 
harmless enjoyment for the right use of avocational interest, 
of leisure, which along with ideals is apt to be neglected 
by other agencies of the school, this cultivation being, 
however, largely along lines of the use of the English lan- 
guage (including study of the drama, goo.d literature, etc.); 


(5) seeking, by the use of suitable literature, to strengthen 
the children along lines neglected by other teachers. Thus 
the English teacher can develop the emotional life of pupils 
largely neglected by other teachers, promote the great ideals 
of the race, and help in all five lines in fundamental and 
supplemental ways. 

III. Looking Forward 

Prospective Changes in English Instruction. — Some of 
the principal changes which will take place in English teach- 
ing of the next decade or two, following such educational 
principles, we may, for brevity, venture to state as follows: 

1 . The literature selected for reading will be chosen on a 
social rather than on a technical, literary, or craftsmanship 
basis. From the great treasury of literature available for 
education along the five lines, those productions will be 
selected which function best for children and adolescent 
youth (the psychological basis), and from the latter those 
which are the best examples of literary art. Last and least 
will technique be the basis; this will be, not the outside 
of the cup, but what it contains for American boys and girls. 
First get literature promoting the fivefold aims of educa- 
tion; second, sift it psychologically, using pieces which 
have great interest and moving power for different indi- 
viduals and groups, and, third, choose, if possible, good 
examples of literary art. 

2. Literature will probably not be selected for the reason 
that it illustrates the history of English literature. The 
latter subject, sometimes taught as a separate course 
termed "the history of English literature," will probably 
not be given, since it does not meet the pressing needs of 
our people along the five dominant lines as well as other 
more social and less technical subject-matter. General his- 
tory will thus have more time for such literary history as 
relates closely to the aims of history teaching. 


3. The literature selected will probably be largely mod- 
ern literature, dealing with modern problems in a modern 
setting such as confront the American people to-day. 
^'Comus," ^'L'Allegro," ^'Lycidas," ^^1 Penseroso/' ^'Para- 
dise Lost," Burke's ^'Speech/' the ''Sir Roger de Coverley 
Papers,'^ the ''Essay on Lord Clive," and others of this type 
will probably be displaced, to the horror of the stylist and 
literary historian, by the literature of the future written in 
the last few decades. Current magazines and newspapers 
will be used even more than six to ten minutes a day, as 
they are now so well being used in many schools. Of course 
we may go to ancient Greece for some literature that gives 
by contrast and novelty great ideals of health and citizen- 
ship, but not necessarily. We are to choose the literature 
that does the work, and are thus interested rather in the 
psychological and sociological effects of these selections as 
taught in the school than in the selections as archeological 

4. Citizenship. — A reasonable share of this literature 
will promote by interesting and familiar exa,mple the great 
local and national ideals of citizenship. Several years ago 
the writer went as a school principal to a large Western city 
immediately after the horrifying exposures of civic indiffer- 
ence and political rottenness there. Steffens had published 
"The Shame of the Cities"; and the shame was there. 
Did the people of that city afterward rise up and demand 
that the public high schools, in which the leaders are trained, 
begin at once to engender ideals, attitudes, tastes, and 
appreciations along the lines of effective local citizenship? 
They did not, at least not directly. They became vaguely 
dissatisfied with the schools. They had intelligent people 
go and visit high-school and other classes and see what 
kind of education was given there, which has finally led to 
considerable reorganization. But little increase of direct 
civic education or of civically directed literary education 
has yet resulted because the guiding aims set up above 


were not consciously used as guiding standards for the 
selection of matter and methods. The fundamental sub- 
jects are those most closely related to fundamental human 
needs, and these are, therefore, those closely related to the 
five aims, like hygiene, and civics, and the minimal essen- 
tials of the tool subjects, like reading, spelling, writing, and 
arithmetic, necessary for these. The reader is urged to 
obtain from the Bureau of Education the recent co-opera- 
tive volume produced by the leaders in this field on *'The 
Reorganization of EngHsh in Secondary Schools." Al- 
though conservative and not fully directed by the great aims, 
it will insert a great entering wedge into the traditional 
English instruction. This is the first and best effort in the 
direction of English instruction guided by the aims of edu- 
cation. The bulletin on "Cardinal Principles of Secondary 
Education " and Professor Bobbitt's volume on "The Cur- 
riculum" will also be of value. 

In what way does your state, your county, and your 
community. Miss English, need a development of civic 
ideals? Discover these weaknesses, find these needs, and 
then look about for literature that will do the work desired. 
We need not look far. The ideals and efforts toward better 
conditions of Hfe to-day have found expression in as noble 
a literature as has ever graced a previous age, and in far 
richer abundance. This literature has for most adolescents 
a stronger appeal and a far richer and clearer suggestive 
value for present life-guidance than most that the more re- 
mote past has furnished for other times, valuable as some 
of it is. For good content and technique as well as interest, 
Bruere's articles in Harper^ s Magazine, for example, will 
probably be far more educationally influential than Burke's 
"Speech on Conciliation," used as an example of exposition. 
Away with our subserviency to those estimable college pro- 
fessors of English who, interested rather in literary technique, 
dissection, and the craftsmanship feelings aroused in them- 
selves by certain selections than in the use of literature as 


an educational instrument for the American people, have 
from their high chairs handed down certain technical master- 
pieces for all high-school students, willy-nilly, to study ! We 
very much need a large committee of high-school teachers 
to discover and to try out experimentally a great many 
selections which tend to leave a deposit of civic ideals and 
attitudes in our pupils, such literature as Mrs. Cabot and 
others have collected for the elementary school, for instance, 
in their volume on '' Citizenship." What a great work for 
American citizenship could thus be done, and how well then 
could the several years of required EngHsh be justified. 
Any one studying the various civic leaflets issued by the 
United States Bureau of Education from the standpoint of 
English can readily see that English instruction can do very 
much to promote directly civic efficiency and still not in- 
vade the field of regular civic instruction. In the rural 
consolidated school the English teacher has practically a 
virgin field, and should be bound neither by college nor 
city precedents. The needs of the country community in 
the way of ideals and aspirations, of civic and other social 
standards, are the bases of selection. 

5. The Ideals of Our Democracy. — If teachers of Eng- 
lish were to make a survey of the dominant unmet needs 
of the American people, and were then to make a list and a 
classification of the ideals which, if made common, would 
best meet these dominant needs, we should have a good 
guide for the selection of literature for our high-school pupils. 
A very helpful list will be found in Doctor Bagley's volume 
on *' Educational Values'' (pp. 175-179 and 214-215). We 
can only mention them here, leaving out his descriptions 
and definitions. Among those great ideals which he claims 
must be made the driving forces of all Americans we find 
the following: respect for the feelings and rights of others, 
tolerance, equality of opportunity, property rights, chastity, 
monogamy, parental love, respect for the aged and woman- 
hood, sympathy with suffering and affliction, self-sacrifice 


and self-denial, personal integrity, loyalty, friendship, 
cleanliness and personal purity, altruism, achievement, 
truth loving, simplicity, work, health, initiative, indepen- 
dence, patriotism, national unity, local self-goveriunent, 
right use of property, ennobled ideals of sexual love, ambi- 
tion of the right types, peace and good-will, unprejudiced 
observation and inductive thinking, scientific method, effi- 
ciency and expertness, respect for authority, and human 

The pedagogy, or methods, of imparting ideals Bagley 
and others have also treated, and we cannot discuss this 
here. Parents send their children to school to be lifted up 
and inspired by such ideals. English teachers can from 
such a list get a sense of relative values in their work that 
the old-time teacher, using selections largely for their his- 
torical or technical qualities, never attained. Such an em- 
phasis upon the essentials of education will, moreover, 
greatly increase their dignity and the respect for our pro- 
fession. It is certain that the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 
Camp-Fire Girls, and other similar movements, have first 
picked out the great ideals found imperatively necessary in 
our people and have then sought literature and devised 
methods to establish them deeply in the souls of our people. 

Many are the illustrations which might be given, if 
necessary, of the power of ideals in life and of our ability to 
transmit these ideals through educative instruments. A 
teacher in a school of which the writer was once principal 
used with success carefully selected literary productions for 
meeting, generally well in advance, cases of discipline. 
She used, I remember, among other books. White's ''School 
Management," which contains such selections to meet many 
kinds of disciplinary problems in and out of school. Tem- 
porary and life-long ideals were undoubtedly there culti- 
vated in many different groups of pupils. Professor Sharp's 
books on ** Moral Instruction" suggest many pieces of litera- 
ture that will meet specific needs through inculcating spe- 


cific ideals and aspirations. There is a ridiculous irony in our 
method of criticising people who are products of our school 
systems for conspicuous lack of certain ideals which in no 
part of the school organization from kindergarten upward 
have been taught, and yet which children ten years of age 
can possess for life when properly taught. What we want 
in society we must put into the schools, and any elimina- 
tion of dead-wood must be rigidly made to make this pos- 

6. Avocational Training. — Training in the right use of 
leisure, in avocational activities, or, as Parker terms it, 
harmless enjoyment, is rapidly coming to be a very important 
educational aim of the public school. Two chapters in 
this volume are taken to deal with it because of its com- 
parative neglect in rural regions. The late State Superin- 
tendent SchaefTer, of Pennsylvania, a few years ago made 
an address in many places against giving the eight-hour 
day at once because our people, untrained in the right use 
of leisure, would misuse it and bring about their own degra- 
dation. Here is a great truth. The eight-hour day of 
work, the eight hours of sleep, and the eight hours of leisure 
are, however, rapidly coming. The Saturday half-holiday 
and various picnic and other days are now here for many 
country people. A life of constant labor defeats the end of 
existence. Happiness and self-realization are impossible. 
*'Life as a fine art" is out of the question. We are going 
to obtain leisure, and the school and the English teacher, 
especially, must train for this phase of life. The county 
and state travelling, circulating, and school libraries must 
be made to do their share. 

How can literature be used to promote the harmless en- 
joyment of leisure ? Undoubtedly a reasonable and health- 
ful amount of reading of the right kind would, for enjoy- 
ment alone, be desirable for most persons. This reading 
will be of the most varied kind, because of the great natural 
variability among individuals, and because of the many 

Reproduced by courtesy of R. E. Staley 
The library wagon of Washington County. Maryland, stopping at a farmhouse 

A well used library room 


artificial variations brought about by the manifold occupa- 
tions and environments of life to-day. People who do not 
like the Atlantic , Harper^Sj and Scrihfier^s, but who do care 
for the newspapers, Adventure, Detective Stories, The Ar- 
gosy, the Scientific American, the Saturday Evening Post, or 
Modern Electricity, cannot be classed once and forever by 
the EngHsh teacher as perverted, hopeless, and uncultured. 
A number of the stories in cheaper magazines are of a far 
more healthful mental tone and better for invigorating and 
emotionalizing for a time the life of multitudes of young 
people than are many of the stories in either Harper's 
Magazine or the Atlantic. The best farm papers are to-day 
securing literature of prime value for rural ideals. Yet 
many times these papers are unknown to pupils and parents. 
"Many men of many minds" need literature of many kinds, 
Many teachers have shown that these magazines and 
newspapers of many kinds can be procured by the average 
school, and that pupils and parents may gain habits of harm- 
less enjoyment through reading initiated by those English 
teachers who follow the ordinary laws of habit formation, 
starting with the natural instincts and interests, giving much 
practice and repetition in a favorable social situation, and 
studying the social situation in order to insure that the 
habits shall find stimuli in the outside envirormaent away 
from the classroom. Other teachers have done the same. 
I look forward to the time when such teaching may be or- 
ganically related to the English work, so that six or more 
minutes may not have to be taken out of the regular lesson 
as somewhat extraneous work. The reading habit is im- 
portant for the social welfare. It is far more valuable than 
many of the habits inculcated in the ordinary routine school 
work of the usual type. Let us have the courage to put our 
work in touch with the world to-day, and be proud of it. 
Harmless enjoyment and recreation are great needs, as our 
*' movies," dance-halls, and many other institutions thriving 
on this interest indicate. Here we find English in touch 


with the old cultural, aristocratic ideals of the subject, and 
at the same time becoming democratic and social. It is 
bringing leisure and culture rightly used into the home of 
the many, which is a large part of the mission of America. 

7. Moral Efficiency. — What are the moral problems of 
your community and of modern life? What examples can 
you choose from literature which will function in helping 
high-school graduates, or leavers-before graduation, to meet 
the insidious and character-straining temptations of the 
world of industry and social life to-day? Do we possess 
any literature dealing effectively and artistically with these 
problems, that will arm pupils beforehand to meet the foe, 
under whatever guise, with the right attitude? Undoubt- 
edly any one month's issue of the magazines will furnish 
several such. ''Seek and ye shall find.'' We do not need 
to rub in the moral. The right literature does its own work, 
without extensive moralizing and ''intensive" dissection. 
At present many great moral and social problems of rural 
communities are untouched by any school literature. In 
fact, much of it points to the city, and is the very same as 
used in the largest cities! We as much need literature in 
schools that relates closely to rural moral problems as we 
need texts that relate closely to rural civic problems. 

The average man and woman engaged in a vocation to- 
day is engaged in social service. The butcher handing meat 
day by day over the counter is feeding and making strong 
and vigorous the men and women of his community, who 
are also working for him in return. The farmer is nourish- 
ing the world. But such an attitude toward his work, such 
an ideal of his daily business, seldom glorifies the worker. 
To him "business is business," which means that it is, in 
spirit, an individualistic war to the knife for advantage, 
supremacy, and financial gain. The laborer watches the 
clock through the irksome and uninspired day; the em- 
ployer speeds him, fights shorter hours of labor, "boodles" 
the legislature to beat out workingmen's compensation and 


child-labor laws, and so on. The farmer is often an unin- 
spired drudge, very sordid, overworked, reactionary, and 
individualistic. Those who rise to the dignity and pro- 
fessional spirit of servants of the public weal are vastly in 
the minority. But these few have made professions of their 
trades. Wholesale arrests of butchers recently occurred 
because they had put poisonous preservatives into their 
meat products which destroyed rather than restored the 
strength of their neighbors and fellow servants. Farmers 
have been found who have fought or been indifferent to 
community improvement, who have, figuratively and actu- 
ally, put their larger potatoes and apples at the top of the 
barrel, who have done right only as a policy, not from a 
dynamic ideal of service. Many blindly oppose any school 
development, and then wonder why their children so early 
wish to ''break home ties." Cannot the generous social- 
service spirit be inculcated in the pupils of the consolidated 
school ? 

You will answer that it can, and that these acts typify 
too large a part of the spirit of the work of our present 
high-school graduates and leavers. We are certain that 
these ideals can be engendered and that ideals do function. 
We know that abundant literature, current and more re- 
mote, can be found to promote this particular ideal. The 
Sunday-school and the churches have no such educative 
opportunity as we possess with our three or four years of 
each graduate^s time. Here we have another standard as a 
basis of selection, the choice of those literary forms that most 
affect our pupils for good, and the test is not how much 
they know about the author's life or style, but how much 
they are affected and what they do. 

We cannot take time here to discuss each of the five 
aims from the standpoint of the selection of literature to 
be read in English courses and elsewhere. But we can see 
what an interesting and fruitful reorganization of the work 
would result from such a sense of relative values — from get- 


ting our eyes off the outside of the cup and on those things 
which must be put inside the cup for the nourishment of 
men and women. Our young women of to-day are fortu- 
nately studying not so much china-painting and cut-glass 
as the relative values of foods and how to make balanced 
and attractive rations for people at various kinds of work. 
They are interested in facing well the big problems of life 
of whatever type rather than in the mere decorative aspects 
discussed by Herbert Spencer in his "What Knowledge Is 
of Most Worth." Art and avocations are highly important, 
but they must be essential parts of the daily life on the 
farm, not something plastered on and merely decorative. 

8. Technical Aspects. — What shall we say of formal 
English grammar, the old-style technical works on rhetoric, 
and the spelling-book with its fifteen to twenty thousand 
words, formerly required of all in either the elementary or 
the high school or both ? The principles of grammar which 
function enough to be worth as much to students as other 
changes they could make with other available subject- 
matter and activities are very few in number. Doctor 
Charters has reported the results of his studies along this 
line, and Hoyt, Briggs, and the writer have tested results 
of the teaching of formal grammar. The few most valuable 
phases of the science, which function more in meeting our 
problems than anything else, we shall keep and use, but no 
more. Perhaps even less of the old science of rhetoric will 
be kept, and then not as a science apart, pure, abstract, and 
logical (like the mathematics to which the old mathematician 
aspired), but in direct usable relationship to problems of 
expression and interpretation. These subjects will certainly 
not be studied because they are assumed to "discipline the 
mind," "form the will," and give a general phrenological 

Doctor Ayres's scale for measuring spelling, with its 
thousand words most used and most needed by our people 
in their correspondence, will be utilized to help determine 


minimal essentials in spelling for all. Bailouts studies of 
the vocabularies of students will be extended to the high 
school. The dictionary habit will be inculcated for that 
great list of occasional words required so infrequently as to 
free us from memorizing them all except as they come by 
use, thus saving us time for training of greater relative value 
according to our life-standards. Ballou's Harvard-Newton 
scale and others for measuring results in English composi- 
tion will also be utilized, until superseded by better ones, 
in this period of rapid progress. Some study of the deriva- 
tion of words, not as etymology, but as the words come up 
with separate lessons on principles, will be given, and 
obviate the need of studying Greek and Latin. 

Formal dissection and extreme pedantic attention to 
literary trivialities of style will give way when the teacher 
gets her eyes on what she wants to do and starts to do it. 
"The devil finds work for idle hands to do." And many 
of our able high-school students who have read widely of the 
best literature at home have regarded the teacher of English 
in her dissection and perfunctory theme-assigning laboratory 
in about as favorable light as that suggested. There will 
be much reading and a minimum of style analysis. We are 
not producing critics and authors. Students are to be fitted 
for a different life and for facing a great common host of 
clearly foreseen problems. The methods outlined above 
will, however, prove a better preparation for those who 
would essay authorship. The mere critic is barren; the 
real author is filled with life everlasting. 

9. Expression and Methods. — Now what shall we say of 
relative values in expression and in methods of teaching? 
Much has already been indicated, and the process of deter- 
mining what knowledge, habits, ideals, and appreciations 
are of most worth to the American people which the teacher 
of Enghsh may well undertake to develop without conflict- 
ing with, but supplementing, the work of other teachers 
has already been suggested. Since most of our expression 


in life beyond and in the school is oral expression, we should 
develop ability especially along this line. Since democracy 
progresses by the self-organized group work of citizens meet- 
ing in assembly and since community organization and co- 
operation fostered by public discussion is an emergency 
need of the rural population to-day, as suggested in preced- 
ing sociological chapters of this volume, ability in public 
speaking, before a real audience, the "audience situation and 
audience motive,'* will be cultivated with particular care. 
English teachers have burdened themselves unnecessarily 
with re-inking written themes. A greater proportion of time 
may well be given to oral expression, to providing something 
to say and a good excuse for saying it. Further, all teach- 
ers will be supervised and held responsible for cultivating 
good expression in all classes. Since most of the writing 
done by most people is in letters, motivated correspondence 
will be emphasized far more than at present. In fact, is 
not letter-writing the first minimal essential of written com- 
position ? 

Next, themes may well be written on topics related to 
the five aims of education as set forth above, not forgetting 
the leisure side of life to which the English work, if directed 
at all, has been in the past too much directed. '' How We 
Girls Organized and Carried On Successfully a Food Sale 
to Raise Money for the Boys' Football Suits,'' for example, 
deals with community co-operation of a vitally important 
sort. Papers written for the teachers of other subjects will 
be sent to the English teacher, often as substitutes for her 
own "themes." 

IV. Emancipation and Experimentation 

The Outcome in Socialized English. — We need not offer 
further suggestions. Needless to say, evolution is rapid 
now in the direction indicated in this chapter. We are 
bound in the direction of a socialized education, and, in the 


country, a ruralized education. If what has been said 
helps to emphasize this social aim of education in the selec- 
tion and use of subject-matter in English in the country 
and rural village, helps to free the teacher somewhat from 
the college classics, promotes intelligent interest in rural- 
community problems as the guiding stars of teaching, and 
helps to keep the gaze of the English teacher away from 
the outside of the cup, more than could well be hoped for 
will be accomplished. 


1. What recommendations for the course in English is offered in the 

government bulletin on "Reorganization of English in Secondary 
Schools"? (Report of the Commission on Secondary Educa- 
tion, James F. Hosic, Secretary, Government Printing Office, 

2. What applications are made in this report to the rural-school needs ? 

3. What additional modifications for a rural high school of six years 

would be desirable? 

4. Make a list of suitable subjects for debates in a consolidated rural 

high school. 

5. Do you know of any book on English for the rural high or elemen- 

tary school ? What does the dearth of such books indicate with 
respect to the dose adaptation of rural schools to rural-life needs? 

6. Where would you find a list of good books from which to choose 

the beginnings of a consolidated-school library? 


1. "Reorganization of English in Secondary Schools.'* Government 

Printing Office. 

2. Bobbitt— "The Curriculum." Houghton Mifflin Co. 

3. The English Journal^ Chicago. 


Preliminary Problems 

1. Which is more important for the teacher, a study of what is best to 

teach in a given community or a study of how to teach what- 
ever is provided by text-books and courses of study? Why? 

2. What do rural boys and girls commonly know on entering school? 

3. What are they able to do? That is, what skills and habits have 


4. What is the character of their ideals, following the list quoted from 

Bagley in the previous chapter? 

5. How have they gained these types of knowledge, habits, and ideals? 

6. At what age are country youth with only home education able to 

take fairly complete responsibility for a farm? 

7. Can this concreteness of motivated learning through actual par- 

ticipation under sympathetic guidance be continued in the 
school, or must the school be predominantly abstract and re- 
mote from daily life? Suggest more vital methods of learning. 

I. Learning and Education* 

The Problem of the Learning Process. — After consider- 
ing the nature and demands of present-day American so- 
ciety upon the public rural school as a supplemental public 
institution, the type of buildings, and the curriculum, one 
must study the nature of the children in whom educative 
changes must be made. We cannot hope for great success 
in achieving the purposes of democracy's rural schools if we 
are ignorant of the methods of change and development in 
immature mankind — the most delicate and highly complex 

^ A preceding discussion of "The Educative Process" has app>eared in the 
writer's volume on "Teaching Elementary-School Subjects" (Scribners). 



living material in the world. A group of novices in paint- 
ing may satisfactorily keep before them the ideal and model 
of the desired finished product, but their efforts, no matter 
how well-intentioned, will result in mere daubs, and waste 
of canvas, time, and supplies, if they do not know how to 
use their materials skilfully to achieve their purposes. The 
plant and curriculum are necessary, method is essential. 

The waste of the most precious possibilities, in the form 
of children sent by compulsory laws for a number of years 
to our country schools, caused by teachers who have neither 
definite knowledge of rural social conditions and social needs 
nor of child nature and children's needs, is to-day stu- 
pendous and inimical to the progress of civilization in our 
land. Heredity, of course, plays an important part in de- 
termining the general trend and outcome of development 
in children, but the modifying influences of an educative 
environment yet remain incalculable. 

Our first great function as teachers, after learning rural 
social needs and the subject-matter and school plants neces- 
sary, is to discover as soon as possible the nature and technique 
of the learning and development process, the nature of men- 
tal and physical growth in children. In view of the present 
world-wide evil results of miseducation abroad and at home, 
we can view the need of more accurate and wide-spread 
knowledge of human development as nothing less than a 
social emergency. The future belongs to the nation, or 
part of a nation, that has the thoroughly socialized and effi- 
cient schools. 

Fortunately, we have to-day for the scientific study of 
the learning and development process in children a thousand- 
fold more agencies than were but a few years ago at work. 
A higher professional spirit begins to animate teachers; the 
influence of such leaders as Thorndike, Dewey, Montessori, 
and others, who hold up the ideal of teachers as researchers 
in methods of child growth, is at work; the former child- 
study movement has been transformed into a host of organ- 


ized agencies for more scientific inquiry into child nature 
and child needs; investigations and experiments by a num- 
ber of individuals have been made of methods of tuition of 
individual children who early have become especially able 
along social lines (''geniuses '0, and even more studies have 
been made of the education of backward and feeble-minded 
children; a great awakening is imminent in the home educa- 
tion of children, and we may yet expect to find parents who 
can add much to our recorded knowledge of the best ways of 
guiding the fluid life of children in the best directions. 
Every teacher a natural and a trained student of the learning 
process in children is a most desirable motto for our profes- 
sion. To-day every thorough examination of large numbers 
of children, such as the simple Courtis tests in arithmetic 
and other subjects or the Terman intelligence tests, for ex- 
ample, plumbs deeper the depths of our ignorance of how 
children actually are changed toward increased social effi- 
ciency. The most hopeful outcome of the remarkable and 
successful movement for measuring results of teaching and 
of learning is the increased knowledge of how various re- 
sults worth obtaining are to be achieved. ''The psychology 
of a ten-year-old boy," says Professor Thorndike, "would 
probably involve as much subject-matter for investigation 
as the astronomy of the solar system or the geology of a 

II. The Physical Basis 

The Physical Basis of Learning. — The modifiable changes 
which take place in individuals are both physical and men- 
tal, but it has been the mental side of the process which has 
hitherto almost obsessed the schools. The most charac- 
teristic and striking phase of development which actually 
goes on in children is physical in character, and fundamen- 
tally this growth and development of the body in health, 
grace, skill, and vigor is more important to the individual 
child and to the attainment of social ends than the added 


psychological development. Both are necessary and should 
be developed together, mental activity ensuing naturally in 
purposive action, but we must always insure the minimum 
bodily essentials which make the sound mind possible. 

On the physical side we are but beginning to obtain facts 
regarding the actual health and development conditions of 
American children and how these conditions are correlated 
with school progress and methods of mental development. 
Only a dozen years or so ago such facts were not available. 
Recent studies indicate that our homes are relatively in- 
efficient in caring for the children in that they lose in the 
first year of life, largely by preventable death, about one- 
sixth to one- tenth of all persons born, and that before the 
kindergarten period or first grade of school age they lose 
from one-fourth to one-sixth of all those who have entered 
their midst. Of the eighty or more out of a hundred who 
manage to pass safely through the first two or three years of 
life, many are in fair physical condition, but soon thereafter 
deterioration sets in, and by the time children enter school 
more than half in any one school year will be found seriously 
in need of medical, dental, or psychological care. The Great 
War has shown that the health status of our people is very 
low. Hoag and others have found that these losses and de- 
teriorations are due principally to profound ignorance on 
the part of parents with respect to the feeding, clothing, 
regimen, and general upbringing of their offspring.^ 

A very large proportion of the children who finally enter 
our schools each year are in very poor condition for engaging 
vigorously and successfully in the learning process. Other 
investigations indicate that in any one school year about 
one- third of the children of our elementary schools will be 
found relatively free from serious ailments and defects, 
about one-third will be found suffering from dental defects 
only, and a final third will be found suffering from dental 

^ See Rapeer, " Educational Hygiene," chapter on The Home Hygiene of 
Children, and " School Health Administration," chap. II. 


defects also and from other ailments of a serious character.^ 
Unless the schools have thorough medical supervision, in- 
cluding regular inspection and examination, follow-up work 
by nurses and teachers, school clinics, open-air schools, and 
so on, the elementary teacher of any grade may thus ex- 
pect to find a large proportion of her class each term 
seriously lacking in the physical basis of learning. 

A growing number of carefully controlled investigations 
witness to the fact that there is a close relationship between 
physical efficiency, the health foundation, and mental and 
moral efficiency. A large share of non-promotion, retarda- 
tion, and elimination from school (probably at least one- 
sixth of each) are due directly and indirectly to these bad 
preventable health conditions of children. 

Prevention and Cure. — That teachers and the schools 
can do much in many ways to ameliorate such obstructions 
to learning without loss, and with measurable increase, of 
school efficiency has been amply proved in many places. 
As the official representative of the state and of the home 
in the scientific care of future citizens, teachers thus have 
as great a responsibility for ministering to the children from 
the standpoint of health and school efficiency as from the 
intellectual and moral standpoints. That teachers have 
not recognized such conditions in the past and have done 
little to ameliorate them except in sporadic instances is, 
however, not seriously to their discredit. The facts have 
been but recently ascertained on a large scale; the normal 
and other professional training-schools for teachers have 
been giving little or no preparation along school-health 
lines; and the public has until recently made but few in- 
sistent demands of this character. 

To-day, before they enter and while in service, teachers 

are equipping themselves in increasing numbers for this 

fundamental service, not only to increase their teaching 

efficiency but to help the community to meet one of the 

^ Rapeer, "School Health Administration." 


most serious problems of life — one of the five large aims of 
the educative process.^ They do this new work, moreover, 
not merely from their instinctive and sympathetic love of 
little children, but as state officials engaged in a public so- 
ciological work, holding as its motto Emerson's truth that 
''Health is the first Wealth." Of the motor basis of learn- 
ing, of growth in muscular efficiency, and of the general 
educational movement to follow nature by making school 
life less sedentary and bookish and more free and physical, as 
in the Gary and other experimental schools, we have treated 
under the following heading, and in other volumes. The 
time has come for constructing physical scales with which 
to measure the health and development of pupils and for 
determining the minimal essentials of physical education.^ 

Administratively, there is need of a director of educa- 
tional hygiene in each county who should probably perform 
also the duties of county health officer. His assistants 
would be nurses and one or more physical- training super- 
visors. We provide both a health-supervision room for the 
use of nurses, doctor, and teachers, and a gymnasium, as 
well as emergency retiring-rooms, in the plans of a model 
consolidated school given in the final chapter. 

III. Principles of Learning 

Fundamental Principles of Learning. — Some of the funda- 
mental principles which control our guidance of the learning 
process to-day are as follows: i. The mind is fundamen- 
tally the activity of a connecting organism between stim- 
uli, or situations, largely without the nervous system, on 

1 The elements of social efficiency, namely: vital, vocational, avocational, 
civic, and moral efficiency. Vital efficiency includes health, physical develop- 
ment, etc., through the following five types of effort: medical supervision, 
school sanitation, physical education, teaching hygiene, and hygienic methods. 

2 See writer's report on " Minimal Essentials of Physical Education and 
a Scale for Measuring Physical Education" (Public-School Publishing Co., 
Bloomington, 111.). . 


the one hand, and with the muscles, on the other. That is, 
mental activity is for the purpose of adjusting the individual 
to his environment, and the learning process is fundamentally 
one of making, preventing, and controlling the development 
of our motor responses to environmental stimuli, the life 
situations about us. Simply illustrated, an example of 
the mind as such a means of connection would be the tip- 
ping of a man's hat to a woman. Here, a connection has 
been made through the nervous system, and especially at 
the synapses or points of connection between nerve-cells with 
their extensions, giving the man the sight of a woman whom 
he knows, with the muscular response of tipping the hat. 
Ability to control and inhibit this response on seeing a woman 
would come under the same principle. One would not do 
this instinctively; it has been learned by the man at some 
time, and has been drilled, or practised, until it has become 

Instincts are also such nervous connections, inherited, 
and thus unlearned. But these may be modified and re- 
directed. A child's natural inclination, or inherited mental 
connections, lead him, for example, to snatch candy from a 
box before him and get it all for himself, but he may learn 
to modify this connection, or the response to it, by learning 
to pass the box first to others before he takes from it a 
reasonable portion for himself. Other examples would be 
the certain recall of the correct spelling of the word receive 
when one is writing a letter, or responding with the answer, 
ninety-two cents, when one is purchasing two pounds of 
meat at forty -six cents a pound. We know that 
throughout life individuals are confronting situations real 
or imagined in school or out, and we know also that the 
manner in which they respond to these situations, efficiently 
and socially or not, is determined by the kind of connections 
which already exist, or can be made on the spot through 
thinking, by the individual in question. Teachers must 
study the situations in which they place, children or which 


thfe latter are meeting outside the school, or will meet later 
in life, and they must study the responses in conduct which 
they and society wish to secure if they are to be successful 
in making the right nervous connections. 

Thorndike on *' Educational Achievement" 

From this point of view educational achievement consists, not in 
strengthening mystical general powers of the mind, but in establish- 
ing connections, binding appropriate responses to life's situations, 
"training the pupils to behavior" ("behavior" being the name we 
use for "every possible sort of reaction on the circumstances into 
which he may find himself brought"), building up a hierarchy or habits, 
strengthening and weakening bonds whereby one thing leads to an- 
other in a man's life. 

The first suggestion resulting is the obvious and simple but profita- 
ble one that nothing is achieved by schools unless some connection 
is influenced, that we cannot assume change in any pupil unless bonds 
have been made or broken so as to cause him to respond as he did not 
before. The connection may be one leading only to an attitude, say 
of interest or enjoyment. It may be only partly made, guaranteeing 
the possibility of a certain response, not its surety. It may be hidden, 
showing itself only indirectly, or only after years, or in some subtle 
modification of intellect or character. It may lead from some elusive 
element or feature of a situation, such as the "place-value" of a num- 
ber or the subjunctiveness of a subjunctive, to some general element 
or feature of many responses, such as open-mindedness or cheerful- 
ness, or readiness to do what one accepts as right. But if anything is 
achieved, some actual connection or bond has been made, strengthened, 
weakened, or broken. A child's mind is never a witch's pot to be set 
in action by educational incantations. Its defects are not curable 
by faith. To discipUne it means to improve its specific habits. To 
develop it means to add bonds productive of desirable responses and 
to awaken their opposites. Learning is connecting. It never be- 
comes so spiritual, so general, or so involved as to evade expression 
in terms of concrete couplings between real happenings to a man and 
real responses by him. Of any educational achievement that does 
evade such expression we should be suspicious. Probably its only 
existence is in our hopes and fears. 

The teachers, then, must know just what mental con- 
nections will, insure the conduct that will promote the ends 


of education, such as health, economic and domestic effi- 
ciency, citizenship, etc. She must also study the order of 
connections to be made so that one will lead naturally into 
the other. In the article quoted above, Thorndike shows 
how many of our arithmetic texts and other books fail to 
consider the actual life situations of children and the bonds 
which they should make, and also fail to consider the order 
in which one should follow the other. Texts in arithmetic, 
for example, require a reading knowledge beyond the attain- 
ments of the children in reading, and require a vocabulary 
which should not be made a part of the child's connections 
at the time. Four first books in arithmetic examined showed, 
in the first fifty pages, for example, at least four hundred 
words for which children were not prepared and for which 
they probably should not be prepared. In his own set of 
arithmetics he has tried to make essential the kinds of con- 
nections which will fit in best with school life and the many 
practical situations to be met by all. Nearing and Field's 
^'Community Civics" is another illustration of producing 
connection in the minds and bodies of children that are 
directly related to rural civic efficiency. Not only must a 
proper selection of mental connections be made, but the 
proper correlation and organization of the learning process 
must follow. Education is becoming specific and practical 
in the best sense. This is made clearer in later sections. 

I. Individual Differences. — While children are sufficiently 
alike to be considered a single species, yet mentally and 
physically they are extremely variable in most characteris- 
tics. The individual differences in children were largely 
overlooked in the schemes of education, or schooling, by 
large classes or groups devised by Lancaster, Bell, and 
others, in contrast with earlier methods of teaching which 
were almost purely individual, one pupil at a time. But 
mass instruction has, through its cheapness, led to the uni- 
versal and compulsory elementary school with its close to 
twenty million pupils and but a half million teachers, an 

Pig-club work in Pennsylvania 

Studying a milking-machine 

A lesson on tli ; 

Coming in touch with real problems of life 


average of nearly forty to the teacher. Now that the public 
has been led to feel the prime necessity of thoroughgoing 
schooling for all, it is time that we regain some of the ad- 
vantages of recognizing the infinite variety of traits in in- 
dividuals, instead of attempting to teach whole groups as 
one person. In many ways we are discovering more fully 
the extent and variety of these individual differences and 
the ways of combining the advantages of individual and 
group methods of instruction. The scientific knowledge re- 
lating to individual differences is of quite recent growth and 
has come mainly from psychological and pedagogical in- 
vestigations. Thorndike's small volume on ''Individuality " 
may well be read by all teachers. 

One of the illustrations of scientific measurement in our 
volume on ''Teaching Elementary- School Subjects" clearly 
shows how the individual difference in ability to solve sim- 
ple examples in arithmetic of pupils in the fourth and eighth 
grades widely overlap, i. e., pupils in the fourth grade do as 
well as many in the eighth grade in these fundamentals.^ 
If we test, or measure, pupils in nearly any abihty or char- 
acteristic the range of variation will be found immense. 
These differences are, moreover, highly specialized. A 
child may be very quick and accurate in multiplication, for 
example, and be poor in subtraction. 

In recent years much attention has been paid to sub- 
normal and "exceptional" children who are able to do little 
in the average class at school, and we have special schools 
or rooms for the mentally defective, the incorrigible, the 
pretuberculous and anaemic, the crippled, the bUnd, the 
deaf, the defective in speech, and others. Attention is at 
last being focussed upon the necessity of giving superior 
children advantages commensurate with their exceptional 
abilities instead of having them drag along in what has deri- 
sively been termed the "lock-step" of class or mass instruc- 
tion. "Genius will out" is but half a truth. Genius can 

^"Teaching Elementary-School Subjects," chap. XXIII (Scribners). 


be ''born to blush unseen'' or be stultified by what Welton 
calls an ''education in stupidity/' in which the guidance of 
the learning process is so little individualized as to be of 
Httle value to many of a class. The ideal is to combine the 
social and economic advantages of class instruction with 
teaching that will make it possible for each individual to 
develop as nearly as possible at his normal or maximum rate 
along the lines in which he most needs development. This 
need furnishes one of the chief arguments for placing chil- 
dren of the seventh, eighth, and ninth grades in so-called 
junior high schools, intermediate schools, or regular high 
schools with five or six year courses.^ Greater possibilities 
for individualizing instruction are undoubtedly thus pro- 
vided. Courtis has shown that thirteen per cent of the time 
devoted to arithmetic could be otherwise utilized by excus- 
ing pupils from further drill who had reached a reasonable 
standard in class work. 

Teachers must not let the fact that they have classes 
to teach stand in the way of providing in all possible ways 
for individualizing the development of the children and 
meeting the varying needs of each and all within the class 
organization. The successes mentioned above which many 
persons, largely unversed in educational psychology and 
principles of teaching, such as the father of Karl Witte, 
have achieved in training very young children along many 
lines so that at an early age they are as far along, seemingly 
with little or no loss, as most children twice as old, suggest 
many possibilities of educational progress through individu- 
alizing our teaching and helping each to grow in the way he 
as an individual should — as rapidly and as economically as 
he can. The advantages of permitting children up to the 
age of twelve or so to grow almost as young colts in a field, 
as little animals, as Rousseau advocated, may well be com- 
bined with the necessities and advantages of helping children 

» See " A Core Curriculm for High Schools," by the writer, in School and 
Society for May 12, 1917, and the preceding chapter on the curriculum. 


quickly and easily along their way into the mysteries of the 
complex civilization in which they must so early play an 
active part. In practice, we have many interesting experi- 
ments started in the public schools, as described in Dewey's 
volumes entitled "The Schools of To-Morrow" and ''New 
Schools for Old " (Buttons) and recent government reports 
such as organizing the school-day into three parts, play, 
manual work, and regular studies, with much freedom 
and individual guidance, dividing classes into slow, me- 
dium, and fast sections, each going at its optimum rate, ex- 
cusing certain pupils from recitation and providing for them 
special supplementary assignments, the Batavia system 
with two teachers to the room, or with supervised study 
where a fourth to a half of a class period is devoted to direct- 
ing the study of pupils, division of the sexes in upper grades 
for certain work, departmental work in upper or all grades, 
each teacher teaching but one or a few subjects to pupils of 
several grades, school credit for home work, dividing sub- 
ject-matter into minimal essentials for all and optional work 
for some, and many others. The great mental, physical, and 
social differences must be taken into account in any study 
or guidance of the learning process. Perhaps the outcome in 
the country will be consolidated schools containing high 
schools as in the Gary plan, with much motor work and play 
and academic work correlated with these, and departmental 
work in all or most grades from kindergarten through high 

2. Instinctive or Inherited Mental Connections. — There are 
two chief classes of mental connections, inherited and ac- 
quired. The former are for the most part instincts, and 
the latter are for the most part habits. The tendency to 
perform a certain act or system of acts under the stimulus 
of a certain situation, without learning to do so, may stand 
as an explanation of instinctive behavior. Here nature is the 
schoolmistress and makes the mental connection between 
the stimulus and the act without the drilling of the school 


or home. Were we living a simple, savage existence, such 
instinctive connections would largely suffice, for most of the 
needs of life would be satisfied without the intervention of 
the learning process. We should hardly need to be taught 
to get our food and shelter, to play and become strong, 
healthy, and joyous, to protect ourselves, to mate and care 
for our offspring, in short, to meet most of the fundamental 
needs of life as do the animals, because we are built that way. 
This original nature of man, which Kirkpatrick and Thorn- 
dike have in their books analyzed and described for teach- 
ers, has been found to be a tremendously rich and varied 
endowment of natural resources which civilized man must 
utilize in creating the superman. 

Were the child to be deprived of these inherited, instinc- 
tive connections by some nervous paralysis, he would lie 
inactive and uninterested in anything — a piece of clay in- 
animate. As a city depending entirely on electricity lies 
cold and dark after a storm in which the lightning has blown 
out the fuse connections in every house, so even more com- 
pletely, without the inherited synapse connections which 
make the lines of communication between sense organs and 
muscles, is the individual without the light of life. A child 
that will not or cannot eat, talk, walk, play, or respond by 
manifold mental and physical activity to the life stimuli 
about him is cut off from the possibility of becoming a hu- 
man personality; he cannot learn. 

There have been two principal extreme points of view 
with respect to the educative treatment of instincts: first, 
that the original nature of human beings is inherently bad 
and depraved; and, second, that it is inherently ideal and 
good. Under the old theory, discipline and ascetic rooting 
out of natural tendencies was the way of teaching. *'Go 
and see what Johnnie is doing and tell him to don't" and 
^'Find out what people naturally desire to do and then 
help them to root out these desires" are types of the old in- 
junctions. "Make little men and women of children and 


force them by military driving into the desired type of 
adults" has resulted in national systems of education based 
on this policy. '* Formal discipline of the mental faculties" 
and complete suppression of individuality in pupils (and 
teachers) have been fallacious results of the doctrine. A 
world war has been fought between those holding to the 
two opposing methods. 

At the other end of the scale have been the child "nature 
fakirs," idealizing the primitive savage, "soft pedagogy," 
and the freedom of children to the extent of permitting them 
to follow every whim of uncontrolled fancy. Rousseau was 
the leader of this group. Wordsworth, also, in his "Inti- 
mations of Immorality," expresses something of the same 
attitude toward the infant in the lines 

"But trailing clouds of glory do we come 
From God, who is our home: 
Heaven lies about us in our infancy ! 
Shades of the prison-house begin to close 

Upon the growing boy. * * * 
At length the man perceives it die away, 
And fade into the light of common day." 

The common sense of most people is sufficient to guard 
against both extremes, although both have had their vogue 
and are now discernible in many homes and schools. The 
truth in each extreme has been well sifted from the untruth 
in each by Dewey in his little volume on "Interest and 
Effort in Education" and in his "Democracy and Educa- 
tion" (chap. X), and Thorndike has well expressed the mod- 
ern point of view as follows: 

Such problems as these in mental mechanics — problems in choos- 
ing, ordering, and manipulating the mind's connections— are now the 
growing point of experimental education. By skilful analysis of 
human learning into the millions of elementary connections between 
situation and response which constitute it and by experimental study 
of the ways in which these connections are best formed, preserved, 


organized, and used, the psychologist hopes to get both comprehension 
and control of the foundations of educational achievement. 

The foundations of educational achievement are these connec- 
tions or bonds or habits of response, but these habits themselves lead 
us back farther to the unlearned, original capacities and tendencies 
of man. Human beings, as you well know, are not indifferent clay to 
be moulded at will by the teacher's art. They are themselves active 
forces to help or hinder. They inherit as a human birthright instincts 
and interests of which education from the start and throughout must 
take account. Educational achievement is small or great in propor- 
tion as it neglects these natural, untaught tendencies in man, or utilizes 
them to further his ideal aims. And educational science needs as its 
basal equipment an exact and adequate inventory of the original 
nature of man as a species and of the idiosyncrasies of individual man. 

No choice of habits of thought or action to be formed by schools 
is sound which gives technic irrespective of needs felt by the pupil, 
or adds knowledge without any motive for its use, or tries to cultivate 
artificial virtues in disregard of the crude forms of courage, kindliness, 
zeal, and helpfulness which nature already affords. 

No arrangement of the mind's connections is economical which 
fails to use the inborn organizing power of curiosity, the problem atti- 
tude, and the desire to test and verify or refute by eyes and hands. 

No manipulation of bonds in learning is efficient which disregards 
the pupil's own sense of sociability, kindness, and achievement dur- 
ing the learning process. The original proclivities of the human 
animal are as real as its laws of learning and condition these through- 
out. Every habit is formed in the service of some instinctive interest. 

The inborn interest of man in movement, novelty, color, life, the 
behavior of other human beings, sociability, cheerfulness, notice, 
approval, mastery, and self -activity, are not ultimate aims of educa- 
tion, nor is their presence a guarantee that school work is well directed 
and efficient. But we double achievement if we get them on our side 
and we enrich life enormously at little cost if we turn these fundamental 
passions into line with higher nature and the common good. 

I hold no brief in favor of avoiding in schools anything necessary 
for human welfare, either because it is hard or because it is disliked. 
I find many of the tendencies born in man to be archaic, useless, im- 
moral, adapted to such a life as man lived in the woods a hundred 
thousand years ago, when affection had not spread beyond the family, 
or justice beyond the tribe, or science beyond the needs of to-morrow, 
and when truth was only the undisputed, and goodness only the un- 
rebuked. That the natural is the good is a superstition which psy- 
chology cannot tolerate. Still less, however, can psychology tolerate 


the superstition that there can be any other foundation for educa- 
tional achievement other than the best that human nature itself affords. 
Truth is only what the best in human nature accepts; goodness is 
only what the best human nature craves. We mean by the rational, 
ideal, and impersonal aims of education, only the nobler inborn human 
interests purified of their crude accompaniments and broadened to 
harmonize with the common good. We must not find too much fault 
with human nature; for ultimately it is all we have. Its best ele- 
ments are the best the world has or ever will have. 

In short, the various instinctive tendencies of children 
to respond in various ways to life situations are to be studied 
and utilized, guided and directed toward social efficiency, 
as natural resources, like a great gorge of running water 
which can be controlled and guided into turning the wheels 
of industry, lighting towns miles away, and irrigating vast 
stretches of waste land. The playground movement, for 
example, which, since 1907, has spread over this country 
like fire in prairie-grass, has released milHons of horse-powers 
of energy in children, which previously would have been 
largely misdirected and wasted, and has diverted them into 
the most educative activities contributing to health, grace, 
ability, knowledge and training in getting along well with 
one's fellows, leadership, practical morals, right use of lei- 
sure, constructive and manual- training activities — affecting 
directly in some measure most or all of the ends of educa- 
tion. As Bagley says: 

The task of education with reference to the instincts is three- 
fold: (i) Certain instinctive controls must be ^^ sublimated" ; that is, 
the energy that they release must be directed to ends other than those 
indicated by the primitive instincts themselves. The few but trouble- 
some unsocial or antisocial impulses are in this class — the impulse 
to appropriate what pleases one; the impulse to inflict bodily injury 
upon those against whom the feeling of resentment has been aroused; 
the impulse to follow the strongest external stimulus regardless of its 
remote bearing upon the remote ends that one seeks to attain; the 
impulse to seek change and variety; and, in the ever-lengthening 
period that elapses between physiological and economic maturity, the 
imperious sex and parental instincts. 


(2) In the second place, certain instincts must be confirmed and 
given the sanction of repeated experience. Chief among these are 
the comparatively weak ipstincts of co-operation and sacrifice. 

(3) Finally, certain instincts form the basis of incentives or natural 
interests which may be directed toward the acquisition of controls 
that may be quite unrelated to the instincts employed as means. 
Among these are the instinct of emulation, the "property" instinct, 
and especially the adaptive instincts — play, curiosity, imitation, and 

The chief warning vi^hich teachers must regard in utilizing 
instincts is probably along the line of the place of interest 
in teaching. Dewey, the great modern exponent of educa- 
tion by natural development, warns teachers again and 
again to avoid the pitfalls of divorcing interest and effort 
by making the work of education so soft and easy as to 
encourage mental laziness, physical flabbiness, and inability 
to do anything that needs to be done if it does not strongly 
appeal to the child as temporarily interesting. The danger 
lies in encouraging the attitude which waits for work that 
attracts, and discourages the appropriate and only rational 
attitude toward work — namely, putting forth the effort to 
make the work attractive. It makes one the slave of one's 
desires and enthusiasms rather than their master. Teachers 
should read also the chapter on Discipline and the Doc- 
trine of Interest in his volume on ** School Discipline," 
by Professor Bagley, who is the chief exponent in this 
country of the *' Gospel of Work" in education. 

^^ Motivation of School Work^' has been a popular cry in 
many schools in the last few years. Children have a right 
to live as naturally now as they will when they grow up — 
to understand why they do this and that, and to have 
some legitimate desire which they themselves feel as a 
prompting to the work. Teachers have gained excellent 
results with delight to the children by this method. In- 
stead of reading aloud with no one to learn or to get thought 
from the reading, no audience situation, children are taught 
to face the class and read to them — they with their books 


closed. More naturally still, the child reads matter un- 
known and interesting to his class in such a way as to fur- 
nish them delight. The children write, not so many pages 
on duty, patience, etc., as in days gone by, but real letters 
to children absent from school or others in schools far away, 
to the school directors words of appreciation for improv- 
ing their playground by apparatus, trees, or grading, and 
so on.^ The play and competitive instincts are used to 
provide motives for participating vigorously in the drill of 
arithmetic and spelling by holding ciphering and spelling 
matches. In the Gary, the Fairhope, the Speyer, the Francis 
Parker, and other such schools described by Dewey in his 
*' Schools of To-Morrow," children learn important lessons 
closely related to the great aims of education by natural 
constructive activities in the shops, laboratories, on the 
playgrounds, on excursions, and everywhere. Those newer 
rural-school movements which base the learning process 
more fundamentally on the natural instincts of childhood 
are showing us that the gospel of interest and happiness 
can be lived along with the gospel of work and duty. In- 
terest and effort can be harmonized. The child can learn to 
do by doing. Thus the farm at the school and home proj- 
ect work, agricultural, domestic, and closely related train- 
ing, fit our modern theories of child psychology and hygiene. 
4. Self- Activity. — A fourth great principle of the learn- 
ing process is that of self-activity. The learning process 
is, when operating at all, one of self-activity. "Teaching 
is but providing situations for educative self-activity," 
said Francis Parker. ''You may lead a horse to water but 
you can't make it drink " and "learning by doing'' are old 
sayings. The Bible says: "Ye must be doers of the deed 
if ye would understand the doctrine." Unless we get the 
right responses from children, our incentives, stimuli, or 

1 Wilson's "Motivation of School Work," chaps. V and VI. Isn't the 
minimal essential of composition the art of letter-writing ? What else do most 
people write in this world? 


situations are not educative. "Students are educated by 
their own mental responses, not by the stimuli or influ- 
ences provided by the teacher. The latter are influential in 
determining the individual's character only through the 
responses they arouse," says Professor Chester Parker. 
Children can learn both by direct and by communicated 
experience, more from the former than the latter, but the 
test is always the actual experience and the reaction to it. 
Since .^the time of Rousseau and Froebel and especially 
since modern educational psychology has begun contribut- 
ing to educational science, in the last few years, the impor- 
tance of this law of self-activity has gradually been increas- 
ing. Children learn to appear attentive, docile, and engag- 
ing in the learning process when their minds are "o'er the 
hills and far away." Day-dreaming and mental laziness are 
fostered by methods that do not provide for energetic self- 
activity on the part of the pupils. The ideal is to get chil- 
dren as happily, energetically, and persistently engaged at 
the most educative activity for them all the time in the school 
as they engage in their games of baseball, marbles, and hide- 
and-seek outside. Too often our methods foster the sit- 
ting-on-the-bleachers-while-the-game-goes-on habit. We 
must get educative activity that is really educative and that 
is adapted to the age and needs of the individual pupils and 
community and then get all into this activity all the time, 
whether it be making a chair or repairing a shoe in manual 
training, solving real problems in arithmetic, engaging in 
play and co-operative group games on the playground, or 
simply lying at rest on the reclining chairs or mats of the 
open-air school, or in the ordinary seats of the classroom. 
A hundred-per-cent teacher is one who can get all pupils thus 
engaged all the time. A thirty-per-cent teacher is one who 
can get all thus engaged thirty per cent of the time. Mere 
self-activity, however, is not the aim, although this seems to 
be the only aim of much of the so-called busy work. " Noth- 
ing is so terrible as activity without method." The most 


useful, educative, self-activity guided by social purpose is 
our goal. 

5. Habit-Building. — The learning process consists prin- 
cipally of the formation of habits. The millions of habits 
which should be formed by teaching can be named and classi- 
fied as Bagley has listed and classified the ideals which 
should be made a part of each child's make-up in varying 
propositions according to his needs. The home has a very 
large part to play in this process from the earliest weeks of 
the child's Hfe in creating the habits of feeding, sleeping, 
and playing at regular hours, such habits as the "knife- 
hand," the "fork-hand," the "spoon-hand," and the hun- 
dreds of other habits of the table, for example, the 
thousands of habits in the use of language, the habits 
connected with putting on and taking off clothing, and the 
habits of behavior in the house for providing the greatest 
satisfaction to the individual and least injury and greatest 
good to the other members of the home. Each one of these 
is a mental connection or system of connections between a 
situation and a form of behavior which is, through the learn- 
ing process, estabhshed in the nervous system. James and 
other psychologists have said that 999/1000 of our daily 
activity is made up of habits, and this is literally true. 

A process is educative while it is being learned, i. e., 
being made habit. When habit breaks down or we find 
we have no habits to fit the new and strange situation, 
then thinking, with its active attention, arises to build the 
new connection systems. When we describe the ideal man 
or woman we tell what this individual habitually does in 
various given situations. A great law of learning habits 
is that of vigorous attentive repetition. Fortunately, chil- 
dren have an instinct for repetition which helps them to 
take great pleasure in repeating many acts until they have 
been made established mental connections, or habits. A 
child will fill a cup with sand and pour it out again by the 
half-hour, or will similarly button and unbutton its shoes, 


or do anything, practically, which instinct or acquired in- 
terest leads it to do until the act has been fairly well or 
completely learned. Pupils need skilful guidance, however, 
in getting them to go through the drill for which they do 
not have such instinctive promptings, such as the forty- 
five addition and forty-five multiplication facts, for example, 
or the habit of washing their hands before coming to the 
table. Here is where motivation and real-life situations 
play their part in stimulating the necessary repetition and 
attention. Usually the principles of habituation are given 
as focalization, repetition, permitting no exceptions, and 
providing for long-continued use of the needed activity. 
They will be discussed and applied in the following chapter. 

Formal discipline is a doctrine closely related to the 
habit-forming process which has had a great and largely 
injurious effect upon education. The thought has been that 
if one drills himself in one Hne of activity he will develop 
a general power of this type, i. e., if one drills himself in 
reasoning out the answers to puzzles and algebraic problems, 
that he thereby gains more than the ability to solve such 
puzzles and such problems, that he gains a general power 
of reasoning in all fields and with any material. *'If he per- 
sistently works hard at the drudgery of formal grammar 
he will gain the power to work hard at any line of work." 
*'If he memorizes all the words in the spelling-book, regard- 
less of his need for ability to spell them all or a twentieth of 
them in letter-writing, he will by this exercise strengthen 
his memory for any or all other things." ^'In the primary 
grades we are to develop powers of observation, perception, 
concentration, reasoning, and attention." These are such 
expressions as we have probably all heard supervisors or 
others say in the past. 

The truth probably is that in memorizing the spelling 
of words we gain ability to spell the words which we mem- 
orize, and that our memory for the number of days in a 
month, for the facts of arithmetic, and for other matter 


has not been especially helped. When we come to attack 
the memorization of these we go through about the same 
amount of memory activity as if we had not previously 
memorized. There is a certain identity of processes in many 
similar lines of mental work; and certain notions of how to 
do a thing and certain ideals of what to do and how to do 
it arise in many persons' minds in transferring from one to 
another; we may have "general discipline'' when we have 
not formal discipline; we do get certain attitudes of mind, 
a certain readiness or unreadiness to cope with situations, 
a certain way of responding, and a certain character, in 
short. ^ But a great wrong has been done entire nations 
of individuals through the extreme applications of this 
theory. Educators and the public have thought it possible 
to work out certain formal mental and physical gymnastics 
which could be drilled into pupils in some sequestered spot, 
entirely apart from life and its manifold situations, and 
thus give general mental ability, the millions of separate 
habits in response to given and unique life situations which, 
if the individual is to gain habits fitting him for this world, 
can be found nowhere except in the life of the world itself. 
The parts of formal grammar which do not function in im- 
proving children's speech, obsolete and never-used phases 
of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, Latin, Greek, formal 
technical science, deductive logic, modern languages other 
than English, and many other subjects have been put in 
or kept in courses of study largely regardless of any direct 
and plain relation which they bear to any of the large aims 
of education, all because of the superstitious beHef that 
these in some mysterious manner "disciplined," "trained," 
"cultivated" the mind, "developed the mental faculties," 
and "made keen the understanding." 

This danger is so great that the wise teacher will limit 
her teaching, not merely to what is "practical" in the 
narrow sense of having an easily observable relation to 

^Yocum, "Culture, Discipline, and Democracy," chaps. II and III, 


bread-and-butter aims, the making of a living, but prac- 
tical in the sense that the habits she cultivates have a plain 
and observable relation to all the great aims of education, 
such as health, right use of leisure, citizenship, moral effi- 
ciency, etc., with the foundation habits, carefully selected, 
that give one ability to communicate with one's fellows, to 
meet the few and simple number relations of Hfe, to get 
along well socially with one's neighbors, habits of harmless 
enjoyment, etc. We have attempted educational systems 
here and abroad on false hypotheses held as dogmas and 
have failed in educating our publics; let us to-day analyze 
our life and teaching situations until we are able to say 
definitely that the habits we inculcate are surely needed by 
the child and society in definite and clearly perceived situa- 
tions. We need fewer theoretical bubbles and more of sci- 
entific brass tacks in our great business of nation forming.^ 
The social survey of the community and state gives us our 
social aims and needs; scientific study of children gives us 
.knowledge of how to help them to form necessary life habits. 
5. Knowledge, habits, ideals, and appreciations are four 
of the principal psychological factors in learning. By 
knowledge we usually mean all four — everything one gets 
by the learning process. But most habits are easily dis- 
tinguished from knowledge, or information, and ideals from 
either. The laws for learning, or gaining knowledge (ideas, 
facts, information, principles), are the laws principally of 
memory and the simple associations of meanings or ideas 
with symbols. What knowledge is of most worth has been 
discussed in previous chapters. How the child gains knowl- 
edge, communicated or vicarious experience, is our present 
problem. Facts get into the mind by simple sensing, per- 
ceiving, and interpreting. The child gains the meaning 

^ The aim of education is growth in social efl&ciency, the factors of which 
are: (i) vital, (2) vocational, (3) avocational, (4) civic, and (s) moral efficiency. 
We repeat this in order that it may become fixed. The student should mem- 
orize the factors in the order here given. 


of the word dog and the word pat by seeing and perform- 
ing the action in close association with hearing the words 
naming the act. By repetition, the mental connection be- 
tween the word and the action are made habit, here termed 
memory. The command, **Go, pat the dog," is similarly 
learned by simple mental association. Gradually, as the 
child grows older, this command may be so fixed by drill 
and by vividness, including the awakening of desire and 
interest or fear of punishment as incentives, that, inhibit- 
ing all calls on his attention by objects and activities along 
the way, he may walk some distance holding in memory 
the command, and at the end of the little journey pat the 
dog as commanded. This is connection-forming involving 
ideas, a higher type than the simple connections of the 
animal type such as that of the child learning to button his 

We have not attempted to discuss all types of learning 
separately. Parker distinguishes five types: (i) gaining 
motor habits or skill, (2) associating symbols and meanings, 
(3) gaining power in reflective thinking, (4) gaining habits 
of harmless enjoyment, (5) gaining skill in expression. 

The hierarchy of mental connections which can be made 
are given in the next article. Thorndike distinguishes four 
types of connection-forming in learning: first, that of the 
simple animal type as when a baby learns to beat a drum 
with no thought of the process; second, that involving ideas, 
as when an older child learns to think of candy on hearing 
the word, or to say candy on thinking the idea; third, 
analysis or abstraction, as when the child learns to pick out 
its mother's voice in the babel of sounds of a roomful of 
company; and fourth, selective thinking or reasoning, as 
when a person learns to meet a given new problem or situa- 
tion by testing out various methods of solving it which occur 
to him. 

The second and first have been discussed; the third and 
fourth will be treated in the following chapter. Under the 


head of habit-formation and the recitation lesson we shall 
treat further of the type of learning in which ideas are 
used. The learning of ideals, attitudes, and appreciations 
will also be treated under topics of the teaching process. 
Teaching is but the supervision of the learning process, and 
any discussion of the one process involves discussion of the 
other. In his "Psychology of the Common Branches,'' 
Professor Freeman has discussed the learning process in 
direct connection with the elementary-school subjects. In 
his "How Children Learn," he has covered the ground of 
this chapter and more. In his volume on "The Learning 
Process," Professor Colvin has treated the more general 
aspects as has Thorndike in his "Educational Psychology." 
Each teacher can and must be a first-hand student of this 
most interesting and important process in the world. It is 
said that Germany spent a hundred million dollars in pub- 
licity work that changed the minds of the Russians and led 
to easy victory. The science of mind-building in children 
and adults has all the fascination of invention and discovery. 


1. Knowledge of the nature of children and the learning process is 

extremely important and rapidly increasing. 

2. Learning is largely physical and it has a health and development 


3. The physical basis of learning has been sadly overlooked and from 

one-third to two-thirds of American children to-day are seriously 
hindered in their growth, both mental and physical, by serious 
ailments and defects. Teachers must learn to help discover, 
cure, and prevent such hindrances to the learning process. 

4. The learning process is fundamentally one of adjusting oneself 

mentally and physically to life's needs and situations. 

5. It is always a mental and physical process when at its best. We 

learn to meet life's needs and situations by meeting them. 
Guidance, reflection, and study of the situations and conditions 
help to economize and hasten the process. 

6. The great individual differences in the nature and in the life needs 

of individuals must always be studied and considered. 


7. Instincts, natural impulses, and interests are the natural resources 

of education. These inherited mental connections keep the 
child alive and ready to be doing things to learn. Put children 
in the best possible environment and help them to learn to 
respond to it socially. 

8. Children learn best by meeting situations themselves through 

their own self-activity. Most teachers err in doing things for 
children and telling them what they think they should know. 
Education is a constant self-active reconstruction of experience 
in the direction of a socialized, cultured, efficient individual. 

9. Habit and thinking are two important types of adjustment or 

mental connection. When habit breaks down, thinking arises. 

10. The old faculty psychology has gone, but the theory of formal 

discipline lingers. The wise teacher learns to guide activity 
toward more realizable ends than a training of "the reason," 
''memory," will-power, concentration, imagination, etc. 

11. Knowledge gained by mere memory without reference to doing 

something, guiding conduct, meeting a situation, is not power. 


1. Make a list of the principal mistakes made in handling pupils. 

2. What facts and principles of child nature and growth in social 

efficiency are overlooked by those making these errors? 

3. Is the fact that a large proportion of boys and girls desire to 

"leave the farm and go to the city to live" due to poor educa- 
tion in the home or in the school, or is it desirable or inevitable ? 

4. What methods would you suggest for insuring that pupils learned 

how to write effective letters to mail-order houses with reason- 
able legibility and correctness of spelling and that they would 
not find letter-writing so repugnant in adult life that they would 
fail to make use of it when desirable for communication? 

5. What great principles of method are followed in your statement of 

ways and means? 

6. Read Strayer and Norsworthy's "How to Teach" as soon as 

possible in this connection. The volume is really one on child 
psychology and methods of learning. 

7. What phases of method do farmers ordinarily stress in speaking 

of teaching? What ones do they usually overlook? 

8. What effect has the transportation of pupils to a consolidated 

school on their opportunity to study? 

9. Read the chapters relating to rural-school hygiene in the writer's 

volume on "Educational Hygiene," or the volume on "Rural 


School Hygiene," as it relates to the health and physical devel- 
opment of country children, 
lo. Why is habit so important in promoting health in pupils and the 
community ? Do the sanitary features of a consolidated school 
favor the development of hygienic habits? What is the rela- 
tion of indoor flush-toilets at consolidated schools to the incul- 
cation of anti-typhoid habits of cleanliness? 


1. Bachman — "Principles of Elementary Education." D. C. Heath 


2. Bagley — "Educational Values." The Macmillan Co. 
3. "School Discipline." The Macmillan Co. 

4. Colvin — "The Learning Process." The Macmillan Co. 

5. Colvin & Bagley — "Human Behavior." The Macmillan Co. 

6. Dewey — "Democracy and Education." The Macmillan Co. 

7. "Interest and Effort." Houghton Mifflin Co. 

8. "The Schools of To-Morrow." E. P. Dutton & Co. 

9. Freeman — "The Psychology of the Common Branches." Hough- 

ton Mifflin Co. 

10. "How Children Learn." Houghton Mifflin Co. 

11. Hoag and Terman — "Health Work in the Schools." Houghton 

Mifflin Co. 

12. Kirkpatrick — "Fundamentals of Child Study." The Macmil- 

lan Co. 

13. Klapper — "Principles of Educational Practice." D. Appleton & 


14. Parker — "Methods of Teaching in High Schools." Ginn & Co. 

15. Rapeer — "Educational Hygiene." Chas. Scribner's Sons. 

16. "Teaching Elementary School Subjects." Chas. Scribner's 


17. Sandiford — "The Mental and Physical Life of School Children." 

Longmans, Green & Co. 

18. Thorndike — "Foundations of Educational Achievement in 1914." 

Proceedings of the National Education Association and the 
Educational Review for December, 1914. 

19. "Individuahty." Houghton Mifflin Co. 

20. "Principles of Teaching." Seller Co. 

21. "Original Nature of Man." Teachers College, Columbia 


22. "The Psychology of Learning." Teachers College, Colum- 
bia University. 


23. Wilson — "Motivation of the Elementary School Subjects." 

Houghton Mifflin Co. 

24. Strayer and Norsworthy — "How to Teach." The Macmillan Co. 

25. Vogt— "Rural Sociology." D. Appleton & Co. 

26. McKeever's books on farm boys and girls. 




Preliminary Problems 

1. What advantage has the country teacher using a text like Field 

and Nearing's "Community Civics" (Ginn) over the teacher 
using the ordinary old-type texts? 

2. Make a list of some of the important good points of the teaching 

you have observed as a pupil and student. 

3. Could children be successfully taught how to invent? Can in- 

vention and originality of thinking be developed? How? 

4. What are the possible advances in teaching which may be expected 

from such experimental schools as the Lincoln, in New York 
City, under the General Education Board? 

5. What are some of the chief sources of waste of time in teaching? 

6. What books on methods of teaching have you seen or read? Do 

they compare well with text-books on method for physicians and 
lawyers ? 

I. The Teaching Situation 

The Child, the School, and Society. — The public-school 
teacher of our democracy should be thoroughly equipped 
with experience relating to the nature of children and to 
the nature of present-day American and especially rural 
society. He will realize that his pupils have both private 
and public functions, and that the work which they do in 
the world, whether specifically private or public, should be 
social service — honest and efficient contribution to the wel- 
fare of society. The principal positive and negative prob- 
lems of the individual and of society will be his problems. 
The failure of democracy in his own community and state, 
as shown in the forms of poverty, disease, . crime, social in- 



justice, industrial inefficiency, lack of desirable leisure, 
appreciation, culture and avocations, etc., and the needs 
of individuals, community, and state in the way of positive 
conduct-controls that will promote the values of health, 
morality, and general social efficiency necessary to the pro- 
motion of universal happiness and self-realization — these 
he understands, is keenly responsive to, and is daily grow- 
ing in efficiency to meet as a servant of the public good. 

Devine has offered some valuable suggestions for im- 
proving the social function of the schools in the proceedings 
of the 1 9 14 National Education Association. He shows 
the serious limitations under which most of us as teachers 
work, and how easily we become pedantic when not con- 
versant with social needs and not continually on the alert 
to adapt means to social ends. It is only by the aid of more 
socialized teachers, curricula, and a more vital connection 
with social needs and conditions that we can perform the 
service for which we are employed. The ideal rural teacher 
is thoroughly conversant with rural needs and conditions 
by direct experience and reading, and is also acquainted 
with the problems of cities and the world in general. Rural 
sociology, economics, and civics will be a large part of his 
academic knowledge. The natural sciences and the social 
sciences directly related to rural life will displace much of 
his language and mathematical studies. 

We fail also when we do not know children thoroughly, 
not only in a personal but in a scientific manner. Rous- 
seau may have overstated it when he said that whenever 
he was in doubt as to educational procedure the teacher 
should study his pupils in order to learn the answer. But 
there is much of truth in the proposition. One may have 
profound insight into modern rural social conditions and 
problems, and the relation of his particular pupils to these 
problems, but unless he knows the nature of childhood and 
the learning process he will make a very common and la- 
mentable failure when he proceeds to teach. The technic 


of teaching stands on two legs, the nature of society and the 
nature of children. 

The most important reform and the most fruitful de- 
velopment toward teaching efficiency since the time of Rous- 
seau has been that of sympathetic and scientific child-study. 
The reaction against the demands of society and the result- 
ing specializing of all emphasis on the child went too far 
in the direction of individualism, perhaps, but the focus of 
attention of several generations on the child as the centre 
has led to a use of both limbs of the process again in a more 
harmonious manner. Some of the principal facts regarding 
the nature of children have been sketched in the preceding 
chapters under such headings as instincts, habits, knowl- 
edge, ideals, etc. But along with this knowledge and con- 
stant study of a technical character on the part of the 
teacher go a spirit of love, of reverence, and sympathetic 
open-mindedness such as characterized super-teachers like 
Pestalozzi among his orphans in Switzerland and the Great 
Teacher among the fishermen of Galilee. 

The factors of teaching efficiency, in the third place, 
are not hard-and-fast matters, and are only now being sci- 
entifically determined. The great need has been for definite 
social standards and goals toward which to aim, such as 
health, citizenship, morality, vocational ability, and avoca- 
tional efficiency, and carefully derived minimal essentials, 
and for scientific standards arid units for measuring the 
results obtained. When we can measure in the light of 
recognized social aims the work of teachers, then we can 
make more definite the factors of teaching skill. The meth- 
ods of those who obtain superior results with a minimum of 
expenditure of time and energy will be studied as will those 
of poor teachers, and from these empirical and scientific 
data more helpful principles of teaching will be derived. 
What we have to offer now in the way of definite guides 
to success is not very extensive or scientific, although such 
books as Charter's ''Methods of Teaching,'' and others 


mentioned later, any one of which would be an excellent 
introduction to the study of the writer^s volume dealing 
with the various school subjects, are approaching what is 
desired. Teaching is the guidance of learning. If no one 
has learned, no teaching has been done. If the child be- 
comes a good learner, his teaching has prt)bably been good.^ 
Teaching is the guidance of learning, and learning is the test 
of teaching. 

II. Classroom Management 

Good class management and sound health on the part 
of the pupils are fundamental requisites to good class 
teaching. As suggested before, the health basis, with many 
exceptions, is still woefully neglected in American schools. 
Tuberculosis and typhoid, diphtheria and scarlet fever still 
slay their thousands unnecessarily, while multitudinous 
physical defects make for serious retardation and defeat of 
the teacher's best efforts. Parker reports in his volume on 
"Methods of Teaching in High Schools," a common judg- 
ment of pupils grown up: "On no one point is there more 
unanimity than the want of attention to bodily health and 
exercise; not one (of the college students reporting) has any- 
thing favorable to say on this point, and many accuse the 
(high) school in extenso of its dereliction in physical educa- 
tion." One student writes: "During the first three years I 
do not recall a single suggestion by any teacher to get out 
in the open air — or anywhere else. At noon most of us 
stayed indoors and either strolled up and down some very 
dark corridors, or sat at our desks and studied. The self- 
ventilating heating system was then in vogue, and the teach- 
ers had orders not to open the windows, so that the rooms 
were stuffy, and the pupils drowsy." ^ Another chapter 

^Strayer and Norsworthy's "How to Teach " is a very helpful dis- 
cussion of educational psychology for teachers. It treats of recent prin- 
ciples of educational psychology. 

2 From Sisson's article on " College Students' Comments on Their Own 
High School Training," in the School Review for October, 191 2. 


brings forward this general health basis, and suggests how 
some of the principal conduct-controls, especially habits, 
may be established that will help insure health. The gen- 
eral care of environment through class management also 
can hardly be termed teaching, and yet lies at the basis of 
teaching efficiency. 

Discipline, order, scientific management in the more 
mechanical phases of classroom procedure, proper arrange- 
ment of the programme, keeping the schoolroom sanitary, 
and many other phases outside of teaching itself are of great 
importance, not at all to be lightly considered by the teacher. 
In business as well as in some of our best schools, many of 
the most profitable increases in efficiency and decreases of 
waste and lost motion are attained by painstaking analysis 
of such seeming trifles as how, with less labor and better 
results, to paste labels on cans, or to lay bricks with fewer 
motions, and in schools by investigation of such problems 
as the proper planning of the programme, the passing out 
of books, taking of records, correlating subjects, reducing 
tardiness and absence, seating pupils, preventing disorder, 
etc. Such books as Bagley's *Xlassroom Management" 
and "School Discipline '^ the teacher should be famihar with, 
and she should get from them the attitude of careful study 
of the practical classroom problems which are not an in- 
tegral part of teaching in the narrow sense. 

III. Principles of Teaching 

Some of the general principles of teaching now coming 
commonly to be accepted and supported by a growing num- 
ber of scientific investigations may be summarized as follows : 

I. The natural child, as Rousseau and his followers 
have emphasized, must, as suggested in the previous chap- 
ter, be taken into consideration. Education is a process of 
growth, not of accretion. The instinctive tendencies ar». 
not, however, to be merely coddled and pampered. They 


are, as Dewey suggests in his "School and Society/' the 
natural resources which stimulate the child to activity 
along a number of different lines, many of them leading to 
habitual activities of much, little, or no value at the present 
time. The instinct for repetition is valuable in that it 
makes possible a natural way of getting the training neces- 
sary to the formation of desirable habits. The instinct for 
physical activity and play can, with little loss of energy, 
be directed into types of activity that make for firmly estab- 
lished habits, knowledge, ideals, interests, prejudices, tastes, 
and attitudes that will help the individual and his fellows 
to make for a higher type of community well-being. The 
constructive interest can be guided into artistic, avocational, 
and industrial lines. In general, "take the power otherwise 
going to waste or causing damage and utilize it for educa- 
tive ends" would be a first principle of method. Get 
pupils to want the right things by the help of instinctive 
interests and then help them to obtain them. 

2. Motivation. — ^A corollary is the law of motivation, 
namely, that other things being equal, mental connections, 
the prime factors in education, will be more likely to be 
made with economy and hooked up with the life situations 
in which they are needed if the interest, motives, and de- 
sires of children are aroused or utilized. Dewey started his 
laboratory school with the intention of discovering how far 
the work of the school could be as naturally motivated as 
is the play life of children outside of the school, or as is the 
self-directed activity of adults at their daily activities. 
Thorndike shows that "the prime law in all human control 
is to get the man to make the desired response and to be 
satisfied thereby," and that satisfying results strengthen, 
and discomfort weakens, the bond between situation and re- 
sponse. The way to get the right response to a stimulus or 
situation is to provide motivation. 

3. Repetition is both an instinct and a most important 
teaching factor in establishing habits, fixing knowledge so 


it may be recalled, and furnishing the basis for attitudes 
and ideals. It rests on the fundamental laws of learning. 
Have pupils repeat the acts, principles and facts which you 
would have them master. See that they have a good stir- 
ring motive for the repetition. Give opportunity for the 
use and exercise of knowledge and skill gained, not only at 
or near the time of learning, but throughout the years of 
school life thereafter. Distribution of repetition is as im- 
portant as initial repetition, because of the tendency for 
mental connections or modifications to be weakened or 
broken with time, occasioning loss of skill and forgetting. 
Not only drill at the time of initial learning, but frequent 
repetition and practical use over months and years of time 
are necessary. 

4. Learning With Life Situation. — The response must be 
firmly connected with a specific stimulus or stimuli, such 
as the response thirty, when " five- times-six " is the stimulus, 
and this stimulus must be like that or those which should 
call it forth in the life of the individual. As spelling is 
principally used in the writing of letters, it is desirable to 
have much of the spelling learned and drilled in script form 
and in the writing of letters. We want pupils to be able 
not merely to spell in the classroom under given conditions 
or stimuli, but we want them especially to know how to 
spell correctly when they are seated before letter-paper 
and are engrossed with the thought they are trying to 
communicate.^ The nearer the school situation is like the 
life situation, the more surely will correct spelling be the 
result. Tuskegee Institute is one of the best illustrations 
of the application of this principle. Recent changes in our 
rural schools have been very largely in this general direction. 

5. Attention. — All teachers are concerned with getting 
and holding the attention of their pupils to the learning 

^ Judd's " Measuring the Work of the Public Schools " seems to show 
that for Cleveland children, at least, isolated words are spelled about as 
correctly as they are when used in sentences, but our thesis holds good. 

Teachers learning vegetable gardening at a summer school 

Giving the girls a chance at West Alexandria, Ohio 


process in which they must engage. When the work is 
closely related to the natural tendencies of the children, as 
in an arithmetic game, or "ciphering match,'' the problem 
of getting all to participate with their best efforts is not so 
great, but with an idea or purpose which requires effort not 
lying along the path of instinctive or acquired connections, 
attention on the part of all is harder to get. The types of 
attention are three or four: passive, active, secondary pas- 
sive, and, as the writer has termed it, dynamic zealous. 
The first is the instinctive, spontaneous type; the second is 
the active, voluntary type in which we must make an effort 
against natural or other tendencies, to hold our attention 
and activities to the line of our purpose; the third is the out- 
come of voluntary or active attention, a kind of attention 
which comes through the struggle of active attention, as 
when we learn to like composition writing, which we had 
disliked, after sticking to it long enough; and fourth, as an 
example, we should probably name the type of attention of 
the zealot, the genius, the person of tremendous concentra- 
tion and zeal who puts emotion, enthusiasm, and dynamic 
energy into his line of activity. Most teachers wish they 
could get the baseball, football, and basket-ball teams to 
engage in class recitations and in study as they participate 
with frenzy in these games. We all know persons who are 
marked by the concentrated, energetic manner in which 
they hew to the line of their purpose regardless of how 
naturally distasteful the activity may be. How to rise 
through these levels of attention, how the child learns to 
attend, are problems of educational psychology and teach- 
ing, but these are the phases which must be distinguished. ^ 
Discussions of interest, instinct, purpose, habituation, and 
the types of lessons discussed elsewhere will clarify somewhat 
these problems. 


IV. General Methods 

Types of Teaching. — There are frequently many methods 
of accomplishing the same result, and there are various 
special methods of accomplishing different results. We 
can without much trouble see how each of the four conduct- 
controls, distinguished by Bagley and others, may by ap- 
propriate methods be established along the special lines re- 
quired to promote each of the five ends of education so 
frequently reiterated in this discussion. On the left, if shown 
diagrammatically, we would have the five ends such as 
health, citizenship, morality, etc.; to the right of each we 
would place the four conduct-controls, such as habits, 
knowledge, ideals, etc.; and to the right of each of these 
twenty items the methods that should be used to help insure 
these ends. For health, or vital efficiency, as a first aim, 
e. g., we should have to show how specifically useful health 
hahits, for example, could, by skilful teaching, be established 
in children, such as by asking children how many had slept 
with their windows open the night before, how many had 
used a tooth-brush, etc., personal examinations of hands, 
hair, clothing, etc., for cleanliness and for putting the 
stamp of class, teacher, and social approval on right health 
practices and the stamp of disapproval on their opposites, 
until these habits were fully set — attention by teachers to 
such matters to continue, however, until the child has 
passed beyond the years of school life. Then, second, 
would come the methods of giving sound and applicable 
health knowledge in such a way as would make it permanent 
and easy to recall when needed, such as the right use of 
hygiene text-books, of illustrations, of stories, of visits to 
places that show good or bad sanitary conditions, getting 
pupils to work to help solve some problem of home, school, 
oi community health, etc. Then would come the develop- 
ment of proper health ideals, and finally, prejudices and atti- 
tudes j or appreciations, through developing a feeling of ad- 


miration for those who live healthily and of disgust for those 
who do not, general repugnance to stuffy rooms, to flies, 
to dirt, to the use of alcohol and tobacco, and to general 
uncleanliness and poor regimen. 

Thorndike discusses the following seventeen phases or 
types of methods of teaching, about which there has been 
considerable discussion: Methods for drill, or habituation; 
methods for reasoning, or analysis; realistic versus verbal 
teaching; laboratory or experimental methods; inductive 
methods; teaching by action and dramatization; the lec- 
ture method; object-lessons and demonstrations; telling 
versus questioning: The Socratic method; "developing" 
methods; education by self-activity; the methods of dis- 
covery; teaching pupils how to study; example and pre- 
cept; imperative, persuasive, and suggestive methods; 
evasive, suppressive, and substitutive methods; reward and 

General Method. — If we were to compress in a nutshell 
the general method of teaching it would he, first, to get the 
child (or class) by some form of motivation to desire to do 
or to accomplish what is desirable for him to do or accom- 
plish along the lines of some aim of education; second, to 
get him to get the purpose and plan of what he is attempt- 
ing to do clearly in mind; third, to get him to engage ac- 
tively and energetically in this educative activity; fourth, 
to persist in practice and drill until he has accomplished 
what he set out to do, e. g., to make a pair of skis in manual 
training, or, after he has accomplished successfully his aim, 
to write a composition, for the benefit of another boy, on 
how best to make skis; a,nd fifth, to verify or test his product 
by applying it or using it in some manner to see if it satisfies 
his original aim. Our knowledge of the extent of individual 
differences will, of course, help us to avoid the narrow for- 
maHsm of putting every child in every lesson through the 
same steps. 

" Strictly speaking," says Dewey, " method is thoroughly 


individual. Each person has his own instinctive way of 
going at a thing; the attitude and the mode of approach 
and attack are individual. To ignore this individuality of 
approach, to try to substitute for it, under the name of 
* general method,' a uniform scheme of procedure, is simply 
to cripple the only effective agencies of operation, and to over- 
lay them with a mechanical formalism that produces only 
a routine, conventional type of mental quality." In his vol- 
ume on *'How We Think" and elsewhere he gives also, with 
certain warnings thrown out, excellent outlines of general 
method. In the paragraph following the one quoted above 
we find, for example, this excellent analysis of the general 
method of efficient teaching, following closely the general 
method of learning: 

The primary factor in general method, so construed, is the exist- 
ence of a situation which appeals to an individual (the pupil) as his 
own concern or interest, that is to say, as presenting an end to be 
achieved, because arousing desire and effort. 

The second point is that the conditions be such as to stimulate 
observation and memory in locating the means, the obstacles, and 
resources that must be reckoned with in dealing with the situation. 

The third point is the formation of a plan of procedure, a theory 
or hypothesis about the best way of proceeding. 

The fourth is putting the plan into operation. 

The fifth and last is the comparison of the result reached with 
what was intended, and a consequent estimate of the worth of the 
method followed, a more critical discernment of its weak and its 
strong points. 

These five points may be reduced to three more generic ones. 
The first and fundamental condition of right method is the existence of 
some concrete situation involving an end that interests the individual 
and that requires active and thoughtful effort in order to be reached. 
The second is consideration of the nature of the problem, the difficulty 
or perplexity involved in reaching the end set, so as to form a sugges- 
tion or conjecture as to the best way of proceeding to solve the diffi- 
culty. The third is the overt effort in which the thought of the plan 
is applied and thereby tested. Scientific method will be found to 
involve exactly the same steps, save that a scientific mode of ap- 
proach implies a large body of prior empirical and tentative procedures 


which have finally been sifted so as to develop a technique consciously 
formulated and adapted to the given type of problem. 

These principles of procedure most in accord with the 
learning process of the student deserve wide illustration 
and application to the various types of teaching, (i) The 
first principle is that of motivation, or providing the situa- 
tion. The little child who, for example, suddenly notices 
on the piano a box of candy which he immediately wants 
very much to get has before him, or is immersed in, a natural 
situation where the motive for action is very real. If the 
parent had placed the candy there and then had led the 
child to notice it, we should have not a purely "natural,'' 
but a teaching, situation. (2) The conditions here are such, 
especially if this is a new situation to the child, as to "stim- 
ulate observation and memory in locating the means, the 
obstacles, and resources that must be reckoned with in 
deaHng with the situation," for the child naturally sizes 
up the situation, probably looking at the piano-bench or 
stool, at a low chair, or his high chair, and thinking vaguely 
that these might be utilized in reaching the candy. (3) 
Next comes a plan or theory of action, a tentative solution 
to the problem. He thinks of climbing upon the piano- 
bench, perhaps, and trying to reach the candy, or he hesi- 
tates between the use of the bench and the chair. (4) He 
tentatively decides upon and tries out one of his methods, 
say the use of the bench, gets upon it, probably with some 
effort, and reaches upward. (5) If he finds he is too short 
to reach the candy, he instantly estimates the value of that 
plan at zero. Other natural steps may here be added: 
(6) He next gets his high chair and (7) with it reaches the 
candy, and (8) credits the plan one-hundred-per-cent good. 
The method is one of self-activity, and the teacher is not 
obtrusively present. What is true of the little child is true, 
in general, of the adult. 

Teaching as the Supervision of Learning. — The ideal of 
the best teachers is to make the teaching process the unob- 


trusive guidance of the learning process, as natural as the 
undirected activity of the little child in solving a problem 
by adapting means to ends, by weighing alternatives, and 
by putting forth persistent effort of a self-active kind. In 
the ordinary artificial type of school it takes great ingenuity 
on the part of teachers, principals, and supervisors to ap- 
proximate the lifelike naturalness of the situations of the 
child in the home and of the man and woman at their daily 
work in the natural life of the world. One of the greatest 
changes taking place in methods of teaching and adminis- 
tration is just along this line of making more natural, mean- 
ingful, and lifelike the learning process of children in school. 
Instead of spending their time in making merely formal 
technical joints of wood in manual training, for example, 
children are more and more given the opportunity to make 
things, often in co-operative groups, which they really de- 
sire to have, as they desire and make their kites, dolls, base- 
ball diamonds, wagons, caves, playhouses, and the like, 
outside of school. They are put into natural situations 
where they will wish to solve problems involving arithmetic, 
and where they want to write plans for, work out, and test 
letters and compositions. Through careful guidance of 
this kind children are gaining habits of independence in 
working out the solutions to practical problems as near like 
the problems of every-day life as possible. We must train 
children to be effective in life by placing them in life situa- 
tions and guiding them to power and control over them as 
unobtrusively and as much behind the scenes as possible. 
The educational weakness of the average life situation out 
of school is that it lacks either in skilled guidance, progressive 
sequence, breadth of outlook and connections. The teach- 
er's aim is ultimately to make herself useless. When she 
is forever at the centre of the stage doing all the talking, 
acting, experimenting, illustrating, and thinking she is not 
guiding the learning process and she is not educating 


children, except for a certain ^'education in stupidity." 
The happy mean here is difficult of attainment in most 

V. The Types op Teaching 

Although they all follow a somewhat general plan, dif- 
ferent phases of teaching and learning may be emphasized. 
One writer discusses several phases under the following 
headings, to which we add briefly their several meanings. 

^^ Expression,''^ giving children opportunity to learn 
through self-expression and doing things rather than being 
mere passive listeners and manipulators of second-hand 

^^ Practice, ^^ encouraging children to perfect themselves 
by repeated efforts in the various skills which they must 

^'ObJ edification/^ making the learning of children con- 
crete in the sense of being objective, ^' object- teaching, '' 
laboratory apparatus, demonstrations, excursions, use of 
material things, pictures, etc., for illustrations. 

^^ Induction, '^ helping children to do their own thinking 
through the discovery of principles from particular facts, 
finding similarities which embrace many experiences, learn- 
ing through the use of type studies, following the five formal 
steps of Herbart as refined by Dewey in his ''How We 

^' Deduction, ^^ giving children ability to select the prin- 
ciples which govern particular cases which are problematic 
to them, to apply general principles to particular problems, 
and to gain pow'er in guiding conduct in the light of general- 
ized experience, and reciting by topics under certain condi- 

^^ Formal Association,'^ helping children to learn the 
meaning of words of language and formal linguistic symbols, 
by associating symbols with meanings, if possible in their 


concrete life settings rather than in a highly artificial man- 

^^ Study, ''^ giving children ability and opportunity to 
get knowledge, develop habits, gain ideals, and establish 
interests, attitudes and appreciations through their own 
independent efforts, training in the technique of the learning 
process, including, for example, memorizing in the quick- 
est and most economical manner, and getting command of 
the various tools of study such as the use of dictionaries, 
cyclopedias, references, etc. — teaching as the supervision of 

^' Discipline,''^ so guiding the life of the school as to pro- 
mote the best working spirit on the part of all and as to 
avoid disorder and the breaking down of the learning proc- 
ess: by holding up good examples, by giving clear ideas of 
the meaning, value, and purpose of conformity to the social 
order of the school and community, and by expressive con- 
trol, such as giving opportunity to act out, to work off, 
wayward emotions in desirable ways, rewarding desirable 
actions and expressions, neglecting undesirable actions and 
robbing them of their stimuli, surrounding children with in- 
centives and stimuli to worthy efforts, and removing tempta- 
tions to undesirable actions, putting the stamp of disap- 
proval of school and teacher upon unworthy action, and by 
substituting channels of desirable response for those which 
are offensive. (Also used in the sense of training.) 

^^ Appreciation,^^ cultivating the esthetic feelings and re- 
sponses of children, such as a sense of humor, love of the 
beautiful, spirit of sportsmanship, taste in dress, love of 
good music, love of desirable forms of recreation and harm- 
less enjoyment, etc., and furnishing ways to provide esthetic 
expression along the various lines these responses are to be 
cultivated. (Also used to cover interests, tastes, prejudices, 
points of view, etc.) 

^^Instruction,''' giving information to children directly 
by short talks, reading, etc., in which the children take the 


part principally of listeners and the teacher that of the 
story-teller, the lecturer, the instructor — the principal 
method in German and French schools. 

^^ Investigation j'^ encouraging children to learn things for 
themselves, to go to sources and facts and interpret them 
for themselves, to gain power in independent study. 

'^ Development y'^ a blend of the two types above, in which 
teachers and pupils co-operate, and there is more of ^^give 
and take" in the lessons — large use of question and answer, 
or Socratic, method, and careful guidance of the pupils* 

^^ Recitation,''^ in the present restricted sense of the term, 
hearing the children report on what they have studied, a 
memory lesson largely. (Frequently used for any lesson 
not a study lesson.) 

^^ Examination j*^ testing rather large units of subject- 
matter in a more or less formal manner, frequently by having 
pupils write on what they have learned and have been taught 
— desirable as an incentive and review, especially for older 
pupils; gives pupils educative opportunity independently 
to organize and clarify their knowledge or improve their 

''Review,''^ fixing learning by repeating, applying, and 
reorganizing it at less frequent intervals than the brief recall 
of related, apperceptive knowledge at the daily recitation 
or lesson. 

^' Assignment,''^ helping children when left to themselves, 
to take up new work or to drill on old work in an effective 
and economical manner, without, however, robbing them 
of their own opportunities to grow unaided — usually slighted 
as a phase or type of teaching. 

Other Lists. — Such a list of important phases and types 
of teaching is valuable in calling attention to the richness 
and variety of methods by which to achieve the various 
educational aims with the manifold types of children at 
various times. ^ The most important of these types are each 


given a chapter in Earhart's volume on *' Types of Teach- 
ing/' treating each of the following topics: 

The nature, development, and purposes of subject- 
matter, the ideas, attitudes, and feelings, and the instincts, 
and habits with which children come to school, what school 
education should accomplish in remaking, extending, so- 
cializing, and individualizing the child's experience, the 
various types of class procedure such as the telling exercise 
or lecture type of method, the object-lesson, inductive and 
deductive lessons, the appreciation lesson or exercise, habit 
formation, study, the assignment, the recitation lesson, re- 
views, socializing phases of school work, and making lesson 

Strayer, in his volume in "The Teaching Process," deals 
with the various phases of teaching under nineteen differ- 
ent headings, such as: 

The aim of teaching, the instincts, attention, drill, in- 
ductive and deductive lessons, appreciation lesson, study 
lesson, review or examination lesson, the recitation lesson, 
questioning, social phases of the recitation, the physical wel- 
fare of the children, moral training, class management, lesson 
plans, the supervision of teachers, the course of study, and 
measuring results of education. 

Each of the authors distinguishes seven different types 
of lessons: inductive, deductive, drill, study, review, ap- 
preciation, and recitation (memory) lessons. 

Charters, in his "Methods of Teaching," has a different 
organization of material, but treats in close relation with 
the school subjects much of the same matter, stressing very 
helpfully the structure, function, value, and treatment of 
subject-matter. If possible, every teacher should read and 
digest at least one of these three different treatments and 
test out, phase by phase, the different principles advanced. 
Each is written by practical teachers in touch with actual 
school problems who have studied scientifically the tech- 
nical principles underlying teaching. 


High-school and upper-grade teachers will find Parker's 
''Methods of Teaching in High Schools" (Ginn) and Col- 
vin's "An Introduction to High-School Teaching" (Macmil- 
lan) very helpful. 

VI. Types of Lessons 

Lesson Steps. — The contribution which Bagley, Strayer, 
and others have made in analyzing and isolating the various 
(7) t>TDes of lessons should also be made the heritage of every 
teacher. Herbart and his followers devised one scheme or 
series of steps or stages to be used for practically every 
lesson. It is of the inductive type and follows methods of 
teaching used in Germany where text-books are little em- 
ployed and, in a rough way, the steps described by Dewey 
above as a general method. These "five formal steps" of 
preparation, presentation, comparison and abstraction, gen- 
eralization, and application, were long used by professional 
teachers for most types of school work. But we do not 
wish a child always to be thinking through for himself the 
solution of a problematic situation, since there are many 
other than problematic situations in life and many other 
needs for teaching. We may, for example, wish to cultivate 
appreciation and love of good music, and may therefore 
have musicians, pianolas, or victrolas perform before classes, 
with no thought on the teacher's part of developing ability 
to solve problems in music or in any other fields thereby. 
The aim is appreciation, not thinking ability. Other aims 
such as habit formation, training in study, testing results, 
review, gaining information largely through memory, and 
so on, are largely overlooked by those who would apply 
slavishly these five formal steps to all lessons. Even Dewey's 
general method cannot be used for every lesson, or as a 
method-whole covering several class periods, although it is 
of the greatest value for a large share of the best teaching. 
Neither Dewey nor Herbart intended, however, such slavish 


application of the steps and the former specifically warns 
against such wide use. As we shall show, the problem is a 
very valuable centralizing factor for making purposive and 
organized the development of many types of knowledge, 
habits, ideals, and appreciations. Frank McMurry and 
Dewey speak of it as the fundamental stimulus and guide 
to learning, and would organize most subject-matter of a 
course of study not as a series of topics in outline but as 
a progressive series of problems, projects, and questions. 
Our point is that it should not be used exclusively, and that 
many types of lessons are desirable. 

In general, we can teach pupils to think and to work 
things out for themselves along various Hues; we can de- 
velop their ideals and appreciations in many directions; 
we can drill them in habits which are necessary and which 
they would not get without such drill; we can furnish them 
with knowledge or information of the complex world in 
which they live; we can provide them with recreation; 
we can organize, correlate and unify their mental connec- 
tions of whatever sort; we can help them apply their knowl- 
edge, skill, and ideals to life situations they will be sure to 
meet, and are meeting, and we can test, measure, and sum- 
marize their mental and physical attainments. 

Teaching Children to Think. — To attain the various 
social aims of education no ability on the part of children 
is regarded, in theory, with more approval than the ability 
to think along various lines. *^The life of reason," or the 
life guided by reason, is the goal of our democratic schools 
in these changing times. Even in a primitive, static, and 
monarchical system or society, ability to think well is of 
great value to the individual although not encouraged by 
the state along social and political lines. If America is to 
solve the problems, individual and social, which now beset 
her, she must rear a thinking population. If the indi- 
viduals are to attain the goal of life they must have this, 
their highest capacity, developed and made habit along the 


lines of the principal problems of life. General thinking 
ability we may not be able very fully to develop, but we 
can give power along many specific lines such as those of 
health, the calling, citizenship, recreation, and morality, 
by guided exercise in these fields. 

In studying the methods of training children to think 
in the past, teachers have been much confused and hindered 
by artificial and needless distinctions between inductive 
and deductive thinking. They have frequently spent more 
time and effort in attempting to distinguish the two types, 
often indistinguishable, than in learning the important 
thing — how to teach pupils to think. We shall attempt here 
to point out no more than the general method. 

The Problem. — In his masterly attack on formal logic, 
entitled, "Formal Logic," Professor Schiller asserts that the 
answer to the question, "Why do we think?" was first dis- 
covered by Professor John Dewey. The fundamental 
stimulus and provocative of thinking Dewey found to be 
the problematic situation, in other words, the new and 
strange situation, the difficulty, the doubt, the perplexity, 
the crisis, the dilemma. The task of devising a way by 
which to get some candy from the top of the piano was to 
the little child before mentioned a problematic situation, 
a problem. Had he obtained candy several times in that 
precise way he would not have needed to think at the time 
mentioned. His habits of pulling up the high chair, climb- 
ing on it, and reaching for the candy would have sufficed 
without thinking. Thinking arises, if it arises at all, when 
our customary habits fail to enable us successfully to meet 
a life situation. To plan and to make a chair is a problem 
to a boy in the manual-training shop, but to a chair-maker 
in a chair factory it is mere habit. To the untrained teacher, 
the arrangement of the school programme, the provision of 
suitable ventilation, the treatment of a sick pupil, the ar- 
rangement of the daily lesson plans, ^ the refractory pupil, 

1 Doctors Earhart's and Strayer's books give practical suggestions for 
making daily lesson plans. 


and so on, are all problems. By experienced, professional 
teachers these situations are met almost entirely on the basis 
of routine habit. 

When travelling over a new route, for a further ex- 
ample, we come to a fork in the road and know not which 
way to choose, we are in a typical thinking situation, al- 
though commonly there are more than merely two alter- 
natives. But in this forked-road situation, unless we are 
impulsive, heedless, obstinate, thoughtless, we stop and 
consider, '' wonder, '' ''reflect," "reason," "investigate," 

The first principle of teaching children to think is to put 
them into a problematic situation, and since we wish to 
give them ability to think on the affairs of life, not on Chi- 
nese puzzles, we have the corollary that this problematic 
situation must be, not some problem of x, y, and z, how 
Caesar could build his bridge, or his indirect discourse, 
"how many angels can stand on the end of a pin," or any 
other remote situation unrelated to the main life needs and 
problems of our people, but must be as real and concrete a 
problem as children and grown-ups are meeting all the time 
out of school. The problem is the worWs greatest educator. 

The Tentative Solutions or Hypotheses. — When we are 
confronted and stopped in our daily habitual activities by 
a problematic situation, such as, shall I buy a new hat, 
what kind of hat shall I buy, what shall we do this evening 
for entertainment or profit, where shall I go this summer, 
shall I open and shut the school-windows or have a pupil 
do it, etc., our minds naturally dwell on the alternatives 
before us. The summer may be spent at many places, 
each with its good and bad features from our point of view. 
By looking over the situation more thoroughly we may find 
a way in which to spend the summer more profitably and 
pleasantly than ever before. If we are at the forking of a 
road into two or more branches we try to see what each of 
these alternatives would mean if followed up. If the prob- 


lem is what are the causes of deserts we encourage the 
pupils to give several alternative answers or tentative solu- 
tions, without letting them know what we think the causes 
are. We encourage them to think of several possible solu- 
tions to the problem, and we usually find it easy to get them 
from a wide-awake class. Here arises a second great rule 
of thinking: when confronted hy a difficulty , or problematic 
situation, cultivate a variety of alternative solutions to the 

By cultivating such variety we vastly increase our, or 
the class's, chances of thinking out, or hitting on, the right 
or best solution. The boy who knows of the possibilities 
of but one or two occupations will not be as apt to choose 
the best occupation for himself and the public as one who, 
by some kind of vocational guidance, learns of several or 
all of the various opportunities before him. Many of us 
spend much of our time foolishly or in mere drifting because 
for the various hours of the day or week we do not con- 
sider the many profitable ways in which such time may 
be spent. People say we lack imagination or that we do 
not think. When we urge a class or an individual pupil to 
suggest other possible solutions to the problem before it, 
we shall frequently get silly or stupid answers, especially 
if the children have never had any training in thinking in 
school. But some of the seemingly silly answers may turn 
out to be correct, and these silly or weak answers, if sincere, 
show that others than the best pupils are trying to con- 
tribute to the class product; and moreover, these answers 
provide good training in testing and caution for both those 
who make them and for the others. The number and 
quality of the suggestions will depend upon our experience, 
our memory, our imagination, and our ability to get from 
others tentative solutions. 

Testing the Hypotheses. — This comes out in the third 
step of thinking in which we test our various tentative solu- 
tions, conjectures, guesses, hypotheses, alternatives, the- 


ories, notions, ideas, or whatever we may call them. We 
examine each alternative critically for advantages and dis- 
advantages. The infant trying to get the candy considers 
more or less carefully the relative advantages or disadvan- 
tages of the piano-bench, another chair, the high chair, etc., 
for helping him solve his problem. We let our minds go 
along the various roads before us trying to discover which 
will best lead to our destination. We consider the various 
possible ways of spending the summer and balance advan- 
tages and disadvantages. The class offers in step two sev- 
eral reasons or causes for deserts which the teacher writes 
on the blackboard, perhaps, as a Hst of possibilities, and 
which the class now criticises. It may find on considera- 
tion of the merits and demerits of the various answers that, 
for example, a combination of causes named is in their best 
judgment the correct solution. The teacher may leave them 
for a time with this notion, or she may lead or help them, or 
tell them outright the correct answer. If she does this be- 
fore the pupils have done this testing work, however, she 
has defeated their thinking and robbed them of the oppor- 
tunity. This is, perhaps, the worst single fault of teachers, 
considering the importance of such training. 

The great principle here, then, would be to lead the 
pupils to test out in several ways, or in all possible ways, 
the tentative solutions which they can summon out of their 
experience, their imagination, or from their authorities. 
A corollary would be to get them to take a pride in avoiding 
jumping at a conclusion, in keeping their minds open, real- 
izing that a better answer may yet be given, in cultivating 
the scientific habit or attitude of mind which Dewey in his 
preface to ''How We Think " says is one thing most needed 
in American education. Too many of us make hasty con- 
clusions, fail to test with any care the few or many hy- 
potheses we bring to birth, gather from our friends, or from 
our reading, take things on hearsay without test, close our 
minds to new suggestions, thinking we have the one and 


final answer to anything or everything, fail, in short, to 
control, and guide the thinking process. 

Concluding. — The final step is the conclusion. We pass 
judgment or decide that the answer is so or that we cannot 
discover the answer. The class finally concludes that the 
cause of deserts is so and so; we decide that we shall go to 
a certain place next summer because it outweighs all in a 
surplus of advantages over disadvantages; we decide to 
start our auto, our wagon, or our feet along the road which 
we think is better or best. Our thinking stops when we 
make the decision. After that, habit sets in and our walk- 
ing or driving is merely habitual. It takes time for a class 
to go through such a process, perhaps several days or weeks 
for the entire "method- whole.'' Several good pieces of 
wood may be spoiled by the boy who is working out the 
way to make a table. We do not naturally take easily to 
thinking. It is travail and hard work. It is easier to fol- 
low the crowd, to read from the book, to follow our first 
impulse or piece of advice from another, in short, to dodge 
thought. But only by thinking do we gain power to solve 
problems along the line of our life problems — by solving 
them, not by accepting ready-made answers which our 
teachers, our books, and our friends are so ready to furnish 
us. These we frequently solicit and use as mere hypotheses 
to test, but not as substitutes for our own educative self- 
activity. Frequently, in a class it will be desirable to make 
an explicit statement of the problem with which we start. 

Appljring. — A fifth step, not in the thinking, but in the 
lesson or series of lessons, and practically always taking 
place in a real-life situation, is that of going on and applying 
the principle arrived at as the conclusion. We have thought 
out the best way to make a table and now proceed to make 
it. We have come to a conclusion as to where we shall 
spend the summer and proceed to go there or make prepa- 
rations for spending it as decided. Frequently this step 
of application shows us that we have erred in our thinking 


and usually points out exactly where we made our error. 
Our plan when carried out gives us a very poor table, a con- 
clusion that will not work, a principle that fails to square 
with the facts. After considerable thinking, a graduating 
class, for example, decided that the members would pur- 
chase a piano for the school. But when they attempted 
to raise the needed contributions only a few were willing 
to pay the proportionate amount. It was then too late to 
think out another solution. They failed in not testing 
this hypothesis by seeing if a sufficient number would pay 
the proportioned amount at the earlier date when they 
did their thinking. We older people frequently, and some 
continually, bitterly regret our neglect of important phases 
of thinking which •we could easily have worked out had we 
been more systematic, more energetic, and more conscious 
of, or better trained in, the technique necessary to good 
thinking; examining carefully our problq^, rousing as many 
good tentative solutions or suggestions as possible, testing 
each of these suggestions and comparing, contrasting, and 
weighing them for preponderance of advantages over dis- 
advantages. It is fortunately the able and worthy, usually, 
who think well and succeed, and the weak, defective, and 
unworthy, who think poorly, or not at all, and fail. The 
steps many follow in class are: (i) problem, (2) hypotheses, 
(3) tests, and (4) conclusion. Our mission as teachers is to 
increase vastly the number who can use this highest instru- 
ment of evolution, the ability or abilities to reason along the 
several Unes desirable for ourselves and the public. 

The Limits of the Problem Method. — Shall we then at- 
tempt to arrange all of our school work as a series of prob- 
lems, or can we depend upon mathematics to give us such 
general abilities? As suggested, some seem to incline to 
the former view in the previously quoted selection. To 
both, the answer is no. Much of the work can be arranged 
as problems for thinking. The department of economics 
of the University of Chicago, for example, has recently pub- 


lished a book of problems for class use covering the entire 
subject of elementary economics and providing practically 
little other reading matter in exposition of the subject, 
although sources are utilized. History, geography, hand- 
work, hygiene, and other subjects, may be, and are being, 
largely organized on the problem or "project" basis. Arith- 
metical problems are becoming more Ufelike, dealing with 
number relations which pupils meet with or will very prob- 
ably meet. Mathematics can hardly get over the weak- 
ness, however, of making necessary a certain type and order 
of thinking, largely deductive, which is different from the 
kind of thinking described above, which we carry on accord- 
ing to the natural way in which the mind functions and 
according to which it is best to meet the problems of hfe. 
Furthermore, ability to think, even exceptionally well, 
which many may gain by perseverance in one field, is no 
guarantee that one will be a good thinker in other fields. 
We have tested the theory (hypothesis, suggestion, or con- 
juncture) of formal discipline and have so far found it 
wanting. Our minds as teachers are open, but wisdom 
indicaj;es that we can get both valuable information about 
the world in which we live and power to think in that world 
better, or only, by getting our training in solving, not formal, 
symbolic, or unlifelike problems, such as those of cube root, 
and rowing a boat, etc., but the actual problems of life. 
All teachers should study Professor Dewey's little book on 
this subject mentioned above, "How We Think." Strayer's 
two chapters in his "The Teaching Process" on the inductive 
and deductive types of lessons are helpful short statements 
of methods. Freeman's book on "How Children Learn" 
contains a valuable chapter on "Problem Solving or Think- 

The Drill Lesson. — Thinking takes place when our al- 
ready formed mental connection between situations and re- 
sponses are not adequate to promote satisfying conduct. 
Life is so complex and new situations are so frequent to-day 


that the practical needs of life demand in all an ability to 
think and adjust themselves to changing conditions. After 
we have thought through a situation and adjusted ourselves 
to it, we have also practically thought a connection through 
our minds. Practice and drill make the connection rela- 
tively permanent. For example, a teacher or pupil in a 
strange city or locality is in doubt as to the best route to 
the school the first time he is to go to it. But after con- 
sidering and testing alternative routes, a way is decided on 
and finally taken each day. In a short time teacher or 
pupil leaves his home and walks to school unconscious of the 
route taken and with his mind probably busy with some- 
thing else. The connection made by conscious, attentive, 
vigorous thinking is the wire or wires laid by the master 
lineman, which are hereafter to carry automatically the 
stimuli from the given situation, the street, over to the 
muscular responses which control taking the proper route. 

Both with children and grown-ups we do not always 
find thinking forging ahead of habit and making the con- 
nection. We have not time, opportunity, nor ability to 
rediscover all knowledge and invent all answers to all the 
problems of life. Much is furnished us outright as the out- 
comes of others' thinking, as vicarious experience. We are 
heirs to millions of connections which we simply must or 
do take and make. We merely appropriate the connection 
which binds temporarily the response 30 with the situation 
— the teacher, class, and conditions making for an attitude 
of interest, confidence, and obedience — and the stimulus, 
five times six; and the teaching and study processes make it 
more or less permanent. The tool subjects, or the tool 
phases of subjects, like writing, reading, spelling, the funda- 
mentals in arithmetic, drawing, construction work, and so 
on, are practically all habits to be formed. The laws of 
memory and of habit formation are practically the same in 
essentials and for many purposes can be treated together. 

Drill may be defined as the systematic endeavor to fix 


firmly habits or associations between stimuli and responses. 
The stimuli may be either outer sense situations, or inner, 
mental situations, or ideas. The mental connections or 
associations may, then, be formed automatically between 
the following sets: 

Sense Stimuli tied to Movements 

Sense Stimuli tied to Ideas 

Ideas tied to Movements 

Ideas tied to Ideas 

Some of the leading laws and factors of so-called drill 
may be stated as follows; 

1. Decide very carefully in the light of educational 
principals what habits and associations should be made 
automatic or habitual, the minimal, essential habits neces- 
sary, and those which are optional or alternative. Avoid 
drilling on non-essentials. Twenty per cent of the usual 
conservative schooling is probably relatively non-essential. 
We have not yet selected the essentials of democratic edu- 
cation in either urban or rural communities. 

2. Arrange the matter — facts, habits, skills, knowledge 
— in order best suited for economical habituation or memori- 
zation. Be consistent and systematic in drill. 

3. Be sure in most cases that pupils have a good motive 
for drill, that they understand and feel the need of making 
habitual certain mental connections. Put vigor, enthusiasm, 
and vividness into the drilling. If possible, avoid lifeless, 
monotonous, undesired drill. 

4. Have the connections, the responses to the various 
stimuli, repeated in an unvaried form. Avoid attempting 
to make habits or permanent associations by even a few 

5. Have repetitions carried on for an optimal period or 
periods daily, and over weeks and months of time, until 
learned as well as is desirable, or reasonably possible, with 
the given pupil or pupils and under the given conditions. 


If possible have standards of achievement such as the 
Courtis tests in arithmetic, the Ayres, Thorndike, and 
Freeman scales and standards in penmanship, and in 
spelling, the Courtis and Thorndike rates in reading, and 
so on. Excuse pupils or give other work to pupils who are 
up to or above the standard for their grade. Get pupils 
to compete with themselves by trying to better their past 
performances. Avoid failing to distribute the automatic 
learning over considerable periods of time, attempting too 
much or too little, and do not fail to give opportunities to 
use in practical ways, or in life-situation ways, the connec- 
tions being formed. 

6. Permit no exceptions or inaccuracies to occur until 
the habits or ideas are firmly established. Avoid "break- 
ing training" and doing things in other ways than in the 
ways in which they are to be firmly established. Afterward 
is the time for innovations. 

7. Get pupils to take a pride in the firm estabhshing of 
their own habits when they are not under the teacher's 

8. Give additional attention and emphasis to connec- 
tions of especial difficulty. 

9. Be sure that pupils are in right physical and mental 
health for drill and choose the best times for it. 

10. Use your examinations, reviews, tests, and measuring- 
of-results periods partly if not largely for educative, distrib- 
uted repetition and drill. 

The Recitation, or Memory, Exercise or Lesson. — This 
rather poorly named phase or type of the teaching process 
is quite ancient and refers not to the class period in which 
teacher and pupils get together, as it is commonly used, but 
to only those types of class periods or instruction periods in 
which pupils report, recite, or repeat what they have learned 
in study, and consequently deals more with the content 
phases of study than drill phases. The old plan, still 
widely used in some parts of the world, was to have pu- 


pils repeat word for word what they learned in a book or 
had been told. It is desirable for children to gain facts 
and to possess in memory and to be partially acquainted 
with a wide variety of accurate information. A lack of 
information or first-hand experience handicaps one greatly 
in his thinking, for he has few sources of suggestions and of 
various ideas of accomplishing things. But to teach in- 
formation in such a way as to give pupils not ideas which 
they can profit by but mere *' words, words, words," is to 
commit the common error. 

Some of the factors of success in the use of this type of 
exercise or lesson as one of several other types to be used in 
the period are to use topics and hold pupils responsible for 
reciting on them, clearly, accurately, and at some length, 
using the best principles brought out on memory in such 
volumes as Strayer and Norsworthy's *'How to Teach," 
and to drill on the facts that are to be thoroughly and 
permanently learned after they have been carefully and 
conservatively selected. 

We cannot treat of all the seven types of lessons at length 
here, but the most important have been considered. The 
lesson in appreciation should be studied in this connection. 
In general, teaching is an art which is more intricate than 
the art of medicine; and the science supporting it is only 
partially discovered, organized, and applied. A good teacher 
will study the process as she would any other problem of 
science. Certain sex differences in teaching country children 
will be brought out in the following chapter. 


1. Into what three "fundamental methods of class instruction" 

does Professor Colvin classify ways of teaching? (Chapter 
VIII and the six following chapters of his volume on "An In- 
troduction to High-School Teaching" (Macmillan).) 

2. What specific rules does he give for testing the knowledge of 

pupils, drill, and adding new knowledge? 


3. How does this classification compare with that made by Professor 

Parker in his ''Methods of Teaching in High School" (Ginn)? 

4. How do you account for the great amount of space taken by the 

above writers in telling how to train pupils to think? 

5. What are the seven types of lessons given by Stray er in his ** Teach- 

ing Process" (Macmillan) and Earhart in her "Types of 
Teaching"? Do these authors name any types not covered by 
Colvin's three and Parker's five? 

6. As a principle of teaching why does Parker furnish a book of 

"Exercises for 'Methods of Teaching in High School'"? 

7. What are the psychological bases for the "project method," or 

use of projects in teaching? Compare your answer with that 
given by Professor Kilpatrick in the Teacfters College Record for 
November, 191 8 (published by Teachers College, Columbia 
University, New York City). 

8. What educational magazines do you take or propose to take as 

a teacher? Have you seen the Elementary School Journal for 
elementary teachers, and the School Review for secondary teach- 
ers, both published by the University of Chicago Press? What 
rural-school magazines are pubUshed? Are they as yet of 
value on methods of teaching? 

9. What suggestions da you obtain twice a month from School Lije^ 

published since August i, 1918, by the U. S. Bureau of Educa- 
tion? If you do not have it, send to Washington for it. (Free 
to administrative educational ofl5cials; fifty cents a year, twenty- 
six numbers, to others.) 
10. Apply the principles of method given in this chapter to the sub- 
jects you expect to teach or are teaching. 


1. The teaching process is controlled by the nature of children and 

of society. Present-day educational science is helping to give 
definiteness and precision to methods of teaching. 

2. Classroom management is a corollary of the teaching process in 

schools and deserves more attention and study than it usually 
receives. Some of the principal aims of education are furthered 
by scientific class management. 

3. Teachers should make the natural child and his interests the 

point of departure in teaching. 

4. Motivation of teaching along the many lines suggested by Wilson 

helps children to grow up naturally, guided and energized by 
worthy purposes. The main problems of attention are met in 
this way. 


5. There are many types of teaching. In general, we are developing 

knowledge, habits, ideals, and appreciations of service to the 
individual and society in meeting the fivefold aim of education 
for social efiiciency. 

6. The elements of general method are (i) a motive or felt need, 

(2) consideration of ways of meeting the need, and (3) effort 
put forth to test and apply the plan decided upon. 

7. The guidance of the learning process should be unobtrusive on 

the part of the teacher. 

8. Several lists of types and phases of teaching frequently discussed 

by teachers are briefly examined. 

9. The seven types described by Strayer in his "Teaching Process" 

and Earhart in her "Types of Teaching" are recommended for 
study and guidance. 


1. Alderman — "School Credit for Home Work." Houghton MifHin 


2. Bagley — "Classroom Management." Macmillan. 

3. "School Discipline." Macmillan. 

4. Betts— "The Recitation." Houghton Mifflin Co. 

5. Brice — "Measuring the Efficiency of Teachers." Public School 

Publishing Co. 

6. Colvin, A. R. — "An Introduction to High-School Teaching." 


7. Dewey — "Democracy and Education," also articles in Monroe's 

"Cyclopedia of Education." Macmillan. 

8. "How We Think." D. C. Heath & Co. 

9. "School and Society." University of Chicago Press. 

10. Freeman — "How Children Learn." Macmillan. 

11. Earhart— "Types of Teaching." Houghton Mifflin Co. 

12. Hall — "Educational Problems." Appleton. 

13. Judd — "Measuring the Work of the Public Schools of Cleveland." 

Russell Sage Foundation. 

14. Kendall & Mirick — "How to Teach the Fundamental Subjects." 

Houghton Mifflin Co. 

15. McMurry, Chas. — "Conflicting Principles of Teaching." Hough- 

ton Mifflin Co. 

16. McMurry, F. — "How to Study, and Teaching Children How to 

Study." Houghton Mifflin Co. 

17. "Elementary School Standards." World Book Co. 

18. Monroe's "Cyclopedia of Education." Macmillan. 


19. Parker — "Methods of Teaching in High Schools." Ginn & Co. 

20. Rapeer — "Teaching Elementary-School Subjects." 

21. Strayer — "The Teaching Process." Macmillan. 

22. and Norsworthy — "How to Teach." Macmillan. 

23. Thorndike — "Education." Macmillan. 

24. "Principles of Teaching." Seller. 

25. Suzzallo in Monroe's "Encyclopedia of Education," article on 

Teaching, Types of. 

26. Wilson — "Motivation of School Subjects." Houghton Mifflin Co. 

27. Yocum — "Culture, Discipline, and Democracy." Christopher 

Sower Co. 




Preliminary Problems 

1. What disadvantages has ordinary country life for girls and women? 

2. What measures would you propose for remedying these conditions? 

3. What might a school thoroughly adapted to the needs of country 

girls and women do for them that the single-room school is not 
doing ? 

4. What organizations for girls and young women have proved of help 

in the country? 

5. What books and magazines would you suggest for the country 

girls ? 

I. The Larger Outlook 

A New Problem — The Country Girl. — The industrial 
history of the last decade in the United States is marked 
by the way in which the farmer is rapidly coming into his 
own; his welfare and the cultivation of his broad acres 
are receiving an unwonted share of public attention. The 
government of the United States has assigned, for the 
farmer's welfare, a Department of Agriculture, at the head 
of which is one of the eight members of the President's 
Cabinet. For the use of this department Congress annually 
appropriates vast sums of money and employs an army of 
experts and experimenters. Probably no interest, indus- 
trial or commercial, receives more appreciative attention 
or more generous monetary assistance or has easier access 
to the ears of the country's lawmakers than that which 
concerns the cultivation of the soil. 

The teacher and the preacher, the lecturer and the 
author, have helped sound the call for the better country-life 



movement, and the farmer has been the centre of interest 
in it all. Next to him in public concern are the farm boys, 
their clubs, their education, their training for better farm- 
ing, and last but by no means least, the methods by which 
the promising ones are to be kept free from the influence of 
the city attracting them away from the farm. Very re- 
cently, in a corner of the magazine or farm paper, the farm 
woman is receiving a share of attention. The Department 
of Agriculture not long ago started an investigation of her 
special needs. Through it all, even when the spot-light 
centres on the farm home, very little has been said of the 
country girl. She has not yet greatly impressed the book 
writers, the social inquirers, or the lecturers as a fitting sub- 
ject for investigation. She has as yet received little inspira- 
tion to take her place in the movement and assume her 
share in the effort to find solutions for the manifold rural 
problems. Yet one need not have prophetic vision to see 
that unless she assumes her portion of the new responsibili- 
ties and shares the benefits of the new prosperity and the 
advantages of the generous endowments, these services to 
the country can have little permanent effect. Only a short- 
sighted policy would neglect the mothers of the race. 

Despite this apparent oversight on the part of the re- 
formers there are several millions of country girls working 
industriously and, let us hope, happily on the farms of 
America. They are helping their mothers in the kitchen 
and the household, not only sharing with them the ^'hewing 
of wood and the drawing of water" but too often carrying 
both to the remote kitchen. They are gardening and can- 
ning; cooking and sewing; caring for the cows and the 
chickens and the younger children; sharing the barrenness, 
the drudgery, the poverty, and the isolation of the country 
women in the home. Yet with all this, it is not the work 
nor the hardship, difficult as it is, but the systemless, ob- 
jectless, drudgery; the lack of appreciation or value placed 
upon their contribution in the economic scheme; the con- 


tentment with methods as they are, craving no alleviation, 
that most tries their souls. It is not strange that many 
of them, like their brothers, are drawn by the lure of the 
towns and the cities; for the country girl shares the burdens 
that fall to her brother and receives relatively few of the 
advantages the country-life movement is bringing to him. 

II. What The School Can Do 

The Schools Responsibility. — ^Americans are committed 
to the belief that the safety of the republic is in the keeping 
of the public schools. Instinctively, almost, we look to 
them to carry out if not to initiate the reforms we believe 
necessary for our civic preservation. What more natural, 
then, than our belief that the ultimate solution of the rural- 
life problem must come from the rural school ? And where 
may we hope for adequate education in the country except 
in the consolidated school? What then can it offer to the 
country girl that she, too, may find the possibiHty for a 
happy and contented life on the farm; one that satisfies 
the American girl's longing for economic independence 
and her craving for the broader outlook and the abiding 
satisfactions? What are the causes of the country girl's 
discontent and how can the consolidated school help her 
to eliminate them? What are the limitations of her en- 
vironment, physical, moral, and esthetic, and how can the 
school help her to remove them? What can it supply 
which will add to her possibiUties for a happy and serviceable 
life as a country girl, and what shall it offer to prepare her 
for her Hfe work, whether it be as a farm-home maker or 
as a wage-earner in an industry or profession to which her 
inclination may lead? 

The majority of women, whether in the city or the 
country, will doubtless continue to devote a great portion 
of their lives to home-making. But the country girl's 
prospects for the future should be no narrower than her 


reasonable hopes and desires. In the short time that 
women have been permitted to take a place in the economic 
world outside the home, few of the gainful occupations have 
not been successfully invaded by them. In all of these the 
countryside has been drawn upon to fill the demand for 
women of character, talent, and ability. There are many 
illustrious examples to inspire the country girl. Jane 
Addams and Clara Barton, George Eliot and Harriet Beecher 
Stowe are among the many country girls who have added 
lustre to philanthropy and literature. The recent war has 
added a whole new chapter to the possibility of women in 
all fields of enterprise. 

The Educational Scheme. — Before attempting to for- 
mulate a scheme for the education of the country girl, it is 
well to inquire as to her needs and aspirations. Happiness 
is a legitimate end of education; it is the goal of social, 
civic, and economic endeavor. We have been accustomed 
to look upon the country as the ideal rearing-place for the 
young; surely nature intended it to be, and a civilization 
which crushes or stifles its possibiHties for childhood and 
youth deprives them of their richest inheritance. But is 
the country girl happy in her surroundings and is she 
effectively creating happiness for others? We have had 
our eyes opened of late to the isolation of the farm home; 
to its lack of the comforts and <:onveniences most ordinary 
to the city dweller; to the dearth of social intercourse and 
the lack of recreation in the country, and to the absence of 
the possibilities for cultivating and satisfying the esthetic 
and spiritual tastes of the young. 

The country girl during the swiftly changing years of 
her young womanhood is keyed to a higher emotional 
pitch, has a more sensitive nervous structure, and feels 
more keenly the elation or depression of her environment 
than her brother. She is confined to the house more 
closely, has fewer activities, and less freedom and fewer 
opportunities for expressing her imaginative and emotional 


nature. She is inclined to feel the full loneliness and dep- 
rivations of her environment and, unless wisely directed, 
even to exaggerate them. Thus the country girl is not 
always the happy, bright-eyed, care-free, and contented 
person that we wish her to be, and the consolidated school 
may well direct its efforts to help her to achieve and create 
individual and social happiness more efficiently. 

Health. — The first essential to happiness and service- 
ableness is the achievement and conservation of buoyant 
vitality and perfect health. This should be the heritage of 
every country girl. Recently, however, our attention has 
been called to the lamentable fact that country children are 
less healthful and that more of them suffer from preventable 
diseases than the children of the cities. Round shoulders, 
narrow chests, bad teeth, imperfect eyesight, and even 
anemia, are common among country girls. The drudgery 
of housework in farm homes without modern conveniences 
for lightening it is often too great for their strength. The 
physical labor of the outdoor work often left to the women 
is too great a tax on the growing girl. Insanitary conditions 
around the home, polluted water-supply, lack of fresh air 
in sleeping-rooms, the hardship of cold rooms, and long walks 
over wet roads in the winter time often impair the health 
of the young girl who lives in a home or attends a school 
in which hygienic regulations are not heeded. 

To such as these the consolidated school should open 
the door and point the road to renewed health. This must 
be done in general by the extension of the school influence 
into the homes and among the adults of the community. 
It must be done in particular by systematic training of the 
girl in the school. Modern schools in the country as well 
as in the' city should contain a gymnasium with equipment 
for physical exercise, games, and folk-dancing. The whole 
health problem should be in charge of a physical director 
who may, or may not, devote part time to regular courses, 
who should have charge of the instruction which the school 


offers in personal hygiene, and who should be physical in- 
spector and adviser to the girls. The physical instructor 
should be able to devote some time to work in the com- 
munity, including visits to the homes and lectures on home 
and community sanitation. 

The health of the country girls is of the utmost impor- 
tance, not alone because of their own welfare but because 
they are to be the mothers of the coming generation. They 
should, therefore, have careful instruction in all that relates 
to the acquiring of physical perfection and the preserva- 
tion of good health. Of what use are the larger crops and 
the richer fields if the health of the mothers and children 
does not justify their enjoyment of these benefits? 

Recreation. — Equally essential to the young girVs hap- 
piness is the opportunity for wholesome and enjoyable recrea- 
tion in the society of her friends and companions. Country 
life in many communities offers far too httle opportunity 
for refined leisure; the means of enjoyment and social re- 
laxation are far too meagre to satisfy the yearning which 
all young people have for pleasure. Too often there is no 
common meeting-place of easy access; there are few forms 
of entertainment available or accessible to the young people 
of the countryside, and this dearth of possibilities for social 
intercourse drives many young girls to long for and if pos- 
sible to seek the more appealing and attractive amusements 
of the near-by town or city. Here is a great opportunity 
for the consolidated school to fill the aspiring and hopeful 
hearts of the young girls in the community with wholesome 
happiness. With its gymnasium for basket-ball and other 
co-operative social or team games; for the artistic folk-dances 
of the nations; with its auditorium for plays, lectures, pic- 
tures, musical and literary entertainments, and the like, 
it can be of inestimable value and enduring service to the 
community. A good swimming pool is especially desirable 
for girls and women and has proved its value in many country 


These activities have a social value by no means con- 
fined to amusement. Character is formed during one's 
leisure far more than during one's working hours; oppor- 
tunity for civic and community service usually occurs out- 
side the working day. The habits for spending leisure in 
noble and elevating or useful pursuits, the habits which 
result in an avocation, are acquired in childhood and youth. 
The woman is largely what she has learned to be during 
the hours outside her working time in her youth. Recrea- 
tion has a broad and powerful moral aspect. Nearly every 
girl has a talent of some kind and delights in expressing 
and cultivating it. If in the arts, music, literature, the 
drama, painting, lace-making, it may offer an outlook for 
an avocation of a highly profitable and pleasurable nature 
as well as be a means of culture. Good taste in amusement 
is a bulwark against the temptations of the cheap theatre, 
the public dance-hall, and the sensational motion-picture 
show. The pleasure of companionship, the friendships 
based on mutual interests formed and fostered through the 
social life of young girls at school, the little talents, the 
special abilities that come to hght during these associations, 
are permanent sources of enjoyment throughout adult Hfe 
as well as in youth. 

Few games or exercises give more pleasure or offer better 
advantages for developing grace, lightness, and agility than 
the beautiful folk-dances now in vogue in city schools. 
Besides, they are especially adapted to the country; they 
originated among country folk and express many of the 
ideas and emotions of the country people. They should 
have a place on the schedule of every consolidated school 
for both boys and girls in the lower grades and for girls 
through the high-school years. The folk-dances are free, 
vigorous, wholesome, modest, and graceful, and are the 
best possible antidote for the questionable taste cultivated 
by the ultra-modern ballroom dances, from which recent 
wide-spread interest not even the remote country districts 


have altogether escaped. Too many country communities 
are now confined to dancing for amusement. Even for these 
the folk-dances may at least add some variety, and new 
standards of deportment. Supervision and training are es- 

Every country girl should have a knowledge of music, 
at least enough to enable her to enjoy and appreciate it, 
and she should be familiar with some of the masterpieces 
of music. She should also know the world's great pictures 
and something, perhaps, of the lives of the artists who cre- 
ated them. The school auditorium should by all means 
have a piano where the young student pianists may have 
the opportunity to express themselves through their devel- 
oping musical talent. There should be a school chorus, 
one or more quartets, and if possible an orchestra. Phono- 
graphs are now procurable at a relatively small cost, and 
excellent records, some of great artists, can be had to ac- 
company them. These records reproduce the world's 
greatest musical selections and may be had in such variety 
as to please every kind of musical taste. The possession 
of a phonograph with well-selected records not only adds to 
the pleasure of the girls at the schools but offers an excel- 
lent method of cultivating their taste for good music. 

Lightening Household Tasks. — The consoHdated school 
should devote itself to freeing the farm woman from the 
drudgery of an endless round of monotonous duties which 
could be avoided by the installation of modern conveniences 
in the home. This is the special duty of the school because 
every subject in its curriculum, if related properly to the 
practical things concerned with the girl's life, will lead 
directly to this result. Its full accomplishment may, and 
probably will, mean educating the rural community to better 
methods of living and more economical means of working. 
Only as country people rise above monotonous routine can 
they have an intellectual and spiritual outlook. Fortunately, 
there are thousands of country girls gifted either by nature 


or education who love the glow of the sunset, the songs of 
the birds, the smell of the fresh air, and the growing things, 
and who have the leisure and the developed appreciation 
to enjoy them. But there are others, if not an equal num- 
ber at least the ''vital minority" whose testimony Mrs. 
Craw gives in "The American Country Girl," who work 
from five o'clock in the morning until nine at night in dull 
routine. Their days are endless rounds of milking, churn- 
ing, baking, dishwashing, sweeping, and carrying wood 
and water. Night finds them too tired to do more than 
tumble "wearily into bed until the next morning." Their 
work has no intellectual stimulus, no acknowledged ideal 
purpose. They are, as Mrs. Craw says, "too tired to go 
out even if there were some place to go, and too destitute 
of initiative to seize on any form of pleasure." 

The wave of progress toward efficient housekeeping 
which has swept over the country has not yet impressed 
the country people. Labor-saving devices for the out-of- 
door work are not matched by others for within doors. 
In some way the farmers must be brought to realize that 
water piped into the house, a lighting system, a heating- 
plant, a vacuum cleaner, and similar labor-lightening ar- 
rangements are as necessary as mowing-machines, separators, 
and similar machinery for facilitating the farm work. There 
is a home workshop as well as an outdoor one, and neither 
should be equipped entirely at the expense of the other. 
Both should be equipped well. The country girl needs to 
learn the value of organization; how to systematize the 
work of the home; to keep accounts carefully; to know the 
value of the card catalogue; in short, how to conduct the 
work of the household on a scientific basis. Of still greater 
importance, the country girl should be educated to a realiza- 
tion of the broader meaning of Hfe. Not all the training of 
farmers should be concerned with growing better crops 
and making more money. Better living, especially for 
those within the homes, is of greater importance, if the best 


of the young men and women are to be retained to build 
up the farms of the future. For all of these purposes the 
school, through its regular and special courses, is peculiarly 
adapted and every day becoming better equipped. 

Economic Independence. — Another important factor in 
the happiness of the country girl is the gratification of her 
desire for economic independence, not necessarily complete 
independence but enough to enable her to earn a reasonable 
amount of spending money and to have the privilege of 
spending it in her own way. Every self-respecting girl 
needs some money and she doesn't want it doled out 
grudgingly by the farmer, who had no spending-money 
when he was a boy and believes that what he had is good 
enough for his children. This type of farmer often thinks 
that the same type of school he attended is good enough 
for his children. It isn't; times have changed with the 
young people's needs as well as with the instruments the 
farmer uses to till the soil and harvest the crops. The 
country girl should be given a fair money allowance for her 
share in the house or farm work. Unfortunately, many 
girls are not. These girls the consolidated school can make 
happier by teaching different ways of making spending- 

The canning clubs have helped many girls to do this 
and have helped the parents to appreciate the necessity of 
allowing their daughters to have money in order that they 
may learn to spend it wisely. The girl who has a clear 
idea of the value of money and knows the wise relationship 
between income and expenditure has advanced morally as 
well as economically. A significant story is told of a small 
club girl in one of the Southern States who earned over a 
hundred dollars in tomato canning but was not allowed 
any of it to spend. "Pap" used it all, she explained to the 
club director. The next year the wise director sent out 
cards for the parents' signature, exacting a promise that 
the girls should have the money they made for their own 

Outdoor group games for girls at the Cache La Poudre consolidated school 

A canning-club girl, Oregon 


use. This father refused to sign, until a letter from the di- 
rector came explaining why the girl should have the proceeds 
of her work and declining to admit her to membership 
unless with the promise that she be given the profits. This 
time ''Pap" signed. There are many other ways of making 
money which the country girl could learn at school. Lace- 
making or fine sewing, trimming hats, laundering delicate 
waists and fine linens, supplying tables from the home gar- 
den, and making jellies or home-cooked foods are some 
sources of income now being utilized by ambitious country 

These requisites are but the minimal essentials for the 
country girls if they are to find happiness in the farm com- 
munity — health, recreation, freedom from drudgery, and 
reasonable independence. With this accomplished the mis- 
sion of the consolidated school is not ended — ^it is merely 
begun. For it must supply to the country girl an education 
which fits her to carry her share of the burden of the new 
movement for an enriched country life, and it must offer 
to her a continuing source of spiritual inspiration; and in- 
tellectual and social satisfaction to her successor, the farm 

Education for Life. — What can the consolidated school 
offer besides the narrow curriculum of the one-teacher school 
with its many grades and small classes and its narrow op- 
portunities for acquisition of culture and of practical knowl- 
edge to fit the country girl for her ''place in the sun'' of 
the new life on the farm? 

We have spoken above of education for the leisure of 
life, the art subjects, play, recreation, the joy of an avoca- 
tion, all of which it should be the privilege and responsi- 
bility of the consolidated elementary and high school to 
supply to the farm girls. There is also the education in- 
volved in the subjects commonly known as practical, which, 
with the foundation laid by instruction in "the three R's," 
give the girl an equipment which enables her to make her 


own living either in a wage-earning capacity or as a help- 
mate in the home, according to her circumstances and 
position in life. 

Home-Making. — The workshop of the woman is said 
to be the worst workshop in the world, and nowhere is this 
more true than in the country. The farm homes are the 
last to install electricity, bathrooms, and heating-plants, 
and the farmers the last to profit by co-operative endeavors 
which make these conveniences possible at reasonable cost. 
The consolidated school will be a great factor in promul- 
gating what has already taken root and in extending the 
propaganda for better and more convenient homes until 
modern equipment becomes as universally adopted in the 
country as in the city. The farm girl must learn scientific 
home-keeping, and the school is the place in which to 
teach it. As compared with housekeeping, commercial 
efficiency is relatively easy. It is not difficult for the expert 
to standardize the movements involved in putting together, 
say, the fifty parts of a certain portion of the automobile, 
but it is different, for example, to standardize the making 
of puff paste for an apple- tart or the act of concocting an 
old-fashioned mince pie. The work of caring for and 
building up a home is a complex process, and teaching it 
may involve the whole curriculum. It is economics chiefly 
— the income, the expenditures; it is simple mathematics 
very largely — adding, subtracting, and dividing; it is the 
sciences — all of them, physics, chemistry, the study of so- 
ciety and community service; the arts, all of them — of ex- 
pression, design, and decoration; it is music and poetry, 
literature and religion; it is all of education and the best of 
life — a field quite big enough for worthy endeavor if there 
were no other demands for consideration. 

The consolidated-school curriculum must organize all 
of these for school purposes in order that the country girl 
may have the largest chance to realize her fullest possibili- 
ties. The foundation for many of these subjects should be 


laid in the elementary school and carried through as elec- 
tives or required branches, according to community require- 
ments, in the high school. The best consolidated schools 
now offer excellent practical courses in some or all of the 
following: household management; laundry work; cooking 
and chemistry of food; biology; house-planning and interior 
decoration; household and community sanitation; economics; 
nursing; social science. The majority of these are, of course, 
electives. Household administration and mechanics, gar- 
dening, poultry, and bee-keeping, are eminently practical 
subjects, and may be offered for both boys and girls in the 
consolidated school equipped as it should be with labora- 
tories, shops, and experimental farm. The girl equipped 
with a knowledge of any group of home-making subjects 
in which she can specialize according to her ability and 
which she can continue through the agricultural college 
will be in little danger of a monotonous Hfe. There will be 
for her the joy in work which comes from constantly meeting 
and solving problems which test her intellect, what Pro- 
fessor Fiske calls the '^challenge of the difficult." 

The minimal training which the country girl should have 
for home-keeping should include plain sewing, cookery, the 
study of foods, household accounting, home decoration, and 
sanitation. With a knowledge of these essentials, a devel- 
oped intellect, and a desire to grow, the country girl should 
find happiness and a Hfe of service in her farm home. 

Other Vocations. — The consolidated school will also 
include among its duties the responsibility of preparing 
young women for the vocations. Not all country girls will 
wish to remain in the country; not all of them to prepare 
to be housekeepers. The high school in the country, 
through differentiation of courses and by offering a wide 
range of electives, may at least start the girls on some wage- 
earning vocation of their choice and for which they are 
fitted by natural ability. There are a variety of occupations 
from which to choose, a foundation for which can be laid 


in the country high school. A few are suggested in the 
enumeration of subjects for home-making courses, for ex- 
ample, nursing, home decoration, gardening. Many young 
women with talent for any of these find pleasant and profita- 
ble employment in their home neighborhood, or in the cities 
of the county. 

Teaching offers an attractive field to many young women 
who feel the call for work which involves the missionary 
spirit. Many forces are now at work for the upbuilding of 
rural schools and for improving salaries, living conditions, 
and school housing in rural districts. This field ought to 
have a peculiar attraction for the country girl with a spirit 
of loyalty to the soil and a sympathetic insight into the 
needs of rural life. Rural-school work is a splendid field for 
service, and the regular academic courses in the consolidated 
school admit directly to the first-grade normal schools, 
where the country girl should specialize by taking at least 
her major courses in the department of rural education. 

For those girls with talent in music or art, the consoli- 
dated school can offer intelligent direction and an oppor- 
tunity for enlarged appreciation. To those who wish to 
enter business — to be stenographers, clerks, milliners, dress- 
makers, or enter other commercial pursuits — the school may, 
if it is large enough, offer special courses. It can at least 
foster the talent for these which girls among its pupils 
possess, and advise and assist them in regard to further 
training, and it can help them in selecting the courses which 
will be most serviceable when they enter industrial life. 
For example, the girl who plans to be a stenographer and 
typist needs all the English, composition, Hterature, spelling, 
social science, history, and current events which the school 
can give, at the expense of such courses as algebra, German, 
Latin, French, and perhaps even the ordinary old-line 
physics. Similar emphasis and eliminations are possible 
for girls preparing for other occupations. 


III. Associated Activities 

The Teachers' Cottage. — Each year sees additional rural- 
school plants equipped with the teachers' cottage or teacher- 
age. Its use came about because of the necessity of pro- 
viding better homes for rural teachers than the community 
in many instances afforded, the desirability of securing 
permanent rather than itinerant teachers, and because 
there is general agreement that a revised curriculum which 
embodies the material suited to the needs of rural communi- 
ties requires that the school grounds be cared for through 
the summer months. But the cottage was so obviously 
useful for demonstration purposes and as a model example 
in good housekeeping for the community and as the labora- 
tory for study of the household arts and sciences that its 
function is rapidly being extended. In many instances 
the teachers' cottage is serving the schools' girls as it should 
practical training in household work of every nature — fur- 
nishing, decorating, sanitation, cooking, sewing, and the 
allied branches. 

Whether the cottage is the home of the principal or super- 
intendent and his family, or, as in many instances, it serves 
as a co-operative housekeeping plant for several teachers, 
its hospitaUty should, from time to time, be extended to the 
pupils of the school. This, of course, is applicable chiefly 
to high school, because pupils of high-school age are most 
susceptible to the influence of the social graces and con- 
ventionalities of refined entertainment and the virtues of 
unobtrusive, unaffected, and wholesome hospitaUty. The 
teachers' cottage is, of course, expected to be only the 
background for the class, club, or school affairs, the pupils 
themselves acting as hosts and hostesses and assuming the 
responsibility of any decoration, entertainment, and re- 
freshments, or the like, as are desirable for the occasion. 
The arrangements should not be elaborate except in very 
special cases, but should emphasize the unassuming nature 
of genuine social gradousness. 


Social Activities. — The American high school has been 
defined as the people's college, and the consolidated high 
school must surely realize this function. Not only should it 
educate the young people of the country, but it must serve 
as their centre of social relaxation and be a continuation 
and extension school for all the community. Many con- 
solidated rural high schools are now realizing all of these 
functions. They are advisory and experimental stations 
and social meeting-places, not alone for farmers and their 
wives, but for the farm girls who have finished school, or 
those who have been deprived of the opportunity to attend 
school. The consolidated school should have a circulating 
library, either on its own accord or serve as station and dis- 
tributing centre for the country or town library. A school 
which fosters a love for good reading and supplies the books 
is a high type of continuation school. The services of a 
travelling instructor in home economics, made possible by 
the Smith-Lever Act, can be placed at the disposal of enter- 
prising rural communities, and what place is more fitting 
or so well equipped for lecture and demonstration work as 
the laboratory or kitchen or demonstration cottage of the 
consolidated school? Sewing classes or clubs, gardening 
clubs, or groups interested in any phase of practical or cul- 
tural education may meet in the social rooms of the consoli- 
dated school for conference and improvement, and enjoy 
the advice and counsel of the specialists engaged by the 
school, or of visitors who can be brought there for special 
occasions. Such meetings give an opportunity for the de- 
velopment of leadership, which is needed among country 
women as well as men. The regular courses of the school, 
the games and social organizations are all fitted to train for 
the leadership which should manifest itself later in the 
adult groups. 

The school auditorium should be used for community 
singing for adults as well as for school children, and by a 
community orchestra, where one can be organized, under 


the directorship of local or imported musicians. Branches 
of such organizations as Y. W. C. A., Girl Scouts, women's 
section of the International Congress for Farm Women, 
Camp-Fire Girls, and the like, may be formed among the 
young women in and out of school, with the schoolhouse 
as a meeting-place. The Y. W. C. A. has taken a serious 
interest in the life of the country girls, has organized many 
clubs among them, and provides special workers for rural 

We have previously discussed the social possibilities of 
the school auditorium, and all that has been said of its 
necessity in behalf of the country girl appHes equally to 
the farm woman. The musicals and dramatizations, en- 
tertainments, the lectures and picture-shows form another 
phase of her continuation school, and also supply social in- 
tercourse and refined amusement. No one needs this re- 
laxation more than she, for on the isolated farm she is usually 
the most lonesome person. Her work is the most monoto- 
nous and her monetary rewards at least the most meagre. 
These will be dealt with in the next chapter. Great are the 
possibilities of the consolidated school for the country girl ! 
It can fit her for a happy and useful life in her chosen field 
of endeavor. It can bring to her when her school life is 
over the fulness of culture from the outside world and the 
richness of life's most abiding satisfactions. 


1. Make a list of difficulties which farm women face that could be 

better met by means of improved home education in consoli- 
dated schools. 

2. Secure Dr. Lumsden's bulletin No. 94 from the U, S. Public Health 

Service on "Rural Sanitation," and from it make up a list of 
things that an organized group of girls and women could do for 
health in a consolidated district. 

3. Secure Evelyn Dewey's book on "New Schools for Old," published 

by Dutton & Co., New York, and from a close reading of it make 


4. Secure one or more of the surveys of rural life by the Presbyterian 

Board of Home Missions, and list in a note-book the principal 
needs of the country women surveyed and the suggestions made 
for meeting these needs. What applications of these surveys 
can you make to a typical rural district with which you are ac- 
quainted ? 

5. Read Crowe's "The American Country Girl," given in the bibliog- 

raphy below. What phases of the volume impress you as most 
helpful and practical ? 

6. Make a list of the chief "modern conveniences" needed in most 

country homes for making the life of the farm woman less of a 
burden. How much would these cost to introduce into a typical 
country home in your section ? What would be the best methods 
of securing them ? 

7. What subjects which country girls study could best be displaced 

by other subject-matter and training? What phases of elemen- 
tary and high-school work are usually of little comparative value 
to country girls and prospective mothers and managers of house- 
holds? What subjects should girls be taught separately from 
boys in the consolidated school ? 


1. Allen, W. H.— "Woman's Part in Government." Dodd, Mead 


2. Bailey, L. H. — "Woman's Contribution to the Country-Life Move- 

ment," in his "The Country-Life Movement in the United 
States." The Macmillan Co. • 

3. "Woman's Place in a Scheme of Agricultural Education," 

in his "New York State Problems." J. B. Lyon Co., Albany, 
N. Y. 

4. Broadhurst, Jean — "Home and Community Hygiene." Lippin- 


5. Butterfield, K. L. — "Opportunities for Farm Women," in his 

"Chapters in Rural Progress." University of Chicago Press. 

6. Cabot, Ella L.— "Volunteer Work in the Schools." Houghton 

Mifflin Co. 

7. Carver, T. N. — "Principles of Rural Economics." Ginn & Co. 

8. Crowe, Martha F.— "The American Country Girl." Stokes Co. 

9. Denison, Elsie — "Helping School Children." Dodd, Mead & Co. 

10. Dewey, Evelyn — "New Schools for Old" — the story of Mrs. Har- 

vey's noteworthy work for the Porter School. Dutton & Co. 

11. Field, Jessie — "The Corn Lady." Flanagan. 


12. McKeever, W. A. — "Farm Boys and Girls." The Macmillan Co. 

13. Presbyterian Board of Home Missions — "Rural-life surveys of a 

number of typical counties in the United States." New York. 

14. Quick, Herbert— "The Brown Mouse." Bobbs-Merrill Co. 

15. "The Fairview Idea." Bobbs-Merrill Co. 

16. Richards, F. H.— "Hygiene for Girls." D. C. Heath & Co. 

17. Vogt, Paul— "Rural Sociology." The Macmillan Co. 


Preliminary Problems 

1. What part does the lack of suitable recreation and wholesome en« 

joyment play in the reasons given by our youth for leaving the 
farm ? 

2. What types of recreation are common in the part of the coimtry 

with which you are most familiar? 

3. What types could well be added? 

4. How do you account for a very common antagonism to play and 

recreation, and especially to organized purposeful effort to pro- 
mote it in the country? 

5. What are the verdicts of the Roosevelt Country-Life Commission, 

the National Country-Life Association, and other organizations 
and surveys respecting avocational efficiency in the country? 

I. Problems of Avocational Efficiency 

In an analysis of social efficiency into the five great 
aims of education, namely, vital, vocational, avocational, 
civic, and moral efficiency, we can see that one of the great 
purposes always to be held before a system of public schools 
is that of promoting avocational efficiency. ''The right use 
of leisure" is one of the great aims of life, and one of the 
leading problems of life is to use wisely and well the leisure 
period. For most workers in our country the eight-hour 
daily period of work is becoming standard. One of our 
state superintendents of public instruction made an address 
not many years ago in which he spoke vigorously against 
granting the eight-hour day to laborers, because it gave 
them too much leisure. He argued that it is necessary first 
to train people to use their leisure wisely if they are to be 



granted much freedom from toil. To throw open suddenly- 
large periods of the day for a great population that has not 
previously been trained to use this leisure well would only 
mean the degradation of that people. 

On the farm the period of leisure is just as important as 
in the city, but cannot always be provided for in the same 
way that it is there. It must come more according to 
seasons rather than being provided for during each day 
perhaps; but Sundays and winters, Saturday half-holidays, 
and other times are available for considerable recreation. 

The ordinary attitude of a great many people in this coun- 
try is that time not spent in work or sleep is largely wasted. 
They look upon play as something unnecessary. They con- 
sider work the big important thing in which one can engage 
in this world. Little preparation or thought is given to 
recreation, to wholesome enjoyment, to the right use of 
leisure; and the consequences to individual and social 
welfare are not good. 

Let us examine this ordinary attitude and point of view 
and see if it is sound, either philosophically or historically. 
What is the goal of life, anyway ? For what are we living ? 
Are we *'here because we're here,'' as the boys in college 
sometimes sing, or can we see some deeper motive and 
purpose in Hfe? Most persons who have not thought on 
the problem answer very vaguely, indefinitely, and unsatis- 
factorily when confronted by this question. The answers 
are various and often self-contradictory. They are un- 
satisfactory both to the one who makes them and to the 

The best answer we can give to this question, to state 
the matter briefly, is that the goal of living is individual 
and social happiness. Christ said, you will remember: "I 
came that ye might have Hfe, and that more abundantly." 
The goal of living is living, as our very instincts tell us. To 
make this living more abundant, richer, and happier is the 
goal of all of our endeavors. We engage in work for the 


purpose of making happier and better our daily living. 
We must make work as much as possible a direct means to 
happiness through the democracy of industry, but this is 
of itself entirely insufficient. We are not living a Hfe of 
slavery and toil in order to prepare for some distant future life 
beyond the grave. The only way to prepare for a future 
life is to live well this life. Education is not a preparation 
merely for a life to come when the individual is an adult; 
it is life here and now, and the child has just as much a 
right to and need of happiness in his child's life as he will 
ever have; and the best way to help him to promote the 
greatest happiness as an adult is to give him training in 
attaining and promoting happiness as a child. 

There are two extreme points of view with respect to 
this matter. There are first those who make the individual 
and his pleasure the centre of all efforts, and fail to train 
him to get his pleasure and recreation in a manner that pro- 
motes the highest social good. On the other hand, we have 
the Spartan-like philosophy, in which the individual is sub- 
merged and subjected to the demands of the state. He is 
put into a machine and made to conform with no regard to 
his own individual pleasure, but to the needs and demands 
of the social system. Neither one of these attitudes is cor- 
rect. The only true social philosophy is the philosophy that 
finds the goal of life in the processes of normal, happy, effi- 
cient social living. It is to promote this that schools and 
all other social institutions are founded. We work not to 
discipline our souls, nor to pile up money; we work to pro- 
mote life more abundant — a richer, happier, better living, 
not only for the individual, but for all humanity; and not 
merely for our nation, but for all nations. 

On the psychological side we see that the expression of 
the inherited tendencies and instincts with which people 
are born usually have as their emotional accompaniments 
happiness and pleasure; but since we live among a congested 
world of people, and since these instincts were developed 


for a very primitive type of life, it is necessary for us to 
guide these instincts along lines of habit and efficiency that 
will promote the greatest human welfare. 

The best kind of social life is that which provides for 
the most harmonious expression of the natural instincts of 
the individual, for only along these lines shall we obtain 
the greatest amount and finest quality of individual and 
social happiness. There is no finer sight in the world than 
to see the happy, joyous pleasures of children at play. 
The satisfactions of the instincts of construction, of rhythm, 
of communication, of curiosity, of mental and physical ac- 
tivity, are among the greatest pleasures of life. In the 
innocent recreations and enjoyments of living we attain 
the goal of life very immediately and very directly. Most 
of us would spend more time in recreation than we do, but 
usually as we grow older ''the prison house of flesh begins to 
close us in." We get bound up in the habits of our daily 
work, and we become so changed that we are hardly normal 
individuals. It is necessary for us to preserve our normality; 
it is necessary for us to remain young and to keep the 
youthful point of view. It is highly desirable that we get 
more happiness and thorough enjoyment in life very im- 
mediately and directly, if we can get it, both in our work 
and apart from our work. We must become as little children 
if we would enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Historically, it is very interesting to see how the com- 
monly held attitude toward recreation in this country has 
come about. The American people have been (i) a pioneer 
people hard up against the struggle for existence. They 
have been (2) a Puritan people, a people inheriting a form 
of theology that is a direct outcome of the medieval world, 
and the doctrines of other-worldly-ism and asceticism. We 
are the lineal descendants of people who were extremists 
along these lines and protested against the levities of the 
upper classes in the old world. 

The attitude of mind that our forefathers brought here 


and which became the common public opinion of this coun- 
try was, first, that of middle-age asceticism. Very largely 
this old attitude was that man, instead of coming from the 
hands of his creator pure and undefiled, as it was claimed, 
was naturally depraved and vicious, that all his instinctive 
tendencies and emotional delights were debased and wrong, 
and that the only way by which one could climb up to 
real spiritual perfection was to subjugate, repress, and drive 
out his instinctive tendencies. Those who went to extremes 
along these Unes strove to repress and kill their most funda- 
mental and personal instincts. The monks and nuns of 
the old monasteries and nunneries, and many others follow- 
ing them, as you know, swore the vows of poverty, obedi- 
ence, and chastity. 

One of these companies of people, for example, were the 
group of religious zealots who came to Pennsylvania and 
founded the village of Harmony, and later the village of 
New Harmony in Indiana, and still later the village of 
Economy in western Pennsylvania. They practised the 
doctrine of celibacy, and of course gradually and inevitably 
perished from the face of the earth. No more surely does 
some other kind of death ensue from the attempt to destroy 
by repression almost any other of the natural instinctive 
human tendencies. But these are the traditions and habits 
of mind which we inherit, and which dominate, especially, 
our country people. 

This philosophy made a school system, a government, a 
church, a family life, and all other types of life too repres- 
sive, unattractive, and unhappy. 

The Puritans. — Those who have given us most of our 
traditions were not only ascetics to a degree, but also Puri- 
tans. The Puritans were so sure in their beliefs, so vigorous 
in their dissent from the rather happy-go-lucky laws and 
Hcenses of the upper classes of England, that they were 
willing to give up home and country, and brave the dangers 
of an Atlantic voyage and the privations and the enemies 


of a new world to carry out their puritanical principles. 
The old "blue laws" of the East, under which a man could 
be thrown into prison for whistling on Sunday, or a young 
couple punished for conversing together on Sunday, in which 
the burning of witches and other forms of narrow-minded 
persecution and self-punishment were legalized, are all evi- 
dences of this type of mind. It led to that horrible, narrow- 
minded monstrosity which we call the New England con- 
science and which has been so often described to us and 
held up to our horror by literary men. 

Effects of Pioneer Life. — Secondly, we have the habits 
and customs established by our pioneer forefathers still 
with us. They came here and left their folk-dances, games 
and pastimes, and recreations of the old world behind them. 
They entered into the wilderness of woods and rocks, and 
hardships; they fought the Indians and conquered nature. 
They lived a hard life, a serious struggle for existence. It 
was necessary for them in many cases to cut out of their 
lives much or most that people had held as a normal part of 
living, a reasonable amount of recreation, hoping that thereby 
they would provide homes and settled abodes and the com- 
forts that would enable their children or their children's 
children to have what they denied themselves. But they 
overlooked the great principles of social custom, social tradi- 
tion, and social habit. These things eliminated recreations 
from the population and left little or nothing in their places. 
The habits of working as many hours a day as there was 
daylight became a fixed rule and custom. In his home 
country, the Enghshman stops his work at four o'clock in 
the afternoon, has his tea, and goes out and plays his game 
of cricket as a regular part of the day's activities. He re- 
gards recreation and the right use of leisure as a highly 
essential part of life, second to none in importance. These 
customs and these traditions have here all been forgotten, 
and the average farmer to-day in the United States accepts 
this social custom with respect to recreation as his mental 


If we are going to build up the right use of leisure and 
normal amount of wholesome enjoyment and recreation 
among country people, we must start with the more unbiassed 
children in the public schools and cultivate in them a re- 
spect for these things, and train them how to use their 
leisure wisely, and how to achieve real avocation^l efficiency. 
Certainly the life which is now lived does not promote the 
highest type of living; it does not make for the attainment 
of the goal of life, for which we all more or less bhndly strive. 

Why Do the Boys and Girls Leave the Farm? Why 
do they crowd into the cities? Why do they leave the old 
folks and "break home ties" ? On the farm they would usu- 
ally obtain a good start in life, very often a farm of their 
own to till, property of their own which they probably will 
never get in the city. They have the habits that enable 
them to succeed on the farm, whereas in the city they will 
have to learn a new industrial trade or profession. Out on 
the farm they have all of nature over which they may 
roam, the most dehghtful place in which to live that could 
be conceived, and yet they turn their backs on it and go 
to the dusty, smoky, dirty city, and live for years in a hall 
bedroom, taking small wages for their indoor toil, and pay- 
ing out all or most of what they earn for the bare necessi- 
ties of living. 

The desires for novelty and for change and variety will 
account for much of this migration. Many of the city boys 
wish to go to the farm, and in many cases we find in our 
agricultural schools and colleges that a large number of 
the students are city-bred. In some cases, too, there is no 
good opening on the farm any more for one or more of the 
children of a large family. In other cases the children's 
natural tendencies and abilities are very clearly away from 
the farm, and toward business or professional life in the 
city. But even after we eliminate all of these and many 
more, we have accounted for only a small proportion of the 
boys and girls who leave the farm. When we follow them 


up and ask them what it was that they disliked on the 
farm they usually reply: ''There was nothing doing." 

They mean by this that they have not the same oppor- 
tunity for the satisfaction of their various instincts and for 
the normal human delights and pleasures which youths so 
naturally and rightfully claim; and it is probably this 
failure to provide opportunity for plenty of wholesome en- 
joyment on the farm, as much as almost any other cause, 
that has led to the tremendous stream from country to 
city. Whereas in 1790 but 3 per cent of our population 
lived in cities, to-day 50 per cent of the people of the nation 
live in these small spots scattered over the surface of the 
whole United States — in some cases gathering together in 
great congested hordes, living like cliff-dwellers, one over 
the other, in cities of one to several millions. 

The cost of farm products, of foodstuffs, and of living has 
steadily gone up for a number of years. There is a great 
economic opportunity on the farm; scientific agriculture 
is making it possible to do much that never could have 
been done in the past; but still our boys and girls continue 
to leave. 

In the city, recreation has been exploited. Many who 
have seen this natural hunger of the young (and of the old) 
to obtain the natural and normal instinctive delights and 
satisfactions have provided amusements of one kind or 
another in manifold profusion, and have charged people for 
the privilege of enjoying them. The public dance-hall, the 
theatre, the motion-picture, the bowling-alley, the billiard 
and pool hall, the saloon, roller and ice skating rinks, the 
dime museum, the "slide for life," and a thousand and one 
other "attractions" have all been cunningly devised to 
furnish a certain kind of excitement and stimulation of in- 
stinctive tendencies in such a way as to provide for the pro- 
moters of these recreations the greatest amount of money. 
To bring in the most money they have made their appeals 
usually to the strongest and most fundamental instincts, 


in many cases in such ways as to injure people as much, or 
more, than they have helped them through providing the 

The dance-hall and the saloon and den of vice have readily 
become connected. The recreations are carried on fre- 
quently in ill- ventilated and unwholesome rooms. In most 
cases they are entirely sedentary, the people who have been 
seated around their indoor tasks all day going to indoor 
sedentary recreations at night. The baseball game is par- 
ticipated in only by crowding on stuffy street-cars and by 
sitting on the bleachers, not in playing the game. The 
cities have allowed mercenary individuals for the sake of 
the game to exploit, and in many cases to degrade, the young 
people of our land who should have been provided normal 
wholesome, social recreation through some other agencies. 

Certainly it is true that if country people had held differ- 
ent notions of the importance of avocations and had be- 
stirred themselves to provide for them, there would be 
to-day far more happiness both in the country and in the 
city. The problems of recreation are to discover the best 
forms, to socialize them, and to get all people to participate 
reasonably in recreation of the forms which they most need. 

II. Surveys of Recreation 

A great awakening has taken place in the United States 
in the last few years with respect to this great avocational 
problem. Never before, probably, in the history of the 
world have people so suddenly realized that the goal of life 
is not ''the getting of a little more land to raise a little more 
wheat, to get a little more money, to buy a little more 
land"; that it is not a vicious circle of money-making, nor 
merely the getting of property, but that it is normal growth 
and happiness, the enrichment and refinement of living 
itself. But a few years ago, nearly all of the recreations 
of the nation were in the cities, and these under private 


control with no supervision, practically, by any city or local 
officials interested in the welfare of the whole people. 
Recreation was something which one could get if he were 
able to get it. It was not a right which every one should 
have for his own happiness and educational development. 

The results of this system have been made notorious by 
many noted writers and investigators. Jane Addams in 
her *' Spirit of Youth and the City Streets" has shown the 
hideous forms which the natural instinctive cravings of 
youth take when they are under the blight of a false economic 
and social regime. Great recreational surveys have been 
made for multitudes of cities, of counties, and of whole 
States. We have begun to inquire into the means of pro- 
moting the best life of the race through other means than 

The Recreation Movement. — In 1907 the writer was a 
delegate of the Minneapolis Board of Education to the 
First Playground Festival of the United States, held under 
the auspices of the National Playground Association of 
America, which had just been formed. There on the great 
playgrounds and recreation centres of the South Parks of 
Chicago, wonder-provoking activities along many lines of 
recreation and avocation that were desirable and delightful 
for young and old were witnessed by many thousands of 
people. At that time play was a thing which was gener- 
ally considered of little importance at the school, in the 
home, or anywhere else. The school was frequently placed 
on a site of land that either allowed little room for the 
natural play of children, or was so rough, muddy, or in 
such a dangerous locality as to preclude any possibility of 
real play. No money was spent at that time, practically, 
for play apparatus, for the enlargement of school sites, for 
supervisors of play and recreation, or for anything else of 
the kind. 

Since that time the playground movement has spread 
over the country like fire in the prairie-grass. Millions are 


to-day spent for play and recreational activities by public 
governing boards for the people's benefit where nickels 
were spent as recently as 1907. We have certainly awakened 
to the fact that all work and no play not only makes Jack 
a dull boy but robs him of the means of obtaining directly 
and at first hand those things for which we live and move 
and have our being. Recreation in the cities is rapidly 
coming under city control. The saloon is being eliminated, 
and various institutions are springing up to serve its social 
function. Vice has been driven out, and the dance-hall 
has been made a place of true enjoyment and education, 
rather than a means of degradation. The theatre is rapidly 
being improved, and parks and other recreational centres, 
libraries, outdoor swimming-pools, free indoor gymnasia, 
and many other private and public enterprises, consciously 
directed toward the people's good, are being provided. In 
the army the most valuable service rendered the youth of our 
land was in the many forms of education and socializing 
avocational activities. 

Scientific Studies. — In much of this work we are being 
guided to-day, not by mere sentiment and "common sense," 
but by first-class scientific experts who have gained their 
skill through rigid investigation and research. Cities, 
awakening to the problem of a degraded childhood and youth 
through misused leisure, and criticising very largely the work 
of the public schools for not uplifting the people, have de- 
termined in many instances to get at the root of the matter 
by making scientific surveys of their recreational problems 
through the employment of experts in this field. In these 
cities all of the many types of recreation have been studied. 
We need not detail the whole, although few people realize 
perhaps how many classes of recreation there are and how 
many types under each class. Our problem here is not 
so much the city survey and what has been discovered in 
these investigations as it is to get some light on the coun- 
try problem. But any careful study of" the Springfield 


survey, of the Ipswich survey, of the Cleveland surveys, of 
the Madison survey, of the California survey, or of the recrea- 
tional phases of the various country surveys made by ex- 
perts of the Presbyterian Church, will open one's eyes con- 
siderably to the opportunities and possibilities in country 
recreational development, and the eyes of rural leaders and 
the people generally must be opened if the country is to solve 
this great problem of promoting avocational enjoyment and 
true avocational efl&ciency.^ 

III. A Programme of Recreation 

The investigations of country conditions show that 
much awaits to be done and that the people are about ready 
to take up this newer point of view, and to bring into life 
that which has been so long eliminated — normal, whole- 
some recreations. All they need is leadership and training. 
Give them these and the happy enjoyment of the children 
in the schools, in the homes, in the country picnics, and on 
the farms will do the rest. 

Some of the great instincts of life which have worked 
themselves out in forms of avocations are the social instinct, 
the sex instinct, the instinctive delight in rhythm and music, 
and the instincts of physical and mental activity. 

Practically all of these instincts the psychologist shows us, 
for example, find normal satisfaction and expression in the 
dance. But dancing has long been taboo in country districts. 
''It has rarely been a means for good," the country people 
say. ''It has been a means of injury rather than a help.'' 
But the old ascetic, puritanical, pioneer doctrine has had 
more to do with this attitude than anything else, and there 
is no good reason why dancing should not be a means of 
the greatest happiness and purest pleasure and satisfaction 
for both young and old in the country. To thrive, the danc- 

1 A bibliography of surveys may be obtained from the Recreation Di- 
vision of the Russell Sage Foundation of New York. 


ing should be managed by people who see to it that the dance 
is conducted in the right way, and who will insure that it 
is made an educational agency. This has long since been 
discovered in the city. If those who are interested in the 
happiness and welfare of the young people will get up the 
dance themselves; will see that the right kind of people are 
invited; will provide for the right kind of music; will pro- 
vide the right kind of room, and other conditions in which 
to have the dance; and will give as much attention and super- 
vision to it as is given to the supervision of the children at 
school, then good and only good will come out of it. 

To-day we are bringing back from **the old country" 
hundreds of the simple folk-dances which our ancestors 
danced on the village greens in the olden days. They got 
from them normal, natural delights and satisfactions. 
They were considered an important part of the daily life 
activities. They were combined frequently with reHgious 
festivals, and had in many cases a religious spirit and motive. 
The music breathes a spirit of innocence and purity, quite 
in contrast with many of the filthy *' rags'' that one may 
hear in the dance-hall run for private profit in our day. 
These old folk-dances we are teaching the children of the 
cities. Young and old engage in them. They have few 
or none of the objectionable features of the social dances 
that are criticised by those who speak of dancing as some- 
thing to be kept taboo. If we brought back only this one 
activity into the lives of the country people, throughout 
the long winter months, at least, there would be a great 
deal more of wholesome social intercourse among the people 
of the community; the young people would stay young 
longer on the farms, and the delights of the farm would be 
sufficient to hold a great many adult people who find it 
at present an intolerably sordid bore. 

The consolidated school is the natural place for the 
radiation of this gospel. It is the natural social centre of 
the community. Where it is, as it should in most cases be, 


a first-class consolidated school furnishing free transporta- 
tion of the pupils, a good auditorium should always be 
provided. This auditorium can be used as a recreation 
centre and put to many uses. A dance learned here as 
physical education, in the auditorium used as a gymnasium 
or in a separate room kept for the special purpose of a 
gymnasium, and provided for the children of the high school 
and their relatives and friends, can be made a very fine 
educational feature. 

We do not need to start with the dance, of course. 
Many other social and recreational activities can be en- 
gaged in. But the dance is one of the fundamental recrea- 
tional inventions of the human mind, and we are discussing 
it here as a type of amusement that has been frowned upon 
in the past which can be magically transformed into some- 
thing noble through the agency of the public schools. Chil- 
dren who learn to dance the natural roundelays and folk- 
dances will not have the same morbid attitude toward such 
recreations as they have when they are carried on with most 
of the people of the community frowning upon them as 
illicit activities to be engaged in either by stealth or in de- 
fiance of social usage. Health, grace, courtesy, physical 
education, recreation, and normal human delight can be 
promoted by this one activity alone. 

An auditorium or gymnasium of this kind can be used 
for a great many other recreational purposes. There should 
be an assembly period of all the pupils every day of the 
school year and this period should be made one of the most 
important phases of the school work. This period should 
usually be not less than thirty minutes in length. Here 
the whole school comes together as a body each day, and 
gets a unity of feeling and aspiration which is second to 
nothing in educational value. Here the young may learn 
to engage in public speaking, in singing together in chorus 
the good old songs of all the ages. Here beautiful and in- 
spiring literature may be read or recited by the pupils and 


teachers. Here the young may express their dramatic in- 
stincts in little plays and dramatizations in which they so 
naturally delight. A thousand and one beautiful and attract- 
ive uses of this assembly period could readily be related. 

Francis Parker in his wonderful school of the olden days 
in Chicago made this assembly period a great educational 
force, and all of the newer schools that have been springing 
up in this country in recent years have been putting strong 
emphasis upon this feature of school life. One of the best 
phases of the lives of the children in the Gary school system, 
for example, is the assembly activities of the pupils which are 
carried on all day long, the assembly-room never being 
empty, different groups of pupils having their assembly 
exercises there at different hours of the day. 

This room, too, can be made a delightful recreational 
and social centre for the life of the whole people. In the 
evening, the school vans that have been used for transport- 
ing the pupils during the daytime can be used for carrying 
the children and the adults to the meeting-place at night. 
If the auto-van, heated by its own exhaust, is used as a 
carrier, it can in many cases, as it does in the daytime, 
carry not one but two loads of people to the social centre 
for their evening's recreation. Many more, of course, will 
come in their own conveyances, since the horses on the farm 
have not appreciably decreased in number, and the Fords 
and other cars have immeasurably increased. The many 
ways of spending a pleasant and profitable evening, for the 
people of a rather large community in such a social centre, 
world fill a good-sized book, a book which very much 
needs to be written to-day to show the opportunities and 
possibilities in this direction, and to describe in some degree 
the wonderful achievements which are being made in this 
direction by many enterprising school leaders in all parts 
of the United States. We can only suggest them here, and 
refer our readers to other articles for further explanation 
and suggestion. 


The outside activities of the children on the playground, 
too, are a great means of recreation. The grounds should 
be at least ten acres in extent, over an acre for front lawn 
and building, about two acres for play apparatus and games, 
a baseball diamond on two acres, two acres for teachers' 
cottages, and for more than three remaining for gardens, 
demonstration farm, and a decent living for the principal 
and janitor. We have suggested twenty acres in our final 
chapter. No gymnasium activities should be engaged in 
when children can be taken out-of-doors and given the 
benefit of exercise and play there. Here all of the good 
games that every boy and every girl should know, that 
girls and boys can play with either a few or many children, 
should be learned. A turning pole or two, basket-ball goals 
for the boys and perhaps for the girls, swings for all the 
children, the climbing spar for the boys, and perhaps a 
jumping pit, will furnish endless delight, recreation, and 
successful education. These activities are pretty fully de- 
scribed elsewhere. The Boy Scouts and the Camp Fire 
Girls are splendid recreational inventions of the last few 
years, inventions which appeal to the natural instinctive 
life of the children in a rare way, and which direct instinc- 
tive tendencies and activities along lines that produce social 
habits of the greatest value to old and young. 

Why were they not discovered and invented years ago 
by psychologists and educators who knew the instinctive 
nature of the child we may well ask. The child's original 
nature and acquired interests crave the activities that are 
both delightful and socially useful in the long run. 

Handicrafts. — Various forms of craftsmanship have their 
avocational value, and the manual training and farm car- 
pentry will not be without their recreational uses. Here in 
the social centre, too, is the best place for the school library, 
the library of the whole community, affording good litera- 
ture as a means of avocation and education which may 
radiate to all the homes of the community. These and 


many other forms of recreation and avocation may well 
be promoted in the country school. 

Recreation Secretaries. — In a number of city communi- 
ties recreation secretaries have been employed to give their 
entire time to such activities. A county might well employ 
such a person to promote these activities. Some of the work 
now carried on by such secretaries has been listed as follows 
by the Playground and Recreation Association of America: 

Organization and executive management of outdoor playground 
system; selection and training of play leaders; selection, purchase, 
and installation of equipment; planning of buildings and alteration 
of buildings for recreation purposes. 

Responsibility for evening recreation centres. 

Responsibility for children's gardens. 

Responsibility for conducting athletic badge tests for both boys 
and girls throughout the city. 

Arrangements for the celebration of holidays. 

Arrangements for pageants. 

Co-operation in the promotion of Boy Scout activities. 

Co-operation in the promotion of Camp Fire Girls activities. 

Arrangements for summer camps. 

Provision for band concerts and other music. 

Responsibility for encouraging wholesome home recreation, ar- 
ranging that games be taught which can be played at home, providing 
places where parents and children take recreation together. 

Studying recreation conditions in different sections to attempt to 
meet any special conditions found. 

Studying private recreation agencies to find recreation furnished, 
and number reached, to avoid duplication, and find possible ways of 
assisting by furnishing places for games and meetings. 

Supervision of commercial recreation. 

Promotion of play away from playgrounds. 

Arrangements for ice-skating in winter, if necessary through 
flooding of vacant lots. 

Arranging coasting places, if necessary by having certain streets 
set aside and properly guarded. 

Placing recreation workers in actual contact with homes of the 

Promotion of school athletics, of school baseball, basket-ball, 
volley-ball leagues, and of all recreation activities for school boys 
and girls outside of regular school hours. 


Arrangements for tramping trips. 

Interpreting to the public through addresses, through public 
press, the recreation work which is going on in the city. 

Co-operation with other agencies such as the juvenile court, set- 
tlements, libraries, churches, and various social organizations. 

The country Y. M. C. A. and Y. W. C. A. are to-day 
doing a great work along this Hne. The churches are be- 
ginning to wake up and give some assistance in the field of 
recreation, and other agencies are helping the movement 
along. But it is probably the special privilege, opportunity, 
and responsibility of the public school to promote this more 
abundant living. If one of the great aims of education is 
the right use of leisure, recreation, wholesome enjoyment, 
or avocational efficiency, then it is one of our principal 
duties as educators in the public schools, dedicated to the 
welfare of the whole people, to devise ways and means to 
bring back into the lives of the people this happy, joyous, 
esthetic spirit and life which ages of asceticism, of pioneer 
struggle, and of puritanical narrow-mindedness have too 
largely driven out of the rural public mind. 

To make more concrete these principles of rural recrea- 
tion we add a typical example of what can be done for 
recreation and education through one instrument, the 
motion-picture show. It is contributed by B. A. Aughin- 
baugh, principal of the rural-school district at Mingo, 
Champaign County, Ohio. 

IV. Motion-Picture Project Conducted by a Consolidated 
Rural School 

Getting the Recreation Machinery. — Statistics inform us that a 
larger per cent of the inmates in our insane asylums come from the 
rural than the urban population. Experts do not hesitate to place 
the blame on a lack of wholesome recreation in the rural communi- 
ties. To overcome this unfortunate state of affairs various projects 
have been attempted with more or less success. The failure of most 
of these projects has been found in the fact that they were not sus- 
tained enough in their efforts to make the attempt worth while, or 


else they failed to realize what recreation really was. Many of the 
projects also failed to take note of the fact, that the farmer of to-day 
is not the farmer of the comic sheet, and that he is just as bored by 
out-of-date entertainment as any city man would be. 

Having carefully observed these conditions for a number of years, 
and watched the trend of times, the writer determined that not only 
would a motion-picture project be a paying proposition in a rural 
community, but that it would do a very needed work as well. Con- 
sequently, when our community voted to erect a new centralized 
school and auditorium, I saw to it that the architect, in making the 
plans and specifications, included in same, provisions for special wir- 
ing for operating a motion-picture machine. This consisted in having 
a number five copper wire run directly from the engine-room to a 
theatre plug-outlet-box at the back of the auditorium. I did not 
know just when I would have an opportunity to put my plan into 
execution, but I intended to be prepared when it did come. 

The opportunity, like most opportunities one is looking for, came 
sooner than I had hoped for. Shortly after the schoolhouse was com- 
pleted a picture-house failed in a neighboring city, due to poor manage- 
ment and severe competition. The equipment was offered for sale 
at a ridiculously low figure — one machine, aluminum-treated screen, 
and booth, for $1 10. On a note, secured by the president of the school 
board, I procured the money from bank and bought the outfit. 

On May 31st, 191 7, we gave our first show. The electric current 
supply is derived from a 125 volt, direct current, 60 ampere, 7>^ kilo- 
watt, Fairbanks-Morse generator in the school engine-room. The 
motive power for the generator is a 10 horse-power oil-engine. The 
generator also supplies the building with electric lights. It requires 
at least 30 amperes of direct current at no volts to get a good picture, 
if the screen is seventy feet from the machine, as is ours. We however 
use forty amperes, and this assures us of a brighter, steadier picture with 
no blue spot in it. The usual light plant equipment found in most 
modern schoolhouses, where city current is not used, is ample for run- 
ning a picture-machine arc, that is if at least 3300 watts can be ob- 
tained from it (found by multiplying voltage by amperage). Four 
thousand four hundred watts is better. The amount of light required 
may be reduced by three things; first, a good reflective screen (a mere 
muslin sheet is not suitable for motion-pictures as it does not give 
definition to the pictures and absorbs too much light) ; second, dark- 
ness (darkness is cheaper than light and by contrast assists in pro- 
ducing just as good a picture — stray daylight or lamplight turns the 
blacks of the pictures into a neutral brown) ; third, proper lense system 
(a bad lense is a poor investment at half its cheapness for it fails to 


let through the essential light rays). I would advise no one to attempt 
a picture-show on a commercial basis, as we have, unless he expects 
to give as good or better screen results than the regular picture houses. 
He may expect failure if he does. The pictures must be clear, steady 
and interesting. The small portable machines, intended only for 
cl?.ssroom use, are not suitable for public exhibitions of a commercial 
nature. New machines can be bought for $300 or less. 

The Method. — Our first show was procured from Paramount 
Company and consisted of Mary Pickford in "Cinderella," a Burton 
Holmes travel picture, and a Bray cartoon. The programme consisted 
of seven reels at one dollar per reel. This price per reel will differ in 
various communities, depending upon the population of the com- 
munity. But in no case should one leave the determination of this 
price entirely to the distributors for they are going to get all they 
can for their films. It is best to find out what some regular theatre 
is paying, and then work out a little proportion problem based on 
the population of the city where this picture-show is as compared 
with your own place. I do not advise persons desiring to try this 
plan to procure their films from any exchanges but the regular com- 
mercial concerns or such as have an equal standing and equal business 
methods. Inferior companies that pretend to cater to schools and 
churches, for the most part do not have pictures made by well-known 
actors, and they usually try to charge most unusual prices. The best 
exchanges will gladly supply release lists giving the titles of their pro- 
ductions and make quotations. The films of these concerns will be 
found to cover completely the fields of entertainment, travel, geogra- 
phy, science, literature, etc. Moreover their films are well produced 
and physically in good condition. The last is a most important item 
because badly torn or soiled films will never give good screen results. 

We have been now operating our show for one year, and in that 
time we have not only paid for our original equipment, but have 
bought a second machine in order to give a continuous picture on the 
screen; erected a new booth; bought a $700 player-piano; helped a 
$300 lecture course out of the hole; procured many additions to our 
talking-machine and piano records and have done many other things 
for the benefit of the school and community. We put on a programme 
each Friday night throughout the year, summer and winter, thus 
affording continual recreation for this rural community — not the 
once-a-month sort. The before-and-after-show-visiting of the farmers 
is a real help in itself. Then, too, we have been able to assist in war 
and charitable propaganda and also assist the various agricultural 
societies, and officials educate the farmers through the medium of the 
screen. Our regular price is ten cents although occasionally we in- 


crease this a nickel for something very special. We have never lost 
on but one or two shows and then it was due to extremely bad weather 
conditions. Our community numbers only 500 people, but we are 
Able to draw on a much larger patronage due to the fact that we have 
attained perfect projection and offer clean, entertaining shows. I 
might mention as examples of the features shown, David Harum, Tale 
of Two Cities, The Crisis, The Fall of a Nation, Twenty Thousand 
Leagues Under the Sea, The Man Without a Country, The Re-Making 
of a Nation (Government Camp Sherman pictures), EvangeHne, The 
Prince and the Pauper, Oliver Twist, etc., etc. We have also taken 
our audiences around the world with so noted a traveller as Burton 
Holmes and given them glimpses into the animal world with Dr. 
Ditmars. We have also provoked them to laughter with Charlie 
Chaplin, "Fatty Arbuckle," Mutt and Jeff, Bobby Bumps, Douglas 
Fairbanks, etc. 

The Results. — I really feel that we have accomplished our original 
intention of relieving the monotony of farm life by supplying whole- 
some entertainment and I do know that the value of farm land has 
gone up in this vicinity due, as one man put it, to the fact that this 
place is "alive." 

V. Methods of Organizing a Community for Recrea- 
tion AND Social Development 

The importance of organization of the community for 
recreation and social development cannot be overestimated. 
The same group that promotes avocational efficiency for the 
school and the community can work for all of the other 
four types of efficiency given as the aims of education: vital, 
vocational, civic, and moral. 

The two following practical plans for this work have 
been prepared by the U. S. Bureau of Education {School 
Life, August 16, 1918) and the State Department of Pubhc 
Instruction of Idaho (Constitution, in "Handbook for Rural 

A, How to Organize a Community Centre 

Membership. — The first step in organization is to define the 
boundaries of the community. These ought to be determined along 
natural lines, such as the territory from which the children in the 


school are drawn, or a district in which the people come together 
for other reasons than the fact that an artificial line is drawn around 
them. It ought not to be too large. 

Being a Httle democracy, all adult citizens, both men and women, 
living in the prescribed territory are members of it. It must be com- 
prehensive if the public schoolhouse is to be used as its capitol. It must 
be non-partisan, non-sectarian, and non-exclusive. You do not become 
a member of a community by joining. You are a merhber by virtue 
of your citizenship and residence in the district. Everywhere else 
men and women are divided into groups and classes on the ground of 
their personal taste or occupation. In a community centre they 
meet as ''folks" on the ground of their common citizenship and their 
common human needs. This is the distinguishing mark of the com- 
munity centre. 

The Community Secretary. — Nothing runs itself unless it is run- 
ning down-hill. If community work is to be done somebody has to 
be the doer of it. The growing realization of this fact has led to the 
creation of a new profession. The term applied to this profession is 
"community secretary," "a cooper of secrets," a servant of the whole 
community. This community executive should be elected by ballot 
in a public election held in the schoolhouse and supported out of 
public funds. There are now four such publicly elected and pubHcly 
supported community secretaries in Washington, D. C, and eight 
more such ofiices are in the process of being created. It seems cer- 
tain that it is destined to be one of the most honored and useful of 
all pubHc offices. 

The qualifications for this office are manifestly large and its duties 
complex and exacting. The ablest person to be found is none too 
able. The function of the secretary is nothing less than to organize 
and to keep organized all the community activities herein described; 
to assist the people to learn the science and to practise the art of living 
together; and to show them how they may put into effective opera- 
tion the spirit and method of co-operation. Who is equal to a task 
like this? In addition to intellectual power and a large store of 
general information, one must be equipped with many more qualities 
equally important. The seven cardinal virtues of a community secre- 
tary are: Patience, unselfishness, a sense of humor, a balanced judg- 
ment, the ability to differ in opinion without differing in feeling, respect 
for the personality of other people, and faith in the good inten- 
tions of the average man. Where possible, the community secre- 
tary ought to be the principal of the school. But where the principal 
cannot be released from his other duties sufficiently to undertake the 
work the secretary ought to be a person who is agreeable to the prin- 


cipal, in order to insure concerted action. In thousands of villages 
and open-country communities the teacher's work lasts for only part 
of the year and the compensation is shamefully inadequate. This is 
a great economic waste as well as an injury to children. If these 
teachers were made community secretaries, were given an all-year- 
round job, and were compensated for the additional work by a living 
wage, it would mean a better type of teacher and a better type of 
school. The bigger task would not only demand the bigger person, 
but the task itself would create them. Moreover, when the teacher's 
activities become linked up with life processes the community will be 
the more willing to support the office adequately. It seems clear that 
the office of community secretary is the key to a worthier support of 
the school. It will magnify the function of teaching, give a new civic 
status to the teacher, and make more apparent the patriotic and con- 
structive service which the school renders the Nation. 

The Board of Directors. — However able a community secretary 
may be no one alone is able enough for the constructive kind of work 
which the community centre requires. Since it is a co-operative en- 
terprise, it is necessary that it be democratically organized. The next 
step in its organization, therefore, should be to provide the secretary 
with a cabinet. It may be called a board of directors, or a community 
council, or an executive committee. These names suggest its various 
functions. Its first function is to give council and advice to the 
community secretary, to act as a little forum for discussion, out of 
which may develop wise methods of procedure. Its next function is 
to share with the secretary the responsibility for the work, the burden 
of which is too heavy to be borne by any one alone. But the cabinet 
is not a legislative body alone, to determine what is to be done, but 
also an executive body as well. It is not only an executive body, to 
carry out the general plans of the association, but also a body of 
directors to plan and conduct special kinds of activities. In every 
community there are men and women who have the ability and 
leisure to render public service. As directors they would have a recog- 
nized position and channel through which they can more effectively 
render such service. 

Each director ought to be the head of a department of work, or 
at least the head of every department of work ought to be a director. 
The head of each department ought to choose the members of his 
own committee. Thus, by having the heads of departments work 
on the board of directors the entire work of the association can be 
frequently reviewed, and the departments of activity can, by co- 
operating, not only avoid needless waste through duplication, but also 
stimulate each other. The board of directors ought to hold regular 


meetings in the schoolhouse, and in order that the work may be re- 
sponsive to public opinion the meetings ought to be open to any who 
wish to attend them, just as the meetings of a town council are open. 
The community centre stands for visible government and daylight 

The Trouble Committee. — It is not so diflGicult to organize a com- 
munity centre; the difficulty is to keep it organized. By no means 
the only one, but the chief means of securing a permanently useful 
community centre is to have a wise and constructive programme, 
big enough to merit interest. A good way to formulate such a pro- 
gramme is to appoint a permanent committee which we may call 
"the trouble committee." The ftmction of this committee is not to 
make trouble, but to remove it. Its task is to discover the causes 
of trouble in the community, to learn the reasons for dissatisfaction, 
to state the problems which ought to be solved, to exhibit the thing 
that needs to be done. 

The function of the trouble committee is to furnish nuts for the 
community association to crack. No one believes in diagnosis for 
the sake of diagnosis any more than he believes in "amputation for 
the sake of amputation.'* Its only use is to reveal the disease and to 
point the way to a remedy. The aim of the trouble committee is to 
point out the difficulties at the bottom of our social problems for the 
sake of removing them. Whenever they are removed, the problem 
vanishes. The method of the committee is constructive democracy. 

Public and Self-Support. — The finances of an organization usually 
constitute its storm centre. Money is the kind of thing it is difficult 
to get along with and impossible to get along without. After a com- 
munity centre determines its plans and policies, the next question in 
its organization is finance. But since money is the root of so much 
trouble, it ought to be kept in the background. It is properly called 
"ways and means." It is not the end; human welfare is the end. 
Money is a detail and ought always to be treated as such. 

The superior advantage of a community centre over private or- 
ganizations is that it does not need an amount of money sufficient to 
cause it any distress. To begin with, there are no dues. They are 
already paid when the taxes are paid. The schoolhouse, together 
with heat, light, and janitor service, and in some places a portion of 
the secretary's salary, is provided out of public funds. Thus the over- 
head charges are comparatively small. The time will doubtless come 
when the entire expense will be provided out of public funds, but the 
movement is new, and for the present and immediate future if the 
building, heat, light, and janitor service are provided it is all that can 
reasonably be expected. 


A Working Constitution. — What's constitution among friends? 
It's a necessity if they are to continue to be friends. As the word 
itself suggests, a constitution establishes the basis on which friends 
may stand for the accomplishment of their common purposes. Its 
value is always to be measured by the importance of the purpose to 
be accomplished. Inasmuch as the purpose of a community centre 
is of the highest value not only to the welfare of the local community, 
but also to the welfare of democracy in the Nation and in the world, 
the making of its constitution is a highly important item in its organ- 

As regards the work of the community centre, the constitution is 
a working agreement, a clear understanding as to what is to be done 
and who is to do it. A clear statement will prevent needless friction 
and confusion. As regards the growth of the work in the community, 
the constitution will serve the purpose of propaganda. If a new or 
uninformed member of the community should ask an active member, 
"What is a community centre and what is its purpose?" a copy of 
the constitution ought to furnish a full answer to his question. There- 
fore, it should not be too brief, if it is to answer this purpose. 

Each community ought to draft its own constitution, not only 
because the needs of communities vary, and not only because it should 
be the honest expression of the community's own thought and purpose, 
but especially because a constitution brought from outside and dropped 
on the people's heads has little value for the community. 

The Ten Commandments. — While the types of constitutions will 
be very various, yet there are certain formative principles which are 
basic in the structure of a community centre. They are so essential 
to the life of the community ideal that the writer has called them 
"The ten commandments for a community centre." They are as 

I. It must guarantee freedom of thought and freedom in its 

II. It must aim at unity, not uniformity, and accentuate re- 
semblances, not differences. 

III. It must be organized democratically, with the right to learn 
by making mistakes. 

IV. It must be free from the domination of money, giving the 
right of way to character and intelligence. 

V. It must be non-partisan, non-sectarian, and non-exclusive both 
in purpose and practice. 

VI. Remember that nothing will run itself unless it is running 

VII. Remember that to get anywhere it is necessary to start 
from where you are. 


VIII. Remember that the thing to be done is more important 
than the method of doing it. 

IX. Remember that the water in a well cannot be purified by 
painting the pump. 

X. Remember that progress is possible only when there is 
mental hospitality to new ideas. 

B. Constitution 


The name of this club shall be The 

Community Club. 


The object of this club shall be: Conducting public meetings for 
the presentation and open discussion of live subjects; the physical 
improvement of the community environment; and the social, moral 
and educational development of the people. 


Section I, Associate Members. Every person living in the 

vicinity of is considered an associate member 

of this club. 

Section II. Any person sixteen years of age and over living in 

the vicinity of is eligible to become an active 

member of the club upon giving his or her name to any member of 
the executive committee. 


Section I. There shall be the following officers: President; First, 
Second and Third Vice Presidents; Secretary, and Treasurer. 

Section II. The officers shall be elected at the annual meeting of 

the club which shall be held on , to serve for a 

term of one year each. Only active members shall be allowed to vote 
for officers, and only active members are eligible to office. 


Section I. President. It shall be the duty of the President to 
preside at all meetings of the club, and also to serve as chairman of 
the executive committee of the club. 

Section II. First Vice President. It shall be the duty of the 
First Vice President to preside at the meetings of the club in the 


absence of or at the request of the President. He shall also be chair- 
man of the Programme Committee. 

Section III. Second Vice President. It shall be the duty of the 
Second Vice President to serve as chairman of the Improvement Com- 
mittee of the club. 

Section IV. Third Vice President. It shall be the duty of the 
Third Vice President to serve as chairman of the Social Service Com- 
mittee of the club. 

Section V. It shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep the 
minutes of the proceedings of the club; to keep a list of active mem- 
bers; to receive names of new members; to carry on the correspon- 
dence of the club, and to fulfil such other duties as usually pertain to 
this office. 

Section VI. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to collect and 
disburse the money of the club; to keep a record of all money re- 
ceived, spent and on hand, and to report upon the state of the trea- 
sury at the annual meeting or whenever called upon to do so. 


Section I. Executive Committee. The Executive Committee 
shall consist of the elected officers of the club. It shall be the duty 
of this committee to confer upon questions regarding the welfare of 
the club; to consider and recommend matters of importance to the 
club, and in unusual matters requiring haste to act for the club. 

Section II. Programme Committee. The Programme Com- 
mittee shall consist of the First Vice President of the club and two 
other members chosen by him. It shall be the duty of this committee 
to arrange programmes for all the meetings of the club; to secure 
speakers; and to suggest topics for discussion, which shall insure 
profitable and interesting meetings; to promote the publicity of the 
club through the local papers; to announce programmes of the meet- 
ing of the club, and otherwise to carry on the work of publicity for the 

Section III. Improvement Committee. The Improvement Com- 
mittee shall consist of the Second Vice President and two (or four) 
other members appointed by him. It shall be the duty of this com- 
mittee to investigate and bring to the attention of the club all matters 
pertaining to local community improvement, and to act by direction 
of the club, in consummating such improvement. (This committee 
shall look after business needs.) 

Section IV. Social Service Committee. The Social Service Com- 
mittee shall consist of the Third Vice President and two (or four) 

Junior orchestra, ages 6 to 1 2 

Vital efficiency through physical education is emphasized in all Philippine 



other members appointed by him. They shall have supervision of all 
social, moral and educational activities of the club for the community. 
(This committee shall look after the social needs.) 


The club shall hold regular meetings each 

evening, in the , between the hours of 7:30 and 

10 o'clock. 


The dues of the club shall be per year for each active 

member, to aid in meeting the local expenses of the organization. 


Eight active members of the club shall constitute a quorum for 
the transaction of all business. 


The Constitution may be amended by two-thirds vote of the 
active members present at any regular meeting. 


The order of business in all regular meetings of the club shall be 
as follows: 

1. Social half hour. 

2. Call to order. 

3. Song. 

4. Reading minutes of previous meeting. 

5. Report of special committees. 

6. Report of standing committees. 

7. Treasurer's report. 

8. Unfinished business. 

9. New business. 

10. Special programme. 

11. Discussion. 

12. Adjournment. 

I. The meeting shall be called to order so that the business rou- 
tine may be disposed of and the special programme of the evening 
begun by 8:15 o'clock. This part of the programme, including the 
general discussions, shall not usually exceed one and one-fourth hours. 


2. The chairman of the meeting may leave the chair in order to 
engage in discussion. 

3. In speaking from the floor in the open discussion which fol- 
lows the main address or in any other event, the parliamentary rules 
of addressing the chair, etc., shall be strictly followed. 

4. Speeches from the floor are limited to five minutes and the 
time may be extended only by unanimous consent. 

5. No speaker may have the floor a second time, unless all others 
who wish to speak have had an opportunity to do so. 

6. Speeches from the floor must deal with the subject chosen for 


A suggested list of topics for consideration and discussion. Many 
others will occur to the programme committee who know the local 
situation. All matters for reports and discussions should be of a 
constructive nature and of special value to the entire neighborhood. 
The watchword in every undertaking and in each programme should 
be co-operation. 

The following list of subjects may be used for community meetings: 

1. The kinds of waste on the farm. 

2. The kinds of waste in the home. 

3. Value of neighborhood entertainments. 

4. How to exterminate the typhoid or common house-fly. 

5. Relation of the house-fly to contagious and infectious diseases. 

6. The value of playgrounds for country children. 

7. Women's clubs in the country. 

8. How to make poultry pay on the farm. 

9. Pure-bred versus scrub dairy cows. 

10. Should Agriculture, Manual Training and Home Economics 
be taught in our school? 

11. The Farmers' Institute. 

12. Boys' and girls' clubs. 

13. How best to use the Extension Department of the University. 

14. The value of demonstration work in Agriculture and Home 

15. The relation of water-supply to contagious diseases. 

16. How to use the "State Free Travelling Library." 

17. Things that every taxpayer should know about local govern- 

18. How to improve production in our community. 

19. The problem of our roads. 

20. The need for more social advantages in the country. 


21. Why farmers move to the city. 

22. Modern conveniences on the farm. 

23. The business side of farming. 

24. The products we can market best. 


Subject: "Reading Matter in the Home" 

1. Music. 

2. Paper — The Magazine I Like Best, and Why. 

3. General Discussion. 

4. Recitation. 

5. Paper — What makes a good children's book, and where can it 
be found? 

6. General Discussion. 

7. Round table — (a) The papers that should be in every home. 

(b) Influence of an early reading habit. 

(c) How to satisfy the love of adventure in boys' 


(d) Recent books on farm life that are worth 


8. Music. 


1. What steps could be taken in the district where you teach or 

some other similar district to establish a community organiza- 

2. What are the principal pitfalls encountered by such organizations 

and how may they best be avoided? 

3. Review one of the bulletins of the U. S. Bureau of Education on 

the Community Centre. 

4. Review the chapter on Play and Recreation in Country Schools in 

Rapeer's "Educational Hygiene." 

5. Make up a list of the five best pamphlets and books on play 

and recreation for country people. 

6. What could such an organization do for civil education? 


1. Curtis — "Play and Recreation for the Open Country." Ginn 


2. Perry — "Wider Use of the School Plant." Charities Publication 

Committee, New York. 


3. Foght— "The Rural Teacher and His Work," part III, chap. VI. 


4. Bancroft — " Games for the Playground." Macmillan. 

5. Parker— "Methods of Teaching in High School." Ginn & Co. 

6. Stern — "Neighborhood Entertainments." Sturgis & Walton. 

7. Ward— "The Social Centre." Appleton. 

8. Jackson — "A Community Centre, What It Is and How to Or- 

ganize It." Government Printing Office. 

9. "Recreation Manual for Teachers." State Dept. of Public In- 

struction for Oregon. 
10. Rapeer — "Teaching Elementary-School Subjects," chaps. I, XIX, 
XXI, XXII. Scribner. 


Preliminary Problems 

1. What are some of the reasons why the facts and promises of con- 

solidation are not brought to the attention of many communi- 
ties that would profit by it? 

2. What are some of the faults in the methods of presenting this 

reform to rural communities? 

3. What are some of the leading reasons for not acting on consolida- 

tion after the matter has been presented? 

4. Give some of the arguments usually advanced against consolida- 


5. Name the points over which naost care must be taken in consoli- 

dation to avoid complaints and reaction. 

Source of Material Used. — In studying the problem 
suggested above an attempt has been made to learn what 
the leading rural leaders of to-day are thinking and saying 
about rural school consolidation. Accordingly, the State 
Superintendents of Public Instruction and the State Super- 
visors and Inspectors of Rural Schools have been requested, 
as the persons who would perhaps be best prepared to give 
opinions of value, to report on the consolidated school as they 
found it. The discussion which follows is based very largely 
upon the contents of the letters which these leaders were 
kind enough to write in response to a questionnaire. 

Our first impression in going over the large number of 
letters received from these state leaders is that probably 
no single scheme or plan of consolidation of schools can 
be followed by all, or even by any very large number, of 
the states. It is a matter which depends upon the kind 
of school organization in a given state, the topography of 



the country, the condition of public highways and of other 
means of transportation, the attitude of the people toward 
progress in general, their past experience with schools, and 
upon a number of other conditions peculiar to a given state 
or section of the country. If one should take a report of 
what one state, or what a group of states, is doing by way 
of consolidation and undertake to duplicate closely that 
system for his own state, he would probably fail in his 
undertaking. Consolidation of schools must be the result 
of years of study, invention, experimentation, and adapta- 
tion, on the home grounds. But, of course, the experiences 
of others are of incalculable value to the one who plans for 
the consolidation of schools, particularly so if plans are 
being laid upon state-wide proportions. 

Four Fundamental Problems. — The reports from the 
several states are extremely interesting. Whether expressed 
or implied, a few points stand out boldly as constituting 
the fundamental problems of the consolidation of rural 
schools. They are (i) the conservatism and the prejudices 
of the people, (2) the transportation problem, (3) the added 
expense, and (4) the character of the teaching in this new 
type of public school. 

From Massachusetts, the mother of the consolidated 
school, comes a summary by Mr. Francis G. Wadsworth, 
Agent of the State Board of Education: 


(a) Inadequate provisions for transportation. 

(b) The unsupervised noon hour. 


(a) Securing appropriations for new buildings. 

(b) Bad roads. 

(c) Finding competent drivers for barges. 

(d) Satisfying parents whose children are required to walk to 
meet the school barges. 

(e) Providing warm luncheons for children at the schools. 



(a) It takes the children away from home for a longer period of 
the day, and limits the working time of boys and girls on the home 

(b) It makes it difficult for parents to visit the school so as to 
become intimately acquainted with the work therein. 

A moment's thought upon these statements will indicate 
the wide range of possible dangers, difficulties, and short- 
comings of the rural consolidated school. That the argu- 
ments are not all on the positive side of the question is clear. 
But no scheme is without shortcomings. 

State Superintendent Chas. A. Greathouse, of Indiana, 
where consolidation has been effected on a very large scale, 
has this to say: "The only real objection raised by the pa- 
trons is the matter of transportation, usually the fault of 
the township trustee in allowing too long a route. When 
this is adjusted, I think I can safely say there is very little 

Let us consider the four principal points stated above. 

I. The Conservatism and the Prejudices of the People. — 
We do not mean to imply that these two terms are synony- 
mous. They are, however, very closely linked together. 
In the first place, rural people are characteristically conserva- 
tive. They require some time to think things out and reach 
new conclusions. The danger is that the rural leaders 
may be overambitious to get results quickly. To act, or 
to lead the people to act before public sentiment approves, 
will probably result in failure, or at least in disappointment. 
The possibility of going too fast, or of going too far, in a 
consolidation project constitutes a very serious danger of 
the consolidated school. A great many readjustments 
have had to be made and in some cases the consolidated- 
school buildings have actually been abandoned, and the 
little neighborhood schools again opened. Sometimes we 
literally make haste by going slowly. 

Furthermore, one failure of this kind will be so adver- 


tised for miles around that it becomes more difficult than 
ever to effect consolidation in other places. Unless public 
sentiment has been cultivated, as indicated above, the 
management of a new consolidated school is likely to ex- 
perience great difficulty at first in "making good" with the 

In the second place, the rural adult population have 
very strong prejudices. The minds of a good many of them 
are made up for all time. Things are thus and so, and they 
could not be otherwise. There will be found another group 
who are open to conviction, but who do not have very 
positive views upon such questions as the consolidation of 
schools. They await, with more or less indifference, for de- 
velopments before making up their minds. And there is a 
third group, usually in the minority, who are strong advo- 
cates of consolidation and of every other progressive measure 
calculated to improve their schools and the community in 
general. The second group mentioned, the open-minded, 
hold the balance of public sentiment. The whole proposi- 
tion will rise or fall in accordance with the way they make 
up their minds on this innovation suddenly sprung upon 
them by the last-named group, the leaders. 

Any one who has had experience at first hand in pro- 
moting consolidation of schools will agree that there is an 
almost universal prejudice against giving up the neighbor- 
hood school. Several years ago in his "The State and The 
Farmer," Dean L. H. Bailey made the following comment 
upon this phase of consolidation: 

The greatest difficulty in bringing about the consolidation of schools 
is a deep-seated prejudice against giving up the old school. This 
prejudice is usually not expressed in words. Often it is really uncon- 
scious to the person himself. Yet I wonder whether right here does 
not lie a fundamental and valid reason against the uniform consolida- 
tion of rural schools, a feeling that when the school leaves the locality 
something vital has gone out of the neighborhood. Local pride has 
been offended. Initiative has been removed one step farther away. 
The locality has lost something. 


In December, 191 6, Superintendent Edward Hyatt, of 
California, expressed the same idea in his report: 

The principal dangers seem to be that the people do not willingly 
give up their little rural districts. It is a species of religion or patri- 
otism to stand up for one's own school district and to combat its loss. 
This and the bad feeling growing out of it hinder the success of the 
consolidated school. 

Matter for Serious Consideration. — Statements of this 
kind coming from authorities so eminent as are Dean 
Bailey and Superintendent Hyatt call for our most careful 
consideration of this aspect of the rural consolidated school. 
Some of our more ardent advocates of consolidation seem 
to think it almost unbelievable that persons can be so 
lacking in public spirit, in patriotism, and even in common 
sense, as to stand in the way of so fine a means of improv- 
ing their educational facilities. As a matter of fact, most 
of these *^ standpatters" are absolutely honest in their con- 

We should bear in mind that the consolidation of a 
group of country schools is a pretty radical change to be 
brought about in a comparatively short time. Since the 
earliest settlements, the children at any given time have 
attended the little neighborhood school. It required 
perhaps not over thirty minutes for the farthest ones to 
walk to or from the school. They carried their lunch- 
baskets with them. The little school and its routine work 
have been a fixed part of the community. Now, rather 
suddenly, the doors of the home school are closed. Wagons 
come along, pick up the children and drive them off from 
three to six miles to a strange school situated in another 
community. Instead of thirty minutes it may require 
from one to two hours to make the drive. The lunch-basket 
is often replaced at the school by the warm lunch, which 
the mother has no part in preparing. Up to this time the 
traditional course of study has prevailed. Now domestic 


science, manual training, agriculture, commercial subjects, 
music, and drawing are studied, subjects which many of 
the parents do not know how to appreciate. It is perhaps 
the greatest and most sudden change that these small 
communities have ever experienced. Is it any wonder that 
the consolidation of schools meets with opposition from some 
of the people? 

Furthermore, as Dean Bailey points out, the neighbor- 
hood may indeed be losing something valuable for all time. 
Unless the several neighborhoods whose schools are con- 
solidated can also be consolidated into a correspondingly 
larger community, I think all will agree that each neigh- 
borhood will have lost something. But, even at best, 
there are likely to be a considerable number of families 
who are unable to take their places in this enlarged com- 
munity. They will fail, for one reason or another, to adjust 
themselves to the new conditions which have been created 
by the consolidation of their schools. This failure of the 
people to adjust themselves is apt to harden their prejudices 
against the whole proposition and at the same time to stir 
them up to active opposition. 

We should keep in mind also that prejudice against the 
consolidation of schools is just the same kind of thing that 
has always stood in the way of progress of whatsoever kind. 
It is peculiar neither to rural-school progress nor, for that 
matter, to the rural people. I beUeve President Eliot has 
been quoted as having said in effect that it took him the 
first ten years of his administration as President of Har- 
vard University to win over the faculty of that institution 
to his programme for progress. It may be well also to re- 
call in this connection that the first city superintendent in 
the United States was appointed on trial at Springfield, 
Mass., in 1849, ^^^ ^^^^ 2,fter two years the office was 
abolished for the reason that it was believed to be a useless 
expense. Nearly all new inventions and discoveries have 
been scoffed at at first. Unless the conservatism and the 


prejudices of the people are recognized and skilfully and 
patiently reckoned with, any new consolidated school is 
in great danger of becoming a failure. 

2. The Transportation Problem. — The problem of trans- 
portation is perhaps the greatest difficulty of, and may 
result in the greatest danger to, the consolidated school. 
Doctor Thomas E. Finegan of the New York State De- 
partment of Education (now the State Superintendent of 
Public Instruction in Pennsylvania) says: "In my judgment 
the principal difficulty is the question of transportation." 
Superintendent W. D. Ross of Kansas says: "There is only 
one real difficulty in this state and this in the western part 
where it is sparsely settled, the districts there being very 
large; and any move to consolidate any number of districts 
or at least a sufficient number to make it economically 
worth while would be impossible, owing to the distance chil- 
dren would have to be transported." 

What Superintendent Ross says of the western part of 
Kansas describes the transportation problem over a large 
area of the United States, particularly in mountainous 

Superintendent H. C. Morrison of New Hampshire 
throws such a flood of light upon the consolidation of schools 
in New England that I have taken the liberty to quote at 
length from his letter under date of December 8, 1916: 

I was an enthusiastic believer in that plan (consolidation with 
transportation) ten years ago, but as experience has accumulated it 
turns out to be feasible only in rare instances. You see nearly all of 
Massachusetts east of the Connecticut river, the southern part of 
New Hampshire, the western part of Maine, and practically all of 
Rhode Island and Connecticut have been settled for neady three hun- 
dred years. The rural life of the region has gone through several 
phases which have resulted in creating one set of conditions at one 
time, subsequently revolutionizing those conditions and leaving a 
wake of abandoned farms in the trail; again establishing an entirely 
new set of conditions on the old, and so on. The result is that in a 
hilly country very much cut up by watercourses, we have public 


highways running in every direction and farms so scattered that it is 
ordinarily pretty nearly impossible to collect children with the trans- 
portation system without great expense and without starting some of 
them to school very early in the morning. This is particular!)' true 
of nearly the whole of this state. 

What we do find is this. Occasionally the topography of a region 
is such that a consolidated school can be established at a central 
village which is approached from all parts of the township by two or 
three radiating lines of highways, or sometimes the village is on a 
trunk line which is the only highway. Under these conditions two or 
three barges will pick up all the children in the outlying regions, 
bring them to the village in an hour or less, and carry them home with 
the same facility and expedition at the end of the day. There are a 
few cases in which this works very well, and in such cases the consoli- 
dated school is a much better solution of the rural-school problem than 
is the one-room schoolhouse. On the other hand, in the great majority 
of townships such a practice means hardship to the children. It means 
that the young people with growing famihes of children will move 
out of town, and do move out of town, and that others will not come 
in. Consequently the economic basis of the whole social fabric, in- 
cluding the school system, falls to pieces. 

Furthermore, the transportation system under such conditions 
gets so complicated that it is beyond the capacity of the average local 
board of officers to manage. They easily fall into ways of paying 
parents for carrying their own children to school, and this often leads 
to the said parents holding up the town for what is substantially a 
rake-off. Furthermore, it must be remembered that the one-room 
school, in a wholesome and sanitary building, with a course of study 
adapted to the conditions, with a daily time-table arranged as it can 
very easily be arranged so as to be manageable, with a trained teacher 
in service, is a very much better, because a very much more flexible, 
institution than the so-called graded school, which is a city device 
with its lock-step and general overloading with system and rigidity. 

So this department is advocating to-day, for the conditions in this 
state, the following plan: A thoroughly good one-room school within 
walking distance of as many children as possible, with a course of 
study which will keep the children there as long as is consistent with 
their continued progress, and a secondary school within driving dis- 
tance of as many children as possible. We are now just beginning to 
work into an occasional one-room school an adaptation of the junior 
high school. 

It ought to be said, however, that the principles which I have 
suggested above are very largely dependent upOn the peculiar topog- 


raphy of this region and the peculiar conditions of its settlement. 
I should expect to find somewhat similar conditions in parts of your 
state, but perhaps not. Certainly in many parts of the west, with its 
flat country, rectangular system of highways and scattered population, 
I cannot see how they could manage schools effectively in any other 
way than through the device af the consolidated school and a trans- 
portation system. 

Superintendent Francis G. Blair of Illinois has been 
good enough to write also at length upon the situation rela- 
tive to consolidation in his state and my readers will wel- 
come his wise counsel: 

The arguments offered against consolidation have usually taken 
substantially the following forms: 

(i) Consolidation, to be effective, requires that children be trans- 
ported in wagons. This presupposes a condition of roads which will 
permit of transportation throughout the school year. In Illinois, and 
especially through the black belt, the country roads are practically 
impassable for loaded wagons during about two months of the school 
year. With the coming of hard roads, this objection would entirely 

(2) The fact that the transporting wagon does not come to the 
door of the homes of the children, but picks up the children at certain 
points along the main highway, does not impress the parents favora- 
bly. They feel that it will require as much care on their part to dress 
their children and send them to a certain point on the highway as it 
would to dress them so that they may walk to the near-by school. 
This objection, while not a serious one, has a great deal to do in de- 
termining the attitude of the parents. 

(3) A great many parents who have had no experience whatever 
in the transporting of children in wagons see all sorts of dangers in 
such an arrangement. They know how difficult it is for the teacher 
to control the children in the schoolroom. They cannot understand 
how the driver of a wagon can control a group of those children under 
such circumstances as will obtain in a wagon traveUing along the 
country road. These fears can only be allayed by the presentation of 
a sufficient amount of evidence that no serious disorders arise out of 
this plan. 

My own belief is, that wherever the people of a large community 
have become conscious of their community interests and community 
needs and are sufficiently committed to a community programme to 


give assurance of success, in such a community a consolidated school 
is not only possible, but desirable. Those who would use the consoli- 
dated school as an instrument for community soHdarity have much on 
their side. The serious objection to it is, that there must be a cer- 
tain amount of concord before the school can be established, and a 
very great degree of it in order that the school may be continued. 

Misconception a Factor. — To be sure, a great many 
objections to transportation are raised that have their 
existence only in the imaginations of the people, particu- 
larly of the mothers. For example, mothers wonder what 
would become of their children if they should fall ill while 
so far from home. Nobody will blame a mother for feeling 
such anxiety as this about her children. Of course, in the 
best managed consolidated schools provisions are made 
for the care of any who may fall ill while at school, and usually 
it is possible for the driver to take such pupils home im- 
mediately, with less danger than if a sick child should un- 
dertake to walk home from a school a half-mile away. But 
the mother cannot at first see just how this could be pos- 
sible. She is especially anxious about her children, if she 
does not happen to know, and have confidence in, the 
principal and teachers of the school, and the driver of the 

In the colder climates parents fear that their children 
will suffer from the cold while in transit, or while waiting 
for the wagon or bus. And, indeed, unless proper precau- 
tions are taken such fear may be well founded. There are, 
of course, suitable devices for warming and ventilating the 
conveyances, and where these devices are installed there 
can be no serious danger to the children's health, certainly 
not so much danger as would be the case where the children 
walk muddy, snowy roads, or trudge through the rain. 
Nevertheless, it is not an easy matter to convince parents 
that this is so. And suitable little storm protectors may be 
built with a few boards at the end of the customary lane 
where the children wait for the wagon. to appear. How- 


ever, it has been found that such vehicles seldom vary 
more than five minutes from schedule, much less time than 
it would take to trudge to the abandoned one-room school 
over muddy or snowy roads through sleet and rain. 

The attempt to transport children too far is another 
serious danger of the transportation of pupils. In a level 
country, where roads are good enough to transport by means 
of the auto-bus, fifteen or twenty miles may not be too 
far to transport the children. But where hills and ravines 
have to be crossed, and where wagons or vans have to be 
drawn by horses or mules, three or four miles may really 
be a pretty long route. The late Doctor N. C. Schaeffer of 
Pennsylvania stated: "Auto- vans should bring the children 
to school within an hour after they leave home. The plan 
does not work well when children must leave home before 
daybreak and return home after dark.'' I am sure we all 
agree with Doctor Schaeffer. And no one can fairly blame 
parents for objecting to any plan that puts so much hardship 
upon the mother as getting the children ready to start to 
school as early as that. Furthermore, under these condi- 
tions the children are unable to help their parents in the 
least with the chores about the home. 

Bad Roads a Bar. — I have referred only indirectly to 
perhaps the most serious difficulty of all, namely, bad roads. 
Transportation cannot be successfully effected except by 
trolley or railroad, unless the public highways are in fairly 
good condition. They may not necessarily be hard roads, 
but they must, at any rate, be passable with a loaded wagon. 
I am convinced that a great many mistakes have been 
made by undertaking to transport children over almost im- 
passable roads. Consolidation projects are usually boosted 
at the time of year when the roads are at their best, with 
the result that when winter comes on and the roads get at 
their worst the troubles begin in earnest, and the plan is 
then laid open to serious criticism. It has been found that 
consolidation of schools helps to promote the improvement 


of the roads, and doubtless there are many such cases on 
record, but if one is charged with the responsibility of a con- 
solidation project, he would prefer to have the roads in 
fairly good condition before the consolidation took place. 
Afterward, consolidation could be made a great means of im- 
proving them still further. 

Pupils' Conduct on the Road. — Fear of bad conduct 
among the children while being transported is another 
difficulty to be met. Parents are not willing at first to re- 
pose the same confidence in the driver of the conveyance 
that they have been accustomed to place in the teachers. 
And unless boards of education are very careful in selecting 
drivers there may be sufficient grounds to justify the fears 
that naturally arise in the minds of parents. This mis- 
giving is the more plausible because of the existence of 
different classes, even of different races, in almost every 
community. Some parents do not want their children to 
be so closely associated with certain other children as 
travelHng together in a closed wagon or van would make 

I mention these contingencies not because I believe 
that many of them may not be successfully met, particularly 
if sufficient time be given, but because I regard them as 
some of the real prejudices against the consoUdated school. 
To many persons they may seem, indeed, to be minor 
difficulties. But I would remind them that these are pre- 
cisely the points that parents are most likely to pick out as 
the most serious obstacles. For they think most seriously 
of the things which touch them personally through their 
children, and in the homes. They are points which must 
not be treated lightly, or with indifference. The transporta- 
tion of pupils, I repeat, may present the greatest difficulties 
to be met by the consolidated school. 

3. The Added Expense. — The increased cost of the con- 
solidated school over the one-teacher schools is another 
consideration of serious danger to the success of the rural 


consolidated school. In almost every community there are 
a few citizens who object strenuously to any proposition 
which would probably increase their taxes. These persons 
may be outvoted or overruled in the decision of a com- 
munity to consoUdate its schools, but they stand ready at 
all times to ''strike back'* at the majority by finding fault 
with the consoHdation plan. This attitude of the mi- 
nority toward the increase in tax rates for the support of the 
school, no matter what the increased advantages purchased, 
is a constant source of danger to any consolidation project. 
Persons who take this attitude must be reasoned with, 
and this can be done only by finding ways of convin(;ing 
them that their money is really yielding them and the com- 
munity greater returns in terms of educational facilities. 
And this cannot be done by merely telling them of the 
advantages of the new over the old. They must be shown. 
Pictures, stereopticon views, moving pictures, and the like 
can, of course, add to the concreteness of the propaganda. 
The U. S. Bureau of Education will lend slides for a stere- 
opticon. Later, their interest must be aroused by deeds, 
not by preachments. 

Consolidated Schools Generally More Expensive. — I 
am assuming, of course, that the consohdated school is 
going to cost more than did the one-teacher schools which 
have not been consolidated. My position on this question 
may be open to question. For example, Major A. C. Mona- 
han, in his bulletin on "Consolidation of Rural Schools," 
published by the United States Bureau of Education in 
1 9 14, puts it this way: 

Experience in consolidated schools proves conclusively that the 
cost of education per child per day in such schools as a rule is much 
less than in one-teacher schools, provided that largely increased salaries 
are not paid to the teachers in the consolidated schools. The consoli- 
dated school may be, and usually is, made more expensive, due to the 
fact that consolidation follows an educational awakening which de- 
mands not so much centralization of buildings as the educational ad- 


vantages made possible through centraHzation: Longer terms, better 
equipment, trained teachers, supervising principals, and the addition 
of high-school grades. 

But it is evident that it is necessary to pay higher 
salaries in the consolidated school if we would have better 
teachers, and that if the consolidated school is going to do 
all the things we promise, it will at least have ''longer terms, 
better equipment, trained teachers, supervising principals." 
For unless such an awakening as Major Monahan describes 
does follow or accompany consolidation, it would be doubt- 
ful whether the consolidation would be of itself worth the 
trouble and expense which are required to establish and 
maintain it. 

In the same bulletin Major Monahan reproduces statis- 
tics taken from the report of the State Superintendent of 
Indiana for 191 2, from which he deduces the following: 

The cost of schooling per child, when the expense of transportation 
is not included, is $2.42 greater in the district schools than in the 
consolidated schools, showing that the district schools are not as eco- 
nomical, as far as the cost of education itself is concerned, as the con- 
solidated schools. When the transportation is included, however, the 
consolidated schools cost $12.81 more than the district schools. 

This point is not entirely conclusive. Of course, the 
actual teaching would cost more for sixty children in six 
separate schools than it would if these sixty children were 
taught by two teachers in a two-room consolidated school. 
But if consolidation means also transportation of pupils, 
then we must include the item of transportation in our 
budget of expenses. Likewise, we must include the items of 
the teaching of special subjects, higher salaries for trained 
teachers, modern equipment, and all things else that go 
with a modern consolidated school. As to equipment, 
modern practice demands a well with a force pump, base- 
ment, pressure tank, indoor toilets, drinking fountains, 
cesspool or septic tank, etc., at every school. To make 


really modern the single-room schools will cost far more than 
one new consolidated building. 

My conclusion is, therefore, that the consolidated school 
will cost more than the present one-teacher schools left as 
they are. We shall then have to prove to the people that 
our new plan is better than the old. This we can do (a) by 
everlastingly '^making good'' with the children them- 
selves, and (b) by making the consolidated school a social 
centre for the whole community. 

Making good with the children is discussed in the fol- 
lowing paragraphs, and since a separate chapter of this 
book is devoted to the social and recreational activities of 
the consolidated rural school, we shall let this consideration 
pass at this time with a mere statement. 

4. The Character of the Teaching. — There seems to be 
a tendency among many to criticise the character of the 
teaching in many consolidated schools. The consolidated 
school is essentially a rural school. Therefore, its teaching 
should be closely correlated with rural Hfe, particularly with 
the life of the immediate community. Furthermore, if the 
teaching be correlated, then the teachers must have knowl- 
edge and appreciation not only of the philosophy of rural 
hfe and its conditions, but also of the rural people them- 
selves, their outlook upon life and upon the world, their 
attitude toward the city, their habits of thought, their tra- 
ditions, their occupations, and their prejudices. The con- 
solidated school is not merely a city-graded school set up 
in the country, but a new and separate institution, having 
new and different opportunities, responsibilities, and de- 

Doctor Thos. E. Finegan of Pennsylvania expresses this 
sentiment forcibly in a letter dated December 11, 191 6: 

Simply consolidating schools does not make good schools. If 
schools are consolidated, qualified teachers must be employed, and the 
work of the school must be adapted to the needs of the community. 
Our experience is that when the farmers realize that the school is an 


asset to the farm, that it is preparing the boys and girls for farm work 
and home work, and that the school is actually related to the life and 
work of the farm, improving rural conditions, increasing the bulk of 
the farm crops, and rendering many other benefits, the school will be 
well supported. However, if poor teachers are employed, if the same 
old courses of study are continued, and if all the sins and shortcomings 
of the one-room school are continued in the larger school, on an en- 
larged plan, the school will be properly condemned. 

Superintendent C. H. Lugg of South Dakota expresses 
the same sentiment in his letter of December 13, 191 6: 

This school should be distinctively a rural school dealing with 
rural motives, rural conditions, rural topics, and rural life in general. 
There is danger that much of the good work the school ought to do 
will be spoiled by the introduction of city ideals, city motives, and 
commercial training for which the children are not yet prepared. 

The chief difficulty lies in getting the proper equipment to begin 
with, and then in securing teachers trained for, and experienced in, 
rural-school work. 

The principal shortcoming is an outgrowth of both the conditions 
just mentioned. It is the introduction of city ideals under the guise 
of culture, while instead of culture, the thing introduced is an arti- 
ficial glamour that does not really exist in the city, but which tends to 
render the country pupil dissatisfied with country life, and to make him 
blind to the great opportunities which lie round about that life, op- 
portunities for culture of no less degree than the city can ofifer, oppor- 
tunities for enterprise that excel anything the city can ofifer, oppor- 
tunities for real living which the city will never know. 

Mr. J. A. Woodruff, State Inspector of Rural Schools 
of Iowa, says: 

We are meeting with some difficulty in securing a sufficient num- 
ber of men who seem to have the proper view-point. There seems to 
be a danger that young men who have had their preparation along 
classical lines will emphasize this line of work to the detriment of sub- 
jects usually classed as practical. 

These statements, coming from such authorities as they 
do, are significant to those of us who have the responsi- 
bility of directing the work and general character of the 


consolidated school. In general, it seems that unless the 
consolidated school can be made a different school from the 
city ward school, thoroughly organized to achieve a different 
purpose, then we had better not abandon the Httle rural 
school. And unless the teachers have the view-point of 
the rural people among whom they work, or unless they can 
acquire this view-point quickly, then the consolidated rural 
school will probably be in effect a failure, even though it 
may continue to work indefinitely. 

Dearth of Trained Rural Leaders a Handicap. — Perhaps 
the most serious difficulty of the consolidated schools, so 
far as the character of the work is concerned, is the dearth 
of trained rural leaders to put in charge of them. If only 
the principals of these schools were properly trained, this 
dif&culty would be very largely removed. For the prin- 
cipal has an opportunity to train the other teachers, or to 
eliminate and select until he shall have built up a strong 
corps of teachers who understand the very hearts of the 
country people, and the soul of the school itself. But if 
there be no leader of this kind