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All American Youth 

Educational Policies Commission 

National Education Association of the "United States 
and the American Association of School Administrators 
1201 Sixteenth Street, Northwest, Washington 6, D. C. 

The Educational Policies Commission 

Appointed by the National Education Association of the United States 
and the American Association of School Administrators 

Appointed Members 





Ex-Officio Members 



Advisory Members 

WILLIAM G. CARR, Secretary 

1201 Sixteenth Street, Northwest 

Washington 6, D. C. 


VOLUME stems from a firm conviction on the part of 
-L the Educational Policies Commission that . the extension, 
adaptation, and improvement of secondary education is essen- 
tial both to the security of our American institutions and to 
the economic well-being of our people. Such a development in 
secondary education can and should be brought about within 
the framework of the 'local and state educational systems. If 
the federal government will help to finance and encourage such 
a development, and if the local and state leadership will do its 
part, it will be neither necessary nor desirable for the federal 
government itself to operate educational services for the youth 
of the nation. 

In the nearly three years in which it has been developing 
these policies for secondary education, the Commission has 
tried to dig beneath statements of general principles and to sug- 
gest in some detail how approved principles can be carried out 
in practice. It should be emphasized, however, that the programs 
of education described in this volume are not intended to be 
blueprints for local school systems. On the contrary, they are 
merely samples of the many different possible solutions to the 
problem of meeting the educational needs of all American youth. 
These samples are offered in the hope that they will stimulate 
and aid the planning and action which are already under way 
in many states and communities and which soon must be under- 
taken in all. 

Plans for postwar education are too complex to be improvised 
in a few months after the problems are already upon us. Now 
is the time, the one and the best time, for citizens and educators 
in thousands of American communities to join forces in plan- 
ning the kinds of schools which America needs and must have. 



SINCE FEBRUARY 1942, when the Educational Policies Com- 
mission voted to begin the preparation of this volume, many 
groups and individuals have contributed to its development as 
the document passed through a series of careful revisions. The 
Commission wishes to acknowledge here the valuable assistance 
that it has received in this process. 

First, and above all, it wishes to thank GEORGE L. MAXWELL, 
assistant secretary of the Commission: Under the direction of 
the Commission, he has drafted the larger part of this volume 
including the chapters on American City and Farmville. Noth- 
ing that the Commission can say in appreciation of his skill and 
untiring effort could be a greater tribute to him than the unus- 
ual combination of broad vision and practical common sense 
revealed in every page of these chapters. 

The opening and concluding chapters, constituting a frame- 
work around the document, were written by the secretary of 
the Commission, WILLIAM G. CARR, who has also been respon- 
sible for coordination of the efforts of the many individuals and 
groups who have contributed in one way or another to the 
development of this volume. 

In November 1942, the secretary and the president of the 
American Vocational Association, L. H. DENNIS and JOHN J. 
SEIDEL, met with the Commission in Washington to assist in 
reviewing a prospectus of the document. 

In January 1944, members of a committee of the National 
Association of Secondary-School Principals met to review the 
report. The membership of this committee included PAUL E. 

In April 1944, a committee of the American Association for 
Health, Physical Education, and Recreation met in New York 


City to present the viewpoint of this group on the program in 
health and physical education. Members of the group were 

A draft of several extensive sections of the "American City" 
chapter was prepared by PAUL T. RANKIN. AUBREY A. DOUG- 
LASS wrote a draft of the chapter on "A State System of Youth 
Education." OLIVER H. BIMSON, C. L. CUSHMAN, F. F. EL- 
certain sections of the manuscript. 

The following persons reviewed the entire document in a pre- 
liminary form and prepared critical analyses of it for considera- 
tion by the Commission: WALTER F. DOWNEY, WILLIAM DUN- 

With the cooperation of the National Association of Sec- 
ondary-School Principals, a short digest and interpretation of 
this volume has been prepared by J. PAUL LEONARD. This will be 
issued soon as a publication of the Association. 

Deeply grateful as we are to all the persons named above, the 
Commission assumes final responsibility for the document. 


Table of Contents 


Foreword v 

Acknowledgment vii 


I. Could It Happen? 1 

II. For All American Youth 11 

IIL The Farmville Community School 23 

IV: Schools for Youth in American City 171 

V. A State System of Youth Education 339 

VI. The History That Must Be Written 383 

Index 411 



Could It Happen? 

EDUCATIONAL CHANGE is bound to come, and to come 
swiftly. Only the nature and direction of change may be 

No one can surely foretell the future of American education, 
for no one knows what American educators, boards of educa- 
tion, and legislatures will do during this critical period. We can, 
however, foresee the alternatives. And, by a study of our past 
experience, we can predict the general consequences of each of 
the lines of action or inaction which the public schools may 

The alternative possibilities, very briefly stated, are these: 

1. A federalized system of secondary education may be cre- 
ated, at first to compete with and ultimately to replace the tra- 
ditional American system of state and local control of education. 

2. A wisely planned and vigorously implemented program 
for the improvement, adaptation, and extension of educational 
services to youth may be developed by the local and state educa- 
tional authorities. 

The Commission strongly and unanimously favors the second 
alternative and rejects the first. 

Nevertheless, the Commission firmly believes that if local 
and state planning and action are lacking, a federal systen} of 
secondary education is scarcely less certain to occur than the 
succession of the seasons. 

In order to compare and contrast the two possible lines of 
development, this volume contains two hypothetical histories. 
One "history/* constituting most of the remainder of this 
chapter, is written on the assumption that the first alternative 
occurs. The other "history," presented in Chapter VI of this 
volume, relates what can happen if we follow the second 


In order that the reader may -be constantly aware that the 
two "histories" in this chapter and in Chapter VI are projections 
of the future, they have been printed in a type-face which sets 
them apart from the rest of this volume. 

The remainder of this opening chapter, then, consists of 
quotations that may possibly be found in the concluding pages 
of some standard history of education published some twenty 
years from now. This is a sequence of events which the Com- 
mission fervently hopes will not happen. But they will happen 
unless effective planning and action occur to direct educational 
developments in more desirable directions. 

Here, then, is: 


"The end of the second World War marked a turning point in the his- 
tory of youth education in the United States. 

'The complete victory of the United Nations, after a long and bitter 
struggle, was followed by the demobilization of our armies and the rapid 
conversion of the bulk of the war industries to the pursuits of peace. Al- 
though the United States government made strenuous and, on the whole, 
successful efforts to administer the process in an orderly fashion, the de- 
mobilization and readjustment of some 30,000,000 persons placed a 
severe strain upon economic, social, and educational institutions that had 
been geared for years to the demands of a total war. 

Educational Needs Following the Second World War 

"Many of the demobilized soldiers were in their late teens or early 
twenties. Their civilian education had been interrupted by military serv- 
ice; few of them had enjoyed extensive experience in normal community 
living or in earning a livelihood by civilian pursuits,- all of them needed 
guidance and training in order that they might find a place in the ongoing 
life of the nation. They were grown men and women, yet they needed 
education in the attitudes and activities of civilian life. 

"Similar educational needs were found among the men and wonlen who 
had been employed in the war industries. In many cases their wartime 
vocational skills were no longer useful. For many of the younger workers, 
as for many soldiers, employment in a war industry had meant an inter- 
rupted educational career. 


"The boys and girls in their middle teens who were still in school at 
the end of the war were greatly disturbed. They had been diligently pre- 
paring themselves, by means of preinduction training and vocational prep- 
aration, to take an active part in the armed forces or on the production 
fronts. With the end of the war, their vocational outlook was rendered 
profoundly different and difficult, their future status uncertain. While the 
war continued, their services had been desperately needed. They had been 
urged and assisted to prepare themselves as rapidly as possible for full- 
time employment in civilian or military pursuits. But now the opportunities 
for work in war industry were few, and the labor market was flooded with 
returning soldiers and displaced war industry workers, many of whom had 
priorities on jobs and previous working experience. Even the great pro- 
gram of P. W. P. W. (Postwar Public Works) at first gave preference to 
the war veterans and offered relatively little opportunity for youth em- 

"Youth were therefore urged to remain longer in school. This was cer- 
tainly sound advice, not primarily because it was one method of limiting 
the labor supply, but chiefly because the vast and complicated responsi- 
bilities of adult citizenship in the postwar world clearly required extended 
civic, vocational, and cultural education. 

"The secondary schools of the country, with the exception of those in 
a very few localities, had no comprehensive plan available to meet this 
situation. They had given little thought to what they ought to teach or how 
they ought to teach it, either to returning soldiers, to demobilized war 
industry workers, or to the young people already in their schools who 
now changed their objective from immediate wartime employment to ex- 
tended preparation for living in a strenuous period of national and world 

"The result of this situation, if we may compress the educational his- 
tory of nearly a decade into a single phrase, was the establishment and 
entrenchment of our present National Bureau of Youth Service (M B. Y. S.) 
as the only important agency of secondary education in this country. 

"This development is so important that the next few pages will be de- 
voted to a more careful review of its causes and consequences. 

Why the Schools Were Unprepared 

"We who live in the second half of the twentieth century may find it 
quite difficult to understand why the schools of an earlier day were so ill- 
prepared to meet the contingencies which must certainly have been ex- 


pected, at least by the educational leaders of that time. But while we may 
be justified in regarding their failure with wonder, we should refrain from 
censure. Hindsight is always easier than foresight, and we must remember, 
as we review the history of those trying years, that there were at least 
four reasons for this apparent lethargy, this inability to cope with the new 

"For one thing, the secondary schools had devoted themselves with 
amazing energy to a series of highly successful efforts to help win the war. 
In view of the extremely narrow margin which, at the outset of the war, 
separated victory from defeat, we can certainly approve their industry 
and understand their anxiety. 

'The schools made some far-reaching changes in the very midst of war 
They showed themselves not only resourceful but flexible. The preinduc- 
tion training for young men and the programs which trained over five 
million workers for the war industries are but two examples. The locally- 
controlled public-school systems showed that they could react promptly, 
vigorously, and effectively when confronted by a national war emergency. 
This ability of the local schools to react to a national wartime crisis was 
not equally evident with respect to the long-range planning for the peace. 

"The published records of the professional meetings held in those years 
show us clearly how engrossed the schools were in the immediate war 
problems. Even a cursory examination reveals that while the records abound 
with eloquent references to postwar education and reconstruction, they 
are almost barren of specific suggestions as to how the educational system 
would be changed in order to accept the responsibilities which everyone 
knew would devolve upon it in the event of a victory for the United Na- 
tions. On the contrary, it seems to have been assumed that, when the war 
ended, the schools would simply collect the fragments of their prewar 
program which had been put in storage for the duration and fit these ele- 
ments back Into the familiar prewar pattern. No one seems to have noted 
that the pattern, too, was shattered and beyond repair; that the end of the 
war was the end of an epoch to which there could be no return, in edu- 
cation or in any other aspect of life. 

"We must remember also that many secondary schools were poorly organ- 
ized to meet a suddenly emerging national problem. There were at that time 
about 28,000 high schools in the United States. The median high school had 
only 140 students and six faculty members. Each of the thousands of smaller 
high schools was controlled by a local board of education which, within 
certain very general and broad requirements, acted as a law unto itself. 


Many of the state departments of education were weak and not legally con- 
stituted to meet such a critical situation. Almost all of them were under- 
staffed and overworked. 

"In the third place, the local funds available to education, even when 
supplemented, as they were in a few states, by state school funds, were often 
quite inadequate to provide the buildings, equipment, and personnel neces- 
sary for complete educational service. The one agency that might have im- 
proved this fiscal situation, the government of the United States, failed to 
act effectively. 

"It must be said on behalf of the educational leaders in that day, that they 
used their utmost talents of persuasion and strategy to secure the appropria- 
tion of federal funds (pitifully small requests they now seem to us, by com- 
parison with our federal school expenditures) to equalize educational 
opportunities. They made vigorous representations before one Congress 
after another, both prior to and after the entry of the United States into the 
war. They called for action in the name of fair play and democracy; they 
engulfed the Congress in oceans of convincing statistics/ they could summon 
to their support all the logic, the evidence, the common-sense reasoning, 
and the appeals to high motives. Their efforts were hampered, not only by 
the active opposition of certain influential minorities and the lack of vigorous 
support from the current national Administration, but also by the relative 
disunity and weakness of the professional organizations of teachers as com- 
pared with other occupational groups in the population. They were, there- 
fore, unable to awaken the public from its apathy on the issue and to arouse 
widespread public support for federal aid to education. 

"Still, they might have succeeded in obtaining federal funds had it not 
been for a formidable psychological obstacle. That barrier was the now 
almost incomprehensible fear that harmful federal control of education would 
inevitably follow federal aid to the states for education. These fears seem 
strange to us at present, not only because the federal government now con- 
trols practically all of our secondary education, but also because we see 
clearly that failure to strengthen the financial basis of local education in- 
evitably led to federal operation and control of large segments of our school 
system. It was the lack of federal assistance to the local and state school sys- 
tems that created the necessity for our present system of federal control. 
But that fact, so obvious now to the historian, was apparently quite invisible 
to the contemporary statesman. 

"Meanwhile, the Congress and the Administration, hearing no strong 
demand for action from the American people as a whole, refused to grant 


any funds whatever for education/ except certain earmarked emergency 
funds for wartime vocational training and other special purposes. 

"The fourth, and last, reason for the incapacity of education during post- 
war years was the tremendous pressure of the traditional educational pro- 
gram. We have seen in earlier chapters of this history that the American high 
school began as a means of preparing youth for college and for cultural 
pursuits. Although its enrolment doubled, redoubled, and redoubled again, 
during the first four decades of this century, and although its declared pur- 
poses had been broadened far beyond college preparation, equally funda- 
mental changes in the secondary-school curriculum and in the preparation 
of teachers were not made. The heroic efforts and revolutionary changes in 
procedure which the secondary schools made in the national crisis of war 
could not be sustained in the peace that followed. The slow prewar 
processes of minor piecemeal adjustment were quite inadequate for a situ- 
ation requiring extensive changes and prompt, unified action. 

"In times of peace, this profound discordance between educational pur- 
pose and program, between promise and performance, meant that nearly 
half of the youth of secondary-school age left school before graduation and 
many of those less adventurous spirits who remained on the rolls were able 
to profit but little by the instruction afforded. Once a young man or young 
woman left school, the school ordinarily took no further substantial interest 
in him. It was generally supposed that any youth who was not absolutely 
feeble-minded could, if he would 'apply himself/ learn the information and 
skills which had for generations been the substance of precollegiate edu- 
cation. It was assumed that in some way, not clearly understood, this knowl- 
edge would be useful to him in later years. And it was taken for granted 
that, even if the knowledge so acquired should be valueless or forgotten, 
the process of acquiring it was, in itself, a wholesome experience. It fol- 
lowed, therefore, that any young person who 'dropped out* of school was 
so clearly at fault that the school could only wash its hands of further re- 

'This is a severe picture/ too severe, no doubt for even in those schools, 
there were multiplied thousands of devoted teachers who understood the 
needs of young people and who succeeded admirably in giving many of them 
an excellent education. Vet these and other adaptations, made by indi- 
vidual teachers or occasionally by an entire school system, were too slow 
and too 'spotty* in view of the heavy demands which a period of world 
reconstruction was bound to impose upon the secondary schools of the 
United States. 


"The need for public education in the postwar period on the part of 
large groups of persons who could profit but little from the conventional 
'courses' which were the chief peacetime offerings of most schools, together 
with the failure of the state and local school systems to meet the situation, 
led the federal government to move into the vacuum. 

The National Bureau of Youth Service 

"We have seen how the federal government experimented, in the decade 
1 933-1943, with various youth-serving and youth-educating agencies. None 
of these agencies survived during the war, but their experience and prece- 
dent made it easy and natural for similar programs to be revived on an ex- 
panded scale. The National Bureau of Youth Service was at first created to 
provide employment for youth, largely on public works projects. To move 
from work to work experience, from there to vocational training, and from 
there to related instruction was a series of easy steps. Within a year, so 
rapidly did the new influence expand, citizenship training, health education, 
family-life education, and other aspects of comprehensive developmental 
programs were taken over by the National Bureau. These new national insti- 
tutions were, for the moment, relatively free from the dead hand of inertia. 
They announced themselves as ready and willing to provide an educational 
service to youth in terms of the demands of contemporary life. Being under 
federal control, these agencies enjoyed substantial federal support. This 
an asset of no mean importance in the postwar years and, as we have seen, 
it was an asset stubbornly denied to the state and local school systems. 

'The new N.B.Y.S. schools soon attracted many recruits to their wide- 
open doors. There were, besides young demobilized soldiers and war 
workers, many out-of-school youth, unable to find employment and often 
rejected or unwanted in their small local high schools. Even many of the 
'regular* high-school boys and girls, especially those whose families had 
small incomes, shifted' over to the new federal institutions. Meanwhile, the 
local taxpaying groups rejoiced to think (as they erroneously supposed) 
that the school tax burden was correspondingly reduced, 'because the 
federal government paid the bill.' 

"For a short time, the local and state school systems did retain control 
of the remnants of the war production training program. This activity, which 
had successfully trained several million workers for the war industries, was 
converted, on a somewhat reduced scale, to retraining for the industries of 
peace and the vocational rehabilitation of wounded veterans. Two years 
after the end of the war, however, these two programs were transferred 


by executive order to the N.B.Y.S., taking with them also the 'Smith-Hughes' 
program established in World War I. 

"In vain the then leaders of secondary education pleaded that the es- 
tablishment of these federal agencies resulted in the creation of class systems 
of education, that they involved federal control over curriculum, personnel, 
and teaching methods, and that they endangered the very existence of that 
system of universal secondary education which had so long been one of the 
characteristics of the American democratic way of life. They could point 
out all the defects of the new federal program, but they had, for the most 
part, nothing sufficiently definite to offer in place of it 

'The public psychology that permitted and even encouraged these devel- 
opments would be a fruitful topic for extended discussion. There was a 
strange mixture of confusion, indifference, impatience with the slow adapta- 
tions of the local public schools, and inability to see the ultimate and in- 
evitable result toward which public policy in education was moving. The 
ordinary 'average citizen* wanted better education for young people. A 
federal system seemed to be an easy way to obtain what he wanted, quickly 
and painlessly. It made little difference to him, he said, how this education 
was controlled or 'administered. He was most confused with reference to 
the effect of federal financial aid on the local and state school systems. He 
was inclined to accept uncritically the glib slogan that 'federal aid means 
Federal domination of schools/ although, as we have already seen, just the 
opposite was really the case. He shrugged off the warnings of the educators 
by ascribing their opposition to simple professional jealousy. He wanted 
action in a hurry, and even though getting the job of educational change done 
with dispatch meant giving up things of great value, he was not inclined to 
protest. Indeed, he was not even able to see clearly just what the long-term 
values of local and state control of education were. Each added bit of fed- 
eral activity in education seemed desirable and, taken by Itself, quite harm- 
less. He was beset by many economic and political problems which seemed, 
at first glance, far more important than the issues of educational control. 
When federalization of education had run its full course, many of these same 
people were amazed that a series of small concessions could add up to 
such great and fundamental changes in the whole purpose and conduct of 
education and in the American way of life itself. 

Some Effects of Federal Control of Education 

"It is too early as yet to appraise fully the results of the development 
that has been described in the preceding paragraphs. Some contemporary 


students of education belteve that great harm has been done to education 
and to democracy. These critics declare that, after the first short period of 
pioneering and flexibility, the federal youth program has assumed a rigidity 
of pattern and procedure that far exceeds the bad effects of traditionalism 
in the state and local system that it replaced. They say that the old system, 
with all its shortcomings, could be changed, improved, and adapted to local 
conditions by means of local experiments and local freedom to try out prom- 
ising innovations. It is certainly true that local freedorn cannot be permitted to 
exist within the vast and orderly reaches of a single federal educational 

"These critics also declare that the present system has created unfortunate 
class distinctions with respect to the education of youth and that it offers 
a constant and open temptation to the invasion of youth education for parti- 
san political purposes. They point to the alleged scandals of the presidential 
campaign of 1956 as one of many examples of this danger. They accuse the 
political party then in office of misusing the power which lay in its hands 
through control of the education of the majority of American youth. It is 
officially admitted that courses of study in all matters relating to history, 
government, and economics were quietly revised, immediately after the 1952 
election, by the experts of the N.B.Y.S. in Washingtpn. These new courses 
were prescribed for nationwide use in the federal secondary schools, junior 
colleges, and adult classes in 1954. Strict inspection was established by the 
Washington and regional offices of the N.B.Y.S. to see that all teachers 
and youth leaders followed the new teaching materials exactly. Critics of 
this procedure were curtly informed that the preparation and prescription 
of such material is an entirely legitimate function of our federal government. 
It has, of course, been impossible for the teachers themselves to combat the 
trend of the times when the federal government prescribes their qualifica- 
tions, administers their eligibility examinations, and issues their pay checks. 

"As the closing pages of this history are being written, this'same group 
of critics is initiating a campaign to restore the former system of decen- 
tralized secondary education. It may not be the function of a historian to 
predict the future, but this writer believes that it is highly improbable that 
their endeavor will succeed. Great opportunities rarely return, and it would 
now require tremendous efforts to recover what the majority of educators, 
schoolboard members, and other citizens of that time let slip from their hands 
less than a generation ago. Furthermore, the few remaining local high schools 
of today have returned to their original function of preparing a selected 
minority of our youth for strictly cultural pursuits. The history of education, 

like that of all other social services/ is punctuated by the ruins of institutions 
that would not or could not adapt to new and urgent needs. It now appears 
almost certain that the locally administered high school, for so many years 
the center of the American dream of equal opportunity through education/ 
has joined the Latin grammar school of the seventeenth century and the 
academy of the nineteenth in the great wastebasket of history." 

The book from which the above paragraphs are quoted has 
-not yet been written. 

Whether such paragraphs ever will be written depends upon 
the effectiveness of educational planning and action, now and 
in the months immediately ahead. In no area of our life is 
leadership more greatly needed. 

It may be that the future historian will make an entirely 
different report. He may say that the schools of the nation had 
anticipated the youth needs of the postwar years; that they were 
ready to move to meet these needs as they developed; that every 
state and every lyrge locality had a definite plan for doing so; 
that the federal government was at last persuaded to supply 
adequate financial aid to make this service possible; that the 
teaching profession was prepared to make the necessary changes 
in curriculum and administration; that the local organization of 
education was sufficiently flexible to permit the establishment of 
secondary schools adequate to the tremendous educational job 
that waited to be done; and that the secondary schools of 
America, under state and local control, were transformed into 
agencies serving all American youth, whatever their educational 
needs, right through the period of adjustment to adult life. 

If, as this Commission firmly believes, the American system 
of education based on local control and initiative is worth saving, 
we must begin to save it now. We cannot successfully improvise 
a program when the war is over. We must plan and act at once 
or never. If we say to the challenge of the present moment "Not 
yet," we shall be obliged to say at some future time "It is too 
late now." 



For All American Youtk 

npHERE ARE two important facts to remember about all 
-L American youth. 

First, there are about 11,000,000 of them between the 
sixteenth arid twenty-first birthday, the group with whose edu- 
cation this document is primarily concerned. 

Second, no two of the 11,000,000 are identical. 

Here, by way of example, are brief descriptions of a dozen or 
so out of the 11,000,000. The number of these sketches is 
limited for practical reasons; a thousand such accounts would 
not exhaust their infinite variety. 

Here, to begin with, is Edith of Suburbia. She has about aver- 
age intelligence. Her family is well-to-do, with a tradition of 
college education. They have planned that she shall attend a 
rather expensive women's college. She has no definite vocational 
purpose, but she looks forward to college experience and feels 
sure she will have "a perfectly swell time." 

Here is Max, born in Metropolis and raised on the streets 
thereof, a boy of average intelligence and no special abilities as 
yet discovered. He has the capacity to learn and follow any one 
of the fairly skilled occupations. The family is respectable, living 
in moderate circumstances. The father and mother have little 
education themselves and no great appreciation of its value to 
others. There are several younger brothers and sisters who must 
be fed and clothed. Max left school at the end of the compulsory 
attendance period and got a job. He lost this job in a few months 
and is now unemployed, an economic liability to his family in- 
stead of an asset as they had hoped. 

Next, meet Gilbert who lives across the street from the post 
office in Farmville. He is somewhat above average in intelligence, 
fleet of foot and broad in the shoulders, the star athlete of the 
village high school. He has a knack with engines and is already 

working part time in the local garage. He is studying English, 
social studies, auto mechanics, and Spanish. Gilbert says he 
doesn't care much about going to college. His family can sup- 
port him in high school but could not afford tuition or even 
living expenses away from home. 

This is George, a Negro boy. In intellectual ability, George is 
superior. Given the interest, ambition, and opportunity, he 
would be likely to succeed in a professional school. But in 
George's small home town, employment for Negro boys is lim- 
ited almost exclusively to unskilled and low-paid jobs. George 
left school at fourteen. He has been doing odd jobs, and vaguely 
planning to move to Detroit or southern California to get 
factory employment at wages that seem very high as compared 
with his local standards. Yet, since these are faraway places and 
it is hard to find out exact information, George may settle down 
within the limitations of his own community. 

Gertrude tries hard to succeed in school, but she is not very 
popular among teachers or classmates. She always receives poor 
grades. Her father and mother both have irregular, unskilled, 
poorly-paid work by the day. They resent the fact that their 
daughter is prevented by the school attendance law from helping 
with the support of the family. Gertrude is rarely dressed at- 
tractively; she never has any spending money; she has never won 
any distinction or recognition in school or elsewhere. The school 
psychologist says she is just barely above the moron level of 
intelligence. She has applied for a work permit and, if she gets 
the permit, will probably accept the first job that is offered to 

Norman is gifted with distinctly superior intelligence. He is 
ambitious and industrious, successful and happy in the aca- 
demic high-school course. He wants to study medicine and is 
determined to do so, although he and his parents will have to 
struggle desperately to scrape together enough money to pay the 
full costs of college and medical school. 

Norman's sister, Norma, is two years younger and fully as 
intelligent and as industrious as her brother. Unfortunately, she 
contracted poliomyelitis in infancy and, although she had good 
medical and nursing care, she is badly crippled for life. She 
thinks she could succeed in certain phases of library work if 
there were some way for her to obtain the training. But if 


Norman goes to college, the family cannot possibly send Norma 
as well. 

Herbert, too, is a brilliant and agreeable student. His father 
"owns" (subject to a heavy mortgage) a rather poor and run- 
down fruit farm. Herbert now attends a four-teacher rural high 
school. His assignments for homework this weekend are: 

English Julius Caesar, Act HI 

Algebra Deriving the formula for 

the rth term of a binomial 

Latin Caesar, Book I, lines 65-72 

American History The War of 1812. Mem- 
orize the principal battles 
and the names of the op- 
posing commanders. 

Herbert doesn't think he wants to go to college. Schoolwork, he 
says, is easy enough but "it doesn't get you anywhere." He will 
graduate next year and then help his father or get a job on 
another farm. 

James thinks he knows exactly what he wants to do; he wants 
to "go into aviation." He has fair mechanical abilities and 
average intelligence. His middle-class parents want their son to 
have "a better education than we did" and they think it would 
be nice if James could graduate from college and become a 
teacher, or a minister like his Uncle William. 

Russell and Victoria, brother and sister, live on a Kansas farm 
with their widowed father. Their mother died five years ago. 
By industry and good investments the father has built up 'a 
substantial estate and income. The two children are now his 
only interest in life; he is proud of their good looks and good 
school records; he wants to keep them living with him. Russell 
has no vocational plans except to help his father. Victoria looks 
forward to an early marriage, an arrangement of which her 
father is quite unaware. 

Martha is a Negro girl, daughter of a tenant farmer. Ignorant, 
cheerful, and improvident, she has. no' occupational plans, or 
plans of any other kind for that matter. Following the tradition 
in her community, Martha left school at an early age, will help 

[13] - 

at home for a few years, and will probably marry in her early 

Here also is Leonardo, a quiet boy with marked artistic talent. 

Here is Harold, also an artist, but unfortunately an artist in 
petty larceny. The patrolman in his block and the juvenile court 
judge know well his sullen, indifferent face. Harold is convinced 
by now that crime doesn't pay unless it is organized on a large 

Here is Gretchen who arrived in this country a few months 
ago on a refugee ship. 

Here is Jose, son of Mexican itinerant farm laborers. 

Here is Helen, daughter in the second American-born gen- 
eration of Japanese ancestry. 

Here is Helene, the most popular girl in town brilliant, 
beautiful, full of energy, a young genius in organization and 

Here is Lancelot, a young man with an unusually disagreeable 
disposition and a definitely low intelligence whose wealthy par- 
ents want him to go to law school. 

Is the task of providing education for all American youth a 
hopeless one? Can any program or series of programs be devised 
that will meet all, or even a majority, of these bewildering 
human neecls, complicated as they are by vast differences of 
economic circumstances? 

The task is indeed complex; it is not for that reason unman- 
ageable. It certainly cannot be performed by any one single 
organized form of educational experience. It cannot be met 
without the expenditure of money, effort, and time. It cannot be 
met by an educational policy which concludes that, because a 
given youth leaves a given kind of school, the youth is per se 
uneducable or wayward. 

The task can be met: first, by identifying the major types of 
educationally significant differences found among American 
youth; second, by noticing the equally significant characteris- 
tics that all or nearly all youth have in common; third, by de- 


vising and inaugurating educational programs and organizations 
that provide for the. common needs of all youth and the special 
needs of each individual. 

How Youth Differ 

At least eight categories of educationally significant differ- 
ences are illustrated in the above descriptions of Max, Gilbert, 
Martha, and the others: 

1. Differences in intelligence and aptitude will exist, regard- 
less of modifications in the environments of individuals. While 
certain portions of these differences are inherited, even these 
cannot be predicted from parentage. These differences require 
different educational procedures, content, and standards of 
speed and achievement. 

2. Differences in occupational interests and outlooks are both 
desirable and necessary. They require guidance to match abilities 
against the requirements of the job, desires against opportunities. 
They require curriculum adjustments that provide the necessary 
preparation for thorough workmanship in all occupations. 
They require administrative arrangements that will remove or 
minimize undemocratic "social-status'* distinctions among oc- 
cupational fields and their corresponding educations. 

3. There are differences in availability of educational facili- 
ties, differences caused either by location of residence or family 
economic status. The elimination of these differences is an 
entirely practicable matter of administration and finance, in- 
volving the proper organization and location of schools, and the 
provision of transportation and student-maintenance facilities, 
of state and federal equalization funds, and of public or private 
scholarship funds. 

4. There are differences in the types of communities in which 
youth reside. Insofar as these differences are educationally sig- 
nificant, they can be met by a guidance program providing 
information and outlooks which transcend community barriers, 
and by curriculums which are adjusted to the needs and op- 
portunities of diverse communities. 

5. There are differences of opportunity resulting from dif- 
ferences in social and economic status, often aggravated by dif- 
ferences in race. The removal of such inequalities is a difficult 
matter, often requiring basic social and economic changes in the 
community. Yet, even so, these differences can be measurably 
reduced by wise educational leadership and administration, and 
by the objective study of community problems in schools. 

6. There are differences in parental attitudes and cultural 
backgrounds. In many cases, cultural differences can be utilized 
for valuable education purposes. In other cases, where differ- 
ences give rise to conflict or jeopardize the proper development 
of children and youth, the undesirable effects may be minimized 
through a program of home visitation and parent education. 

7. There are differences in personal and avocational interests. 
Within reasonable bounds, these differences may well be en- 
couraged by a broad curriculum with opportunities for some 
selection of studies. 

8. There are, finally, differences in mental health, emotional 
stability, and physical well-being. Extreme disabilities must be 
compensated for in special schools and classes. Other temporary 
or less serious deviations from normal health may be met by 
appropriate adjustments in curriculum and regimen and by 
remedial health instruction and school health services. 

What 'Youth 
Have in Common 

The common qualities of youth are fully as important to 
education as their differences. For example: 

All American youth are citizens now; all (or nearly all) will 
be qualified voters in the future; all require education for civic 
responsibility and competence. 

All American youth (or nearly all) are members of family 
groups now and will become members of other family groups in 
the future; all require an understanding of family relationships. 

All American youth are now living in the American culture 
and all (or nearly all) will continue to do so in the future; all 
require an understanding of the main elements in that culture. 

All American youth need to maintain their mental and 
physical health now and in the future; all require instruction to 
develop habits of healthful living, understanding of conditions 
which foster health, and knowledge of ways of preventing 
disease, avoiding injuries, and using medical services. 

All American youth will be expected to engage in useful 
work and will need to work to sustain themselves and others; all 
therefore require occupational guidance and training, and orien- 
tation to current economic conditions. 

All American youth have the capacity to think rationally; all 
need to develop this capacity, and with it, an appreciation of 
the significance of truth as arrived at by the rational process. 

All, American youth must make decisions and take actions 
which involve choices of values; all therefore need insight into 
ethical values. Particularly do they need to grow in understand- 
ing the basic tenet of democracy that the individual human 
being is of surpassing worth. 

When we write confidently and inclusively about education 
for all American youth, we mean just that. We mean that all 
youth, with their human similarities and their equally human 
differences, shall have educational services and opportunities 
suited to their personal needs and sufficient for the successful 
operation of a free and democratic society. 

These youth are created male or female, black or white, halt 
or hale. Birth and environment have tended to make some of 
them more alert or more shrewd or more bold than others. 
Environment and education have made them rich or poor, law- 
abiding or delinquent, employed or idle. 

Their names are Dumbrowski, Oleson, Cabot, MacGregor, 
Veschinni, Adamatoulous, Okada, Chin, Valdez, Descartes, 
Kerchevsky, Schmidt, Smith, and Smythe. 


They reside in farmhouses, cabins, trailers, packing boxes, 
skyscrapers, tenements, hotels, housing projects, houseboats, 
dormitories, mansions, prison cells, and just plain houses. 

Among these youth are many of great potential talents. The 
American system of education has laid great stress on the de- 
velopment of these talents, wherever they may be found, for 
the benefit of the nation as well as of individuals. In the years 
to come, the nation will stand in even greater need of the leader- 
ship, the resourcefulness, and the creative abilities of its most 
capable citizens; and education must prize and cultivate their 
talents accordingly. 

These youth all of them are to be the heirs and trustees for 
all that is good or bad in our civilization. What humanity will 
achieve a generation hence depends largely on them and on their 
education now. 

Each of them is a human being, more precious than material 
goods or systems of philosophy. Not one of them is to be care- 
lessly wasted. All of them are to be given equal opportunities to 
live and learn. 

This Commission believes that, in the main, educators and lay 
citizens alike want the schools to extend their services so as to 
meet all the educational needs of all youth. Tradition, to be sure, 
and some vested interests impede change in education, as in 
every other institution. But, for the most part, these* impedi- 
ments do not arise from any active opposition to educational 
advancement. They will be largely swept away by a vigorous 
movement to shape education to the needs of all youth, when 
once that movement gains momentum. 

Given the proposition that secondary education should serve 
all American youth, the chief difficulties are practical. "We must 
plan education for youth in a greatly altered world, the charac- 
ter of which we cannot yet accurately foresee. And in this 


partially unpredictable world of the future, we must plan to 
carry education into areas largely unexplored. Facing these un- 
certainties, we are tempted to postpone planning, to counsel 
waiting until the outlines of the postwar world become more 

We must not wait, however. Events move too swiftly and on 
too vast a scale for us to be able to cope with them when they 
are almost upon us. Of some things we are already reasonably 
sure the needs of youth, for instance. Others we can predict 
with some confidence, such as the distribution of employment 
among the major occupational fields. On a few matters we shall 
have to hazard conjectures, for example, the volume of private 
and public employment available for beginning workers. 

Furthermore, a considerable body of tested educational ex- 
perience is available. Much of it is still scattered, to be sure, in 
pioneering schools throughout the land. But these experiences 
could readily be brought together and placed at the disposal of 

We will do well, then, to make our plans at once, using all that 
we know and all that can be reliably predicted; making conjec- 
tures now and then, when no better way appears; and revising 
our plans from time to time to accord with the changing course 
of events. Better by far to do this, tentative though it may be, 
than to keep on waiting for the certainty which never comes. 

Preview of the 
Next Three Chapters 

As a contribution to educational planning, we offer the next 
three chapters, in which we propose to describe school services 
for youth as we should like to see them in the postwar years. 
All three of the chapters will be written from the point of view 
of an observer who reports the conditions which exist jive years 
after the cessation of hostilities. 


In the next two chapters, we shall describe the schools for 
youth in two selected communities in the state of Columbia in 
Farmville, a rural area with a country village at its center, and in 
American City, a city of 150,000, which is the industrial and 
commercial center of a larger region. 

In the chapter which then follows, we shall tell how the state 
of Columbia, as a whole, endeavors to assure opportunity for 
adequate education to all its young people. 

Farmville and American City are not regarded as typical of all 
American communities or of all American education. Even 
two hundred such descriptions could not wholly represent the 
great variety of American life. But there ^re thousands of com- 
munities much like Farmville; there are hundreds similar to 
American City; and the educational principles applied to Farm- 
ville and American City are applicable in any community. 

The state of Columbia is not considered typical of all Ameri- 
can states. Indeed, there is no such thing as a typical state. Some 
states already have many of the elements of the state system of 
education to be described in this chapter. Other states, in order 
to establish such a system, will have to make fundamental and 
far-reaching changes in their state departments of education, 
in their state school finance system, in their minimum educa- 
tional programs, in the organization of their school districts, 
and in their school laws. The important things are the principles 
embodied in the educational system of the state of Columbia. 
Diversity among the states in the details of organization and 
program is to be expected and encouraged, provided that the 
underlying principles are sound. 1 

In a word, these descriptions are not blueprints; they are sam- 
ples. Let no one suppose that they are intended to be instructions 
or models handed down from "national headquarters." They 

1 Scc also: National Education Association and American Association of School Adminis- 
trators, Educational Policies Commission. The Structure and Administration of Education in 
American Democracy. Washington, D. C: the Commission, 1938. Chapter m, "The Ad- 
ministration of Public Education: State School Administration." 


are offered, rather, in the hope that they may stimulate and aid 
the planning and action which are already under way in many 
states and communities, and which must soon be undertaken 
by all 

These chapters contain some assumptions as to what may 
happen outside the schools during the first few years after the 
war, particularly in the fields of agriculture, industry, labor, 
government, and international relations. The Commission has 
endeavored to assume those changes which are not only possible 
but probable, in the judgment of authorities in these fields. 
When, as is sometimes the case, the authorities do not agree 
among themselves, the Commission has had to choose one of 
several possible assumptions. 

The point of view from which these three chapters are written 
may be summed up in a few sentences. Schools should be dedi- 
cated to the proposition that every youth in these United States 
regardless of sex, economic status, geographic location, or race 
should experience a broad and balanced education which will 
(1) equip him to enter an occupation suited to his abilities and 
offering reasonable opportunity for personal growth and social 
usefulness; (2) prepare him to assume the full responsibilities 
of American citizenship; (3) give him a fair chance to exercise 
his right to the pursuit of happiness; (4) stimulate intellectual 
curiosity, engender satisfaction in intellectual achievement, and 
cultivate the ability to think rationally; and (5) help him to 
develop an appreciation of the ethical values which should 
undergird all life in a democratic society. It is the duty of a 
democratic society to provide opportunities for such education 
through its schools. It is the obligation of every youth, as a 
citizen, to make fulLuse of these opportunities. It is the re- 
sponsibility of parents to give encouragement and support to 
both youth and schools. 

These plans for schools of the future contain many departures 
from common practices in schools. But the Commission has 
included only those additions and changes which, in its judg- 


ment, are feasible from a financial point of view and practicable 
from an educational point of view* These are not the schools of 
Utopia, to be achieved in some remote, indefinite future. These 
are schools of the United States of America, as they can be in the 
fifth decade of the twentieth century. 



The Farnrville Community School 

(Written five years after the cessation of hostilities) 

A GREAT MANY PEOPLE live in the Farmvilles of the United 
States more than in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, 
Detroit, and Los Angeles; more than in the nation's one hundred 
big cities put together; yes, more even than in all the five hun- 
dred cities with populations over 20,000. For the Farmvilles 
are rural America the 43.5 percent of our people who in 1940 
lived in the open country, at the crossroads, and in villages and 
towns under 2500 in population. By comparison, 28.8 percent 
of our people lived in our larger cities, from 100,000 up, while 
27.7 percent lived in medium and smaller cities, from 100,000 
down to 2500. 

Farmville people raise many valuable products, without which 
the rest of us could not live corn, wheat, potatoes, soybeans, 
grapefruit, sugar cane, cotton, timber, hogs, cattle, and chick- 
ens. But by far the most valuable product of Farmville is chil- 
dren, and in producing children the people of Farmville quite 
surpass their city cousins. In 1940 the 40 percent of the nation's 
adults in rural areas actually had more children and youth (ages 
under twenty-one) than the 60 percent who lived in cities 
23,956,983 as compared with 23,862,245. 

The Lean 'Years 
of the Thirties 

The years of the thirties were hard years for the people of 
Farmville. The markets for most farm products shrank with 
the worldwide depression. People in cities and people abroad 
could not buy all that the farmers were able to produce. So there 
were large surpluses of many crops, and the bottom dropped 
out of prices. Nature, too, seemed unfriendly during these years. 


The droughts of 1934, 1936, and 1939, a succession of disastrous 
floods, and the destructive dust storms in the "West plagued 
large sections of the country. Farmers' incomes, never high in 
comparison with those of city dwellers, dwindled to the lowest 
point in many years. Farm debts mounted, and many owners 
lost or sold their farms. Tenancy, sharecropping, and day labor 
increased while the incomes of tenants and farm laborers fell. 

In many ways the federal government sought to better the 
lot of farmers. Some of its actions were directed toward depres- 
sion problems. Others were efforts to improve long-term agri- 
cultural conditions. These programs added to the long-stand- 
ing services of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the state 
agricultural colleges, and the public schools unquestionably 
helped the farmers. But the basic problem of the thirties was 
still unsolved. Only a general economic recovery, which would 
restore markets and sustain prices, could supply the solution. 

It was not surprising, therefore, that many people left the 
farms during the thirties. The large-scale migrations from the 
"dustbowl" area to the Far West were the most spectacular, but 
everywhere people were moving from farms to towns and cities. 
More would have gone, no doubt, had there been better oppor- 
tunities for work in the cities. 

Under these conditions, it was impossible for the people who 
remained on the farms and in the villages to make many im- 
provements in education, sanitation, health services, housing, 
recreation, or library facilities, when these improvements meant 
increased expenditures. Strangely enough, the federal govern- 
ment, which spent billions in its economic programs for agricul- 
ture, did little or nothing apart from the work relief agencies 
to sustain and improve rural schools, libraries, and public 
health services. 

Yet in spite of adversity, the thirties were also years of prog- 
ress. One of the greatest values which they yielded was almost 
a byproduct. All over the nation, committees of farmers were 
organized and went to work to help carry out the federal agri- 
cultural programs in their own districts, and to plan other 


ways of meeting their common problems. These years of ex- 
perience in community cooperation at the "grass roots" made 
it possible for the people of Farmville to act quickly and effec- 
tively for community improvement in the postwar years. 

Moreover, some rural communities made notable advances 
in educational and social services, despite the lack of funds 
thanks to the efforts of resourceful, persevering men and 
women. This decade saw the rise of some remarkable rural 
schools, dedicated to the betterment of the life of all the people 
of their communities, and operated at no more than the ordinary 
costs of rural schools because of the devoted and sacrificial serv- 
ice of principals and teachers. There were pioneer achievements 
in other fields as well. Bookmobile traveling libraries appeared 
in several states. Rural health clinics and public nursing services 
were established in some districts. Farmers' cooperatives multi- 
plied cooperatives for buying expensive equipment, for pro- 
ducing and marketing foods, for purchasing electric power, for 
canning and freezing food for home consumption, and many 
others. Many such enterprises were initiated or aided by rural 
schools. In many schools the students and teachers worked 
quietly but effectively to exterminate mosquitoes and rodents; 
screen the windows and doors of farm houses; build sanitary 
toilets; increase home production of vegetables, eggs, and milk; 
build and operate shops for repairing farm machinery; and 
transform woods and fields into recreation areas. These accom- 
plishments, scattered though they were, became widely known 
and influenced the thinking and planning of many people. 

Yes, the thirties were hard years for the people of Farmville. 
But during those years were sown seeds of progress which have 
come to fruition in the Farmville community of today. 

The Strenuous Years 
of the War 

The war brought great changes to Farmville. Its first demand, 
beginning in 1940, was for men to work in war industries and 


to serve in the armed forces. It drew men and their families 
away from farms and villages to the cities. From 1940 to 1943, 
some 2,500,000 people moved away from the farms, to work 
in the cities and to enter the Army and Navy. 1 It was chiefly 
the young men who left the farms, but young women and 
older people went, too, in large numbers. 

Migration to the cities was well under way before a second 
war demand became insistent the demand for increased agri- 
cultural production, ^hen the United States entered the war, 
it became apparent at once that more food was needed than 
ever before in the nation's history, and that it was needed 
quickly. More agricultural products were needed in industry, 
too. And some crops, hitherto imported, now had to be grown 
at home. 

Here was a national problem of first' magnitude more farm 
products were needed to carry on the war, fewer workers were 
available to produce them. To the credit of the people of rural 
America, the problem was met with success. Workers were 
found to take the places of many who had gone to cities and 
entered the armed forces; and the production of farm workers 
was increased by greater use of labor-saving machinery and 
wider application of scientific knowledge. In both cases, educa- 
tion played an important part. 

It was not easy to replace farm workers. The armed forces, 
the war industries, and civilian industry and commerce all 
needed manpower, and pay in cities was well above the income 
of most people who worked on farms. 2 Rural America itself 
had to supply most of the workers. Older men returned to more 
active work. More women went into fields. People in towns and 
villages closed their shops and offices to help with the harvesting 
of perishable crops. And millions of boys and girls from the 
schools added their labor to that of older workers. Schools ad- 

z Data supplied by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. 

* As late as 1941, the cash income of half of the rural families f>f the United States was 
less than $760. (U. S. Department of Agriculture.) 


justed their schedules to the seasonal needs of farming. Teachers 
helped to recruit and supervise the '"land army" of young 
workers. Combined study-and-work programs appeared in 
large numbers with schools giving credit for work on farms 
and in homes, supervised by teachers. 

Such things, to be sure, were not new. Rural boys and girls 
have always done some work on farms or in their homes; and 
in some schools especially in courses in vocational agriculture 
and home economics farm and home work has long been 
looked upon as a part of education. 

What was new was the scale on which work was conducted. 
In wartime, more students worked, and more of their time 
was given to work, especially at peak seasons. More teachers 
took part in organizing and supervising work programs. More 
schools recognized the educational values of work experiences 
for all students, developed study-and-work programs, and gave 
credit for supervised work. We shall see some enduring results 
of these wartime experiences when we look at the Farinville 
Secondary School today. 

Moreover, under the Victory Farm Volunteers program, 
several hundred thousand boys and girls from the cities often 
accompanied by their teachers went out to farms during their 
summer vacations to work where they were most needed, par- 
ticularly in harvesting perishable crops. The economic products 
of this work were not its only values. Many city youth gained 
an understanding of farm life and labor which no amount of 
book study could have produced. The experience left its mark 
on the programs of many city schools on that of American 
City, for example, as we shall see in the next chapter. 

Along with the recruiting of farm labor went the increased 
use of labor-saving machinery and improved farming methods. 
Fortunately, the manufacture of farm machinery and equip- 
ment was not greatly reduced during any of the war years save 
one, and the supply of parts for replacement was cut scarcely 
at all. A nationwide program of education was launched, 


financed by the federal government and carried on through 
the public schools. In rural schools throughout the nation, 
farmers and farm youth were instructed in the uses of farm 
machinery and in its repair and maintenance. Under these con- 
ditions, the number of tractors and tractor-drawn machines in 
use increased slowly but steadily during the war, and has grown 
still more in the postwar years. Today in the Farmville Second- 
ary School we shall find the farm machine shop in a place of 
first importance. 

Scientific advances, too, were speeded up all along the agri- 
cultural line in processing and preserving f oo<Js, in the devel- 
opment of higher yielding strains of crops, in control of insects 
and diseases, in fertilizing and cultural practices, and in live- 
stock breeding and feeding. Education went hand in hand with 
scientific progress, and the public schools, the agricultural col-, 
leges, and the Department of Agriculture all helped to train 
farmers in the practical uses of the latest scientific develop- 
ments. This program, too, has continued unabated through the 
postwar years. 

On the whole, the war years saw considerable improvement 
in the economic situation of farmers and of the villages and 
towns dependent on farm trade. Farm production rose steadily, 
until in 1944 it reached a level about 30 percent above that of 
the 1935-39 average. During the same years, the prices of farm 
products rose to a point about 80 percent above the 1935-39 
average. The gross income of farmers in 1944 was, therefore, 
around $22,500,000,000, as compared with a 1935-39 average 
of $10,432,000,000. Since the number of farm families had 
declined during these years, the midpoint in the distribution 
of farm family incomes rose from $760 in 1941 to about $1500 
in 1944. 8 The trends of the thirties were reversed. Farm debts 
declined, conditions of tenure were improved, wages for farm 
labor rose, and land values advanced. 

S U. S. Department of Agriculture estimates. 


Most of the farmers* committees and cooperatives continued 
to be active during the war years. In addition, born out of com- 
mon purposes of war, there was a good deal of informal co- 
operation on the part of rural people. Farmers frequently 
"teamed up" in the use of machinery and labor for cultivating, 
planting, and harvesting. People from towns and villages turned 
out to help harvest perishable crops. War bond campaigns and 
other "home front" activities helped people to know one another 
better and added to their experience of working together. Hours 
of work were long, to be sure, and time was precious. Never- 
theless, in Farmville and many other communities, people took 
time, as the end of the war approached, to form or revive 
community councils and to begin to plan for better community 
life in the years ahead. 

The Years 
after the War 

When the war was over, the nation was confronted by the 
colossal tasks of converting the war economy to the uses of 
peace and demobilizing the greater part of its armed forces. 
Some unemployment in the cities inevitably resulted. Accumu- 
lated savings, mustering-out pay, and unemployment insurance 
payments helped to sustain the purchasing power of city people, 
but there was, nevertheless, some decline in the domestic market 
for farm products. 

During the first year, however, the drop in the domestic 
market was offset by the demand for agricultural products 
abroad. Food was desperately needed for the undernourished 
and as yet unrehabilitated populations of large sections of Eu- 
rope and Asia. Exports rose sharply as enemy-occupied areas 
were freed and shipping facilities became available. Farm pro- 
duction was maintained at a high level, and the price of farm 
products remained stable. 

During the second year, however, the farmers were not so 
fortunate. At home, conversion and demobilization had not yet 


been completed, and there was still some unemployment; while 
abroad, relief was giving way to rehabilitation and reconstruc- 
tion. The first postwar crops had been harvested in Russia, west- 
ern Europe, and China, and not nearly so much food was needed- 
from the United States. Farm production was reduced accord- 
ingly, and with it, farm income. 

This recession was short-lived, however. As industrial con- 
version neared completion, the domestic demand for farm prod- 
ucts rose once more. Now it was possible for industry to produce 
goods to satisfy the long pent-up civilian wants; and the vast 
accumulated savings of millions of people were available to buy 
these goods. Industry and commerce were again operating at 
close to full capacity. There were jobs for most people between 
twenty and sixty who wanted to work, and wages were high. 
People in cities had money to buy farm products, the industrial 
uses of agricultural products continued to expand, and the 
foreign market was still sizable. So farm production and income 
returned to their wartime level and have remained there during 
the past three years. 

During the first two postwar years, some of the people who 
had left the farms and villages returned. Some, of course, were 
those who naturally wanted to get back home now that the 
war was over. Among these were many who had been in the 
armed forces. Others, dissatisfied with the crowding and inade- 
quate housing of the war industry centers, yearned for the open 
spaces in which they had been reared. Still others went back 
because it seemed to them that in the uncertain years just after 
the war, the farm offered greater economic attractions than the 
city if one knew something about farming. So back they came 
and with them came a few young people, city reared, who had 
worked on farms in wartime and liked farm life. 

Not as many returned as had gone, however not nearly as 
many of the younger people. Most of the youth stayed in the 
cities, and it was well that they did so, for rural America, even 
under the most prosperous conditions, could not have found 
places for them all. 

The need for farm labor, in fact, has been steadily reduced 
since the war as a result of continuing technical advances. 
Improved labor-saving machinery has been available in abun- 
dance, and many farmers have been able to buy it. The scientific 
developments of the war years have been advanced still f urther 
and applied more widely, thereby increasing the yield of labor. 
Transportation and marketing facilities have been greatly im- 
proved. Electricity has been carried into tens of thousands of 
farms and farm homes and with it, labor-saving electrical 

So, as soon as the first postwar back-to-the-f arm wave passed, 
and as soon as urban industry began to offer employment to 
new workers, the regular flow of youth from farms and villages 
to cities was resumed. 

During the early war years, rural communities were hard 
put to it to keep the educational and social services which they 
had. Large numbers of teachers, doctors, and nurses moved to 
cities or entered the armed forces, and it was difficult, often 
impossible, to replace them. It was out of the question to think 
of building new schools or other public buildings during these 
years because of lack of materials. 

Farm people, however, were not unmindful of their com- 
munity needs during the war. Nor did they fail to see that their 
improved economic state would soon bring improvements in 
home and community life within their reach. As the end of the 
war drew near, in community after community someone came 
forward to call people together and invite them to consider 
how, with more money at their disposal than they had ever had 
before, they could provide better schools for their children, 
better houses for their families, better health services, recrea- 
tional facilities, and cultural opportunities for everyone. The 
people, many of them already accustomed to working together 
on matters of common concern, responded not only with plans 
but with action. Through the years that have followed, this 
process of building for the good life in rural communities has 


gone on apace. The states and the federal government have 
helped in many ways, but credit for the advances in rural com- 
munity life belongs chiefly to the people of the Farmvilles. 

Now, as we write, the prosperous "post-conversion 9 ' period 
is coming to a close and is merging into what we may call the 
"postwar period proper." The backlog of consumer wants has 
been largely satisfied. The surplus savings of individuals have 
been largely spent or invested. The nation is settling down into 
the long pull, to make its economic system work as well in peace- 
time as it worked in war. 

What this period holds for agriculture, no one can accurately 
foresee. That will depend chiefly on conditions in industry, for 
the main market for agricultural products is in the cities of 
the United States. To a lesser extent it will depend upon foreign 
trade and our success in exchanging goods with other nations 
to the mutual benefit of all concerned. 

Today, as we look at the thousands of Farmville commu- 
nities five years after the war, we find here about 40 percent of 
the nation's people, enjoying, on the whole, a higher stable level 
of prosperity than they have ever known, with better houses, 
better schools, better health services, better recreational and 
cultural facilities than they have been able to provide hitherto. 
There are some exceptions, of course. There are still large areas 
well below sUch a fortunate state, and there are individual ex- 
ceptions in every community. Though the future cannot be 
predicted with certainty, the outlook is generally promising 
provided that the rural population does not greatly increase. 

But farm and village people do have large families. And the 
families are largest in the sections least able to support popula- 
tion increases. Unless the rural birth-rate drops sharply, a large 
proportion of rural youth will have to move to towns and 
cities, not only this year and the next, but for as long a time as 
we can see into the future. In order to keep the rural popula- 
tion between twenty and sixty stable in the nation as a whole, 
it is estimated that forty-six out of every hundred farm youth 


and thirty-three out of every hundred youth from villages and 
rural towns should go to the cities/ This fact, one can readily 
see, presents the educators of Farmville with one of their most 
difficult problems. 


In one of these Farmvilles it might be any one of thou- 
sands we find the Farmville Secondary School. With its eight 
hundred boys and girls, its modern buildings, spacious grounds, 
and adjacent farm lands, this school is the outstanding institu- 
tion in a village of a thousand people. It draws its pupils from 
an area of nearly two hundred square miles, with 6000 inhabi- 
tants, bringing them in by school buses from homes as far as 
twenty miles away. 

The area which is now the Farmville school district was for- 
merly divided into five small districts, each with an eight-grade 
elementary school and two with small four-year high schools. 
During the war, the recently organized Farmville Community 
Council addressed itself to the question of consolidating the 
smaller districts. Myron Evans, the new principal of the village 
high school at Farmville, took the lead in bringing this matter 
before the council, for he, more than anyone else, realized how 
far his little school fell short of meeting the needs of the youth 
of the countryside. He was warmly supported by several par- 
ents on the council. 

With the help of the state department of education, a careful 
study was made of the advantages and disadvantages of con- 
solidation, of the area and population which could best be 
served by a consolidated school system, and of the probable 
costs of buildings and operations. The council favored the 
union of the five districts, with a single secondary school and 
three elementary schools, each from kindergarten through sixth 
grade. Its recommendations were approved by the voters of the 

4 U. S. Department of Agriculture estimates. 


Then came the work of planning for the new secondary 
school. Before the architect's drawings could be made and the 
costs estimated, it was necessary to decide whom the school 
should serve and what sort of educational program it should 
offer. For months these matters were discussed in meetings of 
the new board of education, of the community council, and 
of parents and other citizens* groups. Mr. Evans and his little 
staff of teachers worked industriously on the program plan- 
ning and spent many of their evenings meeting with the board, 
the council, and the other groups. Requests for help were made 
to the state department of education and to the schools of edu- 
cation in the agricultural college and the state university, and 
much valuable counsel was received from the staffs of these 

A Single Institution Serves 
the Entire Period of Youth 

In the end, it was decided that the secondary school should 
include eight grades, from seven through fourteen, and that it 
should also provide educational services for out-of -school youth 
and adults. Plans for the educational program were fashioned, 
taking account as we shall see in a moment of the differences 
between the early and the later years of adolescence. Moreover, 
it was decided that the new school should serve as the commu- 
nity recreational center and that space should be provided to 
house other needed community services, particularly a library 
and a health center. Only after these matters had been agreed 
upon did the board proceed with plans for the building and for 
financing the construction/ It is four years now since the new 
secondary school was opened, with Mr* Evans as its principal. 

8 Plans for the building were subject to approval by the state department of education, 
since the state law required the state department of education to prescribe and enforce the 
observance of certain minimum standards in the construction of school buildings. The pro- 
gram of instruction, particularly in the thirteenth and fourteenth grades, was likewise required 
to meet the minimum standards set by the state department of education. See Chapter V for 
further discussion of these matters. 


Some 360 pupils in the Farmville Secondary School are in 
Grades VII, VIII, and EX. About the same number are in 
tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades; for school attendance is 
now required until the eighteenth birthday. 6 There are eighty 
students in Grades XIII and XIV chiefly boys and girls who 
expect to remain in Farmville and become farmers, merchants, 
homemakers, mechanics, office workers, and salespeople. In ad- 
dition, many young people are served by the school through its 
program of adult education and recreation. 

The entire period of youth is thus encompassed within a 
single institution. Within the school, one finds no hard-and- 
fast divisions, but rather a continuous program suited to boys 
and girls from twelve to twenty, changing with the changing 
needs and interests of maturing youth, and sufficiently flexible 
to permit adaptation to students who differ somewhat from the 

Meeting Common and 
Divergent Needs 

Grades VII, VIII, and DC might be called the period of the 
common secondary school. The educational needs of boys and 
girls from twelve to fifteen are, on the whole, common to all. 
Hence the curriculum for these three years is, in its broad out- 
lines, the same for all pupils, though with ample opportunity 
within each class for the teacher to take account of differences 
among individuals. 

During these early years of adolescence, the pupil continues 
to grow in knowledge and understanding of the world in which 
he lives; in ability to think clearly and to express himself intelli- 
gently in speech and writing; in his mastery of scientific facts 

8 The state law now requires attendance until the eighteenth birthday or the completion of 
the twelfth grade, whicherer is earlier. Productive work outside the school may be counted 
as school attendance, when it is a planned part of the youth's educational program, and 
when the school staff supervises the work. 


and mathematical processes; and in his capacity to assume re- 
sponsibilities, to direct his own affairs, and to work and live 
cooperatively with other people. At the same time, he is in- 
troduced to a wide range of experiences in intellectual, occu- 
pational, and recreational fields, so that he may have a broad 
base for the choices of the interests which later he will follow 
more intensively. He is helped to understand the processes of 
physiological and emotional maturing, characteristic of these 
years, and to develop habits of healthful living. He gains greater 
insight into his own abilities and potentialities. 7 

In the later years of adolescence from sixteen to twenty or 
thereabouts some of the important interests of individual stu- 
dents diverge. Most striking are the -differences in occupational 
interests. Some youth look forward to farming, some to busi- 
ness, some to mechanical occupations, some to medicine, teach- 
ing, nursing, or engineering, some to military service, and some 
to homemaking. Whatever the interest may be, whether the 
time of employment be near at hand or still remote, a youth 
rightly feels that he wants a part of his school experience to 
advance him on his way to entering the occupation of his choice. 

Among older youth, moreover,- one frequently finds diverse 
intellectual interests, which are of great significance for edu- 
cation. Here is a boy who enjoys mathematics for its own sake, 
and .another fascinated with literature. Here is a girl who spends 
many extra hours in the science laboratory because of sheer in- 
tellectual curiosity, and another no less devoted to music. 

Marked differences also appear in recreational interests, which 
run the gamut from athletics to reding, from art to wood- 

In these three fields occupations, intellectual pursuits, and 
recreational interests the curriculum of Grades X through 
XIV is differentiated* to suit the needs of individuals. Each stu- 

7 Since this volume is a description of the education of youth in their later teens, our ref- 
erences to education before Grade X will hereafter be only incidental. 


dent, aided by his counselor and teachers, develops an educa- 
tional program consistent with his purposes and capacities. 

In other fields, however, educational needs continue to be 
predominantly common to all youth. Most notable is the com- 
mon need of all youth for education in the responsibilities and 
privileges of citizenship. Youth also have common needs for 
education in family living, in health, and in understanding and 
appreciation of the cultural heritage. In these areas, the cur- 
riculum of the upper grades is substantially the same for all 
students, and adjustments to individual needs and abilities are 
made within the classes. 

Normally the first half of the tenth grade is the time when a 
student moves on from the common curriculum to the par- 
tially differentiated program. As we shall see shortly, this is a 
time of intensive guidance and planning. No student is com- 
pelled, however, to make choices before he is ready to do so, or 
to postpone his decisions until he reaches tenth grade. Within a 
flexible program, continuous from Grades VII through XTV, it 
is possible to suit the time of transition to the varying ages at 
which students mature. There are some youth who, at fourteen 
or fifteen, are already well started on courses preparatory for 
occupations or f or-college. And occasionally one finds a student 
who, at seventeen or eighteen, has not yet "found himself** and 
is still pursuing a course designed to help him reach an intelli- 
gent decision regarding his future. 

Attendance at school, as we have noted, is now required until 
the completion of twelfth grade. 8 Up to this point, the Farm- 
ville Secondary School endeavors to provide educational serv- 
ices for all its students, whatever their plans for the future may 
be. In Grades XIII and XIV, however, and in its program of 
education for out-of -school youth, the school attempts to serve 
only those youth who expect to remain in Farmville or other 
rural communities, and who do not intend to study in colleges 

8 Or the eighteenth birthday, whichever comes earlier. 


or universities. All others those who plan to work in the 
cities and those who look forward to education in colleges and 
professional schools are advised to leave the Farmville school 
at the end of the twelfth year, and to continue their education 
in one of the state's eleven community institutes 9 or in a 
college or university. 

* * * 

Boys and girls in Grades X, XI, and XII have reached the age 
(fifteen to eighteen) when youth are thinking seriously about 
their vocations and their plans for becoming self-supporting. 
On the basis of careful studies of the local situation, the school 
staff knows that approximately 40 percent fifty youth in each 
class should leave the Farmville district to continue their edu- 
cation and find their work in the cities. Farmville simply can- 
not support them. Furthermore, they should leave soon, pref- 
erably after completing the twelfth grade, for Farmville has 
little to offer them in the way of work or education after they 
are eighteen and they should not waste precious years in aim- 
less efforts. 4 

But human beings, especially American boys and girls, can- 
not be expected to conform exactly to desirable statistical 
patterns. Here is what the boys and girls in the new Farmville 
Secondary School's three graduating classes have actually done. 
Of every hundred who have completed Grade XII, 

18 have continued at the Farmville school through Grade 
XIII only. 

"Here, and elsewhere in this volume, the term "community institute*' refers to a free 
public educational institution, offering two years of education beyond the twelfth grade, 
in a variety of fields, both vocational and nonvocational. For most students, the course in 
the community institute is "terminal,** that is, it marks the end of full-time attendance at 
an educational institution. Some students, however, move on from the community institute 
to professional schools or to the upper two years of liberal arts and technical colleges. The 
community institute also conducts the program of part-time education for out-of -school 
youth and adults. The American City Community Institute will be described in some detail 
in Chapter IV, and the system of eleven community institutes in the state of Columbia 
will be described in Chapter V. 


24 have continued or expect to continue at the Farmville 
school through Grades XIII and XIV. 

16 have dropped out of full-time schooling, but have re- 
mained in the Farmville district. 

1 6 have gone away to university, agricultural college, teach- 
ers college, or liberal arts college some to return later to 
Farmville, some to remain away. * 

17 have gone away to one or another of the state's eleven 
community institutes, for one or two more years of edu- 
cation before going to work in cities. 

9 have gone directly to work in cities, dropping out of full- 
time schooling. 

Who should go to the cities to stay? Who should go away to 
college or university and come back into rural America to be 
teachers, doctors, dentists, lawyers, pastors, librarians, nurses, 
county agricultural agents, home demonstration agents, for- 
esters, farmers, and farmers* wives? Who should stay on in 
Farmville? And how is this Farmville Secondary School, forty 
miles from the nearest city of any size, to offer an educational 
program that will be equally helpful to those who are going to 
be farmers and village merchants; those who are going to the 
cities to find jobs in industry, commerce, and transportation; 
and those who are going on to professional schools of law, en- 
gineering, medicine, education, and agriculture? These are 
some of the questions which the school staff, the board of edu- 
cation, and the parents of the Farmville district have been try- 
ing to answer through the program of their school. 


The keystone of the school program is guidance personal 
assistance to individual boys and girls in making their plans and 
decisions about careers, education, employment, and all sorts of 
personal problems. 

Guidance is no mechanical process, whereby counselors and 
teachers sort out boys and girls as a grading machine sorts 


apples this one to stay on the farm, that one to work in an 
airplane factory, this one to be a teacher, that one to run the 
local garage. Guidance is rather the high art of helping boys and 
girls to plan their own actions wisely, in the full light of all the 
facts that can be mustered about themselves and about the 
wqfld in which they will work and live. 

Guidance is not the work of a few specialists. It is rather a 
service from the entire school staff, which requires some people 
with special knowledge and skills, but enlists the cooperation 
of all. 

Guidance is not limited to vocational matters. It includes the 
whole gamut of youth problems. Guidance, moreover, is not 
peculiar to the secondary schools. Good education from the 
earliest grades onward includes guidance from understanding 
teachers, principles, and counselors. 

Important new factors enter into guidance as boys and girls 
move into the later teens. During the years just ahead, most of 
these youth will make plans and decisions with far-reaching 
effects on their lives. They will have to decide what occupa- 
tions they are going to enter; whether they will stay in the 
Farmville district or move away; what education they want 
and where to get it; when to go to work, where, and at what 
jobs; whether to marry soon or wait a few years; and so on. 
For each decision, plans must be formulated and carried out. 
All are important, and more often than not, they are inter- 

The 'Counseling Staff 

The requirements for the good counselor are many. First of 
all, he must have understanding of young people and their prob- 
lems, grounded in scientific knowledge, yet shot through with 
sympathy and the ability to look at life through the eyes of boys 
and girls. He should have some special training in counseling 
methods, mental hygiene, and the discriminating use of tests' 


and measurements. When vocational matters loom so large, he 
should have accurate knowledge about occupational opportuni- 
ties, requirements, and preparation. He must have ample time 
for conferences with pupils, parents, and employers. And not 
least in importance, he must be thoroughly familiar with the 
purposes and program of his school, and able to work closely 
with teachers throughout the school. 

Most teachers have some of these qualifications, some have 
all save possibly the ample time. And in any school, a good 
share of counseling will be done by the teachers, in their classes 
and through informal conversations with students. 

At the Farmville school, however, it is believed that guidance 
is more effective when it is shared between the teachers and 
staff members for whom guidance is a chief responsibility. So 
we find four counselors in the school two men and two 
women. All four were formerly classroom teachers. Each of 
them still teaches at least the equivalent of one course. They 
were chosen because, as teachers, they showed unusual interest 
in guidance, seemed to have the personal qualifications for effec- 
tive counseling, and were willing to take the necessary special 
training. Each counselor is responsible for advising about two 
hundred students, or about one-fourth of each class from 
Grade VII through Grade XIV. 10 

In Grades VII, VIII, and IX, guidance is chiefly the work of 
classroom teachers. Counselors remain largely in the back- 
ground, working with and through the teachers. They use these 
years to become acquainted with their students individually, 
and to gather information about them from many sources. They 
observe their students in classes and shops and on the play- 
ground, confer with their teachers, study their performances 
on various tests, and follow their health records. They arrange 

M Approximately thirty students each for Grades Vtt through XII, and twenty students 
for Grades Xin and XTV together. A student normally will continue with the same coun- 
selor from the time of his entrance into Grade VII until he leaves the Farmville school, but 
changes may be made in the interest of students. 


occasions for talking with parents and for visiting in homes. 
From time to time they converse informally with their stu- 
dents, encouraging them to tell of the things they do best and 
like most to do, as well as of their difficulties and problems. They 
are particularly careful to pass on to teachers any information 
which may be helpful to them. Only rarely, when problems of 
unusual difficulty arise, do they counsel their students directly 
and then, only by arrangement with the teachers concerned. 

As the students approach the end of the ninth grade, the 
counselor assumes a larger share of direct responsibility for 
guidance. He arranges a leisurely conference with each of his 
students on questions which will be faced under more urgent 
circumstances the next year. Counselor and student talk to- 
gether about the student's interests and hopes for the future; 
about the plans and ambitions which his parents have for him; 
about the possibilities for a satisfying occupation in Farmville 
and elsewhere; and about the educational opportunities avail- 
able to him in the years ahead. They go over the record of his 
school history, review the things in which he has succeeded and 
those in which he has not done so well, and discuss the signifi- 
cance of his performances on tests. They compare his abilities 
with his interests and plans. They talk about the rewards of 
various occupations the satisfactions of social usefulness and 
personal growth, as well as the returns in money. The counselor 
never urges a premature decision. He is well satisfied if the stu- 
dent is started on the process of studying himself and relating 
his interests and abilities to the facts of the world at work. 

The 'counselor does more. He skilfully guides the conversa- 
tion until the student and he are talking about other satisfac- 
tions those that come from friendships, from happy family 
life, from health and active play, from carrying one's share of 
the load as a member of the community and a citizen of the 
nation, from the enjoyment of beauty, and from intellectual 
achievement and growth. As they talk, the counselor tries to 
help the student understand that the school is here to help him 


grow in achieving all these satisfactions both now, while he is 
still a student, and in the years to come. 

By the time his students are ready for tenth grade, the coun- 
selor knows that Jerry Black is the youngest of three sons; that 
his father's farm will barely support one family; that his oldest 
brother has married and started farming as a tenant, while the 
second son is working in the village; that Jerry has average 
intelligence, better than average mechanical ability, a satisfac- 
tory achievement record, and a strong interest in things mechan- 
ical, currently focused on airplanes. He knows that Marie 
Stewart is an only child; that her father, who has the most pro- 
ductive farm around Farmville, wants her to stay at home and 
marry someone who will take over the farm; that her mother 
wants her to go away to college and realize the unfulfilled 
maternal ambitions to be a musician; that Marie, who has 
superior intelligence but has seldom used it, doesn't want to be 
either a farmer's wife or a musician, but does want to get away 
from home and have a chance to live her own life. He has com- 
parable information about Ernest Mathews, son of the operator 
of the Four Corners Garage; Nellie Bowers, one of four chil- 
dren of a farm laborer; Enid White, physician's daughter; 
Howard Daniels, the most intelligent boy in his class, whose 
widowed mother runs a small dry-goods shop. 

Studying the 
World at Work 

When they enter the tenth grade, the 120 boys and girls of 
the class go to work directly on their educational and vocational 
plans. One of their major activities during the first term is the 
study of "The World at Work/' This serves a number of pur- 
poses. It acquaints pupils with their own dependence on the 
labor of farmers, workers in factories and transportation, clerks, 
managers, homemakers, physicians, engineers, teachers, public 
officials, mechanics, carpenters, and many others. It yields a bet- 


ter understanding of the way in which the economic system 
is operated. It promotes appreciation of the necessity of labor 
in human society. It fosters respect for all useful work well 
done. And it helps pupils to become familiar with the facts 
about the chief occupational fields, among which their choices 
are likely to be made. 

Far from being a "book course/' this takes the students at 
once into their own community. Each year the tenth-grade 
classes, under supervision of their teachers, bring the occupa- 
tional survey of Farmville and vicinity up to date. Here the 
students examine the occupations represented in their own dis- 
trict, the types of jobs available in each, requirements in the 
way of ability and training, the number of openings each year, 
and possibilities of advancement. Surveying goes beyond the 
mere gathering of facts. Students have both time and oppor- 
tunity to observe the practice of occupations with which they 
are not already familiar. 

Four times during the year, the tenth-grade students visit 
American City, a large industrial and commercial city some 
forty miles away. There, with the aid of counselors from the 
American City schools, they observe some of the industries, 
commercial establishments, and professions. On the first visit, 
everyone spends several hours in a factory, following the manu- 
facturing process from beginning to end and observing the 
duties of the various kinds of workers. Regardless of occupa- 
tion, it is believed, everyone should be familiar with machine 
production. So also with business. On the second visit, all go 
to one or another of the larger commercial firms, where they 
can see the operations and workers involved in buying and sell- 
ing goods and keeping accounts. The third visit supplies a sam- 
pling of professional and public services the Good Samaritan 
Hospital and public health center, the office of the county wel- 
fare director, the American City Community Institute, and 
the public employment service. On the fourth trip, students 
visit in smaller groups according to their special interests some 


going back to places visited earlier, others exploring new fields, 
such as law, beauty shops, radio broadcasting, hotel and restau- 
rant operation, and newspapers. Those with interests in occupa- 
tions not well represented in American City may arrange to 
visit in other cities. 

Field work is supplemented by class study and discussion, and 
by reading in a well-stocked library of books and pamphlets 
on occupations. Particularly helpf ul are the bulletins on occupa- 
tional trends, opportunities, and requirements, now issued regu- 
larly by the U. S. Office of Education in cooperation with other 
federal agencies, with supplements for the state supplied by the 
state department of education. 

Motion pictures are frequently used, and to great advantage, 
especially after pupils have had some firsthand experiences in 
observation. Recently developed instructional films make it pos- 
sible to show the main operations in an entire manufacturing 
industry, a business, a transportation system, or a profession, 
in the course of from one to three hours for each subject, with 
a thoroughness which would not be possible in a brief visit. 
Through films it is also possible graphically to show the mar- 
kets of local products and the sources of things purchased, and 
to demonstrate the economic interdependence of the Farmville 
community and many other parts of the nation and of the 
world. 11 

The study of "The World at Work" is a project of the entire 
tenth-grade' teaching staff, rather than of one teacher or de- 
partment. Teachers of mathematics and science, for example, 
undertake to acquaint students with the nature and require- 
ments of scientific and 'engineering occupations, as well as to 
show the uses of mathematics and science in other occupations; 
so also with teachers of English, health, agriculture, home 
economics, machine shop, and business education. 

11 The state department of education and state institutions of higher education are now 
jointly engaged in some promising experiments in the use of television as a means of bringing 
activities of the out-of-school world into the schools. 

The Educational Plan 
for the Individual 

Meantime, students and counselors continue to confer. Often 
they agree that further tests of aptitudes and interests will be 
helpful, and they study the results of these tests together. Health 
records are examined, and if unremedied defects are found, the 
school physician is called in for advice. Many of the activities 
during this first year, both in and out of classrooms, are ex- 
ploratory in character, designed to discover students* capacities 
and to awaken their interests. All the tenth-grade teachers, 
therefore, share in this diagnostic process. Their information is 
pooled with that of the counselors at periodic staff conferences. 

Sometime during the year, each student is asked to work out 
a tentative educational plan, carrying through the twelfth 
grade, and to discuss this with his parents and his counselor. 
Some students are ready to plan after two months; some may 
need six. As early in the process as possible, the parents are asked 
to come to the school, and student, parents, and counselor go 
over the matter together. This is repeated at least once, some- 
times several times, as the plan takes form. More often than not, 
the teacher in the field of the student's major interest joins these 
conferences. This plan usually includes a vocational choice, but 
it may not. The school will not require such a choice until the 
student is ready. Experience has shown that the making of a plan 
helps to give the student a sense of purpose and direction in 
education, which may otherwise be lacking. 

When plans are well suited to the student's interests and abili- 
ties, there is less need for subsequent individual attention by 
counselors. A large share of guidance in occupational matters 
is then taken over by the teachers in the field of the student's 
chief interest. But the counselor continues td keep in touch 
with each student, his teachers, and his parents, and is partic- 
ularly alert for new problems. Like the family physician, he 


is available at all times to any student who has a problem re- 
quiring immediate attention. Students' plans are regularly re- 
viewed toward the end of each year and are frequently revised. 
Sometimes they are remade completely. Parents are consulted 
whenever a major change seems advisable. 

Other Duties of Counselors 

The counselor has many other duties. One of the most im- 
portant is to work with teachers. This is a two-way process. 
From teachers he gathers much information which is helpful in 
understanding students and in locating their needs and problems. 
To the teachers he furnishes information which helps them to 
fit their class work more exactly to students* needs. Never does 
he permit his office to become a "bottleneck" for information 
which should be in the possession of teachers. "When Marie 
Stewart is struggling with the problem of parental domination; 
when Frank Hood is recovering slowly from a long illness; when 
Jennie Harkness is so engrossed in her first serious love experi- 
ence that her schoolwork is being neglected; when Howard 
Daniels is on the point of changing over from distributive 
occupations to a course looking toward law these facts should 
be known, and known promptly, by all the teachers who work 
with Marie and .Prank and Jennie and Howard; and it is the 
counselor's responsibility to see that they are known promptly. 

The counselors are in general charge of part-time employ- 
ment of students, whether in school or out. They administer 
the public funds for student aid. They cooperate with other 
teachers in arranging for the supervised work experiences which 
are integral parts of the educational programs of most students. 
And they are alert to see that work opportunities or scholar- 
ships are available to all students who need money to meet their 
personal expenses. 12 

M See pages 63-66 for a discussion of work experience and pages 164-69 for a discussion of 
financial aid to students. 


State law requires school attendance until the age of eighteen. 
That age in most cases the end of twelfth grade is another 
time of major decisions for Farmville youth. Several choices 
are open to them. They may leave school at once for full-time 
work. They may continue in the Farmville Secondary School 
for one or two years, for advanced training in agriculture, 
homemaking, or other occupations of tfye Farmville area, and 
to continue their general education. They may go to the com- 
munity institute at American City, 18 or to some similar school 
offering advanced training in industrial, commercial, and other 
occupations, as well as preprofessional courses. Or they may 
enter a university or a four-year college. The last half of Grade 
XII is, therefore, a period of intensive guidance, definitely 
pointed toward next steps. Valuable assistance is given by coun- 
selors from American City, who spend some days at Farmville 
to confer with youth who plan to enter the professions and 
other careers in the cities. 

Guidance for 
"Out-of-Scbool" Youth 

The Farmville counselors, of course, continue to advise those 
who remain in the school through Grades XIII and XIV. They 
are also responsible for the school's "follow-up" guidance service 
to those who leave the Farmville school, whether they remain 
in this district or move away. 

Here the counselors try to steer a middle course between two 
dangers. On the one hand, there is the danger of prolonging 
the dependency of young people of eighteen, nineteen, and 
twenty, who should be moving rapidly toward independence 
and self -direction. On the other hand, there is the danger of 
"turning young people loose" and leaving them to find their 
way unaided into the next step of their lives at a time when 
they may be in greater need of educational services and com- 
petent counseling than they were as full-time students. 

u See footnote 9, page 38, for a statement regarding community institutes. 


So, when youth leave school and remain in the Farmville dis- 
trict, the counselors keep in touch with them until they feel 
that they are well on their way in the next step, whether that 
be farming, business, or homemaking. Many of these youth are 
"self-starters." They know what they want to do and how to 
start doing it; and when they need help, they know where to 
go and how to get it. They often come back to talk with their 
former counselors and teachers, to ask for information or ad- 
vice, to enrol in adult education courses, or to request that some 
new course be offered. Others need more individual attention. 
Some need help in finding their first jobs, in getting started on 
their farms, or in making a beginning of home life. Some decide, 
after a year or two in Farmville, that they will have better 
opportunities in the cities. 

In any case, the counselors and teachers have found that the 
school can be of great help to "out-of -school" youth by provid- 
ing part-time and evening classes in agriculture, homemaking, 
and business; by arranging for correspondence instruction; by 
sponsoring clubs for young farmers and young homemakers; 
and by supplying competent advice on such matters as loans, 
government programs, home planning, and the care of small 

Over 40 percent of the Farmville youth, we must remember, 
leave the district on completion of twelfth grade some 33 per- 
cent for education elsewhere, 9 t percent to work. The; first 
group those who continue their education require attention 
from Farmville counselors only until they have made the ac- 
quaintance of counselors in the community institutes or col- 
leges which they attend. Those who go directly to work in 
cities need to be followed more closely. They, more than any 
other Farmville youth, are likely to have difficult problems of 
adjustment during their first year out of school. Fortunately, 
most city-school systems like that in American City now 
have special counselors for out-of -school youth. The Farmville 
counselors make it a point to see that each one of their young 


people who goes to work in a city is promptly put in touch 
with one of these youth counselors. 


At best, however, guidance is only a means to an end. It will 
avail the student but little to work out an individual plan for 
education unless he is in a school in which that plan can be 
carried out. It will profit the counselor and teacher little to 
define the needs of individual boys and girls unless they are 
able to provide education to meet those needs. 

Flexibility in Curriculum 
and Instructioiwl Methods 

The Farmville Secondary School has, therefore, sought to 
make its curriculum and methods of instruction so flexible and 
adaptable that each youth may pursue that course which seems 
best suited to his abilities, his occupational plans, his personal 
interests, and the conditions of his present and future life as 
citizen, worker, and family member. 

This effort, on the whole, has been successful in spite of many 
practical difficulties. The obstacles would have been far greater, 
perhaps insuperable, under an unyielding system of grades, 
credits, promotions, and accrediting to higher institutions. The 
traditional system, however, was already in process of change 
before the war. Research studies had long since shown that 
diagnostic tests of intelligence and other abilities, coupled with 
the judgments of teachers as to personal qualifications, provided 
at least as reliable a basis for predicting college success as did the 
customary record of credits and grades. This was confirmed by 
several large-scale experiments in the thirties. Experiments had 
also shown that students who had followed any of a number of 
well-conceived experimental curriculums in high schools had 
performed at least as well in college as had their paired fellow 
students who had taken the regular college preparatory courses. 


New Bases for 

College Admission 

The war experiences added great impetus to the changes in 

methods of admission to colleges and universities. Under pres- 
sure of war manpower needs, the schools of medicine, dentistry, 
engineering, and education accelerated their programs and 
modified their requirements for admission. Many liberal arts 
colleges, facing the possibility of sharp decreases in enrolment, 
did the same. The armed forces, in search of officer candidates 
and technicians, instituted a nationwide program of qualifica- 
tion testing for high-school seniors, which took precedence over 
the customary high-school credits and grades in the selection 
of young men to be sent to colleges and universities for training. 
Later, the Army and Navy sent thousands of men from the en- 
listed ranks to colleges and universities. Graduation from high 
school was required, but not from college preparatory courses. 
Moreover, during the war, plans were developed for granting 
both college and high-school credit for correspondence courses 
offered through the Armed Forces Institute, and for certain 
educational experiences in military service, when supported by 
evidence fr'om tests or other objective achievements. 1 * When 
the war ended, large numbers of now mature men and women 
from the armed forces, who were not high-school graduates, 
were admitted to colleges and universities under the veterans' 
education program, on the basis of evidence of educational ac- 
complishments while in service. 

All these experiences, taken together, greatly modified the 
practices of admitting students from high schools to higher in- 
stitutions. There was a strong movement away from the use 
of credits and grades in prescribed patterns and sequences of 
courses, and toward a more general use of tests of intelligence, 
other abilities, and aptitudes; achievement tests and examina- 

34 See: Secondary-School Credit for Educational Experience in Military Service. "Washington, 
D. C.: National Association of Secondary-School Principals, a department of the National 
Education Association, 1943. 32 p. 


tions in broad fields; and appraisals by teachers and principals 
of such characteristics as industry and maturity. 

With the end of the war came many educational readjust- 
ments. In the case of admissions to colleges and universities, 
however, there was little evidence of desire to revert to prewar 
practices. Instead, both the secondary schools and the higher 
institutions endeavored to improve and stabilize the newer 

The secondary schools consequently were relatively free to 
shape their curriculums and their systems of evaluating and 
crediting, for all their students through Grade XII, and for 
most of those in Grades XIII and XIV. Only in the cases of stu- 
dents in community institutes who wished to continue their 
education in professional schools did the higher institutions 
designate fields and sequences of study as prerequisite for ad- 
mission. Even these requirements were seldom prescribed by the 
higher institutions alone. Usually they were the products of 
joint conferences of representatives of the professional schools 
and the upper secondary schools. 

These changes came with surprising suddenness, but they were 
not accidental products of the war. Changes of this character 
must have occurred within a few years, in any case, as the sec- 
ondary schools were extended through the thirteenth and four- 
teenth grades, and as a larger and larger proportion of youth 
enrolled in the secondary schools and terminated their full-time 
education within the secondary period. The war merely acceler- 
ated the rate of change. 

To return to Farmville. This school continues to use the class 
as the chief unit for organizing instruction. But classes are 
viewed as tools of education, and like all tools, they have to be 
shaped to their uses. The schedule of work and the methods of 
instruction in each class are suited as nearly as possible to the 
needs of the students. Many classes are composed of students 
with half a dozen or more focal points of interest. A class in 
science, for example, may include five boys who look forward 


to farming, six girls with a common interest in homemaking 
as a career, four boys interested in automotive and mechanical 
work, one who expects to study medicine, two who want to 
enter the Army or Navy air forces, a girl talented in music, 
two girls who plan to teach, two boys and a girl headed toward 
business, and four who have no definite vocational interests. 
Add to this variety of interests a range of LQ.'s from 85 to 13 5, 
and the need for diversification of instruction is evident. 

These boys and girls have many common needs in their study 
of science. For example, they all need to understand science 
in relation to personal and public health, as an important factor 
in the improvement of many aspects of home and community 
life, and as a constantly effective cause of far-reaching changes 
in agriculture, industry, transportation, communication, war- 
fare, and, ultimately, in international relations and world organ- 
ization. They all need to understand the methods of scientific 
experimentation and to develop a scientific point of view. In 
many other respects, their needs are divergent especially their 
needs for knowledge of scientific facts and their applications. 
Class time is divided between work by the group as a whole, 
to meet needs common to all, and projects carried on by smaller 
groups ,and individuals in accordance with their particular 
needs. 15 

The principle of suiting curriculum and methods to the edu- 
cational needs of individuals is operative throughout the school. 
We shall meet many other examples, as we become acquainted 
with the programs in vocational education, citizenship, family 
living, health, recreation, literature, and the arts. 

Values of Systematic Study and 
Intellectual Achievement Preserved 

Let us be clear on three points. The Farmville school has not 
abandoned required learning in favor of free election by every 

35 See pages I30.-33 for further discussion of science in the Farmville school. 

student. Large areas of the school program are required of all 
students areas dealing with civic competence, health, family 
life, and the cultural heritage, for example. These are areas of 
common need for all youth, but the students who work in these 
areas are not identical in their abilities, their backgrounds, or 
their plans for the future. Within each class, therefore, teach- 
ers are alert to the differences between students and attempt to 
provide learning experiences which are "tailor-made" for the 
individual. That is one reason why students commonly take 
part in planning the work of their courses, and why committees 
and small-group and individual projects are so frequently used 
in classes as we shall see in a few moments. 

The Farmville school has not abandoned sequences of learning 
in order to cater wholly to current interests. But the sequences 
are made to suit individual students, rather than to conform to 
textbooks or prescribed courses of study. That is one reason why 
so much importance is attached to students' educational plans. 
For in making his plan, the student, under guidance, learns to 
map his own sequence of learning experiences by which he can 
move most efficiently from where he is to where he wants to be. 

Nor does the Farmville school neglect its students who have 
superior capacities for intellectual achievement and leadership. 
Quite the contrary. These teachers well know that the complex 
problems of the postwar world will require the best efforts of 
the best minds, disciplined to thorough study and clear thinking. 
They are quite aware that postwar America needs competent 
leaders as never before. Because students' programs are individ- 
ualized, the student of superior intelligence is encouraged to 
work well beyond the average of the class; and if he has special, 
interests in government, history, science, mathematics, or in 
any other field of study, he is allowed extra time to pursue those 
interests. Because students carry so many responsibilities in the 
school and in the community, the student with unusual qualifi- 
cations for leadership is helped to develop those qualities, and 
with them a sense of the public obligations of leadership. 


The Student's 

Personal History Record 

In place of the former system of credits and grades, the Farm- 
ville school has developed the student's personal history record. 
Here one may find the student's educational plan and the record 
of his progress in carrying out that plan. Here also are written 
statements from each of his teachers, summarizing his specific 
achievements in each of his courses, and appraising his initiative, 
industry, reliability, and other personal characteristics, as well 
as his abilities. Here are records of measured performance on 
tests of intelligence and aptitudes, on tests of occupational 
skills based on employment standards, on tests of essential infor- 
mation, and on tests of civic competence, such as ability to 
apply principles and generalizations and to reason logically in 
dealing with social problems. Here are reports of his employ- 
ment experiences, including farm, business, and home projects 
which he has managed himself, accompanied by appraisals from 
his employers and supervisors. Here is found his record as a 
citizen of the school and the community not merely a list 
of offices and activities, but descriptions of the services which* 
he has rendered, the group projects in which he has taken part, 
and the leadership which he has displayed. Here also his coun- 
selor has added those items of personal information which he 
considers relevant to the youth's success in employment or in 
advanced education. In short, this personal history is designed 
to be equally useful to the student himself, to a prospective em- 
ployer, to the admissions officers of a university, or to the coun- 
selors in* the community institutes in the cities. 

Accomplishments are measured and recorded as objectively 
and accurately as possible. Success and failure, however, are 
relative to students* abilities. A student of limited ability may 
carry out a plan suited to his capacities and come to the end of 
his school career with a merited feeling of satisfaction. This 
does not mean that his accomplishments will qualify him to 

enter professional school or to get a job as a skilled worker. It 
does mean, however, that he has achieved the things which he, 
with the aid of his counselor and teachers, set out to do. He has 
undertaken an educational program within his powers and has 
carried it through. Such an experience of success is the right of 
every child and youth, whether he be endowed with five talents 
or with one. 

There are occasions of failure, too, at Farmville. When a stu- 
dent falls short of carrying out his educational plan, that is taken 
as evidence that more effective guidance is needed. It may mean 
that the plan is too ambitious in relation to the student's ability, 
and needs to be revised to come within his reach. It may signify 
that the pupil is working far below his ability. In either case, 
the problem is one to be approached through counseling. More 
often than not, the cause is located and the remedy applied. 
Neither skilful guidance nor good teaching, however, is a 
panacea. When counselors and teachers have done their best, 
a student may yet persist in doing far less than he is able to do. 
When this occurs, the school must enter the fact on the student's 
record, while it continues its search for causes and cures* 


Most Farmville youth, like most youth everywhere, want to 
become self-supporting and independent through their own 
labor. They want to work, and they want their work to be some- 
thing more than the means of earning a bare subsistence. They 
want to be able to look forward to advancement and increasing 
income if they do their work well, whether they work for wages 
or manage their own farms, stores, or shops. They have seen 
their parents work, they have worked themselves, and they 
know that toil is a necessary part of life. But they also know 
that work is not all burdensome, that even routine labor may 
be interesting if one is interested in the products of one's labor. 

These things are true of girls as well as boys. Not all the Farm- 
ville girls, to be sure, expect to work for wages or salaries. But 

many do, for a few years at least; and a few think of working 
permanently. The majority expect to marry soon and live on 
farms and in the villages. From their own experience, these girls 
know that independence and self-support for the Farmville 
family depend on the work of the wife as well as the husband. 
Most Farmville families are still economic units, with all their 
members working to produce at least a part of the goods and 
services which they consume. 

Farmville youth have many other interests. They like to play 
football and baseball, to date and dance, to sing and swim, and 
to go on picnics. Their basketball team is as good as any in the 
state. Their band and chorus go to the state music festival. They 
send delegations to conventions of the Future Farmers of Amer- 
ica, the 4-H Clubs, and church young people's societies. Boys 
are interested in girls, girls in boys, and many of them are begin- 
ning to think seriously about possibilities of marriage. But here 
they encounter the problems of work and self-support. A young 
man wants to have a job, or a farm and some money to run 
it, before he assumes the responsibilities of marriage. And apart 
from marriage, boys and girls alike need money for clothes and 
personal expenses in order to be at their best in the social and 
recreational activities of school and community. Most of them 
have to work for that money, because even in good times the 
cash incomes of farm families will not often support such ex- 
penses. Most of them want to work, because of the sense of 
independence and self -direction which they gain. 

Farmville youth are interested in citizenship, too, as we shall 
see presently. But citizenship education in Farmville begins close 
to home and close to the process of making a living. It com- 
mences with group activities in the school which frequently in- 
volve production of goods or services and management of busi- 
ness activities. It extends out into the community through a 
variety of school services, some of which are designed to increase 
productivity and wealth. Many of these activities provide oc- 
cupational as well as civic training for youth. 

Citizenship education is extended beyond the community into 
the region, the nation, and the world, as boys and girls follow 
the ramifications of their occupations getting firsthand expe- 
rience with the government agricultural programs and serv- 
ices; observing meetings of county agricultural committees and 
service clubs; becoming familiar with farmers' organizations, in 
their national as well as local settings; studying organizations 
of labor and employers along with those of farmers, and seeing 
the influences of these various groups on governmental policies; 
following closely the actions of the federal government and of 
the Council of the United Nations, in order to understand the 
likely effects on the occupations in which they are interested. 

These activities are not the whole of citizenship education, 
but they are a sufficiently important part to show that there 
is no sharp separation between preparation for an occupation 
and growth in civic understanding and responsibility. As youth 
progress through the Farmville school, there is an increasing 
integration of activities in vocational training, social studies, 
and community services, each supporting the other. 

The Farmville school, therefore, looks upon youth's prime 
interest in occupations as an educational need to be met and an 
educational opportunity to be seized. By successfully meeting 
the need for occupational preparation, the school may also open 
the way to more effective education for citizenship and personal 

The school's occupational survey of the Farmville district 
shows the number of people employed in each occupation. 16 It 
shows the number of openings likely to occur in each field each 
year, due to deaths, retirements, and expansion of employ- 
ment. Since homemaking is one of' the major occupations of 
Farmville's graduates, the survey also includes data on family 
life in the community the number and sizes of families,- dis- 
tribution of ages at which marriage takes place, housing facilities 
for new families, and the like. In addition; the school has recent 

"See page 44. 

reports of employment conditions and trends in the main oc- 
cupational fields for all nearby cities and for the state, and also 
the national and regional reports issued by the federal govern- 
ment. From all these data it is estimated, as we have seen, that 
about three-fifths of Farmville's boys and girls may expect to 
support themselves through work in rural areas and that two- 
fifths should go to cities. These facts are well known to pupils 
and parents, teachers and counselors. They are carefully con- 
sidered when educational plans are being made. Further than 
this the school cannot go, nor does it attempt to. For the right 
to choose one's occupation and one's place of residence, though 
not written in the Bill of Rights, is one of the most important 
and jealously guarded of the American civil liberties. Over the 
last four years, approximately twice as many young people have 
remained in Farmville as have moved to cities, although there 
have been variations from year to year. 

The youth of Farmville fall into three distinct groups with 
respect to their occupational planst 

First, those who expect to remain in Farmville or in rural 
communities. For these f arm-and-village youth, the school seeks 
to provide occupational training through Grade XIV, which 
will prepare them to move at once into adult employment. 

Second, those who are going to the cities to work in industry, 
business, transportation, and other fields in positions which do 
not require college or university preparation. The Farmville 
school undertakes to carry this group well along the road of 
occupational training; but its staff and equipment are inade- 
quate for complete preparation. These youth must go to Ameri- 
can City or elsewhere for advanced training in Grades XIII and 
XIV, and occasionally in Grade XII. 

Third, those who look forward to study in colleges and uni- 
versities as preparation for the professions and comparable 
occupations. These youth remain in Farmville through Grade 
XII. The school endeavors to supply educational experiences 
relevant to the vocational plans of each student but leaves pre- 
professional training for the community institutes, the colleges, 
and the universities. 


Let us now examine the occupational preparation of each 
of these three groups. 

Youth Who Expect 
To Remain in Farmville 

Those who remain in Farmville will work chiefly in four 
fields. Two-thirds of the boys, on the average, will be farm 
owners, tenants, or farm laborers. Practically all the girls will 
be homemakers, though some will work in stores and offices be- 
fore marriage, and a few will work afterward. Some boys will 
work in garages and machine repair shops, some in stores and 
offices. Now and then there will be an opening for a postal em- 
ployee, a school bus driver, a beauty parlor operator, a carpen- 
ter, an electrician, or assistant in the library or health center. 

Vocational education therefore falls largely in four fields 
agriculture, homemaking, business, and mechanics. These are 
not rigidly defined curriculums, with prescribed courses. Rather, 
they are occupational areas, 'within which the school attempts 
to offer the instruction needed by youth, and within which boys 
and girls work out individual plans for the training which best 
meets their needs. Farmers need to know how to repair automo- 
biles, tractors, and other farm machinery; and village mechanics 
frequently operate small farms. Boys, as well as girls, have a 
practical interest in home planning, family budgeting, and the 
production and preservation of foods for home use. Farmers, as 
well as storekeepers, need to know how to keep accounts, secure 
credit at reasonable interest rates, and make out government 
reports. Rural merchants, as well as farmers, need to understand 
government programs for price stabilization and crop loans. The 
plan of each student for vocational education is not a listing of 
courses, but rather an inventory of experiences which will best 
help that particular student to attain his occupational goal. 
Thanks to the flexibility of courses and schedules, it is usually 
possible for each student to secure these experiences at the times 
when they are most needed. 


Indeed, the term "course" in its conventional use is a mis- 
nomer for much of the work in vocational education. What the 
school actually offers is a series of projects, each including a 
variety of skills and operations, each combining practice, train- 
ing on the job, and class instruction. For example, the school 
operates a shop for the repair of farm machinery. Here boys 
learn to repair mowers, disk plows, seeders, and tractors brought 
in by farmers who pay for the cost of new parts and materials. 
Every boy who expects to farm spends enough time in the shop 
to learn to care for his own machinery. But some boys, who ex- 
pect to become shop mechanics, continue for several years, 
learning how to do the more highly skilled work, how to manage 
a shop, how to order parts, keep accounts, and compute costs. 
Again, much of the food for the school lunches is produced 
and processed locally. Families are allowed credit on the cost of 
their children's lunches for food grown at home, frequently 
by the children themselves. Other food is grown by students 
in the school gardens. This food supply must be planned in ac- 
cordance with consumption needs. Much of the food must be 
canned, frozen, or dehydrated as it is received, and stored for 
future use. Other food must be purchased commercially. Daily 
menus must be planned, food must be prepared, inspected, and 
served. Accounts must be kept, bills paid, costs computed. A 
large share of the work is done by students, under the super- 
vision of teachers of home economics, agriculture, and business 
education. This project alone supplies a wealth of training in 
nutrition, food preparation, gardening, accounting, and business 
management for dozens of girls and boys each year. 

Around the school are grouped a number of cooperative 
enterprises, operated by the people of the community a can- 
nery, a poultry hatchery, a feed grinding mill, and a refrigera- 
tion plant for meat and vegetables. The buildings in which 
these are housed were constructed by boys from the school. 
Under supervision of teachers, students do much of the work in 
these plants, including accounting as well as plant operation. 


In addition to special skills, boys and girls learn business man- 
agement, office practices, the operation of cooperatives, and 
ways of raising their standards of living by increasing produc- 
tion from their farms and back yards. There are many other 
group projects for home improvement, for community im- 
provement, and for improvement of the school itself in which 
a variety of skills may be learned carpentry, electric wiring, 
masonry, woodworking, furniture making and repairing, weav- 
ing* nig hooking, home decoration, ornamental gardening, and 
so on. 

In addition, many pupils have individual projects, planned 
jointly with their teachers and their parents, which occupy a 
part of their time throughout the year. These projects, well 
known to all familiar with the 4-H Clubs and the vocational 
agriculture and homemaking programs of rural schools, provide 
valuable training for farming and homemaking and frequently 
are sources of income for youth as well. The school also operates 
a farm on nearby land, for students interested in farming who 
live in the villages. Boys and girls may rent portions of this land, 
purchase stock and seed on credit, and raise poultry, livestock, 
vegetables, and other crops, as a part of their school program. 
To be sure, they face the hazards of loss as well as profit, but 
they learn some principles of collective security by operating 
a mutual insurance fund for protection against loss by reason 
of disease, insects, and weather. There is no insurance, however, 
against loss resulting from incompetence or neglect. 

Reading, class instruction, and laboratory work are no less 
important in Farmville than in other schools. But they are sched- 
uled as needed on the projects to provide background informa- 
tion and to clarify principles and generalizations. The mechanics 
of internal combustion engines is taught while a tractor motor 
is being rebuilt. Study of the chemistry of soils accompanies 
the preparation of ground for planting. Study of the physics 
of electricity grows out of practical work on the uses of elec- 
tricity on the farm and in the home. Nutrition is studied when 

girls are planning menus for homes and school lunches. Boys 
and girls who are about to take over the accounts of a coopera- 
tive are psychologically ready for instruction in bookkeeping. 

Productive Work Experience 

in the Farmville Educational Program 

Work experience is an essential part of all the activities just 
described. Work experience is a matter of learning to apply 
oneself continuously and industriously to a job, learning to work 
under supervision, learning to meet high standards of perform- 
ance. Practically every boy and girl in the Farmville school 
has an abundance of work experiences. Students engaged in 
repairing farm machinery, operating a refrigeration plant, 
installing farm electrical equipment, planning and preparing 
school lunches, keeping the accounts of a cooperative cannery, 
or raising their own poultry and livestock are learning to judge 
their work, not in terms of credits and grades, but by their 
ability to produce useful goods and services. Wages may or may 
not be paid for such work. They are not essential to work expe- 

There is this difference, however, between the work which 
the students usually do in and around the school and the work 
of adults. In the case of students, the most important con- 
sideration is what youth learn. The production of goods and 
services is incidental to learning. Beginners are necessarily ineffi- 
cient; achievement is measured in terms of growth; and when 
an acceptable standard of efficiency has been attained, the youth 
is moved on to another project for there is much to learn. 
In adult employment, whether for wages or for oneself, pro- 
duction is the chief consideration. Some training is usually re- 
quired, both at the beginning of employment and as work con- 
tinues; but here learning is incidental. Success in office, shop, 
factory, or on the farm depends on one's efficiency in producing 
goods and services. In all except the unskilled occupations, this 
means the worker must bring at least basic skills to his job. 

The view generally prevails around Farmville that it is a good 
thing for a boy or a girl to have, as a part of his or her education, 
a period of productive work under conditions approximating 
those of adult employment where production of goods or 
services is of main importance and where the worker receives 
a wage for his labor or a price for his product. One finds agree- 
ment on this point among teachers, parents, employers, and 
young people themselves. Everyone ought to know, they say, 
what it means to work for production and the only way to 
learn that is by experience. Whether one later is going to work 
for others, work for himself, or employ others, a successful 
experience of this kind, while in school, will be an asset, 

So we find that most of the Farmville youth include in their 
school programs a period of work in which their chief purpose 
is to produce goods or services for wages or for sale. There are no 
uniform requirements, save those of the laws relating to the 
labor of minors. Each plan is made to suit the individual. The 
boy who expects to leave school at the end of the compulsory 
period must, of course, schedule his work project for Grade XI 
or XII. Those who plan to continue at the Farmville school 
.through Grade XIII or XIV usually place the work project later. 
Those who look forward to preparation for urban occupations 
in the community institute in American City or some other 
city generally prefer to get their employment experiences in 
urban communities. The job may be part-time and extend over 
a period of a year or two years. Or it may occupy most of a 
student's time through a period of three, four, or six months. 
In a rural community, where work is at its peak during the 
summers, many students are able to get their work experiences 
during the summer vacations. 

Jobs are of many kinds, related, as closely as possible, to the 
youths' occupational plans. Efforts are made to find jobs which 
afford incentives and opportunities for learning throughout the 
entire period of employment. Counselors and teachers help to 
arrange and plan the work. The teacher observes the student 


while he is on the job, consults with the employer, and, when- 
ever needs for training are revealed, seeks to supply instruction 
in the school. Some boys work on farms. Some rent land from 
their fathers or neighbors and run their own farms. Boys and 
girls work in stores and offices in the village, two or three stu- 
dents often sharing a full-time job. Similar arrangements have 
been made with the garages and machine repair shops. 

Indeed, the Farmville businessmen have come to recognize 
that the community must not only provide schools for its 
youth, but must also supply jobs for its youth, in hard times 
as well as good. Accordingly, they have earmarked certain 
"student jobs" which will give work to around twenty boys 
and girls each year enough to employ most of the youth in- 
terested in village careers. Employers, as well as youth, benefit 
from this arrangement. Youth get employment experience, 
supervision and training from their teachers, information use- 
ful in planning their further education, and cash income. Jobs 
which might otherwise be blind-alleys are transformed into 
opportunities for growth. Employers find that students are 
more productive than other workers in the same jobs, because 
they are being trained by the school as they work and because 
most of them are interested in their work. Some businessmen, 
who originally employed students out of interest in young 
people rather than because they thought they needed them, 
now think their young assistants are indispensable. 

The school itself and the associated cooperatives offer a 
number of jobs for older students. The farm machinery repair 
shop, the school gardens, the school farm, and the four coopera- 
tives each employs a student as a paid supervisor, who works 
under the supervision of the teachers of agriculture and carries 
much of the responsibility for operation. Older girls looking 
forward to homemaking are employed as assistants in the school- 
lunch program and in the home economics department. 

There are part-time jobs for three or four girls as home 
assistants in the village. Several carry on home projects for 

the production of foods, which they sell either to the school 
or at the farm women's cooperative market. Each year one 
or two particularly talented girls will produce marketable craft 
articles which are sold through a home crafts cooperative. 

The counselors and teachers who supervise student employ- 
ment take care that wages, hours of work, and working con- 
ditions are consistent with fair labor practices in adult employ- , 
ment. Students are well informed on such matters through their 
work in social studies, and are not likely to be exploited through 

Vocational Education in the 
Thirteenth and Fourteenth Years 

Most of the occupations around Farmville require a wide 
range of knowledge and skills. The fanner needs to understand 
animal and poultry husbandry, soils and soil conservation, fer- 
tilizers, control of diseases and pests, marketing, the keeping 
of accounts, and government regulations. He must be able to 
make ordinary repairs on motors, machinery, plumbing, and 
electrical equipment, and to do a good share of his own building 

The village mechanic has to handle gasoline motors, Diesel 
motors, automobiles, trucks, tractors, and all sorts of farm 
machinery from plows to combined harvesters. The electrician 
is called on to service radios, television receivers, and such elec- 
trically operated equipment as milking machines, cream sepa- 
rators, refrigerators, cold storage plants, poultry hatcheries, 
vacuum cleaners, air-conditioning units, food grinders and 
mixers, and electric fences. The worker in store or office may 
have to be salesman, buyer, bookkeeper, typist, and file clerk. 

The homemaker needs practical knowledge of nutrition, 
clothing, child care, hygiene, home care of the sick, home fur- 
nishings, and electrical equipment; of the processes of cooking, 
canning, dehydrating, and freezing foods; and of methods of 
growing fruits, vegetables, and poultry. In addition, she should 


have those understandings of child development and human 
relations and those appreciations of the beautiful and the good 
which make homemaking a fine art. 

One-fourth of a student's time during the three years from 
Grade X through Grade XII is sufficient only for a part of the 
preparation needed for any of these occupations. 17 The school 
staff encourages the boys and girls who expect to remain in 
Farmville to continue in the school, either as f ull-time students 
or in part-time and evening classes. Most of them do so. Some 
return for an additional year, some for two; while most of those 
who leave full-time schooling at the end of Grade XII enrol in 
part-time courses or in the clubs for young farmers and young 
homemakers which the school sponsors. 

Half or more of the students' time in Grades XIII and XIV 
is spent in study and practice related to occupations, including 
productive work under school supervision. Vocational educa- 
tion in these two upper grades is directed toward three pur- 
poses: to build all-round proficiency in the broad occupational 
fields of farm and village; to equip students with knowledge 
of the sciences and mathematics relevant to their occupations, 
so that they can meet new problems and improve their practices 
after they leave school; and to help each student more fully 
to understand the place of his or her occupation, in the con- 
temporary economy and culture. 

'Youth Who Expect To 
Live and Work in Cities 

We turn now to the second occupational group. What has 
the Farmville Secondary School to offer to its boys and girls 
who plan to live in cities and to work at jobs below the pro- 
fessional level? What can this rural school do for youth who 
will be working for airplane and automobile manufacturers, 

" Students learn many things in tlie earlier grades which are related to homemaking, 
farming, and mechanical work. But, for reasons explained earlier, this report does not attempt 
to cover the years prior to Grade X. 


steel mills, food milling plants, oil refineries, banks, department 
stores, hotels, railroads, airlines, and government agencies 
when Farmville has none of these institutions? The members of 
the school staff are fully aware of the difficulty of the problem. 
They do not claim to have found the complete solution, but 
here are their answers to date. 

1. Rural boys and girls should be reliably informed about 
urban occupations as well as rural, bef pre choosing their voca- 
tions. The city needs to be stripped of its glamour, on the one 
hand, and its forbidding grimness, on the other. We have 
already seen how the Farmville counselors and teachers attempt 
to apply this in connection with guidance, with the cooperation 
of their colleagues in American City and other cities, and with 
the aid of excursions, motion pictures, and the occupational 
reports of federal and state agencies. 

2. Rural boys and girls, who have tentatively chosen urban 
careers, need to know what qualifications, what training, and 
what other experiences they will need in order to succeed. 
Reading, motion pictures, conferences with Farmville coun- 
selors and with visiting counselors from American City, and 
observation during visits to American City and other cities 
are all intended to help meet this need. 

3. Success in occupations is dependent on many factors other 
than specific vocational skills, such as industrious habits of 
work, cooperation, reliability, resourcefulness, and the willing- 
ness to assume and carry out responsibilities. Farmville students 
are more likely to develop these qualities by working on projects 
which have observable value to themselves, their families, their 
school, and their community, than they are by practicing the 
operations of occupations which are still remote from their 

4. The occupations of Farmville employ many of the basic 
skills and much of the knowledge needed for work in most 
urban occupations. In some respects Farmville offers better 

opportunities than city -schools for introductory training in 
industrial and commercial fields, because it is easier to put 
students to work on practical jobs involving a wide range and 
variety of operations. The boy who works in the farm machine 
shop is learning uses of tools and machines which are applicable 
anywhere. The girl who handles the accounts and correspond- 
ence of a cooperative cannery is learning business practices use- 
ful in any office. 

5. With the aid of counselors, teachers, and flexible sched- 
ules, each student is helped to plan a program of experiences 
through Grade XII which is clearly related to his occupational 
plans. In most cases it will be found that Farmville offers no 
less than the schools of the cities, during these years when basic 
skills and knowledge are being developed. 

Sometimes, however, the school does not supply the experi- 
ences which an individual student needs. This is a challenge to 
staff ingenuity, which is usually adequate to the problem. Out 
of such situations grew the school beauty parlor and the school 
printing shop. Occasionally, however, it is advisable to send a 
student to some other school at the end of Grade XI, or even 
earlier, so that he may lose no time. The boy or girl must not 
suffer for the inadequacies of the school. 

6. The Farmville Secondary School does not attempt to 
carry its city-bound students beyond Grade XII. It has neither 
staff nor equipment for the more advanced training appro- 
priate to the later years. Furthermore, it is too far removed 
from cities to be able to arrange or supervise employment 
experiences for youth in training for urban occupations. 

Some who leave Farmville at the end of the twelfth grade 
want to go to work at once. A few have found jobs through 
friends and relatives; others ask the aid of their counselors, 
who have contacts with the statewide system of junior place- 
ment bureaus jointly maintained by the schools and the public 
employment service. Whenever a youth goes to a city job, a 


notice and copy of his school history are mailed at once to the 
city-school guidance office. A friendly visit from a city coun- 
selor follows soon, bringing an invitation to use the guidance 
and placement services and to attend evening school. 

Some want to enter apprenticeship training for the skilled 
trades. This usually requires the assistance of the Farmville 
counselor and the junior placement bureau in the city to which 
the boy is going. Since supplementary education in schools is 
required in most apprenticeship training programs, the contact 
with the city schools is usually assured. 

The greater number continue their education in one or 
another of the public community institutes. That at American 
City attracts the largest group. It is located in the nearest of 
the state's larger cities, and offers education in most of the 
fields in which youth want to work. It has exceptional facil- 
ities for study, observation, and practice in the refrigeration 
and air-conditioning industry and in air, rail, and highway 
transportation. If, however, a student is interested in public 
service as a career, he will be likely to go to the community 
institute in the state capital; while for training in glass, 
ceramics, or plastics industries, he goes to Three Rivers. There 
are eleven community institutes in the state. They all offer 
about the same courses in the industrial, commercial, service, 
and subprofessional fields which employ large numbers of 
workers. In addition, each one specializes in a few fields, such 
as fhose mentioned above, in which the openings for new 
workers are relatively few. A Farmville youth may choose the 
school which seems best equipped to offer him the training he 

Few Farmville families would be able to send their children 
away to school, if they had to bear the full costs of tuition and 
living expenses. However, all public schools in the state are 
free through Grade XIV, while part-time employment and 
public funds for student aid bring education away from home 
within the reach of all. 


'Youth Who Plan To Attend Four-Year 
Colleges and Professional Schools 

Farmville has yet a third group of students those who wish 
to continue their education after Grade XIV, through college 
or professional school. Their number is not large no more than 
twenty in each class of six times that number. They are, how- 
ever, an exceedingly important group, for among them is 
found a high proportion of youth with superior intelligence 
and unusual capacities for leadership. Some are headed for the 
agricultural college. Some plan to become physicians, teachers, 
lawyers, clergymen, engineers, nurses, or research scientists. 
Some look on college as an opportunity for further mental 
exploration, and prefer to make only tentative occupational 
plans while in secondary school. 

The principle followed in planning the occupational training 
of other students is applied here also. Each student, in consulta- 
tion with his advisers, maps out a program through Grade XII 
which seems best fitted to his particular plans and needs; and 
the school staff endeavors to make it possible to follow that 
program with profit. Because of the diversity of interests among 
these students, this principle leads toward individualized pro- 
grams a striking contrast to earlier practices under which these 
students would have Been grouped together and required to 
choose between one or two "college preparatory 5 * curriculums. 

These students do much of their work with other boys and 
girls, in classes and on projects which combine activities com- 
mon to all with opportunities to pursue special interests. Here 
and there, however, in classroom, laboratory, and library, or 
out in the community, one finds students working in small 
groups or as individuals, following interests which are unique. 
If the school cannot supply teachers qualified to instruct them, 
it turns for assistance to the correspondence study bureau of 
one of the state institutions of higher education. 

Individualization of programs does not mean neglect of 
the social aspects of education. In education for citizenship 


and personal development, these students attend the same 
classes and engage in the same activities as others. They take 
part in youth activities in school and community and fre- 
quently achieve positions of leadership and responsibility. The 
school staff realizes the potential value to society of those who 
are more gifted by nature and who enjoy the privileges of 
college and university education. It is, therefore, deeply con- 
cerned that these youth shall early develop a sense of public 
responsibility in connection with their careers. 

This school, furthermore, is dedicated to the improvement 
of life in its own community and in rural America. The staff 
members know that rural communities enjoy far less than 
their proportionate share of the services of physicians, dentists, 
nurses, librarians, clergymen, lawyers, recreational leaders, well- 
trained educators, and other professional people. They know 
that, in the past, most youth who have gone to college from 
farm and village have not returned. Therefore, they want to 
be certain that Farmville youth who go to college or univer- 
sity carry with them an understanding of the needs of their 
own community and of the opportunities for service and 
leadership which Farmville presents to those who choose to 
come back. 

Accordingly, the chief item on the program of each youth 
who plans a professional career is study of the present plape 
of his chosen profession in the Farmville community, and of 
the needs, and possibilities for expanding the services of his 
profession. This is not separate from the study of the com- 
munity in social studies classes, which is one of the important 
elements of the school's citizenship education program. Rather, 
it is an intensification of the work begun in social studies, 
especially of those aspects associated with students* career plans. 

Students who are interested in medicine and nursing act as 
assistants in the recently established health center, which is 
housed in the school. They take part in surveys of health con- 
ditions and needs. They are active in campaigns for improved 


sanitation and the prevention of communicable diseases. They 
accompany the visiting nurse on some of her rounds and 
assist the school physician in the health examinations of pupils. 
In so doing, they gain much information regarding their chosen 
professions, which is helpful in planning their school programs. 
No less important is the fact that they learn to look at medicine 
and nursing as public services for meeting community 'needs. 
Those who are going to the agricultural college work in 
similar relations with their teachers of vocational agriculture 
and homemaking and with the county agricultural agent and 
the home demonstration agent. For prospective teachers, the 
Farmville Secondary School itself provides unexcelled facil- 
ities for the study of the teaching profession as a community 
service. Although there are no engineers in Farmville, the 
effects of engineering are everywhere apparent in the rural 
electrification program, for example; in irrigation and flood 
control facilities; and in the public highway system, on which 
Farmville depends for transportation. Observations of such 
facts and of further needs are supplemented, from time to 
time, by field trips to engineering projects and to the offices 
of engineers engaged in public planning and construction. 

Studies preparatory to professional education are not neg- 
lected, but their development waits upon recognition of need. 
Seldom does it wait long after students have commenced their 
field work. The boy or girl who is working in the health center 
usually sees clearly that chemistry and biology are basic to 
medicine and nursing. The boy who has studied dams and power 
projects at firsthand knows that knowledge of mathematics 
and physics is essential for the engineer. 

Counselors and teachers have some important 'functions here. 

(1) They help the student to understand the requirements of 
the professional field or fields in which he is interested, in terms 
of intellectual ability, knowledge, skills, and personal qualities. 

(2) They help the student to assess his own qualifications in 
comparison with the requirements. (3) They help iiim to plan 


his work at Farmville in sequences which make for the most 
efficient learning, and which make good connections with be- 
ginning work in the colleges. (4) They help him to master each 
unit in his program before he leaves it. Objective measurements 
are used wherever possible, not for "grading" in the conven- 
tional sense, but to help the student evaluate his own progress. 
(5) They help the student to move as rapidly as is consistent 
with mastery, in carrying out his plan of studies.' Progress is 
measured by achievement, rather than by clock-hours spent in 
class, and true acceleration is thereby made possible. 

The repetition of the phrase, "they help the student to do 
so and so," suggests that responsibility in these matters rests 
finally with students. So it does. The Farmville Secondary 
School has no required curriculum of college preparatory 
studies. It helps each student to plan a course adapted to his 
abilities and his long-range interests, and to carry out that plan. 
Most students do well, and come to the end of Grade XH with 
sound foundational work, well-developed habits of self -direc- 
tion, and understanding of the relation of what they have done 
to what lies ahead. 

Not all, however. Choosing and planning a career is too 
complex a matter to be operated on a time schedule. At Farm- 
ville, as everywhere, there are boys and girls who do not decide 
to go to college until late in Grade XII, or even af ter gradua- 
tion. There are students whose occupational interests shift once, 
twice, even thrice in the course of three years. 

Such students are not arbitrarily penalized. Recommenda- 
tions to colleges are based upon general records of achievements 
and abilities, rather than specific patterns of preparation. 
Fortunately most of the colleges share this point of view and 
have adjusted the curHculums of the first two years to ac- 
commodate the students whose decisions are made late. One 
consequence, of course, is inescapable. The student must spend 
time in college on foundational work which he might have 
done in secondary school, had his plans been made earlier. 


More serious are the problems presented by students of 
superior ability who are satisfied with far less than they are 
capable of doing, and by students of limited ability who insist 
on trying for professional careers, in spite of evidence that 
they are not likely to succeed. Under wise counseling and good 
teaching, such problems are often solved in their early stages. 
But they sometimes persist, in spite of the best that counselors 
and teachers can do. Now and then a student, who has refused 
to heed the warnings along the way, comes to the end of Grade 
XII to find the doors of professional education closed to him. 

When that occurs, the school staff stands ready to help in 
the necessary readjustments. There is always another chance 
for the student who sincerely wants one and who has the 
abilities needed to make good. For the student who lacks the 
requisite abilities, there is assistance in planning for another 
care'er, and in securing the necessary preparation in the shortest 
time possible. More than this the school cannot do. It is respon- 
sible for providing educational opportunities for all youth 
according to their needs; but it cannot compel all youth to 
make good use of these opportunities. 


Before the new Farmville Secondary School was opened, the 
principal and several teachers and board members held con- 
ferences with groups of parents and other citizens to discuss 
the purposes and program of the school. 18 Like many other 
educators, the principal and teachers were convinced that the 
time had come for all schools to make a more determined ef- 
fort to educate youth for the responsibilities of citizenship. 
They were not certain, however, that parents would share 
these views, and were prepared to find indifference, if not 
opposition. But persuasion was scarcely needed. The citizens of 

18 This chapter, the reader will recall, was written five years after the pcssation of hos- 
tilities. The new Farmville Secondary School opened one year after the cessation of hostilities, 
four years prior to the time of this report. 


Farmville were ready to agree that citizenship education was 
of first importance. 

This attitude o rural citizens grew out of their own ex- 
periences. Through a decade of depression and the years of war 
preparation and warfare that followed, they had learned that 
their welfare was inseparably bound up with the policies of 
government. The markets for their crops, the prices of their 
products, the costs of what they had to buy, and in many cases 
the amounts which they could produce were all influenced, di- 
rectly or indirectly, by the actions of government. In common 
with everyone, they had experienced the government's neces- 
sary wartime controls of prices, production, consumption, and 
uses of manpower. When the war ended, they realized that their 
ability to continue to live on the land would depend on govern- 
mental policies with respect to such matters as foreign trade, 
tariffs, taxation, price control, crop control, and conservation. 

In many other ways, close to home, their lives were influ- 
enced by governmental action. Their electric power, their water 
for irrigation, and their protection against floods all had their 
source in a multiple-purpose river development, initiated and 
financed by the government. Their access to markets was de- 
pendent on state highways and interstate commerce policies. 
Their hopes for establishing a health clinic and a public library 
could be realized only with state or federal aid. Their new 
school was possible only because the state legislature had author- 
ized the reorganization of school districts and because the state 
and federal governments were now providing equalization funds 
for a part of the costs of school operation. 

Such experiences, of course, might have caused these rural 
citizens to feel that they were helpless pawns in the hands of 
powerful forces far removed' from their control, dependent on 
benefits bestowed by others. That did not happen, however. 
Throughout the depression and the war, farmers and villagers 
were as alert politically as any group in America. They listened 
to forums, roundtables, and commentators on the radio. They 


read newspapers. They met in county agricultural committees, 
farm bureaus, farmers' unions, granges, service clubs, PTA's, 
churches, community councils, and extension classes, to be- 
come informed, to discuss, and to act. By observation and ex- 
perience, they became convinced that in our democracy the 
people can and do govern; that while government may influ- 
ence public opinion, it cannot for long disregard it; that even 
in a nation of 132,000,000 people, the individual citizen does 
count. They also saw that the people, when they are ill-informed 
or lack a sense of public obligation, can make dangerous and 
costly errors. They emerged from the war conscious of greater 
power and aware of graver responsibilities. 

As Farmville's parents talked about these things, and about 
their sons and daughters and how the school might best serve 
them, they agreed that they wanted the school to equip their 
children for the responsibilities of citizenship as no other gen- 
eration of citizens has ever been equipped. As to how this was 
to be done, that was a matter for educators to determine. 

Now, four years later, the civic purpose permeates the 
school. We see its influence in classrooms, shops, health proj- 
ects, community service enterprises, clubs, councils, and many 
other places. Because citizenship education is widespread, it 
is difficult to describe. One cannot put one's finger on this or 
that course and say, "Here! This is citizenship education in 
Grade X." One would have to tell of most of the school's pro- 
gram to give a complete report. At first sight, this diffusion 
might seem to indicate confusion and lack of planning. "Citi- 
zenship education," one might say, "has become everybody's 
business. And what is everybody's business is soon nobody's 
business." That, however, is not the case. Citizenship educa- 
tion permeates the school because the school staff intended that 
it should. Citizenship education is everybody's business, be- 
cause the faculty made it so. The activities of the various 
classes, projects, and committees fit together into a total picture, 
because the Farmville teachers plan their work together. 


Perhaps one can best understand the Farmville school's 
citizenship education program if he thinks of it in terms of 
seven principles set up by the faculty to guide them in their 
program planning. Here we shall list these principles, and under 
each, give illustrations to show what the school actually does 
to develop civic competence. Most of the processes to be illus- 
trated commence early in elementary school, and are well 
advanced by the time the boy or girl enters tenth grade. The 
importance of the earlier years is fully recognized. But, since 
this is a study of the education of older youth, illustrations will 
be drawn only from the upper secondary school. 

1. Living democratically in the school 

Citizenship education begins with the life of the school. Here, 
in a society which is familiar and relatively simple, pupils learn 
the meaning of democracy and the methods of democratic action 
through direct experience in face-to-face relations. 

Out of the many significant experiences, which might be 
cataloged here as illustrations of this principle, we select three. 

Students at Farmville learn the meaning of respect for the 
individual, which is basic 'to democracy, through experiences 
of being treated as individuals worthy of respect. Teachers may 
talk to youth for days without end about democracy being 
based on "respect for the dignity and worth of the individual"; 
but they will, be speaking meaningless words, unless teachers 
are at the same time practicing what they teach. At Farmville 
the guidance services, the stating of education to individual 
needs, and the provision of equal educational opportunity for 
all youth all described elsewhere in this report are founda- 
tions of civic education, because they supply experiences which 
are necessary for the understanding of democracy. Youth are 
quick to sense the attitude of respect on the part of teachers, 
and are prompt in responding to it. 

No less important is the treatment of the student by his 
fellows. To be sure, teachers cannot compel students to treat 


one another with respect, but they can create and maintain 
conditions which foster mutual respect on the part of students, 
and at Farmville they do so. 

Take the student from a family of low income, who might 
easily be at a social disadvantage. Every Farmville student, who 
needs to, has a chance to earn money for his personal expenses. 
There is no stigma attached to such work. Quite the contrary. 
For, as we hive seen, everyone in the school does some work, 
and many students work throughout their school careers. 
Work is an accepted and respected part of school life for all* 

Take the student whose intelligence is below average. If 
the curriculum were composed largely of activities requiring 
abstract thinking, this student would rarely if ever have a 
chance to win his classmates* respect for his abilities. The 
Farmville Secondary School prizes intelligence and encour- 
ages its full development and use. But it prizes and seeks to 
develop other abilities as well. Every student takes part in 
many -activities, such as shop work, community surveys, recrea- 
tional projects, and enterprises for the improvement of school, 
home, and community, which utilize a variety of talents 
mechanical and artistic skills, leadership, executive ability, and 
the capacity for sustained hard work. Rare indeed is the 
student who cannot give a good account of himself in some of 
these undertakings, and thereby merit the respect of his fellow 

Or again, take the student from a minority racial group, the 
student who is sensitive to a physical handicap, or the student 
who is temperamentally shy and withdrawing. Such students 
are often shunned or ridiculed by their fellows, sometimes de- 
liberately, more often thoughtlessly. Resentment and attempted 
retaliation may ensue, and this in turn may breed more intense 

Farmville teachers, from the elementary grades upward, do 
their best to prevent such vicious spirals from starting. "When 
the spirals do start, they seek to check them promptly. Their 


approach is positive. They believe that mutual understanding 
is best promoted when people work together on jobs which 
seem worth doing, and in which they have a common interest. 
By the same means, they say, personal dislikes among students 
can largely be prevented or removed. That is one reason why 
many of the school's activities take the form of useful projects 
carried on by small groups of students. In the course of a year, 
a student will work on a dozen or more such projects and will 
come to know fifty or more of his fellow students as fellow 
workers. Rare indeed is the student who remains socially iso- 
lated after a few months of such experiences. 

Students at Farmville learn how to share in setting up the 
purposes, policies, and plans for the activities in which they en- 
gage. The accent here is on the words, "learn how/' Through- 
out the school, activities are planned jointly by teachers and 
students, always with a view to employing the most effective 
planning methods. The old separation between "faculty activi- 
ties" and "student activities" has largely disappeared. We have 
already seen how students share in planning and carrying out 
class projects, such as the occupational survey, the farm ma- 
chinery repair shop, and the school lunchroom. Similar examples 
will be cited later, in the fields of health, recreation, and family 
life education. Students and teachers sit together on the edi- 
torial board of the school newspaper and on the committees 
for assemblies and athletics. Students, as well as teachers, are 
members of the committees responsible for curriculum plan- 
ning, for health and safety, and for student employment policy. 
In brief, all the important policy and action groups in the 
school are composed of teachers and students working together 
in a relation of partnership; and each such group serves as a 
laboratory in the ways of democracy through practice. 19 

w For more detailed descriptions of the many ways in which student activities may help to 
educate youth for citizenship, see: National Education Association and American Association 
of School Administrators, Educational Policies Commission. Learning the Ways of Democracy: 
A Case Book in CMc Education. Washington, D. C: the Commission, 1940. Chapter W, 
"Out-of-Class School Activities," p. 191-261. 


Students at Farmville learn the meaning of f< 'civic responsi- 
bility" by carrying responsibilities which directly affect the wel- 
fare of other people. If a student fails to carry out his respon- 
sibility, the job doesn't get done, and other people suffer* A 
farmer's brood of chickens dies; a tractor burns out a bearing 
just when it is needed for spring plowing; luncheon portions 
are reduced by half; the school newspaper, containing im- 
portant notices about meetings, is a day late; an assembly pro- 
gram is cancelled in each case, because someone failed to do 
that for which he was responsible. On the other hand, the 
student who is faithful to his responsibilities has a twofold re- 
ward. He receives public recognition for the value of what he 
has done; and he has the private satisfaction of knowing that 
he has been of real service to his school or his community. Such 
consequences are far more effective instruments of teaching 
than any system of grades, awards, or other extrinsic recogni- 
tion. The individual student thus learns to take his own re- 
sponsibilities seriously; and students in groups learn to inquire 
into the competence of those to whom responsibilities are as- 
signed. Both are important among the ways of democracy 
which youth must learn. 

2. Extending civic activities into the community 

The students' direct experience in civic affairs is broadened 
as rapidly as possible by extending their activities into the local 

Study of the community begins early in Earmville's schools, 
and one finds a continuous interplay between school and com- 
munity throughout the elementary and early secondary years. 
By the time students reach tenth grade, most of them can begin 
to take active parts in community affairs. The responsibilities 
which they can carry increase as they proceed through the 
upper grades. 

Sometimes, as in the case of the occupational survey, they 
take chief responsibility for some community enterprise. More 


often, as with the health projects, the farmers' cooperatives, 
the recreational program, and the community youth council, 
they work with adults in activities for community service and 
improvement. Such work is considered a part of a student's 
school program. Indeed, it constitutes an apprenticeship in 
local citizenship, and at the same time provides information 
and experience which students share with one another in their 
class discussions. 

Students working for community improvement soon come 
into contact with agencies of government. They find the fed- 
eral and state governments represented in their county agri- 
cultural agent, their home demonstration agent, their county 
agricultural committee, and in agencies for rural electrifica- 
tion, soil conservation, flood control, and the improvement of 
roads and transportation all working to improve the economic 
conditions of the district. They meet the state government again 
through the public health service, the state park service, the 
state department of labor, and through the many services 
rendered by the state department of education, the state college 
of agriculture, and the state university. Their local public 
agencies, they find, are the means whereby the community pro- 
vides schools, a library, recreation facilities, police and fire pro- 
tection, and many other services. In a word, they learn to think 
of government as aix instrument, which people use to do things 
collectively for the common good. 

These firsthand contacts with the community are not casual. 
They are planned parts of the systematic study of the Farm- 
ville area and its institutions. This study commences with the 
occupational survey in the tenth grade and is later expanded to 
include other aspects of community life, such as health, recrea- 
tion, government, natural resources, 1 education, and cultural 
opportunities. Community studies are planned and conducted 
by the entire teaching staff, for every field in the school cur- 
riculum is represented in the community. Social studies teachers 
are responsible for the general direction of community studies, 


but teachers of science, agriculture, home economics, literature, 
arts, health, recreation, and business education all make their 
contributions at appropriate times. This study has its practical 
outcome, for one of its purposes is to keep up to date the cen- 
tral file of information about the community, which is used 
by the school, the community council, and practically all the 
local agencies. 

3. Moving out to the larger scene 

Citizenship education moves out to the state, national, and 
world situations by way of the experiences which pupils have 
had in school and community. As they move outward, pupils 
should be led to see and understand the connections. 

There is scarcely any matter of local concern in Farmville 
which does not lead quickly to considerations which are state, 
regional, national, or even worldwide in scope. This is particu- 
larly the case when, as in Farmville, the school is concerned with 
the improvement of its community. 

The teachers and students of the Farmyille Secondary 
School are, therefore, studying international settlements, policies 
and programs of the federal and state governments, and regional 
projects for the development of electric power and irrigation, 
not only because it is their duty as citizens to be familiar with 
these matters, but because their own welfare is daily condi- 
tioned by the acts of government officials, legislators, and cor- 
poration executives in remote places. 

Take markets and prices for farm products, for example. 
Both are determined largely by national and international 
action. Policies with respect to foreign trade, the shipment of 
foods to devastated countries, control of production of farm 
crops, parity prices for farm products, government purchase 
of surplus commodities, freight rates, and the like, combine to 
exert a far greater influence on Farmville's income from its 
products than the factors subject to local control by Farmville 
people. It is an easy step, therefore, for classes to move from 


the study of agriculture in their own community to the study 
of the larger scene as it affects their community. 

Take electricity. Students at Farmville are made alert to 
the possibility of improving rural life by the use of electrical 
appliances. They become familiar with the operation of elec- 
trically operated automatic water pressure systems, milkers, 
milk coolers, feed grinders, poultry brooders, food dehydrators, 
and cold storage lockers, all of which would lessen farm labor 
and increase production. They likewise learn through practice 
how home labor can be lightened and home services increased 
by the use of electric lighting, electric ranges, refrigeration, 
laundry equipment, vacuum cleaners, and other household ap- 
pliances. But that is only half the story. They learn also that gen- 
eral application of electricity to rural life depends upon two 
factors, both beyond their direct control: the availability of 
cheap power and of low-cost credit for the purchase of equip- 
ment. So their interest in rural electrification leads them 
naturally to the study of the policies of government and of 
regional utility. and credit corporations, and to an examina- 
tion of ways in which they, as citizens, can act to influence 
these policies. 

One might go on to illustrate with health services, schools, 
roads, or irrigation. As Farmville youth study their community, 
they find that these and other necessary services cannot be 
provided by their unaided efforts. Larger units of government 
must assist in planning, construction, and finance. 

One therefore finds no sharp divisions of the social studies 
into courses on the community and courses on national and 
world affairs. Under skilful teaching, practically every local 
interest is made to yield its harvest of useful knowledge and 
intelligent attitudes about the larger scene. 

4. Developing competence in the study of public problems 

Help students master methods of studying and judging pub- 
lic problems. Familiarize them with some of the important 


issues on winch citizens are currently expected to pass judg- 
ment and to act. Stress thorough study of a jew problems, 
rather than superficial treatment of many. 

As students in the tenth and eleventh grades pursue the 
activities and studies described in preceding sections, they be- 
come aware of many public questions and of the connection 
of these with the welfare of themselves and their neighbors. It 
is one thing, however, to recognize these problems. It is another 
to be able to judge them in the light of relevant facts and with 
a view to the common good. 

Students in the twelfth grade, therefore, spend the greater 
part of their social studies class time on the study of a few 
timely and significant public questions. Each class chooses its 
problems on the basis of its judgment as to timeliness and 
public importance. Each class follows its own schedule. A 
problem is usually studied until there is general agreement that 
it has been well mastered, rather than according to the calendar. 
The means of investigation are those which would be available 
to the average citizen in the community books and pamphlets 
from the public libraries, radio programs, newspapers, maga- 
zines, and participation in discussion groups and forums. 
Students often attend adult meetings where the question is 
being discussed. People competent to discuss the problem may 
be invited to the school to speak and confer with classes. 
Freedom to discuss controversial matters has been the accepted 
policy since the board of education adopted it four years ago. 
Much of the class work is done in small groups, with the teacher 
acting as consultant and guide. As the study of a problem ap- 
proaches its concluding stages, the class usually meets as a 
whole for discussions, while each student prepares a written 
statement of his own position on the matter at issue, with a 
justification therefor. * * 

During the current year, one twelfth-grade class has been 
studying three problems: (1) Should the people of the Farm- 


ville area join with the residents of the adjacent Green Valley 
and Mountain. View areas in building a hospital to serve the 
three communities, as recently proposed by the community 
council? This has resulted in study of the needs for hospital 
facilities, of ways of financing capital and operating costs, and 
of various methods of group hospitalization insurance. (2) 
If the market for agricultural products should now contract 
somewhat, should farmers be allowed to produce whatever 
they wish in whatever quantities they are able, or should there 
be some system of allotments for certain crops in order to 
adjust production to demand? If the latter, by whom should 
control be exercised and what form should it take? This has 
involved investigation of the relations between markets and 
prices for agricultural products, on the one hand, and of in- 
dustrial employment, urban income, and foreign markets, on 
the other, as well as appraisal of earlier programs and current 
proposals for production control. (3) Should the United States 
take a leading part in undertaking to create a permanent inter- 
national organization to replace the councils and committees 
of the United Nations, which have been in charge of postwar 
settlements? This has led to study of the history of the foreign 
policy of the United States, of previous efforts at international 
organization, and of the economic, political, and geographic 
relations of the United States to other nations. 

One year of such work gives youth a growing degree of com- 
petence in dealing with public questions. It also makes them 
aware of the number and difficulty of the issues which the aver- 
age citizen is called upon to meet. Those whq remain in the 
Farmville Secondary School through Grades XIII and XIV are 
eager to continue this type of study. 

Their work in the two later years takes on added interest 
because of its outlet in the community. Most of the questions 
studied in school re of * interest to adults as well as to youth; 
but adults, on the whole, have less time than students to devote 
to the study of these matters. Furthermore, few adults have had 


opportunity for training or experience in methods of conduct- 
ing public discussions, as the records of many recent attempts 
to develop programs of adult civic education will testify. It 
is a frequent practice at Farmville for a panel of older students 
from Grades XIII and XIV to go out to an adult forum or to 
a meeting of a club, a civic group, or a farmers* organization, 
to present the main facts and arguments on some timely ques- 
tion. A student sometimes leads the ensuing discussion as well. 
Class work includes training in methods of public presentation 
and in leadership of forums, panels, and discussion groups. 
Thus the school is rendering an immediate service to its com- 
munity and at the same time is equipping the citizens of the 
next generation to continue their civic education through the 
years of adult life. 

5. Developing competence in political action 

Citizens must learn not only how to make sound judgments, 
but also how to re&ster their convictions so they will count. 
Students should, therefore, study methods of political action, 
at the local, state, and national levels. They should also evaluate 
these methods in terms of their effectiveness and their consist- 
ency with democratic principles. 

Go to a meeting of a farmers' organization, a county agri- 
cultural committee, the community council, a citizens* forum, 
or a local political group, and you are likely to find student ob- * 
servers from the Farmville Secondary School, acting as eyes and 
ears for their classmates, gathering firsthand information about 
political action in their community. Go to the county seat or 
the state capital, and you will find that Farmville's young emis- 
saries are known .there also. They have watched the county 
commissioners and the state legislature in action. They have 
talked with their representatives in both bodies, and with other 
officials, too. They are not especially concerned with the formal 
operation of government. They could read about that in books. 
But they are interested in finding out how their parents and 


neighbors and other adults act to get things done by political 
means. On that subject, most of the books have little to say. 
Students have to search out information for themselves. 

Go into classrooms, and you will find students reporting what 
they have seen and heard, and classes discussing their findings. 
They have discovered how political parties operate, how can- 
didates are nominated, how platforms are written. They have 
learned that the ballot is not always the most effective instru- 
ment of political action, because issues may be obscured at 
elections, or important questions may arise between elections. 
They have become familiar with "pressure groups" of various 
kinds, and with the ways in which they exert. their influence 
in the county seat, the state capital, and in Washington. Their 
experiences do not necessarily lead students to condemnation of 
these methods of political action. For example, one frequently 
hears students defending pressure groups as necessary and use- 
ful. The trouble with existing pressure groups, they say, is that 
they represent too few people and too narrow interests. What 
is needed, they assert, is bigger and better pressure groups, rep- 
resenting large cross sections of the public and working to pro- 
mote the general welfare. 

As a result of such experiences, some of the older students 
have already become active members of community civic 
groups. Without waiting until they have reached the voting 
age, they have taken their places as young adults in the farmers' 
organizations, community forums, political parties, and other 

Similar things are happening in many other rural communi- 
ties, thanks to the annual rural youth leadership conference 
at the state agricultural college. This conference, now in its 
fourth year, has helped hundreds of rural youth to share ex- 
periences, work on common problems, and broaden their out- 
look and understanding. Farmville's delegates have gained many 
ideas and much encouragement, and have also contributed 
their share. 


6. Building knowledge as a tool o/ civic competence 

Equip students with knowledge and understanding of con- 
temporary society and of historical background, to enable them 
to deal with new issues as they arise and think clearly regarding 
social goals for the future. Seek to develop understanding of 
trends, movements, and relationships. Through all, stress under- 
standing and appreciation of democracy, of American ideals, 
and of the achievements of the American people in realizing 
their ideals. 

The teachers at Farmville, lite many teachers elsewhere, came 
to the end of the war with some perplexing questions about the 
teaching of history and other social studies. The thirties had 
been a decade of problems economic, political, social; local, 
national, international. Efforts at solution had given rise to 
still other problems. Education, reflecting the spirit of the 
times, had stressed the problem approach to the study of society. 
This approach had values which few would deny; but when 
used exclusively, it also had shortcomings. It made the student 
familiar with a series of specific problems. Too often, how- 
ever, it failed to give him understanding of their interrelations, 
of their causes, and of the historical movements out of which 
they had emerged. Too often it failed to equip him with the in- 
formation and insights needed to deal with the new crop of 
problems which the next year might bring forth. 

The war years added to the teachers' perplexities. Appeals and 
pressures came from federal agencies and national organiza- 
tions for new "emphases" to meet wartime needs for more 
teaching about Latin America and hemispheric relations, for 
promotion of understanding of China and the Far East and of 
the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, for units on consumer 
economics, inflation, and war aims, and for stress on "global 
geography" and "air-mindedness." All of these were good in 
themselves, but their sum was greater than already heavily- 
laden courses could bear. As patriotic teachers did their best 
to respond to each new appeal, the social studies courses in- 


creasingly became composites of unrelated "problems" and 

As soon as the war pressures were eased, the Farmville staff 
set out to rebuild their courses on the study of society. Some 
of the outcomes we have already examined the firsthand 
study of the local community, the expansion of outlook to 
the national and world scene, and the mastery of methods 
of dealing with public questions. These, however, were not 

tc We are responsible," these teachers said in one of their 
early reports on the subject, "for helping all youth to develop 
four understandings: first, of our own nation its people, its 
government, its material resources, its growth and achieve- 
ments, and, most important of all, the ideals of liberty and 
justice which motivated its founders and inspired its citizens 
in all generations; second, of the relations of our nation to the 
rest of the world and that includes, of course, understanding 
the main features of the rest of the world; third, of the 
main trends in the historical development of the pi^sent na- 
tional and world situation; and fourth, of the possibilities of 
progress toward fuller realization of democratic ideals and the 
conditions of just and durable peace. These should be part of 
1 the minimum equipment of every citizen. 

"In order to develop these understandings, there must be 
systematic study of contemporary society and of history. 
We make that statement with our eyes open to the dangers of 
its abuse. We know how easy it is to allow systematic study for 
definite purposes to degenerate into a routine process of ac- 
quiring information for its own sake. But one should not reject 
something useful merely because it may be abused. We believe 
-that the dangers can be avoided, if we can answer two ques- 
tions: First, out of the vast reservoir of material which might 
be taught about the world of the past and present, what will 
serve best to develop these four understandings? Second, how 
can we enlist the active participation of students from the" 


beginning, and sustain their interest through a necessarily long 
period of study?" 

Ever since the new Farmville Secondary School was opened, 
the teachers have been searching for the answers to their ques- 
tions. They have planned, acted; studied results, revised plans, 
acted again; and they have found answers. Not final answers; 
not formulas. But they have found materials and methods that 
are already yielding encouraging success and that promise well 
for the future. Here are some of their more significant ex- 
periences, as they have reported them. 

"Boys and girls are interested in action and adventure. We 
have tried to apply that simple fact in our teaching. We have 
sought to teach history as a fascinating story, packed with 
more action and adventure than one can find in works of fiction. 

"A story needs a central theme, a plot. We had to hunt for 
that among the facts of history, for we could not shape the 
past to suit our own desires. We hunted, and we found the 
theme. Like a hidden figure in a picture puzzle, it had been 
obscured by detail. But, once discovered, it stood out so clearly 
that thenceforth one could not help seeing it. 

"This theme of history, as we try to teach it, is man's age-old 
struggle to achieve freedom and security. From the dawn of 
history, men have sought freedom to rule themselves, freedom 
to think and express their thoughts, freedom to worship, free- 
dom to work. From the earliest times, men have sought security 
for themselves, their families, and their nations against destruc- 
tive forces of nature and the hostile actions of their fellow men. 

"This struggle has been waged unceasingly through the 
centuries against the vaunting ambitions of tyrants, the might 
of empires, the selfishness of vested interests, doctrines of racial 
and class superiority, against disease and drought, flood and 
famine, the inertia of tradition, and the blindness of ignorance. 
In every age and every land, men have worked to build a civili- 
zation yielding increasing freedom and security to more and 
more of the people. Now, in our own time, men are venturing 

into territory largely unexplored, and are seeking to achieve 
freedom and security on a worldwide scale. The centuries are 
marked by monuments of progress, but always these monu- 
ments have been built by the devoted efforts of men and 
women. There is no easy road to progress. Whenever a com- 
placent people relax the eternal vigilance, they jeopardize the 
achievements of centuries. 

"In this story of human striving, the United States has been 
destined to have a leading part if it will. We have been blessed 
with vast natural resources and a genius for production which 
have yielded us material benefits beyond those of any age or 
nation. Science has placed powerful instruments in our hands, 
wherewith we may banish famine and poverty and reduce the 
ravages of disease. Under stress of war, we have fashioned 
weapons and forces sufficient to protect our land against 

"We are inheritors of freedom-loving people, liberal ideas, 
and spiritual ideals from all of western civilization. Our 
national history is marked by the achievements of men and 
women of high purposes* prophetic vision, and indomitable 
courage, and by ever-widening diffusion of the blessings of 
liberty among the people. Of all the nations in all of history, 
we now have the means and opportunity to achieve the free- 
dom and security for which mankind has struggled through 
the ages. 

"Moreover, the end of the war found us in a position of 
great influence among the nations. We can use our influence 
to help all nations achieve security against aggression and the 
threat of future wars. We can use our wealth and power in 
the interest of economic security and greater freedom for all 
people everywhere. 

"Such are our opportunities. But it is by no means certain 
that we shall seize them. Within the nation and throughout 
the world, there are powerful forces opposed to the extension 
of freedom and security. The age-old struggle still goes on. 


Once before the United States faced a similar opportunity 
and turned away. This time we have not turned away. But 
we may still do so, not so much through ill will as by reason 
of ignorance and weariness of spirit* 

"If we as a nation set our faces toward the fuller achievement 
of freedom and security for all people everywhere in the world, 
then vistas of human progress open up, to which the youth 
of this generation may well give their enthusiastic devotion. 
The frontiers have not closed. The days of adventure have not 
ended. But if we choose once more to turn aside, to look back- 
ward, to think of ourselves in isolation from the other peoples 
of the world, who can foretell the catastrophes which the 
future may hold? This generation of youth is growing into 
manhood and womanhood at the most dramatic moment in 
the whole of human history. 

"Around this theme we have planned our program. Only 
the broad outlines are laid down in advance. The detailed con- 
tent is supplied by teachers and students together, as the course 

"At the start, we tie the course to the students* interest in 
the present and the future. That interest is genuine and strong. 
You do not have to prod boys and girls into awareness of 
national and international affairs, when their earliest memories 
reach back to depression years, their childhood was lived in 
wartime, and their futures even now are being shaped by 
acts of our own and other governments. 

"The course opens with a survey of the United States and 
its relations with the rest of the world. First we stress the posi- 
tive achievements of freedom and security our civil liber- 
ties, our institutions of government, the benefits resulting from 
the applications of science in industry, agriculture, , transpor- 
tation, and health, for example. Next we seek to locate the 
frontiers of our time the points at which men are now 
striving for greater freedom and security. Among these, of 
course, are current efforts to safeguard the right to work for 


all our people, to broaden our social security program, to ex- 
tend equality of educational opportunity to all our children 
and youth, and to fashion a world organization of nations. 
Then we select a few of those frontier areas, to which students 
are particularly alert, and show how history enlarges our 
understanding of them and our ability to deal with the prob- 
lems which they present. In contrast, we show how failure to 
understand history has led the American people into costly 
errors in the past. By every means, we try to show that his- 
tory is to be studied because of the light which it throws on 
the present and the future. 

"Then, out of the past, teachers and students select those 
creative movements and personalities which mark man's ad- 
vances in attaining freedom and security. Causes of progress 
are sought for, and also the chief obstacles which have hin- 
dered advancement. Continuities and interrelations are stressed, 
rather than isolated events. On a worldwide stage, this drama 
of history moves forward, reaching its climax as the course 
returns to the present and faces the world of the future. 

"One scene in this drama of history invariably stands out 
above all others. That is the period in which the thirteen 
colonies were transformed into the United States of America. 
Nothing out of the past is so important, we think, as the under- 
standing of the aims and ideals, the struggles and conflicts, 
the devotion and perseverance, and the far-sighted wisdom of 
the men who founded this nation. No heritage from the past 
is so inspiring to the youth of today as the three great docu- 
ments of that period the Declaration of Independence, the 
Constitution, and the Bill of Rights when these are viewed 
as the products of men who wrestled with the problems which 
free men of every generation must face and who wrought 
their enduring answers into these charters s of American de- 

"The proposal for this course originated with the social 
studies teachers. But planning was scarcely begun, before 


teachers from other fields were brought in, and soon the course 
became a project of the entire school staff. Incidentally, we 
teachers are learning as much from the course as our students. 

"The teachers of agriculture, for example, are helping stu- 
dents to see how advances in agriculture and in conditions of 
rural life have been among man's chief steps toward economic 
security. At first they intended to limit the study to the 
United States. But food now looms so large on the world scene 
that they were soon including the main features of agriculture 
in other nations, particularly Russia, central Europe, China, 
Argentina, and Brazil. They are also working on a study of 
movements for extension of freedom in this country, which 
had their, origins or chief support among farm people. 

"The teachers of science are indispensable. The contributions 
of science to security and freedom are of incalculable im- 
portance. Science applied in industry, agriculture, and trans- 
portation has helped man far alo'ng the road to a world 
economy of abundance. Science applied in medicine, surgery, 
and sanitation has reduced illness and lengthened lives. Science 
applied in the press, the radio, and television has greatly in- 
creased man's ability to disseminate information and ideas. 
Science applied to the study of man has shattered myths of 
racial, class, and sex superiorities, demonstrated that the vast 
majority .of people are capable of lifelong learning, strength- 
ened our faith in the ability of the common people to rule 
themselves, and broadened our views of the freedoms and op- 
portunities which are the rights of all people. 

"No one plays a more important part in the course than 
the teachers of literature. Whatever the subject," whatever the 
period of history, novels, dramas, biographies, and poetry have 
incomparable value as means of gaining insight into the ideals, 
the aspirations, and struggles of men and women. They supply 
the elements of action and adventure, so appealing to youth, 
and so often lacking in the factual treatises. The historical 
novel and drama, and their later counterparts, the historical 


motion picture and radio-television broadcast, are frequently 
used to recreate an earlier period, to interpret the culture of 
another people, or to embody historic words and deeds in men 
and women of flesh and blood. Art and music are often joined 
with literature as expressions of the ideals of a people or an age. 

"One reason why students are so interested in this course, 
we think, is because they have a large part in developing its 
contents. The course itself is an adventure for all. of us. There 
is no detailed syllabus, no single source book. Information 
must be gathered from many books, pamphlets, periodicals, 
newspapers, radio programs, and people. Teachers guide the 
search and do their share of the searching. But much of the 
work of discovery is done by students, and their contributions 
are of value to teachers as well as to themselves. 

"As we review what we have learned from our brief ex- 
perience with, this course, these things stand out. 

"We are learning to think in terms of world history. In 
order to understand our present relations with other nations, 
we find it necessary to know the main currents of history not 
only in North America and western Europe, but also in Rus- 
sia, the Far East, India, and Latin America. 

"We are learning to think of a world of nations increasingly 
interdependent. We can trace the decline of isolation from 
the days when Rome, China, and India was each a world em- 
pire unto itself, down to the removal of the last vestiges of 
isolation by the airplane. 

"We are learning to look for causes and consequences of 
events particularly of wars and revolutions and great social 

"We are learning to select, out of all that might be studied, 
those events and movements and personalities most relevant to 
our central theme, most helpful in developing the four under- 
standings which are our aims. 

"We teachers, at least, are learning these things. That we 
know. And we think it likely that our students are learning 


them with us. For nothing is more conducive to learaing by 
the young than to work with teachers who are also learners. 
"This course ends where it began with study of the con- 
temporary world, centered in our own nation. This ending 
also marks the beginning of the work for the next year. In 
the course of our study, we have identified many problems of 
our own time, but we have not tried to solve them. As we 
return to the present and look toward the future, we conclude 
by selecting those problems now before the American people, 
which, in our judgment, are most important and most urgent. . 
This last step is also the first step for the course in public prob- 
lems in the twelfth grade." 

7. Foster loyalty to the principles and ideals of American 
democracy. Encourage youth to set up goals for achievement 
by their generation which will surpass those of their fathers, 
and which will bring the community, the nation, and the world 
nearer to the attainment of democratic ideals. 

Older people are always concerned about the loyalties of 
youth, and their concern is naturally heightened whenever the 
nation is passing through a period of crisis or rapid change. 
Only the most carping critic could find fault with the per- 
formance of American youth while war was being waged. 
It was chiefly the nation's youth who fought the battles and 
who gave their lives, or risked them, to win the victory. Of 
those youth who did not serve in the armed forces, millions 
labored in factories and on farms to produce weapons and 
food. Those who continued in schools prepared themselves for 
active service when the call should come, and meanwhile sought 
and found many opportunities to be useful through their 
schools and in their communities. 

But when the enemy was defeated and the call to heroic 
action and unusual endeavor was no longer sounded, the ques- 
tion of youth's loyalty again came to the fore. Some, as always, 
were alarmed by youth's questioning of the past and their 


interest in proposals for political and economic change. Others, 
who viewed youth's perennial dissatisfaction with the status 
quo as a healthy condition, were disturbed by other questions. 

How would this oncoming generation react to a world in 
which older brothers and sisters had experienced the great 
adventures, and held priorities on most of the favored positions 
in civilian life? Would youth respond with cynicism and the 
abandonment of all loyalties and ideals? Were we headed for 
another age of "jazz" and "flaming youth* 3 ? Could we find and 
use a "moral equivalent of war" to arouse and hold the loyal- 
ties of youth in peacetime? 

Farmville people were like people everywhere. They talked 
about these things in their various meetings and in their daily 
conversations. As they talked, their concern grew. Something 
should be done, they said but what? Some favored more 
rigorous discipline, more stress on ritual and ceremony, more 
efforts to inculcate loyalty by direct instruction. Others felt 
that loyalty must be fostered rather than forced, but were 
frequently uncertain as to the best methods. 

The superintendent of schools saw that this was a matter on 
which the whole community should be consulted. Whatever 
program might be adopted by the schools would have to be 
understood and supported by a considerable part of the pub- 
lic. So, with board approval, he arranged the appointment of 
a committee representing the community council, the parent- 
teacher association, the school staff, and the student body, 
to study this matter, to discuss it with other groups in the 
community, and to make such reports and recommendations 
as it might see fit. After some months of work, the committee 
drafted a statement, which has served as a guide to the school 
and a basis for understanding between school and community. 
We quote several sections which carry the main points of the 

"Loyalty is like love and the kingdom of heaven. It lives in 
people's hearts. You cannot make a person loyal by telling him 


that he must be loyal. You cannot make Rim loyal by requiring 
him to repeat pledges or take part in ceremonies. The person 
with loyalty in his heart delights in expressing his devotion; 
but unless he first be loyal, ritual and pledges are of little worth. 

"Loyalty is not built, part by part. It grows. We who spend 
our lives in helping things grow should not find it difficult to 
understand that. We can plant the seeds of loyalty in the hearts 
of boys and girls. We can identify the conditions tinder which 
loyalty grows most vigorously. In our homes, our school, and 
our community, we can do our best to supply the conditions 
favorable to healthy growth. 

"As to the conditions of growth, there are four which seem 
to us important: 

/'Loyalty grows when it has its roots in experience. Boys and 
girls must have experiences of democratic living, in their homes, 
their schools, and their community, and must find .them good, 
if they *are to be deeply loyal to democratic ideals. Otherwise, 
they can give only lip service to empty words. "We therefore 
look with favor upon the efforts of the school staff to make the 
school a place where boys and girls can experience democracy 
and learn its ways through practice. 

"Loyalty grows when one has clear ideas about that to which 
one is loyal.- Experiences as well as words may have little mean- 
ing. Boys and girls have to be helped to examine their experi- 
ences, to discover the distinguishing marks of those that are 
democratic,, and to decide why those are to be preferred to 
others. Then they will have a stock of ideas which they can use 
in dealing with the world beyond the range of their immediate 
experience, and their loyalty can grow accordingly. 

"Loyalty grows when one appreciates the cost of the object 
of one's loyalty. It is easy to take our nation, our freedoms, our 
democratic institutions for granted. Each one of us needs to 
relive, in imagination, the struggles and sacrifices by which 
these things were achieved. Here lies one of the great values 
of the study of history. 


"Loyalty grows when one has a chance to work for the cause 
to which he is loyal. We older people often forget this. We are 
so eager to have boys and girls appreciate their democratic 
heritage that we offer it to them as a finished product, rather 
than an ideal, still in the making. We would do better to help 
them see the American patriots' dream of a nation with liberty 
and justice and opportunity for all; and to encourage them 
to have a real part in bringing that dream nearer to fulfilment." 

* * * 

How much time, you are doubtless, asking, does this seven- 
point program take? Doesn't it require more time than a school 
can give, and do all the other things it has to do? Farmville's 
teachers faced that question. There were many "other things" 
that they wanted to do. Time was limited. If they had followed 
precedent, they would have decided that one class period a day 
was sufficient, and that the rest could be done through the 
extracurriculum program and incidentally along with other 
activities. But they did not follow precedent. Instead, they 
talked about the relative importance of the purposes of educa- 
tion. They agreed that there is no purpose more important than 
the preparation of boys and girls for the full responsibilities of 
citizenship. They agreed that there is no purpose more difficult 
to accomplish, especially in a time when the whole world is in 
a process of refnaking. And they agreed that youth will no more 
learn to be good citizens through "incidental" experiences than 
they will incidentally learn to be good doctors, te'achers, me- 
chanics, or farmers. Time for citizenship education must be 
provided, they said, commensurate with its importance. And 
they have found the time, as we shall see later, without slight- 
ing the other major purposes of education. 20 

If Thomas Jefferson were alive today and were to visit Farm- 
ville, the statesman who was also educator and farmer would 

20 See chart on page 153. 


find a bond of spiritual kinship with these farm and village 
people. For the purposes which guide the Farmville Secondary 
School are strikingly similar to Jefferson's immortal triad of 
inalienable rights Hf e, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 
To preserve their right to life, youth are prepared to earn their 
livings at useful .occupations and are launched upon self-sup- 
porting careers. To safeguard their right to liberty, youth are 
equipped to assume the responsibilities of citizens of a demo- 
cratic commonwealth. To assure to all the right to the pursuit 
of happiness, youth are helped to achieve well-rounded personal 
development. * 

In the minds of the people of Farmville the teachers, pa- 
rents, and others interested in youth this purpose of personal 
development ranks equally with vocational efficiency and civic 
competence. 21 

Rural schools, they know, too often have neglected this side 
of education. Health services have frequently been inadequate. 
Thousands of country schools have had none whatever. The 
same is true of libraries, of recreational facilities, and of oppor- 
tunities for social life. The curriculums, in many cases, have 
been restricted to a few academic courses and a few courses in 
agriculture and home economics. Teachers have been poorly 
paid, as a rule, and often inadequately trained for anything 
beyond conventional teaching of conventional subjects. 

Educational poverty in rural schools has .not been deliberate, 
of course. It has been caused chiefly by financial poverty and 
faulty school-district organization. On the whole, the taxable 
wealth per child of school age in rural communities has been 

81 The three purposes of education in this statement namely, occupational preparation, 
civic competence, and personal development correspond, with the exceptions to be noted, 
to the four "purposes of education in American democracy" set forth in the Educational 
Policies Commission's statement on that subject (Washington, D. C.: the Commission, 1938). 
These four purposes are self-realization, human relationship, economic efficiency, and civic 
responsibility. In the Farmville Secondary School, the two purposes of self-realization and 
human relationship are combined under the heading of personal development. The consumer 
aspects of economic efficiency appear under personal development (especially in connection 
with education for family living) and under civic competence, as well as under occupational 
preparation. Otherwise there is general agreement between the two statements. 


far below that of cities; and, until recently, only a few of the 
states have supplied state financial aid to schools in such a man- 
ner as greatly to reduce the disparity between school districts. 
Furthermore, in most cases, rural high-school districts have 
been too small to support schools with programs broad enough 
to serve the needs of youth. 

Knowing these things, and knowing that as a consequence, 
countless thousands of rural boys and girls have been ujtif airly 
handicapped in their pursuit of happiness, the people of Farm- 
ville have resolved that the children and youth of their com- 
munity shall have opportunities for personal development com- 
parable to those found in the best city schools. 

Personal development, however, is a broad purpose which 
needs to be translated into specific aims in order to serve as a 
guide to educational practice. To the teachers of Farmville, 
personal development gaeans growth in six aspects of living: 

1. Health of body and mind 

2. Family life 

3. Recreational and leisure-time .interests and activities 

4. Understanding and appreciation of the cultural heritage 

5. Intellectual achievement 

6. Character, conceived as conduct in relation to other per- 
sons, motivated by ethical ideals and principles. 

These and with them, occupational proficiency and civic 
competence are areas of growth, not titles of courses. They 
are educational purposes, not compartments. We must not 
expect to find courses corresponding precisely to each area, 
nor must we suppose that we shall be able neatly to classify 
all the activities of the school under one or another of these 
headings. Learning is the result of interaction between the 
whole of a boy or girl and the whole of a situation; and both 
learners and situations are usually too complex to permit easy 

The Farmville Secondary School does have a program, of 
course a plan of organization of learning experiences. Later 
we shall examine this program and consider such practical 


questions as scheduling and sequences. 23 But we shall be follow- 
ing the example of the Farmville teachers if we think first of 
boys and girls in the process of growing, and recognize that 
curriculums, courses, and schedules are instruments for foster- 
ing growth. 

Health of Body and Mind 

The time, three years ago, when Jennie Harkness entered 
the tenth grade. 

The speaker, Mrs. Wallace, Jennie's counselor: 

"Jennie, the board of education has decided to provide free 
health examinations for all students in the school, and we 
should like you to be examined as soon as possible. The ounce of 
prevention, you know. Either Dr. Bradford or Dr. White will 
examine you, whichever you and your parents prefer. Oh, Dr. 
Bradford is your family physician? Good. Then will you report 
to Miss Lambert, the school nurse, on Wednesday at ten o'clock 
in the health room? We will want to have a look at your 
teeth and eyes, too. Dr. Rogers is examining teeth and we have 
an eye specialist coming out from the city. Here is a page of 
information for you and your parents to read together. Will 
you ask your father or your mother to fill out this form and 
will you bring it back to me before Wednesday? Thank you, 

Health examinations, were new three years ago. But if Jennie 
were to go through the schools of the Farmville district today, 
her health examination in Grade X would be her fourth, in- 
stead of her first. 

* ft ft 

Four weeks later. Scene, the conference held every Friday 
afternoon during the period of health examinations. 

"Howard Daniels certainly needs glasses/' said Dr. Bradford, 
as he looked up from a handful of records. 

"See pages 149-52. 


"He should have them soon, too, Doctor," commented Mr. 
Gilbert, Howard's counselor. "He reads more than most boys. 
Fve noticed that he always has a book at hand when he is work- 
ing in his mother's store. I talked to Howard and his mother 
yesterday. Mrs. Daniels has to count every penny, but she 
would do anything for her boy. I think we can get him fixed 
up when his class goes to American City next month. That 
will save them the cost of a trip to the city." 

"Good," replied the doctor. "It's too bad that Farmville can't 
support an oculist. We pay for it in headaches. "Well, here's 
Marie Stewart. Teeth in bad shape. But I see that she has already 
made an appointment with Dr. Rogers. That's one good thing 
about these examinations. They get people to do things that 
they have put off much too long. You'd think, wouldn't you, 

with her father being as well off as he is well, never mind 

that! Now about this Flynn boy. He's underweight, and his 
posture isn't good, and he seems to lack the energy a boy of 
sixteen should have. All tied up together, no doubt. H'm. The 
record says that the Flynn children all have to work pretty 
hard at home, and that it's doubtful that they get the right 
food for growing youngsters. Know anything more about 
the f amily?" 

"Yes, I do," put in Miss Lambert. "I am sure the boy is 
poorly nourished. All the Flynn children have the same diffi- 
culties. Miss Scott has been making some progress with Mrs. 
Flynn- 1 went with her on the last visit.. Mrs. Flynn seems will- 
ing enough, but she doesn't know the simplest facts about 
nutrition. And Mr. Flynn, we were given to understand, will 
have nothing to do with this new-fangled diet stuff. Miss Scott 
has Charles' older sister in home economics. She is giving 
Katherine special instruction in inexpensive diets, and she 
hopes to persuade Mrs. Flynn to let the girl have a part in feed- 
ing the family." 

"That sounds promising," said the doctor. "What about his 
physical education, Mr. Haines?" 


"I've been giving him special attention/' replied die teacher. 
"He gets plenty of exercise at home, but not the right kind. 
Fortunately, he's eager to learn to swim. He needs a chance to 
play games, too. There's not much play at home, I'm afraid." 

"Good. Nothing too strenuous at first, of course. We'll have 
to build him up. You'll look after extra milk for him, Miss 
Lambert; and he may need a daily rest period for a while. 

"Jennie Harkness," Dr. Bradford continued. "I've known 
her since she was a baby. Heart murmur. Effect of rheumatic 
fever six years ago. Nothing serious now, but will need watch- 
ing. Avoid overexertion and fatigue. I see that Miss Burton 
has already taken care of her program in physical education. 
Mrs. Wallace, you will see that the rest of Jennie's teachers are 
informed, won't you?" 

"Yes, and I will have a talk with Jennie, too, about her school 
work. We want to be sure that she finds things to do that are 
within her strength, and that she doesn't think of herself as 
different from other girls." 

"Very good. Now, here's the last one for this week," resumed 
the physician. "Ernest Mathews. Sound as they come." 

"And fairly bursting with energy," added Ernest's counselor. 
"All that boy needs is someone to help him direct that power 
drive of his." ^ ^ ^ 

Examinations, health guidance, and follow-up are indispen- 
sable, but they are only part of the school's .health program. 
It is more important, says the staff, to prevent poor health than 
to correct it. It is better to develop healthf ul living conditions 
than to cure the casualties of an unhealthy environment. Youth 
should therefore learn how to make their schools, their homes 
and their community conducive to good health; and the foun- 
dation of learning is direct experience. 

* # * 

The occupational survey in Farmville and the visits to 
American City had more values than one to Ernest and 


Jennie and their tenth-grade classmates. They learned how to 
go after information for a particular purpose and what to do 
with information after they had gathered it. They gained con- 
fidence in their ability to meet adults and talk with them about 
adult affairs. They had the satisfaction of seeing the results 
of their work put immediately to practical use. 

At the time when this class completed its study of "The 
World at Work/* the community council was considering 
ways of improving health in the Farmville area. Miss Randolph, 
the teacher, told the class of some of the problems which the 
council was facing, and suggested that the students might 
be interested in helping to gather some of the needed infor- 

"Why can't we study health in the same way we studied 
occupations?" asked Ernest Mathews. "We could make a sur- 
vey of sickness and accidents, same as we did with jobs." 

"What goo'd would it do you to find out how many people 
are sick?" another pupil objected. "We can't go running out 
to ask people questions every time we take up something new 
in class." 

"Besides," added Marie Stewart, "people don't like to have 
you question them about their illnesses. They don't mind dis- 
cussing their jobs, but health is a private affair." 

"It isn't private if I catch malaria from you," someone 

"You don't catch malaria. You get it from a mosquito." 

"As if I didn't know that! I mean, your health isn't private 
if you have malaria, and a mosquito bites you and then bites 
me and gives me some of your malaria germs." 

"This is getting rather complicated, isn't it?" said Miss 
Randolph with a smile. "Perhaps the person really responsible 
is someone who allows a breeding place for mosquitoes to stand 
on his property. Well, do you think that we might be able to 
gather some useful information about health and disease with- 
out offending people?" 


"I think we could," said Enid White, daughter of the phy- 
sician. "I have heard my father say that many people are sick 
from malaria and typhoid and other diseases that can be pre- 
vented, and that if the people understood more about the causes 
of these diseases, there wouldn't be so much illness." 

This is a small sample of one of many discussions which were 
the beginnings of investigations of local health conditions, with 
practical outcomes far beyond any imagined when they were 
first thought of, and with commensurate learning value. Mr. 
Grayson,. a science teacher, and Miss Lambert, the school nurse, 
came in to help. It was fortunate that three teachers were 
working on the project, for it required much careful guidance 
and skilful handling of public relations. The enthusiasm of 
youth is sometimes blind to adult sensitivities and Marie was 
right, many people do regard their health, or lack of it, as a 
private matter. But Dr. Bradford and Dr. White gave their 
support, parents were informed through the PTA, and the 
project went forward. 

The important thing is that Howard, Marie, Jennie, Ernest, 
Charles, and Enid were soon busily engaged in finding out 
the frequency and location of typhoid, malaria, tuberculosis, 
diphtheria, scarlet fever, and other communicable diseases; 
studying about the causes, transmission, and prevention of these 
diseases; locating some of the actual causes in the Farmville dis- 
trict; taking preventive measures in their own homes; and 
planning public campaigns for prevention. 

When the investigation was completed, the class met with 
the community council, to present its findings and recommen- 
dations. The report contained facts about the rates of com- 
municable diseases in the Farmville district; about screening of 
windows and doors, sanitary toilets, sewage disposal, and water 
supplies in a sampling of homes; about breeding places of 
mosquitoes, flies, and rats; and about the extent of immuniza- 
tion among a sampling of the people. It also proposed a series 
of actions to remove the causes. 



October 10, 19 

Mr. Myron Evans, Principal, 
Farmville Secondary School, 
Farmville, U. S. A. 

Dear Myron: 

Last spring a committee of students from the Farmville 
Secondary School submitted a report to this council on "Health 
Improvement through the Controtof Communicable Diseases." 
Members of the council were greatly impressed by the facts 
which students had gathered and by the sensible character of 
the recommendations. It is a pleasure to report to you that 
steps have been taken to carry out most of the recommenda- 
tions through the organizations represented in this council. 
The students have also been very helpful in our program of 
action. They contributed most of the labor and a good share 
of the management in the campaigns to clean up the breeding 
places of mosquitoes, flies, and rats. 

These experiences have made us aware of the resources for 
community service which we have close at hand in- our school. 
Now we greatly need the help of some of your students in an 
enterprise which we think will mean a great deal for the wel- 
fare of this part of the county. 

Federal and state money has been made available to assist in 
the operation of public health centers in rural communities. 
There is no doubt that we meed such a center here and that 
many of our people want it. Indeed, the board of education was 
so far-sighted as to provide the rooms for a health center in 
the new school building. 

Now here's the rub. In order to make application for this 
aid, we must gather a great deal of information about people's 
health and the facilities for medical treatment, nursing, hos- 
pitalization, and the like, and we must meet a December 31 
deadline. If twenty of your students could give 'five hours a 
week of their time for the next six weeks, we could get the 
application in good shape. We do not want to exploit willing 
boys and girls, or to divert them from their main job of getting 


an education. But we believe that this enterprise has great 
educational possibilities especially if Miss Lambert, Miss Ran- 
dolph, and Mr. Grayson could spare some of their time to give 
it supervision. 

This is a large request which we make. But it is also a tribute 
to the high esteem in which we hold our school. 

Sincerely yours, 


* * * 

One hundred and twenty students volunteered. Ernest 
Mathews, Enid White, and Howard Daniels were among the 
twenty selected. Their work on the health center project was 
included, of course, in their school program. 

Excerpts from the Farmville Enterprise during the follow- 
ing year: 

March 15: 

Yesterday saw the opening of the new Farmville District 
Health Center in its quarters in the school building. Dr. 
Hugh Anderson, state public health officer, .gave the ad- 
dress at the opening ceremonies, at which Mrs. Anna War- 
ren, chairman of the health center board, presided. Dr. 
Anderson pointed out that the health center will serve four 
purposes. It will be a center for distributing informa- 
tion and conducting demonstrations and educational ac- 
tivities. It will provide a public health nursing service 
throughout the district. It will also operate a clinic, which 
will bring medical examinations and simple surgical and 
medical treatment within the reach of all. And it will give 
leadership in helping the people of the community to recog- 
nize and meet their health problems. The staff will con- 
sist of our two local physicians, Drs. White and Bradford, 
both of whom have been among the chief promoters of the 
center, and Miss Ruth Edinger, an experienced public health 
nurse. Mrs. Warren, in her introductory remarks, paid 


tribute to the fine services of students and teachers from the 
Farmville Secondary School who did much of the work in 
preparing the application for federal and state funds. 

April 1: 

Well-Baby Clinic at Health Center Tomorrow and Monthly 

April 14: 

Eye Clinic To Be Held at Health Center Twice Yearly 

June 20: 

State Health Demonstration Truck To Spend Next Week in 
Farmville District 

September 10: 

Free Immunizations at Health Center Expected To Reduce 
Disease Rate 

October 23 ; 

Second Nurse Joins Health Center Staff 

That is all we have time to tell about, in the way of com- 
munity health activities, for there are other health activities 
within the school, which must also be mentioned. 

Let us look at the personal history records of our six stu- 
dents. All six of them, we find, have been learning about per- 
sonal health and hygiene, both physical and mental, from tenth 
grade onward. To be sure, there has not been a continuous 
course on health through the three years. Instead, units and 
projects on health have been introduced when they seemed to 
be most needed, and when they were appropriate to the ma- 
turity and experience of students. More often than not, the 
study of health was closely related to work in some other field 
family living, consumer education, science, or community 

In tenth grade, as we have seen, these students learned a 
great deal about personal health from their investigation of 


health conditions in the community. In addition, they all 
studied nutrition, foods, and home sanitation in their work 
on family life. Their course in science also yielded useful health 
knowledge. By planning their work together, and sometimes 
pooling their time and teaching, the teachers were able to avoid 
duplications and make these experiences reenf orce one another. 

In eleventh grade, the school nurse and the teachers of sci- 
ence, home economics, and physical education pooled their 
time and resources for a period of intensive work on health 
and hygiene. A counselor with training in psychology and 
mental hygiene joined them. Some of the work consisted of 
quick "refreshers" of things learned earlier first aid and 
safety, taught in ninth grade, and nutrition, home sanitation, 
and communicable diseases, from tenth grade. Most of the 
content was new, however, organized around the personal 
health needs and problems of boys and girls, with materials 
drawn from physiology, hygiene, dietetics, chemistry, biology, 
and psychology. 

Particular stress was laid upon the study of mental health. 
A good working library was collected of books by reliable 
psychologists and mental hygienists books written for young 
people rather than for their teachers and parents, which deal 
with the everyday lives of boys and girls and stress the normal 
aspects of mental health rather than maladjustments. 28 Against 
a background of reading in such books, students were able to 
discuss many of their personal problems objectively and profit- 
ably. They were informed that problems which they did not 
wish to discuss in class might be talked over with their coun- 
selors or the teachers, and many took advantage of this invi- 

In twelfth grade, the work in health dealt with the needs 
of later adolescence and the early years of adult life. Here came 

**The "Personal Efficiency" bookshelf in the library, which is available to all students, 
includes such titles as: "Growing Into Life," "What It Means to Grow Up," Understanding 
Yourself," "Popularity," and "Building Your Life." 


the unit on "Friendship, Courtship, and Marriage," which we 
shall describe more fully in a few moments. Here also the girls 
received training in care of small children and home nursing. 

So much for the experiences common to all our students. 
Some individuals have done still more. Jennie Harkness, whose 
major field is homemaking, has had advanced work in foods 
and home hygiene, is now an assistant in the school lunchroom 
kitchen, and next year (she expects to continue through Grade 
XIV) will be an assistant to the teacher of home economics. 
Enid White, who plans to be either a nurse or a laboratory 
technician, followed her tenth grade general science with an 
individual program of study in chemistry and biology, worked 
last year as a volunteer assistant to the school nurse, and this 
year has a paying position as an assistant in the health center. 
She is also a member of the school committee on health and 
safety. Ernest Mathews* good work on the community health 
survey in tenth grade won him an appointment to the school 
health and safety .committee the next year. This year he is 
chairman of the committee. Under Ernest's vigorous leadership, 
the committee has made a study of health and safety condi- 
tions in the school in classrooms, shops, lunchrooms, toilets, 
locker rooms, gymnasium, school buses, and on playgrounds. 
The report was completed last month. It contains so many 
constructive proposals that a special meeting has been called 
of the faculty and the student council to hear the findings and 
consider the recommendations. 

* * * 

Farmville Footballers Defeat Clear Falls in Close Contest 

Girls' Field Hockey Schedule Announced 

Flynn Wins Interclass Diving Match 

New Archery Equipment Arrives 

Weekend Camping Trips Planned 

Class Gives Program of Early American Folk Dances 
Headlines from the Farmville School News selected during 
the past six weeks. 


What is important here is not the headlines (you could 
match them from many other school papers) , but what these 
headlines mean in terms of our six Farmville youth. For each 
headline stands for one of our six, and together the six head- 
lines mean, "Opportunity for regular, healthful, vigorous exer- 
cise for all, and to each according to his needs." 

You recognize the first, of course. Ernest Mathews, we may 
be sure, was in the thick of that "close contest." And Enid 
White, who is no less energetic than Ernest, is captain of one 
of the field hockey teams in the intramural league. But how 
comes Charles Flynn to be winning a diving contest? Isn't he 
the boy who was underweight and listless and who had such 
poor posture? Yes, he is or was three years ago. Then Mr. 
Haines found that Charles had always wanted to swim but had 
never had a chance to learn. A few weeks of coaching in swim- 
ming and diving by one of Mr. Haines* student assistants 
brought Charles through the beginner's stages. He was soon 
enjoying his new skills and at the same time was strengthening 
the muscles which had been weak. Mr. Haines kept his eye on 
Charles, and gave him a few minutes of special instruction 
from time to time. So the boy gained strength and confidence, 
until he became as good as the average in muscular develop- 
ment and coordination. Having grown that much, Charles was 
not satisfied. He had never excelled at anything before, but here 
was opportunity. He continued to practice, hard and faithfully, 
and now we read "Flynn wins interclass diving match." 

Jennie Harkness can't play field hockey. Remember that she 
has to watch her heart. But she can now shoot an arrow into 
the bull's-eye as often as any other girl in school. Howard Dan- 
iels loves the out-of-doors, but he has to spend most of his spare 
time on week days in his mother's store. He is planning to go 
to college and law school, and most of his studies keep him 
indoors. He gets some exercise in the gym and on the play- 
ground, but not enough for a growing boy. This spring Howard 
has been on three weekend camping trips and several nature 


hikes. Three years ago Marie Stewart was overweight, soft, 
and lacking in self-confidence. But she had good rhythmic sense 
and muscular coordination, and in Miss Burton she found an 
understanding teacher. Now Marie is that slim and graceful 
girl who has one of the leading parts in the folk dancing. 

There is more to physical education, of course, than these 
brief sketches tell. But perhaps enough has been reported to 
show that the Farmville Secondary School believes that training 
in physical skills and the enjoyment of physical activities are 
essential parts of education, which foster health both of body 
and of mind. 

Family Life 

A recent visitor to Farmville was talking with a group of 
upper-class students. "What school experiences have you found 
most helpful to you personally?" he asked. 

Up went the hand of one of the older boys. Looking at the 
boy's muscular frame and hardened hands, the visitor expected 
a reply of "physical education" or "machine shop" or "agri- 
culture/' He was quite surprised, therefore, when the boy 
responded, "I found the work on family life very helpful." 

"How was that?" asked the visitor. 

"Well, we're all members of families now, and most of us 
will have families of our own in a few years. It seems to me 
that people's happiness depends to a large extent on the kind 
of homes they have and how they get along with other mem- 
bers of their families. Our study of family life helped me to 
understand what families are for and how important it is for 
everyone who belongs to a family to do his part to make the 
family a success. It helped me to a better understanding of my 
parents and their problems, arid I think I will be a better mem- 
ber of my own family when the time comes for that." 

"We've just finished a discussion of friendship, courtship, 
and marriage," put in another boy. "That helped many of us 
with our personal questions." 


"It was a good idea to have several teachers working with 
us, when we talked about personal relations," added a girl. 
"We were told that we could go to any of them and talk over 
our problems, if we wanted to. You could choose the teacher 
you thought would best understand your particular problem." 

"We learned a lot of other things about family living," said 
another girl, "about cooking, and nutrition, and clothing, and 
care of children, and how to make our homes beautiful as well 
as convenient. Have you seen the model home that the boys 
built three years ago? The students chose all the furnishings, 
and the girls redecorate it every year. Every girl gets practical 
training in the model home." 

"We can practice in our own homes, too," said a third girl 
eagerly. "We have home projects, and you should see the 
changes in some of our homes since we have been studying 
home management and home furnishing." 

"You mustn't think we rush home and barge into our 
parents' business," said another girl. "We discuss every home 
project with our parents, and they and we decide on the plans 
before anyone starts to work. For years my parents have wanted 
our living-room to be more livable, and they said our whole 
crowd could work on it if we wanted to. Five of us girls did, 
and three of the boys worked with us part of the time. The 
boys got so interested that they helped us make over the garden 
and did some repairs that Dad hadn't time for. Of course 
Mother and Dad went over all the plans with us and with our 
teacher. I wish you could see our house now. The living-room 
is really a room to live in, and we all use it far more than we 
ever did before." 

"Girls aren't the only ones who learn practical things," 
another boy remarked. "Boys are members of families, too. 
We learned about buying clothes and furniture, and planning 
family budgets. In the shops they taught us how to do electric 
wiring, and how to repair electrical equipment and furniture 
and other things around the home. We could learn to make 

furniture, too, if we were interested. I took the unit on camp 
cooking. I work at the state park every summer, and it cer- 
tainly is handy to know how to cook." 

These statements are fairly representative of students* re- 
actions to their experiences of education in family living. A 
few words may serve to fill some blank spaces in the picture. 
Study of family life, like that of health, is distributed through 
all the years of the Farmville Secondary School, with experi- 
ences suited to the interests and maturity of students. Boys and 
girls in Grades VII through X are chiefly concerned with their 
present experiences as children in families and with the simpler 
skills of home operation. From the eleventh or twelfth grade 
onward, both girls and boys think of themselves increasingly 
as homemakers as prospective wives, husbands, and parents. 
Now they are ready to consider the family from a more mature 
point of view, to seek the knowledge and master the skills 
which will help them to assume the responsibilities of marriage 
and parenthood. 

All girls have class and laboratory work in foods, clothing, 
household furnishings, and home management; practical ex- 
perience on home projects, in the model home, and in the 
school kitchen; instruction in the care of small children, with 
practice in the nursery school; and training in home hygiene 
and home nursing. For boys, there is work in home mechanics, 
which includes all sorts of skills useful in the maintenance and 
repair of houses, furniture, and household equipment. 

A large part of the work is carried on by girls and boys to- 
gether for the most important aspects of family life are the 
common concern of both sexes. Girls and boys together study 
the unique services of the family to its members, such* as pro- 
viding affection and security; the influence of the family on 
the personalities of children; the important role of the family 
as an agency of religious and moral education; and the possi- 
bilities of conducting the family as a democratic association 
of persons. 

Boys and girls together discuss the problems, of family living 
how to organize the family on a basis of mutual helpfulness, 
so that everyone contributes services to the common good; the 
need for wives and mothers to have satisfying interests outside 
the home; and the family's use of leisure time. 

Together, too, they study the economic side of family life 
the planning of homes and home furnishings; budgeting the 
family income; how the family can produce for its own con- 
sumption; and consumer buying. Indeed, a large part of the 
school's program in consumer education accompanies the study 
of family life, and properly so. For the material welfare of 
most farm and village families is largely dependent on the wise 
and discriminating expenditure of their relatively small cash 
incomes and never more so than in these days of rising prices 
and multiplied appeals to purchase the latest commercial prod- 
ucts of the "new age/* 24 

Much that is done elsewhere in the school is related to family 
life. "We have found this true of health education. We shall also 
find it true of recreational and leisure-time activities. In addi- 
tion, boys in agriculture study production and preservation of 
food for home use, ornamental gardening, carpentry, and elec- 
tric wiring. In the handicraft shops, students have opportunities 
to learn weaving, dyeing, woodworking, furniture repairing, 
rug hooking, and other home crafts. 

Counselors and teachers of home economics are particularly 
close to the home lives and family problems of students. From 
the time a boy or girl enters the school, the counselor has con- 
tacts with the parents as well as the student. He consults with 
the student and his parents together on all major educational 
decisions, and sometimes also when difficult personal problems 
arise. Home economics teachers make it a practice to visit the 
homes of their students and to discuss home projects with 

84 The experiences of the war year$ raised consumer education to a position of first im- 
portance in the curriculum. Other phases of consumer economics are studied in connection 
with social studies, agriculture, business education, and health education. 


parents and students together. Since these teachers are also re- 
sponsible for adult education, they frequently find that their 
relations with parents yield opportunities for the school to 
serve the entire family. 

* * * 

Among the problems frequently encountered by counselors 
and teachers are those growing out of the relations between 
boys and girls their friendships and social activities, their loves 
and disappointments, their courtships and plans for marriage. 
More than once a boy or girl would say, "I wish there were 
some course in school, where we could get help on these ques- 
tions. We study about our relations with our parents in our 
present families, and about our families we're going to have 
by and by. But the courses skip right over the place where. we 
are now. Why can't we study about sex, and love, and marriage, 
the same as we study anything else? There's nothing more im- 
portant to boys and girls of our age, and for most of us there 
isn't any place else we can go for help." 

Out of such experiences, there came, at the end of the first 
year, the proposal for a unit on "Friendship, Courtship, and 
Marriage," to be included in the twelfth-grade program. After 
discussion in the faculty and with the superintendent, the plan 
was carried to the board of education, the ,parent-teacher 
association, and the youth council. A few were skeptical, but 
most of the responses were favorable. The support of Farm- 
ville's two physicians and of two local pastors silenced a few 
who might otherwise have openly opposed the plan. It was 
decided to offer the unit during one year, to both boys and 
girls, on an experimental basis. The course was planned and 
conducted as a group project, with Mrs. Wallace, one of the 
counselors with good training in psychology and two children 
of her own, in charge. She was ably assisted by Dr. Bradford, 
Miss Lambert (the school nurse), and the other counselors. 
The teachers of home economics, literature, science, and physical 
education also made valuable contributions. When the experi- 


mental year was over, the question was referred back to the 
community groups, all of which gave votes of confidence. 

* * & 

From twenty to twenty-five girfe in each class through 
twelfth grade do their major work in homemaking. About one- 
third continue in the Farmville Secondary School through 
Grade XIV. For these, there are opportunities for advanced 
study in every phase of family life. In Grades XIII and XIV, 
the work is largely individual and is well balanced between 
reading and consultation with teachers, on the one hand, and 
practical experience, on the other. The school's homemaking 
activities are so many and so varied that teachers could not 
possibly supervise them all without aid. Most of the girls in the 
last two years become assistants to the teachers, helping to 
supervise and manage the school lunchroom, the nursery 
school, the foods and clothing laboratories, the model home, 
the home crafts shops, the home projects, and the projects for 
food preservation. 

Recreational and Leisure- 
Time Activities 

One of the busiest spots in Farmville is the office of Mr. 
Warfield, recreational supervisor for the Farmville school dis- 
trict. This is the coordinating center for a multitude of activi- 
ties and events which, in one way or another, engage the interest 
of most of the people of the district, young and old alike. 

Let us look at the schedule for a recent week, chosen at ran- 
dom. The annual community festival is only a few weeks dis- 
tant; the pageant, dances, and musical numbers are being re- 
hearsed; committees on exhibits, staging, and program are 
meeting. Spring has brought its insistent call to the out-of- 
doors. "Twilight League" sof tball games are scheduled for the 
five playgrounds in the district* A model airplane and kite- 
flying contest is to be held on Saturday. Several groups are 
planning picnics at Forest Park. 


This is the week on which the "Community Night" program 
goes to the Four Corners Elementary School, with a well-chosen 
motion picture and other entertainment by local talent. The 
school chorus is to sing at the Methodist Church next Sunday 
evening, and the speech choir will present a program at this 
week's meeting of the Ruritan Club. * 

The gymnasium, pool, and recreation room at the Farmville 
Secondary School are open four nights a week. The gymnasiums 
in two elementary schools are each open one night a week (two 
nights during the winter months) , All of these must be super- 
vised. It is fortunate for Mr. Warfield that he has the aid of 
a corps of able young student assistants from the secondary 
school. He could never look after all these affairs alone. 

Five years ago things were different. In those days, people 
around Farmville had little to occupy their leisure time. There 
were ball games in the fields and on vacant lots, of course, and 
boys went swimming in the creek. Boys and girls talked at the 
drug stores, put nickels in juke boxes, and occasionally bor- 
rowed the family car for an evening at the movies or for a 
dance in American City. Now and then there were school 
dances, church socials, and parties, and people sometimes danced 
or played cards in their homes. But most of the recreation was 
unplanned, and, on the whole, uninteresting, especially for 
older boys and girls. 

What happened to work the transformation? That story can 
best be told by Mr. Warfield, who came to the old high school 
in 1938 to teach physical education, English, and the school's 
one class in music. It was he, more than any other one person, 
who made the educators and citizens of Farmville aware of 
their community's recreational resources. 

"It was fortunate," Mr. Warfield recalled, "that we had time 
to plan carefully for our new building. We had a chance to 
think about the purposes of the new school. Naturally there 
were conflicting views at first. Some thought vocational educa- 
tion was the one important thing. Well, vocational education 


is important, but it's not the whole of education. And some of 
us, I guess, were just as zealous and just as narrow in our pleas 
for leisure-time activities. But it all came out well in the end. 
We found that it was not a case of either-or, but rather one of 

"Before we could decide what sort of plant we needed for 
recreational activities, we had to answer three questions. 

"First, we asked, what are the functions of our school in rela- 
tion to recreational and leisure-time interests? We said there 
are two. The first function of any school is to teach, or if you 
prefer, to help people to learn. And we said that people should 
be helped to learn two things to cultivate leisure-time inter- 
ests and to develop skill in following those interests. In those 
days, before we reorganized our elementary schools, most of 
our youngsters came to us with only a narrow range of recre- 
ational interests, because they had never had a chance to de- 
velop any others. It was our job to expose these boys and girls 
to many possible interests and to help them discover their 
capacities for enjoyment. Side by side with interests we put 
skill. Whether you play the clarinet, dance, swim, or play 
baseball, you enjoy it more if you are reasonably skilful. It was 
also our job, we said, to teach people to do well the things 
which they choose to do. 

"In Farmville, we went on, the school" has a second function. 
No matter how well you teach, you can't expect people to use 
their leisure time constructively unless they have facilities. 
For sports, you need play fields and a gymnasium. For music 
and drama, you need instruments, rooms, and a stage. For 
handicrafts, you need shops and equipment. In those days, 
Farmville had none of these facilities. So we said that this 
school, which we were planning, ought to be equipped to serve 
as the recreational center for the community. 

"Then we asked our second question. Whom should the 
school serve? Well, obviously, the boys and girls enrolled as 
students. But only these? What about those other youth out of 


school, yet only a year or so older than our students? Their 
needs for leisure-time activities -are often greater than those 
of boys and girls in school. Yes, we said, we must serve them, 
too. And what about older people? They too have leisure time. 
Has the school a responsibility to them? Of course it has. So 
we agreed that, as far as possible, the school should serve the 
entire population. When facilities were limited, we added, youth 
should come first. 

"Our third question was geographical Where should the 
school's services be located? At first w*e thought only in terms 
of the central school building. Then we reflected that many 
people lived so far from Farmville that they could come to the 
building only occasionally. Ten or fifteen miles isn't far, to be 
sure, but multiply it by two for a round trip and then by five 
cents a mile for gas and oil and tires, and it amounts to more 
money than many of our people can spend for recreation. As 
rapidly as possible, we concluded, we must find ways of carry- 
ing the recreational services of the school to youth and older 
people in their neighborhoods and homes. 

"The rest," Mr. Warfield continued, "is a long story, and I 
won't take time to tell it all. We built a plant, as you have seen, 
with a gymnasium, an auditorium, sound-proofed music rooms, 
a theater, a recreation room, a swimming pool, and a number 
of smaller rooms for craft shops, dubs, and committee meet- 
ings. The board of education, I should add, was f arsighted 
enough to include space for a community library. 

"As for the program, we felt that the young people should 
have an important voice in planning their own recreational 
activities. We brought them into the planning from the start 
boys and girls who were out of school as well as students. These 
young people have contributed their share of good ideas. They 
have made surveys of recreational needs. They have done most 
of the work in building the playgrounds and improving the 
park. They have made a large part of our recreational equip- 
ment in the school shops. Most important of all, many of them 


have developed into capable leaders and assistant teachers. We 
teachers can multiply our usefulness many times by spending a 
part of our time in training older boys and girls to be recrea- 
tional leaders. 

"There are a few other high points which I might mention. 
You have seen the playground at the school here in Farmville. 
Well, we have five of those in the district, and they are in use 
most of the year. I hope you can visit Forest Park while you are 
here. Four years ago that was just another woods, which nobody 
used. The young people worked two years to make that woods 
into as attractive an outing place as you will find. Thanks to 
some aid from the federal government and the state and to an 
interested board of education, we got our community library 
last year. 25 We also fitted up a truck as a traveling library to dis- 
tribute books to people at their homes. When the two new 
elementary schools were built, each one was equipped with a 
good gymnasium which can also be used for public meetings 
and entertainments. Two years ago, the board of education 
decided to employ a full-time recreational supervisor for the 
district; and they honored me by choosing me for the position. 26 

"Now, if you want to know what the school does for the 
recreation of its regular students, I think you'd better talk 
with the principal. He is as deeply interested as I, and better 

* & * 

Indeed, Mr. Evans was deeply interested, and quite willing 
to continue Mr. Warfield's narrative. 

"Every student," he said, "is encouraged to develop three 
types of avocational interest: some sport or activity involving 
exercise and coordination of the large muscles; some ability 
which can be employed and enjoyed in larger groups, such as 
choral singing, orchestral playing, dramatics, and folk dancing; 

"^National Education Association and American Association of School Administrators, 
Educational Policies Commission. Social Services and the Schools. Washington, D. C: the 
Commission, 1939. Chapter IV. 

*JM., Chapter V. 


and some hobby which can be pursued alone or within the 
family. Of course, this is a matter of guidance and skilful 
teaching, rather than assignment. We don't believe that recrea- 
tional interests can be forced. 

"We try to give the same encouragement and opportuni- 
ties to out-of -school youth and older people through our late 
afternoon a-qid evening program. 

"We also try to share the best accomplishments of our 
students with the community, through plays, concerts, ex- 
hibits, athletic contests, and the like. We think this is good for 
the students and good for the community. 

"Each student has opportunity to gain proficiency in at 
least one sport. Many choose more than one, of course. A few 
carry sports to excess, and a few don't respond to any. But 
our counselors and teachers watch that matter rather closely. 
We have the usual athletic teams, which turn in a fair per- 
centage of interscholastic victories. We recognize the values of 
competitive athletics, but we try not to magnify those values 
out of proportion to others. I think I can safely say that teachers 
and students alike give far more attention to intramural sports, 
where everyone takes part. Our teachers of physical education 
are teachers first, and coaches incidentally. The effectiveness of 
their work is judged by the number of students participating 
in a wide variety of sports, rather than by the victories achieved 
by a few. 

"Music, dramatics, pageantry, and dancing are our chief 
activities of the community group type. We have a band, an 
orchestra, and a chorus, whose schedules are well filled with per- 
formances for school and community audiences. Our students 
produce some creditable plays and they have written and per- 
formed some impressive pageants. Probably the most colorful 
activity is the large folk-dancing class. Miss Burton, the teacher, 
is something of a genius in that field. Her classes have become 
widely known in this part of the state, and receive more invita- 
tions than they can accept for performances away from home. 


"You have seen some evidences of the preparations for the 
community festival. That is an all-community affair, but the 
school plays a large part in it. As a matter of fact, the idea 
originated here in the school four years ago, when a pageant 
was presented to celebrate the anniversary of the end of the 
war. Hundreds of people came to see it, and it was so favor- 
ably received that we decided to continue it as an annual event. 
The next year the elementary-school children were brought 
in, and several adult groups, too. Now the festival has become 
the year's high point for all the arts. Hundreds of children, 
youth, and adults take part, and practically the whole com- 
munity is the audience. The central theme is the progress which 
the nation and the world have made in achieving the aims for 
which the war was fought. Since those achievements change 
from year to year, each year's program is different. The festival 
is a great challenge to the ingenuity of our people. 

"The activities of the third type for personal and family 
enjoyment are many. You have seen our handicraft shops and 
our art studios. We have a dozen or so hobby clubs model 
airplane, radio and television, gardening, photography, nature 
study, and the like. Our library carries a good supply of cur- 
rent magazines and books for recreational reading, and we get 
these out to homes through the bookmobile. The recreation 
room is well stocked with games which can be played at home 
as well as in the school, and we have a game loan library. There 
are well over a hundred different games there, which families 
can play at home. Students can borrow them for two weeks 
at a time, just as they would take out books. Most of the game 
equipment is made in the handicrafts shops, and the game 
library is so popular that students are kept busy making addi- 
tional sets." 

Mr. Evans paused for a moment, then added: "Unless you 
have lived in the country, you can hardly appreciate the place 
of the rural school as a center of social life. "When our school 
buses have made their afternoon deliveries, our students are 


scattered over an area of nearly two hundred square miles. 
Most of our students would have but little social experience 
with their fellows, if they did not get that experience here at 
the school. That is why we have a recreation room, in which 
students can visit and dance and play games in their free time. 
That is why we have occasional dances and other social events 
during the school day. And that is one of the reasons why 
recreational and leisure-time interests have a large place in the 
school program. 

"I could tell you as much again about our program for out- 
of -school youth and adults and about the use of the school as 
a community recreation center but that is another story." 

The Cultural Birthright of Youth 

So far we have been thinking about personal development in 
terms of health, emotional stability, and the face-to-face rela- 
tions of youth with their elders and their companions in work 
and play. 

That, however, is only half of the story, as the teachers at 
Farmville will tell you. Growth, they say, is a process of inter- 
action between organism and environment. The amount and 
nature of growth depend upon the environment as well as on 
the organism. The human organism, which we call a person, 
develops in an environment which, on its material side, is in- 
creasingly the product of the applications of scientific knowl- 
edge, and on its intellectual and social side is entirely the prod- 
uct of many centuries of human experience. We call that en- 
vironment our civilization or our culture. One of the chief 
reasons why schools exist is to guide each oncoming generation 
into meaningful experiences with the more important aspects 
of our civilization. 

Mr. Grayson, a science teacher, likes to drive this point home 
with an illustration which is worth quoting. 

"It is somewhat overdrawn, I admit," he says, "but I think 
it is useful. Suppose that you have a child endowed with the 


capacities of a Newton, a Mozart, and a Socrates. In early 
infancy, you place this potential super-genius in an isolated 
village in the interior of Borneo, and there you keep him, cut 
off from all contacts with the rest of the world. "What will 
happen to him in the way of personal development? 

"At best, he will grow a little beyond the narrow confines of 
the civilization of his Borneo village; and that is all. He may 
invent a new hand weapon for bashing the heads of enemy 
tribesmen. He may observe that certain herbs are more effi- 
cacious than the incantations of priests for relieving the 
symptoms of disease. He may introduce new rhythms into 
some of the tribal dances. He may question some of the grosser 
tribal superstitions, and try to make some of the village customs 
a bit more humane. But that is as far as he would go. 

"In spite of his superb native equipment, he would never dis- 
cover the law of gravitation, invent the differential calculus, 
write a symphony, or deliver a discourse on ethics. He would 
not know one solitary thing about the scientific method, mathe- 
matics, symphonic music, ethical principles, or logical reason- 
ing. Instead, his mental furnishings would consist of tribal tra- 
ditions, customs, and rituals; of taboos, magic, and supersti- 
tions. In short, our Newton-Mozart-Socrates combination is 
just an ordinary headman in a primitive Borneo village when 
he is cut off from the civilization in which his abilities might 
have flourished. 

"Unfortunately, you don't have to send a child to Borneo 
to isolate him from important factors in civilization. You can 
cut him off from the understanding of science; of democratic 
government; of art, music, and literature; or of ethical princi- 
ples, without ever moving him from the place where he was 
born. It is possible for a boy or girl to grow up in this com- 
munity or any other, and have his personality dwarfed or dis- 
torted because of the poverty of his environment; Not only is 
that possible, but it happens, year in and year out, to thousands 
of children. 


"Now, what does this mean for education? It means that 
there are some educational experiences which boys and girls 
should have because they are human beings, living in the United 
States of America in the middle of the twentieth century. 
These experiences do not have to be justified because they make 
a person a better worker, or a better citizen, or a better parent. 
They undoubtedly do all these things, but that is beside the 
point just now. 

"It means that we as teachers are obligated to study the civili- 
zation in which we and our, to select those elements 
which are most important for the development of civilized per- 
sons, and to see that every child has opportunities for mean- 
ingful experiences with those elements. It is our job to help 
boys and girls become civilized human beings by giving them 
their rightful heritage of the true, the beautiful, and the good." 

To make a long story short, the Farmville teachers have 
identified four areas in our civilization which they have called 
"the cultural birthright of youth." 

"Every American youth," they have said, "should understand 
the meaning of the democratic way of life and should know 
how this way of life has been wrought into the fabric of Ameri- 
can society and particularly into the processes of government. 

"Every American youth should understand the structure 
and operation of the economic system, and should be sensitive 
to the effects, in terms of social well-being, of his economic acts 
as producer, consumer, and citizen. 

"Every American youth should understand the scientific 
method and point of view and the influence of science on 
human life and thought, and should know those scientific facts 
fundamental to the understanding of the world in which he 

"Every American youth should constantly grow in his ca- 
pacities to enjoy beauty and to understand and appreciate the 
best in literature and the arts." 


We have already given considerable attention to the first two 
of these the understanding of democracy and of economic 
processes. Here we need do no more than to review briefly what 
has already been said. The last two the understanding of 
science and the appreciation of literature and the arts will 
be treated more f ully. 

The Meaning of Democracy 

We have seen that understanding of the democratic way of 
life is a prime objective of Farmville's program of education 
for civic competence. 27 Indeed, citizenship education would 
fail to achieve its chief purposes if it did not develop that un- 
derstanding. One may know the salient facts about govern- 
ment, the important events and movements of history, and the 
pro's and con's of the public issues of the day and yet his 
citizenship will be but an empty form and his culture a useless 
adornment if he does not understand the democratic way of 
life. 28 Democratic principles and practices are therefore stressed 
throughout the study of history and American political insti- 

Understanding Economic Processes 

Most of us spend the major part of our waking hours in eco- 
nomic activities as producers of goods and services which 
other people consume and as consumers of goods and services 
which other people htfve produced. Farmville's teachers want 
their students to understand that these activities, which in years 
to come will occupy so much of their time and energy, are 
closely bound up with the values of life and with social well- 

These teachers have the idea that the cultured person, among 
other things, is economically literate and socially sensitive. He 

37 See pages 78-81. 

"National Education Association and American Association of School Administrators, 
Educational Policies Commission. The Education of Free Men in American Democracy. 
Washington, D. C: the Commission, 1541. See especially Chapter HI, "Democracy as a 
Great Social Faith"; and Chapter V, "The Loyalties of Free Men." 


knows how the economic system works and how it affects 
human welfare. He understands the long-range consequences 
of his own economic acts. He is concerned for the welfare of 
others as well as himself, and he acts accordingly. In a word, 
he views his economic activities in their social connections. 

These economic understandings are taught throughout the 
school program in relation to their uses in life particularly 
in connection with the activities of producers, consumers, and 
citizens. The school endeavors to develop, not only efficient 
producers and prudent consumers, but also citizens who are 
sensitive to social well-being and who are disposed to promote 
that well-being. 


Watch the boys and girls in Farmville's agricultural labora- 
tories, the boys in the machine shop and the electrical shop, the 
girls in classes on foods and nutrition, and the students engaged 
in studying health, and you will see a great deal of planned 
teaching of science and mathematics. You will also see a great 
d$al of learning of facts and principles which will long be 
remembered and applied, because things are being learned in 
connection with their uses in life. 

The teaehers are not satisfied, however, to teach only the 
practical applications of science. For the past three centuries, 
they say, science has played a leading patt in shaping our civili- 
zation. Today, it is a potent influence in directing the future 
course of our culture. Science is one of the chief elements in 
the cultural heritage; and the understanding of scientific 
methods and the scientific point of view is a part of the cul- 
tural birthright of youth. 

The teaching of science begins early not in secondary 
school, but in first grade. If instruction in science is postponed 
too long, the mind of the learner becomes stocked with un- 
scientific habits of thinking and with assumptions and prej- 
udices unsupported by facts. The everyday lives of pupils, in 


schools, in their homes, and on their farms, provide a wealth 
of opportunities for scientific learning. The school makes good 
use of these resources, and also of those found in the fields, 
the woods, and the streams the book of nature, which, as 
Agassiz said, is always open. 

Not only scientific facts are taught, but also the scientific 
methods by which facts are discovered. There is danger, the 
teachers believe, that the pupil may learn to take his science 
on the authority of the textbook or the teacher, and may fail 
to develop the attitude of critical inquiry which marks the 
scientific mind. Every elementary classroom is, therefore, used 
as a laboratory for simple experiments; and in secondary school, 
experimentation is carried much further. There experiments 
are a common means for finding the facts about foods, soils, 
'the growth of plants and animals, the control of diseases, elec- 
tricity, refrigeration, motors, and many other matters con- 
nected with occupations, health, and home life. By constantly 
practicing scientific inquiry, students develop a knowledge of 
experimental methods, an understanding of the nature of 
proof, and a respect for truth arrived at by rational processes, 
which they could hardly gain in any other way. 

The ways in which science has influenced ways of living 
and thinking receive particular attention. A great deal is taught 
incidentally throughout the schools; but this is a matter, the 
teachers say, which deserves to be studied directly. A con- 
siderable part of the tenth-grade science course is, therefore, 
devoted to the role of science in human progress. 

This course on "The Scientific View of the World and of 
Man" is worth a few moments of our attention. Without at- 
tempting to describe it in full, we may point out a few of its 

Imaginative association with great scientists is used as one 
effective way of learning about scientific methods. The history 
of science is full of adventure and dramatic action, which ap- 
peal strongly to young people's interests and arouse their 


imagination. The lives of some of the great scientists are 
studied, representing the major scientific fields. These scien- 
tists are thought of as living men, facing difficult problems to 
which they do not know the answers, and confronting many 
obstacles rooted in ignorance and prejudice. In imagination, 
the students watch them at work, and look particularly for the 
methods which they use in attacking their problems. They see 
them, in Pasteur's words, "constraining themselves for days, 
weeks, even years, trying to ruin their own experiments, and 
only proclaiming their discoveries after having exhausted all 
contrary hypotheses." Thus the methods of science are taught 
as instruments which men have created and used to solve 
some of humanity's most important problems. 

Some of the -great scientific experiments are also studied, 
which are within the comprehension of tenth-graders experi-* 
ments of recent years as well as of the more remote past. When- 
ever possible, these are repeated in the school laboratory. 
Students see how the experiments and discoveries of scientists 
have changed our ways of living; how the work of Watt and 
. Faraday made possible our modern systems of power machine 
production and rapid transportation, how the experiments of 
Boussingault and Mendel led to scientific agriculture, and how 
Pasteur and Koch revolutionized the treatment of disease. 

Students trace the development of the view that we live in 
a world of natural laws, of orderly cause and effect, not a world 
of chance or arbitrary action. They observe the growth of faith 
that human intelligence, using the scientific method of inquiry, 
can discover the laws of nature and so bring the physical world 
increasingly under man's control. They also see that science 
has given man the basis of many of his highest hopes for a better 
world. For science not only makes progress possible, it also sets 
new goals for man to work toward. From the scientific point 
of view, disease, poverty, ignorance, and inequalities of oppor- 
tunity are nfct evils to be passively accepted. They are evidence 
either that we have not yet solved some problems which can be 


solved, or that we have failed to apply the scientific knowledge 
which we already possess. 

Throughout the year, an attempt is made to add to the 
students' stock of fundamental scientific principles and facts, 
and to help students to see these as related parts of a whole. 
Most boys and girls, the teachers have found, are now able to 
develop a conception of a natural universe, operating accord- 
ing to laws, and of themselves as parts of that universe. When 
once this pattern of thinking has been well established, other 
facts and principles are fitted into it as students continue to 

The cultural aims of the teaching of science are well summed 
up in a statement prepared last year by the Farmville staff: 

An educated person will understand that science is based 
upon methods, which men have slowly and painstakingly de- 
veloped, for discovering, verifying, organizing, and interpret- 
ing the facts about the world in which we live and about the 
people in it. 

He will know that the use of scientific methods has worked 
revolutionary changes in men's ways of living and thinking. 

He will see that the methods of science are one of mankind's 
chief instruments for making further progress. 

He will know that most scientific advances have depended 
upon precise measurement and accurate calculation and that 
mathematics is indispensable to scientific inquiry. 

He will recognize that problems in human society, as well as 
in the physical world, should be attacked by scientific methods 
and from a scientific point of view. 

He will be familiar with certain fundamental principles and 
facts from the sciences, which, when taken together, give him 
a sound view of the nature of the world in which he lives. 

"If a person understands these things," commented one of 
the teachers, "we think he has gained the chief cultural benefits 
of science. If he doesn't understand them, his mind is living 
in the fifteenth century, no matter how many scientific facts 
he can recite or how many scientific gadgets he can operate." 


Literature and the Arts 

Literature and the arts are found often and in many places 
throughout the Farmville school program. We have seen how 
biographies, fiction, drama, and poetry are read in the course 
on history. Novels like Tree of Liberty, dramas like Abe JJn- 
coln in Illinois and The Patriots, and the poetry of Whitman 
and Stephen Vincent Ben^t quicken the imaginations of youth 
as they study the meaning of the democratic way of life. Some 
students find that a painting by Grant Wood, a lithograph by 
George Bellows, or a song such as "America the Beautiful" or 
"Ballad for Americans" will express their feelings about some 
aspect of American life far more adequately than a prosaic 
essay on the subject. Moreover, literature and art are often tlie 
keys which open the doors to the culture of peoples in other 
lands and other times. 

Music, drama, folk-dancing, pageantry, and recreational 
reading stand high among the leisure-time activities. In the 
classes on "Family Living," one sees that beauty in the home and 
its surroundings has a large place and that the place of good 
literature in the home is not forgotten. Business classes study 
beauty in the furnishings of offices and stores. Counselors often 
use biographies and novels to help students better to understand 
the vocations which they are considering, or to gain insight 
into their personal problems. In the study of economic, political, 
and social questions, teachers frequently find that a problem 
remote from the experiences of students can be brought near 
and made concrete and vivid thru the use of novels and 

Students* experiences with literature and the arts reach their 
culmination in the twelfth grade, where a generous portion 
of time is set aside for study and appreciation in this field. This 
course is remarkable in a number of ways which merit our at- 

The classes meet in a room quite unlike any other in the 
school building a room that was planned for this purpose. Its 


panelled walls, built-in bookcases and cabinets, indirect lighting, 
and pleasing harmony of colors show that the architect was 
partner to the planning. Its beauty is enhanced by the furnish- 
ings the large tables and comfortable library chairs, the 
draperies, rugs, and floor lamps, the vases of flowers from the 
school garden, and the half dozen prints and paintings which 
hang upon the walls. Even the equipment seems to belong to an 
artistic whole the radio-phonograph set, the piano, the built- 
in motion picture screen and projection booth, and the dais. 
It is a beautiful room; yet there is nothing pretentious, nothing 
formal about it. It seems to invite one to enter and enjoy what 
he may find. 

"We want this twelfth-grade course to be a great and 
glorious adventure for each one of our students," said one of 
the Farmville teachers. "We want it to be a time for the dis- 
covery of latent interests and talents and a period for growth 
in appreciation and enjoyment. We want our students to de- 
velop such a love for the beautiful and the good that they 
will continue to find inspiration and enjoyment in literature 
and the arts through all the years ahead. 

"Throughout the year we expose our students to a wide 
variety of experiences of beauty in music, poetry, drama, 
in other forms of literature, and in the visual arts. We try 
to suit these experiences to the students' diverse backgrounds 
and talents, for it is growth that we seek, rather than the at- 
tainment of some absolute standard. We encourage students 
to have a large share in planning their experiences. When new 
records, new books, or new prints are to be bought, the 
students help to choose them. Sometimes we all work together, 
sometimes in small groups, sometimes as individuals, for we 
must allow for differences in tastes as well as common interests. 

"We try to keep these experiences of beauty close to the 
everyday lives of students. We do not want our boys and girls 
to think of beauty as something found only in art museums 
and concert halls. We want them to find beauty in their homes, 


in the pictures in their living-rooms, in flowers tastefully ar- 
ranged, in radio programs, in their phonograph records, in the 
books they own or take from the library, in their gardens, in 
woods and streams and sunsets, in the little parks in the villages, 
and in the show-windows of the village stores. 

"I have said that we expose students to these experiences of 
beauty. That, we think, is all that we can do. We sometimes 
call these experiences a part of the birthright of youth. One 
cannot compel a person to accept a birthright. You can only 
offer the birthright and say 'This is yours if you care to claim 
it.* But there are few who do not respond. 

"We have a second aim," the teacher continued. "That is to 
make the reading of literature a means for the enlargement 
of experience. The person who knows and enjoys good litera- 
ture can live vicariously through a wealth and range of experi- 
ences which otherwise could come to him only in a long and 
varied life under the most fortunate circumstances. He can 
make the acquaintance of great and noble men and women of 
the past and of the present. He can know the great characters 
of drama and fiction. He can travel to other lands and see life 
through the eyes of people of other cultures. He can enter into 
the hopes and disappointments, the struggles, failures, and suc- 
cesses of ordinary people like himself. He can learn to anticipate 
the great crises and dilemmas of life, which none of us, however 
fortunate, can escape; and he can know how other people 
have met these crucial tests, some nobly and some meanly, some 
with fortitude and some with fear. He can rejoice in life's 
beauty, laugh at its humor, and weep for its tragedies. For all 
of this, only three things are required imagination, ability to 
read, and good books." 

This rural school, moreover, is the center of literary and 
artistic interests for the entire community for adults as well 
as for youth and children. In Farmville there are no art gal- 
leries, no concert halls, no museums, no theaters, no libraries 
apart from the school, no parks other than those developed 


by the school. Yet Farmville people may hear concerts of good 
music creditably performed, see good plays well acted, and enjoy 
the beauty of the out-of-doors in their own park, because the 
school helps them to provide these services for themselves. 

The achievements of students in music or drama or pageantry 
are frequently shared with the community. But older people 
are not merely observers of their children's performances. 
They come to the school at nights. They have their own or- 
chestras, their own choruses, their own "Little Theater." On 
some occasions, as in the case of the community festival, people 
of all ages, from kindergartners to grandparents, come together 
both as participants and as audience. 

The school seeks to help people of all ages to enjoy beauty in 
their homes and their village communities. From the school 
library, every family may borrow good books, prints of good 
pictures, and records of good music. In the Farmville School 
News and the Farmville Enterprise, every family may find a 
list of forthcoming radio programs, selected by a committee of 
students and teachers as "the week's best listening** in music, 
drama, literature, and public affairs. Every family may enjoy 
a day's outing in Forest Park whenever it chooses. And every 
resident of Farmville may feel pride in the trees and shrubs 
and flowers which line the main street, give beauty and color 
to the school grounds and the public square, and cause even the 
hurried tourist from the city to take his foot off the throttle 
and remark: "You know, I'd like to live in a place like this." 

Intellectual Achievement 

The casual visitor to the Farmville Secondary School usually 
inquires, in the course of the day, "How well do the graduates 
of your school succeed in the liberal arts colleges and univer- 
sities?*' And he is usually surprised by the reply. Not that 
Farmville has had an unusual number of top-ranking students 
in colleges and universities. It has had its share, but no more. 
The remarkable thing is, rather, that no graduate of the new 


Farmville Secondary School has failed in college or university. 
The 16 percent of the graduates of this school 29 who go on to 
the four-year colleges and universities have a creditable record 
of solid achievement which testifies, not only to their ability, 
but also to the soundness of their preparation for advanced 

The casual visitor naturally assumes that a school which 
places so much emphasis on the present living of youth, on the 
improvement of community life, and on such practical matters 
as competence in occupations, citizenship, and family living, 
can hardly develop the discipline of sustained intellectual effort 
needed for success in advanced academic and professional study. 
He assumes, too, that students who have not followed a pre- 
scribed college preparatory curriculum in high school are 
going to lack both the knowledge and the mental disciplines 
required in the higher institutions. 

Those who know the Farmville school well, however, are 
not surprised. They know that students at Farmville have many 
experiences which foster habits of intellectual effort and de- 
velop respect for intellectual achievement. And they know that 
these habits and this respect are developed under circumstances 
that make it likely that they will "carry over" to other situa- 
tions, whether these be advanced study or the practical affairs 
of daily living. 

For one thing, most of a student's learning at Farmville is 
directly related to bis purposes. The student wants to do some- 
thing, either as an individual or as a member of a group. He 
applies himself diligently to learn the things needed to do what 
he wants to do, and thereby develops habits of application and 

The Farmville teachers recognize, of course, that students* 
purposes alone are not adequate guides to education. Untutored 
purposes may be relatively trivial. But they also know that, 

10 As compared -with 11 percent during the five years 1936-1941. Some sixty students 
from the three graduating classes of the new school have now attended universities and four- 
year colleges for from one to three years. 


under skilful teaching, a student's purposes will grow. They 
will grow in the number and kinds of people which they en- 
compass. A purpose of "having a good time" for oneself may 
grow into a purpose of improving the recreational facilities for 
the entire community. They will grow in complexity. A pur- 
pose of enjoying the company of a congenial person of the other 
sex may grow into a purpose of becoming self-supporting, 
marrying, and establishing a home. They will grow in the time 
span covered. A purpose of earning a living may grow into a 
purpose of mastering the knowledge and skills needed to become 
a physician or a teacher. Nothing is more important to the 
Farmville teachers than growth in the scope, complexity, and 
time span of their students* purposes. 

Closely related to purposeful learning is the students* experi- 
ence of self-direction in learning. Boys and girls at Farmville 
are encouraged to take responsibility for planning and direct- 
ing their own work. Many of their activities take the form 
of individual and small-group projects. This is particularly the 
case with those who plan to go to colleges and universities. 
Students who have become accustomed to directing their own 
intellectual efforts in high school usually find little difficulty 
in moving to situations where one must assume responsibility 
in order to succeed whether those situations be in the world 
of work or in institutions of higher education. 

For another thing, Farmville students are accustomed to 
learn about things in their relationships with one another. Their 
study of occupations and economic affairs is invariably bound 
up with matters of community welfare and citizenship. Their 
study of science is related to its applications in farming, 
health, and the professions. Their study of history begins and 
ends with its relationships with contemporary events and 
issues. Nothing is more important in any form of intellectual 
endeavor than the ability to perceive relationships. 

Again, much of what students learn at Farmville must stand 
up to practical testing. Science and mathematics, for example, 


are applied to gasoline motors, electrical equipment, crop pro- 
duction, food preparation, and health. If the student's knowl- 
edge is faulty, or if there are errors in his calculations, the 
costly consequences are soon apparent to all concerned. Such 
experiences supply an effective stimulant to rigorous intellectual 

Indeed, in practically every area of learning, one finds that 
teachers and students together have identified certain knowl- 
edge and operations which everyone should master in order to 
achieve competence. 

In mathematics, for example, the operations which all should 
master are identified during the earlier grades, and most stu- 
dents have learned them by the time they reach the tenth grade. 
Not all, however. For these, remedial instruction is provided 
until acceptable mastery has been achieved. After ninth grade, 
advanced mathematics is taught to all as needed in connection 
with agriculture, mechanics, business education, and home- 
making, and in systematic courses for those whose occupa- 
tional and educational plans require it. The school also operates 
a "mathematics workshop/* with a teacher in charge at all 
times, where remedial instruction is given and where any 
student may go at any time for help with the mathematical 
operations which he needs to use. 

So also with English language. The staff undertakes to 
develop reasonable mastery of reading and listening, and of 
written and spoken expression, by the end of ninth grade. 
Thereafter three ways are provided for further growth in 
language ability: (1) Those who still have language defi- 
ciencies receive remedial instruction. (2) Throughout the 
school, everyone has frequent experiences in the use of language, 
through oral and written reports, class discussions, reading, and 
dramatics; and every teacher has agreed that growth in the 
skills of language shall be one of the aims of his teaching, what- 
ever his field may be. There is also an "English workshop," 
where students may go to have their reports read and criticized 

and to get assistance whenever they encounter language diffi- 
culties. (3) Those with special interest in the English language 
may elect advanced instruction in this field* 

Finally, sustained intellectual achievement is fostered be- 
cause the Farmville teachers encourage intellectual curiosity. 

When Howard Daniels came to this school three years ago, 
his narrow world could be contained within the span of fifteen 
years and a radius of fifty miles. To be sure, Howard had read 
books and had enjoyed them; but his voluntary reading had 
been limited to highly improbable fiction. Then Howard dis- 
covered history. In the eleventh-grade course, he found that 
history could be filled with more interest and adventure than 
works of fiction. He read the materials needed for his class work, 
but did not stop there. Instead of chapters, he read books, 
and asked for more books. His teacher saw her opportunity. 
She talked with Howard about the books which he had read, 
helped him better to understand the great movements of 
history, and aided him in planning further reading. The boy's 
interest throve on such fare. Here was intellectual curiosity, 
the eagerness for knowledge for its own sake. 

One might go on to tell of Enid White, whose keen mind 
*and zest for science, have carried her far beyond her fellow 
students in chemistry and biology; of Philip Scott, who solves 
problems in calculus for the fun of it; of Martha Burke, whose 
love of beauty and urge to create have flowered into exceptional 
artistic talent; and of other boys and girls whose eagerness 
to learn, in one field or another, outruns that of their fellows. 

Teachers are always alert for evidences of intellectual curi- 
osity; and whenever that curiosity appears, they do their best 
to nourish it. That is one reason why they spend so much time 
in counseling students and working with them individually. 
They are not satisfied when only a few students are eager for 
intellectual growth. They want to find and fan the spark of 
intellectual curiosity in every boy and girl, if that be possible. 


That is one reason, too, why they attach so much importance 
to individual educational plans and to flexibility of class instruc- 
tion. Students with special interests in such fields as chemistry, 
physics, mathematics, and history are able to pursue those 
interests within the regular classes, working as individuals or 
in small groups, and going as rapidly and as far as they can. 
Self -direction is encouraged, and increased with each new 
evidence of growth; yet the oversight of teachers is suffi- 
ciently close to safeguard the students against the dangers of 

Correspondence courses from the extension divisions of uni- 
versities and colleges have proved helpful. They serve as useful 
guides for the more advanced work in such fields as science, 
mathematics, and history. They also make it possible for some 
students in Grades XIII and XIV to study in fields not regularly 
taught at Farmville. At present we find students enrolled in 
correspondence courses in foreign languages, photography, 
radio, forestry, aeronautics, and astronomy. Students do their 
work at the school, with the guidance of their teachers, while 
the courses are serviced by the extension divisions. 

In the teaching of foreign languages, the school is making 
effective use of methods developed during the war, employ- 
ing correspondence courses accompanied by phonograph re- 
cordings. Indeed, this method makes possible a wider choice 
of languages than was found in even the largest high schools, 
when class instruction was the only method used. This year, 
one teacher of languages is able to supervise students who are 
studying Russian, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Latin, 

There is no aristocracy of "subjects" in the Farmville cur- 
riculum. Mathematics and mechanics, art and agriculture, his- 
tory and homemaking are all peers. For the teachers of Farm- 
ville believe that the key to intellectual growth is found, not 
in the inherent virtues of particular fields of learning, but in 
the strong purposes of the learner which impel him to attempt 


the difficult and to persevere until he has accomplished that 
which he has undertaken to do. 

Nor does Farmville recognize an aristocracy of students, 
based solely on superior native talents. There are good athletes 
who have become such in spite of physical handicaps. There are 
also boys and girls of average mental ability, who, when once 
they have experienced the satisfaction of mental growth, have 
shown a zest for learning equal to that of some of their more 
gifted schoolmates. They, too, are eligible for the only aristoc- 
racy which Farmville knows the aristocracy of those who 
have achieved. 

Growth in Character 

Implicit in all that we have written about the Farmville 
Secondary School, there is one aim which should now be made 
explicit. That is the purpose of fostering growth in character. 
A volume might be written on this subject, but perhaps we 
shall understand the matter as well from a brief statement 
recently made by the principal. 

"A person's character, as we understand it," Mr. Evans began, 
"is his conduct in situations involving other persons, and his 
character is good to the degree that he consistently respects 
the rights of other persons and seeks their welfare, as well as 
his own. If that is correct, then opportunities for character 
growth exist whenever a student works or plays in association 
with others, or whenever he does anything that affects the 
welfare of others. And character growth takes place to the 
extent that the student becomes aware of the effects of his 
actions on others, and learns to give the same consideration 
to the welfare of others as he gives to his own. The essential of 
character was stated long ago by a teacher who said: c As ye 
would that others should do unto you, even so do ye also unto 

"Whenever a teacher is alert to these opportunities and uses 
them wisely, that teacher is helping the student to develop good 


character. It is not necessary, of course, for teacher and students 
to talk about character in every situation. The experience of 
working democratically with others for some purpose larger 
than one's own welfare is often the best character education. 
The teacher who understands children will know when it is 
advisable to talk things over and when to let the experience 
stand by itself. 

"It is quite impossible, in our judgment, to put one's finger 
on a few spots in the school program and say, 'This is our pro- 
gram of character education. 9 Every teacher is a teacher of 
character, for good or for ill. Every activity of the school may 
be an occasion of moral growth for some student, whether it 
be in the classroom, shop, laboratory, or playground. 

"This is too important a matter to leave to chance. Teachers 
must agree that character development is a common aim, and 
each teacher must consciously make that aim his own. Teachers 
should agree as to what is good character, lest the learner be 
confused by a variety of moral climates within the school. 
Teachers must understand that character grows through learn- 
ing, just as the ability to read and write grows, and they must 
know how this growth takes place and what level of character 
development they may reasonably expect of the pupils in their 
classes. Most important of all, I think, teachers must understand 
boys and girls and be able to look at situations from the 
students* points of view, which are often quite different from 
those of adults. We have found no quick or easy way for ac- 
complishing these things. Whatever progress we have made 
has come from study and practice by teachers and frequent 
discussions in faculty meetings. 

"Character education in school would stop far short of its 
possibilities if it were limited to school experiences alone. A 
person's character grows as he becomes sensitive to the rights 
and welfare of more and more people, including people whom 
he may not see face to face, but who are nevertheless affected 
by his actions. For example, a person may be most considerate 


of the welfare of the members of his family and of his friends 
and close associates, yet quite indifferent to what happens to 
many other people in his own community. Here, I think, lies 
the chief character value of the close relation between the 
school and the community. Through community studies, es- 
pecially those involving firsthand contacts, students become 
responsive to the welfare of people other than their immediate 
associates, and in quite specific terms such as the needs of 
these people for health services, for opportunities to work, for 
sufficient income to maintain a reasonable standard of living, 
and for fair treatment regardless of race or economic status. 

"We must not forget the educational uses of the capacity 
for imagination. It is possible to extend the range of moral 
sensitivity beyond our own community to people in cities, in 
other regions of our own country, and in other nations, thanks 
to the fact that we are able to have vicarious as well as direct 
experiences. There are great resources for character education 
in literature, history, and in the study of the people of our 
own and other nations. But to be effective, the imaginative 
materials must have continuity with what the student has al- 
ready experienced in his relations with other persons. Other- 
wise, the new experience is likely to be a matter of emotion 
divorced from action. And character is action. 

"Now a word about ethical principles and ideals, which we 
consider particularly important in the character development 
of high-school youth. 

"In the cases of younger children, ideas of right and wrong, 
standards of value, and religious views are largely those im- 
parted by parents and teachers. A child may act contrary to 
the socially approved standards, but he seldom questions the 

"Adolescence, however, is. another story. The adolescent is 
a questioning person. He wants to know 'Why is this right 
and that wrong?' If the only answers that we give him are 
that this is the customary and socially approved way of acting, 

or that he will be punished if he acts otherwise, he is not 
likely to be greatly impressed. He wants to get back of patterns 
of conduct to the principles or the values by which those pat- 
terns can be justified. 

"Furthermore, adolescence is a period of moral conflicts. 
The natural drives of youth to be independent of their parents 
and elders, to choose their own companions, to control their 
own time and money, to plan their own futures, and to express 
their new-born powers of affection run head-on into habits 
and social customs and if the battle is simply one between 
the drives and the customs, the drives are likely to win usually 
at considerable cost to mental health, however. At such times 
boys and girls need help in finding purposes and ideals which 
are compelling in their appeals, and which will guide them in 
working out the solutions to their conflicts. 

"Again, adolescence is a period of searching for life purposes. 
Choices are made in these years which may determine the entire 
course of a youth's life choices of vocation, of education, of a 
place to live and work, the choice, perhaps, of a wife 6r hus- 
band, and so on. The adolescent may choose a purpose which is 
narrowly selfish to make all the money he can and to get all 
that money can buy, without regard for other people or he 
may choose a purpose of social usefulness. But whether we older 
people do anything about it or not, he will have a purpose of 
some kind. 

"Moreover, for many a youth at least, adolescence is a period 
of dissatisfaction with the world as it is. The mistakes of his elders 
loom large. He sees the cruelty and costliness of war, the con- 
trasts of wealth and poverty, the prejudices and injustices in 
the world around him and he doubts the wisdom of the gen- 
erations which, as he thinks, are responsible for such conditions. 
If young people are helped to find social purposes and ideals of 
a better society, to which they can give their loyalty, and if they 
are helped to find things that they can do which contribute 
to social improvement, then their dissatisfaction may become a 


constructive force for social progress. But if we ignore them, 
or worse, try to repress them, they are likely to become cynics 
or rebels. 

"Finally, most adolescents probably all of them, if we knew 
the facts have some rather insistent questions about the mean- 
ing of life. They may not think about them often, but when 
they face some moral crisis or some tragic experience, these 
questions become of commanding importance. They are the 
age-old questions: 'What is man? Whence does he come and 
whither does he go? Why should the righteous suffer? Are all 
our human strivings and ideals part of some greater plan, or are 
they just an accident on a tiny bit of cosmic dust? What is 
worth living for? What is worth dying for?' 

"I do not mean to imply that our students start out with 
abstract questions about ethical principles and ideals. They 
don't. They begin with concrete problems and conflicts, which 
grow out of their daily living and their observation of the 
world around them. Some of these they take in their stride and 
solve rather quickly, for better or for worse. But now and 
then there arises a problem so important, or a conflict so sharp, 
that the student does a great deal of serious tihinking before he 
finds a way out. It is then that he searches for principles and 
purposes to live by even though he may never use those terms. 

"Have we in the school an obligation to help him? By all 
means, yes. And we can help him. We can help him to see the 
ethical issues involved in his immediate problem. We can help 
him to understand that other people have faced similar prob- 
lems before and that he may be able to profit by their experi- 
ence. And we can help him to take account of the best that 
human experience has to offer in working out the solution to 
his own problem. 

"This is chiefly a matter of individual counseling, but not 
entirely. Much help is also given in classes where problems 
common to many students are dealt with f or example, in the 
classes on mental health and personal relations in the family. 


"We can do more than this, however. We can help students 
become sensitive to ethical issues of which they have not been 
aware, through guided analysis of situations in school, home, 
and community life. We can help them to anticipate prob- 
lems which they have not yet encountered, but which will 
surely arise as the years go on. And we can help them to become 
familiar with the best that human thought and experience 
have produced in the way of principles and ideals to live by 
through the study of literature, of history, and of the mean- 
ing of democracy. Our literature is rich in works which deal 
with ethics and the philosophy of life dramas, novels, biog- 
raphies, poetry, and essays. The Bible contains many great 
passages which everyone should know and understand. We 
read them in our courses in literature, as records of the ex- 
periences of men of noble spirit and rare insight, seeking 
answers to the eternal questions of right and wrong and the 
meaning of life. History is a record of man's moral experiences 
and progress, as well as of his political, economic, and military 
activities. And democracy is at heart a great social faith, 
grounded in ethical principles which every high-school boy 
and girl can understand, and pointed toward ideals and pur- 
poses to which every youth can give his loyalty. 80 

"The school, of course, is only one among several agencies 
which act to shape the characters of boys and girls. The great- 
est influence of all is doubtless that of the home. For that reason, 
our counselors and teachers try to maintain a partnership with 
parents throughout the years when children are in school. 

"All of history bears testimony to the important role of re- 
ligion and religious institutions in character development. 
Here at Farmville, one finds close cooperation between the 
churches and the schools. Both churches and schools are well 
represented on both the community 'council and the youth 

" National Education Association and American Association of School Administrators, 
Educational Policies Commission. The Education of free Men in American Democracy. 
Washington, D. C: the Commission, 1941. Chapter IH, "Democracy as a Great Social 
Faith"; Chapter V, "The Loyalties of Free Men." 


council, and many of the projects for youth welfare receive 
their chief support from these two agencies. Local pastors 
and leaders in churches have been among the chief supporters 
of improvements in education for youth. The schools, in turn, 
have endeavored to strengthen the churches, chiefly through 
the voluntary services of schoolteachers, a number of whom 
teach in the church schools and act as advisers to young peo- 
ple's societies in the churches. Perhaps the most difficult prob- 
lem which the churches face is that of securing trained leader- 
ship in religious education. It is gratifying to note that several 
of the schoolteachers have become particularly interested in 
that problem, and that they have been among the leaders in 
organizing and conducting the annual leadership training in- 
stitute for the churches of the district." 


If the reader has the impression that the Farmville Secondary 
School is, in William James* phrase, a buzzing, blooming con- 
fusion, the f ault is ours as reporters. To be sure, the school is 
buzzing with activity, and to the person accustomed to well- 
ordered classes moving from subject to subject on an unvarying 
schedule, it may seem to be in confusion. But when one has 
spent a few days at the school, he finds that confusion is ap- 
parent rather than real, and that both teachers and students are 
following plans which are well understood by all. It is true, how- 
ever, that we have followed the lead of the Farmville staff in 
placing questions of scheduling and sequences after the descrip- 
tion of the program. For the staff first decided what they 
were going to do and why, and then did their best to make 
schedules which would help them to accomplish their purposes. 

Before we talk about schedules and the number of hours of 
work in this field and that, let us enter a strong warning. 
Perhaps we should print it across the page in large red letters: 
"THIS is NOT A BLUEPRINT!" Certainly the Farmville staff would 
wish us to make this point emphatic. They would say that their 


program represents the best thought and practice which they 
have been able to produce to date, but not the best they will 
ever produce. They would insist that, like St. Paul, they are 
still "stretching forward to the things which are before." 

The educator who reads these pages is, nevertheless, justified 
in asking: "Is it possible to include all these courses, community 
studies, home projects, work experiences, and the rest in the 
program of a public secondary school? If so, how is it done?" 
And he is entitled to an answer. We hope he will remember, 
however, that the answer for his school may be somewhat 
different from that of Farmville, and that Farmville's answer 
three years from now may be different from that of today. 

There is nothing unusual about the framework of schedul- 
ing at Farmville, except that the seven-hour school day is 
somewhat longer than customary. There are seven periods of 
fifty-five minutes each. A student normally works for six of 
these periods and has one period free to use as he chooses. The 
school year is forty weeks in length. Each student therefore 
normally has 1200 work periods in the school year. 

Sometime before the opening of school, the staff decides on 
the number of periods to be allocated to each course or area 
of learning. Let us take the tenth grade as an example. One 
hundred and twenty periods are allotted for the study of "The 
World at Work," 180 periods for other community studies, 
200 periods for occupational study and practice, and so on. 
Then the staff lists the special projects which will require 
larger blocks of time than one period a day, as far as these 
can be foreseen. The study of "The World at Work," for 
example, should be completed within the first eight weeks, and 
requires students to go out into the community for several 
hours at a time. Three periods a day are allotted to this study. 
Other community studies will need double periods later in the 
year. The teachers of the tenth grade "Family Life" project 
want blocks of time from the twenty-second to the twenty- 
eighth weeks, for students to plan and work on home projects. 


The teachers of recreational and leisure-time activities want 
double time during the weeks preceding the community festi- 
val. Occupational training does not begin in tenth grade until 
the twelfth week, after students have completed "The World 
at Work" study and have had time to work out plans with 
their counselors; but the teachers want larger blocks of time 
toward the end of the school year. Extra time is needed during 
the first two weeks to determine needs for remedial instruction 
and plan elective courses. Taking these factors into account, 
the schedule for Grade X might look like this: 




Family life, 
health/ mental 


and leisure- 
time activi- 
ties, physical 

studies/ or 

8 12 16 

20 24 


28 32 36 40 





2 periods daily 

1 period daily 




3 periods 








1 period daily 

1 period daily 


1 period daily 


1 period daily 





The matter is not quite so simple as this chart might indicate. 
The four all-day trips to American City have to be scheduled 
and other projects of brief duration which may require three 
or more periods a day while they are being carried on. Some 
adjustments have to be made during the year for matters come 
up which cannot be foreseen. The schedule is reviewed once 
each month, and changes are made as needed. 

Comparable schedules are made for the other grades, and all 
have to be fitted together so that teachers' schedules are reason- 
ably even, though not unvarying, through the year. Such 
scheduling is not easy, but with a small staff of people who 
are committed to this way of working, no insuperable obstacles 
have been encountered. 

Now let us look at the curriculum as a whole, in terms of 
the main educational purposes of the Farmville Secondary 
School. The grouping which follows must be used with caution, 
for most courses and projects serve ^ a number of purposes. 
The study of "The World at Work/* for example, contributes 
to occupational preparation as well as to education for civic 
competence. The year's work in literature and the arts enriches 
recreational and leisure-time interests. And so with others. 
On the opposite page is the sequence of "areas of learning" for 
the current year, and the approximate number of periods as- 
signed to each. 


Such is the program of the Farmville Secondary School, as 
it relates to boys and girls who are in full-time school attend- 
ance, We have repeatedly noted, however, that the school's 
responsibility does not end when a boy or girl leaves full-time 
schooling at the end of Grade XII, XIII, or XIV. Every service 
of the school is available both to out-of -school youth and to 

Counselors, we recall, endeavor to keep in touch with all 
young people who leave the school, whether they remain in 



Preparation for Occupations 

Study and practice related to occupational 
preparation (including work in science, mathe- 
matics, social studies, English, or foreign lan- 
guage preparatory to advanced study in col- 
lege or university, as well as education for 
agricultural, mechanical, commercial, and 
homemaking occupations) 

Education for Gvic Competence 

Community studies and civic projects, extend- 
ing into larger areas (including "The World at 



Historical study of "Man's Efforts to Achieve 
Freedom and Security" 

Investigation of current political, economic, 
and social problems; study of their historical 
backgrounds; and civic projects 

Personal Development 

Family life, health, and mental hygiene (in- 
cluding the domestic, personal, and health as- 
pects of consumer economics) 

Recreational and leisure-time interests, includ- 
ing physical education 

Understanding and appreciation of the cultural 

"The Scientific View of the World and of 

Historical study of "Man's Efforts to 
Achieve Freedom and Security" 

Literature and the arts 

Elective studies or individual projects, or (in 
Grades X-XII) remedial instruction in English 
or mathematics, If needed 






























1,200 1,200 1,200 1,200 1,200 
"This count It listed twfc, sine* It Is a major part of the program In each wta. 

Farmville or elsewhere, until it is evident that they are reason- 
ably well adjusted to the next step in their lives whether it 
be' a job or continuing education. Scarcely a day -passes that 
does not see some former student return to the school to talk 
with a counselor or with one of the teachers. A young farmer 


wants the agriculture teacher to look over his plans for the 
farm which he has just rented. Another needs help in clearing 
up some points about recent developments in the government's 
agricultural program. A newly-married couple seek counsel 
about the home they plan to build. A young mother needs 
information about child care. A young war veteran returns 
to Farmville and asks advice about making a start at farming. 
A boy who left school three years ago at the end of twelfth 
grade would like to go to agricultural college next year. 
Another boy is moving to the city and wants advice about 
finding a job there. Still another is thinking seriously of enlist- 
ing in the Navy. Others come in to inquire about the evening 
course in poultry husbandry, to join the orchestra, to discuss 
the next meeting of the young farmers 3 club, or to work on 
plans for the next community forum. 

Four nights a week the Farmville Secondary School building 
is open; and, at least one night a week, each of the two out- 
lying elementary-school buildings. We have already had a 
glimpse of the recreational activities which go on in these 
buildings in the evenings. 81 But recreation is not the only 
interest of adults and out-of -school youth. There are classes, 
organized whenever a need appears, in fields as varied as the 
activities of Farmville people. A part of the leadership is pro- 
vided by teachers from the school, but not all. 82 There are other 
people in the community quite competent to lead adult groups, 
and they frequently do so. 

A comprehensive program of part-time and evening classes 
in agriculture has been developed, under the supervision of 
the teachers of agriculture in the Farmville Secondary School. 
Several of these classes are taught by successful farmers, one 
of whom is a graduate of the state agricultural college. A 
former home economics teacher, now married and living in 

"Seepages 119-26. 

88 Teaching of adult classes is a part of the regular teaching schedule not an extra 
added to a full day in the secondary school. 

Farmville, teaches two classes in homemaking for young wives 
and girls soon to be married. The librarian leads a group on 
"Recent Good Reading." The public health nurse teaches home 
hygiene, home nursing, and first aid. The proprietor of the 
local garage, a skilled mechanic, is in charge of the machine 
shop. A young married woman who is a talented musician 
directs the orchestra and chorus. It is the policy of the school 
to develop and use the leadership resources of the community 
in other words, to help people educate themselves. 

There is one service to adults and out-of -school youth par- 
ticularly close to the hearts of half a dozen members of the 
school staff. That is education in public affairs. The education 
of the good citizen never ends. Conditions change constantly, 
on the world scene, the national, and the local. New issues 
arise. The information of three years ago, or even one, is 
behind the times. These teachers, working with the community 
council and with officers of local organizations, endeavor to help 
citizens keep abreast of the latest developments in public affairs 
and to provide an open forum for the discussion of public 

At least once each month, there is a "Community Night** 
program at the school at which a public question of current 
interest is discussed by a competent individual or panel, with 
audience participation following. In addition, the school helps 
various organized groups in the community to arrange pro- 
grams on public matters. We have seen that students in Grades 
Xm and XIV are able to assist in the leadership of these pro- 
grams, and that they receive special training in leading forums 
and discussions, to the end that the community may increas- 
ingly supply its own leadership. 88 The library cooperates by 
supplying books and pamphlets on the topics under consider- 
ation, 84 and the school and village newspapers print weekly 

38 See page 87. 

84 The library of the state department of education now has a bureau which supplies books, 
pamphlets, and motion picture films on a wide range of public questions. 


schedules of radio forums, round tables, and addresses on public 


How does it happen that the Farmville district a run-of- 
the-mine rural community, enjoying no special advantages of 
wealth, location, personal leadership, or other resources has 
accomplished the things which we have read about in the pre- 
ceding pages? Whatever the complete answer may be, the 
outstanding fact is that there were people here who had both 
the desire and the ability to work together for the welfare of 
the entire community. Personal leadership was an important 
factor, of course, but this was no one-man achievement. Even 
at the beginning, several people shared the leadership, and 
they were always reaching out to get more and more people 
to join them. 

Organizations are not new in Farmville. For many years 
this community has had churches, political groups, farmers* 
organizations, and a village businessmen's service club. But 
these organizations were limited both in membership and in 
purpose. Organizations representing the entire community and 
concerned with all aspects of community welfare have come 
only in recent years. 

During the thirties, three local committees were organized 
to deal with various problems of the depression. The county 
agricultural agent called together a committee of farmers, to 
assist in operating the agricultural programs of the govern- 
ment. The county welfare director set up a second committee, 
to help meet problems of relief and to plan useful work proj- 
ects for the unemployed. A little later, the county superin- 
tendent of schools assembled still another group, to serve as a 
committee on the emergency in rural education. These three 
committees had several members in common and many inter- 
ests in common, for they were all trying to meet the impact 
of the depression on the Farmville area. Within a short time, 

they held a joint meeting and found the experience so profitable 
that they decided to continue to meet and work together. 
This Farmville Emergehcy Council, as it was called, was active 
for more than four years. Then, as depression problems receded, 
it lapsed into inactivity but not without leaving a residue of 
experience in community cooperation. 

The war brought new problems, and the people again felt 
the need for some means of working together. This time the 
move to organize was indigenous. The moving spirits were the 
new principal of the village high school (Myron Evans, who 
later became principal of the new Farmville Secondary School) , 
the head of a farmers' organization, the president of the local 
service club, a doctor's wife who was a member of the board 
of education, a pastor, and a teacher of agriculture. They 
called a meeting to which representatives of all community 
groups and agencies were invited, and the outcome was the 
organization of the Farmville Community Council. Originally 
set up for the village of Farmville and its environs, the council 
soon extended its scope to include the smaller villages nearby 
and the surrounding rural areas. Several members of the school 
staff have been active in the council from the beginning. 

The council has addressed itself to many tasks. Among these 
have been the problem of farm labor supply during the war; 
local administration of rationing and price control; war bond 
campaigns; helping men returning from the armed forces to 
become reestablished; the merger of the five smaller school dis- 
tricts in the consolidated district; the financing of the costs of 
new school buildings and the enlarged school budget; the 
establishment of a health center and library; the promotion of 
"Community Nights," combining recreation, entertainment, 
and discussions of community improvements or other public 
questions; and the establishment and operation of a number 
of producers' and consumers* cooperatives and of pools for 
the sharing of expensive farm equipment. 


By the middle of the second year, questions relating to the 
needs and welfare of youth bulked so large that it was felt 
that the council could not give them the careful study which 
they merited, along with its many other interests. Moreover, 
there were some on the council who believed that young people 
should be allowed to share largely in the study of their own 
needs and the planning of youth services. So it was decided to 
establish a committee of the community council to deal par- 
ticularly with the needs of youth, which became known as 
the youth council. Part of the youth council's membership 
is drawn from the community council, namely, representa- 
tives of the schools, the parent-teacher association, and other 
organizations concerned with youth welfare. The youth coun- 
cil also includes youth representatives from each of these 
agencies and from some youth organizations not included in 
the community council, for example, the Future Farmers of 
America, the 4-H Club, the Farmville School Alumni Club, 
and the church young people's federation. There is also a repre- 
sentative of employers. Membership is about evenly divided 
between youth and adults. 

The youth council elects its own officers, who may be either 
adults or young people. The functions of the council are 
stated simply: (1) to study what needs to be done in the 
interests of youth, (2) to make plans for getting such things 
done, (3) either to recommend these plans to the proper agency 
or to act to carry out the plans, whichever may be appropriate, 
and (4) to see that youth have as large a part as possible in 
planning and working for their own welfare. 

There are only a few organizations in and around Farmville, 
and their officials know each other well and are now accustomed 
to work together for a variety of purposes. Therefore, the 
youth council has only a minor interest in coordinating the 
work of youth agencies. Students conduct most community 
surveys that are needed, as a part of their schoolwork. So the 


youth council is not a fact-finding organizations although it 
may and does propose matters for investigation. 

Its vitality depends upon the existence of jobs to be done 
for the welfare of youth; and since there has been an abundant 
supply of such jobs in the postwar years, the youth council 
has flourished. Among its accomplishments are these: It en- 
listed the cooperation of all employers in the annual occupa- 
tional survey. It persuaded employers to earmark learners* jobs 
for older students from the school. It campaigned among 
businessmen, householders, and farmers for listing with the 
school counselors of all temporary, part-time, and summer jobs 
for youth. It worked for the employment of a district recre- 
ational director. Through state park officials and the state 
department of education, it initiated the plan for a summer 
camp for conservation work in a state park about fifty miles 
distant, employing youth from several consolidated schools. 
It raised funds to send six Farmville youths to the state rural 
youth leadership conference at the state agricultural col- 
lege, for two weeks each summer, and it has advised school 
officials regarding the opportunities for continuation study 
needed by youth after they leave the Farmville Secondary 

Each year brings its supply of new problems. Each year also 
brings new members to the council, and often, with them, new 
ideas. So it seems likely that both the youth council and its 
parent body will be permanent Farmville institutions. 


The most important thing about any educational agency is 
what happens to the people whom that agency serves. Every- 
thing else administration, organization, financial support, 
plant and equipment, even the teaching staff are means to 
the end of helping boys and girls, men and women, to learn. 
For that reas6n, we have given many pages to the report of 
what people learn at the Farmville Secondary School and how 


they learn. For the same reason, we shall be correspondingly 
brief in our discussion of matters of organization and admin- 

In these closing pages, we shall sketch the administrative 
organization of the school, add a few words about the com- 
munity school plant, and describe the main features of the 
school's plan for providing financial aid to students. 

The Administrative Organization 
of the Schools 

The present Farmville school district was formed five years 
ago by the consolidation of five small districts, all of which 
had elementary schools, two of which had high schools. With- 
out the consolidation, the school which we have described 
would have been impossible. The district includes an area of 
approximately 200 square miles, a population of some 6000 
1000 in Farmville, a total of 1000 in four other villages, 4000 
on farms. The number of children and youth from six to 
eighteen is approximately 1500. 

The district maintains the Farmville Secondary School 
(Grades VII through XIV) and three elementary schools 
one in Farmville, one at Four Corners, and one at Valley View 
all under the same board of education and superintendent. 

Control of educational policy rests with the board of educa- 
tion. 85 The district superintendent of schools is the executive 
officer of the board, responsible for presenting policies and 
programs to the board and for carrying out these policies and 
programs after the board has approved. 86 The board also em- 
ploys a district director of recreation and a librarian for the 

85 National Education Association and American Association of School Administrators, 
Educational Policies Commission. The Structure and Administration of Education in American 
Democracy. "Washington, D. C: the Commission, 1938. p. 42, 59. 

"Z&^p. 59-61. 


district public library, both of whom are responsible to the 
superintendent. 37 

Within this framework of administration, a great many peo- 
ple, as we have seen, take part both in formulating policies and 
in carrying them out. In the first place, the principal of the 
secondary school and the teaching staff working together as 
we have repeatedly observed them frequently develop policy 
proposals for presentation to the board. 88 When these proposals 
come up for consideration, it is common practice for staff 
representatives to attend the board meeting, and for the entire 
group to discuss the proposals thoroughly before the board 
takes action. The principal and the staff bear full responsibility 
for carrying out approved policies in the school. 89 The staff, in 
turn, has admitted student representatives to a responsible part 
in the planning of courses, projects, and other educational serv- 
ices, and also to the process of formulating policy proposals. 

In the second place, the lay citizens of the community fre- 
quently advise the board on youth needs and propose policies 
for consideration by the board, through the community coun- 
cil and its offspring, the youth council. Representatives of 
these councils commonly meet with the board when their pro- 
posals are discussed. Since the school staff is represented on 
both councils, and the students also on the youth council,, there 
is rarely any sharp disagreement between proposals coming 
from the councils and those originating with the school. Usually 
the proposals either support or complement one another. But 
even if there were disagreement, the superintendent and the 
board members believe that it would be essential to maintain 
lines of communication with organizations in which citizens 

87 National Education Association and American Association of School Administrators, 
Educational Policies Commission. Social Services and the Schools. Washington, D. C.: the 
Commission, 1939. Chapters IV and V. 

"* National Education Association and American Association of School Administrators, 
Educational Policies Commission. The Structure and Administration of Education hi American 
Democracy. Washington, D. C.: the Commission, 1938. p. 67. 

*lbid., p. *1. 62, 67, 70, 71. 


are well represented, for in the long run, the people are the 
ultimate judges of educational policy. 40 Few if any of the 
major advances of the past five years would have been possible 
without the support of the community council and of the 
members of the organizations represented in the council. And 
it is doubtf ul that this support would have been forthcoming, 
had these citizens not had a part in shaping the plans and 

Farmville has been fortunate to have able leadership and wise 
administration at the local level. This alone, however, could not 
have brought the school more than a fraction of the distance 
it has travelled. Able leadership and wise administration at the 
state level were also necessary and they have not been wanting. 
The state department of education in recent years has greatly 
enlarged the scope and improved the quality of its educational 
leadership. It has done this in part by direct services to schools, 
through publications, through conferences and workshops, and 
through personal services of staff members. Its policy through- 
out has been to encourage local initiative and resourcefulness, 
rather than to prescribe to the local authorities. Of even 
greater importance in this period, the state department has 
worked to secure changes in state laws and increases in state 
funds for education; to revise regulations and procedures and 
reorganize administrative machinery to suit the needs of the 
times; and to integrate the youth services of local school dis- 
tricts into a statewide system. 41 

The Community School Plant 

It was indeed fortunate that the people of Farmville began 
to plan for postwar education well before the end of the war. 
For educational planning requires time much time, when peo- 
ple venture into pioneer fields. When the war was over, the 

6*, 71, 78. 
1 For a more complete description, see Chapter V, "A State System of Youth Education." 


new demands on public education came with a rush, and had 
to be dealt with promptly. 

It was even more fortunate that there were men and women 
in Farmville who insisted on planning for new kinds of educa- 
tional services and a new type of school, to serve all the youth 
of a large area. Farmville folk might easily have accepted the 
traditional pattern of school district organization and the tra- 
ditional type of rural high school as the framework for plan- 
ning. Had they done so, they would have accomplished only 
minor improvements. The two village high-school buildings 
would have been replaced with new structures serving the 
same purposes as the old. The small district pattern of organ- 
ization and educational program would thereby have been 
"frozen" for decades to come. 

The people of Farmville were ready, however, and they were 
ready with plans suited to the times. Consolidation of districts 
had already been voted. The board of education, with support 
from the community council, had decided that it wanted a 
school building which would serve the educational needs of 
the entire community, including older youth and adults; that 
the building should be planned to accommodate other com- 
munity service agencies, such as a library and a health center; 
that the auditorium should be suited to community forums, 
concerts, dramatic programs, and public meetings of all kinds; 
that formal classrooms should give way to conference rooms, 
adaptable to a variety of uses by pupils and adults; that ample 
provision should be made for shops and laboratories; that the 
recreational facilities of the school should be available for pub- 
lic use in the evenings; and that the entire building should be 
designed with a view to the health and safety of students and 
teachers. Technical assistance was available from U. S. Office 
of Education publications, from the state department of educa- 
tion, from teachers colleges and schools of education, and from 
several other excellent publications on planning of community 


schools. With these aids, the board of education and its archi- 
tects were able to design a school building suited to the pro- 
gram which has been described. 42 

The location of the school was also an outcome of advance 
planning. The Farniville people wanted their school plant to 
include a farm one large enough to permit practice in farm- 
ing by those agricultural students whose parents did not have 
farms. By locating their school about half a mile from the 
village, they were able to lease seventy acres fif ty under culti- 
vation, twenty wooded with an option to purchase. Two 
years of experience confirmed the wisdom of their decision. 
They secured a loan, purchased the property, and found that 
the produce and rentals from students would cover a large 
part of the amortization costs. As we have seen, several acres 
of this land near the school were subsequently used for an out- 
door recreation center, while the wooded section was made into 
a community park and outing area. 

Not all the needs were anticipated, however. Several addi- 
tional shops were needed, and the plan for a model farm home 
was developed. These structures were built largely by students, 
and their construction provided valuable training for the boys 
who worked on them, and in some cases, a means of earning 
school expenses as well. 

Financial Aid to Students 43 

Equality in educational opportunities depends upon two con- 
ditions. Opportunities suited to youth needs must be available, 
and youth must be able to take advantage of them. 

The Farmville district, we have seen, has been able to go far 
toward providing educational service designed to meet the 
needs of all its youth. It is conceivable, however, that many 

48 Approval of minimum standards by the state department of education was required. 
See page 34, footnote J. 

48 The discussion which follows is, in large part, applicable to the schools of American 
City, and will not be repeated in Chapter IV. Principles and policy are substantially the 
same in the two situations. 


youth might not be able to use these services. Some might live 
at too great a distance from the school. Some might be com- 
pelled by their parents to leave school as soon as legally per- 
missible, when it was advisable for them to continue. Some 
might lack the funds to buy clothes and meet other personal 
expenses. The board of education and the Farmville Secondary 
School staff, with state and federal aid, have attempted to 
remove such obstacles. 

Handicaps of distance have been removed by free bus trans- 
portation. School buses travel to within easy walking distance 
of the most remote residence in the district. 

Parental indifference to education has been largely eliminated 
by making parents partners in the shaping of their children's 
educational plans. When misunderstandings occur, as they 
sometimes do, a home visit from a counselor or teacher usually 
serves to clear them up. There are exceptions, of course, but 
they are now rare. 

The most difficult obstacles are financial. The cash income 

of most farm families is insufficient for tuition and living ex- 
penses away from home, and sometimes not enough for more 
than the minimum necessities of clothes and food. Furthermore, 
families are generally large. Younger children must be fed and 
clothed from the family income. Older children feel that they 
should at least pay their own way. 

Thanks to aid from state and federal funds, public education 
is free through Grade XIV whether a youth studies in Farm- 
ville, American City, or elsewhere. The Farmville district will 
pay the local share of the cost of education in any public school 
in the state, and state and federal funds follow school 

School activities are also free. Since the school looks upon 
athletics, dramatics, music, journalism, and social experience 
as integral parts of education, it sees no justification for charg- 
ing fees for these activities. All books are available in the school 
library, and there are no fees for laboratory or shop work. 


Students 9 financial problems therefore center in their ability 
to earn enough to meet personal expenses, and, in some cases, 
to contribute something to the family budget. Out of a student 
body of eight hundred above Grade VI, around three hundred 
each year must earn all or a part of their personal expenses. 
The four counselors are chiefly responsible for helping students 
to meet their financial problems, and to date they have had 
encouraging success. 

1. There are part-time jobs in private employment, in the 
village, on farms, and away from home in the summer months. 
These include the learners' jobs earmarked for students, which 
have been described earlier, 44 and many others. Many are tem- 
porary, most of them give only a few hours work a week, but 
taken together they are the largest single source of student 

2. There are part-time jobs in the school, carried as a part 
of the regular school budget; and a few similar jobs with other 
public agencies. 

3. Some earmarked federal money is available for student 
aid. This may be used to pay for useful work for any public 
agency, including the school. A limited portion may b6 dis- 
pensed as scholarship grants. The federal money is sufficient for 
about one-sixth of those who need work. 

4. After federal equalization aid for general educational pur- 
poses had somewhat relieved the financial pressure, a portion 
of state and local school funds was made available for student 

5. The fifth resource is productive enterprises carried on by 
students on farms, in their homes, in the village, or on prop- 
erty rented from the school. Such enterprises are often as- 
sisted from the local district's student-aid funds. Small invest- 
ments, for example, are often made in equipment, livestock, or 
seed, which students use as a means for earning money. 

Since the problems faced by Farmville's counselors are found 
in almost every school, it may be helpful to review the main 

44 See page 61. 

features of the student aid program, as they appear after four 
years of experience. 

1. Each student is expected to render some service to the 
school and the community each year, without pay, as ids or 
her contribution to the common welfare. Checking books in 
and out at the library, cleaning the cafeteria after lunches, desk 
duty in the school office and the game library, and grading and 
rolling the ground for the community playground are examples. 
Students are rotated on such work, so that each has his fair share 
of the interesting and the routine. 

2. There are, however, jobs in the school which require more 
time, continuous work .throughout the year, and some skill de- 
veloped through experience; for example, cataloging books in 
the library, cashier duty in the cafeteria, playing accompani- 
ment for choral classes, and assisting in custodial work. On 
these jobs, students are paid hourly wages comparable to those 
in private employment. When these services are essential to 
the operation of the school, they are included in the regular 
school budget. When they are connected with new ventures, the 
federal or state student-aid funds are used, 

3. Students are not paid for work performed primarily for 
its learning value, even though it may be productive. For 
example, boys in the farm machinery shop and girls in the 
school kitchen do a good deal of productive work during their 
first year, but they are not paid, for they are in the shop and 
kitchen primarily to learn. 

4. Students are paid for work on productive projects, how- 
ever, when they have developed reasonable skill and when such 
work is in addition to their normal educational programs. Boys 
frequently do work of this kind during rush seasons in the farm 
machinery repair shop, in the refrigeration plant, and in the 
feed mill. Girls do the same in the school kitchen during the 
canning season, and in the accounting and mimeographing 
offices when work is heavy. In such cases, the wages paid to 
students are added to the costs of production. 

5. There are also a few continuous jobs on productive proj- 
ects which require considerable skill and, frequently, mana- 
gerial ability as well. For all these, students are paid wages as 


a part of the costs o production. Several examples were noted 
earlier foremen in the cooperative plants, manager of the farm 
machinery shop, and head assistants in the school lunch pro- 
gram. Most of these jobs are reserved for the "work experience 
projects" of advanced students. 46 

6. As far as possible, students are helped to get work which 
is related to their educational and occupational plans. This 
is usually practicable for jobs within the school and other 
public agencies. It is more difficult in cases of private employ- 
ment. Through the community youth council and the par- 
ents* organizations, the counselors have been able to get nearly 
everyone in the community to agree to employ youth through 
the counselor's offices. While avoiding arbitrary assignments 
of student workers, the counselors have in many cases been able 
to match jobs with youth interests, to the mutual advantage of 
employer and worker. 

7. Every work experience, however remotely related to oc- 
cupational plans, is considered a part of the youth's education. 
The teacher in the student's major field of interest is respon- 
sible for enlisting the cooperation of the employer and for 
helping the youth to gain the maximum learning from the 
experience. Counselors are included, of course, in the planning 
of all such experiences. 

8. As far as eligibility is concerned, no distinction is made 
between jobs maintained by federal student-aid funds, by 
state and local student-aid funds, by the regular school budget, 
and by private employers. All students paid from public funds 
are paid by the school district, and the source of the money is 
known only to school officials. Counselors know the students 
who must earn money and the approximate amount which 
each student needs. They undertake to find work of some fci*n<j 
for everyone who needs it, so the question of rules of eligibility 
does not arise. 

9. As a general practice the amount of public funds used 
for student aid is determined by the availability of private jobs. 
Normally all private jobs and all regularly budgeted jobs in 

46 See section on "Productive Work Experience in the Farmville Educational Program,** 
pages 63. 


the school must be filled before public funds are used to main- 
tain additional work. Exceptions are made, however, when they 
are clearly in the interest of students* educational advancement. 

10. Federal and state funds for student aid are used chiefly 
to pay for work associated with new ventures in education and 
in other public services. When such experiments are success- 
ful, they contribute to community progress and create more 
opportunities for permanent employment. Work in connection 
with accepted public services is generally paid for from local 

11. Increasingly the school is using its local student-aid funds 
to help students earn money through enterprises which they 
manage themselves. For example, the school has bought a power 
spray, a lime spreader, a power saw, and a small tractor. Crews 
of boys learn to operate and maintain these machines, and 
contract to work for farmers. Machinery is thus made avail- 
able which many individual farmers would be unable to afford, 
and farm labor costs are thereby reduced. Students get a larger 
return for their labor when they have equipment. Most im- 
portant of all, the educational values of these experiences are 
usually greater and more varied than those of work for hourly 
wages. Business arrangements and accounting are supervised 
by the school, and experience in these matters also is educa- 
tional. Many other projects might be cited, among them the 
canning of food by groups of girls, using pressure cookers 
furnished by the school; individual and group f arming on land 
rented from the school; wiring farm buildings for electricity; 
and the making of home craft products for marketing. 

12. Counselors may make outright grants for student aid 
in exceptional cases in which such action seems clearly in the 
interests of boys and girls, for example, a girl who lives a mile 
from the last stop of the school bus, and who must spend over 
two hours a day in travel; a boy who carries a heavy load of 
work on the farm to help his widowed mother maintain a 
family of four; or a student who is seriously handicapped in 
health. In such student aid as elsewhere, the Farmville program is 
characterized by flexibility and adaptation to individual needs, 
rather than by rigid rules and unyielding requirements. 



This completes our review of the activities of the Farmville 
Secondary School. We have seen that the keystone of the school 
program is guidance, a process whereby boys and girls are 
helped to plan their own lives in the light of all the facts that 
can be mustered about themselves and the world in which 
they live and work. Within this process, the Farmville school 
seeks to provide for each youth a program of learning experi- 
ences a curriculum which in his judgment and in the judg- 
ment of the staff of the school is most likely to meet his par- 
ticular needs, abilities, and plans. This program includes prep- 
aration for a useful occupation, education for citizenship, and 
personal development for every boy and girl. The entire life of 
the school is so organized that the fullest cooperation in the 
education of youth exists between the activities of the schools 
and activities of other agencies in the Farmville community. 

It is time now to leave Farmville in order to examine the 
schools of a quite different kind of community American 
City. Before we move on, however, there is one fact about the 
Farmville situation that is of supreme importance. The school 
staff and the community in Farmville are not satisfied with 
what they have done. They feel that they are making progress, 
but they know that many problems remain to be solved. They 
do not look upon their program as the summit of perfection, 
nor do they regard the Farmville Secondary School as an insti- 
tution which cannot be altered quickly whenever it may be 
desirable to do so. This continuing discontent, this lack of com- 
placency, this eager, forward-facing philosophy is perhaps the 
best summary of the point of view of the Farmville Secondary 
School, the best explanation for its success so far, and the most 
hopeful augury for its continued growth and improvement. 



Schools for YoutK in American City 

(Written five years after the cessation of hostilities) 

A MERJCAN CITY might be any one of two hundred or more 
/JL cities in the United States. These cities differ from each 
other at this point and that, but their common characteristics 
are far more numerous than their differences. They are the 
nation's centers of manufacturing, trade, finance, transporta- 
tion, and government. American City represents the third of 
the nation that is distinctly urban. 1 

In the pages that follow, we shall begin with an overview 
of American City, noting particularly the effects of the depres- 
sion, the war, and the five postwar years, and the ways in which 
they have influenced education. We shall report the progress 
which the people of American City have made toward achiev- 
ing better community life through comprehensive, long-term 
planning. And we shall inquire particularly about the present 
conditions of young people from sixteen to twenty-one. 

Then because this is a book about education rather than 
the life of cities we shall turn to the public schools and sketch 
some striking characteristics of youth education in American 
City today, calling attention to the ways in which education 
has changed in recent years. 

This leads to the question: By what processes were these 
changes brought about? Many readers may be more interested 
in the processes of change than the products. Therefore, be- 
fore describing the details of the present program of youth 
education, we shall tell the story of how this program was 
developed and of how teachers, administrators, board of edu- 

1 In 1940, 34.4 percent of the population lived in cities of J 0,000 or more; in 
4.9 percent. 


cation members, parents, youth, employers, labor officials, and 
many other citizens all had a part in it. 

Finally and this will constitute the greater part of the 
chapter we shall tell with some completeness how the three 
high schools and the new community institute are endeavor- 
ing to provide adequate educational services for all the youth 
of American City and to serve youth beyond high school for 
a larger region as well. 


Before we begin to describe the schools of American City, 
we need to know some things about the community and its 
people. We had better make our inquiries of the man who, 
so everyone says, knows more about this community than 
anyone else Robert Burnham, executive director of the 
American City Planning Commission. The reader, we think, 
will be better introduced to American City if we quote Mr. 
Burnham's own words. 

"The history of this city,'* Mr. Burnham began, "falls into 
two periods pre-1930 and post-1930. Before 1930, the story 
is fairly simple. The city was one of the first places founded 
after the Northwest Territory was opened up, and its record 
from then up to 1930 was one of slow, steady growth. There 
were ups and downs, of course, along with the rest of the 
country, but no big booms and no slips backward. It has always 
been a center of commerce and transportation, for it is situated 
at an intersection of two natural trade routes one east-and- 
west, one north-and-south. It has been a manufacturing center, 
too, for longer than anyone can remember. 

"There was no comprehensive plan for city development 
before 1930. The usual zoning, of course. Otherwise the city 
just growed,' like Topsy. It added new industries and com- 
mercial firms from time to time, and the old ones got bigger, 
more houses were needed, somebody opened up a new 


subdivision. The old city boundaries were outgrown three 
times, and now the city is spilling over into the suburbs again. 
"The schools? Ah, the prosperous twenties were great days 
for American City's school officials. The city built two new 
high-school buildings and several junior high and elementary 
schools, too all between 1923 and 1929. And in 1930 we 
pointed with pride to the fact that two out of every three 
children of high-school age were enrolled in high school. 2 Our 
speakers on the subject usually forgot to add that the per- 
centage of those in high school was eighty-six in the well-to-do 
area served by Washington High School and only fifty-seven 
in the lower income area on the south side, where Lincoln 
High is located. But such differences were more or less taken 
for granted in those days. 

"Our schools made educational advances in those years, too. 
Many of the courses of study were revised from bottom to top, 
chiefly by committees of teachers working with the curriculum 
staff in the central office. The program of vocational educa- 
tion was enlarged, the social studies were brought closer to the 
life of the community, and some good things were added in 
the way of art, music, physical education, and guidance. 

"I shan't dwell longer on pre-1930 history. It is simple com- 
pared to the history of the past twenty years. From 1930 to 
1940 American City was struggling with the depression, and 
from 1940 onward the city felt the full effects of the war. We 
have not had much slow, steady growth and gradual develop- 
ment in recent years. Instead, we have had a series of swift, 
sudden, far-reaching changes, sometimes for better, sometimes 
for worse. When we talk about American City today, we have 
to remember that many of the conditions which we now find 
are the results of changes which have occurred during the past 
ten or twenty years. Often the processes of change are quite 
as important as their products. 

9 Enrolment includes private and parochial, as veil as public high schools. 


"For example, if I tell you that the city's population is 150,- 
000, that may not mean much to you. But if you learn that 
25,000 of our people moved into die city between 1940 and 
1944 and that these were more than had previously moved in 
between 1900 and 1940, you will realize at once that we have 
faced some rather difficult problems of providing housing and 
schools and hospitals for all these newcomers, especially in war- 
time, when both manpower and materials were scarce. Or if I 
say that five out of every six of our people are native-born 
whites, that there are some 12,000 foreign-born whites, and 
nearly as many Negroes, those are just static facts. 8 But when 
you know that the Negro population practically doubled dur- 
ing the forties, while the white population increased by 20 
percent, you will understand that we have had some particu- 
larly acute problems connected with the housing, health, and 
education of our Negro citizens and some aggravated ques- 
tions of race relations as well/* * 

Mr. Burnham paused for a moment, shuffled a handful of 
charts and tables, then laid them aside and went on. 

Some Effects of the Depression 

"No, I don't think it will help you much to listen to figures 
and look at charts until you know more about the things that 
happened to us in the thirties and forties. The depression hit 
us early and with full force. Our chief economic interests are 
manufacturing, trade, finance, and transportation, and each 
of these slumped badly, as you know. By 1933, 12,000 of our 
48,000 employable workers were out of jobs. You know what 
happened, for you lived through these years somewhere. We 

"It is assumed that American City is located in the East North Central region. If it 
were in the East South Central region, its population might consist of 108,000 native-born 
whites, 2000 foreign-born whites, and 40,000 Negroes. If it were in the Vest, its Negro 
population would probably not exceed 3000. If it were in the Middle Atlantic region, it 
would probably have 20,000 foreign-born whites. 

* If American City were located in one of the states where separate schools are provided 
for children of different races, equal educational opportunities would be provided for each 
racial group. 


had direct relief, work relief, people using up their savings, 
partial recovery, a recession, and then another partial recovery 
but we didn't get nearly back to full employment until the 
war came along. As late as 1940, we still had 6000 unemployed. 

"Now, you are interested in education rather than eco- 
nomics, so I won't give you a lecture on the general effects of 
the depression. But here are a few effects that are closely tied 
up with education. 

"For one thing, the rate of unemployment was consistently 
higher for young people in their late teens and early twenties, 
who were out of school and wanted to work, than for any 
other age group. 

"For another thing, during the depression we became aware 
of the particular needs of our large body of out-of -school 
youth. And we found that we had no public agency which 
could take the responsibility for the welfare of this exceed- 
ingly important group. At that time, neither the schools, nor 
the NYA, nor the CCC, nor the public employment service, 
nor the private agencies, nor all of them put together were 
providing the kind of continuous guidance and educational 
services that these young people needed during the critical 
period of initial adjustment to adult life. 

"Again, many of us were convinced that the emergency 
solution to youth problems was not a permanent solution. 
Fm not criticizing what was done as emergency measures, you 
understand. But I do say that it is not fair to boys and girls to 
compel them to shop around at two or three different agencies, 
and probably to spend a of time in idleness along the 
way, in order to get the training and experience needed to 
begin work. These boys and girls have a right to expect the 
schools to carry them right through on a straight line of edu- 
cation, practical experience, and guidance, until they are well 
started on their first jobs. 

"A fourth thing we learned from the depression was that 
from this time forth economic affairs and government would 


be closely interrelated. That meant that if the American people 
were to solve their economic problems by democratic means, a 
great deal more understanding of economic matters would 
have to be included in the equipment of the rank and file of 
American citizens* There, too, was a job for the schools. 

The Years of the War 

"Well, we were just beginning to see these depression les- 
sons clearly, when along came the war, and pushed the depres- 
sion into the background. As a center of manufacturing, we 
felt the war's impact early. Most of our larger factories were 
converted to the production of war materials, and soon they 
began to operate twenty-four hours a day. Additions were 
built to existing plants, and a new factory for airplane parts 
was erected. At the same time, the young men began to leave 
for the armed forces. Their number mounted, until, in time, 
over 10,000 had gone. 

"Only a few months before, we had had 6000 unemployed. 
And now, suddenly, labor was becoming scarce. A nationwide 
program for training war production workers was financed 
by the federal government and carried on locally through the 
public schools. 5 That called for prompt action by the school 
authorities. People came into the schools by the hundreds and 
then by the thousands first, the unemployed; then, workers 
who were leaving other jobs for war production work; women 
who had never before been in factories or even worked outside 
their homes; older people, once retired, now returning to 
work for the duration; and high-school boys and girls eager 
to get jobs as soon as work permits could be secured. 

"Yes, almost before they were aware of it, the schools were 
engaged in training adults and youth for work on a scale far 
exceeding anything imagined in the past. The school shops were 

5 College-level training in engineering, scientific, and management fields was provided by a 
comparable program operated through the institution of higher education of the state. 


in use twenty-four hours a day. The number of people trained 
each year for war production work was twice as great as the 
number of boys and girls annually graduated from the city's 
three high schools. The schools did a good job, too. Both the 
trainees and the employers were well satisfied, and the program 
was continued throughout the war. These experiences, you may 
be sure, have had their part in shaping the permanent program 
of the. schools. 

"The war brought the schools a new youth problem, just the 
reverse of that of the thirties. High-school enrolments had in- 
creased right through the depression years, until by 1940 we 
had 4900 boys and girls in school 6 over three-fourths of our 
population of high-school age. But as soon as the war came, 
enrolments began to drop sharply because many boys and 
girls were leaving school and going to work at the earliest legal 
age. In the thirties, the question had been how to find jobs for 
youth after they left school. In the war years, the question was 
how to keep youth in school long enough to give them the 
minimum of education which they would need for permanent 
employment, for military service, and for the responsibilities 
of adult citizenship and family life. This problem was solved 
in part by developing combined study-and-work programs 
for high-school boys and girls usually four hours of class 
work and four hours on the job and by allowing school credit 
for work which met certain standards and was carried on under 
supervision of the school staff. This, ttxvhad its influence on 
the permanent postwar program. 

"The war left many other marks on education in American 
City. Take the matter of these 25,000 people who moved into 
the city in response to the call for workers in war plants. Within 
a short time, it became apparent that most of these new resi- 
dents wanted to remain here permanently. 

"That meant, first of all, a problem of housing. These peo- 

6 Including students enrolled in private and parochial schools. 


pie had to have places to live. During the war we got along 
with temporary houses and makeshift arrangements families 
doubling up in the use of houses and living in furnished rooms 
and trailer camps. We had to get along with this, or thought 
we did. But as a permanent arrangement, the situation was 
intolerable. So we had to face the question whether the public 
had any stake in seeing that these people were decently housed; 
and we decided that the public had a large stake. We had to 
consider how the public could protect its stake through the 
actions of agencies of government and of voluntary planning 
bodies. Then we had to act. This may seem somewhat remote 
from education, but it is not. For the problem was taken into 
the curriculum of the schools, and the study of housing and of 
city planning moved into the front ranks in high-school and 
community institute classes. 

"Our new citizens also brought us the problem of expanding 
our public services. How could we increase our hospital and 
health services by 20 percent and provide schools and play- 
grounds for 5000 more children? The schools and other agencies 
did the best they could under the circumstances, but few people 
thought the provisions were adequate. The fact was that we had 
suddenly outgrown our public services, and we were due for 
some long-term citywide planning in this field, too. That also 
has found its way into the curriculums of our schools. 

"The most difficult problem of all was how we were going to 
keep all these new workers employed after the war when war 
production had closed down and the veterans had returned. 
And that, you see, was very closely related to education for 
if we were destined to have a permanent labor surplus in the 
city, where and how were the teen-age youngsters going to get 
their start at work and how were the schools going to get them 

"One could go on talking about the influence of the war for 
hours, I suppose/* Mr. Burnham continued, "but Fll make one 
more observation, and then leave the war. We took our home 


front duties seriously here in American City, and in doing so, 
we learned a great deal about working together in neighbor- 
hoods, as well as in the city as a whole. Perhaps we were un- 
usually fortunate in the leadership of our city civilian defense 
council, for not all cities report the same experience. Here the 
leaders in civilian defense wanted civilian war services to have 
roots in the neighborhoods where people lived. So they en- 
couraged neighborhood councils to make plans for meeting 
neighborhood needs, and they built their city plans largely out 
of the materials which came up to them from the neighbor- 
hoods. We think this type of planning yields better plans and 
more effective action, so we have kept our roots down in the 
neighborhoods in most of our postwar planning, and particu- 
larly in planning for education. 

"The schools did their part on the home front willingly and 
well. They took over the jobs of registering people for Selective 
Service and the various ration books. They sold war bonds and 
stamps, conducted campaigns for salvaging and conserving 
materials, promoted victory gardens, organized a system of 
protection against air raids, and rendered innumerable services 
to civilian defense agencies. They provided day care for the 
small children of working mothers and afternoon recreational 
programs for their older children. They tackled the problem of 
rising juvenile delinquency and did what they could to provide 
recreation and social activities for youth in out-of -school 
hours. They offered preinduction training courses for boys, im- 
proved their training in health and physical fitness, taught more 
about consumer economics and war aims and issues, and sought 
to interpret the programs of rationing and price control. They 
did all these things while they were steadily losing many of 
their teachers to the armed forces and other war services. 

"However, I'm not here to deliver a eulogy of the schools in 
wartime. What I want to point out is that through these home 
front activities, the educators developed some ways of working 
which have stood them in good stead in the postwar years. 


"For one thing, they became accustomed to think and act in 
terms of larger units than single departments and single schools. 
When a war activities committee was set up in a high school, its 
membership cut across the conventional departmental lines, and 
its purposes encompassed the entire program of the school. 
When a school committee was organized for a neighborhood, it 
included representatives from elementary, junior high, and 
high schools, and it was concerned with the entire range of 
wartime needs of children and youth in the neighborhood as a 
whole. Comparable things happened with citywide committees. 

"For another thing, teachers became better informed about 
the neighborhoods in which their schools were located and 
more familiar with people and agencies in these neighborhoods. 
Many of the wartime activities took both teachers and pupils 
out into the neighborhoods and involved cooperation with 
many neighborhood groups. 

"Most important of all was the fact that teachers took 
greater care to know their pupils as individuals and to become 
acquainted with their pupils' homes and families. Things were 
happening in families which powerfully influenced the conduct 
and attitudes of pupils, both in school and out. Teachers found 
that they were working in the dark unless they knew when 
children, newly arrived in a strange city, were living in un- 
bearably crowded quarters; when fathers had left their homes 
to serve in the armed forces; when mothers had taken jobs and 
turned the care of younger children over to elder sisters barely 
in their teens; when boys and girls were free to roam the streets 
at nights because both their parents were employed on night 
shifts; and when youth were eager to Leave school at the earliest 
possible hour in order to begin to earn money. They found that 
when they knew these things,, they were often able to shape 
their teaching and the other services of the schools so as to help 
the individual pupil just at the time and in the way that the 
youngster particularly needed help. 


After the War 

"So much for the war years. Our people celebrated the vic- 
tory as heartily and as sincerely as anybody and then turned 
industriously to the task of reconverting from war to peace. 
They were not unprepared, for they had been planning for this 
time for nearly two years. But by no amount of planning could 
we have foreseen all the problems. We had our ups and downs, 
and sometimes we thought we were pretty far down but we 
have come through the first five years in good shape. 

"The first year had some hard spots in it f or example, when 
the airplane parts factory closed down completely* Then, too, 
we hoped that some of the women and most of the older men 
would voluntarily quit working and that many of the people 
who had moved in during the war would go away. But not 
nearly as many withdrew as had been hoped, and these were 
soon outnumbered by the returning veterans. For a time it 
looked as if we were due for some large-scale unemployment, 
but fortunately the critical period was short-lived. Most people 
had unemployment insurance or mustering-out pay to tide 
them over short periods of idleness. And it wasn't long before 
the factories began to get into production for civilian uses. 

"The effect of the veterans* return was cushioned by the 
fact that many of them took advantage of the government's 
offer of a year or more of free education with living expenses 
paid. Some of them went away to universities and colleges, but 
many remained here. They found that the new community 
institute 7 was particularly well suited to give them intensive 
training in a wide variety of civilian occupations along with a 
general reorientation to civilian life. Many civilian war work- 
ers, too, were in need, of additional training, for their jobs in 
the war industries had frequently consisted of just a few repeti- 
tive operations.* The schools offered special programs for them, 
designed to give them all-round occupational training; and 

" See footnote 9 on page 38 and footnote 10 on page 189. 


many responded to the opportunity. The federal government 
wisely supplied the funds for both programs on the assumption 
that this was a part of the cost of completing the war. 

"To make a long story short, within two years from the end 
of the war, most of the city's industries were operating at 
close to full capacity. In addition to current needs, there was a 
large backlog of demands for goods which had not been avail- 
able during the war. The nation's consumers had tens of billions 
of dollars of wartime savings at their command and werfe able 
to buy practically everything that the factories could produce. 
Building also flourished especially the construction of high- 
priced and medium-priced houses. We hadn't yet decided what 
to do about low-cost housing, which was more desperately 
needed but less profitable. With this foundation in industrial 
and building activity, retail and wholesale trade rose to a level 
surpassing that of the war years when so many civilian goods 
were restricted. 

"So far my story sounds quite encouraging. But you are 
interested primarily in teen-age boys and girls. For them, dur- 
ing the past five years, the prospects for early employment 
have not been encouraging. There have been barely enough 
jobs for experienced workers and war veterans and few more. 
Remember that our supply of civilian workers was increased by 
some 20 percent during the war and that thousands of re- 
turned veterans are now back on their jobs. The door of em- 
ployment opportunity has been all but closed to young people 
in their teens, if they come into the labor market without 
special training for jobs and without previous employment 

"Fortunately there were many people in American City who 
foresaw that this would happen. Our educators foresaw it, and 
the members of the board of education; and so did many em- 
ployers, labor leaders, city officials, and parents. Together, they 
made a determined effort to provide for the needs of youth 
through their teens by means of the refashioned and expanded 


program of the American City public schools. Had they not 
done this, we should now doubtless be witnessing a recurrence 
of the tragic conditions of the thirties with a large percentage 
of our youth wasting precious months and years in idleness or 
in low-paid work on blind-alley jobs. What a shameful spectacle 
that would have been! 

"Now we are moving into the period when our economic 
system will once more have to operate on a current basis. There 
are no more colossal government expenditures for war ma- 
terials, and the backlogs of consumers' wants and wartime sav- 
ings have been largely used up. The years ahead will be critical, 
and no one can predict with certainty what they will bring. 

"But among our people here our businessmen, our labor 
leaders, and our public officials one finds a spirit of enterprise 
and cooperation which bodes well for the future. I don't think 
we are guilty of shallow optimism either. We haven't begun to 
meet the enduring needs of the great majority of people for 
adequate housing, household furnishings and equipment, food, 
clothing, transportation, medical care, education, recreation, 
and cultural opportunities. As long as these needs have not been 
met, we had better not talk about a closed economy and the 
disappearance of the frontier, or debate as to whether there is 
enough work to keep everyone employed. We will do better to 
spend our time in locating unsatisfied needs; in making people 
aware of them, when necessary; and in improving our economic 
system and our government so that more and more people may 
have access to the means of achieving the good life. When we 
do these things, we open up new frontiers, help keep the econ- 
omy expanding, and create more work for more people. 

"Let me give you a few examples. We have a plant here for 
manufacturing refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment. 
It has doubled its payroll in five years. Why? Because it has de- 
veloped moderately priced products to meet the needs for food- 
freezing units in homes and for air-cooling units in homes and 
offices. Our farm machinery factory has shown a steady climb in 


output and employment as more and more farmers understand 
the uses of machinery and have the means to buy it. And look at 
education. The number of teachers in the upper grades was 
more than doubled when we set out to meet the educational 
needs of our 'youth. 

"We have plenty of other needs. We need at least 5000 
units of modern low-cost housing. We need larger hospital 
facilities and more doctors and nurses. We need more public 
playgrounds and playground supervisors. We need a new ter- 
minal system, linking our transportation by air, rail, bus, and 
truck. Moreover, the plans to meet all these needs are well ad- 
vanced and will soon be placed in operation, not as emergency 
projects, but as necessary developments in a planned community. 
If national and world conditions remain reasonably favorable, 
these new enterprises will provide more than enough employ- 
ment to offset the disappearance of the backlog. 

Comprehensive Planning 
in American City 

"Who does this planning for the city? I haven*t told you, have 
I? Well, we have had a city planning commission for a long 
time, but its work used to be limited to such matters as zoning, 
parks, and traffic. What I call comprehensive planning began 
about two years before the end of the war, and has grown stead- 
ily since then. It began when businessmen, labor leaders, and 
city officials commenced to think about the problems of eco- 
nomic transition from war to peace and to formulate plans for 
industrial conversion, for new manufacturing and commercial 
developments, and for maintaining employment at as high a 
level as possible. 

"It soon became apparent that planning must include more 
than economic enterprises alone. One of the fields in which great 
expansion was expected after the war was the construction of 
houses. That raised the question of planning residential develop- 
ments. Should the city be allowed to continue to run wild, or 

should plans be made to develop new residential neighborhoods 
equipped with adequate schools, parks, play areas, transportation 
facilities* and sanitary services? 

"There was the problem of retraining workers and demobi- 
lized men from the armed forces. That called for cooperative 
planning by employers, labor leaders, school authorities, and the 
public employment service. 

"There was the matter of public works, which might be 
needed to absorb the labor surplus during the transition period. 
That raised a series of questions as to what the city and -its 
tributary area most needed. Was it schools, parks, playgrounds, 
hospitals, highways, arterial thoroughfares, bridges, terminals, 
or what? There were many applicants for public works projects. 
Should they be chosen first-come first-served? Or should the 
people of the city and the surrounding region, through their 
planning boards and committees, fashion a long-term design for 
development which should guide the selection of public works 
of all kinds, whether financed locally or by the federal govern- 

"Of course, there was also the task of planning adequate 
education for children and youth your chief concern. 

"In a few words, it was not long before planning had been 
extended to almost every area of life in this region to goals of 
production and employment in industry, trade, finance, trans- 
portation, construction, and services; to studies of the labor 
supply, of employment trends and outlooks, of needs for train- 
ing, and of distribution of consumer income; to location of 
industrial sites and of new residential developments; to water 
supply, transportation, zoning, and land use; to schools and 
educational services, parks, playgrounds, recreational areas, 
libraries, hospitals, and health services; to the elimination of 
substandard housing; aad to the special problems of employ- 
ment, housing, and public service encountered by minority 

"We have encountered some opposition, of course, There are 


a few people to whom the idea of planning is repugnant, because 
they think it means blueprints handed down from above and 
government planning for private enterprise. But planning 
doesn't mean that in American City. Of course, the federal and 
state governments have had a part in stimulating planning and in 
carrying it on. So also have national and state organizations of 
businessmen, labor, and people interested in education, housing, 
health, recreation, and municipal government. That was both 
desirable and necessary, for American City is a part of the state 
and the nation, and could not plan for itself alone. To be sure, 
our planning is coordinated through a governmental agency, the 
city planning commission. Some coordinating agency is es- 
sential, and the planning commission is a nonpartisan body, rep- 
resenting a variety of interests, with a competent professional 
staff under civil service. But most of the initiative and responsi- 
bility for planning lies with the committees drawn from those 
local organizations and agencies, both private and public, which 
are most concerned with the matters under consideration. 

"I have spoken of city planning, but that doesn't tell the 
whole story. Our planning reaches down into neighborhoods 
and out into the surrounding region. You will find many neigh- 
borhood planning groups in the city. Some of them are 'suc- 
cessors to the old neighborhood civic associations. We are trying 
to have one such group for each elementary school, for the area 
served by an elementary school is probably the best neighbor- 
hood unit we have. 8 Much of the material for our citywide 
planning of housing, parks, recreation, traffic, and sanitation 
comes up to us from these neighborhood groups. 

"And we do not forget that American City is the economic 
and cultural center of a region which extends far beyond the 

*"A neighborhood should be an area within the scope and interest of a pre-adolescent 
child: such that daily life can have unity and significance for him, as a representation of 
the larger social whole. ... Its size is determined by the convenient walking distance for 
children between the farthest house and the school and playground in which a major part 
of their activities are focused. Its pattern is determined by the need of isolating school 
and home from the noise of traffic and its dangers.'* Mumford, Lewis. The Culture of Cities. 
New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1938. p, 472, 473. 


suburbs. You have recently been at Farmville, I understand. In 
many respects, Farmville is a suburb of American City or, I 
should say, a part of our regional community. The forty miles 
to Farmville can be covered by trucks in less than an hour over 
the new highway. Most of the products of Farmville's acres 
which are not consumed locally come into the mills and markets 
of the city. Out from the city's factories and wholesale houses 
go the farm machinery, tractors, automobiles, refrigerators, 
radios, clothing, household furnishing, drugs, and processed 
foods which Farmville people buy. Farmville people read the city 
newspapers and tune in on the city's radio and television broad- 
casts. Farmville's youth attend our community institute. We 
should indeed be narrowly provincial if we were to confine 
our planning to the city alone and did not open the door of 
full partnership to the thousands of people who live in the 
regional community. 

"To sum it all up, we are trying to make planning democratic 
and keep it close to the people. We are trying to provide the 
means whereby the people can use intelligence and foresight to 
control the destinies of their own community. If we succeed, 
we shall have found the most promising answer yet discovered 
to the problem of how to maintain local initiative, decentralized 
responsibility, competitive private enterprise, and widespread 
popular participation in public affairs, in the face of the trend 
of the times toward centralization of political and economic 

"If this seems far removed from education, wait until you 
get into the schools. There you will find that community plan- 
ning occupies a foremost place in the program of citizenship 
education and that students are already taking active, respon- 
sible parts in the process of planning. 

"Now," said Mr. Burnham, taking up the sheaf of charts and 
tables which he had laid aside earlier, "you doubtless want the 
facts and figures. Well, here they are. 'Distribution of American 
City's 60,000 Workers by Main Occupational Fields,' 'Distribu- 


tion of Workers by Types of Work Performed/ e Map Showing 
Average Family Incomes by Blocks of Residence/ 'Map Show- 
ing Racial and National Composition of the Population by 
Blocks of Residence/ and several more. You may take them with 
you. I think you will find it more profitable to study them as 
you become familiar with programs of the schools. If you wish 
to discuss them with me later on, please feel free to come back." 


Against this background of the changing city, let us look at 
American City's schools for youth. Again we will do well to 
take our information from the person best informed on the 
subject in this case, George Carlisle, superintendent of the 
American City public schools since 1935. 

"Fve been wondering how I could best introduce you to our 
schools," Mr. Carlisle began. "It has seemed to me that I might 
be most helpful if I were to tell you of some of the ways in 
which our secondary schools of today are different from those 
of say, ten years ago. I have jotted down ten points of difference 
which seem, to me to be improvements. 

"1. Educational services have been enlarged, and enrolments 
have greatly increased. Ten years ago our three public high 
schools enrolled around 4JOO students. Today, with a population 
20 percent larger, we have 60 percent more students in the high 
schools. 9 Ten years ago there was no public institution in the 
city for youth beyond the high school. Today, the city has a free 
public community institute enrolling 3800 full-time students 
in the thirteenth and fourteenth years of school, and serving 
both the city and the region for fifty miles around. Ten years 
ago, our evening classes were limited to a few vocational classes 

*The population of American City today is 150,000, as compared with 125,000 ten 
years ago. The high-school enrolment from the city is 7088, as compared with 4430 ten 
years ago. 


in one high school. Today, the community institute 10 has broad 
and varied offerings of free afternoon and evening classes for 
employed youth and adults. 

"2. Practically all our young people graduate from high 
school, and many continue beyond. Ten years ago, there were 
great differences among the city's three high schools in the pro- 
portions of youth of high-school age who continued through 
the twelfth grade. In Lincoln High School, located in the lower- 
income section of the city, only sixty- three out of every hundred 
youth of high-school age were in school and only forty-one out 
of every hundred of twelfth-grade age. In Washington, a school 
in the section where incomes are highest, the corresponding per- 
centages were ninety and eighty-five. For Jefferson, in a middle 
income area, the percentages were seventy-four and sixty-two. 

"Today, throughout the city, practically all youth graduate 
from high school. Of course, that might be due wholly to the 
fact that the maximum age of compulsory school attendance 
has been raised to the eighteenth birthday. But I don't think 
that is the case. Even if the attendance law had not been 
changed, the percentages in school would still be high. Here is 
some evidence on the point. Sixty-four percent of the high- 
school graduates now continue their full-time education beyond 
high school, 11 and the differences between schools in this respect 
have largely disappeared. 12 Furthermore, over 40 percent of 
those who leave full-time school at the end of high school 

M Herc, and elsewhere in this volume, the term "community institute" refers to a free 
public educational institution, offering two years of education beyond the twelfth grade, 
in a variety of fields, both vocational and nonvocational. For most students, the course 
in the community institute is "terminal," that is, it marks the end of full-time attendance 
at an educational institution. Some students, however, move on from the community 
institute to professional schools or to the upper two years of liberal arts and technical 
colleges. The community institute also conducts the program of part-tune education for 
out-of -school youth and adults. The American City Community Institute will be described 
in some detail later in this chapter. The system of eleven community institutes in the state 
of Columbia will be described in Chapter V. 

31 Fifty-five percent in American City Community Institute, 9 percent elsewhere. 

u For the most recent graduating classes, the data follow: Washington High School, 60 
percent to American City Community Institute, 16 percent to other colleges and universities; 
Jefferson High School, 54 percent to A. C. C L, 9 percent to others; Lincoln High School, 
52 percent to A. G C. I., 5 percent to others. 


continue their education part time during their hours off work. 

"3. The purposes and programs of all our schools are now 
comprehensive, including both general and vocational education 
for all students. Perhaps I shouldn't mention this, because the 
issue seems rather out of date. But I can remember that not 
much more than ten years ago the relative claims of general and 
vocational education were a subject of warm debate among some 
of our principals and teachers. The trouble was, I think, that 
each side tried to make it a case of either-or and didn't see that 
it could be both-and. And the pity was that youngsters often 
suffered. Many went through our college preparatory and gen- 
eral curriculums with scarcely a thought about the relation of 
education to their work in the world. And many others were 
kept so busy with shop practice and related training that they 
had little time for anything else. 

"I don't think you'll find many evidences of conflict on that 
subject nowadays. We got rid of most of our misunderstandings 
when we settled down to a serious study of the educational 
needs of boys and girls in their teens. Then the facts compelled 
us to agree that youth have a number of imperative needs, and 
that the school should help to njeet them all. I shan't go into the 
details, for you'll doubtless be looking into that study later on. 
But, most of us have agreed, I think, that preparation for a 
useful occupation should be one of the chief aims of education 
for all young people. We have also agreed that we should not 
exalt the vocational aim at the expense of such aims as civic 
competence and personal development. We think there is time 
to provide for all the important educational needs of all our 
youth in all our secondary schools if only we use our time 

"4. All youth now have access to similar educational services, 
regardless of place of residence or family income. No student 
is at a disadvantage because he happens to live in a less-favored 
part of the city, since all the high schools now have the same 
purposes and comparable programs. To be sure, each high school 


offers training in two or three vocational fields not represented 
in the others. But a youth interested in one of these fields may 
attend the school where training is offered, no matter where he 

"As to family income, few if any young people now feel any 
need to withdraw from school because of lack of money. A 
public requirement that all youth must remain in school through 
high school carries with it a public obligation to provide all 
youth with means of earning the money which they need for 
personal expenses. The schools, the public employment service, 
and employers together are operating a bureau of part-time em- 
ployment for students; and public funds for student aid have 
been appreciably increased by federal, state, and local action. 
These services of student aid extend to the community institute 
and to the colleges and universities as well, and make it possible 
for any student to meet the costs of education beyond high 

"5. Young people may now choose from a far greater num- 
ber and variety of fields of vocational education. Ten years ago, 
vocational education below the professional schools was re- 
stricted to those fields for which training could be provided 
during the years of high school with the limited equipment 
which we had in those days. Metal trades, machine shop, auto 
mechanics, electrical trades, some of the building trades, busi- 
ness education, retail selling, and homemaking were the possible 
choices provided there wasn't a waiting list because the shops 
were filled to capacity, as they often were. 

**Now that we have the community institute, the schools 
can offer training in many more fields. The institute gives 
advanced training in all the occupations taught in the high 
schools. It has staff and equipment which keep pace with 
newer industrial developments in such fields as air conditioning, 
refrigeration, airplane construction, air transportation, housing 
construction, radio and television, and the manufacture of syn- 
thetic products. It provides training for semiprof essional work- 


ers beyond the range of high-school education for architec- 
tural and mechanical draftsmen, dietitians, technicians in medi- 
cal and industrial laboratories, assistants in doctors' and dentists* 
offices, accountants, recreational leaders, and some types of civil 
service work. In all, it offers courses in some three dozen oc- 
cupational fields of the city and the surrounding region. 

"Students have a greater range of choices in high schools, too. 
The shop and laboratory space at each of the schools has been 
doubled or better; new equipment has put an end to waiting 
lists; and several new courses have been added. 

"6. Work experience under employment conditions is now 
included in the educational programs of most students at some 
time before they leave school. Some students, of course, have 
been working their way through school ever since schools were 
started; but for a long time only a few schools like Tuskegee 
and Antioch and Berea saw that there was a close connection 
between work and education. It is only recently that educators 
generally have recognized that the experience of working may 
be a highly important part of education for young people in the 
later teens. Ten years ago, many of our students were working 
part time for wages. But excepting a few students in distributive 
occupations and diversified trade and industrial occupations, all 
of this work was extracurriculum including students' work 

"Today practically every student who expects to go into em- 
ployment from high school or community institute spends a 
period of time at productive work for wages, while he is still 
enrolled in school. The schools have the cooperation of a large 
number of employers, both private and public. If these em- 
ployers can't furnish enough regular jobs to go around, student- 
aid funds are used to pay for work needed by public agencies. 
Each work experience project is selected and carried out under 
school supervision and is considered a part of the student's edu- 
cational program. Many of the students who go on to college 
also ask for work experience projects. The staff does its best to 


find jobs for them, too, for we think that everyone who wants 
this experience should have it. 

"7. Citizenship education now holds a foremost place in the 
programs of all schools. Long before I came to American City, 
there was a strong concern for citizenship education on the part 
of a number of teachers and principals; and ever since I've been 
here, I have seen that interest grow stronger and more wide- 
spread. But it has taken a long time to carry convictions into 
practice. Long-standing habits stood in the way. Courses in his- 
tory and other social studies were dominated by the purpose of 
knowledge for its own sake rather than knowledge for the sake 
of becoming a good practicing citizen. Student participation in 
school affairs was limited to extracurriculiim activities, usually 
far removed from the realities of civic life outside the schools 
and even from the more important affairs of the schools them- 
selves. Civic education too often ended where it should have 
begun at the bounds of the schools. Oh, there were occasional 
field trips and excursions to the outside world, but not much 

"It has taken time to change these things. But our experiences 
of the depression, the war, and the postwar years have acted like 
rocket explosions to push us forward more rapidly than we 
might have gone otherwise. There is little doubt nowadays that 
almost everything else in life, in the long run, will depend on 
our ability to govern ourselves intelligently, as a nation, in the 
interests of the common good. Yes, our jobs will depend on that, 
and the security of our families, and our children's opportunities 
possibly, even, our sons* lives. Nature never equipped a person 
with all the knowledge and skill and understanding that are 
needed by the average citizen of the United States today. Those 
things have to be learned, and the school is the agency chiefly 
responsible for teaching them. 

"Our teachers have restated the aims of citizenship education 
to agree with the demands made on citizens today. They have 
ref ashioned programs to agree with aims. They have developed 


improved ways of admitting youth to participation in the 
planning and conduct of school and community activities. 
Students now have a larger share in making and carrying out 
policies and plans in their classes and in school affairs. Most im- 
portant of all, I think, they have far more opportunities for 
direct participation in civic affairs at the adult level. The 
schools are closing the gulf which used to separate the school 
from community. They are finding ways of making the com- 
munity both the training ground and the proving ground for 
citizenship education. 

"8. The city schools now serve many young people from the 
surrounding region. A few years ago, every school district was 
a world unto itself, with formidable tariff barriers to prevent the 
importing or exporting of children and youth. There were 
youngsters in our south-side suburbs who lived no more than 
two miles from Lincoln High School, yet who had to ride the , 
bus twelve miles to school because they were in another district. 

"Now we take it as a matter of course that one-third of the 
students in the community institute come from outside the 
city, chiefly from the twelve high schools of the surrounding 
region. These schools are virtually parts of our system. The 
superintendents and secondary-school principals of the region 
meet together several times a year, and the program of the com- 
munity institute is planned to serve youth from the smaller 
communities as well as from the city. 

"Our high schools are also serving suburban areas. There are 
only 5000 people in the south-side suburbs, and they are folks- 
of moderate means. Most of their children now attend Lincoln 
High School, their district paying the cost of instruction. I ex- 
pect that this area will soon be annexed to our American City 
district. Our northern suburbs have a large high schobl and a 
good one. But it cannot offer education in as many vocational 
fields as our city schools. So around 150 students from the 
Woodland Park district are attending one or another of the 
city high schools. 


"9. Guidance is now provided for all students. Ten years ago, 
we talked a great deal about guidance and practiced it but little. 
The fault lay chiefly with us administrators, I think. We did not 
allow the teachers enough time to do a good job of guidance, and 
we did not provide the special personnel that was needed. 

"Today things are different. The teachers have time; the 
schools have personnel. We could use more of both, of course, 
but we have made great advances. 

"Now the schools are able to supply continuous guidance 
throughout the secondary period from seventh grade through 
fourteenth. The main responsibility falls on the teachers. But 
we also have a few counselors in each school to do certain things 
that teachers cannot readily do, and we have a small staff of 
specialists in the central office to assist the teachers and coun- 

"Has the guidance service increased our costs? Yes, indeed. 
Quite appreciably. Guidance requires time, and time for guid- 
ance is counted as a part of the teachers' regular schedules. But 
have you ever thought of the cost of the lack of guidance? We 
have in terms of early withdrawals, failures, and retardations 
and the total is appalling. "When the board of education real- 
ized the costly waste resulting from mass education without 
guidance, they were more disposed to be favorable to staff 
recommendations that guidance services should be increased. 

"10. The schools now supply continuing education and guid- 
ance for young people after they leave full-time school. Back 
in depression days, people were greatly concerned about out-of - 
school youth and with good reason. For in those days, when a 
youngster left school he was through with school and the school 
was through with him provided that he had passed the age of 
compulsory attendance. Of course, the schools had part-time 
and evening classes for those who wanted them. But they made 
little systematic effort to find out what happened to their own 

don't talk much about out-of -school youth nowadays 


because both our thinking and our practice on that subject have 
changed. The schools have been trying to get rid of the idea that 
a person's connection with school ends when he graduates or 
withdraws from a full-time course. That requires changes in the 
attitudes of teachers and principals, as well as of boys and girls. 

"We see encouraging evidences of progress. Nowadays it is 
taken for granted that someone from the schools is going to try 
to keep in touch with every boy or girl who graduates or leaves, 
until each one is well started on the next step of his or her 
career whether that be a job, a home, or a college course. And 
every youth knows, before he leaves school, that the doors of the 
community institute are open to him whenever he wants to 
enrol in a course or to talk with a teacher or counselor. I told 
you, I think, that over 40 percent return for part-time courses. 

"We have several counselors who give their time chiefly to 
these youth who no longer attend school full time. They look 
after the boys and girls who move in from other places,. as well 
as our own city youth. Many of the youngsters, of course, do 
not need any help. If so, that is fine! Nothing delights the heart 
of an educator more than young people who are self-starters 
and self -directors. But some are in urgent need of help because 
some of life's most perplexing problems may be encountered 
along the road from youth into early adult life. Our job of 
educating youth is not finished when boys and girls graduate. It 
is finished only when schools have supplied whatever guidance 
and instruction may be needed to help young people through 
the critical steps of transition to adult life." 


If the reader agrees that progress has been made, he will doubt- 
less ask, as we have asked: 

"How were these changes brought about? By what processes 
did the educators and the other citizens of American City move 
from the conventional secondary education of prewar years to 
the greatly enlarged program of -educational services which we 

find today? And how was it possible to speed up the processes of 
improvement so as to produce these changes within the short 
span of less than a decade?" 

Indeed, the answers to these questions may well be more im- 
portant than the changes. The American City educational pro- 
gram is not a finished model to be copied. It is the product, still 
in the making, of a long process of cooperative planning and 
action which still goes on. Other communities will have to 
work out their own solutions to their own educational problems. 
They will doubtless profit more by studying the process of 
change in American City than by merely observing the results 
of the process. 

It is difficult to select a starting point for the recent changes 
in youth education in American City. In a sense, they are the 
latest stages in the process of improvement that has been going 
on since the first public high school was established here in 
1874. After the first World War, this process was accelerated. 
Throughout the years between the wars, committees of educators 
worked to improve curriculums and to suit the programs of the 
schools to the diverse needs of their constantly growing student 
bodies. The experiences of the depression gave added impetus, as 
we have seen, especially to the efforts to serve older youth who 
go directly from the schools into employment. 

The changes.of the last few years, however, have been far more 
profound and have occurred much more rapidly than those of 
the preceding decades. Perhaps we may choose 1943 as a starting 
point, for it was then that several influences converged to in- 
tensify the concern of educators for the improvements in youth 
education which the times demanded. 

Four Factors Which Stimulated 
Educational Planning 

1. Termination of the Federal Youth Agencies 

The NYA was discontinued as of July 1, 1943 ; the CCC, a 
few months earlier. Both agencies had been started during tf*e 


depression, primarily to give work to youth who were out of 
school and unable to secure regular employment. True, both 
programs had other values. The CCC had added to the national 
wealth through various conservation projects, road building, 
construction of public parks, and other types of public works 
in which labor constitutes the major cost. The NYA had pro- 
vided funds for student aid in high schools and colleges, to be 
earned by productive work. It had also given more and more 
attention to the training of needy out-of -school youth in sal- 
able skills. 

One can discern at least three reasons why these agencies were 
terminated. Wartime demands for manpower had sharply re- 
duced unemployment among youth. Pressure increased to re- 
duce governmental expenditures in all nonwar activities. More 
and more people recognized the dangers inherent in any program 
for the education of youth which shifted the control of educa- 
tion from state and local agencies to the federal government. 
Educators particularly were concerned over this last point, as 
the NYA became increasingly an agency for education. 

The closing of the federal youth agencies did not mean, how- 
ever, that problems of youth education had been solved as 
thoughtful educators everywhere well knew. It simply meant 
that, for the time being, the federal government had with- 
drawn from direct action in' this field. It meant that the re- 
sponsibility for planning and operating educational services for 
youth was once more wholly in the hands of state and local 
agencies. It meant that it was imperative for the schools so to 
improve their educational services for youth that never again 
would the federal government feel called upon to set up a youth 
agency under its own control to supply vocational training, 
work experience, and related education. 

2. The Training Program for War Production Workers 

"We have already seen how the schools of American City, be- 
ginning in June 1940, were quickly engaged in the task of train- 


ing workers for the rapidly growing war industries. By the 
summer of 1943, they had prepared some 7500 persons to go into 
the city's war plants and had supplied supplementary training 
for almost as many already employed in war production. 

The immediate purpose, of course, was to train manpower for 
war industry. But a number of important long-term conse- 
quences flowed from the program. For one thing, more people 
especially employers came to recognize that the schools were 
capable of preparing workers fit to enter at once into employ- 
ment. For another, the schools' cooperation with employers, 
labor, and the public employment service led to mutual under- 
standing and the will to continue to work together in peace- 
time. It was demonstrated, moreover, that the nation's schools, 
under decentralized state and local control, could operate effi- 
ciently in meeting a national emergency need requiring co- 
ordinated action while conserving the values of local initiative 
and resourcefulness. At the same time, the principle was estab- 
lished in practice that the federal government should supply 
financial support for programs to meet needs which are na- 
tional in character. 

The need for more widespread and more adequate vocational 
education was made clear, and the value of vocational educa- 
tion to society as well as to the individual was demonstrated with 
dramatic force. A large number of competent teachers in voca- 
tional fields emerged in the course of this program many of 
them people who had not taught before. New equipment for 
industrial training, costing many millions of dollars, was added 
to the nation's school plant. Both teachers and plant were avail- 
able for postwar use. 

Let us not suppose that the educators of American City looked 
upon the war production training program as a model for per- 
manent education. They were well aware of the limitations of 
such an emergency war measure. The program was exclusively 
vocational, with no provision for either civic or cultural educa- 
tion. The vocational training was narrowly specialized. Most 


men and women were trained to perform a few operations on 
specific jobs. There was but little guidance, little use of scientific 
methods of selecting personnel. Granting these shortcomings, 
the program nevertheless had a strong impact on education in 
general. It inspired public confidence in the schools; and it 
strengthened the faith of educators that the public schools, given 
intelligent planning and adequate financial support, would here- 
after be able to equip all youth with the skills and knowledge 
needed to get and hold a job. 

, 3. Widespread Interest in Postwar Planning 

By the summer of 1943, it was already apparent that the end 
of the war would bring a host of complex problems, extending 
to practically every phase of American life. Intelligent fore- 
sight was called for to anticipate these problems and to plan 
how they could best be met. Governmental agencies federal, 
state, and local national organizations of businessmen, labor, 
and agriculture, and many other associations of citizens began 
to engage in a multitude of postwar planning activities. In many 
ways, the impact of this movement was felt in the schools. 
School people were reading the reports of planning agencies, at- 
tending conferences, and serving on local committees dealing 
with postwar problems. It would have been strange indeed had 
they not turned their attention to postwar planning in their 
own field of education. 

The last reports issued by the National Resources Planning 
Board dealt comprehensively with national problems in the 
period following the war, and included a section on education. 18 
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the War Manpower Commis- 
sion, and other agencies collaborated in estimating the employ- 
ment situation and occupational trends of the postwar years. 14 

"National Resources Planning Board. National Resources Development Report for 1943. 
Part I, "Post-War Plan and Program." "Washington, D. C.: Superintendent of Documents, 

u National Resources Planning Board. Demobilization and Readjustment. Washington, D. C: 
Superintendent of Documents, 1943. 


Congressional groups, especially the Senate and House commit- 
tees on postwar problems, likewise a4dressed themselves to the 
task of foreseeing the major problems and preparing to deal 
with them. 

National nongovernmental bodies were also active. The com- 
mittee on economic development was organized by businessmen 
to encourage and assist private enterprise throughout the coun- 
try to devise ways for expanding its output and employment 
in order to maintain production and take up the impending 
slack in jobs at the end of the war. It set up regional and district 
organizations and local committees. A local committee became 
active in American City. It brought together not only employers 
and labor officials, but also public representatives, including the 
superintendent of schools and a member of the board of educa- 
tion. The superintendent, in turn, discussed the committee's 
proposals with the school staff, in order to note the implications 
for education. It was clear, for example, that a great deal of 
training and retraining would be required for the workers in 
local industries. 

The National Planning Association had been engaged for 
some years in studying and recommending plans for coping 
with economic and social problems. Its findings were published 
in a series of "Planning Pamphlets." " As the war advanced, 
increasing attention was directed to the postwar period. The 
editors of Fortune magazine prepared and published a series of 
reports on "The United States in a New World." Teachers in 
the American City schools used these and similar publications 
in social studies and other classes and inevitably thought more 
about the kind of educational program for youth that would 
be required in the America envisioned by the postwar planners. 

At the state level there was action, too. Early in 1943 the 
governor had appointed the state committee on postwar plan- 
ning. It included key state officials and also selected representa- 

5 National Planning Association, 800 21st Street, N. W., Washington, D. C 


tives of industry, labor, local government, and other impor- 
tant interests. Education vas represented on the committee and 
on the agenda. The state superintendent of public instruc- 
tion called conferences and named committees to examine the 
needs for education and to make proposals for educational im- 
provement at the state and local levels. American City school 
people shared in these deliberations and were stimulated further 
to develop their local plans. 

Comparable things were happening in American City it- 
self. Committees to consider local plans for the postwar period 
were set up by many of the agencies and associations in the 
community, such as federation of women's clubs; the League 
of Women Voters; the citizens housing council; the chamber 
of commerce; the county federation of labor, AFL; and the 
county council, CIO. Some neighborhood groups, too par- 
ent-teacher associations, civilian defense committees, and com- 
munity improvement associations began to work on plans for 
bettering their sections of the city. Teachers and school adminis- 
trators were members of many of these planning groups. In- 
deed, more often than not, neighborhood planning was centered 
in some school. 

The mayor soon appointed a city council on postwar plan- 
ning which attempted, for a time, to coordinate planning ac- 
tivities by means of conferences and committees. It soon be- 
came evident, however, that the volume of planning was too 
great to be handled by voluntary service alone. The council 
therefore recommended that the city planning commission 
be supplied with a larger staff and budget and that its func- 
tions be enlarged to include the coordination of all planning 
in the city and its suburbs. 16 These things were shortly accom- 

19 As a coordinating agency, the city planning commission exercised no control over 
planning by private organizations and other public agencies, such as schools and libraries. 
These all continued to be members of the city council on postwar planning, which served 
as an advisory body to the city planning commission. The latter, of course, continued to 
perform its appropriate functions of planning as an agency of municipal government. 


4. Wartime Experiences in the Schools 

Of all the influences which stimulated educational planning, 
the most potent were those which grew out o wartime expe- 
riences within the regular programs of the schools. 

Immediately after Pearl Harbor, a meeting of principals was 
held to consider ways in which the schools could be geared into 
the expanded war effort. The schools responded promptly 
particularly the secondary schools, since their pupils were near 
the age of military service. Plans were quickly perfected for 
protection against possible air raids. The physical education 
activities were intensified. First aid was introduced as a re- 
quired unit for all twelfth graders. Preparations were made for 
the preflight training that was urged by the military authorities. 

The superintendent of schools was one of the hundreds of 
school officials present at the National Institute on Education 
and the War held in Washington in August 1942. On his 
return to American City, machinery was immediately set in 
motion to introduce preinduction training courses and to take 
some of the other steps that had been recommended at the In- 
stitute. An all-day conference for principals and supervisors 
was used to acquaint them with the problems and suggestions 
presented at the Institute and to invite them to think about 
the adjustments which the schools could and should make on 
behalf of the total war effort. Following this conference, each 
principal met several times with the teachers in his building, 
for similar purposes. Indeed, in many schools, the educational 
implications of the war became, the major theme of teachers 9 

Some changes in education followed rather quickly. Most 
evident, of course, was the emphasis in secondary schools on 
learning experiences that prepared directly for service in the 
war physical fitness programs for all, preinduction courses 
for boys, and training of both boys and girls for work in war 


More and more teachers learned to work in groups which 
cut across conventional divisions of subjectmatter and admin- 
istrative units. More and more teachers learned to deal with 
problems in terms of the entire school, the neighborhood, or 
the city. More and more teachers learned to think in terms of 
the entire range of needs of children and communities. More 
and more teachers learned to work with groups of parents, 
youth, and other citizens representing cross sections of neigh- 
borhoods and areas of the city. Best of all, more and more 
teachers became deeply concerned for the individual boys and 
girls in their classes and earnestly sought to know their pupils 
better and to help them meet the impact of the war on their 

As the school year of 1942-43 moved on, teachers, princi- 
pals, and the superintendent began to think increasingly of 
what would happen in education after the .war ended. They 
felt that reasonable progress was being made in "gearing the 
schools to the war effort/' the common phrase at that period. 
They knew full well that the schools had not been ready for 
the war; they feared that the schools might not be ready for 
the peace. The superintendent's staff, the principals, several of 
the school faculties, the teachers association, and other groups 
such as the social studies club and the association of voca- 
tional teachers gave more and more time and thought to the 
problems of postwar planning for education. It was soon ap- 
parent that a unified and concerted attack on the matter was 
essential if the entire system was to benefit fully from the 
thinking of these various groups. 

The Board of Education Authorized Educational 
Planning and Supplied Funds 

Mr. Carlisle, the superintendent, who had followed these 
movements with far greater care than we have been able to 
sketch them, believed that the time had come to lay the matter 


of long-term educational planning before the board of educa- 
tion. He therefore proposed that (1) the board go on record 
as recognizing its most pressing concern to be the development 
of a comprehensive plan for a system of public education that 
would meet the needs of all children and youth during the 
postwar years; (2) the superintendent be authorized to set up 
an official commission on postwar education made up of per- 
sonnel in the school system, and a citizens' advisory council on 
postwar education made up of representatives of the commu- 
nity interests chiefly concerned; (3) the teaching and admin- 
istrative staff in each school be urged to share fully in the plan- 
ning, and that provision be made for full consideration of 
their suggestions; and (4) funds be set aside continuously for 
a period of years, up to 2 percent of the school operating 
budget, for financing the additional research, cooperative 
planning, and public relations necessary "if a really effective 
program is to result that the teachers can conduct and the 
public will endorse and support." 

These proposals aroused the interest of the board as noth- 
ing had done in years. They became the chief item of business 
at a series of board meetings. Representatives of interested 
community agencies and organizations appeared before the 
board and endorsed the proposals. So did leaders of teachers* 
organizations. In due time, the board gave its unanimous ap- 
proval. It expressed a desire to meet with the new commis- 
sion on postwar education, as soon as the commission's work 
was under way. One member suggested an all-day session of 
the two groups, to allow time for discussion and deliberation. 
This proposal was received with favor, and the superintendent 
was authorized to arrange for this and other joint meetings 
"at least twice in each calendar year, and at such other times 
as may be deemed advisable." Moreover, the board voted to 
make progress in planning postwar education an item on the 
agenda of all its regular meetings. 


The Commission on Postwar Education 

The superintendent proceeded at once to appoint the com- 
mission on postwar education. This body was made responsi- 
ble for "developing and recommending to the superintendent, 
and through him to the board o education, such educational 
policies, plans, and programs for the public schools of Ameri- 
can City, as it deems desirable for the best interests of children 
and youth in this community." The commission's primary 
function was to be policy formulation. But it was also to have 
direction of the research, teacher education, and public inter- 
pretation attendant upon policy-making. One of the most 
capable men in the school system, the assistant principal of 
Jefferson High School, was released from his duties and assigned 
full time to this project as executive secretary for the com- 
mission. 17 The commission was made up initially of a principal 
and a teacher from senior high schools, a principal and a teacher 
from junior high schools, two elementary-school principals, 
two elementary-school teachers, the director of instruction and 
curriculum, the supervisor of vocational education, the direc- 
tor of research, and the executive secretary twelve in all. 
The principals and teachers were chosen primarily on the basis 
of their general competence and their interest in postwar plan- 
ning, secondarily to insure as wide representation as possible 
of subject fields and other special interests. 

Both the superintendent and the board of education were 
eager to have the new plans founded on a broad base of par- 
ticipation, not only by educators, but by parents, youth, and 
other citizens as well. However, instead of setting up elaborate 
machinery at the beginning, they authorized the new com- 
mission to propose ways of involving a larger number of school 
personnel in the planning, and to develop methods for working 

17 The time required for the work of the commission and of its four major committees 
soon increased to the point -where it was necessary for the schools to release the members 
from a part of their teaching and administrative duties. The money for postwar planning 
voted by the board of education made it possible to provide substitutes at such times. 


effectively with the citizens' advisory council, the city plan- 
ning commission, the parent-teacher associations, employer and 
labor organizations, and the like. 

The Citizens 9 Advisory Council 
on 'Postwar Education 

After organizing the commission on postwar education and 
seeing it well started, the superintendent of schools proceeded to 
appoint the citizens* advisory council on postwar education. 38 
This was a relatively large body, necessarily so in order to repre- 
sent the numerous interests in the community that had a stake 
in the public schools. With the advice of the commission on 
postwar education, the superintendent selected the groups to be 
represented and invited each group to name at least one member 
of the council. 39 In nearly every case his invitation was accepted 
with an assurance of interest. Thirty-nine organizations were 
initially represented. Others were added later. 

American Association of University Women 

American Legion 

Art Institute 

Associated Luncheon Clubs (men) 

Board of Education 

Boys* Club 

Boy Scouts 

Campfire Girls 

Catholic Youth Organization 

Chamber of Commerce 

Children's Aid Society 

Citizens* League 

City Federation of Churches 

18 Not to be confused with the council on postwar planning, a citywide body concerned 
with planning in all fields, and acting in an advisory capacity to the city planning commission. 
(See page 202.) Mr. Carlisle, the superintendent of schools, was a member of the council on 
postwar planning and made it clear to the members of that body that the citizens' advisory 
council on postwar education, being concerned only with educational planning, would noc 
duplicate or encroach upon the work of the inclusive group* 

30 More than one in a few cases of larger groups and organizations especially close to the 
schools, such as the parent-teacher association. 


City Congress of Parents and Teachers 

City Department of Health 

City Department of Public Welfare 

City Department of Recreation 

City Planning Commission 

City Police Department 

Committee on Economic Development (local 


Council of Social Agencies 
County Bureau of Social Aid 
County Council, CIO 
County Federation of Labor, AFL 
County Juvenile Court 
Dom Polski 

Employers* Association 
Federation of Women's Clubs 
Girl Scouts 

Jewish Community Center 
League of Women Voters 
Public Library 
Public Employment Service 
Retail Merchants Association 
St. Vincent de Paul Society 
Urban League 
Veterans of Foreign Wars 
Young Men's Christian Association 
Young Women's Christian Association 

The functions proposed for the citizens* advisory council 
were (1) to assemble and present evidence of the needs in the 
community especially among children and youth that should 
be met by an improved educational program in the schools; (2) 
to review critically the reports of studies and the recommenda- 
tions prepared by the commission on postwar education and to 
suggest improvements; and (3) to keep their agencies and 
organizations informed as to the development of educational 
plans and programs. In order to carry out these functions, the 
council agreed to have regular meetings six times a year and 
to hold such special meetings as might be required. 


The citizens' advisory council elected its own chairman, 
and the chairman was made a member of the commission on 
postwar education, thus providing a continuous liaison between 
these two major planning bodies. 

Some organizations, of course, took their responsibilities more 
seriously than Others. The more active agencies set up their own 
committees and study groups, supplied important data to the 
commission, initiated recommendations and proposals, and were 
both frank and constructive in their criticisms. In the later 
stages, they were particularly helpful in enlisting widespread 
community support a matter of prime importance, since the 
new program eventually involved some radical changes in peo- 
ple's ways of thinking about education, as well as sizable in- 
creases in current expenditures and a large outlay for buildings 
and equipment. The members of the congress of parents and 
teachers, with more at stake than any other group, were most 
diligent of all. They not only cooperated on all citywide enter- 
prises; they also organized neighborhood parents* committees 
which worked with the faculties of individual schools and as- 
sumed a good share of the responsibility for bringing in other 
neighborhood groups. The services of the two major bodies of 
organized labor and of the chamber of commerce and the 
employers* association should also be mentioned. Without the 
constructive aid which was given by management and labor, the 
plans for occupational training and work experience would 
surely have been far less adequate. 

The Commission on "Postwar 
Education Goes to Work 

As we turn now to follow the work of the commission on 
postwar education for a time, let us remember that the com- 
mission did not work alone. It constantly drew large numbers 
of teachers into the processes of planning and experimenting. 
It frequently referred its findings and recommendations to the 
citizens' advisory council on postwar education for review 


and criticism. And from time to time it submitted reports to the 
superintendent of schools and the board of education for criti- 
cism and adoption. 

Taking Stock 
of the Schools 

As one of its first acts, the commission made a quick analysis 
of the situation within the schools and of the relations between 
the schools and the community, in order to estimate its limita- 
tions and resources. What were the chief obstacles to improve- 
ment of education in the schools? In the community? How 
could these best be overcome? And what were the chief re- 
sources in schools and community? How could these best be 
utilized? Is it possible, the commission asked, for a large city- 
school system to make far-reaching changes in its program and 
act both intelligently and rapidly? If so, what conditions are 
favorable to such action? 

The commission's first findings were sobering to those who 
had expected that change would come suddenly and with little 
effort, when once the need had been made clear. 

1. The Teachers 

First, about the teachers. Their average (median) age was 
forty-three. Sixty percent had been teaching in the American 
City schools for ten years or more. In the senior high schools, 
at least, they were primarily people who had specialized in par- 
ticular subjectmatter areas in college. They were organized into 
departments, each of which had considerable power and the 
disposition to "fight for its subject." Most teachers took pride in 
teaching their own subjects well. Until the war there had been 
little crossing of departmental lines, little cooperative planning 
in terms of individual needs. Indeed, in prewar days the feel- 
ing was prevalent that the individual teacher did not count for 
much in the determination of policies, either in the individual 
school or in the school system as a whole. Only through their 


teacher associations were teachers powerful; and their collective 
efforts in these organizations had recently been directed to mat- 
ters of teacher welfare more than to basic improvements in 

There were hopeful features, however. Most of the teachers 
were proud of their school system and loyal to it. They liked to 
think of it as a progressive system, one which moved forward 
with the times. Many of them attended summer schools and 
summer workshops and returned with new ideas about the im- 
provement of their work as individual teachers or principals. 
They were ready to accept and even to initiate minor changes 
within the established educational framework. It was doubtful, 
however, that they were yet convinced that ma]or changes were 
needed and that they would have to be made quickly. 

Nevertheless, as we have just seen, the events of recent years 
had left their marks on patterns of thought and action. The 
charge often heard in the depression years, that "the high 
schools have failed in their duties to millions of boys and girls," 
was extremely disturbing to many conscientious teachers, who 
saw that charge supported by the flow of youth into the CCC 
and the NYA. And the experiences of wartime had shaken many 
a teacher out of his accustomed routine of subject teaching, 
thrown him into all-school and all-neighborhood activities, and 
made him far more sensitive to educational problems and needs. 
A spirit of expectation of change was abroad, and was growing 
but as yet it lacked a clear sense of direction. 

2. Public Relations 

Public relations were good, but in a negative way. There was 
relatively little criticism of the schools by parents and citizens. 
Those who dropped out of school along the way left quietly, 
without protest. Local financial support compared favorably 
with that in similar cities elsewhere. The board of education 
was composed, on the whole, of able, respected people; and the 
last "big fight" over a board election had occurred so long ago 


that only a few people remembered it. There were parent- 
teacher associations in every school, some large and active, some 
small and ineffective depending largely on who the officers 
happened to be and on the amount of time and thought which 
the principal and the school staff were disposed to give to PTA 
affairs. Care was taken to interpret the schools to the community 
through published annual reports, newspaper publicity, occa- 
sional "open houses" in the schools, radio programs, and the like. 
Little provision had been made, however, to bring either parents 
or any other lay groups into the process of policy-making or 
planning. Practically no machinery existed for two-way com- 
munication between members of the school staffs and the great 
body of citizens in whose hands, in the last analysis, rest the deci- 
sions regarding educational policy. 

Here again, however, as we have seen, things were changing. 
The war brought problems on which parents had to be con- 
sulted; and from these it was easy and natural to move on to 
other questions of school policy. People in neighborhoods began 
to come together more often to work on one wartime task or 
another, often meeting at the school; and teachers frequently 
were members of such groups. When these groups came, as they 
often did, to talk about what they wanted their neighborhoods 
to be in the years ahead, it was natural that they should talk 
about schools and education. Yes, there was a new spirit of 
public relations in the air, a new-born spirit, sorely in need of 
nourishment and direction but alive and growing. 

3. Procedures 

Finally, the commission looked at the machinery of the school 
system and found it highly standardized. General rules and reg- 
ulations had been developed to cover most contingencies. They 
worked, but they worked slowly. They did not encourage origi- 
nality and boldness in meeting problems. Supplies were stand- 
ardized, and new types of materials had to run a long gauntlet 
before they could be secured. The procedure for adopting new 


texts, supplementary books, and library books took so long 
that usually a book could not be bought until at least two years 
after it had been published. Student trips during school hours 
were far too few because of the "red tape" necessary in making 
the arrangements. Administrative units were sharply separated 
from each other. Schedules of classes in high schools were set 
up months in advance, and changes were looked upon with 

All this meant, of course, that the commission would have 
to give attention to the obstacle of "red tape." This was a prob- 
lem primarily for the board of education and for the superin- 
tendent and his staff, and the commission was assured of their 

Studying Conditions That Lead 
to Constructive Change 

Having taken stock of these matters, the commission next 
asked the questions: What are the conditions under which im- 
provements in educational systems take place? What can we 
learn from experiences elsewhere that will help us to bring 
about change on the scale and with the speed that will likely 
be needed in these times? 

Of course, there was the obvious answer. Some changes occur 
as results of direct orders from superior authority. One could 
point to the past for evidence. The state legislature had enacted 
a law requiring the teaching of civics in every high school; the 
local board of education had directed that high-school gradua- 
tion requirements should include a course in economics; the 
council of principals, with the approval of the superintendent, 
had directed that a unit in traffic-safety education be included 
in the eleventh grade; a department head had directed that the 
study of The Merchant of Venice be discontinued. And all 
these things had been done. 

But now the situation was different. Here were questions far 
more complex and basic than whether one more course should be 


taught here or one less unit there. Here was the problem of 
reexamining the entire program of the schools in the light of the 
needs of children and youth and of postwar American society. 
No individual or board would be wise enough to write the final 
answer to this problem and to issue edicts that it be carried into 
effect. And even if the superior authority could do these things, 
it would accomplish little by doing so. For what was needed was 
far more than changes in courses and techniques. Changes were 
needed in the attitudes and practices of teachers and school ad- 
ministrators changes in their ways of thinking about the pur- 
poses of education, about pupils and their needs, about the rela- 
tions of schools to the community and the nation. Comparable 
changes were needed on the part of parents and the lay public. 
Such changes, it was clear, could not be brought about by orders. 
The problem, at heart, was one of educating teachers and admin- 
istrators in service, 

Just at this time, it happened, the Commission on Teacher 
Education of the American Council on Education began to pub- 
lish the reports of its four-year cooperative study. Among other 
things, the staff of that Commission had shared in and observed 
the programs of in-service education of teachers in twenty-six 
cooperating school systems. One chapter of the report, entitled 
"Conditions Essential to Continued Progress," was particularly 
helpful to the group in American City, for it dealt with pre- 
cisely the problem which then confronted them, and it was based 
on experience in a number of school systems. The report was 
first studied by the American City Commission on Postwar 
Education, and then was circulated widely among the teachers 
and administrators of the system. So far-reaching was its influ- 
ence that we quote the sections which summarize the main 

Efforts to align in-service education activities with some con- 
cept of the ideal school which has not been accepted by the 
teachers, or with some comprehensive pattern which goes be- 
yond the teachers 5 sense of need, cannot be expected to suc- 
ceed, ... 


In summary, we believe that the experience with the schools 
in the cooperative study has demonstrated that: 

1. Given proper conditions, teachers will readily join together 
in an effort to do better what they conceive to be their jobs. 

2. When people go to work on jobs that to them seem im- 
portant, personal growth and program improvement become 
closely intertwined. 

3 . Given proper conditions, the teachers' conceptions of their 
jobs will broaden and also come to relate more closely to the 
needs of contemporary society. 

The report then turned to consideration of the meaning of 
"proper conditions," and continued: 

Conditions Favorable to Voluntary Enlistment and 
Continued Efforts toward Program Improvement 

A first and basic condition for enlistment and keeping the 
members of a staff at work is that the jobs on which they work 
should truly seem to them to be their jobs, tasks whose accom- 
plishment seems both appropriate and important. . . . 

A second condition is that individuals should work on jobs 
where they can make a positive contribution. . . . 

A third condition that has seemed to contribute to individual 
enlistment and continuous work on program improvement is 
that a high degree of flexibility should be maintained with refer- 
ence to all group activity and all related individual activity. 

A fourth condition that has many times been demonstrated 
to be of major importance is that people should work as friends 
and equals; equals in the sense of assurance of mutual accept- 
ance without regard to title or position. . . . 

A fifth condition basic to keeping the school personnel at 
work on program improvement is that the means for con- 
verting thought into action should be such as to permit a 
reasonably easy and continuous flow. 

However, the report continued: 

We cannot afford to let the matter rest here. It is not 
enough to be merely active in program improvement. . . . Ac- 
tivity in itself would not necessarily lead rapidly, if indeed it 


would ultimately, to positive changes in keeping with current 

The question was therefore raised: 

What are the proper conditions under which the teachers' 
conceptions of their jobs will broaden and come to relate more 
closely to the needs of contemporary society? 

The answer was given: 

Conditions Conducive to Working on Jobs 

of Social Significance 

A first condition for insuring the readiness of a school per- 
sonnel for jobs of social significance is that a rich association 
should be maintained between the professional personnel and 
the youth and adults of the school community, . . . 

A second condition for insuring the readiness of afcchool per- 
sonnel for jobs of social significance is that the personnel should 
have rich association with important social ideas and ideals. 20 

Acknowledging its debt to the Commission on Teacher Edu- 
cation and to other searchers for the conditions favorable to 
educational improvement, 21 the American City Commission 
on Postwar Education proceeded to work out its own solutions, 
as we shall see presently. 

Settling Some Questions 
of Procedure and Policy 
1. How To Move from Planning to Action 

The commission made some important decisior^ at its early 
meetings. Two alternatives as to procedure were considered. 
One was to formulate a comprehensive plan for education in 
American City's schools, and then to conduct an aggressive 
campaign to "sell" the plan to the board of education, the teach- 
ers, and the public, with a view to adoption of the plan in its 

"Frail, C E., and Cushman, C L. Teacher Education in Service. Vahington, D. C; Com- 
mission on Teacher Education of the American Council on Education, 1944. 

*For example, Paul R. Mort and Francis G. Cbrnell, whose book, American Schools in 
Transition, was studied by the Commission. (New York: Teachers College, Columbia Uni- 
versity, 1941. 4J6 p.) 


The other, more difficult to state precisely, would likewise 
begin with an inclusive plan, based on a careful study of edu- 
cational needs. This plan, however, would be thought of as 
tentative, subject to continuous revision and improvement. 
Teachers and lay citizens would be invited to review it and 
propose ways of making it better. Groups of teachers and en- 
tire schools would be encouraged to experiment within the 
framework of the plan. The results of experiments would be 
reported and appraised. Whenever any portion of the proposed 
program seemed worthy of general acceptance, it would be 
carried into practice as rapidly as possible. 

The commission accepted the second alternative. Thus it 
was possible to go forward with parts of the projected program, 
without waiting for acceptance of the whole. And thus the 
comprehensive plan was kept sufficiently flexible to allow it to 
be improved in the light of experience as an operating policy. 

2. Plans Should Outreach Current Practices 

Moreover, the commission early decided that it would not 
immure its thinking within the existing educational structure 
and program, but would rather seek to envision the best pos- 
sible structure and program for the future. It would not limit 
its outlook to the clientele then enrolled in the school system 
but would try to devise ways to take care of the children and 
youth who were not being served by the schools, but who had 
a just claim on public educational services notably children 
under five and the many out-of -school youth- from fifteen to 
twenty-one. It would not restrict its planning to what might 
be accomplished within the limits of the funds then available 
for education but would portray the educational program 
which American City needed and then try to find ways to 
finance the program. In short, the commission assumed that 
the claim of education on public funds was second only to that 
of national defense and sought to formulate a plan by which 
the schools of American City might render all the educational 


services needed by all the children and youth of the city. It 
followed the example of military authorities in wartime who 
stated what was required to insure victory and assumed that 
the nation would provide the funds. 

3. Achieving a balance between Centralization and 'Decentrali- 

Still another problem was that of finding the right balance 
and working relationship between centralized and decentralized 

On the one hand, it seemed clear that sound planning required 
considerable decentralization. The commission's twelve mem- 
bers knew that they alone could not develop an adequate and 
workable plan. They would need to mobilize and use the best 
thinking of the entire professional staff, parents, youth, and 
leaders in community agencies. They were convinced that they 
would have to rely on teachers working close to children, 
youth, and parents in their schools and neighborhoods for 
much of the materials required for a picture of educational 
needs. They believed that groups of teachers, dealing with 
problems which they could reach out and touch in their own 
schools and neighborhoods, would be one of the most fertile 
sources of constructive ideas about educational services. They 
wanted to develop a plan which would be flexible, adaptable to 
the varying needs of neighborhoods one which would stimu- 
late rather than suppress the initiative and resourcefulness of 
school faculties. Moreover, since the teachers eventually would 
have to operate the plan, it seemed only common sense to con- 
clude that they could operate it better if they understood and 
approved it because they had helped to make it. 

Out of considerations like these came a decision to invite every 
school in the system to become a unit in the citywide planning. 
The faculty of each school was to choose the problems which 
seemed to it most important in terms of its own pupils and 
neighborhood. The commission arranged to meet periodically 


with representatives of all schools, not simply to hear reports 
of these individual school projects, but to put these local studies 
and experiments together and see what larger picture might be 
emerging. Each school faculty could go about its planning as 
seemed best to it, but it might call on the commission staff and 
the research division for a reasonable amount of assistance. 22 

On the other hand, there were at least two good reasons why 
some phases of planning should be centralized. Many of the 
conditions which bulked large in postwar educational planning 
were conditions of the city or the region, not of neighborhoods 
alone. Employment was cited as an example. Most of the 
people of American City were not employed in the neighbor- 
hoods in which they lived, and only a few people lived in the 
industrial and business section of the city where most of the 
people were employed. Employers* organizations and labor 
unions were citywide rather than neighborhood groups. Em- 
ployment, occupational trends, and the planning of vocational 
education all had to be approached largely, though not ex- 
clusively, through centralized planning. So also with some as- 
pects of government, public health, and recreation though in 
these fields the citywide and neighborhood conditions were more 
evenly balanced. 

Time, furthermore, was of the essence. The schools had to be 
ready to meet the problems and needs which would surely be 
present as soon as the war should end and the war might end 
within a year. Moreover, in order to be ready at the end of the 
war, the schools had to begin to do some things well in advance 
of that time. Therefore it was necessary for the commission 
to draw up some tentative plans rather quickly and then to 
improve them in the light of critical reviews by staff and lay- 
men as the continuation of the war gave them opportunity to 
do so. 

This balance of decentralized and centralized planning proved 

49 The reader is reminded that the board of education had appropriated a sum equal to 2 
percent of the schools' operating budget to cover additional costs involved in postwar planning. 


quite satisfactory. The faculty in each school, working with 
parents, students, and neighborhood agencies, selected the prob- 
lems that seemed most important to it and concentrated its 
work on these. The citywide commission on postwar educa- 
tion, with the aid of various committees and with the advice of 
the citizens* advisory council, brought together the work of 
the individual school staffs and formulated over-all plans and 
policies. These statements, in turn, were reviewed by school 
faculties and committees of various teachers' and principals* 
organizations before they were submitted to the superintendent 
of schools and the board of education. 

4. The Use of Citywide Committees 

Citywide committees were needed to assist the commission 
on postwar education, but it was not clear at first how they 
should be organized. After considering the possibilities of stand- 
ing committees by subject fields and standing committees by 
age-groups of children, the commission decided to have no 
permanent committees. Instead, it decided to appoint a tem- 
porary committee whenever a problem calling for special study 
might arise, choosing people well qualified to deal with that 
particular problem. Under this policy, committees were soon 
at work studying such problems as the educational needs of chil- 
dren under six years of age; employment trends and opportuni- 
ties in American City; the out-of -school youth in the city and 
its environs; the needs for public education beyond the twelfth 
grade; the essentials of an adequate program of vocational edu- 
cation; and plans for guidance in secondary schools. Whenever 
a committee completed its work, it was honorably discharged; 
and other committees were appointed as new problems required 
attention. Thus a sizable proportion of the schools' staffs par- 
ticipated in the planning through committee service. 

Some Early Experiments 

Under these policies, school faculties and individual teachers 
were encouraged to go ahead at once with experiments looking 


toward better education. Practically every school set up its 
own committee on postwar education, and the records of these 
committees show that the new spirit of planning and experi- 
mentation quickly pervaded each school, and gave rise to a mul- 
titude of enterprises. A report of what happened during the 
first year would fill a separate volume, but it will be instructive 
for us to look briefly at a few of these experiments in the sec- 
ondary schools and see how they became materials out of 
which the inclusive program later was fashioned. Any single 
experience, taken by itself, may not seem to be of great signifi- 
cance. But when we remember that these educational ventures 
were multiplied by dozens, yes, by hundreds, we begin to see 
their importance. 

There is the story of the development of a unit on industrial 
and labor relations. The social studies teachers at Lincoln High 
School noted the large number of boys and girls leaving the 
school to work in factories. They talked with some of them 
after they had been at work for a few weeks or months and 
became convinced that the schools were giving these young 
workers practically no understanding of labor unions, collective 
bargaining, social security, and the many other nontechnical 
matters connected with holding a job. The majority of these 
teachers worked in factories during the summer of 1944. 
joined unions, and learned everything they could from the point 
of view of beginning workers. At the end of the summer, they 
talked with their employers, seeking a fair understanding of 
their point of view. Then, in cooperation with vocational teach- 
ers and with help from some recently published materials in 
the field, 28 they worked out units on industrial and labor rela- 
tions which included old age and unemployment insurance, 
wages and hours laws, workmen's compensation, safety pro- 
visions, and government mediation and arbitration, as well as 

a Particularly, The American Story of Industrial and Labor Relations. Albany, N. Y.: New 
York State Joint Legislative Committee on Industrial and Labor Conditions, 1943. 315 p. 


labor unions and employer-employee relations. Students were 
helped to understand federal and state regulation of child labor, 
the work permit system, and other aspects of labor regulation 
that would affect them personally when they first went into 
paid employment. The units were tried out at Lincoln, revised, 
and continued. Teachers at Jefferson and Washington heard 
about them through the channels set up to share such informa- 
tion and decided to try something comparable in their schools. 
These teachers said that it was quite as important for boys and 
girls who were headed for management and the professions to 
understand these matters, as for those going into factories and 
stores. Indeed, they added, government was now playing such 
a large part in labor relations that every citizen ought to have 
an understanding of the fundamentals of the subject. All this 
led in turn to the inclusion of industrial and labor relations as 
one of the areas later included in the new course on "Common 
Learnings. " 

There is also the story of the three teachers at Jefferson High 
School who agreed to join in an effort to promote pupil growth 
in family living through their respective fields English, social 
studies, and home economics. Arrangements were made for 
them to have the same pupils, though in separate classes. They 
worked out their objectives together and planned their three 
courses so that there were certain periods during the year in 
which all three converged on family living. During these pe- 
riods, the teachers met almost daily, sharing experiences and 
planning their work so that all were working together to meet 
the same student needs. The home economics teacher undertook 
to estimate the qffects of this type of teaching on the conduct of 
children in families by means of students* diaries and inter- 
views with parents. Her report, based on forty students paired 
with forty following conventional courses in the three sub- 
jects, strongly favored the cooperative approach. This experi- 
ment also became known, and here and there other groups 
of teachers followed similar plans. Particularly numerous were 


the cases of teachers of history and teachers of literature work- 
ing together. These experiments were among the markers which 
pointed the way to the course in "Common Learnings." 

Here, more briefly, are some other examples: 

A group of teachers of mathematics and vocational subjects 
in Jefferson High School, together with teachers from two 
junior high schools, undertook to ascertain the ^specific mathe- 
matical knowledge and skills actually employed ( 1 ) by young 
people who entered industrial and commercial occupations di- 
rectly from high school, and (2) by young men enlisting in the 
various military and naval services. Stimulated by the above ex- 
amples, a group of teachers of chemistry and physics under- 
took a comparable study for their subjects. They added life in 
the home as a third type of post-school activity. 

Fifteen white teachers from several schools made field trips, 
read, and held discussions, in order to better their own under- 
standing of the Negro people of American City. Later they in- 
vited three Negro teachers to join them and spent several 
months in planning projects and units on intercultural educa- 
tion which they then used in their classes. 

Teachers at Washington High School experimented success- 
fully with a unit on the reading of newspapers and magazines 
with a follow-up study of effects on students* reading habits. 
The American people, they said, read newspapers and periodicals 
more than any other form of literature; therefore they should 
be trained to read them with discrimination. 

Teachers from Jefferson High School, two junior high schools, 
and four elementary schools, all in the same area of the city, 
worked together on studies of sequences and continuity of learn- 
ings by pupils attending these schools and of problems of transi- 
tions from each level to the next higher. From this beginning, 
the group moved to a study of this part of the city in order 
more accurately to define the needs of children and youth who 
lived there. 

Teachers of home economics from all three schools developed 
an intensive twelfth-grade course on homemaking, family fife, 
and consumer economics for girls who expected to go to work 
after high school and who had not taken other courses in home 
economics. Practically all women, said the teachers, will be 


homemakers, and the schools should make it possible for all 
girls to secure training in homemaking. 

A class in social studies at Lincoln High School made a 
sampling study o opportunities and conditions of work in per- 
sonal service occupations in American City because, it was 
frequently said, this was a field in which employment oppor- 
tunities for young people would be increased after the war. 

A brief orientation unit for tenth graders was developed at 
Lincoln High -School and adopted, with modifications, else- 

Numerous experiments were made in teaching students of 
superior ability, especially in the sciences and mathematics. 

Of the many experiments and projects undertaken during 
these months, a few were successful from the start and soon 
were widely accepted; more were successful only in part and 
had to be revised and tried over and over again; and some were 
outright failures, or seemed so at the time. Far more important 
than these enterprises, however, is what happened to the teach- 
ers who carried them on. The very fact that the teachers were 
free to depart from conventional practices quickened their 
imaginations and aroused their interests. Now they began to feel 
that they were genuine participants, both in planning a better 
education and in bringing it into existence. Their attention 
moved away from themselves, their subjects, and their schools, 
outward to their pupils and their communities. 

Studying Educational Needs 

Once under way, the commission on postwar education 
turned to a study of the educational needs of children and youth, 
for it was agreed that a clear picture of needs was basic to pro- 
gram development. The commission approached this subject 
from two sides. It examined organized society, both locally and 
nationally; and it studied the day-to-day lives of boys and girls 
of various ages. Both approaches were found fruitful. 

Many published studies of the local community were re- 
viewed, such as the 1941 report of the council of social 
agencies on Youth in American City. Reports of national 


research and planning bodies were studied, particularly the 
findings and recommendations of such groups as the American 
Youth Commission and the Educational Policies Commission. 
Most important of all were the firsthand investigations made by 
the research division of the public schools and by teachers re- 
leased from their regular duties to serve on committees. Later in 
this chapter we shall quote at length from a report issued in the 
spring of 1944 by a committee which studied the occupational 
situation in American City and its implications for education. 24 
Comparable studies were made and reports prepared on such 
subjects as health and physical fitness among children and youth; 
family conditions in the city; recreational needs and opportuni- 
ties; and schools as neighborhood centers. 25 

"Imperative Educational 
Needs of Youth" 

In the spring of 1944, the commission issued its first statement 
on educational needs. There is not space to reproduce the entire 
statement, but the summary of ten "imperative educational 
needs of youth" carries the heart of the document and is par- 
ticularly important because it was used as the basis for much of 
the program planning in secondary schools. 

"1. All youth need to develop salable skills and those under- 
standings and attitudes that make the worker an intelligent and 
productive participant in economic life. To this end, most youth 
need supervised work experience as well as education in the skills 
and knowledge of their occupations. 

"2. All youth need to develop and maintain good health and 
physical fitness. 

"3. All youth need to understand the rights and duties of the 
citizen of a democratic society, and to be diligent and competent 

*See pages 286-89. This committee was composed of educators, employers, and represent- 
atives of labor. 

*The commission, of coarse, was concerned with education at evtry level from preschool 
to adult. But this is a report on the education of older youth, and henceforth we must limit 
ourselves to the commission's actions on youth education. 


in the performance of their obligations as members of the com- 
munity and citizens of the state and nation. 

"4. All youth need to understand the significance of the 
family for the individual and society and the conditions con- 
ducive to successful family life. 

"5. All youth need to know how to purchase and use goods 
and services intelligently, understanding both the values re- 
ceived by the consumer and the economic consequences of their 

"6. All youth need to understand the methods of science, the 
influence of science on human life, and the main scientific facts 
concerning the nature of the world and of man. 

"7. All youth need opportunities to develop their capacities 
to appreciate beauty in literature, art, music, and nature. 

"8. All youth need to be able to use their leisure time well and 
to budget it wisely, balancing activities that yield satisfactions 
to the individual with those that are socially useful. 

"9. All youth need to develop respect for other persons, to 
grow in their insight into ethical values and principles, and to be 
able to live and work cooperatively with others. 

"10. All youth need to grow in their ability to think ration- 
ally, to express their thoughts clearly, and to read and listen 
with understanding." 26 

Proposals for Action 

Such a statement would have availed but little, however, had 
not the commission followed it shortly with the following pro- 
posals for a program of action: 

"Raise the end of the period of compulsory education to the 
eighteenth birthday (or high-school graduation, whichever oc- 
curs earlier) , in order that all may have the benefits of at least 
twelve years of education. The educational needs of youth and 
the responsibilities placed on schools are now so many, so varied, 
and so complex, that the minimum time for school education 

"See also the statements on "How Youth Differ" and "What Youth Have in Common," 
on pages 1M7. 


must be increased. State legislation is required. Work to secure 
such legislation during the war, to be effective six months after 
the cessation of hostilities. 

"Make all three American City high schools comprehensive in 
purposes and programs so that all youth in the city may have 
access to equal educational opportunities, regardless of place of 
residence. We do not say, however, that all high-school programs 
should be identical. Some specialization, particularly in voca- 
tional fields, is clearly advisable. Action by the board of educa- 
tion is required. 

"Establish a free institution of public education above the high 
school in order to enable those American City youth, who wish 
to do so, to prepare for occupations that require one or two 
years of training beyond high school and to continue their gen- 
eral education at the same time. 27 Studies of American City 
youth show that only 20 percent of those who graduate from 
high school go on to college. At least an additional 30 percent of 
the high-school graduates, however, state that they would con- 
tinue full-time education beyond high school if opportunities 
were available locally for one or two years of vocational educa- 
tion in technical and semiprof essional fields combined with con- 
tinuing civic and cultural education. Moreover, around 40 
percent of those who end their full-time education at high- 
school graduation or earlier say that they would be interested in 
continuing their education in part-time classes. This requires 
action by the state legislature, the state department of education, 
the board of education, and the voters of the district. But certain 
steps can be taken at once. The board of education can pro- 
visionally authorize the institution. The broad features of the 
initial curriculum can be tentatively planned. Preliminary plans 
and estimates of costs of buildings and equipment can be drawn 
up. And work can be started to secure the desired state legis- 

"This institution was later named the American City Community Institute, and will be 
referred to by that name hereafter. 


"Develop a curriculum for Grades VII through XIV which 
will provide for all youth the experiences through which they 
can best grow in all the. ways indicated in the statement of 
'imperative educational needs of youth/ This curriculum 
should be planned as a whole, to cover the entire period of youth, 
from Grades VII through XIV. Whatever the administrative 
organization of the schools may be, it is essential that there be 
continuity of program throughout these eight years. This re- 
quires the cooperative action of all teachers and administrators 
concerned with secondary education aided by groups of in- 
terested parents and other citizens. 

"Begin at once to develop an adequate system of guidance 
continuous throughout both elementary and secondary years. 
Allow adequate time for guidance on teachers' schedules and 
provide such specialists as may be needed. This requires action by 
the board of education and cooperative planning and action 
throughout the staffs of the schools. 

"Plan to secure the additional funds which will be needed 
( 1 ) to expand the high-school plant as needed to accommodate 
additional students; (2) to furnish additional types of educa- 
tional service such as expanded vocational education and more 
adequate guidance; (3) to meet the city's share of the cost of 
building the proposed new community institute; (4) to finance 
the annual operating costs of providing education to some 2000 
additional high-school students and the students who will enrol 
in the community institute; and (5) to provide financial aid 
to individual students who need to earn money for personal 
expenses. Funds will have to come from local, state, and federal 
sources. Begin at once a public relations program for increasing 
local funds. Support if necessary, initiate a campaign for 
state funds; and support the national effort to secure federal aid 
without federal control. 

"Invite the boards of education of the high-school districts in 
the region surrounding American City to join with this com- 
mission in planning an educational program to serve the youth 


of the region as well as the city, and particularly to share in the 
development of the American City Community Institute which 
should be a regional institution. Call in the state department of 
education at once to assist in this cooperative planning." 

The time for citywide action had come. The superintendent of 
schools and his staff and the board of education took up these 
generally accepted statements of educational needs and pro- 
posals for action and pressed vigorously forward, calling on the 
commission on postwar education, the citizens* advisory 
council, and the associated groups of teachers and parents to 
continue to help as further planning was needed. As we report 
what followed, we must condense into a few pages the delibera- 
tions and actions of many people extending over many months. 

A Continuous Educational Program 
throughout the Period of Youth 

Still other questions had to be answered. There was the prob- 
lem of how youth education should be organized. Had American 
City been building its program de novo, it is probable that a 
6-4-4 type of organization would have been adopted elemen- 
tary schools through Grade VI, 28 lower secondary schools 
for Grades VII through X, and upper secondary schools for 
Grades XI through XIV. 

American City, however, already had its three large high 
schools and six junior high schools, each with a faculty now 
deeply involved in the process of educational reconstruction, 
each with a relatively modern building, each with assets in the 
form of community cooperation and goodwill. It did not seem 
advisable to alter the structure of the school system if the de- 
sired educational ends could be attained otherwise. 

What was essential and practically everyone agreed on this 
was that the educational program for the entire period of 
youth be planned and operated as a whole. From Grade VII 

* The elementary school, however, would have been extended downward for at least two 
years below the conventional first grade. 


through Grade XIV, the curriculum should have continuity 
from year to year and significant relationships among its con- 
stituent parts within each year, 20 A 4-4 secondary-school system 
might be better suited to such a program. But a 3-3-2 system, it 
was believed, could be adapted to these ends, provided that those 
in charge of curriculum development always kept educational 
needs and purposes foremost in their thinking. It was decided 
to think of the junior high school as the lower secondary school, 
of the senior high school as the middle secondary school, and of 
the new community institute as the advanced secondary school, 
and to plan the curriculum for all three levels as a continuous 
whole. 80 

"Differential" and "Common" 
Studies in Secondary Schools 

There was also the question of differentiation of courses in the 
secondary schools. At what times and in what ways, it was asked, 
do the interests and educational needs of maturing youth tend to 
diverge widely enough so that parts of the curriculum should be 
correspondingly differentiated? And in what respects do the 
educational needs of youth continue to be common to all and 
best served through a curriculum followed by all students? 

The answer was substantially the same as that given at Farm- 
ville. Throughout the junior high-school period, it was agreed, 
the educational needs of pupils are sufficiently alike to justify 
a common curriculum for all pupils with ample provision for 
differentiated treatment of pupils within classes to take account 
of diversities of interests, aptitudes, and abilities. 81 

Beginning in the tenth grade, or thereabouts, young people 
exhibit differences in certain of their interests and plans which 

89 The same point of view was taken with respect to the program of the elementary schools; 
and a great deal of attention was given to articulation of elementary and secondary curric- 
ulum*, and to pupil transition from elementary to secondary schools. 

30 See the chart of the "American City System of Public Education" on page 241. 

"Since this report is concerned with the education of older youth, we shall not describe 
the junior high-school program, or hereafter refer to junior high schools, except incidentally. 


call for a variety of offerings in the curriculum, among which 
the students, under guidance, may choose. 

Differences in occupational interests and plans are the most 
significant for education. Young people in their later teens have 
a natural and wholly commendable desire to prepare themselves 
to become self-supporting and perform useful work in the 
world. But occupations are many and diverse, and so also are the 
roads which lead to them. Whatever the roads may be, the 
schools, from the tenth grade onward, must give every student 
the opportunity to progress in occupational preparation. 

Important differences in avocational and intellectual interests 
also emerge during these years. These differences also, on the 
whole, are to be welcomed and encouraged. The schools should 
take account of them by offering a wide range of electives in 
avocational and intellectual pursuits. 

Other imperative educational needs of youth, it was believed, 
can best be met by educational experiences common to all stu- 
dents. Such is the case with the needs to maintain good health; 
to grow in understanding and competence as citizens, members 
of families, and consumers; and to develop appreciation of 
beauty and a scientific point of view. 82 To meet these needs, it 
was decided to develop a program which would be followed by 
all students throughout the high schools and the community 
institute. Differences among students in intelligence, aptitudes, 
health, and family backgrounds could, it was said, be adequately 
cared for within classes, by skilful teachers who understood boys 
and girls and who knew how to make effective use of small- 
group and individual instruction. 

Planning the Framework 
of the Curriculum 

From these agreements, the next move was to build the frame- 
work of the curriculum. Not much time was required to reach 

88 Growth in ethical insight and in ability to think rationally, to express one's thoughts 
clearly, to read and listen with understanding, and to live and work cooperatively with others 
were considered to be aims of all educational experiences, both the "differential" and the 


a conclusion that the schools must make ample provision to meet 
the first of the "imperative educational needs of youth" the 
need to be equipped to earn a living in a useful occupation. Time 
was to be allowed for tfiis from tenth grade on through com- 
munity institute, the proportion of time increasing with the 
later years. For some, that time would be spent in vocational 
education and work experience pointed toward employment 
immediately after high school; for others, it would be given to 
studies preparatory to advanced work in the community in- 
stitute or in colleges and universities. ,No decision was made as 
yet regarding the amount of time for occupational preparation. 
That had to wait until the plans for the rest of the curriculum 
became clear. 

Agreement was also reached that time should be allowed for 
the other "differential" studies the elective courses in recrea- 
tional and intellectual interests. 

But how provide those other learning experiences deemed 
necessary for all youth the experiences which, it had been 
agreed, all youth should have in common? What are the experi- 
ences which help a person to become a more responsible citizen, 
a better family member, a wiser spender of time and money? 
How can the schools best help youth develop understanding of 
democracy, of the scientific method, and of rational processes 
of arriving at truth? By what means can youth be helped to 
grow in appreciation of beauty and insight into ethical values? 
These were the most puzzling problems of all, and months 
passed before the planning bodies were able to approach an 
answer which promised to satisfy. 

Here was proved the wisdom of the earlier decision to involve 
large numbers of the school staff in the planning process. Among 
the studies carried on by the commission on postwar education 
was a series, we recall, which had to do with educational needs 
revealed in various phases of American life. Each study was made 
by a committee of teachers and principals, often with the aid of 
informed laymen. Fortunately each of the committees was com- 


prised of people representing a wide range of subjectmatter 

The group that had studied family life, for example, consisted 
of twenty-two teachers, two principals, and four laymen. The 
high-school teachers on the committee were from all three high 
schools and from practically every department. These teachers, 
who had studied the figures on divorce and marital discord, who 
had talked with the "friend of the court," 38 who had reviewed 
the evidence on family life assembled by social workers and soci- 
ologists, who had visited the child guidance clinic and observed 
some of the casualties of faulty homes, who had attended ses- 
sions of the juvenile court and studied the facts about de- 
linquency these teachers became thoroughly convinced that 
education in family living was second to nothing in importance. 
By various means, they sought to provide such education in their 
own classes. Some used literature as a means for portraying fam- 
ily life and its problems in vivid concreteness; some used home 
economics as a medium for instruction in the human as well as 
the material side of home life; some used biology as a point of 
departure; some developed experimental "core" courses with 
family living as one of the major areas of study. AH agreed on the 
importance of the area and were certain that a way had to be 
found to include this phase of education within the program of 
every student. They were so sure of it that they were willing to 
give up part of the time of their own subjects, if necessary, to 
provide a place. 

Such experiences were not uncommon. Committees that 
studied other areas health, citizenship, and consumers' prob- 
lems, for example came out with recommendations for in- 
clusion of other experiences in a required program and did so 
with a willingness to make adjustments in the existing program. 
Moreover, everyone who served on any such study committee 
thereby became more receptive to the reports of the other com- 
mittees. All helped interpret the entire group of recommenda- 

** An official assigned to work with persons contemplating divorce and to administer alimony. 


tions to the teachers who had not served on committees. They 
constituted a nucleus of teachers in each school who stood ready 
to support a rather substantial change in the program if every 
youth might thereby be assured of the essentials of education. 

These were the two major questions: What are the learning 
experiences which all boys and girls should have in common? 
And how may these be organized so as to be most effective? 
There were many discussions of these questions, which we shall 
not attempt to recount. In the end, most of the staff accepted 
the statement of "imperative educational needs of youth" as 
the basis for defining the "common studies" of secondary educa- 
tion and were ready to move to the problem of organization. 

Here several possibilities were considered. One was to set up 
one or more separate required courses for each of the "common 
studies" citizenship, family life, health, consumer economics, 
science, English, literature, and the arts. Another was to have a 
single course covering all the experiences deemed necessary for 
all pupils, which would be continuous throughout the years of 
high school and community institute for two or more periods 
daily. A third possibility was some combination of the first two 
a basic course to include most of the "common learnings," 
supplemented by special courses in certain fields. 

The first plan had the advantage of simplicity of scheduling, 
because courses would be set up in single period units for either a 
semester or a year. It followed the traditional pattern with which 
pupils and teachers alike were acquainted. In effect, it would 
simply substitute, for some of the currently required semester 
and year courses, other courses with a somewhat different and 
more useful content. The range of knowledge required of in- 
dividual teachers would be somewhat wider than in conventional 
courses, but not greatly so. 

How the Course m "Common 
Learnings" Was Developed 

The second plan a continuous course using two or more 
hours daily throughout the upper secondary schools was ad- 


vocated on the ground that people's daily work, their civic in- 
terests, their family life, their leisure-time activities, the things 
they think about, and their ways of thinking are all bound up 
together, each influencing the other. Therefore, it was said, 
learning in these fields will be more effective and more closely 
tied to the imperative needs of life if teachers and students are 
able to deal with all aspects of a given subject, to study problems 
as they are found in life outside the school, and to keep aware of 
interrelations which cut across conventional subjectmatter lines. 
Someone cited housing as an example. In home economics, he 
said, pupils study about planning and furnishing their own 
homes. Questions relating to public planning of housing de- 
velopments, government subsidies, and low-cost credit appear 
in "American Problems" courses. Courses in physics and chemis- 
try frequently include units on science applied to houses and 
their equipment. History classes often study the types of houses 
characteristic of various periods in national development. 
Courses on health have their units on "building homes for 
health." In mathematics, one finds lessons on computing interest 
charges and amortization of home loans. In art but why go on? 
For nowhere so ran the argument nowhere, under the con- 
ventional organization of courses, is it possible to study the sub- 
ject of housing in its entirety. Yet today the paramount problem 
for fully one-fifth of the families in American City is that of 
getting a home to live in, within the family means, which will 
serve all the members of the family in all the ways a home can 
and should serve them. And within five years, the same problem 
will rank among those at the top for the majority of the boys 
and girls in classes today. Why not make it possible, this advocate 
of the new-type course concluded, for a teacher and a class to 
turn all their time and all their energies to an all-round study of 
housing? Why not develop the habit of attacking large problems 
and using information drawn- from a number of subjectmatter 


Some of the most persuasive arguments came from teachers 
who had already been doing some experimenting in this field 
combining two, or occasionally three, classes, usually literature 
and social studies, with science or art added now and then. They 
and others pointed out these advantages: 

Under the proposed comprehensive course, students can 
better understand the relations between the different things 
they are learning. For example, the impact of science on in- 
dustry and urban life can be better understood when science 
and social studies are part of the same course. In like manner, 
literature is better understood in relation to the life of the 
times in which it was written and which it portrays, and in 
turn it throws light upon the history of those times. 

"Within the broad areas planned for the year, classes can begin 
their work in any year with the problems and purposes of which 
students are most keenly aware at the time. This gets the class 
off to an active start at zestf ul, purposeful learning. The skilful 
teacher will not be worried if these beginnings deal with the 
relatively simple and sometimes transient affairs of everydav 
life. For he knows that when once the processes of interested, 
purposeful learning are under way, they can be guided toward 
the more complex and enduring needs of youth. 

Learning experiences which are important, but which do not 
require a large amount of time, can be included in the proposed 
course more readily than in a curriculum organized along the 
conventional semester-unit lines; for example, brief, intensive 
work on the improvement of study habits, or on the budgeting 
of time, or on the recreational resources of the neighborhood. 

The proposed course would permit the adaptation of learning 
experiences in some fields to changing interests and outlooks as 
students become more mature. For example, during the three 
years from fifteen to eighteen there are marked shifts in the 
attitudes of students toward family relationships as boys and 
girls become less conscious of themselves as children, more con- 
scious of themselves as potential husbands, wives, and parents. 
So also with interest in occupations. The tenth-grade student 
is interested in the choice of a possible occupational field and 
in planning a course to get him ready for a job that is still 


faraway. Three years later, he is likely to be concerned about 
the job that is just ahead how to get it and hold it, require- 
ments and conditions of work, industrial and labor relations, 
and the like. Given the comprehensive course, the learnings 
about family life and occupations could be distributed through- 
out the three years and matched to the changing interests of 

Greater flexibility in use of time would be possible and with 
it types of learning experiences that were impracticable under 
the system of single-period courses. When any problem or proj- 
ect required special attention for a week or a month, nearly the 
full triple or double period could be used for that purpose. 
Field trips and firsthand studies of the community would be 
feasible because of the longer blocks of time. 

Most important of all, each teacher in the proposed course 
would have fewer different pupils and more time to work with 
and observe each pupil in a wider variety of situations. There- 
fore, it was said, let the teachers of these new "Common Learn- 
ings" courses serve also as counselors to their students. Such an 
arrangement would dovetail exactly with the recommendations 
already made that more adequate provision should be made for 
guidance and that most student counseling should be done by 

The proposal was widely discussed before any action was 
taken. Some feared, as they said, a "soft pedagogy" an aimless 
shifting from one point of transient interest to the next without 
sustained intellectual effort. In reply it was pointed out that the 
needs to be met would be clearly defined by the staff for each year 
of the course. There, to be sure, the planning-in-advance-for- 
everybody would end. "Within the broad outlines of each year's 
work, each teacher and class would be free to plan and organize 
their own learning. But planning and organizing, in itself, is an 
act which requires no mean intellectual effort. 

Some feared the danger of superficiality. Classes, they said, 
would "gallop off in all directions at once" and fail to learn any- 
thing thoroughly. The reply was made that here, as everywhere, 
the quality of learning would depend upon skilful teaching, 


Orderly sequences of learning might be expected in this course, 
quite as much as in single-subject courses. But there would be 
various types of sequences, each deliberately chosen by teacher 
and class because it seemed best suited to the task at hand. Some- 
times the class would follow the method of scientific inquiry to 
conduct an experiment or solve a problem. Sometimes it would 
trace the relations of cause and effect through the events of his- 
tory. Sometimes it would follow the logic of organized bodies of 
knowledge. And sometimes the order of learning would be that 
appropriate to growth in appreciations. To be able to choose a 
sequence of learning appropriate to one's aim is again an in- 
tellectual achievement. 

Finally, there were some who feared quite mistakenly, as it 
turned out that this course would put an end to the systematic 
study of bodies of knowledge, such as the sciences, mathematics, 
history, and languages. This objection was withdrawn, however, 
when it was shown that there would be ample time in the total 
school program for any student who wished to do so, to com- 
plete all the courses in subject fields required for admission to 
college or university, even by those institutions which still held 
to their prewar requirements. Moreover, it was asserted, the con- 
ventionally required subjects would appear in the new course, 
insofar as they were needed to meet the common needs of all 
youth. English language, literature, history, and science would 
certainly be found among the "Common Learnings/* though 
possibly in unaccustomed settings. 

Plans for a Program 
of "Common Studies" 

Extensive discussions were followed by proposals to try out 
an inclusive course in "Common Learnings" in a number of 
forms. This was done for a year in all three high schools. At the 
end of the year, the teachers concerned and the commission on 
postwar education studied the results of these tryouts, and 
reached an agreement as to what they would recommend for 


the years just ahead. In effect, they endorsed the plan of a 
single comprehensive course to include all "common learnings." 
But for certain practical reasons, to be noted presently, they 
proposed two modifications of this plan. Here, in brief, are 
their recommendations: 

"1. A 'Basic Course in Common Learnings* should be of- 
fered throughout the high school and community institute, 
planned specifically to meet the educational needs of youth in 
the fields of citizenship, economics, family living, appreciation 
of literature and the arts, and use of the English language. Not 
less than one- third of a student's time should be allowed for this 
course during Grades X through XII. The teacher of 'Common 
Learnings* should also serve as general counselor to the stu- 
dents in his or her classes. 

"2. Basic instruction in science should also be one of the 
studies common to all high-school youth. Ideally, this instruction 
should be an integral part of the course in 'Common Learnings/ 
At present, however, there is not an adequate supply of teachers 
qualified to teach science in addition to the other phases of 
the 'Common Learnings' course. For the present, therefore, 
it seems advisable to include a separate basic course in science in 
Grade X. This course should be closely related to the course in 
'Common Learnings.* Membership of classes in the two courses 
should be identical so that teachers of 'Common Learnings* 
and teachers of science can plan their work together and, when 
desirable, pool their class time for work on joint projects. After 
further experimentation, it may be possible to make this basic 
study of science a part of the work in 'Common Learnings.' 

"3. Instruction in health and physical education is also con- 
sidered one of the 'common studies.* However, because physi- 
cal education activities are quite different In character from 
those of other classes and require teachers with special qualifica- 
tions and because instruction in personal health requires teach- 
ers with considerable specialized training" in the field, it is 
recommended that this instruction be given in classes separate 


from the 'Common Learnings* course. Here also, however, 
teachers should be alert to opportunities for relating instruction 
in the different classes. Teachers of health and teachers of science 
will find many such opportunities. SQ also will teachers of health 
and teachers of c Common Learnings* classes, particularly when 
the latter are engaged in studying health conditions in the com- 

These recommendations were subsequently adopted and have 
become the basis of the present program. 84 The areas covered in 
the "Common Learnings" course, the sequences of learning by 
years, and some of the methods of conducting the course will 
be described later. 86 

* * * 

So much for the story of how changes in youth education 
occurred in American City. The process of planning, trying 
out, revising, and trying out again has continued and may be 
expected to continue. Decisions have been looked upon only as 
guides to action until better decisions might be made. We shall 
not attempt to review all the many hypotheses and trials, all 
the failures and successes, that have been experienced. Instead, 
we turn now to examine the product, the on-going program of 
youth education as we find it five years after the cessation of 
hostilities. But even as we report, the process of change goes on. 


Let us try first to see this program as a whole, lest we become 
lost in details because we do not understand the main features. 

**The integrated course in "Common Learnings** is not an indispensable feature of the 
American City program. The alternative of building a curriculum of separate courses might 
have been adopted, in which case the courses 'would probably have been similar to those 
described in the Farmville ^ Secondary School under "Community Studies," "The History 
of Man's Efforts To Achieve Freedom and Security," "Current Political, Economic, and Social 
Problems," "Family Life," "Consumer Economics," and "Literature and the Arts." 

"See pages 248-70. 


The Scope of 
Secondary Education 

Secondary education in American City begins with Grade 
VII, continues through Grade XIV, and includes post-high- 
school instruction for out-of -school youth. It covers the ages 
from twelve through twenty. Although carried on through 
three institutions the junior high schools, the high schools, 
and the community institute the program is viewed as con- 
tinuous, and is planned and operated accordingly. 

This simple chart illustrates the thinking of American City's 
educators on the subject. 86 





Adult Education 




Advanced Secondary School 1 9 - 

(Community Institute) 



Middle Second 
(Senior His 

ry School 



h School) 





Lower Seconda 
(Junior High 

ry School 



School)* 7 




















Nursery School 


To Hbtwl arts 
colleges, techni- 
>tal colleges/ and 

Some Facts and Figures 

The three high schools Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln 
enrol 7088 local students all the youth of American City 
under eighteen years of age save some seven hundred who attend 

88 See pages * 229-30 for a discussion of the reasons why this form of organization was 

91 In this report, we are concerned with the education of youth from fifteen to twenty. 
Hence we shall refer to the program of the junior high schools only when necessary in order 
to understand education in the later years. 


nonpublic schools. In addition, in the high schooL 1 there are 
386 students who live in suburban areas." 8 

The community institute has 3787 full-time students: 2481 
from the city, 1171 from the twelve town and village high 
schools in American City's tributary area of some 3000 
square miles, 135 from the rest of the state. It also offers a 
wide variety of daytime and evening classes for adults, among 
whom are 3 52 youth under twenty-one, who have left full-time 

The Curriculum in Outline 

Numbers, however, are not nearly so important as what youth 
learn in these schools. When we inquire into that, the most 
striking fact which we meet is that each of the three high schools 
and the community institute endeavors to meet all of the "im- 
perative educational needs of youth.** 

Whichever school a student may attend, he will find a bal- 
anced program, designed to help him grow in occupational 
proficiency; in competence as a citizen; in satisfying relation- 
ships in family, school, and other personal associations; in health 
and physical fitness; in discriminating expenditure of money 
and of time; in enjoyable and constructive use of leisure; and 
in understanding and appreciation of his cultural heritage. To 
understand a program with so many purposes, we shall have to 
examine it more closely. 

The staff of each school first of all endeavors to know its 
students as individuals. This is fundamental to program plan- 
ning and to teaching. For while the general needs of youth are 
common to all, the specific needs of each individual are in some 

88 "Woodland Park, the populous and prosperous suburban community to the north of 
American City, maintains a high school similar in most respects to the "Washington High 
School in the city. However, youth from this district may attend one of the American City 
high schools, in order to take advantage of courses in vocational fields not offered in Wood- 
land Park High School. The suburbs to the south of American City have fever residents 
and much less wealth. Practically all their youth of high-school age attend schools in Ameri- 
can City. In each case, the district of residence pays the local district's share of cost of in- 
struction in American City. State and federal funds for public education follow the students. 


respects unique. Later we shall have more to say about guidance 
and the adjustment of instruction to individual students. 

The curriculum of each school includes four divisions of 
learning, designated as "Vocational Preparation," "Individual 
Interests," "Common Learnings," and "Health and Physical 
Education." In addition, there is a tenth-grade course on science, 
closely related to the course on "Common Learnings." The first 
two divisions are referred to as the "area of differential studies" 
since students elect their programs in these fields from a variety 
of offerings. The last two divisions and the science course are 
called the "area of common studies" since here all students fol- 
low the same general programs. Each student normally divides 
his time between these divisions, according to the schedule 
on page 244. 

The content of each of these divisions is summarized on the 
chart. Perhaps these brief statements will suffice for our present 
purpose of seeing the program as a whole. Later we shall describe 
each field in some detail. One point, however, should be under- 
lined, in order to avoid possible confusion. The work in "Vo- 
cational Preparation" may be either (1) study, practice, and 
work experience, intended to equip a youth to go directly to 
work from high school or community institute, or (2) the 
study of sciences, mathematics, foreign languages, and other 
subjects which are part of the equipment for advanced study 
in the community institute, a four-year college, or a university. 

For a student following the usual schedule, vocational 
preparation will occupy one-sixth of his school time in Grade 
X, one-third in Grades XI and XII, one-half in community 
institute. On "Common Learnings," he will spend one-third 
of his time in each year of high school, one-sixth in community 
institute. Science will occupy one-sixth of his time in Grade 
X. One-sixth of his time will be given to health and physical 
education throughout the five years and the same to indi- 
vidual interests. 


Provisions for Flexibility 

At first sight, this schedule may seem to be rigid and un- 
yielding ill-suited to the purpose of serving youth according 
to their needs. But that is by no means the case. In practice this 
curriculum is sufficiently flexible to permit almost any student 
to follow a program "tailor-made" to his needs. 

per day 
for the 








Individual Interests 

(Elected by the student, under guidance, in fields of 
avocational, cultural, or intellectual interest.) 

Vocational Preparation 

(Includes education for industrial, commercial, homemaking, 
service, and other occupations leading to employment, 
apprenticeship, or homemaking at the end of Grade XII, XIII, 
or XIV; education for technical and semiprofessional occupa- 
tions in community institute; and the study of sciences, 
Science mathematics, social studies, literature, and foreign 
languages in preparation for advanced study in 
(Methods/ community institute, college, or university. May 
principles, include a period of productive work under em- 
and facts ployment conditions, supervised by the school 
needed by staff. Related to the study of economics and indus- 

all students.) 

trial and labor relations in "Common Learnings.") 

Common Learnings 

(A continuous course for all, planned 
to help students grow in com- 
petence as citizens of the com- 
munity and the nation; in under- 
standing of economic processes and 

of their roles as producers and 

consumers; in cooperative living in family, school, and 
community; in appreciation of literature and the arts; and 
in use of the English language. Guidance of individual 
students is a chief responsibility of "Common Learnings" 

Health and Physical Education 

(Includes instruction in personal health and hygiene; health 
examinations and follow-up; games, sports, and other activi- 
ties to promote physical fitness. Related to study of com- 
munity health in "Common Learnings.") 

* Eroktn line Indicates flexibility of scheduling 

** Heavy line marks the division between "differential 

studies" (above) and "common studies" (below). 


Take first the possible adaptations in the schedule itself. Sup- 
pose a student is not ready to make even a tentative choice of an 
occupational field in tenth grade. He is not required to do so 
and may elect two courses, instead of one, in a field of avoca- 
tional, cultural, or intellectual interest. Suppose, on the other 
hand, that a twelfth-grade student needs more than two periods 
a day for machine shop practice and related training, to get 
ready for a job which is awaiting him. He may then use the 
individual interests period for additional vocational education. 

Suppose that a student has a strong interest in aeronautical 
engineering and wants to go to a university school of engineer- 
ing immediately after twelfth grade. In his vocational prepa- 
ration time, he can study physics, chemistry, and three years 
of mathematics; and he may use his individual interests time, 
if he so desires, for as many as three more courses related to his 
major interest. Or, take the case of a community institute 
student who. is already reasonably well prepared for employ- 
ment or for homemaking but wants to learn more about his- 
tory, economics, literature, or the arts. It is possible for this 
student to spend two or three periods a day on these interests, 
instead of one, with corresponding reduction in time for vo- 
cational preparation. 

More important than flexibility of scheduling is flexibility of 
class instruction. One result of the long process of cooperative 
planning is that teachers throughout the American City schools 
now endeavor to suit learning experiences within classes to the 
abilities and needs of individual students. 

Community Institute 

Before we move on to a detailed description of the program, 
we should say a few words about the community institute. 
Here is a new institution, only four years old, yet already en- 
rolling nearly 4000 students. It was established because the 
people responsible for educational planning in American City 
and in the state of Columbia came to the conclusion that a large 


proportion of youth needed free public education beyond 
the twelfth grade, chiefly to prepare them for occupations 
which require training beyond that which is possible in high 
school, and also to carry them forward in the general education 
appropriate to free men in American democracy. That these 
people judged rightly is shown by the school's enrolment. 

Why Do Students Attend 
the Community Institute? 

1. Some students want to prepare for various technical and 
semiprofessional occupations which require all the training 
that high schools can give and one or two years in addition. In 
this group, for example, are those who wish to become account- 
ants, draftsmen, laboratory technicians, dietitians, assistants in 
doctors* and dentists* offices, and managers of various businesses. 

2. Some want advanced training beyond that which can be 
offered in the years of high school in the occupations for which 
high schools provide the basic preparation. Machine shop, metal 
trades, retail selling, office management, automobile and air- 
plane mechanics, and the various building trades are examples. 
In one or two years at the community institute, a student is 
able to extend his mastery of basic operations, enlarge his knowl- 
edge of related science and mathematics, secure more prac- 
tical work experience, and advance in his understanding of 
economic processes and industrial" and labor relations. 

3. Some want to prepare for admission to professional schools 
and the last two years of technical and liberal arts colleges. 
For various reasons, they prefer to take the first two years 
of college or university work while living at home. For them, 
the community institute provides courses comparable to those 
of the first two years of the four-year colleges. 

4. Some want to round out their general education before 
entering employment or becoming homemakers. To them, the 
community institute offers a wide range of elective courses 
in science, social studies, literature, languages, psychology, home 
economics, music, dramatics, art, and handicrafts, 


5. There is yet a fifth group, composed of adults and older 
youth, mostly employed, who no longer attend school full 
time, but who wish to continue their education during their 
free hours. Their interests are wide and varied. Some spring 
from their daily work, some from their home life, some from 
their civic activities, some from their uses of leisure time, and 
some from the simple desire to "keep on growing/* Some enrol 
in the regular institute courses. Most attend evening classes 
which are organized especially for them. These classes may 
meet anywhere in the city, but they are all a part of the 
community institute program, for this is the school system's 
agency of adult education. 

Whence Come the Students 
to the Community Institute'? 

The largest number (65 percent) come from the city itself. 
But the community institute serves more than the local com- 
munity. It is the only institution of its kind in an area of some 
3000 square miles, with a population of some 170,000 people, 
excluding that of the city. Approximately one-third of its 
students come from the twelve high schools of this tributary 

A few (13J at the time of writing) come from places still 
more distant. The state department of education has arranged 
for each of the community institutes in the state to specialize 
in a few occupations, each of which, for the state as a whole, 
employs only a few beginning workers each year. The Amer- 
ican City Community Institute is the state's training center 
for the air-conditioning and refrigeration industry and for 
air transportation. It is also one of two centers each for train- 
ing in printing and baking and one of three centers for air- 
craft maintenance. 

Some of these out-of-town students commute to their homes. 
Nearly five hundred, however, live too far away for daily 
travel to and from school. Residences for students have been 


erected with state funds, and are operated by the school sys- 
tem on a nonprofit basis. Later we shall see how the institute 
staff endeavors to utilize the educational possibilities of resi- 
dential life. 

The community institute is located on some forty acres 
of ground near the center of the city, convenient to trans- 
portation from all parts of the city and its suburbs. A part 
of the cost of the land and buildings (exclusive of student 
residences) was borne by the state, the remainder by the Amer- 
ican City school district. In the next chapter, we shall explain 
the division of operating costs between district and state and 
the method whereby the district is reimbursed for the costs 
of instruction of out-of-town students. 

So much for the over-all view of youth education. Now 
let us examine the program more carefully. First we shall look 
at each of the main divisions of the curriculum "Common 
Learnings," the closely related tenth-grade course in science, 
"Health and Physical Education," "Vocational Preparation," 
and "Individual Interests" and inquire what youth learn in 
each of these fields. Then we shall describe the schools' guid- 
ance services and tell of some of the ways in which teachers 
become acquainted with their students as individuals and seek* 
to adapt the schools' programs to each individual student. 


The story has already been told of how and why this course 
was developed. 89 Now we shall review the purposes of the 
course; sketch the broad outlines of content as we find it today; 
and comment briefly on some of the methods employed in 

Purposes of the Course 

Here is a course, continuous from the beginning of Grade 
X to the end of Grade XTV, designed to provide most of the 

"See pages 234-40. 


learning experiences which, it is believed, all young people 
should have in common in order to live happily and usefully 
during the years of youth and grow into the full responsi- 
bilities 'of adult life. It is not intended to provide education 
in vocational skills and knowledge; in mathematics, the sci- 
ences, foreign languages, or other subjects required for voca- 
tional purposes or for advanced study; or in the avocational 
and intellectual fields which students may elect because of 
personal interest. Moreover, for practical reasons, the basic 
instruction in science in Grade X and instruction in health 
and physical education in all grades, although required of all 
students, are not included in the present "Common Learn- 
ings" courses. 40 

Briefly stated, the distinctive purposes of the course in "Com- 
mon Learnings" are to help all youth grow in six areas: 41 

1. Civic responsibility and competence 

2. Understanding of the operation of the economic system 
and of the human relations involved therein 

3. Family relationships 

4. Intelligent action as consumers 

* The Grade X science course, however, is now so well correlated with vf Common Learnings" 
that the two might be considered parts of a single course. 

tt Following is a more complete statement, on which the above summary is based, prepared 
by a committee of teachers of "Common Learnings." 

"Six aims may be stated, the responsibility for achieving which rests primarily, though not 
exclusively, with the teachers of "Common Learnings" classes. These are: 

1. To help all youth grow in knowledge of their community, their nation, and the world 
of nations; in understanding of the rights and duties of citizens of the American democracy; 
and in diligent and competent performance of their obligations as members of the community 
and as citizens of the state and nation. 

2. To help all youth grow in knowledge of the operations of the economic system and 
in understanding of the human relations and "problems in economic activities, particularly of 
the relations between management and employees. 

3. To help all youth grow in understanding of personal relations within the family, of 
the conditions which make for successful family life, and of the importance of the family 
in society. 

4. To help all youth grow in ability to purchase and use goods and services intelligently, 
with accurate knowledge of values received by the consumer and with understanding of the 
economic consequences of one's acts. 

5. To help all youth grow in appreciation and enjoyment of beauty in literature, art, music, 
and nature. 

6. To help all youth grow in ability to listen and read with understanding and to com- 
municate their thoughts with precision and clarity." 


5. Appreciation of beauty 

6. Proficiency in the use of language. 

To these should be added certain other purposes, which are 
not distinctive of this course alone, but which are looked 
upon as common aims for every course and teacher in the 
American City schools. Chief among these are the purposes 
to help youth grow: 

1. In ability to think rationally and in respect for truth 
arrived at by rational processes 

2. In respect for other persons and ability to work cooper- 
atively with others 

3. In insight into ethical values and principles 

4. In ability to use their time efficiently and to budget it 

5. In ability to plan their own affairs, as individuals and as 
groups, and to carry out their plans efficiently. 

It is an exceedingly large order to conduct a course which 
is directed toward so many aims of such importance and which 
extends through a period of five years. To meet this order, 
the teachers have had at their disposal an average of two pe- 
riods daily in Grades X, XI, and XII and one period daily in 
Grades XIII and XIV. With so much to be accomplished, it 
has been necessary for the teachers to plan their work with 
great care in order to keep first things first. 

One thing was decided early and has not been changed. 
This was that the present problems of youth, the needs grow- 
ing out of their daily lives as boys and girls, should have a 
place in this course no matter' how urgently other matters 
might press for time. The years of youth, said the teachers, 
are precious in themselves, and the schools should help every 
boy and girl to gain from these years all the satisfactions which 
they may bring. Moreover, many felt that practice in suc- 
cessfully meeting the problems of each stage of life is the 
surest way to develop the ability to meet the problems of 
the stages ahead. 


Another early decision was that education for civic com- 
petence should be paramount among the purposes of the course. 
Out of the war and the prewar depression, it was said, had 
come a host of difficult, complex, and exceedingly urgent, 
public problems, some domestic and some international, which 
now had to be solved through the processes of political democ- 
racy. To a degree unprecedented in history, this nation now 
requires informed and responsible citizens, diligent and profi- 
cient in doing their civic duties. As far as children and youth 
are concerned, the schools are the nation's chief agency for 
the development of these qualities of citizens. The schools must 
not fail to recognize the exigency of this need or to do all 
in their power to meet it, for the future of political democ- 
racy in this nation will depend in large part upon the effec- 
tiveness of their efforts. 42 

A third decision concerned method. Only the general pur- 
poses for the course as a whole and the major aims, areas, 
and emphases of each year's work were to be planned in advance 
for all classes. Within these limits, it was agreed, each teacher 
and class should have latitude to plan their own order of 
learning and choose the details of content. 

Moreover, student participation in planning was deemed 
essential. Only by sharing in the planning would students be 
able to grasp the relationships between the various learnings 
of the course. Integration of learning, someone pointed out, 
can occur in only one place in the mind of the learner. An 
"integrated" course prepared by teachers alone may appear 
to be only a collection of unrelated fragments to the student 
who has not had a part in planning it. 

43 The principles underlying a secondary-school program of education for civic competence 
are discussed at some length in the chapter on the Fannville Secondary School. (See pages 
75-100.) These principles are quite as applicable in the case of American City as in that of 
Fannville. It will not he necessary, therefore, to include a systematic treatment of citizenship 
education in American City. Numerous illustrations of activities in this field will, however* 
be included in the description of the "Common Learnings" course. 


The "Common Learnings" 
Course Today 

Perhaps the best way to introduce this course to the reader 
is by quoting from the latest edition of the The Student's 
Guide to Common Learnings supplied to all students at the 
time of enrolment. 43 

Tenth Grade 

" 'Common Learnings 10* is the first unit in a course that 
extends through the three years of high school and the two 
years of community institute. It meets for two periods daily, 
and is required of all tenth graders. 

"What does this title, 'Common Learnings/ mean? It means 
that this course consists of learning experiences which every- 
one needs to have, regardless of what occupation he may expect 
to follow or where he may happen to live. 

"A part of your time during the first week or two will be 
used to help you learn to feel at home in high school and to 
find out how to get around and what to do. You will be taken 
on a tour of the building to see all the school's facilities. You 
will talk about what is in store for you here, both in classes 
and in other activities. You will also visit the community 
institute to see what the school system has to offer those who 
continue beyond high school. All this will take only a few 
hours, but it may save you many costly mistakes. 

"You will study the matter of using your time efficiently. 
We all have exactly the same amount of time twenty-four 
hours a day. But we differ greatly in the ways we use our 
time and in our abilities to use it well. A little time spent now 
in studying the use of your time may save you a great deal 
of time in the long run. 

"You will take some tests tests of your speed of reading, 

48 This description is revised annually by a committee which includes both teachers of 
"Common Learnings" courses and students who have just completed the course. The "Guide" 
is also used as the material for discussion at meetings of parents of high-school students 
throughout the city. While some parents have shared in the planning which led to the 
"Common Learnings" course, it is advisable to keep all parents informed as to the nature 
of this course and the reasons which lay back of its adoption. 


of your understanding of what you read and what you hear, 
of your ability to express your thoughts orally and in writing, 
of your mathematical abilities, and of your habits of studying. 
Don't be frightened by that array of tests. For their one and 
only purpose is to find out whether you need any help in 
language or mathematics or in your study habits. If you do, 
your teachers will see that you get that help promptly. 

"In class, you will read and discuss what psychologists have 
to say that might help you to improve your own methods of 
studying, reading, and listening. You will also talk about plan- 
ning and budgeting the use of your time and practice it, too. 

"Along with these studies of your school and your use of 
time goes a third which may require eight or ten weeks. It 
is called 'American City at Work,' though it might be 'Plan- 
ning One's Work in the World.* Here you will become ac- 
quainted with what people in American City do to earn a 
living. You will visit stores, factories, offices, the new airport, 
and other places where people work. You will see motion pic- 
tures which will help you to understand the many different 
jobs that have to be done in a factory, a department store, a 
hospital, or a railroad terminal. You will listen to talks by 
employers and workers and teachers in various vocational fields. 
You will read about occupations, and find out which fields 
offer the most openings nowadays and which are overcrowded. 
You will learn about the work of the public employment serv- 
ice, the occupational research bureau, and the occupational 
planning council. 

"At the same time, with the help of your teacher, you will 
be learning more about your own abilities and aptitudes, and 
checking these against the requirements of the occupations 
in which you are interested. Perhaps you have already decided 
what occupation you want to follow; or maybe you haven't. 
This study should be helpful to you in either case. 

"Finally, you will try to fit these industries and businesses 
and other occupations together into what we call an economic 
system and see how the various parts depend on one another 


and how the system operates as a whole. You will have to 
come back to that again and again in later grades, but you 
will make a good beginning in tenth grade. 

"That is as far as e Common Learnings 10' is planned and 
scheduled in advance. As for the rest, you will be given the 
general purposes of the course and the areas within which 
you will be expected to work. Within these limits, your teacher, 
your classmates, and you will decide on the topics and prob- 
lems which you will study and the order in which you will 
take them up. 

"Now, about these purposes and areas of work for tenth 
grade. We have already told you about two of them. One 
is to help you to make the most of your years in high school; 
to make wise choices of courses and activities; to study, read, 
and listen efficiently. And the second, as we have just seen, is 
to make you acquainted with American City at work and 
to help you on your way to finding a useful place in the 
world of work. 

"A third and very important purpose of this course is to 
help you grow in knowledge of your city and in usefulness 
as a citizen. In order to be a good citizen in these times, you 
have to know a great deal about the world you are living in. 
That part of the world which you can see face to face and 
reach out and touch is American City; and here, we think, 
is the place to begin. 

"The study of American City will not be new to you. You 
have already made some studies of your neighborhood in junior 
high school. Now you will move on to the city as a whole 
and to more difficult matters. You will begin, of course, with 
the study of the city at work. What you do after that will 
be decided by your class and your teacher. 

"Here, by way of examples, are a few other studies of 
American City life which tenth-grade classes have made with 

Voluntary service organizations and what they do for the 
people of American City Agencies for youth service, child 


welfare, education, recreation, care for the aged, aid to poor, 
civic improvement, and cultural advancement. This might well 
be related to the question of use of time. Your study might re- 
sult in a decision to become a member of one of the youth 
agencies or to give some of your time regularly to service in 
some agency. 

American City at play A study of recreational facilities 
and opportunities together with needs and problems. This 
also might be related to the question of use of time and to your 
class work in physical education. 

Housing in relation to family life This study would con- 
sider such questions as: What are the most important things 
a family can do for its members in the city life of our times? 
What sort of 'housing facilities are needed in order to enable 
a family to do these things well? What other conditions? How 
well are the housing accommodations and other conditions in 
American City today suited to desirable family life? 

Community health conditions and needs Such a study 
might be a joint project of classes in "Common Learnings'* and 
classes in health. 

City planning of residential neighborhoods Such a study 
would introduce you to the work of the city planning com- 
mission. It could be closely related to the study of f anuly life 
and housing, and to the tenth-grade science course, too. 

"A fourth area is 'family life.* Do you know that your 
experiences in your home have probably had more influence 
on your personality than all the other experiences of your life? 
Too often we assume that we know how to be good members 
of families without giving the matter any thought. Indeed, 
there are many people who have spent years in getting ready 
for jobs in factories or stores and who will rush into the far 
more important and more difficult job of making a home 
without any preparation whatever. In the course in 'Common 
Learnings/ you can learn a great deal about the conditions of 
successful family life, which will help you to be a better mem- 
ber of your family, both now and later. 44 

44 In the chapter on "The Farmville Community School," there is a more complete ois- 
cussion of education in the field of family life. See pages 114-18. 


"The fifth area we call "consumer economics/ Those are big 
words, but don't let them frighten you. What we mean is 
this: Every day you are a consumer of goods and services 
of food, clothing, recreation, education, and many others. Now, 
do you know what you are getting for your money, or for 
your father's money, or for the tax money that is being spent 
on you? Are you 'getting your money's worth*? How do you 
know whether you are or not? And how can you know? How 
does one determine what is a fair price for a product or a fair 
charge for services? Does it make any difference in the long 
run whether you spend your money for product A or prod- 
uct B? Whether you buy from merchant X or merchant Y? 
These are some of the questions you encounter very quickly 
when you start studying consumers' problems as you will 
study them somewhere in the 'Common Learnings' course. 

"Sixth and last is the area of growth in ability to use the 
English language. Whatever your future career may be, you 
can have no more important assets than the ability to express 
your thoughts clearly in spoken and written English and the 
ability to understand the spoken and written words of others. 
The engineer and the physician need these abilities as well as 
the lawyer and the minister. The factory laborer needs them 
in his work and when he goes into his union meeting. The 
military man needs them in order to give or receive instructions. 
In c Common Learnings' you will be listening, reading, speak- 
ing, and writing every day, and instruction and practice in 
English will be a part of your regular work." 

Such is the plan for tenth grade. The reader to whom this 
type of course is new may ask, "What has become of the 
familiar high-school subjects in this new curriculum? What 
has happened to English language and literature, mathematics, 
and American history?" The answer is that students still learn 
to use the English language and mathematics, that they still 


read literature and study American history but the conven- 
tional labels or the accustomed setting may be missing. 

We have just seen that instruction in English language is 
one of the main areas in the first year of "Common Learnings," 
and this is true throughout the course from tenth grade to 

As for mathematics, the course of study through junior high 
school is intended to develop mastery over the processes and 
principles which everyone needs to know. If a student still 
lacks that mastery, remedial instruction is given in tenth grade, 
longer if necessary, 45 High-school mathematics proper follows 
the line of vocational interest, and the amount .of formal in- 
struction may vary from nothing to three full years of sys- 
tematic study. 

We shall tell about American history in connection with 
eleventh-grade "Common Learnings." 

Literature, in tenth grade, is particularly helpful in study- 
ing personal problems of all kinds. Students are more objec- 
tive and analytical when their own problems are presented to 
them through the medium of a story or drama. Moreover, * 
novels, biographies, dramas, and short stories are often the best 
means of giving students insight into their motives and conduct. 
Last, but not least in importance, some of the best things ever 
said on the solutions of students* personal problems were writ- 
ten by poets, novelists, and dramatists. We shall say more about 
literature later. 

Eleventh Grade 

It is not necessary to spend nearly as much time on personal 
problems this year, for most students are growing in their 
ability to meet such problems without aid. Most of the prob- 
lems on which assistance is required are handled by "Common 
Learnings" teachers through individual or small-group coun- 

45 Remedial instruction may be scheduled either in the time allowed for individual in- 
terests or in an extra period. Occasionally it is given in the time allowed for tenth-grade 
vocational preparation. 


seling. Now and then, however, it seems advisable for the 
class as a whole to consider them. When this is the case, we 
recall, such maf ters have priority. 

The work of the course in eleventh grade consists chiefly 
of education for civic competence. It begins with a continua- 
tion of the study of the city and moves out to the national 
scene* We shall again quote a description of the year's work, 
this time from an article prepared by a committee of "Com- 
mon Learnings** teachers, which appeared last year in Educa- 
tional Leadership** 

After describing the course in tenth grade, the authors 

"As far as civic education is concerned, the eleventh-grade 
course is continuous with the tenth. Here also the aims, at 
the start, are to help students to become better acquainted 
with their city and to help them to keep on growing in use- 
fulness as citizens. A good beginning was made in tenth grade, 
but there is much more to be done. 

"The practical difficulties of civic education are greater in 
cities than in small towns and rural communities. In the latter, 
all the students are able to go out and see their community 
for themselves. When they study occupations, they see them 
in action. When they study health, recreation, public services, 
community organization, and the like, they gather many of 
the pertinent facts through personal observation. Moreover, 
some of the students are able to have a junior partnership with 
adults in bringing about community improvements. 

"Such experiences are only rarely possible in high schools 
in a city of 15 0,000. .Now and then a class may make a fairly 
complete firsthand study of health, or housing, or recreation 
within a neighborhood, or have a significant part in some com- 
munity improvement project. But it would be nearly impos- 
sible to arrange such experiences for all students. There are 

46 Journal of the Department of Supervision and Curriculum Development, National Edu- 
cation Association, "Washington, D. C M September 1949. 


field trips, to be sure, for all students and some experiences 
in firsthand study of neighborhoods. But most of these are 
samples, to give the students the 'feel' of community life and 
of direct participation in it. A large part of what city students 
learn about their community must be learned indirectly, from 
reports and materials prepared by others. 

"Yet the need of the city youth to learn about his com- 
munity is greater, if that is possible, than that of students 
in smaller communities. The reasons are these. One does not 
gain an understanding of a city merely from the experience 
of living in it. The dweller in cities will rarely understand his 
community unless he deliberately sets out to do so. The city 
is too large, too complex to yield understanding of itself. Indeed, 
life in the city is more likely to hinder than aid understanding. 
It is made up of fragments. The city dweller lives in one part 
of the city, sends his children to school there, and perhaps goes 
to church there. He works in another part, and his business 
or labor associations, if he has any, are located there. He shops 
and seeks entertainment in a third part. He doesn't see the city 
whole. He doesn't understand its government. He doesn't know 
how its economic groups and interests are dependent upon 
one another, and upon still other economic conditions in the 
region, the nation, and the world. He doesn't know, and per- 
haps doesn't care, about people in the city who are less for- 
tunate than he people who live in slums, people out of work, 
people who don't have the same chance that he has because 
their color is different. 

"Even if he does know something about these things, he 
doesn't know where to take hold to do anything about them. 
And so he becomes provincial more provincial by far than 
people who live in the so-called rural provinces. 9 His interests 
center in his job, his home, and perhaps in his neighborhood, 
church, and his businessmen's service club or his local union. 
He is willing to leave the running of the city as a whole to 
somebody else of its government, to those whom he calls 


'politicians'; of its business, to a few 'business leaders*; of its 
labor organizations, to a few union officials; of its schools, to 
the board of education and the superintendent; and of its wel- 
fare services, to the community fund. 

"These things will happen, we say, to most of us city dwell- 
ers unless we make a deliberate effort to know our cities. And 
most of us are not likely to make that effort unless someone 
starts us on the way, guides us in the initial steps, and shows 
us why it is worth the doing. That is why this eleventh-grade 
course is so important. 

"This year the course moves on to the more complex aspects 
of city life. 

"Classes study the city's people, finding out who they are 
and where they live. They learn that they live together in 
neighborhoods, by races, by nationalities, and to some extent 
by family incomes. They find that there are many communities 
within the city community, and that some of these have their 
distinctive churches, clubs, fraternal and political organiza- 
tions. They observe that there are conflicts and tensions among 
various groups in the city, sometimes within their own schools. 
They see evidences of barriers, misunderstandings, and deep- 
rooted prejudices. They seek answers to questions like these: 
'What causes these barriers and prejudices, and how can they 
be removed? What keeps people apart in a city, and what brings 
them together in mutual understanding? What can we do to 
have more of the bringing together and less of the cleaving 
apart?* Often they do not stop with questions and answers, 
but move on to translate their answers into action in their own 
schools and neighborhoods. One finds a great deal of visiting 
back and forth between high schools and a great many inter- 
school projects of all kinds chiefly in order to give youth 
from various parts of the city the opportunities to become ac- 
quainted with one another through the 'unself conscious' ex- 
periences of working together. 

"Classes study the employment situation and the critical 


problems which may develop in the years just ahead when 
the reserve supply of wartime demands and wartime savings 
have been used up. They try to find out about the steps being 
taken and the plans proposed to meet those problems if they 

"Students become more familiar with the city planning 
commission and the various voluntary planning groups asso- 
ciated with it. They find that the work of these planning 
groups now embraces many areas economic development, 
employment, housing, health, recreation, education, parks, li- 
braries, traffic, transportation, land use, public utilities, and 
others. These reports furnish a wealth of materials for use by 
the classes, no matter what problems they may. be studying. 

"Students make the acquaintance of the process of planning 
as well as its products. They visit the offices of the city plan- 
ning commission and observe at least one of the planning 
committees in action. They learn that most of the people who 
do the planning give their time without pay because they be- 
lieve that planning is necessary for the welfare of the com- 
munity. And they frequently find that there is some study 
which they can make as a class project which will be of timely 

"Before a half of the year has passed, most students have a 
fairly clear idea as to what the city's main problems are. More- 
over, by this time they see that all these problems have con r 
nections. The connections reach out into national and world 
situations. They reach back into causes and movements of the 
*past. Local problems of employment are seen to be connected 
with national and world economic conditions* Local questions 
of race relations are but a segment of a national problem. And 
both sets of problems are the products of movements that 
have been operating in this nation for many decades. 

"Most of our students soon realize that they will not make 
much progress in dealing with problems that are rooted in 
the past unless they know something about the roots. They 


see that without this knowledge they will blunder along and 
make all sorts of mistakes which are quite unnecessary. They 
are ready, therefore, to spend practically all of the latter half 
of the year in studying the history of American civilization. 

"We do not attempt to teach the whole of American his- 
tory within one school year, for we do not think that anyone 
will learn the whole of history at a single reading. History is, 
rather, a lifelong study. One searches the past for light on some 
particular problems of the present, and having found light, 
he acts more intelligently. New problems arise, and he searches 
the past once more this time more efficiently, because there 
are now landmarks to guide him. Each new searching makes 
him familiar .with more landmarks, and in time he begins to 
see the past whole and to feel at home there. 

"So, when we teach the history of American civilization 
in eleventh grade, we focus it on the issues in the life of 
American people today, of which our students are most keenly 
aware. Events and movements of the past become alive, be- 
cause students are always searching for and finding their con- 
nections with the present. Most of the things students learn 
about the past become useful to them at once as aids to intel- 
ligent action in the present. These satisfactions, we hope, will 
cause our students to return to the study of history again and 
again, long after they have left full-time school and without 
anyone requiring them to do so. 4T 

"Note that we have called this the study of the history of 
American civilization not of government, or industry, or^ 
any other part of civilization. The most important things about 
a civilization are the ideas and the ideals of the people. Such 
things are often vividly expressed in literature and art. There- 
fore, we frequently use novels, biographies, dramas, and poetry 
(often with the aid of motion pictures, radio, or recordings) 
as means of insight into people's minds." 

47 The teaching of history is treated at greater length in the chapter on Farmville. See 
pages 89-97. 


Twelfth Grade 

For most of our information about the third year, we con- 
tinue to quote from the article by teachers. 

"Just as the eleventh-grade course moved to the study of 
the city in a national setting, so the twelfth-grade course moves 
to the study of the nation in a world setting. The eleventh- 
grade study of the history of American civilization has sup- 
plied a good background of information as well as a knowl- 
edge of where to go and what to do to get more information 
as needed. 

"Each class must make careful choice of areas to be studied, 
for national and international problems are many and diffi- 
cult. It is better by far to select two or three domestic prob- 
lems and the same number of the international, and to study 
these thoroughly, than to rush superficially through a large 

"During this year, students become familiar with the fore- 
most thinking about plans for maintaining our domestic eco- 
nomic system at a high level of employment and production 
the nation's number one problem just now. Their acquaintance 
with city planning helps them to understand planning on the 
national scene and the relations between local and national 

"Students also examine the plans for international organi-, 
zation, observe the progress which has been made toward 
achieving them, and study the outlook for the future. This 
is the world's number one problem just now and probably 
will be for some years to come. 

"Many classes have found the study of American history in 
eleventh grade so profitable that they have planned to use 
some time in twelfth grade to study the history of American 
foreign policy and international relations, at least from 1914 
down to the present. This has involved some study of the 
foreign policies of other countries as well, particularly of Russia, 
Great Britain, and China. Here, as with American history, the 


events and movements of tie past are selected because of their 
relevance to the affairs and issues of the present. 

"The twelfth-grade 'Common Learnings* course has another 
purpose, no less important than this expanding civic aim. That 
purpose is to give every student a wide range of opportunities 
to grow in ability to appreciate and enjoy beauty in literature, 
art, and music. Literature and the arts have been studied inci- 
dentally throughout the course, but now they become the 
matter of chief concern for perhaps as much as half the class 
time during the year. 48 . . . 

"Here is demonstrated one of the great values of a course 
of this type. By the time they reach twelfth grade, students 
have become so accustomed to look for relationships between 
various subjects that the study of literature and the arts al- 
most inevitably becomes tied up with the study of national 
and world affairs. Literature and the arts are used helpfully 
as means of understanding the peoples of other nations, as 
well as our own. Most students find this an exciting adventure, 
which opens up many new interests to them. Thanks to the 
work of the new International Agency for Education and our 
national agencies concerned with cultural relations, a con- 
stantly growing volume of materials is available, representing 
the cultures of many nations. 49 Literary works of all kinds in 
excellent translations, motion pictures (in technicolor, of 
course), prints of art works, recordings of music, and inter- 
national radio programs make it possible for American youth 
to become familiar with the life and thinking of a large part 
of the people of the world without ever leaving their own 

So much for the quotation, We add one other comment. 
Twelfth grade often brings a resurgence of personal problems, 

48 The teaching of literature and the arts in Grade XII in American City is similar in 
most important respects to that at Farxnville in the same grade. For that reason, we omit a 
description and refer the reader to pages 134-37 in the chapter on Farraville. 

* National Education Association and American Association of School Administrators, 
Educational Policies Commission. Education and the People's Peace. "Washington, IX C.: the 
Commission, 1543. p. 38-48. 


particularly questions of what to do after high school (which 
are usually handled through small-group counseling) , and new 
sets of questions relating to family liffe and to consumers' prob- 
lems. Now boys and girls are thinking less of themselves as 
sons and daughters, more of themselves in the roles of makers- 
of -families. Twelfth-grade classes often decide to include a 
unit on "Friendship, Courtship, and Marriage," similar to that 
which we saw at Farmville. 50 There are a number of teachers 
in each school who have shown unusual ability in teaching 
this unit, and their services are made available to all classes 
that want them. There are also several capable people on the 
staff of the city office, who are glad to come and help if needed. 

Community Institute 

In Grades XIII and XIV, one-sixth of a student's time is 
given to "Common Learnings/' Since civic matters become 
increasingly important as youth move toward adulthood, the 
course during these two years consists chiefly of study and 
action in the field of citizenship. 

There is continuing study of current problems and their 
historical backgrounds, divided about equally between prob- 
lems of the city and region, on the one hand, and of the nation 
and the world, on the other. A student is in the same class 
throughout the two years, so his program has continuity. 

There is also a systematic study of certain areas of the world, 
about which the American citizen of today needs to be informed 
in order to render intelligent judgment on questions of inter- 
national relations. The aim here is to develop 'well-informed 
"average citizens," rather than specialists on any area or in 
any* subject field. This means that a very careful selection 
must be made, out of the great mass of inforitiation available 
about each area, of those facts which yield the maximum under- 
standing of the civilization of that area and which are most 
relevant to the relations of the area with the United States. 

'"See pages 118-19. 


This means also that students must become familiar with sources 
of information which are available to the average citizen 
particularly series of pamphlets, periodicals on foreign affairs, 
and reports of governmental and national agencies so that 
they can keep up to date after they have left school. 

The areas which are currently being studied during the two 
years of the course are (1) the U.S.S.R. and the adjacent small 
states in Europe, (2) the British Commonwealth of Nations, 
(3) China and Eastern Asia (including Japan and the Philip- 
pines), (4) the Latin- American republics, (5) the Mediter- 
ranean area (including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Jran), (6) 
the central European area, (7) India, and (8) Southeastern 
Asia (including the East Indies). 

As to action, community institute students are often able 
to take a direct part in city planning projects. Almost every 
one of these projects requires the assembling of an immense 
amount of factual material often more than the staffs of 
the planning committees have time for. Each year now sees 
at least half a dozen institute classes engaged in gathering and 
organizing data; preparing statistical tables, charts, and maps; 
and even proposing recommendations for use by one or another 
of the planning groups. 

Other "action programs" cover such a wide range of activ- 
ities that we can mention only a few. Many classes review their 
studies of voluntary service organizations in the city, and 
many students find that now, at nineteen or twenty, they 
can enter fully into the work of these agencies. Out of such 
studies has come a large student League of "Women Voters at 
the community institute and a corresponding organization 
for men. 51 Projects -to reduce racial discriminations and prej- 
udices and to promote intercultural understanding are also 
frequently found on the schedules of institute classes. 

a Most of the members are still prospective voters, of course. But it is to be noted that the 
movement to reduce the voting age from the twenty-first to the eighteenth birthday is 
steadily growing in strength. 


Some Comments on Method 

During last summer's session of the American City teachers' 
workshop, a group of "Common Learnings" teachers prepared 
a statement which they called "Guides to the Teaching of 'Com- 
mon Learnings/ " Some excerpts from this statement will prob- 
ably serve better than anything we could say as observers to 
give the reader an idea of how this course operates in practice. 

"Pupil experiences in each major area civic competence, 
personal relationships, family life, and consumer economics, for 
example are distributed throughout the years of the course, 
instead of being concentrated wholly in short periods. Students 
mature and their experiences broaden, and with these changes 
their interests and purposes alter. Periods devoted to civic mat- 
ters recur again and again. 'Family relations* at twenty is 
quite a different matter from 'family relations* at fifteen. There 
are, to be sure, some concentrated studies. The tenth-grade 
project on 'American City at Work* and the eleventh-grade 
study of 'The History of American Civilization* are examples. 
But that does not mean that students are through with their 
study of economics in Grade X or of history in Grade XI. 
These are the introductions which enable students to deal more 
intelligently with other economic and historical matters as 
they arise. 

"Major areas and emphases are allocated to each grade. 
Teacher and students are then free to determine the particular 
experiences which should be included and the order in which 
they should occur. 

"The experiences of the yfcars of youth have intrinsic value, 
no less than those of later life. Matters of current interest 
to students have a just claim on the schedule of every class. 
For example, it may be far more important to help a student 
choose his out-of -school motion picture, radio, book, and maga- 
zine fare with discrimination than to see that he reads certain 
books in school. . . . 


"Much attention is given to improvement in the use of the 
English language. Knowledge of words, skill in oral and writ- 
ten expression, and ability to understand written and oral 
language are all essential to effective communication and indeed 
to effective thinking. In this course students are continually 
talking to people, listening to people, reading books and maga- 
zines and newspapers, writing reports and letters. They learn 
English in action. 

' "Much use is made of current printed materials. Most of the 
reading of the American people is in newspapers and periodicals, 
so students are helped to select newspapers and magazines with 
discrimination and to read them with critical judgment. Pam- 
phlets constitute a useful resource for the study of current pub- 
lic questions. And we must not omit the reports of the various 
planning groups in American City, which are used time and 
again in connection with community studies. Books are not 
neglected; but they are not the sole reading fare. . . . 

"The 'Common Learnings* class is the center for individual 
and group guidance, and the 'Common Learnings' teacher is the 
general counselor for each student in his classes. Having his 
students for two hours daily and observing them in many types 
of situations, he is in a better position to know them as individ- 
uals than any other person in the school. 

"The 'Common Learnings* class is also the local unit of gov- 
ernment in the school. It elects a representative to the school 
council. All important questions of school policy are referred 
to it for discussion and expression of opinion, sometimes for 
formal action. For such purposes, it has its own officers and 
committees. ... 

"The assignment of teachers, on the whole, is so made as to 
place the specialized training and experience of various teachers 
where they will be most useful. For example, a teacher with 
special abilities in economics and sociology would probably be 
assigned to Grade X; a teacher trained in history to Grade XI; 
a teacher of literature to Grade XII. Teachers with all-round 


qualifications in the social sciences may be assigned to any 
grade. 52 

"Assistance is now available from other teachers, to help with 
the study of subjects in which they are particularly competent. 
Teachers of various vocations assist in the study of American 
City at work. Teachers of home economics help with units on 
family living and consumer economics. Teachers of health and 
physical fitness assist with studies of community health condi- 
tions. The class advisers and teachers who have had training in 
psychology and mental hygiene come in to aid in the discus- 
sions of mental health, personal relations, and family life. 

"Systematic arrangements exist for teachers of 'Common 
Learnings' to meet together and share their experiences and 
plans. Teaching in such varied fields calls for well-balanced 
preparation on the part of the teacher. 68 Continuous experience 
in working with other teachers can often supply the balance 
which may be lacking in the teacher's formal education. It is 
now regular practice for all the teachers of 'Common Learnings* 
in each school to meet together weekly for a period of coopera- 
tive planning. At longer intervals, all the 'Common Learnings 5 
teachers of the city meet for sessions of what they call the *year- 
round workshop.' During the school year, the teachers usually 

88 Among the questions debated, when the "Common Learnings" course was being planned, 
were these: Should one teacher carry a class during both periods for a year? Should two 
teachers, with somewhat different training and interests, have two sections in adjacent rooms 
and interchange a portion of the time, in order to utilize the special competences of each 
teacher? Or, should one teacher be responsible for the group, but receive assistance from 
other teachers, who would come in for short periods to help on special problems? No final 
answer was reached. Teachers generally favored the third suggestion but recognized the 
administrative difficulties in such an "on-call" plan. They saw also that this plan would 
increase costs substantially. As between the first two the decision was left to be made as 
seemed best in the individual school. In practice, the first alternative has been the one most 
generally followed. However, as additional funds have been made available, there has been 
a steady increase in the use of other teachers for brief periods. 

"When the course was first started, teachers had been somewhat hesitant to take the 
responsibility for teaching in such a variety of fields as those encompassed within any year 
of "Common Learnings/' After the first year's trial, however, most teachers reported that the 
experience had been exhilarating. They had learned along with their pupils. Moreover, many 
reported that, in their judgment, pupils seemed to leant more readily in classes in which 
they could sense that the teachers were learning. 


assemble by grades. But at the end and the beginning of each 
year, the teachers of all grades meet together, because continuity 
of learning from year to year is no less important than sequences 
within each year/' 


The need of all youth to understand the methods of science, 
the influence of science on human life, and the main scientific 
facts concerning the nature of the world and of man was one 
of the ten "imperative educational needs of youth," which be- 
came the groundwork of the curriculum in the American City 
secondary schools. In order to meet this need, a basic course 
in science is a required part of the program of all tenth-grade 

The purposes and content of the science course in American 
City are strikingly similar to those of the course on "The 
Scientific View of the World and of Man" which is offered in 
the Farmville Secondary School. Indeed, the two courses have 
so much in common that it would hardly be profitable to give 
a separate description of the American City course. The reader 
is, therefore, referred to the section on science in the chapter 
on Farmville. 65 

A chief aim in both courses is to help students understand the 
social significance of science. In Farmville, the social applica- 
tions were -naturally made to life in rural communities. In 
American City, comparable attention is given to the effects of 
science on urban life and on industry. Particular stress is placed 
on the possibilities for improving health, housing, transporta- 
tion, and home and neighborhood life through the application 
of scientific knowledge to the planning and development of 

04 We have already noted the reasons which led to the separation of the course in science 
from the course in "Common Learnings," and also the fact that the two courses are planned 
and conducted in close relationship with one another. 

68 See pages 130-33. 



The schools of American City, from nursery school through 
the community institute, seek to promote the health of children 
and youth and to help them keep physically fit. This concern 
for health and physical education is not new. It received a pow- 
erful impetus at the time of the first World War, when a dis- 
tressingly high proportion of young men were found to be 
physically unfit for military service. In the years between the 
wars, the schools had developed a program of health services, 
health instruction, and physical education which compared fa- 
vorably with the best practices of those times. Yet, when the 
second World War came, American City's educators faced the 
sobering facts that over 20 percent of the young men who had 
recently gone out from their schools were rejected by the armed 
forces because of physical deficiencies or disease, and that in 
many cases these defects could have been prevented or reme- 
died during the school years. 

They therefore set themselves with renewed determination 
to put into effect a program which would raise the level of health 
and physical fitness throughout the schools. It would take too 
long to tell of all the details of this program. We shall there- 
fore direct our attention to those phases of the program which 
show the most marked variations from practices ordinarily pre- 
vailing in good secondary schools just prior to the beginning 
of the second World War. 

We shall mention six features which are particularly note- 
worthy three relating primarily to health, three to physical 
education. If space were unlimited, the number could be multi- 
plied several times. 

1. Thorough and complete health examinations lead at once 
to effective follow-up with students and their parents, to indi- 
vidualized programs of health instruction, and (when needed) 
to plans for correction of defects or treatment of disease. 

There were periodic health examinations in American City 


high schools in prewar days, and no one would deny their value. 
But something was lacking otherwise the proportion of young 
men rejected for military service would have been much lower. 
As the health staff of the American City schools studied these 
matters, they agreed on two points. 

First, they said, health examinations should be thorough and 
complete. If a choice had to be made between frequent but hur- 
ried examinations and thorough examinations at longer inter- 
vals, the latter were greatly to be preferred. Now every pupil 
receives a complete examination once every three years while 
in school and again just prior to leaving full-time school. That 
is the minimum. Pupils with serious defects and students who 
suffer severe illnesses are examined more frequently. 

Second and this point cannot be stressed too strongly it 
was agreed that much more should be done to assure prompt and 
effective follow-up of all examinations which revealed need for 
corrective or remedial treatment. Several important steps have 
been taken to accomplish this end. 

Health examinations are now made by the pupiFs family 
physician. The schools have never given remedial treatment 
save in emergency cases. Treatment has always been a matter 
for the parents to arrange with the family physician. Therefore, 
it was said, let the family physician make the examination. 
Then it would be more likely that prompt and effective treat- 
ment would follow the examination. This proposal was dis- 
cussed with the county medical society. The physicians agreed 
to a fixed fee for examining pupils, and the board of education 
agreed to pay this fee. A committee representing the medical 
society and the school health staff worked out the specifications 
for a standard examination and the forms on which the results 
of the examination were to be reported. If a pupil has no family 
physician, his parents are asked to choose one from a list pre- 
pared by the county medical society. If neither the parents 
nor the pupil has a preference, the school officials "assign the 
pupil to one of the physicians? on the list. 


One copy of the health examination report is kept by the 
examining physician. Another copy goes to the parents. A third 
copy goes to the "Common Learnings" teacher, who, we recall, 
is also the high-school student's counselor. This copy becomes 
a part of the pupil's personal history record. It is used in guid- 
ance and program planning, and becomes the foundation for 
the pupil's program in health instruction and physical educa- 
tion. The fourth copy goes to the office of the school physician. 

One of the main duties of the school physician (or medical 
adviser, as he is now called) is to study the reports of health ex- 
aminations and to select those cases in which remedial or correc- 
tive treatment is indicated. He goes over the records of all such 
cases with the school nurse (now known as the health coun- 
selor), who is responsible for the person-to-person follow-up 
with pupils and their parents. 

Most pupils require little attention from the nurse. Treat- 
ment by the family physician usually follows the examination as 
a matter of course, and the nurse then has only to keep informed 
about the treatment and to record its progress and outcome. 
But there are always some cases needing treatment, in which 
nothing is done. Then the nurse has to talk with the pupil, 
visit the parents sometimes repeatedly and perhaps arrange 
for treatment at one of the city's several low-cost clinics. 
Neither the nurse nor the physician is satisfied until he knows 
that the best possible treatment has been given. 

Teachers of health and of physical education also study the 
results of the health examinations of pupils in their classes and 
endeavor to build for classes and for individuals programs which 
will test meet the needs revealed by the examinations. 

Arrangements with family dentists for dental examinations 
are similar to those for health examinations. A dentist on the 
central office staff serves as dental adviser to the schools. His 
duties are comparable to those of the medical adviser. 

Teachers of "Common Learnings" classes (who are given 
special instruction by the medical adviser and his staff) conduct 


annual screening examinations o vision and hearing. When 
treatment is needed, the follow-up is handled by the medical 
adviser and nurse in the manner indicated above. 

2. The health of students has become a chief concern of 
the entire school, and health-promoting activities are found 
throughout the school program. 

As American City's educators studied the health needs of 
their students and the ways in which the schools might meet 
these needs, they became convinced that a pupil's health is the 
result of the way he lives twenty-four hours a day. Some of 
these hours are lived in the school. They are subject to the 
school's control, and the school must take full responsibility for 
their effects upon the health of pupils. 

It was agreed, therefore, that each school must provide a 
healthful school environment and healthful living throughout 
the school day. This clearly is a responsibility which must be 
shared by every teacher, by the school administrative officers, 
and by the custodial staff. There was further agreement that 
information about healthful living must be taught at many 
times and places in the school's program. The desired results 
can hardly be secured if health instruction is limited to a few 
separate courses. 

These views are now generally accepted by teachers in' Amer- 
ican City schools. Practically every member of the staff 
realizes that he has a part in safeguarding and improving the 
health of the students in his classes. In home economics classes, 
one finds instruction about nutrition, home hygiene, health of 
young children, home care of the sick, and other health aspects 
of home life. Studies of community health conditions and prob- 
lems are regularly included in "Common Learnings" classes. 
The courses in basic science, biology, and chemistry lay great 
emphasis upon the understanding of health and show how 
science has advanced man's ability to prevent and cure disease 
and to create a healthful environment. In vocational courses, 
attention is given to provisions for health and safety as im- 


portant factors in working conditions. A large part o the in- 
struction in physical education is directed toward the purpose 
of promoting good health. 

In addition, time is allowed throughout the secondary-school 
program for class and individual instruction on matters of 
health not covered elsewhere in the school program. Classrooms 
and laboratories for health instruction are now standard equip- 
ment in each of the three high schools. The subjectmatter for 
health instruction is determined in part by studying the health 
examination records and in part by careful observation of each 
child and, as far as possible, of his home and neighborhood 

The school buildings and equipment have been carefully 
planned to contribute to the health of the school. Lighting, 
heating, ventilation, seating in the classroom, drinking foun- 
tains, toilets and showers, playground space, and laboratory and 
play equipment even the color of the walls are factors in 
the health program. The care of these facilities is supervised by 
the health coordinator, of whom we shall say more in a moment. 
The thorough understanding by the custodial staff of the rela- 
tion of the physical environment to health, and the recognition 
of their responsibility in this matter, are largely the result of 
her good work. 

The key person to the health program in each school is the 
health coordinator, a member of the facility responsible to the 
principal and to the school medical adviser. It is her respon- 
sibility to educate all teachers, through various methods of 
in-service training, regarding their share in the school's health 
program and to integrate the various health activities of the 
school. This she does largely through the school health coordi- 
nating committee, composed of representatives of teachers of 
health, physical 'education, "Common Learnings," home eco- 
nomics, science, and vocational education, and one person each 
from the school-lunch staff and the custodial staff. 

The American City schools are concerned with the health of 


teachers and other school personnel, as well as of pupils. Ar- 
rangements have therefore been made for health examinations 
for all staff members at the time of their employment and 
periodically thereafter. 

3* The activities of schools in behalf of students 9 health are 
extended to homes, to neighborhoods, and to the city as a whole. 

The health of children and youth, as we have said, depends 
not only on their hours in school, but upon the way they live 
away from school in their homes, in their neighborhoods, and 
at work. If the schools neglect the home and community fac- 
tors, these out-of -school influences may cancel out many of 
the beneficial effects of the rest of the school program. While 
the schools cannot directly control out-of -school conditions, 
they can influence them by educating pupils and their parents, 
by cooperating with physicians and community health agencies, 
and by working with employers to assure safe and healthful 
working conditions. 

We have already noted how the school nurse or health coun- 
selor visits the homes of students who need remedial or correc- 
tive treatment and endeavors to inform the parents and enlist 
their cooperation in improving their child's health. In addition 
to such work with individual parents, the schools have de- 
veloped an extensive program of group education for parents 
through cooperation with the parent-teacher associations. In 
this program, the health of children and youth holds a fore- 
most place. Ten years ago, to be sure, it would hardly have been 
possible to interest large numbers of parents in the health of 
adolescents. But here one can see the effects of wartime experi- 
ence. The unsatisfactory physical condition of one-fourth of 
the nation's young men was a startling fact that became widely 
known during the war, and it made people think. Parents and 
teachers no longer assume that young people will automatically 
grow up physically fit for national service and for happy and 
efficient personal living. Many parents nowadays are willing to 
give some time to studying how they can better promote their 
children's health. 


Then, too, educators have improved their methods of work- 
yig with parents. Their experience with large programs of adult 
education has taught them that adults can contribute valuable 
ideas and significant experiences. They have therefore taken 
parents into partnership in planning parent education pro- 
grams. This change in attitude on the part of educators has 
been an important factor in developing the interest and par- 
ticipation of parents. Parents now frequently take the lead in 
organizing courses to learn more about physical and mental 
health. Staff and money for the conduct of such courses are 
provided by the schools. 

Neighborhood and community conditions also affect the 
health of children, favorably or adversely. These matters are 
regularly studied in the schools, especially in courses on "Com- 
mon Learnings" and health. But the schools do more. Unfavor- 
able conditions of public health and sanitation can be improved 
only by public action. The schools are encouraging such action 
through neighborhood health committees, each composed of 
parents, physicians, teachers, and other interested citizens living 
within an area served by an elementary school. The high schools, 
instead of setting up separate committees on community health, 
work through these neighborhood committees, and someone 
from the health staff of each high school is a member of each 
of the neighborhood committees. This kind of service is a regular 
part of the professional duties of the staff and is counted as 
part of the teaching load. 

Organized education is not the only public agency concerned 
with health. The board of education and the city board of health 
work in cooperation, based on a clear understanding of their 
respective duties and authorities. The schools also work with 
the county medical society, clinics, and other health and wel- 
fare agencies, in all measures which these agencies take to im- 
prove the health of children and youth. 

Physical education is an indispensable part of the health pro- 
gram of the American City schools, but it also has other pur- 


poses and values. It is a means of developing a variety of 
recreational interests and skills, of providing a wealth of 
powerfully motivated socializing experiences, and of building 
desirable attitudes of teamwork, sportsmanship, and respect 
for other persons. 50 

4. In the American City high schools and in the community 
institute, each student follows a program of physical condi- 
tioning based on the results of his health examination and on 
information gained by the physical education teacher from 
other tests and from observation. This program is composed 
largely of group activities, yet it is made to suit the individual. 
Each student has his own schedule of activities, designed to de- 
velop strength, endurance, mastery of body mechanics, skills 
of physical performance, and habits of exercise conducive to 
continuing health and fitness, all according to his own par- 
ticular needs. Enough time is taken at the beginning of each 
year for the physical education teacher to discuss each student's 
program with that student so that the student may know why 
he is following this particular conditioning program and what 
he may expect in the way of outcomes. Teacher and student 
together set up certain standards of attainment, and each stu- 
dent is encouraged to test his own progress toward these stand- 
ards. In practically every case, the basic conditioning program 
includes swimming and some form of dancing. 

5. Beyond his physical conditioning program, each student 
has an area of free choice of physical activities. In tenth grade, 
the selection is preceded by several months of "orientation," 
in which the student is introduced to a wide variety of games, 
sports, and other physical activities and is given instruction in 
their basic skills. This orientation period is intended to help the 
student broaden his interests, lest his choices be made from too' 
restricted a list. Thereafter the staff allows students to follow 

38 The recreational aspects of physical education have already been treated at some length 
in the chapter on Farmville. See pages 119-26. The discussion o physical education in this 
chapter 'will, therefore, be briefer than that of other aspects of health. 


their own interests, while the teachers give their attention to 
instructing students in the activities of their choice, to the end 
that everyone may be able to do well whatever he chooses 
to do. 

In this area of elective physical activities, the schools stress 
competitive sports but in quite an unconventional and strik- 
ing fashion. These sports were under vigorous attack in some 
quarters during the 193 O's, but the staff of the American City 
schools, after careful consideration, concluded that no motiva- 
tion for the development of good health and rugged physical 
condition could be found that would approximate that pro- 
vided by competitive athletics* 

The competitive athletic program in the American City 
schools, however, is so different from that which prevailed ten 
or twenty years ago, that the old system would hardly be 
recognized in its new guise. 

In the first place, the sports program has been greatly ex- 
panded and varied. Competition between the schools and be- 
tween teams within the schools now covers at least a half dozen 
sports in addition to the old quartet of standbys football, 
basketball, baseball, and track. The new sports that have been 
added include many of the games which can be played in 
adult life and by small groups, such as tennis, golf, bowling, and 
water sports. 

Another profound difference between the present program 
and that of a generation ago is the composition and organization 
of teams. There is an extensive program of intramural athletics 
within each school, but the teachers in the American City high 
schools frankly admit that they have not yet found a way to 
make competition within the school develop the same degree 
of enthusiasm and interest as competition between schools. 
Therefore, in addition to the inclusive intramural program, 
there is an extensive interschool competitive program in a wide 
variety of sports. 

But even this interschool competition is greatly different from 


that of an earlier day. For instance, there are ordinarily from 
ten to a dozen school football teams, each representing one 
school. These are not listed as the first team, the second team, 
and so on. All are of approximately equal ability. They play 
each other on equal terms within the school, and each of the 
teams engages in interscholastic competition. Thus, in any par- 
ticular sport, such as football, the objective of Lincoln High 
School, for instance, is to put a larger number of excellent 
teams on the field for interscholastic competition than its rival 
schools can, due regard being had for differences in the size of 
the student body. Thus, when Lincoln High School plays Jeffer- 
son High School in football during the week of October 9-16, 
there are usually ten different pairs of teams playing against 
one another* The school which has the most winning teams 
is the winner of the week's competition. The result of this 
arrangement, of course, is that practically any boy, who is 
reasonably fit physically and who is willing to submit himself 
to the rather strict regime of training and practice, can play 
football for his school. The winning of a victory for the school - 
involves not the selection of a mere handful of highly superior 
players, but the organization of a large number of teams of 
good players and the allocation of the superior players to the 
teams in such a manner as to make the total effectiveness of the 
school's teams as great as possible. Similar plans are followed 
for other sports. 

Although the physical education classes are separately or- 
ganized for boys and girls, in tha*e games where mixed par- 
ticipation by both boys and girls is suitable in tennis, golf, 
and bowling, for instance there are teams of boys, teams of 
girls, and mixed teams. 

The net effect of these changes has been to retain competitive 
spirit and at the same time spread participation very widely 
throughout the student body. The idea of eleven or fifteen boys 
playing while 3000 others observe them would today be re- 


garded with amused surprise by the students of American City. 

6. The schools endeavor to extend physical education out- 
ward into the community and onward into the yean of adult 

Each high-school building is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., 
and its gymnasiums, swimming pools, courts, and playgrounds 
are available for use by community groups at all times when 
they are not employed by the regular students. Each high school 
has thus become a community recreation center. The city recrea- 
tion commission and the board of education have worked to- 
gether very closely in recent years; they administer these com- 
munity activities jointly; and they have a number of joint com- 
mittees. It appears likely that in time it will be wise to combine 
the two in a single administration. 

In addition, the schools carry physical education and recrea- 
tional activities into neighborhoods through the services of 
their older students. Each year a number of the boys and girls 
in Grade XII and the community institute are trained as 
leaders in neighborhood recreational programs. As soon as their 
preliminary training is completed, they organize and supervise 
block and neighborhood recreational programs, in games that 
can be played on vacant lots, in back yards, and on "dead-end" 
streets sof tball, volleyball, darts, horseshoes, badminton, and 
the like. All this, of course, is a part of their regular school pro- 
gram of physical education. It has been found' that many of 
these youth continue their interest in neighborhood recreation 
after they leave school and voluntarily organize and lead ac- 
tivities in the areas around their own homes. 

One-sixth of a student's time is scheduled for activities in 
health and physical education throughout high school and com- 
munity institute. The amount of time and the hours may 
vary from day to day and from season to season, for the pro- 
gram is purposely flexible so that it may be adapted to the 
interests and needs of individuals. 



There are 7500 boys and girls in the high schools of Ameri- 
can City and 3800 more in the community institute 11,300 
in all. There are 60,000 workers in American City ** employed 
in hundreds of occupations ranging all the way from manual 
tasks requiring a single skill to the highly skilled professions. 
The schools of American City have undertaken to equip the 
great majority of youth with the skills and knowledge needed 
for successful entry into the work life of the city. The schools 
have undertaken to carry the remainder those whose occu- 
pations require advanced training along the road of prepara- 
tion through high school or, if they wish, through the second 
year of college. 

This is an enojrmous task, but it was assumed deliberately and 
with full knowledge of its dimensions and difficulties. It was 
no accident that preparation to earn a living in a useful occupa- 
tion stood first on the commission on postwar education's list 
of "imperative educational needs of youth." 

How People Are Employed 
in American City 

First, let us look at some facts about what people do to earn 
a living. 58 At present, 74 percent of the workers of American 
City are thus engaged: in manufacturing, 34 percent; trade 
and finance, 25 percent; transportation, 6 percent; build- 
ing and construction, 6 percent; communications, 1J4 per- 
cent; and utilities, 1% percent. Twelve percent are engaged 
in personal service of various kinds: domestic, hotel, restaurant, 
laundry, cleaning, barbering, beautician, amusement, and the 
like. The remaining 14 percent are employed as follows: in gov- 
ernment, 4 percent; and the professional fields, such as educa- 
tion, medicine, law, and engineering, 10 percent. 

67 Including the self-employed, but not including homemakers. 

08 The reader "will recall that these facts were supplied by the executive director o the 
city planning commission, who in turn got them from the commission's bureau of occupa- 
tional research. 


Approaching the same matter from the point of view of 
types of work which people perform, we find that 33 percent 
of the workers are employed at jobs below the skilled level in 
manufacturing, transportation, building and construction, com- 
municatiqps, and utilities. Fifteen percent are skilled craftsmen 
or foremen in the same fields, positions which are usually at- 
tained only through years of experience. Twenty-four percent 
are clerical and office workers in all fields and salespeople in 
retail and wholesale trade. These positions vary greatly in the 
skills required, i>ut most of them have to be entered nea& the 
bottom of the ladder. The same might be said of positions in 
the various forms of personal service which employ 12 percent. 
Ten percent are professional and semiprofessional people. Six 
percent are proprietors, managers, and officials. 

Educators need more than a "still" picture of employment 
conditions. They need a continuous moving picture one which 
will reveal changes and trends and will help them to forecast 
what the situation will be when youth now in school are ready 
for work. These studies of trends are supplied regularly by the 
bureau of occupational research. 59 It would require a great 
deal of space to reproduce them, but perhaps we can summarize 
the main points in a paragraph or two. 

The first two years after the war were too unstable to yield 
anything in the way of trends. But from the end of the second 
year down to the present several movements may be noted. 
The number of workers employed in manufacturing and me- 
chanical fields has dropped slowly but steadily, partly because 
of the introduction of labor-saving machinery, partly because 
the demand for manufactured goods has declined from its 
postwar peak. There has been a decline in employment in build- 
ing, too. The construction of high- and medium-priced housing 
and commercial plants rocketed upward after the war and was 
at an exceptionally high point three years ago. Now the demand 
for these types of buildings is tapering off . A new upward trend 

** A bureau of the city planning commission. See page 317 for further information. 


is expected, however, as soon as construction of greatly needed 
low-cost housing gets under way on a large scale. In all other 
fields (trade and finance, the professions, personal services, 
transportation, and government) , the general trends during the 
last three years have been upward slight but discejnible. 

Turning to types of work, we find a decline in the number of 
employees below the skilled level in industry and building. 
The number of skilled workers has increased slightly, however. 
Machines replace repetitive workers but require skilled workers 
to keep them operating. The trend is also upward in the cases 
of clerical and office workers, salespeople in wholesale and retail 
trades, personal service occupations, and most of the professions 
foremost of all, education. The number of proprietors and 
managers stands unchanged. 

One thing has been clear for some time. Under present condi- 
tions, the great majority of young' people will have to enter 
employment through beginners' jobs that require only a few 
skills and work their way up, often slowly, to the relatively 
small number of skilled supervisory and managerial positions. 
The professional and semiprofessional fields are an exception, 
but these require years of special training and altogether em- 
ploy only one in ten. There are other exceptions in some phases 
of trade and finance, in a few of the service occupations, and 
wherever a new industry (such as radio, television, or air trans- 
portation) develops rapidly. To the individuals affected, these 
exceptions are of great importance, but their total is not large 
not more than another 10 percent. For four out of five, it is 
safe to say, the first job will be an unskilled or semiskilled be- 
ginner's job, and for most of these advancement will come 

Why, then, some have asked, should the schools do more than 
offer high-school training for beginners' jobs to the great ma- 
jority, add a small technical school for the few semiprofessional 
workers, and prepare the professional candidates for university? 
How justify the expenditure of public funds to provide youth 


with more occupational training than they will need on their 
first jobs? 60 

These questions were raised many times while the American 
City Board of Education, the commission on postwar educa- 
tion, and the citizens' advisory council were planning what 
kind of education and how much education the schools should 
provide for youth. When these bodies decided, as we know 
they did, to establish a free public institution beyond high 
school providing advanced vocational education in many fields, 
the argument which carried most weight was a very simple one. 

The public schools, it was said, exist primarily to help boys 
and girls, young men and young women, develop their full 
capacities not merely to supply industry and business with 
workers for beginners' jobs. It now seems advisable to require 
all youth to attend school until the eighteenth birthday, be- 
cause, under modern conditions, twelve years seems to be the 
shortest period in which the schools can provide the minimum 
education needed by youth. But if a youth already equipped to 
take a beginner's job wishes to continue his education beyond 
twelfth grade, he should have the opportunity to do so, even 
though he develops a surplus of skills and knowledge which are 
not immediately marketable. The free worker in a free society, 
it was asserted, should have the right to acquire a reserve stock 
of skills and knowledge which may enable him to advance more 
rapidly and free him from dependenceupon a single type of job. 

A second conclusion seems warranted, for American City at 
least. The proportion of workers employed at repetitive work 
in factories and offices and at other unskilled work is steadily 
declining. Machines are taking their places. On the other hand, 
an increasing proportion of the labor force is employed at 
work in which personal relations are important the professions 
and semiprofessions, retail trade, government, and various forms 

* Sixty-four percent of American City youth continue beyond high school. It is not likely 
that more than 20 percent of the youth population can enter occupations at the pro- 
fessional, semiprofessional, technical) or skilled levels. 


of personal service. This trend has been observed by educators, 
and the programs of the schools have been adjusted accordingly. 

What the Worker 
Needs To Know 

The commission on postwar education devoted much time 
and thought to the question: What is adequate preparation for 
earning a living? One of its committees, previously mentioned, 61 
prepared a report which showed that the well-prepared worker 
should learn far more than the skills and knowledge of his occu- 
pation. Some portions of this report carried such weight that 
they are worth quoting. 

"Manufacturing, trade, transportation, and construction," 
said the committee, "are significant for educational planning 
for two reasons: first, because they employ 70 percent of the 
workers in American City and presumably will employ about 
that proportion of American City youth; and second, because 
they are accompanied by conditions which profoundly affect 
the employment and training of youth. We turn now to examine 
these conditions." 

Large-scale enterprise Industry, business, and transporta- 
tion, in the main, are conducted on a large scale. Most people 
engaged in these fields work for corporations manufacturing 
concerns, banks, railroads, air lines, truck lines, transit com- 
panies, broadcasting companies, large newspapers, large hotels, 
large department stores, chain markets, chain drug stores, chain 
restaurants, chain auto service stations, chain motion picture 
theaters rather than for individual proprietors. The propor- 
tion of owner-proprieters of small shops and stores has steadily 
declined over the past four decades. The young worker who 
enters employment in American City should b familiar with 
the organization and operation of large-scale enterprise. 

Employers 9 and employees 9 organizations Conditions of 
work in American City, aside from those phases controlled by 
government agencies, are determined largely by organizations. 

81 See page 225. THis committee was composed of representatives from employers' and em- 
ployees* organizations and other public agencies concerned as well as the schools. 


Employers are organized in various trade associations manu- 
facturers, retail merchants, hotel and restaurant operators, 
builders, and many others. Employees are organized in various 
unions. Most of the workers in industry, transportation, and 
construction are union members. Many of those in trade are 
also. In personal service and professional fields, the influence of 
organization is smaller, but it is growing. The conditions under 
which youth may enter employment, the requirements of train- 
ing, the provisions for seniority and advancement of workers, 
and many similar matters are largely the results of agreements 
between the organizations of employers and of employees. There 
are requirements of union membership to work in some plants. 
There are requirements of apprenticeship training to enter some 
occupations. To the youth entering employment in American 
City, a knowledge of employers' and employees* organizations 
and their ways of working is no less important than a knowledge 
of his trade. These organizations can act to hinder youth or to 
help them. They can close the doors of work in die faces of 
young people, or they can open those doors. A study of their 
operation should have a place in the occupational training pro- 

Employment practices As business enterprises become 
larger and more highly organized, employment becomes in- 
creasingly impersonal. Few now are the jobs in this city in which 
the young worker is personally known by the proprietor-em- 
ployer. In most cases, the employer is a corporation, and the job 
is secured either through the personnel office of the plant or 
store, the public employment service, or a union. Usually the 
employee works under a foreman, supervisor, or manager, who 
is himself under the authority of someone higher in the cor- 
porate hierarchy. ' 

The committee was apparently uncertain whether, from the 
standpoint of education, this condition was good or bad. It 
regarded the decline in personal relations between the pro- 
prietor-employer and the worker as a certain loss, especially in 
the cases of young people just beginning their work. On the 
other hand, it noted that several of the large-scale employers 
had established personnel departments and adopted advanced 
practices in initial selection, in training, in counseling, and in 


upgrading of workers. If such actions should become general, 
the committee said, the gains might more than outweigh the 
losses. In any event, it concluded, students should learn about 
the practices actually found in American City. 
The report continues: 

Government controls Both federal and state governments 
also have a voice in determining conditions of youth employ- 
ment. There are legal and administrative controls over mini- 
mum age for leaving school, minimum age for part-time work, 
minimum wages, maximum hours of work, and compensation 
in case of injury which must be taken into account in all edu- 
cational planning and particularly in plans for providing work 
experience for secondary-school students. Unemployment in- 
surance and old age insurance are now compulsory in most em- 
ployment. All these matters should be learned by all students as 
a part of their occupational preparations. 

Specialization of labor Large-scale enterprise and mass pro- 
duction are accompanied by high specialization of labor on 
many jobs, chiefly in manufacturing, but extending also to busi- 
ness and transportation. Most workers in factories and many 
workers in offices, stores, and maintenance shops perform a 
relatively small number of. operations a great number of times. 
Workers can be trained for most repetitive jobs after they have 
been employed and in a comparatively short time. Further- 
more, the training often requires specialized and expensive 
equipment which is not now available in our schools. Employ- 
ers and labor leaders agree that it is far more important for boys 
and girls to receive all-round training in basic processes and with 
basic tools and machines than to be trained in the specific oper- 
ations of a particular job. 

Replacement of men by machines Each advance in machine 
production results in the reduction of number of worker-hours 
per unit of product. Unless an advance is accompanied by re- 
duced hours of work or by increased total production, the 
effect is to throw men and women out of work. We believe that 
technological improvement will continue. It will be particularly 
marked in industry, but it will extend also to construction, 
transportation, communication, and office work. We who plan 
for youth education must take account of this fact. We should 


particularly note that the workers replaced by machines are 
usually those at the repetitive jobs requiring only a few opera-^ 
tional skills. 

Dependence on national and world economic conditions 
The industry, trade, finance, and transportation o American 
City are delicately adjusted parts of a national system with 
worldwide connections. Any disruption of tHe system or of any 
important part of it will be quickly reflected in local affairs. 
Both economic and educational planning must consider national 
and world conditions, as well as local. The workers in American 
City must inevitably be concerned with the relations of the 
city's trade and industry to the national and world system. If - 
they are t*o share intelligently in meeting problems that may 
arise locally because of disruptions and changes elsewhere, they 
should be equipped to do so as a part of their school training. 

Seven Purposes of 
Vocational Education 

Aided by this and other committees the commission on 
postwar, education drew up a statement of seven qualifica- 
tions of the person equipped for work in the cities. 

"I. The youth prepared to be a successful worker in any 
occupation should have mastered the basic skills of his occupa- 
tion and as much of the related scientific and technical knowl- 
edge as is possible within the limits of his abilities and the time 

"2. He should have had experience in productive work 
under conditions of regular employment (or conditions ap- 
proximating those as nearly as possible), where he can learn 
the requirements of work for production and be helped to 
develop those personal qualifications of dependability, coopera- 
tion, and resourcefulness which bulk so large as factors in 

"3. He should know the requirements for entering the 
occupation in which he is interested such as education, ap- 
prenticeship training, health and physical fitness, previous 
experience, and union membership (if required). He should 


also know how to go about getting a job through the public 
employment service, the personnel offices of employers, and 
(in some cases) the labor unions. 

"4. He should understand the functions both of manage- 
ment and of employees 3 organizations in his occupation and 
the relations between them. He should be acquainted with the 
purposes and operations of labor unions, if there are such; 
the obligations and privileges of union membership; and the 
duties and authority of union officials. He should likewise be 
familiar with the duties and authority of management par- 
ticularly foremen and supervisors. He should know, about the 
machinery for handling relations between management and 
employees about collective bargaining, seniority regula- 
tions, and the means of dealing with grievances and disputes. 
He should also be informed about the availability of credit 
unions, group hospitalization insurance, consumers 5 coopera- 
tives, and other cooperative services. 

"5. He should understand the relations of government to 
his occupation the applications of federal and state laws relat- 
ing to such matters as unemployment compensation, old age 
and survivors* insurance, employers' liability, collective bar- 
gaining, and safety provisions. 

"6. He should know how the industry, business, profession, 
or service field which he expects to enter operates as a whole 
and about its place in the life of the city. He should be familiar 
with the most reliable predictions as to the future of his occu- 
pation and with the work of local planning bodies which 
relate to his work. And he should have some understanding of 
the national and possibly the international setting of his occu- 
pation and of the general economic conditions which shape its 

"7. Finally, he should know how to use the public services 
available to him after he leaves full-time school particularly 
the services of placement, guidance, advanced vocational train- 
ing, recreation, health, and civic education." 


These have become the purposes of occupational prepara- 
tion in American City's schools, and the programs of the high 
schools and of the community institute are being fashioned 
accordingly. We say "are being fashioned" because the process 
is far from complete. To move into such a comprehensive -pro- 
gram of occupational preparation for all youth much of it 
uncharted territory is a colossal undertaking which will 
require years of experimentation and improvement. 

The Teaching Staff 

This task of preparing students for occupations enlists the 
cooperation of practically the whole school staff. 

The leadership and support of the principal is an important 
factor. American City is fortunate in having three high-school 
principals all of whom have helped to plan the present pro- 
gram and now support it firmly. They and the principal of 
the community institute have made it a point frequently to 
attend meetings of advisory committees on vocational educa- 
tion 62 and thereby to keep in touch with representatives of 
employers and labor. 

Class advisers also help. Two in each high school are respon- 
sible for seeing that vocational and "Common Learnings" 
teachers have the latest information about opportunities and 
requirements in various occupations, as it comes from the 
schools' city office of guidance and pupil personnel service. 68 
Two are responsible fof placement of students in part-time 
employment and for administration of student-aid funds. They 
make it a rule to consult the students' vocational teachers about 
all placements, whether with private employers or under the 
student-aid program, so that all work experiences may yield 
maximum educational value. There are counselors with com- 
parable duties in the community institute. 

"Common Learnings" teachers, who also serve as general ad- 

63 See pages 306-307 for a description of these committees. 
63 See page 322 for information about this office. 


visers to students in their classes, counsel students at times of 
initial choices of occupational fields and when students are 
considering changes of choice. "Common Learnings" courses 
supply information about the economic life of the city, the 
work of city planning agencies, occupational trends and out- 
looks, labor and industrial relations, and labor legislation. Such 
information tends to be general in character, since the "Com- 
mon Learnings" classes are cross-section groups. There are 
some periods, however, both in Grade XII and in the com- 
munity institute, when the usual organization of "Common 
Learnings" classes is set aside, and students meet according 
to their vocational interests. On these occasions, vocational 
teachers work with the "Common Learnings" teachers, and 
representatives of employers' and employees' organizations are 
frequently brought in for consultation. 

Teachers in health and physical fitness help with instruction 
relating to personal health, industrial hygiene, safety, and first 

However, the greater part of vocational preparation remains 
to be done by the teachers of vocational courses. It is they who 
must help the student to understand the nature of the work 
he has chosen and to plan the course that will equip him to do 
it; who must give the instruction in the skills and knowledge 
of the chosen field; and who must supervise the student on his 
work experience project. It is they who must bring all the 
general information about economic -processes, labor legisla- 
tion, and industrial and labor relations to a sharp f ocus on the 
particular occupation for which the youth is preparing. Much 
of the latter is done incidentally as questions arise in shop or 

All of these duties call for versatile teachers; and thereon 
has hung a large problem. For most of. the teachers of voca- 
tional courses are new to the American City schools. The 
enrolment in high schools has grown by more than 50 percent 
in the past five years, and the community institute is only 


four years old. Instructors were needed who, first of all, had 
had successful practical experience in the occupations which 
they were to teach. Many such people had shown good ability 
as teachers in the war production training program, and now 
were available for regular teaching positions. There were some 
people, too, who had had comparable experiences in the Army 
and Navy and in the training-within-industry program. Still 
others became available from industry, as war production 
tapered off or shut down entirely. The schools were alert for 
all such people. 

More was needed, however, than proficiency in one's occupa- 
tion. These new teachers needed a broad understanding of the 
philosophy of the educational system which they were enter- 
ing. They needed training in methods of teaching, in the psy- 
chology of learning, in methods of counseling, and in the 
understanding of adolescent youth. And they and most of 
the older teachers as well needed more education in economics, 
labor and industrial relations, and labor legislation. 

An extensive program of in-service education for teachers 
was called for; and the commission on postwar education, 
working with the teachers concerned, soon presented a plan 
to the superintendent and the board of education. Summer 
workshops, continuous conference and committee work 
through the year, and extension courses in economics and edu- 
cation, "tailor-made** for this purpose by one of the state 
institutions of higher education, have been used in combina- 
tion and to good effect. 

Education in Vocational 
Knowledge and Skills 

Assuming that all occupational preparation is aimed toward 
the seven purposes listed "earlier, we shall direct our attention, 
from this point on, to what the schools of American City are 
doing to equip youth with vocational knowledge and skills. 

Our task will be simpler if we classify these youth in terms 


of time when they leave or plan to leave full-time school. 
Three main groups may be identified, and under the first of 
these, four subgroups. 

1. Those who leave full-time school from high school (nor- 
mally at the end of twelfth grade) 

a. Those who go to work at regular employment 

b. Those who go into indentured or formal appren- 

c. Those who become homemakers 

d. Those who enlist in, the armed forces 

2. Those who continue in community institute for one or 
two years, preparing for work in one of the fields for which 
the college offers terminal preparation 

3. Those who plan to attend universities or four-year col- 
leges, many of whom attend community institute for two 

It is never possible, of course, to know with certainty in 
which group a boy or girl will eventually fall. Students are 
free to change their plans, under guidance, and many changes 
are inevitable. But at any one time these groupings will include 
practically all the American City student body. 

Vocational Training 

in High School 

1. For those who leave full-time school from high school 

The first group those who leave full-time school at the 
completion of twelfth grade or at the eighteenth birthday 
at present constitutes about 36 percent of the high-school stu- 
dents. With two exceptions, the general plans for the four 
subgroups are similar. 

The first exception is this: Those who go to work at regular 
employment, directly from high school, should, it is believed, 
include in their programs a supervised experience of productive 
work under employment conditions. 04 With rare exceptions, 

"See pages 303-306 for more complete discussion of supervised work experience under em- 
ployment conditions. This is not identical with part-time work to earn money for expenses, 
although the same work may serve both purposes. 

[294] . 

such a work experience is a required part of their program of 
occupational preparation. Usually it comes during the twelfth 
grade, when a student is likely to have his post-graduation plans 
fairly well in mind. 65 There is no prescribed length for this 
work experience. It may be a part-time job extending through 
a year or more. It may be a full-time job shared by two students. 
It may be a full-time job, held by a single student for a briefer 
period a summer job, for example. The nature and length of 
the job are worked out by the student and his vocational adviser 
with a view to giving the student the experience which will 
best serve his needs. 

For those who go from high school into apprenticeship the 
supervised work experience is considered desirable but usually 
is not required. For those who go into homemaking from high 
school, a home project program, planned and carried out under 
a teacher of home economics and continuing through a year 
or longer, is the counterpart of the work experience project. 

The second exception is that many of those who go to work 
directly from high school spend the last four to eight weeks of 
their vocational course in intensive practice of the skills of 
the particular jobs which they expect to have when they leave 
school. This intensive training is possible, of course, only when 
a student knows in advance what his job will be and when 
the school has the equipment for training. In prewar days, it 
was usually impossible to get a job until one was ready to go 
to work. But during the war, employers learned that it was 
to their advantage to anticipate employment needs and to 
pass such information on to young people through the schools. 
Many employers have continued this practice. Often the stu- 
dent's supervised work experience leads directly to a job or 
provides the intensive training needed for the first job. This 
is considered highly desirable, and is arranged whenever possible. 

65 In any case, the work experience project would not be scheduled before the student's 
sixteenth birthday. 


The program of vocational education in high school is 
planned to be comprehensive for the school system as a whole,, 
with some division of responsibilities among the three high 
schools. The high schools of American City together offer 
preparation for practically all the major occupational fields 
which youth may enter with a background of high-school 
training. Some fields, to which the annual outlet is large, are 
found in all three schools; others, with limited outlets, in only 
one school. 

Here is the list of the fields in which training (with appro- 
priate shop and laboratory equipment) is now offered: 

In all three of the high schools 6S 

Business education 

Distributive occupations (retail and wholesale 


In one high school only 

Agriculture 67 

Airplane mechanics 

Automobile mechanics 

Building trades 

Cosmetology (beauty parlor operations) 

Domestic, hotel, and restaurant occupations 68 

Electrical trades 

Machine trades 

Metal trades 

Printing trades 

high school also has a large and well-equipped general shop used for both voca- 
tional and nonvocational instruction and practice. 

91 Includes nursery operation, floriculture, landscape gardening, poultry raising, dairy fann- 
ing, and truck gardening the forms of agriculture found in the city and its suburbs. 

^The schools, the public employment service, and the occupational planning council, 
working together, have made considerable progress -in raising household, hotel, and restaurant 
service and particularly the first to the semiskilled and skilled occupational levels. The 
training in foods, clothing, child care, household care, and home management, which a girl 
receives in a three-year course, certainly entitles her to higher pay and social status than that 
formerly given to "maids" and "domestic servants." By working with various women's clubs, 
church groups, and PTA's, the agencies mentioned above have secured the cooperation of a 
large number of women employers, in the matter of personal treatment as well as wages, 
and the demand for girls with this training now exceeds the supply. The community institute 


The fields in the latter group are distributed among the three 
high schools. A student may attend the school which offers 
training in the field of his interest, regardless of his place of 


_ \ 

The course in each occupational field is continuous through- 
out the three years, and the same teachers usually carry a class 
through from Grade X to graduation. This permits an integra- 
tion of learnings which would be difficult under separate semes- 
ter or year courses. Shop or laboratory practice, related science 
arid mathematics, field trips to observe the occupation in action, 
and many of the nontechnical learnings mentioned earlier are 
all taught in the same course at the times deemed best for 
learning. Much of the work is done on individual and small- 
group schedules, thus making it possible to adapt students' 
programs to their particular interests and to adjust their 
progress to their learning abilities. 

The high schools do not attempt specialization within these 
broad fields. A basic course in machine trades or metal trades 
is considered the best .preparation which the high school can 
give for work in the manufacturing industries. So also with 
business education, distributive occupations, and the rest. For 
those who go to work from high school, the supervised work 
experience and the intensive training for a particular job at 
the end of Grade XII, both referred to above, supply as much 
specialization as seems feasible or desirable at this level. Beyond 
high school, further specialized training may be secured in 
either of three ways: through community institute, through 
evening classes for employed youth and adults, or through 
apprenticeship. High-school students of unusual ability may 

* Continued 

has recently experimented with a two-year advanced training course to prepare young women 
to be "household managers," that is, to take over full responsibility for the care and manage- 
ment of homes, including children. This is considered a semiprofessional occupation, and the 
college and employment service are attempting to establish it as such. Thus far the results 
have been encouraging. The demand is limited, however, and comes chiefly from women em- 
ployed in the professions and the higher ranks of management. The training, of course, is 
valuable in preparing young women for die management of their own homes. 


go at once to the community institute for advanced vocational 
training if they have mastered the fundamentals of the high- 
school vocational courses before the end of the twelfth grade. 

2. For those who plan education beyond the community 

We turn now to those who plan to prepare for the profes- 
sions or to complete at least four years of college. Most of 
what was said of this group at Farmville is applicable also 
in American City. 69 Each student is assigned a vocational adviser 
at the beginning of tenth grade a teacher who makes it his 
business to keep in close touch with the occupation in which 
the student is interested and with the colleges and universities 
which the student is likely to attend. Each student, in con- 
sultation with his adviser, maps out a program through twelfth 
grade which seems best fitted to his particular plans and needs; 
and the school staff endeavors to make it possible for him to 
follow that program with profit. 70 

Here, as at Farmville, every student* spends some time in 
observing the profession or other occupation of his choice, as 
it operates in the community. City students, no less than their 
rural cousins, need to understand what is required of the 
physician, the lawyer, the teacher, the engineer, or the busi- 
ness manager, and to see the possibilities for public service as 
well as private satisfaction in each of these fields. They need 
also to see how their present studies of science, mathematics, 
history, or languages are part of the essential equipment for 
their later careers and not simply courses prescribed for 
college admission. 

Each of the three* high schools offers courses in biology, 
chemistry, physics, mathematics, languages, literature, history, 

89 See pages 71-75. 

70 There are some students, of course, whose present choices do not extend beyond the 
decision to prepare for college. In planning college preparatory programs, such students are 
advised by their general counselors, the teachers of "Common Learnings." 


and other social studies. 71 The occasional individual who needs 
a preparatory course not included in high-school offerings can 
usually find such a course in the community institute and 
may enrol in it while still a student in high school. 

One principle underlined by the war experience is that 
education should be more concerned with the thorough learn- 
ing of basic principles, processes, and information, than with 
the relatively superficial "covering" of large bodies of subject- 
matter, much of which may soon be forgotten. The exacting 
demands of the professions and the postwar competition for 
admission to professional schools reenforce the need for such 
instruction. The teachers in all of the subjects mentioned 
above have been reconstructing their courses of study with 
this principle in mind. 

To provide for the students of superior ability, teachers 
in all courses endeavor to know their students as individuals, 
and to suit the program of learning to individual capacities. 
By frequent use of small group projects and individual work 
schedules, the teachers seek to keep each student's learning 
up to a level commensurate with his ability. The aim is not 
so much acceleration as enrichment of learning. Scientific 
testing of abilities and achievements has largely superseded 
the old system of comparative "grades" under which the 
rapid-learning student could easily "get by** with compara- 
tively little effort. Now each student's progress is measured 
against his own ability to learn, and success is judged in terms 
of the ratio of one's intellectual achievement to his ability 
to achieve. 

There are some students in each school who follow one of 
the trade, commercial, and homemaking courses through 
most of high school, and then decide that they want to go 
on to university or college. They are in no way disqualified, 

n ln addition to the study in these fields included in "Common Learnings.*' Although 
intended primarily for students who need them in preparation for advanced work in com- 
munity institute and beyond, these courses may be elected by any student in the time allowed 
for individual interests. 


provided their general abilities and quality of work will meet 
the admission standards. In his two years at the community 
institute, such a student will have ample opportunity to take 
the courses required for admission to the upper divisions of 
the universities. 

3. Vocational education in community institute 

The community institute, as we have seen earlier, is an 
integral part of secondary education in American City. Its cur- 
riculum is composed of courses in the same four major divi- 
sions as the curriculum of high schools: "Common Learnings," 
"Vocational Preparation," "Individual Interests," and "Health 
and Physical Education." The program of the full-time stu- 
dent normally includes work in all four fields. Here, we are 
concerned only with the program of "Vocational Preparation." 

The time devoted to vocational preparation may be used 
either to complete courses corresponding to those of the first 
two years of four-year college or university, or to prepare 
oneself for an occupation which can be entered directly from 
community institute. This report will be limited to the latter 
to terminal education at the level of the thirteenth and 
fourteenth grades. 

Within this area, we note four differences between the com- 
munity institute and the high schools: (1) In the community 
institute, more of the student's time is given to vocational 
preparation normally three hours a day or half time, although 
it may be more or less. (2) The community institute serves 
not only the city, but also the large tributary area within 
a radius of some fifty miles, and, in the cases of a few occu- 
pations, the state. (3) The community institute offers train- 
ing in a much larger number and variety of occupational 
fields than the high schools. (4) The community institute 
offers part-time education (either vocational or general) to 
youth no longer attending school full time and to adults. 


Over thirty occupational fields are now included in the 
community institute offerings of terminal vocational educa- 

All the fields found in the high schools are represented here 
metal trades, machine trades, auto mechanics, business edu- 
cation, distributive occupations, and the rest. Many students 
want advanced training beyond that available in high schools. 
Specialization within these fields is often possible in commu- 
nity institute. Here are a few examples: Within the machine 
trades field, one may specialize in refrigeration and air condi- 
tioning, which is now American City's most thriving industry 
and its chief employer. Within the metal trades field, one 
may specialize in airplane construction; within the electrical 
trades field, in radio and television; within the distributive 
occupations field, in clothing or food merchandising. 

In addition, the community institute offers training in a 
number of technical and semiprofessional occupations which 
require education beyond high school. A sampling of the cur- 
rent catalog yields these titles: architectural and mechanical 
drafting, assistants in nursery schools and play centers for 
young children, attendants in offices of physicians and den- 
tists, civil service occupations, hospital and public health as- 
sistants, laboratory technicians (biological and industrial), 
radio and television broadcasting (program planning and 
presentation) , recreational leadership, and transportation man- 

The offerings of the community institute also reflect the 
needs of the tributary area and the state. The twelve "feeder" 
high schools in the area around American City are (with the 
exception of suburban Woodland Park) village and town 
schools of the Farmville type, most of them somewhat larger 
than Farmville. All, like Farmville, offer thirteenth- and four- 
teenth-grade .training in a few of the chief occupations of 
town, village, and farm. None of them attempts to give special- 
ized training in occupations found chiefly in cities, or^to offer 


university and college courses at the junior college level. Most 
of their students who wish such education go to the American 
City Community Institute. These "feeder" schools also send 
students interested in occupations of their own communities, 
in cases in which the number of workers is too small to justify 
local training; for example, banking, floriculture, and cos- 

As for the state, the American City Community Institute 
has been selected as the state's training center for the air- 
conditioning and refrigeration industry and for air transporta- 
tion, and as one of two or three centers for aircraft maintenance, 
baking, and printing. There are similar institutions in the state 
which specialize in other fields with limited employment oppor- 
tunities, and to these go the American City youth who are 
interested in such occupations as commercial art, photography, 
lens grinding, watch repairing, journalism, and cabinet-making. 

Training varies in length. In most cases, it extends through 
the two years of the community institute. There are fields, 
however, in which the training can be given in eight, ten, or 
twelve months. Much of the training, moreover, is individu- 
alized, with each student progressing on his own schedule. When 
a student completes his vocational training before the end of 
two years, he may, if he so desires, continue his other institute 
courses in either day or evening classes. 

Admission to courses is adjusted approximately to anticipated 
opportunities for employment, always allowing for some pos- 
sible expansion of employment and for some dropouts along 
the way. The staff does not wish to oversupply the employment 
market to the extent that young people cannot secure even 
beginners' jobs. At first sight, this practice may seem inconsist- 
ent with what was said earlier about equipping youth with a 
surplus of skills beyond the needs of the beginning job. This 
is not the case. The staff is quite willing to "overeducate" the 
young worker who can get a beginner's job in the field of his 
training. It would be quite another thing, however, to train a 


large oversupply of bakers, laboratory technicians, printers, 
and cosmetologists, many of whom would then be unable to 
get even beginners 9 jobs in these fields. 

Work Experience as an Integral fart 
of Vocational Education 

Most of the students in community institute terminal 
courses include in their programs a supervised work experi- 
ence under employment conditions. 72 The administration of 
this program is no small task. Some 900 jobs of this type have 
to be located each year for Institute students and some 400 
more for high-school students even more, in fact, since some 
jobs must be rejected because of unsatisfactory working condi- 
tions. 78 Those employers, to whom this is something new, have 
to be informed as to the educational purposes of the work 
experience and the joint supervision by employer and school 
staff which is needed to accomplish these purposes. "Working 
conditions have to be investigated to see that they meet all 
requirements of laws and regulations about safety and the em- 
ployment of minors. Jobs have to be assigned to students, jointly 
by counselors and vocational teachers, so as to fit into their 
individual plans a$ helpfully as possible. And supervision must 
be provided by the vocational instructors as well as the em- 
ployers. This program is possible only because of cooperation 
on the part of most of the larger and many of the smaller 
employers, of the public employment service, and the occu- 
pational planning council. 74 

Probably the experience of the war years did more than 
anything to win the support of employers. In those years, 

''See pages 63-66 in the chapter on Farraville for further treatment of productive work 
experience in the educational program. 

78 The number of different students who work on these jobs in the course of a year is much 
larger. Last year's reports showed over 1700 community institute students and around 800 
high-school students. 

7 *See pages 326-27 for descriptions of the occupational planning council and the junior 
placement service, respectively. 


when labor was scarce, the industries and business concerns 
turned to the schools for help. Hundeds of boys and girls went 
to work on the "four-four plan" four hours in school, four 
hours at work with school supervision and credit for work. 
The results, on the whole, were highly satisfactory to employers. 
Factories found it almost as convenient to schedule four-hour 
shifts as eight-hour shifts. Retail stores found it economical 
to use students during their peak business hours. Offices requir- 
ing full-time workers found it possible to arrange for two stu- 
dents to share a single job. Many of these young workers, aided 
by class work and school supervision, grew rapidly in their 
efficiency and proved as productive, or more so, than older, 
more experienced workers. 

"When the war was over, the employers expected the school 
authorities to come to them and say: "Give us back our boys 
and girls. You don't need them now, and we want them back 
in our classrooms." Instead, to their surprise, the school officials 
said: "This work experience is a valuable part of a young per- 
son's education. We ask you to continue to employ our students 
for a part of their time. We will continue to teach them in 
school and to share their supervision with you in order to help 
them learn as much as possible from their work experience. 
And we will give them school credit if their work is done satis- 
factorily." Even from a selfish point of view, this proposal had 
many points in its favor. And when educational values to youth 
were added, there were but few employers who did not look 
upon it with favor. 

Private employment alone, however, has not supplied all the 
jobs which are needed. The schools themselves, the city plan- 
ning commission, and other public agencies have also fur- 
nished many positions. Public funds for student aid are also 
often used to serve the dual purpose of meeting the student's 
financial needs and supplying the supervised work experience. 

Later on we shall tell how the schools have been able to meet 
some of the practical difficulties of finding employment, not 


only for the 2500 students who annually need carefully planned 
and supervised work experience as a part of their vocational 
education, but also for hundreds more who need part-time work 
in order to meet their personal expenses while attending school 75 
Here we simply record the fact that, thus far, the schools have 
had remarkable success. To be sure, their success has been 
achieved in a period of relatively high general employment. 
They have not yet had to meet the test of large-scale unemploy- 
ment. But if that time should come and everyone hopes it 
may not we may feel reasonably certain that employers and 
the public at large will recognize that society has an obligation 
to its youth, no less than to its older members, and that public 
funds will be so distributed that youth may not be deprived 
of one of life's indispensable ingredients the experience of 
productive work. 

Two other matters deserve mention. American City edu- 
cators have recognized from the start that if students* work 
experiences are to have maximum educational value, they must 
be supervised by representatives of the schools as well as by 
the employers. It was agreed that the supervisor should be one 
of the students* vocational teachers. Arrangements were there- 
fore made to release vocational teachers from a part of their 
schedule of classroom and shop work in order to permit them 
to visit their students on work experience projects. 

After a year or so, these vocational "coordinators,** as they 
were called, agreed that the educational values of work experi- 
ences would be enhanced if there were definite and fairly uni- 
form understandings between employer, student employee, and 
coordinator at the beginning of each work project. They pre- 
sented this matter to the representative advisory committees 
(to be mentioned in just a moment) and received generally 
favorable responses. As a result, a committee representing em- 
ployers, organized labor, the vocational teachers, and students 
worked out a "Statement of Standard Employment Practices 

75 See .pages 325-27. 


To Be Followed in the Cooperative Work Program." With 
minor revisions from year to year, this has proved to be a most 
valuable aid. 

Representative Advisory Committees 
on Vocational Education 

This report of vocational education would not be complete 
if we did not record the great contributions made by the rep- 
resentative advisory committees in the various occupational 
fields representing employers, employees' organizations, and 
the schools. 

Advisory committees were established in some of the trades 
long before the war chiefly in the trades in which labor was 
well organized. During the war, in American City and many 
other cities, the number of advisory committees was enlarged 
to include all the important war industries. These committees 
proved so helpful one might even say indispensable that the 
school authorities determined to enlarge the number still 

At the present time, there is a city advisory committee which 
deals with vocational education in the school system as a whole. 
In addition, there are a large number of craft advisory com- 
mittees, one for each of the vocatibnal fields represented in 
high schools and one for each of sixteen additional fields in 
the community institute. 

The advisory committees are consulted on all matters of 
general policy in vocational education. They have helped to 
determine the needs for trained workers in various fields and 
to select the occupations to be included in the curriculum. They 
have advised the school staff as to the nature of the training for 
each field, the qualifications of instructors, and the equipment 
needed. They have strongly supported the work experience 
program. Indeed, without their assistance it is doubtful that 
work experience on a large scale would have been possible. 
They have helped to remove barriers to youth employment. 


In a word, they have built some strong bridges across the gap 
which once separated the schools and the world of work. 


In the process of trying to give students all the equipment 
they will need to become good citizens, workers, and members 
of families, the fact that some things should be done for the 
sheer enjoyment of doing them is often overlooked. The Ameri- 
can City schools are alert to this need and have arranged the 
program so that one-sixth of the student's time is spent in 
activities which are pursued for no reason other than that the 
student is interested in them. 

This need to develop individual interests is particularly acute 
for those whose work is of a routine character. The high-school 
counselors recognize that, unfortunate though it may be, many 
workers in routine jobs will have to find their chief enjoyments 
and satisfactions during their leisure time. They therefore try 
to help all students to use their elective periods in high school 
for the development of avocational interests which will endure 
and expand through the years of adult life. 

Except for the fact that the American City high schools 
have rather large enrolments and are, therefore, able to specialize 
the instruction somewhat, the essential characteristics of the 
program for the development of individual interests are not 
different from those that have already been described for Farm- 
ville. 78 The program is extremely broad. It includes reading; a 
wide variety of hobbies; the playing of musical instruments, 
alone or in groups; singing; painting; photography; other rep- 
resentative arts; and many handicraft activities. Student leader- 
ship in these activities is fostered, arid most of the classes are 
organized as club$ with their own student officers. 

Since the purpose of these activities is primarily avocational, 
no effort is made to develop professional artists. However, from 
time to time, young people of unusual talent have had that 

w See pages 123-2$. 


talent fostered in the American City schools, and have suc- 
ceeded as professional musicians, artists, writers, actors, and 

Students' choices of individual interest courses are not 
' restricted to leisure-time activities. A student may have a keen 
desire to study chemistry, literature, or a foreign language, quite 
apart from the needs in his prospective vocation. If so, he is 
free to pursue this interest in his elective period. Many boys 
who are preparing for college elect a year of general shop, 
because they feel that in this technical age everyone should 
know how to handle machines and tools. Hundreds of girls 
each year elect a one-year course in homemaking, offered in 
each of the high schools and the community institute, and de- 
signed especially for girls who do not take any other courses 
in homemaking; for every girl, whatever her future career may 
be, is likely to be a homemaker. Boys who plan to enlist in the 
armed forces and there are many in these days may elect 
a preinduction course which includes orientation to military 
life and training in technical skills needed in military and naval 
service. In a word, time for individual interests means exactly 
time for individual interests whatever they may be. 


The public schools of American City are committed to two 
principles, both easy to state, each enormously difficult to realize 
in practice. They are committed to the principles that all Amer- 
ican youth should have access to equal educational opportuni- 
ties and that each American youth should have access to 
educational services suited to his particular needs. Each year 
they are seeking to apply these principles to more than 11,000 
students enrolled in three high schools and the community 
institute. No one least of all, those most responsible would 
claim that the schools have fully achieved these objectives. No 
one who has had opportunity to observe the facts would deny 


that they have made great progress. In the closing pages 
of this chapter we shall report their progress under seven head- 
ings: (1) guidance services, (2) individualized programs and 
records of progress, (3) meeting the problem of money for 
personal expenses, (4) adapting schedules to individuals, (5) 
special opportunities for the gifted, (6) special services for 
the handicapped, and (7) continuing services after youth leave 
full-time school. 

1. Guidance Services 

Guidance holds the same key position in American City 
that it held in Farmville. All that has been said about guidance 
there might be repeated here that it is the art of helping 
boys and girls to make their important plans and choices in the 
light of facts about themselves and their world; that it is not 
limited to occupational choices and plans, but relates to any 
and all of the activities and problems of youth; and that it 
is not primarily the Vork of specialists, but a service by teachers 
apfeisted by specialists. Most of what has been written about 
the Farmville counselors' ways of working with students might 
be said also of counselors and teachers in American City. 77 And 
we need do no more than record the facts that guidance is con- 
tinuous from elementary grades through community institute, 
and that guidance services follow the youth who moves from 
one community to another. 

The need for providing an adequate system of guidance was 
recognized early in the process of planning for postwar schools, 
and ranked high on the list of things to be done. 78 Then came 
the question, "By whom shall guidance be rendered?" Some 
favored a large staff of specialists. Others advocated guidance 
by regular teachers. After careful consideration, the commis- 
sion on postwar education recommended that the chief respon- 
sibility should be placed upon teachers, and that specialists be 

"Seepages 40-43. 
78 See page 228. 


used only when necessary to supplement teachers. This counsel 
has prevailed. This recommendation did not stand alone, how- 
ever. With it were coupled two others: (1) that the new 
"Common Learnings" course should meet for an average of 
two periods daily, thereby giving the teachers time to become 
acquainted individually with their students;, and (2) that all 
teachers serving as general counselors should be allowed time on 
their working schedules to perform their counseling duties. The 
latter point is worth underlining. The committee which studied 
these matters estimated that the cost of adequate guidance 
services in terms of time and money would be about the same 
whether the main work of counseling were done by teachers 
or by a special staff of counselors. The decision to place the 
bulk of the load on teachers was reached because it was believed 
that such a plan would result in better guidance and not because 
it would be less expensive. 

The system of guidance which we find today is actually quite 
simple. But because it involves a division of labor among most 
of the people on the school staffs, we shall need to define the 
functions of various staff members with some care. 

Teachers of "Common Learnings" courses are responsible 
for the general counseling of all the students in their classes. 79 
Each "Common Learnings" teacher normally advises from 
fifty to sixty students. In tenth grade, these teachers spend the 
two weeks prior to the opening of the school year in individual 
conferences with students one hour or more to each student. 
Parents are asked to attend this first conference, and at least 
one of them usually does so. There is time for a leisurely talk 
with the pupil's personal history record as background and 
by the end of the hour it is usually possible to agree on the pro- 
gram which the student will follow during the first high-school 
year. Some cases call for diagnostic testing or for further 
investigation of occupational requirements and opportunities. 
In such, a case, a class adviser is called in, and these matters are 

79 Teachers of "Common Learnings" classes will frequently be referred to as "counselors." 


promptly attended to. This same teacher continues to advise 
the student throughout the tenth grade on all matters relating 
to general educational plans and personal problems. The coun- 
selor keeps the student's personal history record and receives 
and records the reports from other staff members. All com- 
munications and contacts with parents clear through the 

As soon as a student has chosen the course which he will 
follow (subject, of course, to later revision), he is assigned a 
vocational adviser. This is a teacher in the field of the student 9 s 
vocational major 80 who advises him about his work in the field 
of vocational preparation and on questions which have to 
do with getting ready for employment and finding a job. 81 If 
the student later undertakes a work experience project, it is his 
vocational adviser who arranges and supervises this. College 
preparatory students have vocational advisers who are well 
informed about college and university education and conditions 
in the various professional fields. Since a student normally takes 
only one vocational course in tenth grade, his adviser and he 
have a full yeati to work out his plans for the later grades. A 
student normally has the same vocational adviser throughout 
high school. 82 

Teachers of health and physical education, working with the 
school health officers and the teachers of "Common Learnings," 
furnish guidance in matters of health and hygiene. 

There are three men and three women on the staff of each 
high school, well-trained in counseling and school personnel 
administration, who give all their time to guidance. They are 
known as class advisers. Their duties are many, but may be 

80 The reader will recall that a 'Vocational major" may be a program preparatory to college 
or university, as well as a vocational program which may end with twelfth grade or com- 
munity institute. 

81 Or, in the case of college preparatory students, getting ready for and entering an institu- 
tion of higher education. 

83 If the student should later wish to change his vocational major, his case will be referred 
back to his counselor ("Common Learnings'* teacher), who, of course, consults with every- 
one concerned the student, his parents, and the vocational adviser. 


described in a few words by saying that they do the things which 
teachers, for one reason or another, cannot do. Each class 
adviser is responsible for general oversight and coordination 
of guidance for all of the boys or all of the girls, as the case 
may be, in a grade from 300 to 450 students for each class 
adviser. The number is far too large to permit the class adviser 
to give continuous personal attention to each student. That 
service is provided by teachers. 

The class advisers assign students to "Common Learnings" 
classes, and assign the vocational advisers. Whenever a change 
of "Common Learnings" teacher or vocational adviser seems 
advisable, they arrange the change and supervise the transition. 

Class advisers also take care of matters which require special 
services or large amounts of time. Here is a student, for example, 
whose problems call for diagnostic testing. The class adviser 
arranges for the tests and goes over the results with the student 
and his "Common Learnings" teacher. Here is a student who 
faces a difficult problem in the choice of an occupation. The 
"Common Learnings" teacher calls in the class adviser who 
arranges conferences, field trips, and reading, and confers with 
the student until a solution is reached. Here is a student who 
is experiencing difficulties in all his classes, which seem to grow- 
out of some deep-seated personal maladjustments. The class 
adviser (working, as always, with the teachers concerned) takes 
time to explore the causes and work toward a solution. If nec- 
essary, he calls in the psychiatrist from the city school office. 

The class advisers also have certain responsibilities for the 
school as a whole. Two of them (one man and one woman) are 
responsible for supplying teachers with the latest information 
about occupations and the employment situation. 88 Two more 
administer public funds for student aid and, working with the 
city junior placement service, serve as placement officers for 
the school. 8 * The other two, working with the central office 

** This information is made available through the city-school office of guidance and pupil 
personnel service. See page 291. 
"See page 326. 


of guidance and pupil personnel service, are responsible for 
the school's program of in-service education for teachers en- 
gaged in guidance. 85 

The counseling staff in any large city is inevitably beset by 
two difficulties the difficulty of knowing one's students well 
as individuals, and the difficulty of obtaining reliable informa- 
tion regarding occupational opportunities and requirements. 
Without claiming to have overcome them completely, the 
American City schools have taken some constructive steps 
toward meeting these difficulties. 

Knowing Students as Individuals 

It is not easy to know one's students well in a large city school. 
The individual is apt to be lost in the crowd. The counselor 
cannot count on the informal contacts which occur so fre- 
quently in a smaller school. He must plan and schedule occa- 
sions for becoming acquainted with his students. 

It is even more difficult to know the lives of youth away 
from school. When boys and girls leave the school building, 
they are swallowed up by the city. Counselors and teachers 
rarely see students and their parents in their homes and neigh- 
borhoods unless they plan to do so. John Sobieski lives only 
six blocks from the Lincoln High School. But when he has trav- 
elled those six blocks, he is farther removed from unplanned 
out-of -school contacts with his counselor and teachers than is 
John Roberts, who lives six miles from the Farmville Secondary 

The very factors which make it hard to know students 
individually make it imperative to know them. Many of the 
problems with which students most need help grow out of the 
fact that the school and the city are large and complex. John 
Sobieski, aged sixteen, enters the Lincoln High School. In his 
mind are some reasonable questions. Why must he go to school 
until he finishes high school? What is this course on "Common 

* Sec page 3 22. 


Learnings" and why is he required to take it? Why can't he 
just take the courses he wants to take? Why should he choose 
a field of occupational study now, when he doesn't know what 
he wants to do? How can he know what he wants to do, when 
even experienced workers often can't get jobs in the factories? 
How is he going to get a job to pay for his lunches and clothes? 
There must be people in this school who make it their 'business 
to know this boy, to help him to understand that the school is 
here to serve him, and to assist him to relate the program of 
the school to his own life and purposes. Otherwise, a large part 
of his schooling may be wasted; or, worse yet, the school itself 
may help to make him a rebel, a cynic, a sluggard, an escapist, 
or a chronic failure. 

Counselors and teachers cannot know John Sobieski, or 
Richard Gordon, or Maria Martinelli, or Samuel Goldberg, if 
they know them only in school. The homes and neighborhoods 
of these boys and girls, their parents and their playmates, are 
shaping their conduct and their attitudes no less than the school. 

Parents may be solicitous for their children's welfare and 
eager to cooperate with the school; or they may be so .occupied 
with work or so engrossed with other interests that they leave 
the children to shift for themselves. They may be strong sup- 
porters of the new school program; they may view with sus- 
picion any education that is different from their own; or they 
may be people without educational interests. They may desire 
that their children enjoy every possible advantage; or they may 
resent the compulsory attendance law which deprives them 
of a junior breadwinner. They may provide a home in which 
children find affection and security; or they may be at the 
point of disrupting their own homes. 

So also with neighborhood influences. They may be construc- 
tive, destructive, a mixture of both, or merely neutral. What- 
ever they are, they must be understood by all who endeavor 
to help boys an.d girls. 

Because it is hard to know students in American City and 


because it is necessary, the schools have provided both people 
and time for this purpose. Chiefly responsible, as we have seen, 
are the teachers of "Common Learnings." They have their 
students in classes for two hours a day throughout the year. 
They have time for personal conferences. They are able to 
see their students engage in many different types of work and 
under many different circumstances. Thus they can quickly 
become familiar with students* abilities and interests, their lim- 
itations and problems. Vocational advisers, tqo, have long and 
continuous contacts with their students. 86 A good part of a 
student's class work in vocational preparation is done under 
his vocational adviser. After the period of rudimentary train- 
ing, much of the work proceeds on small-group and individual 
schedules. Likewise, a student normally has the same teacher 
of health and physical education throughout high school, and 
his program is planned in the light of his particular needs and 
abilities. The "Common Learnings" teacher gathers all per- 
tinent information from these and other sources and incor- 
porates them in the student's personal history record, which 
is available to any teacher who may have occasion to consult it. 
Counselors and teachers are no less diligent in gathering 
information about the homes and neighborhoods of the stu- 
dents whom they advise and teach. Tenth-grade "Common 
Learnings" teachers talk with parents at the time of the stu- 
dents enrolment. Whenever it seems advisable, they call at 
the homes of students. Home economics teachers, too, make 
it a point .to visit the homes of their students, especially those 
whose major is homemaking. Parents are always consulted about 
occupational choices and plans for occupational study; about 
the student's work experience project; and toward the end 
of twelfth grade, about the next step after graduation. Usually 
the parents come to the school, but if that cannot be arranged, 
the counselor goes to the home. 

80 The vocational adviser is a teacher in the field of the student's vocational major. See 
page 311. 

As they visit, counselors and teachers note significant facts 
about neighborhoods as well as homes. As they talk with stu- 
dents, they inquire as to their memberships in clubs and 
churches and their other out-of-school interests. Such informa- 
tion is noted in the personal history record. Class advisers and 
"Common Learnings"" teachers .in each school help one another 
by pooling their information about neighborhoods, and some- 
times families, as they meet in staff conferences. They are aided 
by large-scale sociological base maps of the area served by .the 
school, prepared and kept up to date by students from the 
community institute as a class project. Information which 
counselors and teachers gather in their visits is recorded on 
these maps. By consulting the maps for a few minutes, any 
counselor or teacher can learn many important facts about 
the neighborhood in which a student lives. 

Knowing the Occupational Situation 

Here in American City and its environs are hundreds of 
occupations. Most of them, to be sure, can be classified under 
the headings which we have used previously manufacturing, 
trade, transportation, building and construction, personal serv- 
ices, professions, and government. But within each of these 
there are dozens of specific types of work. 

Intelligent guidance requires reliable information regarding 
the number of people now employed and the number of new 
workers likely to be employed each year for specific types of 
work. As we have seen, there is no uniform trend pr pattern 
for the various occupational fields. Each has its own character- 
istics. One must know not only the types of work, but the jobs 
available for beginners. Here the facts often run counter to 
the natural hopes and ambitions of boys and girls, for most 
beginners' jobs are at the bottom of the ladder. 

To secure this information for the city and its surrounding 
region, to make it available to counselors and teachers in usable 
fprm ? and to translate it to students so that it may guide them 

in making their decisions and plans has been a difficult task. 
An annual occupational survey by high-school students, such 
as we found at Farmville, would be quite impossible in Ameri- 
can City. 

Fortunately the schools have not had to work alone. We 
have already seen how the representative advisory committee 
on vocational education and the advisory committees for the 
various crafts supply information about needs ' for trained 
workers and the requirements for entering various occupa- 
tions. 87 Similar committees have been formed to advise the 
schools about the professions, semiprof essional and service occu- 
pations, and employment in the field of management. 

One of the chief concerns of the city planning commission- 
and the various planning bodies associated with it has been to 
gather reliable information regarding employment, to forecast 
employment trends, and to develop new employment oppor- 
tunities. 88 The schools have been associated with this enter- 
prise from the beginning. The city planning commission 
maintains an occupational research bureau to gather and 
interpret the facts and forecasts from local, state, and national 
sources. The schools supply one member of the staff of this 
bureau, who gives special attention to the situation for begin- 
ning workers. 

Associated with the planning commission is an occupational 
planning council, an organization representing employers, em- 
ployees, the public employment service, the schools, and other 
civic interests. The purpose of the council is to plan for the 
maximum utilization of the human and natural resources of 
the city and its surrounding area, and to propose new develop- 
ments, both private and public, to that end. The plans and 
forecasts of this council are also of great value to the schools. 

One of the five specialists in the schools* central office of 
guidance and pupil personnel service is responsible for main- 

OT See page 306-307. 
"Sec page 261. 


taining liaison with all occupational research and planning 
agencies in the community and for supplying the information 
from these agencies to counselors and teachers in form usable 
for guidance and instruction. The task of putting these reports 
into shape for educational purposes is of no small proportions. 
However, instead of setting up a headquarters staff to do this, 
the schools use committees of advisers and teachers who are 
released from, part of their other duties. 

Three types of materials are now furnished. 89 There are guides 
to occupations for use by students and their parents. These 
include the chief professional, semiprofessional, personal serv- 
ice, and public service occupations, as well as manufacturing, 
-trade, transportation, and construction; they also give full rec- 
ognition to homemaking as an occupation. They describe the 
specific types of work within each field; they supply informa- 
tion about beginners* jobs, the requirements for employment 
on these, and opportunities for advancement; and they include 
the most reliable information available about the present em- 
ployment situation and the outlook for the future. 

There are manuals of information for class advisers, voca- 
tional teachers, and "Common Learnings" teachers, similar in 
content to the students' guides, but containing more detailed 
information and statistical reports. 

There are also resource units for use in the study of "Ameri- 
can City at Work,** which, we recall, is a part of the tenth- 
grade "Common Learnings** course. In these resource units 
much attention is given to the interrelations and interdepen- 
dence of the various economic activities of the city and region, 
to the study of trends and outlooks, and to the roles of com- 
munity, state, and national planning. 

Aided by these materials, and by the field trips, motion pic- 
tures, and class conferences of the "American City at Work" 
study, the counselors have found it possible to guide most of 
their students to reasonably intelligent tentative choices of 
occupational fields by the middle of the tenth grade or earlier, 

88 All materials are in loose-leaf form, so as to permit revision as often as may be necessary. 


and to start them on courses of occupational preparation. Many 
students change their plans, once, twice, even more times. But 
it is believed that it is far better for a student to be working 
toward a tentative occupational goal from his first year in high 
school onward, than for him to have no vocational purpose 

There is one occupation which deserves special mention. The 
Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard now rank among 
the more important career fields. They offer many advantages. 
Pay compares favorably with that for beginners in civilian 
life when subsistence, clothing, and allowances are taken into 
account. Opportunities for advancement are somewhat better 
than for the younger workers in many civilian fields. Since 
seven-eighths of the military and naval forces are now special- 
ists, most enlisted men receive technical training in addition to 
basic military training. Much of this technical training and 
experience is useful for the man who later decides to return 
to civilian life. So it is not surprising that many high-school 
youth are seriously considering enlistment in one of the armed 

Counselors must, therefore, be well informed regarding mili- 
tary as well as civilian occupations. This is not a simple matter 
in these days when each branch of the service embraces dozens 
of Specialized departments. Fortunately, the. U. S. Office of 
Education, in cooperation with the War and Navy Depart- 
ments, has prepared manuals for counselors and teachers and 
pamphlets for students comparable to those published by 
the schools on civilian occupations. These are not "recruit- 
ing** documents, but fair and objective statements of fact, 
prepared for use in guidance by people who understand guid- 
ance. Indeed, the schools have carefully avoided recruiting 
campaigns. Instead, they aim to present national defense, which 
now employs a sizable part of the nation's male labor force 
and a much larger proportion of the males from nineteen to 
thirty, as worthy of the same consideration as the civilian 
occupations. f 3 1 9 1 

Guidance in the Community Institute 

Guidance for students in the community institute pre- 
sents some peculiar problems and calls for a higher degree 
of specialization of functions than we found in high school. 
The general arrangements are substantially the same as those 
of the high schools with "Common Learnings" teachers serv- 
ing as general counselors and vocational advisers supplying 
guidance and supervision to students majoring in their re- 
spective fields. The full-time advisers, however one to each 
three hundred students are no longer attached to classes 
but serve the institution as a whole. 

The community institute advisers must be familiar with 
the details of a large number of occupations. Over thirty 
occupational fields are represented in the institute curriculum, 
and for at least a dozen more the college offers preprof essional 
courses. Some division of labor is therefore necessary, and 
each adviser specializes in one or more groups of related oc- 
cupations while keeping generally informed about all. 

Community institute advisers must arrange work experi- 
ence projects for some 1700 students each year as compared 
with 800 for the three high schools together. 90 As nearly as 
possible, they must suit these experiences to the educational 
and occupational plans of students in thirty or more voca- 
tional fields. This, too, calls for some division of labor and 

Community institute advisers must deal with the special 
problems of some 500 new students each year, whose homes 
are outside the city-and-suburban area. Most of these youth 
require some orientation to the city and its occupations. 
More important still, they must be helped to make the per- 
sonal adjustments which accompany the move to the city 
to find new friends and satisfying social life and often to find 
work to meet the costs of living away from home. 

90 In cooperation, of course, with the vocational teachers or "coordinators" who supervise 
wort experience. 


Community institute advisers must maintain close con- 
tacts with the twelve schools, such as the school at Farmville, 
which send high-school graduates to American City for train- 
ing in industrial and urban occupations. They go out to these 
schools to consult with twelfth-grade students who are inter- 
ested in urban occupations, and they arrange and accompany 
the visits which students from the "feeder" schools make to 
the city. 

Community institute advisers must gauge the supply of 
trained youth to employment opportunities more accurately 
than is necessary in high school because of the greater spe- 
cialization of training in the institute. They must also study 
specific abilities and aptitudes of students with care, for these 
become increasingly significant as students move into advanced 
training in technical, semiprofessional, and professional fields. 

Before we leave the community institute, we must record 
its service to those youth who go to work directly from high 
school and those who come to the city from other commu- 
nities to find work. The number of such youth varies be- 
tween 500 and 700 annually. 91 Most o'f them begin work at the 
bottom of the occupational ladder on jobs in which advance- 
ment comes slowly. As compared with those who go to com- 
munity institute or into apprenticeship, they are more apt to 
become dissatisfied or discouraged, more likely to be dis- 
charged when workers have to be laid off. It is at this time, 
too, that many of these young people marry, or aspire to marry. 
For many, perhaps most of this group, this is the year of all 
years in which -wise and friendly counseling is needed, and with 
it, the invitation to use the resources of the schools* program 
of part-time and evening classes. That is why the community 
institute has four counselors on its staff who give most of 
their time to out-of -school youth during their first year on 
the job. 

91 In addition, around 900 American City youth each year leave full-time school on the 
completion of twelfth grade or on reaching the eighteenth birthday. 


Central Office of Guidance and 
Pupil Personnel Service 

As far as possible, the responsibility for guidance lies with 
the staffs of the several schools. Some things, however, must 
be done for the city as a whole. To do these, the school sys- 
tem maintains a central office of guidance and pupil person- 
nel service within the division of curriculum. We have al- 
ready made the acquaintance of the member of its staff who 
is responsible for information regarding occupational oppor- 
tunities and trends and for liaison with all occupational plan- 
ning groups. Another is responsible for general administra- 
tion of public funds for student aid and for the school's 
share of the operation of the junior placement service. The 
chief duties of a third are to work with groups of teachers 
and counselors in developing programs of in-service training 
in counseling procedures and mental hygiene and to arrange 
for intensive training courses in professional schools. A fourth 
member is a psychiatrist who is available to the schools for 
assistance in dealing with students who show evidences of 
serious maladjustments. The fifth, who serves elementary as 
well as secondary schools, has general supervision of person- 
nel records and maintains liaison with the measurement and 
testing program of the bureau of. educational research. 

How the Schools Developed Personnel 
for Guidance 

Where did the American City schools get their teachers of 
"Common Learnings,** their class advisers, and the other teach- 
ers who share in the program of guidance? Where did these 
people come from? What were they doing five years ago? 
What has. happened to them to make them suddenly com- 
petent to counsel the youth of the city? 

The schools began with the people they already had the 
boys' and girls' advisers and the many principals and teach- 
ers who were already deeply interested in guidance. Indeed, 


it was these people more than any others who were respon- 
sible for the inclusion of guidance among the essentials of 
the new educational program. They became the nucleus of 
the expanding guidance staff. The school system helped them 
to do the one thing they needed most to grow. It provided 
the funds for summer workshops and week-end conferences 
and supplied competent leadership in the central office to 
aid them with a continuous in-service program of training. 

The schools also brought in some experienced counselors 
and personnel workers from other fields. Back from the Army 
and Navy came men and women with good training and 
several years of experience in personnel work. Others gained 
comparable experience in the educational program for vet- 
erans. The schools needed them, and many were glad for 
the opportunity to continue in that profession. 

These were not enough, however, and the schools turned 
to a third source. They called upon the teachers colleges and 
schools of education to provide intensive courses in guidance, 
mental hygiene, and personnel procedures, and to these they 
sent some of their most promising teachers at school expense. 
This was a beginning, and the development of these people 
continues through the in-service program of teacher education. 

* *. * 

This guidance service is far from perfect. There are short- 
comings in personnel, inadequacies in procedures, and prob- 
lems to which no one yet knows the best answers. The reader 
has doubtless detected many of these. If so, we remind him 
that the educators of American City did not shrink from 
undertaking to do a great and necessary task in a very short 
time and that they are even now engaged in trying to do 
it better. 

2. Individualized Programs and Records of Progress 

The efforts of American City educators to suit education 
to individual needs were facilitated in more ways than one 


by the changes in methods of measuring, evaluating, and re- 
cording educational progress in elementary and secondary 
schools which followed close upon the modifications of re- 
quirements for admission to colleges and universities. The 
story of how these changes came about has already been re- 
lated in the chapter on Farmville, and need not be repeated 
here. 82 Suffice it to say that American City is using the same 
personal history record as Farmville and similar methods of 
measuring, evaluating, and recording achievements and prog- 
ress and that these have replaced the former system of rec- 
ords, credits, and grades. 03 Placement officers, prospective em- 
ployers, and admissions officers of higher institutions have found 
the newer methods far more useful than the old. The report 
of grades and credits alone, they say, gave them at best a 
static picture of the student's intellect and little more. It 
showed that the student was bright, dull, average, or variable 
among subjects. The personal history record, when compiled 
by competent counselors and teachers, comes close to giving 
them a picture of the whole student in action. And that is 
what an employer or an admissions officer wants. 

The changes just noted have removed the chief obstacles 
to the development of inclusive courses in "Common Learn- 
ings," to the making of prqgrams and schedules suited to 
individual abilities and needs, to the adaptation of work within 
courses to differences among students, and to the inclusion 
of occupational training and work experience as parts of the 
educational programs of all students. 

They have also been an important factor in reducing re- 
tardation. Most students now move ahead with their classes 
on programs suited to their abilities, and those whose work 
falls below their capacities are dealt with through remedial 

"Seepages 51-53. 

98 See pages 377-78. This personal history record was developed jointly by the state de- 
partment of education and a committee of educators from the public schools and schools of 
education, with advice from national agencies. Its use is optional but is recommended in 
order to assure continuity of records when a student moves from one school district to an- 
other. Most of the districts in the state are now using it. 


classes, individual instruction, and counseling, rather than by 
the inefficient method of requiring them to repeat whole grades 
or courses. 

3. Meeting the Problem of Motiey for Personal Expenses 

"A public requirement that all youth must remain in school 
through high school carries with it a public obligation to 
provide all youth with means of earning the money which 
they need for personal expenses." These words, quoted earlier 
from a statement by the superintendent of the American City 
public schools, well express the viewpoint of the entire school 

The general principles governing student aid and part- 
time employment differ but little from those worked out by 
the Farmville staff and need not be repeated. 9 * But the 
application of these principles involves some practical prob- 
lems not encountered in the smaller community. 

In Farmville, only 300 students needed part-time jobs or 
scholarship grants. In American City, the number is around 
4000. In Farmville, the counselors were personally acqifamted 
with all the employers, knew the jobs and conditions of work. 
In American City, many of the private employers are unknown 
to the school staff and must be investigated lest students be 
exploited. In Farmville, students worked near their homes. 
In American City, the largest number of students who need 
work live in the Lincoln High School area while most of the 
jobs are either in the business section or in other parts of the 
city. Then there has been the problem of scheduling school- 
work and employment, the solution to which we shall note 
in a few moments. 

Obviously it was necessary to centralize the functions of 
locating jobs, listing calls for work, investigating employers 
and employment conditions, and placing the students. These 
tasks could not possibly be performed by dozens of advisers 
and teachers working in four different schools. 

94 See pages 164-69. 


Again the schools have been aided greatly by other agen- 
cies. The schools and the public employment service together 
operate a junior placement service to which are referred all 
calls for work that can be done by youth in high school or 
community institute. This service is also responsible for 
locating work opportunities for youth with both private and 
public employers and for making investigations of working 
conditions. In each high school and in the community insti- 
tute, there are advisers who act as local representatives of 
the junior placement service. As far as possible, students are 
placed in jobs related to their occupational interests. 

The 4000 jobs for students are the equivalent of about 
1500 full-time jobs. If there were a shortage of work for adults, 
these jobs would go far toward relieving the situation. One of 
the questions considered long and seriously by the city occu- 
pational planning council was whether adults should have 
first claim on all jobs whenever there is a labor surplus or 
whether some jobs should be open to youth or even reserved for 
youth in times of general unemployment. 

Some pointed out that national defense and economic wel- 
fare required young men and women with both technical 
training and good general education. They offered impressive 
estimates of the losses which the nation would suffer if young 
people in their teens should be allowed to drop out of school 
for lack of money at the very time when they were ready 
to be trained to be more productive workers and more effi- 
cient in the service of national defense. 

Others showed that if a public works program became nec- 
essary to give work to the unemployed, the developments 
which were most needed would require a large proportion of 
skilled or experienced workers. It would be better, they said, 
to put unemployed adults to work at regular wages on the 
public works we most need than to shape public works to 
suit a low-paid labor force of inexperienced youth. 

The outcome was that the occupational planning council 
(which includes representatives of the larger employers* asso- 


ciations) recommended to the employers of the city that they 
reserve certain beginners' jobs for youth attending high school 
and community institute. Only after all the possibilities of 
private employment had been exhausted, they said, should 
public aid be called for. 

Some aid was nevertheless needed from public funds and 
agencies, and it has been forthcoming. Both the federal gov- 
ernment and the state have appropriated funds for student 
aid. 03 Most of the public funds, however, are provided lo- 
cally. The school system vigorously applied to itself the rec- 
ommendations of the occupational planning council. Several 
hundred new paying jobs for students have been developed 
in the schools as assistants to teachers in laboratories, shops, 
and classes; as custodial assistants; as caretakers of grounds; and 
as workers in school offices, mimeographing rooms, lunch- 
rooms, libraries, and the printing shop. Students in metal, 
machine, and woodworking shops are employed to make and 
repair equipment for the schools. The residence halls for out- 
of-city community institute students are now operated al- 
most wholly by student employees. 

The city planning commission and its associated groups 
have also supplied considerable employment. Students become 
familiar with the work of the planning bodies during high 
school. Community institute classes frequently undertake in- 
vestigations for one or another of the' planning groups as 
class projects. Many institute students are, therefore, well pre- 
pared to go into the planning offices and work on statistical 
studies, map-making, and drafting. Most of the "rush" jobs 
are done by students, and there are a number of full-time 
jobs held jointly by two students. The libraries, the city rec- 
reation department, and other public agencies also help. 

4. Adjusting Time Schedules to Individuals 

All this development of student employment and of work 
experience as a part of education has necessitated radical 

00 See pages 166-69 and 381 for the principles governing the use of federal and state funds. 


changes in the length of the school day and in the scheduling 
of classes. 

Much of the part-time work for expense money can be 
done outside the hours of the traditional school day not all, 
however, for most of this work is in private employment 
and students have to work when they are needed. Some of 
the best part-time jobs for community institute students 
come during the business day. 

The problem of scheduling arises more often in connection 
with the work experience projects. 86 Most of these jobs call 
for work during the business day and in blocks of time of 
four hours or more. Two students frequently fill one full- 
time job, and in some cases, a student may work full time 
over several months. 

The educators of American City had to face a difficult 
choice. They could say, "School is in session from 8:30 a. m. 
to 3:30 p. m. Those students who work will either have to 
schedule their work outside these hours or miss a part of 
their educational program, however important that may be." 
Or they could decide, "Since work is considered necessary for 
practically all our students and since some of this work must 
be done during the hours of the traditional school day, we 
will change the hours of the school day to make it possible 
for all students to enjoy the same educational opportunities. 5 * 

They chose the latter alternative, and the school day in 
senior high schools and community institute now runs from 
8:00 a. m. to 10:00 p. m. Most classes are still scheduled be- 
tween 8:00 a. m. and 4:00 p. m. All the tenth-grade classes 
come in these hours. In eleventh grade, there are evening 
classes in "Common Learnings" and in health and physical 
education. 97 In twelfth grade and community institute, there 
are evening classes in practically all the courses of the day 
school save only the elective courses with small enrolments. 

96 Most work experience projects are means of earning money for personal expenses. But 
only a part of the part-time work for personal expenses can meet the requirements of a 
"supervised experience of productive work under employment conditions." 

97 "Evening" includes all classes held between 4:00 p. m. and 10:00 p. m. 


Since the schools would be open in the evenings for classes 
for adults and employed youth, the additional expense of the 
fourteen-hour school day is not great. 98 

The American City schools are also experimenting with a 
summer term of ten weeks. This has already yielded some 
promising developments, for some types of work experience 
are possible in the summer which could not easily be arranged 
during the regular school year. For example, last summer 
three groups of students, each with its instructor, worked on 
construction and conservation jobs in state parks, and two 
other groups, each likewise accompanied by a teacher, worked 
in truck" farming areas where there was a labor shortage during 
the harvesting season. 

One high school now operates through the summer. It offers 
eleventh- and twelfth-grade courses in "Common Learnings" 
and in most of the vocations for students who have unusual 
work schedules during the regular year. It offers electives in 
the sciences, mathematics, languages, literature, social studies, 
and the arts for students who want additional work in these 
fields. Its health and physical education activities are expanded 
in a summer recreational program. And it also provides in- 
struction in the basic skills of English language and mathematics 
for students who feel the need of strengthening these abilities. 
At the high-school level, the summer term is thought of, not 
as a device for acceleration, but as a means for enlarging the 
educational experiences of those who choose to use this time 
for learning. 

The summer term in the community institute, however, 
may be used for acceleration by those who so desire. Here a 
student will find courses in practically all the fields of instruc- 
tion of the regular school year. 

88 There is no separation between "day high school*' and "evening high school." The same 
principal, assistant principal, teachers, and counselors constitute the staff of the school from 
8:00 a. m. to 10:00 p. m., and their hours of work are distributed over the longer day. No one, 
of course, is expected to work continuously for fourteen hours. Evening classes for adults, 
held in high-school buildings, are part of the program of the community institute, which 
is responsible for adult education throughout the city. 


The American City School Camp 

Out of the summer program has developed the American 
City School Camp on Lake Winnewawa, thirty miles distant. 
This camp, started four years ago as an experiment in using 
the summer months for educational purposes, has now become 
a year-round institution. 

The educational values of camp experience have long been 
recognized. Leaders in the development of camps, of whom 
there were a number in American City, have pointed out that 
the camp offers unique opportunities for children and youth to 
learn about health, group life, self-government, and the obli- 
gations of the individual to the community. They have demon- 
strated the possibilities of camp life for instruction in geography 
and science, for nature study, and for a Wide variety of recrea- 
tional activities. In some cases, too, they have shown that an 
unusually effective program of parent education can be de- 
veloped around children's camping experiences. Yet, until re- 
cently, camping was largely a private matter limited to those 
children and youth whose parents were able and willing to pay 
the costs of attendance at private camps and to a few children 
from lower-income families who attended camps maintained 
by welfare agencies. 

The members of the commission on postwar education in 
American City became convinced that every boy and girl 
should have the opportunity to attend a camp at least once 
during his school years as a part of his school program. As a 
first step in this direction', they recommended that the school 
system lease a well-equipped camp, employ a competent staff, 
and operate the camp for one summer as an experiment. A camp 
with accommodations for 125 was secured. Boys and girls of 
various age groups were taken to camp for two- week periods 
through a twelve- week season 750 in all, during the summer. 
During this first season, one requirement for attendance was 
that the parents of each child should attend a series of precamp 
conferences and visit the camp once while their child was 


there. The bureau of educational research endeavored to ap- 
praise the results of the experiment. On the whole, the reac- 
tions were decidedly favorable on the part of campers, their 
parents, and the teachers who had been members of the camp 
staff. A second summer yielded even more favorable outcomes. 

But the problem had not yet -been solved as tp how to pro- 
vide at least one camping experience for every pupil. To do 
that in the summers alone would have required camps with a 
capacity of 400. The cost of land, buildings, and equipment 
would have been excessive for only twelve weeks of use each 
year. The commission therefore proposed that the school 
system operate its camp for twelve months instead of twelve 
weeks. Smaller school systems had already shown that year- 
round camps were both feasible and educationally productive. 
The only obstacles to a similar program for American City were 
those of size and cost. 

The citizens' advisory council proved very helpful in 
sounding public opinion and in interpreting the true educa- 
tional significance of the proposal. Warm support was found 
among most of those familiar with the first two summer camps. 
In the end, the board of education decided to approve the plan 
for a year-round camp, still, however, on an experimental 
basis. This is the second year of the experiment. 

Entire classes go to camp together, each class accompanied 
by its teacher (in the case of a high-school class, by the "Com- 
mon Learnings" teacher). A year-round camp staff has been 
selected with great care counselors, instructors, business man- 
ager, nurse, and cooks. Students do practically all the work of 
the camp, save cooking, and each camping group makes its 
contribution to the permanent improvement of the camping 
property. Educational and recreational programs have been de- 
veloped for the fall, winter, and spring, which are proving 
quite as valuable as those of the summer. Parent education con- 
tinues to be an integral part of the camp program. Parents' 
participation is now voluntary, but, thanks to cooperation from 


the PTA's and to the good work of the camp staff, over 70 
percent of the parents of children in camp last year took part 
in the educational activities for parents. 

Under efficient management, it has been found that the 
total cost of operating the camp (including parent education 
and administrative costs in the- central office) is around $2.50 
per day per child. In other words, the two-week camping ex- 
perience is costing the American City school district only $35 
for each pupil and the returns are amply justifying the in- 

One important question which remains to be settled is this: 
Should the camping experience come at about the same time 
for all pupils say in ninth or tenth grade or should it come 
in different grades for different pupils? No clear answer has yet 
appeared. The schools are still experimenting with groups all 
the way from fifth grade to twelfth. Another question has 
often been asked: Is the two-week camping period long enough? 
To this question there is an almost unanimous answer of "No." 
Four weeks, it is generally agreed, would yield larger educa- 
tional results per day and per dollar. But a four-week period 
will require a camp with a capacity of at least two hundred 
as well as a doubling of the operating expenditures, and it may 
be a few years before the additional funds become available. 

5. Special Opportunities for the Gifted 

The strong sense of social responsibility which one finds in 
the American City schools is expressed again in the schools' con- 
cern for students with superior abilities. One who lives in these 
fateful years of national and world reconstruction can hardly 
fail to reflect that the problems which people are now called 
on to solve threaten to outstrip the capacities of human intelli- 
gence. Never in history has the world so needed the full devel- 
opment of the talents of those most gifted by nature. 

The opportunities for students of unusual abilities are largely 
the product of skilful teaching, particularly in "Common 


Learnings" and in college preparatory and vocational courses. 
Here the teachers are certainly aware of a need, and by dint of 
much effort they are making themselves competent to meet 
that need. Within each class,, student's work is planned and 
scheduled so that each one may work at a rate consistent with 
his abilities. Within the class purposes, each student is helped 
to set up individual goals of achievement and individual plans 
for progressing toward these goals. Small-group and individual 
projects are frequently used. Mastery of all essential knowledge 
and skills is stressed. Students are supplied with all sorts of ob- 
jective tests of achievement which they can apply to them- 
selves. Every student is made to feel, if possible, that he is en- 
gaged in a keen competition not with his fellows, but with 
his own potential achievements. 

The high schools have not attempted to accelerate their gifted 
students but rather to broaden and enrich their learning. There 
is so much which everyone should learn as a part of his general 
equipment for life that early acceleration toward specialized 
training can hardly be justified. 

6. Special Sen-ices for the Handicapped 

In any community, small or large, there are some children 
and youth who are blind, deaf, crippled, or sufferers from 
chronic diseases, and there are some who are handicapped by 
low ability to learn. Opportunities for education are not equal 
unless the needs of these have been met as nearly as it is pos- 
sible to do so. 

Some of the handicapped have to be placed in institutions 
equipped to care for them. Not many, however. JNot more than 
1 percent for physical and mental causes together. These place- 
ments have been made long before the children reach high 
school. Some are confined to their homes a few permanently, 
others during long periods of treatment and convalescence. 
For those the schools supply home teachers. 

The great majority are able to attend the regular schools if 


suitable services are provided for them. In American City, 
these services commence when the child first enters school, but 
here we shall refer only to those of the upper secondary schools. 

First, the physically handicapped 00 the blind, the partially- 
sighted, the hard-of -hearing, the severely crippled, and those 
who suffer from serious heart ailments are all transported by 
bus to the Jefferson High School. 100 This school is equipped with 
an elevator, a Braille library, a specially lighted study room 
for the partially-sighted, head phones in the auditorium for 
the hard-of -hearing, and a small gymnasium with equipment 
for physiotherapy and apparatus for exercise suited to the 

Individual instruction in Braille, begun in elementary school, 
is continued by the school system's Braille teacher. There is com- 
parable service in lip-reading for the deaf and the hard-of- 
hearing. Student assistants are employed to read to the blind. 
Rest periods and special feeding are provided for those who 
need these services. Otherwise, there is no segregation of the 
physically handicapped. They take the courses in "Common 
Learnings" and in vocations within the limits of their abilities. 
Avocational interests especially in manual arts and music 
are particularly encouraged because of their value for the 
mental health of those who cannot be as active as their fellows. 

Students with speech handicaps are treated somewhat differ- 
ently. They usually attend regular classes and receive remedial 
treatment from a specialist in speech defects attached to the 
city staff. This specialist also advises the teachers and parents 
concerned so that experiences in classes and at home may sup- 
port the remedial program. 

With the mentally handicapped, problems are more difficult. 
Here also, however, the schools follow the policy of minimizing 

80 See: Hoyer, Louis P., and Hay, Charles K. Services to the Orthopedically Handicapped. 
Philadelphia, Pa.: Board of Education, 1 942. 1 1 5 p. 

100 In Jefferson High School this year there are four blind children, eleven partially-seeing, 
three deaf, twenty-three hard-of -hearing, sixty-seven crippled, and forty-one with serious 
cardiac defects a total of one hundred and forty-nine. 


segregation. These youth, it is held, have the same needs as 
others. They too will work, earn money, spend their earnings, 
be members of families, be in good or ill health, vote in elections, 
be members of organizations, and use their leisure time wisely 
or otherwise. They are more likely to learn to do these things 
well, it is believed, if they work in association with other stu- 

Slow-learning students, as well as their more gifted class- 
mates, benefit from the common practice of adapting work in 
classes to the learning abilities of individual students. The rate 
of progress expected of the slow-learning youth is suited to 
his capacities. A teacher of a class in "Common Learnings" or 
a vocational subject usually does not have more than two or 
three seriously handicapped children in a class. He soon comes 
to know them and adjusts their work to their limitations. Since 
he is not constrained to bring all his students up to a fixed 
standard for "passing," he is satisfied if each proceeds accord- 
ing to his abilities. 

In vocational matters, the mentally handicapped are helped 
to find and encouraged to choose occupations in which they 
have a reasonable chance of holding a job and earning a living. 
This is first of all a matter of guidance and then of adapting 
vocational instruction to develop mastery of a few salable 
skills rather than partial learning of many. It sometimes hap- 
pens that a backward student, while still in high school, is able 
to find employment at as high a level of skill as he is likely to 
be able to attain. When this occurs, the student is usually 
encouraged to continue his employment through the remainder 
of this time in high school under supervision of a vocational 
teacher. This supervised work is counted as the student's course 
in vocational preparation. Such a student, however, con- 
tinues to attend school for classes in "Common Learnings," 
health and physical education, and individual interests. 101 

L This is made possible by the fact that classes are scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. 


Occasionally a slow-learning student has such inadequate 
knowledge of language and numbers that his learning in classes 
falls well below his ability. Then he must be given special 
assistance. Each teacher in "Common Learnings" has a stu- 
dent assistant. 102 Individual instruction by his assistant some- 
times clears up the difficulty. If it does not, the teacher reports 
the need to the class adviser who arranges for attendance at 
a remedial class for as long as may be necessary to bring the 
student to the place where he can profit from regular classwork. 

7. Continuing Services after Youth Leave Full-time School 

The schools* responsibility does not end when a youth leaves 
high school or community institute. Young people often 
encounter some of their most urgent and perplexing problems 
during the first year or two after they leave full-time school. 
No counselor in American City will place a student's name in 
the "inactive" file until he knows that the young man or 
woman is making satisfactory progress at the next stage of 
his career whether it be on a job, in an institution of higher 
education, or in the home. 

The community institute, through its adult education divi- 
sion, offers free evening courses designed particularly for young 
people in their early twenties courses in a wide variety of 
vocational fields in homemaking, child care, and family rela- 
tions; in business management and labor leadership; in public 
affairs and avocational interests. Over 40 percent of those who 
leave high school at the end of the compulsory attendance 
period enrol in one or more of these courses during the next 
five years. 

These continuing services are supplied not only to the youth 
of American City, but also to hundreds of young men and 
women from towns, villages, and farms who annually move 

ma These are usually community institute students who are looking forward to teaching 
as a career. Their work as assistants constitutes their "work experience under employment 
conditions." They are paid from student-aid funds included in the local school budget. 


to the city in search of work and opportunity. There is also 
a small but steady incoming stream of young men who have 
completed enlistments in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps 
and have decided to return to civilian life. One of the schools' 
counselors for out-of -school youth specializes in guidance for 
men returning from the armed services, and former service 
men may enrol without expense to themselves in either the 
regular program of the community institute or in part-time 
and evening classes for adults. 


So we conclude this report. We have told of the ways in 
which youth education in American City has changed in recent 
years. We have related the story of how those changes were 
brought about. We have described the main features of the cur- 
riculum in the three high schools and the community institute: 
the courses in "Common Learnings'* and science, the program 
of health and physical education, the preparation for employ- 
ment and for advanced study in universities and colleges, and 
the provisions for students to develop their personal interests. 
We have told how the program of these institutions is focused 
upon the particular needs of their thousands of individual stu- 
dents through guidance, flexible schedules and programs, finan- 
cial aid to students, special opportunities for the gifted, special 
provisions for the handicapped, and services following thei youth 
from school into adult life. These things we have seen. But we 
have seen something more. 

We have seen that the people of American City any Ameri- 
can city have within and among themselves the resources for 
building the educational program for youth which the times 
demand. We have seen that great advances can be made in a 
remarkably short time w;hen people resolutely set their minds 
and hearts to the task. We have seen that the processes through 
which these advances have come are sound, for they are the 
processes of democracy, making full use of leadership, yet en- 


listing widespread participation among the rank and file of 
the people. We see now that these processes are still in full 
operation, that the earnest desire to progress has been nourished 
by each experience of growth, and that each new step forward 
has yielded a vision of other steps yet to be taken. So we may 
look to the future with confidence and be sure that the schools 
will continue to grow in service to all American youth. 



A State System of YoutK Education 

(Written five years after the cessation of hostilities) * 

T^ARMVIIXE AND AMERICAN CITY would have developed good 
JL schools in any state. Educators like George Carlisle, Myron 
Evans, and their colleagues, and citizens like the dozens of 
unnamed men- and women whose deeds have been chronicled 
in the last two chapters could be counted on to produce credit- 
able results under any state system of education. But the schools 
of Farmville and American City are far better than they might 
be otherwise because they are located in the state of Columbia. 

This state, in the course of the past seven years, has made a 
number of notable improvements in its state educational system 
and now has a system which gives strong, intelligent leadership 
and financial support to the local school districts and shares 
with them the responsibility for providing adequate education 
to all the young people of the state. A complete description 
of the state educational system would require a separate volume. 
In this chapter, we shall sketch briefly those features of the 
system which are most relevant to the education of youth. 

With a few minor exceptions, the state of Columbia does 
not itself operate educational programs for youth. That respon- 
sibility is delegated by the state to local school districts. The 
state, however, does determine many of the important con- 
ditions under which the local programs are operated. It decides 
the form of organization and control of the public-school 
system. It defines the minimum acceptable program of public 

1 This date, five years after the cessation of hostilities, conforms to the Commission's sense 
of urgency with respect to the measures to be described in this chapter. "While some states 
may not be able to establish all fronts of the educational program by that time, the Com- 
mission believes that every state should seriously aim to accomplish the entire program, set 
forth in this chapter within five years from the end of the war. 


education and minimum standards for the certification of 
teachers, for school attendance, and for school buildings and 
equipment. It determines the system of financial support of 
public education and provides state funds to the end that all 
youth in the state may have access to an acceptable minimum of 
educational opportunity. It supplies professional leadership and 
counsel to local districts and to institutions for the education 
of teachers through the staff of the state department of educa- 
tion. It coordinates services which are statewide in character, 
such as guidance for youth and vocational education beyond 
the high-school level. These services of the state, all essential 
to the operation of effective local programs, are the subjects 
of the present chapter. 

When, as the end of the war approached, the people of Farm- 
ville and American City and dozens of other cities, towns, and 
villages in Columbia began to awaken to the need for more 
adequate programs of youth education, they soon found that 
some fundamental revisions in the state system of public edu- 
cation were greatly needed. Archaic practices, the results of 
tradition as well as of laws passed years ago, were entirely too 
numerous. Laws, regulations, and practices which had been 
reasonably satisfactory a decade or two earlier now needed to 
be reexamined in the light of postwar conditions. Two striking 
examples were the law placing the end of the compulsory 
school attendance period at the sixteenth birthday and the law 
setting an upper limit on secondary education at the end of 
twelfth grade. 

A preliminary investigation of the state's educational system 
brought to light a large number of problems most of which 
centered around educational finance, administration, and cur- 
riculum. The conclusion was reached that legislation should 
be passed which would not only supply adequate financial sup- 
port to the schools, but which would also stimulate the com- 
munities so to develop their schools as to insure excellent educa- 
tional opportunities to all children and youth. 


Organizing a 
Legislative Program 

The first task was to organize the forces of the state so as 
to bring a clear statement of needs and remedial measures before 
the people and the legislature. It happened that an interim 
committee on education had recently been set up by the state 
legislature, largely as a result of suggestions by the chief state 
school officer and officials of the state teachers' association. This 
committee, with some changes in personnel, was continued 
through several sessions. To it had been assigned the general 
task of examining the public schools to determine their merits 
and defects and of proposing legislation designed to insure 
the greatest returns for money invested in education. The 
committee soon called in public-school administrators for con- 
ferences. At first, of course, there were some disagreements. 
But the members of the legislative committee and the school 
officials soon found common ground in their belief that the 
state was financially able to support good schools and that it 
should do so. Members of the legislative committee became 
convinced that if the schools were adequately to perform their 
duties they must have more funds. They arrived at this con- 
clusion when they comprehended the scope of the enlarged 
program of public education which would be required in the 
postwar years. They were influenced, too, by the effectiveness 
of some of the educational programs carried on by the military 
forces with practically unlimited funds at their disposal. With- 
out aspiring to equal the per capita educational expenditures 
of the armed forces, they agreed that substantial increases in 
amounts allocated to the schools were necessary. They also 
agreed that differences among the districts in ability to finance 
schools should be removed and that legislation to that end 
should be passed. Having reached these conclusions, both groups 
set about informing the public and developing legislation. The 
chief state school officer, we should add, worked closely with 
the legislative committee and was an important factor in influ- 


encing the legislators and the school officials to make common 

The school administrators turned for support to a number 
of influential state educational organizations. Chief among 
these was the state teachers' association which had become a 
powerful body in promoting legislation for the welfare of 
children and youth. This organization was highly effective in 
publicizing the need for a new system of school finance includ- 
ing both elementary and secondary education. 

The state secondary-school principals' association and the 
association of public-school superintendents also gave invaluable 
assistance. Several years previously the principals' association 
had developed a statewide organization which included a large 
number of local groups. Any secondary-school principal who 
belonged to the association was also a member of one of the 
local groups. Thereafter it had been the custom for representa- 
tives of the local groups to meet at the beginning of each school 
year to prepare a statement of issues and problems for con- 
sideration and discussion during the year. Each local group 
then met monthly throughout the year, building its program 
around the issues defined at the conference of representatives. 
The culminating event was an annual conference of secondary- 
school administrators at which the results of the year's work 
were summarized and the main problems were considered by 
the entire association. Because of their close ties with parents' 
organizations and with other groups of citizens interested in 
high-school youth, the secondary-school principals proved very 
effective in reaching the general public. 

The superintendents' association was equally well suited to 
this enterprise and was equally potent in its influence. It also 
had been organized into local groups for the purpose of promot- 
ing the welfare of the schools. It also held an annual conference 
at which problems of general concern to school administrators 
were considered. 

Upon the initiative of the chief state school officer and the 


state teachers 5 association, the Columbia State Educational 
Council had been organized during the war to confer with and 
to advise the state department of education on educational 
policy. The council included representatives of the important 
state educational organizations, of the association of school 
trustees, the state congress of parents and teachers, farmers' 
organizations, labor unions, the state chamber of commerce, 
taxpayers* associations, the League of Women Voters, and 
other similar bodies. This council now helped to develop plans 
for legislation, informed the public, and prepared to support 
necessary changes in the school law. 

In 1943, the governor of Columbia appointed a committee 
on postwar planning, consisting of fifteen members seven 
prominent citizens and eight heads of divisions of the state 
government. A staff was placed at the disposal of the committee 
to carry on research and fact-finding, to keep in touch with 
local committees of the same character, and to develop a state 
plan for the postwar period. The chief state school officer was 
a member of this committee and was chairman of the sub- 
committee on education. 

Main Points in the 
Legislative Program 

Complete agreement among so many committees and organi- 
zations was hardly to be expected. There was, however, sub- 
stantial agreement on the main points of the program which 
were deemed essential. There were eight such points in all: 

1. A state school finance system which (with federal aid) 
would support an acceptable minimum program of education, 
available to all children and youth in the state, regardless of 
district of residence. 

2. Consolidation of small, weak school districts into larger, 
more effective units. 4 

3. Raising of the upper-age limit for compulsory school at- 
tendance to the eighteenth birthday or graduation from high 


4. Extension of the state system of free public education 
upward to include general and vocational education in the 
thirteenth and fourteenth grades. 

5. Free public education, both vocational and general, in 
part-time and evening classes for adults and youth who are 
no longer in full-time attendance at schools. 

6. A state board of education, free from partisan political 
attachments, as a policy-making body. 

7. A strong state department of education, likewise removed 
from partisan political influence, with a professional staff com- 
petent to provide a high order of leadership in education 
throughout the state. 

8. A coordinated system of guidance and initial placement, 
under the public-school system, suited to meet the problems 
growing out of youth migrations. 

In addition, there was agreement that federal financial sup- 
port, in the form of grants-in-aid to the state, would be needed 
for the full accomplishment of the proposed program. The 
members of the interested groups were determined to go ahead 
at once, making full use of the sources of revenue available to 
the state and local districts. At the same time, they undertook 
to convince their representatives in Washington that the federal 
government should act immediately to equalize the abilities 
of the states to maintain minimum educational services for 
children and youth. 

We shall not attempt to follow the fortunes of the various 
legislative measures. Rather, we shall turn at once to the results 
of this program of legislative action and describe the state 
system of youth education in Columbia as we find it today, 
five years after the end of the war. The description will be 
organized under the eight points listed above. 


Practically every member of the state educational council 
was familiar with the state system of school finance. It was well 
known that the districts in the state of Columbia varied greatly 
in their ability to support education. For those unacquainted 


with the situation, data were plentiful and incontrovertible. It 
could be shown repeatedly that a given tax rate in some districts 
would produce only a small fraction of the amount of money 
per child that the same tax rate would raise in other districts. 
Contrasts were striking between districts containing much low- 
priced grazing land and districts which contained concentra- 
tions of business establishments, industrial enterprises, or natural 
resources. The most important task before the state educational 
planning bodies thus became the formulation of a system of 
educational finance which would enable all the local districts to 
maintain good schools. 

It soon became apparent that the amount supplied by the 
state to the districts for the support of education must be greatly 
increased. There had been some state funds, but they had given 
only small assistance. In order to develop a state school finance 
system which would equalize educational opportunity through- 
out the state, five steps were taken. 

First, an acceptable minimum educational program was 
defined for which the state guaranteed support by means of 
state aid plus a required local contribution. This minimum pro- 
gram went well beyond the current practices in the education 
of youth since these were deemed inadequate for the postwar 
period. In particular, it provided for secondary education 
through the fourteenth grade and for enlargement of guidance 
services throughout the secondary schools. 

Second, the cost of the acceptable minimum program was 
calculated. Current cost of education, exclusive of transporta- 
tion, in communities of average wealth was used as the base 
to which were added the estimated costs of new or enlarged 
educational services in the upper secondary years. Costs per 
pupil were calculated for each of four levels: 2 elementary 

* Under the proposed new program, it was necessary to calculate costs separately for each 
of three levels within the secondary period. The enlargement of guidance services, of voca- 
tional education, and of the "work experience" program caused the cost of education in 
Grades X through XII to be considerably above that in Graces VII through IX. At the level 
of Grades XIII and XTV, the cost was further increased by the introduction of a large num- 
ber of specialized courses in vocational, technical, and semijftfofessional fields. 


(through Grade VI), lower secondary (Grades VII-IX), mid- 
dle secondary (Grades X-XII) , and advanced secondary 
(Grades XIII-XIV) . 

Third, the need of each local administrative area for sup- 
port of the minimum program was calculated on the basis of 
the number of units of thirty pupils to be supported. During the 
closing years of the war and those immediately following, these 
"local need" figures rose sharply. The sudden decline in employ- 
ment for youth of high-school age was followed by the raising 
of the age for compulsory school attendance and the develop- 
ment of free public education in the thirteenth and fourteenth 
grades. As a result, secondary-school enrolments shot upward 
in nearly every district. 

Fourth, the ability of each local district to provide funds for 
the maintenance of schools was calculated by the application 
of a common minimum tax rate to equalize assessments of 
property throughout the state. 

Fifth, the state legislature appropriated sufficient funds to 
pay to each district the difference between its need 'for support 
of the minimum program and its ability to provide funds as 
calculated in the manner just described. 

In addition, the state provided funds to cover all costs of 
transportation, both in rural areas ,and in cities, in all cases in 
which need for transportation was demonstrated in accordance 
with the law and the regulations of the state department of 
education. As we shall see later, state funds were also supplied 
for the building of student residence halls and for a part of 
the cost of constructive and equipping buildings for com- 
munity institutes and, in newly consolidated districts, for 
elementary and high schools. 

Federal subsidies, it was agreed, should be reckoned as a part 
of the funds supplied to local districts by the state. 8 

Under this system, each local district was free to develop its 

n An exception was made in the case of federal funds appropriated to provide financial aid 
to individual students. : 


educational program beyond the minimum acceptable program 
required by the state and was encouraged to do so. In comput- 
ing the ability of the districts to support education a relatively 
low minimum tax rate was employed. The maximum tax rate 
for school support, prescribed by state law, was much higher. 
Between the minimum and the maximum tax rates lay a wide 
area within which any local district might levy additional taxes 
for the support of educational services exceeding the state's 
minimum program. The schools described in the Farmville and 
American City districts illustrate the freedom of action and 
flexibility of program which are possible. 

In a word, the state of Columbia adopted a state school fi- 
nance system which equalized the tax burden between districts 
for a minimum educational program and provided ample lati- 
tude for each district to develop a maximum program in accord- 
ance with its resources and the vision and judgment of its 


In the course of these studies and discussions of the school 
finance system, most of the members of the planning groups 
became convinced that, school-district reorganization must 
accompany, if not precede, efforts to establish a sound school 
finance structure. It was pointed out that many existing school 
districts, having been formed years ago to meet needs and condi- 
tions that no longer prevail, are limited in population and in 
territorial extent. It was shown that these districts cannot 
provide the educational facilities and services necessary in mod- 
ern society without unreasonable per capita expenditures. Many 
people questioned the wisdom of any school finance system 
which would perpetuate small districts that could be eliminated 
through district reorganization. It was therefore proposed that 
the number of small districts be reduced, thereby permitting 
stronger local tax bases, schools with larger numbers of teachers 
and pupils and more comprehensive curriculums. School offi- 
cials and representatives of the state congress of parents and 


teachers, familiar with the prevailing unsatisfactory situation 
in many small school districts, were foremost among the sup- 
porters of these proposals. Representatives of most other groups 
soon came to share their convictions on the subject. 

An examination of the school laws showed that provisions for 
effecting the consolidation of school districts already existed. 
Why, then, had the accomplishments under this law been so 
meager? Were those consolidated districts, which had already 
been established, satisfactory as taxation and administrative 
units? These and similar questions called for answers. Studies 
revealed that the chief deterrents to consolidation were (a) the 
lack of public recognition of the urgent need for improvement 
in the school-district system, (b) the failure of the laws to fix 
the responsibility for preparing school-district improvement 
plans for submission to the people, and (c) the unwillingness 
of residents of local districts to vote for consolidation proposals, 
an unwillingness often grounded on sentiment or on a desire to 
retain some financial advantage inherent in the existing situa- 
tion. Investigations also showed that consolidation under the 
existing law had done little to equalize per capita valuation and 
local district tax rates because wealthy districts tended to con- 
solidate among themselves, while poor districts merged their 
poverty or retained their original status. 

Because of the limited accomplishments under the existing 
law, a new law was enacted, establishing new procedures for 
effecting a reorganization of the school districts of the state. 
This law provided for (a) the creation of a school-district plan- 
ning committee in each county, charged with the responsibility 
of preparing plans for changes in the school-district organiza- 
tion of the county, (b) the review and approval of such plans 
by a state committee also created by the act, and (c) the sub- 
mission of an approved plan to a vote of the electors of the 
proposed new district with voting at large and not by the indi- 
vidual districts comprised within the new district. The county 
committee was to be chosen by the members of the boards of 


education in the county, the state committee by the state board 
of education. 

Because of the experiences of other states with subsidies, 
especially for buildings and transportation, a financial stimulus 
to consolidation was immediately suggested. A state capital 
outlay fund was therefore established from which was sup- 
plied half the cost of erecting the buildings needed in newly 
consolidated districts after grants or subventions from federal 
and other sources had been deducted. This assistance was to 
be given only to districts in which acceptable administrative 
units had been established and only when plans for consolida- 
tion had been approved by the state department of education. 
Such approval was regarded as necessary in order to prohibit 
undesirable consolidations. It was the consensus, however, that, 
as a long-range policy, local districts should be responsible for 
their own building programs, as well as for the operation of 
schools, subject only to such standards as might 'be contained 
in the school law and regulations of the state board of edu- 

It was also decided that the state should pay all the costs of 
purchasing buses and operating them in all districts, rural and 
urban, when needs for transportation were demonstrated in 
accordance with state law and state regulations. 

Under these -new laws, an intensive campaign for school-dis- 
trict reorganization has been carried on with leadership pro- 
vided by most of the agencies represented on the state educa- 
tional council. Leaders in the campaign have been able to 
marshal convincing evidence to show that the small rural high 
schools, with from four to eight teachers each, could not pos- 
sibly hope to meet the urgent and varied needs of rural youth 
in the postwar years. On the other hand, they have been able 
to point to some examples of recently consolidated schools, 
such as that at Farmville, as evidence of the way in which small 
rural districts can pool their local resources and their state and 
federal aid to provide educational services for children and 


youth which compare favorably with the best that the cities 
have to offer. 

Under these conditions, the consolidation movement has 
gone on apace, until now the number of small and ineffective 
school districts is approaching the vanishing point. 


Shortly after the end of the war, the state legislature changed 
the laws relating to required school attendance. Under the new 
law, attendance is required until completion of the twelfth 
grade or until the eighteenth birthday, whichever is the earlier. 4 

This change was deemed desirable chiefly because the major- 
ity of the secondary schools of the state, like those of Farmville 
and American City, were moving rapidly to serve the educa- 
tional needs of all youth. It was therefore held that the state 
was justified in requiring its young people to use the services 

The change in the employment situation was also a factor. 
With the approach of the end of the war, the employment of 
sixteen- and seventeen-year-old boys and girls fell off sharply. 
Most of the youth who lost their jobs had only a single skill 
and were ill-fitted to compete in the labor market with return- 
ing veterans and the large number of older, more experienced 
workers who were laid off at the same time. Thereafter, there 
were but few jobs to be found for untrained, inexperienced 
youth in their middle teens, and these were chiefly of the "blind-* 
alley" type. It was thought better by far, for both youth and 
society, to have young people in attendance at schools in which 
they could secure occupational training, work experience, and 
a well-rounded general education than to have them enter 
an already oversupplied labor market without training, experi- 
ence, or adequate educational- background. 

*A student in Grades XI or XII, with his parents' consent, may be absent from school 
in order to be -employed on a job which is under school supervision and which is considered 
a part of the student's educational program. 



The decision to extend free public secondary education up- 
ward so as to include general and vocational education in the 
thirteenth and fourteenth grades was reached after careful 
study of the conditions likely to develop at the close of the 
war. It seemed probable that many, perhaps most, young people 
would find it difficult to secure employment consistent with 
their abilities without more general education, vocational train- 
ing, and supervised work experience than could be supplied in 
the high schools alone. It was clear,- moreover, that some public 
institution was needed to prepare young men and women to 
enter a large number of technical, commercial, and semiprofes- 
sional occupations, requiring education beyond the twelfth 
grade. And it w : as agreed that the needs of society for educated 
citizens would alone justify the continuation of a sound pro- 
gram of civic and general education for another two years. 
These and other considerations have already been discussed in 
the chapters on the schools of Farmville and American City. 5 

The development of junior colleges, public and private, dur- 
ing the score of years preceding the war gave evidence of 
public demand for institutions of this type. In the state of 
Columbia, the growth had been uneven. The law permitted 
school districts to levy taxes to support junior colleges, and it 
did not prohibit tuition. The results were a small number of 
well-developed public junior colleges in some of the wealthier 
and more populous areas and a larger number of high schools 
which offered a few postgraduate courses and often assumed 
the name of "junior college." The large junior colleges charged 
fees while the small institutions charged both fees and tuition. 
The situation was one which proponents of free public educa- 
tion believed to be wrong. 

New legislation, therefore, authorized both vocational and 
nonvocational instruction for two years beyond the conven- 

G See pages 66-67, 227, 245-46. 


tional high school as an integral part of the system of secondary 
education. It abolished fees and tuitions for such instruction 
and placed financial support upon the same basis as that of 
elementary and high schools. The new laws carried a mandate 
to the state department of education to establish a system of 
post-high-school institutions in order to serve the educational 
needs of all the young people of the state. 

Two Types of 

Advanced Secondary Schools 

Two types of institutional service, well illustrated by the 
Farmville Secondary School and the American City Commu- 
nity Institute, have been developed. In Farmville and many other 
small communities, two years of instruction, intended primarily 
for the young people who expect to live in these communities 
or others like them, have been added to the regular secondary 
schools. These schools of the Farmville type offer advanced 
training in the major local occupational fields, together with 
civic, cultural, and physical education appropriate to older 
youth. They do not give training in occupations not well 
represented locally, nor do they undertake to offer courses com- 
parable to those of the junior colleges or four-year colleges 
and universities. Indeed, as we shall see, schools of this type are 
required to remain within the limits just mentioned as a condi- 
tion for receiving state financial aid. 

In American City and ten other cities, new institutions of 
advanced secondary education have been developed, of which 
the American City Community Institute is an example. These 
institutions provide vocational education in many fields, each 
institution including the chief occupations of a large region 
as well as of the city itself. Together they cover practically all 
the occupations of the state which do not require education 
beyond the fourteenth grade. They also offer courses compar- 
able to those of the first two years of four-year colleges and 
universities. In common with secondary schools of the Farm- 


ville type, they supply continuing civic, cultural, and physical 
education to all their students and are responsible for local 
programs of education for adults and out-of -school youth. 

The name "community institute" is used throughout the 
state for this second type of institution. The term "junior col- 
lege" already had a variety of meanings because of the diversity 
of practices in institutions bearing that title. Therefore, it was 
deemed advisable to use a name free from associations with past 

Not all community institutes have the same organization. 
The state laws about community institutes refer to the thir- 
teenth and fourteenth grades of public education, but they do 
not prescribe how these two advanced secondary grades shall 
be related to the rest of the school system. In some communities, 
as in American City, the two upper grades constitute an ad- 
vanced secondary school which is housed and staffed separately 
from the senior high schools. In other cities, such as Three 
Rivers, the thirteenth and fourteenth grades have been joined 
with the eleventh and twelfth to form a four-year community 
institute, while the preceding four grades (VII to X, inclusive) 
constitute the lower secondary school, known locally as the 
"intermediate school." 

Whatever the particular form of organization may be, the 
program of Grades XIII and XIV is looked upon as an integral 
part of the eight-year structure of secondary education. 

A State System of 
Community Institutes 

The decision to authorize free public community institutes in 
the state of Columbia gave rise to a train of problems of state 
administration. First and foremost was the question, "Where 
should community institutes be located?" It was clear that 
some forjn of state control would be needed. Otherwise, most 
cities and many towns would almost surely move at once to 
establish the new institutions, especially since the law provided 


that the state would pay a portion of the costs of operation. 6 
It was not difficult to imagine the results or to see how undesir- 
able they would be. Within a few years, there would be dozens 
of community institutes in the state, presenting as mixed an 
assortment as had the junior colleges a few years earlier. Many 
of them would doubtless have inadequate staffs and equipment 
and curriculums quite unsuited to the postwar needs of youth. 
Too often their offerings would consist only of courses in lower 
division college subjects and training in a few vocations. 

State Aid Limited to 
Approved Institutions 

The laws were therefore framed to limit state aid to those 
community institutes approved by the state board, of education 
and to give the state department of education one year in 
which to study the matter before any community institute 
should be approved. 

The division of research of the state department of educa- 
tion at once undertook a thorough study of the needs for ad- 
vanced secondary institutions, the distribution of youth popula- 
tion, and the abilities of communities to support such institu- 
tions. The staffs of several schools of education joined in the 
enterprise. The state superintendent of public instruction ap- 
pointed a large and representative commission on secondary 
education, including both educators and lay citizens, to con- 
sider the problem from the point of view of the state as a whole 
and to advise the staff of the state department of education. 

At the same time, the state officials sought to stimulate local 
interest and initiative, since it was recognized that these would 
be essential to the successful operation of the kinds of com- 
munity institutes which were desired and which were to be 
under the control of local boards of education'. Any school dis- 
trict wishing to be considered as a possible applicant for a com- 

"See pages 357-58. 


munity institute was invited to submit a prospectus of its plans. 
All such statements were reviewed and checked by the divi- 
sion of research. 

The outcome of the year's work was that the state depart- 
ment of education, with the aid of the advisory commission, 
was able to formulate a tentative plan for a state system of 
community institutes so located as to bring the majority of the 
youth of the state within commuting distance of one or another 
of the institutes. Among the chief considerations in locating 
the institutes were these: (1) The community and its tributary 
area should have a sufficient number of young people of com- 
rriunity institute age to assure a relatively large enrolment, thus 
making it possible to offer education in a variety of vocational 
and cultural fields without excessive cost. (2) The community 
should have the financial resources to support the community 
institute when state aid and payments for students from other 
districts were taken into account. (3) The community, with 
its share of state aid, should be able to provide adequate plant 
and equipment. (4) The district should present a plan for cur- 
riculum and staff which would assure a program suited to the 
needs of the youth of the community and the surrounding area. 
( 5 ) The proposed community institute should be so located as 
to fit into the state system. 

Allocation of Vocational Fields 
among the Community Institutes 

Early in the planning, it became clear that some division of 
labor among the community institutes would be not only 
advisable but necessary. There were many technical .and semi- 
professional occupations in the state, each of which annually 
required only a small number of new workers. One or two 
community institutes could readily supply all the trained bakers, 
lens grinders, watch repairmen, and commercial photographers 
needed for beginners* positions in the entire state. It would 
obviously be wasteful and inefficient if any large number of 


community institutes were to offer training in such fields. In 
the new legislation, therefore, the state department of educa- 
tion was empowered to allocate vocational fields among the com- 
munity institutes in such manner that the annual supply of 
persons trained in the state would approximate the state's de- 
mand for new workers. Due account was to be taken, of course, 
of the facilities in the local communities for observation and 
supervised work experience. 

The Columbia State Department of Education has never 
had to exercise authority in this matter. It holds an annual 
conference of the administrators and curriculum officers of all 
the public community institutes in the state, and the alloca- 
tions of vocational fields are worked out in these conferences 
by mutual agreement. We have seen how the American City 
Community Institute serves as the state's training center for 
the air-conditioning and refrigeration industry and for air 
transportation and as one of two or three centers for training in 
aircraft maintenance, baking, and printing. Each of the other 
community institutes in the state has its corresponding spe- 

There are many other occupations which have such con- 
sistently high demands for trained workers that one finds them 
represented in all or practically all of the community institutes. 
Office management, secretarial training, accounting, retail sell- 
ing, metal trades, electrical trades, and building trades are 

Operating and Capital Costs in 
Cases of Interdistrict Attendance 

A youth residing in a district not maintaining a high school 
had long been permitted to attend high school in another dis- 
trict under regulations which authorized the district of attend- 
ance to collect the state and federal subsidies and to charge 
the district of residence for the remainder of the cost of instruc- 


tion. These authorizations were now made applicable to com- 
munity institutes -and secondary schools extending through 
fourteenth grade. "Cost of instruction" was defined to include 
depreciation on plant and equipment and debt service as well 
as current expenditures. 

Safeguards were set up to prevent students from leaving one 
district for another merely because of whim. Before a student 
residing in a district maintaining a post-high-school program 
may attend a similar school elsewhere, an agreement regarding 
the transfer must be certified by the superintendents of the 
district of attendance and of the district of residence on a form 
developed by the state department of education. 

It was correctly anticipated that many students would leave 
the districts in which 'their homes were located in order to 
secure advanced vocational and technical education not avail- 
able locally. Such changes of residence occurred most frequently 
among young people from rural areas who looked forward to 
living and working in cities. Improved transportation and judi- 
cious location of community institutes made it possible for 
many students to commute to the institutes but by no means 
for all. It was therefore decided that residence halls should 
be erected in connection with community institutes approved 
for this purpose by the state department of education and that 
the state should pay the costs of building and equipment. Resi- 
dence halls are operated by the local districts on a nonprofit basis. 

Since each community institute would serve an area larger 
than the district in which it was located, it was considered only 
fair that the district should not bear the f till cost of construct- 
ing and equipping institute buildings. After caref ul study, the 
division of research developed a formula for financial assistance 
from the state, based on the ratio of high-school graduates in 
the tributary area to the high-school graduates in the district 
operating the community institute, for the three years preced- 
ing the approval of the building program. This formula was 
subsequently incorporated in the state school code. 


Comolidated Organizatioti To 
Support Community Institutes 

Because of the distribution of population, it was foreseen that 
gaps might occur in the state system of community institutes. 
In certain sparsely settled rural areas it seemed likely that many 
years would pass before districts would be formed which would 
be able to support community institutes in addition to high 
and elementary schools. For a long time, it was expected, the 
high schools in these areas would continue; to be small institu- 
tions dependent upon extensive transportation systems to serve 
their students. Consolidation of high-school districts would be 
limited to the areas which could be served by school buses. The 
law, therefore, provides that two or more high-school districts 
may combine to form a larger district to maintain a community 
institute with residence facilities for those students who live 
beyond the range of school buses. Such an institution is under 
the jurisdiction of its own community institute district board 
which operates in the same manner as other governing boards. 
State funds are distributed in accordance with the principles 
established for financing other public schools. 

Local Control 

of Community Institutes 

Some members of the state committees proposed that the 
new community institutes be operated as a part of the system of 
state-supported college and university education with the full 
costs paid from state funds. An argument of much weight was 
that such education corresponds to the lower divisions of the 
state colleges and universities, the cost of which is borne entirely 
by the state. It would be unfair, so it was argued, for local dis- 
tricts to maintain a substantial part of the costs for community 
institutes while the state was wholly supporting comparable 
education elsewhere. 

While the inequity of the situation was admitted, the view 


eventually prevailed that the advantages of local operation 
and control far outweighed the disadvantages. The community 
institute, it was asserted, is obligated to minister to all the edu- 
cational needs of all its students. One of its functions, to be 
sure, is to prepare a part of its students for admission to the 
upper divisions of standard colleges and universities. But that 
is only one among many. The total purpose of advanced sec- 
ondary education is much more comprehensive. It is to supply 
both liberal education and practical training to a large body 
of youth, many of whom may not be able to devote more than 
a few months or a year to post-high-school study and some 
of whom may be able to attend classes only on a part-time 
basis. Local responsibility and local control, it was urged, will 
keep a community institute close to the community and respon- 
sive to community demands. Remote control, exercised by a 
board operating upon a statewide basis, will become impersonal 
and sooner or later will limit the services which the school ren- 
ders to its community. 

Community control, moreover, will go far to assure con- 
tinuity in the programs of the community institutes and of the 
high schools from which their students come. The history of 
American education has demonstrated that units of the school 
system become isolated when separately administered. For exam- 
ple, a quarter of a century ago, separately administered high 
schools and elementary schools often pursued their courses in 
relative isolation from one another, and one of the chief argu- 
ments in favor of establishing junior high schools was that they 
would help to "bridge the gap" between eighth and ninth 
grades. The history of the influence of college entrance require- 
ments on secondary schools shows how a separately organized, 
powerful educational unit can restrict desirable curriculum 
development in another unit. On the other hand, experience 
shows that these difficulties are largely overcome under unified 
administration and control. 


Thirteenth and Fourteenth Grades 
in Other Secondary Schools 

There are now eleven community institutes in the state of 
Columbia, and it is not likely that the number will greatly 
increase. Further growth will probably take the form of en- 
largement of these institutions and development of additional 
courses within them. 

A great deal of public education beyond twelfth grade takes 
place quite apart from the community institutes, however. 
Any school district which does not have a community institute 
may now offer instruction at the thirteenth and fourteenth 
grade levels in its secondary school or schools if it meets the 
minimum standards set by the state department of education and 
if its vocational education is limited to the chief occupational 
fields represented in the local community. The Farmville Sec- 
ondary School is a good example of a secondary school embrac- 
ing the eight years from Grade VII through Grade XIV and 
offering advanced courses in agriculture, homemaking, retail 
trade, business education, and mechanics. Although Farmville 
pioneered in this field, one now finds comparable arrangements 
in most of the secondary schools which are not within com- 
muting distance of community institutes. A secondary school 
receives state aid for its thirteenth and fourteenth years on the 
same basis as a community institute. The law makes it clear, 
however, that the two upper years in such a school do not con- 
stitute a community institute. 

This suggests the question of the relationships of community 
institutes to the secondary schools in districts which do not 
have community institutes. Each such secondary school, it is 
believed, should be closely and permanently related to a com- 
munity institute, preferably the one most conveniently located 
with respect to transportation. For one thing, competition for 
out-of-town students among the community institutes is con- 
sidered highly undesirable. A more important reason is that a 
close relationship greatly facilitates the operation of a continu- 


oiis guidance program, bridging the transition from high school 
to community institute. The Columbia State Department of 
Education, with the advice of the commission on < secondary 
education, has mapped out a tributary area for each com- 
munity institute and has adopted the regulation that a high- 
school graduate will normally attend the community institute 
in whose area his high school is located. Exceptions are made, 
of course, in the cases of students interested in vocations not 
represented in the curriculum of their local community insti- 
tute. We have already had occasion to observe many contacts 
and examples of cooperation in the case of the American City 
Community Institute and the Farmville Secondary School 
which lies in the tributary area of Amerian City. 


All these provisions, however, were not enough. The mem- 
bers of the state planning groups were quick to see that, even 
in the best of school systems, all the educational needs of youth 
could not possibly be met within twelve or fourteen years 
of school attendance. Some aspects of education must wait 
upon experience and maturity. When a youth takes his first 
full-time job; when he loses that job and has to find another; 
when he marries and establishes a home; when he becomes a 
voter; when he joins a labor union, a farmers* organization, 
or a businessman's association; when he finds that he has four 
hours of leisure time a day at his disposal then he is likely 
to become keenly aware of educational needs which only a 
few months before had seemed dimly remote. 

Legal provisions were therefore made for the support of 
a comprehensive program of free public adult education which 
would be open to all youth not in full-time attendance at 
school. The law authorized but did not require districts to 
admit adults and out-of -school youth to regular classes in 
community institutes and in the thirteenth and fourteenth 
grades of secondary schools. It also authorized districts to 


organize and maintain part-time and evening classes in any 
subject and to receive financial aid from the state for classes 
in subjects approved by the state board of education. The 
board's approvals, we may add, have been broad enough to 
encompass practically the whole range of interests of adults 
and older youth vocational, avocational, civic, cultural, fam- 
ily life, homemaking, and health. A satisfactory formula was 
developed for translating units of attendance in part-time 
classes into units of school population as a basis for distribut- 
ing state financial aid. 

In anticipation of the possible establishment of work camps 
for youth in public parks and forests and on public conserva- 
tion and construction projects, the law provides that state 
and federal aid may be applied to the support of educational 
programs in such camps. It further authorizes the state legis- 
lature to appropriate funds to pay for the difference between 
the total costs of such programs and the state and federal 
funds supplied under the regular plan of state aid. Since work 
camps are usually remote from the larger school districts, the 
state department of education is authorized to operate and 
control educational programs in camps, but it may contract 
with local school systems to carry all or part of this respon- 


The state board of education is composed of nine members, 
each of whom serves nine years. Terms are arranged so that 
one vacancy occurs each year. For purposes of nominating 
members of this board, the state is divided into nine "areas" 
approximately equal in population. One member of the state 
board of education is appointed from each of these "areas." 
Whenever a position on the board is about to become vacant, 
the state superintendent of public instruction sends nominat- 
ing ballots to all the members of local boards of education 
in the "area" which the retiring member represents. Each 
local board of education member is allowed to nominate not 


to exceed three candidates from the "area" in whicK he resides. 
Ballots are returned to and tabulated by the state superin- 
tendent of public instruction. A second ballot is prepared, 
containing the names of the ten persons receiving the highest 
number of votes in the first election. This ballot is also sent 
to all members of local boards of education in the "area." 
The names of the three persons receiving the largest numbers 
of votes on this ballot are then submitted to the governor 
of the state who must appoint one of these three to the state 
board of education. The appointment is subject to Confirma- 
tion by the senate. Under this plan, no governor could appoint 
a majority of the board during one term of office except by 
reason of deaths and resignations. 

This organization of the state board of education is new 
in Columbia and was. adopted after an extensive survey of 
existing and proposed practices. A plan for an ex officio board, 
composed of state officials, was rejected because of unsatis- 
factory experiences in other states. So also was a proposal for 
a board made up of professional educators. A board of lay 
citizens, interested in public education and free from partisan 
political controls, was preferred. 

The state board of education's position in relation to the 
state system of public education and the chief state school 
officer is similar to that of a city board of education in 
relation to the city schools and the city superintendent of 
schools. 7 The board is a policy-making body. The chief state 
school officer is the executive officer of the board. The state 
board of education is empowered to make such rules and regu- 
lations for the conduct and operation of the public schools 
as are not in conflict with school law. The state department 

7 We do not here consider the question of desirable organization for the administration of 
all aspects of education at the state level, since we are concerned only with secondary educa- 
tion in this report. For a discussion of over-all organization see page 90 in the Educational 
Policies Commission's statement on The Structure and Administration of Education in Ameri- 
can Democracy. (National Education Association and American Association of School Ad- 
ministrators, Educational Policies Commission, 'Washington, D. C., 1938.) 


of education, after consultation with representatives of the 
public schools, formulates proposals and recommendations for 
the board's consideratipn. 


The state department of education is headed by the chief 
state school officer (in Columbia, the superintendent of public 
instruction) who is appointed by the state board of educa- 
tion. All the members of the staff responsible for policy-making 
(associate superintendents, assistant superintendents, directors, 
and supervisors) are appointed by the state board of educa- 
tion upon nomination by the state superintendent of public 
instruction. Neither the chief state school officer or members 
of the staff are required to be residents of the state at the 
time of appointment. The laws were framed to enable the 
state to secure the ablest professional people available anywhere 
in the nation. Salaries of division chiefs compare favorably 
with those of superintendents of all but the largest city schools 
and with those of department heads in colleges. Under these 
conditions, a staff of persons of substantial professional ability 
has been developed. Employees in grades below those of policy- 
making officials are under civil service and have qualified for 
their positions through competitive examinations administered 
by the state personnel board. 

To enlist some of the best talent in the state in dealing with 
educational policies and problems, a plan has been developed 
for appointing temporary commissions to advise the staff of 
the state department of education on specific problems. Such 
a commission is appointed when a problem arises on which 
counsel is needed, and it is usually continued until the main 
steps have been taken toward the solution of the problem. 
For example, a commission on secondary education served in 
this capacity during the three years after the laws were passed 
authorizing free public education through the thirteenth and 
fourteenth grades. 


The State Department and 
the Local School Districts 

The superintendent of public instruction and other mem- 
bers of the staff of the state department of education are thor- 
oughly committed to the principle that schools should be con- 
trolled chiefly by local governing boards and their chief execu- 
tive officers and staffs with only the necessary minimum of 
control by state officials. The department staff believes that if 
the community is relieved of responsibility for the operation 
of its schools, the schools will sooner or later lose touch with the 
life of the community. 

At the same time, the state department of education fol- 
lows the policy that minimum standards of education should 
be set by the laws of the state and by the regulations of the 
state board of education. Without minimum standards there 
will be erratic performances by some local boards of educa- 
tion, and in vital matters affecting the schools there will be 
failures which will seriously impair educational services. While 
advocating the maintenance of standards, the department of 
education recognizes that standards, as a rule, are more ef- 
fectively maintained through competent and inspiring leader- 
ship on the part of the state staff than through stress on 
enforcement of laws and regulations. 

Experience shows that there are few intentional violations 
of the laws and that violations become fewer as administra- 
tors are better trained and grow in experience and professional 
outlook. Indeed, administrators frequently suggest new or 
advanced standards which they believe are needed to improve 
the schools. Now and then, however, there are boards of 
education and school administrators who seek to evade the 
state's requirements, and then the state must exercise its powers 
of enforcement. 

The state department of education takes the point of view 
that the success of its program is measured by the develop- 
ments which take place in the schools of the state. It seeks 


to supply a high quality of professional leadership to the state's 
educational forces, to take an active part in all educational 
councils, and to conduct research needed for statewide advance- 
ment of education. In all such matters it cooperates with the 
institutions of higher education in the state and particularly 
with teachers colleges, schools of education, and bureaus of 
educational research. It formulates its program from the prob- 
lems confronting the public schools, and for this reason it 
keeps in close contact with state and local professional organi- 

Schoolbome Planning 

Some years ago the legislature passed a law establishing a 
division of schoolhouse planning in the state department of 
education. This division has amply demonstrated its useful- 
ness. The law requires that, whenever a district expects to 
erect a new building, its plans must be submitted to this divi- 
sion for examination and approval. The division also offers 
consultative services to the local districts in matters pertain- 
ing to school plant and equipment. 

Minimum standards pertaining to such factors as heating 
facilities, lighting, sanitation, and construction must be fol- 
lowed in designing and erecting school buildings. These stand- 
ards would be readily accepted by any competent architect. 
Each community employs its own architect and is encouraged 
to go well beyond minimum standards in developing plans 
suited to the local situation. 

The staff of the division of schoolhouse planning has sup- 
plied advice to many districts on the organization of surveys 
as the bases for building programs, and it has visited many 
others to study and to give advice on plans that are fairly 
well matured. It has been particularly helpful in developing 
plans for community institute buildings and for community 
schools such as that in the Farmville district. Underlying all 
its work are the principles that program planning must pre- 


cede the planning of buildings and that buildings must be 
fashioned to achieve educational objectives. 

At the suggestion of the division of schoolhouse planning, 
legislation was passed before the close of the war, enabling 
local governing boards to raise funds to be devoted to capital 
outlays. New construction had all but stopped during the 
war except the emergency construction in centers where the 
war had caused unusual population increases. As a result, many 
districts needed to undertake extensive building programs as 
soon as the war should end. By means of relatively small taxes 
over several years, these districts accumulated funds which 
have since been used to erect school buildings suited to the 
postwar needs and programs. Several of the newly consoli- 
dated districts, which faced the need for immediate erection 
of new school plants, were able to match the subsidies from 
the state capital outlay fund without resorting to bond issues. 

School administrators did not forget the lessons learned 
during the thirties in connection with the federal programs 
of public works. They remembered that many districts had 
been unable to take advantage rff the offer of federal aid for 
school building construction because the districts lacked the 
funds -required as the local contribution. Local governing 
boards now took the point of view that if federal money were 
again to become available following the war and if the local 1 
district were required to supply a part of the cost of new 
construction, the building fund would enable them immedi- 
ately to provide the district's share of the expense. If the fed- 
ei;al government " undertook no program, the local building 
fund could still be used as far as it would go. 

Certification and Education 
of Teachers 

For many years, the laws of the state of Columbia have 
empowered the state board of education to set the standards 
of educational accomplishment which teachers must attain 


before being certified to teach in the schools, and to specify 
certain other requirements. 

The staff of the state department of education has been 
scrupulously careful to see that these standards are observed. 
One of its most difficult problems arose out of the large 
number of "emergency certificates" issued to persons who 
could not meet the minimum standards during the years of 
the war when the supply of certified teachers fell far short 
of the demand. The state department of education staff has 
worked untiringly to restore adherence to standards, either 
by revoking emergency certificates or by requiring that teach- 
ers holding them shall complete the requirements for regular 
certificates within a specified time. 

Excellence of teaching cannot be assured by minimum stand- 
ards alone, however. The success of school programs like those 
in Farmville and American City depends upon teachers whose 
competencies can never be reduced to legal formulas. For some 
years now, a large part of the state department of education 
staff, aided by an advisory commission, has been working with 
institutions for the educatioh of teachers in a cooperative 
effort to improve the professional preparation of teachers 
well beyond the minimum required by law. At the same time, 
the staff has been conferring with administrators and super- 
visors in school systems throughout the state in joint endeavors 
to improve the methods of selecting teachers, the processes 
of inducting new teachers, and the programs of in-service 
teacher education. In all these undertakings, the state, staff 
seeks to supply leadership, stimulation, and expert counsel 
rather than to prescribe. Its techniques are those of the con- 
ference and the "workshop." 

Principles in Teacher 
Education and Selection 

Among the principles which have guided the state depart- 
ment of education, these are particularly worthy of mention: 


1. Every teacher should comprehend the purposes of public 
education in a democratic society and should clearly see how 
his own work contributes to the achievement o these purposes. 

2. Every teacher should have both a liberal education and 
thorough preparation in the field in which he expects to teach. 
Specialization alone is not enough, for in the secondary school 
of today, the competent teacher must be able to see and teach 
the relationships of his particular subjects to the whole of 
education and the whole of life. 8 

3. Because of the prime importance of citizenship educa- 
tion in all schools and for all pupils, every teacher should be 
well prepared to assume his own obligations as a citizen and 
should also understand how the school may serve as an agency 
for developing civic responsibility. 

4. Every teacher should have sympathetic understanding of 
boys and girls and should be familiar with scientific informa- 
tion regarding child development and the psychology of 

5. In view of the growing recognition of the importance 
of guidance, particularly in secondary schools, every teacher 
should understand the nature and purposes of guidance and 
should have had practical experience in individual and group 
guidance as a part of his training. 

6. Every teacher of vocational courses and every teacher 
in other fields related to the world of work should have had 
some experience, as an adult, in work outside the teaching 

7. Every teacher should have had training and experience 
in studying community problems or in working with com- 
munity agencies other than the school. 

8. Programs for the education of teachers should include 
supervised experience in dealing with actual problems rep- 
resentative of those which students are likely to encounter 
later as teachers, and the college records .of candidates for 
teaching should include full reports of candidates* perform- 
ances in these situations. 

Let us not suppose that no obstacles are encountered. Pres- 
sure must still be exerted against the influence of some mem- 

8 For example, see the description of the course in "Common Learnings" in the American 
City secondary schools, pages 248-70. 


bers of college and university faculties who are unacquainted 
with the needs of the public schools and who apparently 
believe that specialized training in subjectmatter alone is ade- 
quate to prepare a young man or woman to teach in a second- 
ary school. On the other hand, the state department of edu- 
cation must restrain the insistence of some instructors in college 
departments of education that professional courses be mul- 
tiplied until they require most of the prospective teacher's 
time. Then, too, there are problems arising out of the desire 
of understaffed colleges to be accredited as institutions for 
teacher education and from the failure of even the better- 
equipped institutions to make adequate provision for observa- 
tion, apprentice teaching, and community experience. 

One might add pages to the list of problems. The important 
thing, however, is that encouraging progress is being made 
in meeting them, not so much by changing laws and regula- 
tions, as by supplying competent professional leadership and 
employing the methods of education and democratic group 
action. 9 

The state department of education also administers, at the 
state level, the laws and regulations relating to teacher tenure 
and teacher retirement. 

The State and 
the Curriculum 

The law gives the state board of education authority to 
determine, in broad outline, the scope of the educational pro- 
gram to be provided in local communities. The board has 
consistently used its authority to define only the minimum 

9 The brevity of this treatment of education of teachers is deliberate. The Commission 
recognizes that so important a subject deserves far more space than is here given to it. How- 
ever, because of the fact that the Commission on Teacher Education of the American Coun- 
cil on Education is now publishing the reports of its four-year cooperative study, it seems 
advisable to refer readers to these thorough and authoritative treatments of the subject, 
rather than to attempt extended treatment of teacher education in this volume. For a list 
of publications of the Commission on Teacher Education, ' see footnote 4 on page 407. 


essentials of the curriculum. Every district enjoys wide lati- 
tude to exceed the prescribed minimum, to adapt the curric- 
ulum to its local conditions, and to experiment with new 
fields and methods of instruction. 

The last ten years have seen more changes in the curricu- 
lums of secondary schools in the state of Columbia than any 
comparable period in the state's history. In such a dynamic 
period, the state department of education has pursued the 
policy of leaving the statements of minimum essentials un- 
altered while seeking to encourage and guide those changes 
in curriculum which seem directed toward more adequate 
educational services for the youth of the state. Changes in 
prescriptions of minimum essentials, it is believed, should be 
the product of a period of experimentation. Only in a few 
extreme cases of ill-considered aberrations has the department 
employed its authority to restrain a local district. 

Most of the efforts of the state staff have been devoted to 
fostering interest, initiative, and resourcefulness on the part 
of local teachers and school administrators and of institutions 
for teacher education. The state department of education has 
sponsored or cooperated in a large number of conferences and 
workshops on curriculum improvement. It has advised the 
curriculum committees in many local school systems. It has 
kept in touch with most of the new curriculum develop- 
ments within the state and many of those in other parts of 
the country and has disseminated information about the best 
of these to schools throughout the state. The research divi- 
sion has made a number of important studies of educational 
needs of youth and of the results of new curriculum prac- 
tices and has reported the results both to educators and to 
the public. Out of such experiments as those at Farmville 
and American City, a body of tested principles is emerging 
which can be used as guides by everyone. The; state staff seeks 
to promote and aid such experiments, to evaluate their out- 
comes, and to make their results available to all the schools. 


Work Experience 

Supervised work experience, we recall, has a large place 
in the program of secondary schools in Farmville and Amer- 
ican City, and under certain conditions school credit is granted 
for work in private or public employment. Such practice is 
now common throughout the state of Columbia. 

When educators began to propose that credit be granted 
for supervised work experience, it became clear that local 
districts were not free to act as they might choose. The state 
was involved, for the state regulations regarding credits, at- 
tendance, and the distribution of state funds had been framed 
without reference to supervised work experience. Local school 
administrators asked for a statement of state policy and of 
the basic principles involved. Such a statement, they believed, 
would help the local districts to develop sound practices and 
would go far to prevent careless administrators from bring- 
ing work experience into disrepute. 

The state department of education again turned for coun- 
sel to an advisory commission which included representatives 
of employers' and labor organizations as well as educators. 
The department staff analyzed the school law to determine 
what restrictions, if any, the law placed on the crediting of 
supervised work experience. The staff report called attention 
to the fact that the essentials of the work experience program 
had been a part of the secondary curriculum for many years, 
appearing as office work or retail selling for pupils enrolled 
in business courses, as farm and home projects in agriculture 
or homemaking classes, and as shopwork in the trade and indus- 
trial program. Work in these fields was not only permitted 
but encouraged under existing laws and formed a basis from 
which extensions could be made to include other kinds of 
work experience. With the aid of the advisory commission, 
the staff prepared a statement of principles, in substance as 

1. The pupil must be regularly enrolled in the school so 


that the school can control his work experience to the end 
that the pupil may learn thereby. Credit can be given only 
when there is evidence that learning has occurred. 

2. The work experience must be related to the pupil's total 
educational program. The project in agriculture carried on 
by a pupil preparing to operate a farm and the work in an 
office by a pupil preparing for a business career illustrate the 

, desirable relationship between work experience and the pupil's 
purposes. It is not always possible, however, to achieve such a 
close correspondence between work and vocational plans. When 
that is the case, learning to work well at any job may properly 
be considered a part of a pupil's education whatever his plans 
for a future occupation may be. Decisions in such matters 
should be left to the staffs of the local schools. 

3. Work experience mtist t>e supervised by a member of 
the teaching or administrative staff of the school in which 
the pupil is enrolled as well as by the employer. Unless care 
is exercised to insure proper working conditions, the pupil 
may gain little from his experience. Credit for work experi- 
ence should, therefore, be contingent upon supervision which 
will insure continued learning. 

4. Work experience must be so organized as to produce con- 
tinuous growth in specific skills and knowledge. Repetition of 
a few simple processes which may be learned quickly must 
not be long continued if credit is to be granted. While the 
pupil should learn to report to work on time, to continue to 
work at one job even though he may prefer to be elsewhere, 
and to give an honest day's work for a day's pay, he should 
not be left for long on a job after he has learned all the skills 
and knowledge which the job requires. 

J. An evaluation of the individual's work experience must 
be made and the evaluation entered upon the pupil's record. 
As far as possible, objective instruments of appraisal should 
be used. 

This statement was submitted to the state board of educa- 
tion and adopted. 

College Entrance Requirements 

At the close of the war large numbers of young men and 
women returned to the colleges and universities to resume 


their courses while even more sought entrance to collegiate 
institutions for the first time. In addition to the usual college- 
bound students among recent graduates from the high schools, 
there was a large number of young people who had entered 
military service or employment with no college experience 
and who now desired college education. Confronted with what 
was regarded in many quarters as a patriotic duty, collegiate- 
institutions did not hold to the stringent entrance requirements 
which some of them had enforced in the past. Moreover, they 
agreed that a certain amount of credit might be given for 
special training in the Army and Navy and for correspondence 
courses completed through the Armed Forces Institute. These 
changed attitudes encouraged the Columbia State Department 
of Education to investigate the question of college entrance 
requirements in order to see if all the higher institutions might 
be willing to adopt some criteria of admission other than the 
conventional grades and patterns of subjects. 

This question had already been considered by some other 
groups, among them a state committee consisting of repre- 
sentatives of universities and colleges, of secondary schools, 
and of the regional accrediting association. This committee 
was called into consultation by the state department of educa- 
tion. Representatives of the state office and administrators of 
the secondary schools advocated freedom for the high schools 
to develop their own educational programs and asserted that 
this would not interfere with the work of the colleges. They 
presented evidence to show that colleges could select students 
by other means which were equal, if not superior, to course 
grades and patterns of subjects. Their case was warmly sup- 
ported by some representatives of the 'colleges and universi- 
ties who had had experience in selecting candidates for the 
ASTP and the Navy V-5 and V-12 programs and who knew 
how inadequate the conventional system of grades and credits 
had been for that purpose. 

Much work and many conferences were needed before the 


proposals for change were generally accepted. Methods had 
to be devised for carrying the question to committees on en- 
trance requirements in individual colleges and universities 
and for getting members of these committees and representa- 
tives of the secondary schools to sit down together around 
conference tables. Comparable movements in the other states 
of the regional accrediting association had to be examined and 
working relationships established with other state departments 
of education. Differences were finally resolved with the results 
which we have observed in the cases of Farmville and Ameri- 
can City. 10 The important thing is not that the colleges and 
universities have changed their methods of admission but 
rather, that by making these changes, they have helped to make 
possible the kinds of educational programs found in the Farm- 
ville and American City schools. 

Community Youth Councils 

As one travels about the state of Columbia today, he finds 
that most communities have youth councils which have been 
of great assistance to the secondary schools and have performed 
many other useful services. Since the youth council in Farm- 
ville has already been described, 11 we shall tell no more about 
local councils at this time. We should point out, however, that 
the state department of education has played a large part 
in the development of these councils. The staff members of 
the department have told stories of the successful councils in 
their travels about the state and have consulted with local 
authorities about plans for starting councils ,in their commu- 

Local councils normally include representatives of many 
interests which are found in the state government educa- 
tion, health, recreation, social welfare, employment, industrial 
and labor relations, and the like. Several years ago the director 

10 See pages 51-53, 323-25. 
"See pages 158-59. 


of the division of secondary education began to invite repre- 
sentatives of these state offices to meet at a monthly luncheon 
to discuss matters relating to the education and welfare of 
youth at the state level. These conferences proved quite valu- 
able and have been continued. Representatives of other agen- 
cies have been added the state congress of parents and 
teachers; the Columbia State Education Association; the agri- 
cultural extension service; state organizations of employers, 
laborers, and farmers; and several group work agencies. This 
informal state council makes no attempt to operate a program 
of its own. It is concerned chiefly with the ways in which its 
members can be of greatest service to youth councils and youth 
agencies in local communities. It also undertakes to see that 
the interests of youth are adequately represented in the coun- 
cils of state government. 


The state plan of guidance, as it has developed five years 
after the war, is based on the conviction that the school's 
obligation to its students is not discharged until each youth 
is launched on his adult career with a fair outlook for suc- 
cess suited to his abilities. The schools, therefore, have under- 
taken to provide an adequate counseling service to all youth 
during their years in school and also through the initial period 
of adjustment to full-time employment. 13 As far as possible, 
the responsibility for guidance lies with the staffs of the local 
schools. * 

Many young people, however, do not remain in the same 
districts throughout their periods of schooling and initial em- 
ployment. They move from rural areas to cities and from one 
city to another, some to continue their education and some 
to seek work. The Columbia State Department of Education 
recognized that no collection of separate guidance systems 

12 See pages 39-50, 309-23. 


could give adequate service to these youth who migrate. Some 
plan of statewide guidance service was needed. 

The situation could be met either by the establishment of 
a system of guidance directly operated by the state depart- 
ment of education or by the cooperative efforts of the local 
schools and the department. Consistent with its philosophy of 
favoring local administration and control, the department 
chose to act through voluntary agreements to cooperate, worked 
out in conference, rather than by setting up a system of guid- 
ance to be operated by the state. 

It was generally agreed among the schools that whenever 
a boy or girl moved from one community to another, whether 
he was going, to another school or was seeking employment, 
the school counseling staff would promptly notify the staff 
in the community to which he was moving and would send 
a transcript of his records. The counseling staff in the new 
community would then assume responsibility. 

The community institutes, moreover, agreed that their 
counseling staffs would .maintain contact with the smaller 
tributary schools in the surrounding areas to discover those 
young people who were planning to go to cities and to try 
to anticipate some of their problems. This entails consider- 
able field service on the part of the community institute 
counselors. Visits are made each year to all the "feeder" schools 
to inform students about educational opportunities and em- 
ployment conditions in the cities and to consult with them 
about their plans and needs. 

Personal History 

When the schools began to depart from the conventional 
methods of recording grades and credits, the need for some 
other system of reasonably uniform records became apparent. 
The admissions officers in the institutions of higher educa- 
tion wanted such records, and the guidance staffs of the sec- 


ondary schools needed them in order to serve the young people 
who moved from one community to another. A system of 
records was developed jointly by the state department of 
education and a committee of educators from the public 
schools and the colleges with advice from national agencies. 
The research division of the state department of education 
helped to prepare the forms, studied their uses, and from time 
to time has proposed improvements. The use of these "per- 
sonal history records" is optional, but most of the districts 
in the state are now using them. 

The state department of education has other functions re- 
lated to guidance of which we shall mention two. It carries 
on research and cooperates with other state agencies par- 
ticularly with the public employment service in gathering 
information about occupational trends, opportunities, and 
requirements at the state level and in making this available 
to all the schools in the state. It also acts as the medium for 
communication between the U. S. Office of Education and 
the local schools and supplies the schools with information 
about occupational trends and outlooks received from na- 
tional sources. 


During the period covered by this report, Congress for the 
first time voted large appropriations to assist the states and 
localities in the support of public education. Since all these 
funds are channeled through the state departments of educa- 
tion, a brief statement of their purposes belongs in this descrip- 
tion of the Columbia state system. 

General Aid Funds for Equalization 
of Educational Opportunities 

Grants for general aid to public education are allocated to 
states on an objective basis, the primary purpose of which 
is to make the states more nearly equal in ability to support 


public education. The number of children to be educated and 
the financial ability of the state to support a system of public 
education are the basic criteria in calculating apportionments. 
Appropriations are made to the U. S. Office of Education for 
distribution to the several states. Each state in turn distributes 
the funds to its various districts in the same manner in which 
it distributes the state general aid funds. 

Earmarked Funds 
for Youth Education 

As soon as the war ended, the nation was confronted once 
again by the problem of how to make the best use of the 
time and talents of its youth. Although most of the states 
and local school districts like those in the state of Columbia 
were ready with programs of educational service to youth, 
the needs developed with such speed and on such a vast scale 
that the states and localities would have been financially unable 
to match them had the federal government not supplied aid 
for this purpose. 

When the youth problem of the thirties demanded federal 
action, the government had chosen to try to meet the need 
through the federal youth agencies. In one year, it had appro- 
priated as much as $650,000,000 for the support of the CCC 
and the NYA. 

When the youth problem of the forties developed, the fed- 
eral government chose to use its funds to aid the established 
agencies of public education to meet the needs of youth. Con- 
gress, therefore, appropriated funds to the U. S. Office of 
Education to be distributed to the states to aid in paying 
the costs of operating programs of vocational education, gen- 
eral education, and guidance for youth between fifteen and- 
twenty-one years of age, inclusive. Funds were to be distributed 
according to a formula based on the number of young people, 
of the ages specified, in full-time attendance in public schools 
during the fiscal year. Provisions were added that none of 


the federal funds should be used to replace any state or local 
funds hitherto expended for the education of youth of these 
ages. The federal funds were thus used exclusively for the 
enlargement of educational services to youth. In Columbia, 
and indeed in every state, the federal funds were more than 
matched by increased appropriations for youth education by 
the state and local districts. 

In order to make it possible for schools to plan continuous 
programs, the federal law appropriated funds for youth edu- 
cation over a period of ten years and provided that, there- 
after, the funds earmarked for youth education should be 
absorbed into the general aid fund for the equalization of 
educational opportunities. Ten years were regarded as a period 
sufficiently long for the demonstration and establishment of 
the new services. 

Aid to Individual 

It was not enough to appropriate funds to provide educa- 
tional services. The question also had to be considered whether 
all youth would be able to take advantage of these services. 
The answer was clear, that, under postwar conditions, many 
boys and girls would drop out of school unless they had 
some way of earning money to meet their personal expenses. 
Some would be unable even to pay for clothes, lunches, and 
carfare, and others, only slightly more fortunate, would feel 
at a social disadvantage without spending money. During the 
war this had been no problem, for then there were plenty 
of part-time jobs for boys and girls. But now the part-time 
jobs were scarce. The schools made strenuous efforts to de- 
velop their work-and-study programs, to find odd jobs, and 
to promote small productive enterprises by which students 
could earn money. They achieved notable results but not 
enough to care for all .their students who needed money. 

The federal government, therefore, following its precedent 


of the thirties, appropriated funds for aid to individual stu- 
dents in high schools, community institutes, 18 colleges, and 
universities. These funds are appropriated to the U. S. Office 
of Education and are distributed to the states according to 
a formula which takes account of student population and 
employment conditions in each of the states. Funds for aid 
to students in secondary schools move through the state depart- 
ment of education. In Columbia, the department has devel- 
oped a few general principles for the use of these funds and 
a plan for distributing the money equitably within the state. 
Local school officials are responsible for the selection of boys 
and girls who are to be employed, the type of work they 
perform, and the supervision of their work. Normally student- 
aid money must be earned by the student through some form 
of productive work for a public or nonprofit agency. Local 
officials are allowed discretion, however, in assigning a small 
portion of the funds as scholarship grants. 

State and Local 
Control Retained 

The acts appropriating federal funds for education reserve 
to the federal government only the minimum of control 
necessary to assure the expenditure of the funds for the broad 
purposes for which they were appropriated. The federal gov- 
ernment exercises no control over educational policies and 
practices in the states and localities. Full authority and respon- 
sibility for the content and methods of education continue to 
reside in the states and their constituent school districts. 

Such is the framework of state law, state administration, 
and state and federal financial support for the state of Colum- 
bia. Within that framework, eleven community institutes 

"In some states, institutions of this type were called "junior colleges"; in others, "in- 
stitutes of applied arts and sciences." 


and close to two hundred high schools have developed pro- 
grams which are well advanced on the way to meeting the 
educational needs of all youth. Those which we have seen, in 
Farmville and American City, are fairly representative of the 
state as a whole. 



TKe History Tkat Must Be Written 

OPENING CHAPTER of this book contained an excerpt 
. from an imaginary "history" of the future of American 
education. In that chapter we described the course which 
American education is likely to follow if state and local educa- 
tional agencies fail to plan creatively and adequately, and to act 
promptly and vigorously, to the emerging problems of 
secondary education. The Commission, of course, hopes that the 
local and state educational agencies will plan and act in this 
manner. It believes that they will do so. 

We conclude this report on the education of all American 
youth, therefore, with a contrasting and more hopeful type of 
"history." This chapter is a prediction of the kind of educational 
history which we think can, will, and must be written in the 
future. 1 Here then, for the quarter century from 1925 to 1950 


"In 1925 the world was at peace. Armaments were limited by treaty. 
The League of Nations was meeting regularly. The nations of the world were 
soon, in the Pact of Paris, to 'renounce war as an instrument of national 
policy.' The United States was enjoying the benefit of an unprecedented 
and growmg material prosperity. Production was high. There was work for 
nearly everyone. Shrewd or lucky investors could reap fabulous profits upon 
the rising stock markets. The national income was steadily' rising to heights 
hitherto unimagined. Many Americans congratulated themselves that they 
lived in a golden era, marked by freedom from want and freedom from war. 

Prosperity and Expansion (1925-1929) 

"The secondary schools of this era were in the very center of a tremendous 
program of expansion. Since 1880 their enrolments had doubled every 

1 As in Chapter I, the hypothetical "history" will be marked by a distinctive type face. 


decade. On the material side, it sometimes seemed as though the school 
architect and the construction industry could scarcely build the high schools 
fast enough to contain the ever-growing avalanche of young people seeking 
secondary education. Schools, built but a year or two before to house per- 
haps 2000 pupils, hastily readjusted their programs and went on double 
shifts with total enrolments of 5000 and 6000. The typical secondary-school 
building fairly bulged with the effort to find room for the incoming parade 
of youth. 

"The task of training teachers for this multitude was equally great. Uni- 
versities and teachers colleges flourished all year round with huge summer 
sessions and intersessions for teachers in service and with preservice train- 
ing for large enrolments during the rest of the year. 

'There was little time for anyone to stand aside and ponder what type 
of educational opportunity should be provided for these millions of new- 
comers to secondary education. It was a period of wild and almost violent 
expansion in education as it was in industry and economic life. Size was 
often regarded as a mark of prestige for a school as for a business. Although 
a few far-sighted educators saw that a new educational program was more 
urgently needed than a larger one, the citizens generally had neither the 
time nor the inclination to inquire into the deeper meanings of the great 
social movements which were occurring before their eyes. The energies of 
those directly concerned with education were devoted largely to just keep- 
ing up with the oncoming flood of new students. To be sure, a number of 
important and useful adjustments were made to adapt the old program more 
closely to the new needs. When we look back on the difficulties under 
which the schools then labored, we do not wonder why a more completely 
successful educational program was not evolved. Rather, we wonder how 
the harassed teachers and administrators were able to accomplish as much 

as they did. 


Depression and Relief (1929-1940) 

"In November 1929 came the great depression which" put a painful period 
to the era of easy money. Investments and savings were wiped out/ produc- 
tion and trade figures tumbled downward; the industrialist shut his factory/ 
the workman left his bench/ the banks closed their doors. Millions of men 
and women who had been self-supporting were now put of jobs and des- 
perately seeking employment that was nowhere to be found. The bread 
lines wound around whole city blocks; the sellers of apples appeared on 


street corners; the 'bonus' army marched on Washington/ and the bitter 
little song, 'Brother, Can You Spare a Dime/ became a national favorite. 

"War returned from its too brief banishment. Japan conquered Man- 
churia. Italy took Ethiopia. The League of Nations failed to act effectively 
in either case. There were revolutions in Germany, Austria, Spain. The Pact 
of Paris became another scrap of paper. 

"In the United States a new administration launched a great campaign 
to end the depression and to accomplish social and economic changes 
through governmental action. The Blue Eagle screamed briefly in a million 
shop windows. The Agriculture Adjustment Act, the Social Security Act, 
the Securities and Exchange Act, the Labor Relations Act became the law 
of the land. Through a series of changing organizations, now remembered 
largely because of the bewildering rotation of their alphabetical symbols, 
the federal government tried to meet the needs of the unemployed. There 
were FERA, WPA, PWA, CCC, and NYA. For those who could not be 
given work on, public projects, there was direct relief in the form of food, 
clothing, and small cash allowances. Now millions of American citizens, 
who only a few years ago had thought of themselves as economically secure, 
depended for daily bread upon the 'security wage* of some public works 
agency or the 'family budget* of some relief agency. Stubbornly the depres- 
sion held on. Not until the end of the decade, when a war-created pros- 
perity made the nation an arsenal of democracy, did large-scale unemploy- 
ment disappear. 

"The secondary schools, and indeed the entire structure of American 
education, were severely and adversely affected by the depression. The 
enrolments in these institutions continued to gain. Indeed, in many communi- 
ties the depression merely gave a further boost to an already steep rate of 
enrolment increases. But these schools depended, for the most part, upon 
local revenues, aided by some grants from the several states. These local 
revenues, based largely on the general property tax, began to dwindle. 
Many owners of property were unable or unwilling to pay their taxes. 
Forced sales for tax delinquency increased at an alarming rate. A demand for 
tax reduction and for constitutional limitations upon local tax rates became 
. effective in legislation in one state after another. Hundreds of schools closed 
their doors. Almost without exception, the salaries of teachers were sharply 
reduced to fit the Procrustean limits of diminished revenues. The teachers in. 
many a one-room school and in many a rich American city went to their 
classrooms month after month without any pay at all. 


Federal Emergency Action 

"As long as these conditions endured, the nation was faced by the dis- 
graceful and risky spectacle of millions of youth out of school and out of 
work. Many youth, ready and eager to work, could not get a first job. Their 
needs were urgent, insistent. The federal government had to act quickly, and 
it did so. It established two federal youth agencies, the Civilian Conserva- 
tion Corps in 1933 and the National Youth Administration in 1935. 
Through them, it spent in the next ten years well over $3,000,000,000. 
The concern which the national government thus showed for the welfare 
of the nation's youth excited all but universal approval. It was often said 
that the youth services were the most popular of the many agencies created 
by the 'New Deal/ as the early years of the Roosevelt Administration were 
called. The President and the First Lady both took a lively interest in young 
people. The latter, especially, took pleasure in visiting the various federal 
youth centers, conferring with youth leaders, and generally giving the entire 
program the benefit of her untiring energy and abundant goodwill. 

"And yet, while this action by the federal government was good, it 
appears, as we now look back upon it, that it was not altogether the wisest 
course of action that might have been followed. 

'The Administration seems to have overlooked the great system of local 
public schools which the American people, over a period of more than a 
century, had developed to serve their youth. It overlooked the vast resources 
of 28,000 public high schools and 200 public junior colleges/ 300,000 
teachers, counselors, librarians, and administrators/ and $2,000,000,000 
invested in high-school plants and equipment. 

"It is true that the record of the schools included some faults and failures. 
Educators had sometimes been insensitive to youth needs and inept in meet- 
ing these needs. But, by and large, in the early thirties the educators of 
the nation were more aware of the youth problem and more eager to do 
something about it than any other organized group of people in the country. 
They lacked the financial resources for doing anything on the scale that was 
needed. Schools were not able to continue even their normal programs. 
Under the conditions of those days, only the federal government could sup- 
ply the funds required for a vigorous attack on the youth problem. 

"The prestige and power of the national government might have been 
\ised to strengthen the established agencies of public education and to lead 
them forward into greatly enlarged service to the nation's youth. Had this 
been done, the advancement of youth services as developed through the 


thirties would have endured. But the Congress and the Administration 
did not choose to work through the state and local school systems, 
or perhaps it might be more accurately and more fairly said that the govern- 
ment had no definite and vigorous policy at all with respect to public edu- 
cation. Men and women of extended experience and insight with reference 
to the public-school system of the nation were seldom called into conference 
by the higher policy-making officials of the government. These educators 
were in daily contact with the nation's youth. They had the welfare of youth 
at heart. They were eager to see youth served more adequately. They would 
have welcomed leadership from the federal government, for they knew that 
the problems which had to be met were nationwide. They wanted to regard 
their federal government as a collaborator, not as a competitor. But they 
were not thus recognized or encouraged. 

"Meanwhile, the two new federal agencies concerned with young 
people enjoyed expanding budgets. They began to add education to their 
employment and relief functions. At last, in 1939, the President himself 
gave official recognition to the educational function which the Civilian 
Conservation Corps and the, National Youth Administration had assumed. 
These new fecferal agencies, liberally financed by the federal government, 
were able to develop ambitious educational and other programs for the 
youth of the country programs which were quite beyond the means of 
the meagerly financed local and state school systems. 

"This development did not go unchallenged by those who felt that a 
federal system of education, by whatever name that educational system was 
called, was inimical to the best interest of the American democracy. For 
example, the Educational Policies Commission, an agency established in 
1935 by the National Education Association and the American Association 
of School Administrators, created no small disturbance in the educational 
world when, in October 1941, it published a document entitled The 
Civilian Conservation Corps, the National Youth Administration, and the 
Public Schools. 2 Herein it was recommended, among other things, that the 
National Youth Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps should 
be discontinued as separate youth agencies; that their functions as agencies 
of vocational training, general education, and guidance should be continued 

2 National Education Association and American Association of School Administrators, Educational Policies 
Commission. Th* Civilian Conservation Corps, the National Youth Administration, and the Public Schools. 
Washinston, D. C: the Commission, 1941. 79 p. 


but transferred to state and local educational agencies/ and that their func- 
tion as public works agencies should be located with the general agency or 
agencies of public works. 

"In this highly controversial report, the Educational Policies Commission 
was addressing itself to the basic issue in the relationship between the state 
and the federal government in matters of education. The Commission said 
that the federal government ought to provide money to help the state and 
local educational systems, strengthening and assisting them without exer- 
cising control over the processes of education. The Administration, on the 
other hand, supported by a small minority of educators, apparently felt that 
the best way to meet these national problems in the field of education was 
through direct federal operation and control of educational programs in- 
tended to meet the needs of youth. 

"Both those who favored the Commission's report and those who op- 
posed it agreed that many of the activities conducted by the federal youth 
agencies were in themselves desirable educational developments. They 
agreed that young people who had finished their schooling and were unable 
to obtain private employment should be given employment upon public 
works. They agreed on the necessity of providing part-time ^/ork for young 
people in school and college so that they could earn enough money to meet 
all or part of their expenses in connection with education. They agreed that 
substantial values had been derived from the CCC camps and the NYA resi- 
dent projects, although some thought that the educational values in the life 
of camps and resident centers had not been fully developed. They agreed 
as to the importance of work experience as an integral part of the educa- 
tional process. 

"It may seem, as we review this controversy and survey the large area 
of agreement, that the whole affair was nothing but a jurisdictional dispute 
between the schools and the federal bureaus. In fact, many of the people 
defending the c ederal programs in education did treat the whole matter in 
these narrow terms. 

"Furthermore, any criticism of the existing federal agencies was sure 
to be either misunderstood or misinterpreted. No matter how carefully the 
criticisms might be phrased, whoever argued for any other plan of adminis- 
tration than the existing one was almost sure to be tagged as a penurious 
reactionary who did not really want the youth of the nation to enjoy ade- 
quate educational and other services. 

"Actually, however, the discussion involved a fundamental federal 


policy toward the local and state school systems. Would the federal govern- 
ment aid and support these institutions or would it establish competitive 

"The debate proceeded vigorously through 1940 and 1941. In 1942 the 
matter came before Congress in the form of the appropriations for the Na- 
tional Youth Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps. After 
extended and, in the case of the former agency, bitter debate, Congress 
finally withdrew both appropriations. 

'The total effect of the rise and brief flourishing of the Civilian Con- 
servation Corps and the National Youth Administration was unquestionably 
wholesome. These agencies showed clearly that the federal government 
could actually operate educational programs with teachers, curriculums, 
and policies controlled from Washington. Thus they served to dramatize 
the possibilities and dangers of federal control of education. 

"Their positive values have already been noted. They established the 
principle that federal funds could be used to good purpose in order to 
enable students to remain in school. They explored and greatly enlarged 
the use of work experience in education. They demonstrated that youth em- 
ployed on public works projects could perform socially useful work. Un- 
doubtedly they saved many youth from idleness and worse and gave them 
opportunities which benefited both the individuals and the nation. 

'These agencies, moreover, gave a powerful stimulant to the work of 
the regular secondary schools. They showed that it was possible to provide 
educational, service for many young people, who, for a variety of reasons, 
were not being served by the schools. Thus they helped to make school 
administrators and the general public more keenly aware of the needs of 
all American youth. They sharply called into question the adequacy of the 
traditional secondary schools. Indeed, their greatest value, over the long 
run, proved to be the challenge which they gave to the regular secondary 
schools of the country a challenge which the public schools, under local 
administration and with federal aid, have now accepted and met so com- 
pletely that direct federal programs are no longer necessary. 

"The actions of Congress in 1942 did not settle the underlying issue. 
They removed the federal youth agencies, but they gave no assurance of 
federal support for an adequate program of youth education in the schools. 
The question remained: Would the schools be ready when the war was 
over to offer a comprehensive educational program for all youth with finan- 
cial help from federal sources or would the federal government then re- 


establish its youth educational agencies? Several events occurred during 
the war which helped to answer this question. 

"Undoubtedly, the most important of these events was the passage of 
the Federal Aid to Education Act. This legislation had been before Con- 
gress in one form or another for many years. As far back as 1931, President 
Hoover created a committee to advise him on the relation of the federal 
government to the states in matters of education. The Committee's report/ 
drafted after two years of study, recommended a system of federal grants-in- 
aid to equalize educational opportunities among the states. However, no 
action was taken by Congress or by the President on this document. 

"The issue could not be thrust aside. A Few years after President Roose- 
velt came into office, he decided to create an advisory committee of his own 
to restudy this question. This committee, composed like its predecessor of 
both educators and other citizens, made an extensive collection of evidence. 
In 1938 it offered recommendations asserting that equal educational oppor- 
tunity could not be achieved without action by the federal government to 
aid the state educational systems and proposing a modest experimental 
program of federal grants to education. This document was submitted to the 
President in 1938 and was subsequently published, together with no less 
than seventeen volumes of supporting evidence. Again, there was no defi- 
nite commitment by the Congress, although the President, in an address that 
summer at the opening of the World's Fair in New York City, told the Na- 
tional Education Association that he believed in the equalization of educa- 
tional opportunity through the use of federal funds. 

"Public and private agencies continued to study this problem and to 
reach substantially the same conclusions. The Educational Policies Commis- 
sion in 1937, the White House Conference on Children in a Democracy 
in 1940, the American Youth Commission in 1941, the Committee on Inter- 
governmental Fiscal Relations in 1942, and the National Resources Plan- 
ning Board just before it ended its work in 1943 all recommended federal 
aid to education. Indeed, careful study of the educational documents of 
the period has not revealed a single serious inquiry into the financing of 
public education in the United States between the years 1910 and 1940 
which failed to conclude that a wider measure of educational opportunity 
was necessary for the security of the democracy, that certain sections of the 
nation were unable to finance such education through their own efforts, and 
that federal sharing in the support of education was a national necessity. 


The Federal Aid to Education Act 

"As time dragged by without any action by Congress on the matter, the 
national necessity grew to be a national scandal. At last, the wartime neces- 
sity became so clear and the public pressure so overwhelming, that the skil- 
fully organized opposition of minority groups was thrust aside and the fed- 
eral government through appropriate legislation tardily recognized that it 
had definite and immediate responsibilities with respect to the education 
of its citizens. The law then enacted has been amended from time to time, 
but it still contains the original provision that no agent of the federal govern- 
ment shall in any way control the teaching methods, curriculum, or other 
aspects of the management of the local and state educational systems. This 
provision has been scrupulously observed. 

"Since the basic provisions of this Education Act are still in effect, tlie 
two purposes of this legislation are well known to all who have contact 
with the administration and financing of our "schools today. First, it provides 
that the federal government should allot funds to the states for the purpose 
of reducing the extreme inequalities in educational opportunity which had 
existed among the states. It puts a floor under an acceptable minimum pro- 
gram of education for all American youth. When any state, after making a 
substantial effort and sacrifice from the resources which it can reach by tax- 
ation, is still unable to support an adequate minimum program of education, 
the federal government uses its vast fiscal resources to make up the differ- 
ence. The Federal funds For this type of equalization may be expended by 
the states for elementary, secondary, higher, or adult education/ there is 
no earmarking at all as far as federal legislation is concerned. 

"A second purpose of the Federal Aid to Education Act has been to step 
up the national conception of the size, scope, and value of a complete and 
adequate educational program for youth. Our modern programs of secondary 
education exceed the ability of all but the wealthiest states and localities to 
finance, tax structures and the centralizing flow of wealth being what they 
are. Local, state, and Federal funds for the support of secondary education 
have all been considerably increased. The federal funds, other than those 
for equalization in general, were at first earmarked for secondary education 
and had to be spent by the states .for this purpose only. More recently, these 
earmarked funds have been added to the general equalization grant. 

"The education of American youth now costs between two and three 
times as much as did the secondary schools of 1940. The number of youth 
served has increased about 40 percent. Where about $800,000,000 


a year were spent tor secondary education in 1940, the nation now spends 
approximately $2,000,000,000. Congress, however, has not forgotten 
the days when it was spending upward of $500,000,000 a year merely 
to train and care for less than 10 percent of the nation's youth through 
the CCC and the NYA. Nor have the American people forgotten that 
the entire annual cost of education would equal only a few days of the 
money cost of the second World War. 

"As already stated, the control of education has remained in the states 
and localities. During the debate on the Act, there were loud declarations 
from the opposition that such legislation would inevitably be accompanied 
by federal control. However genuine these fears may have been, they have 
been removed by the course of events. We know now that it is entirely 
possible to draft legislation which appropriates money to the states for edu- 
cation and at the same time forbids any officer or agency of the federal 
government to control the educational program. 

Other Federal Activities (Up to 1946) 

"The Federal Aid to Education Act was the cornerstone of a whole series 
of federal legislative and administrative decisions which have profoundly 
influenced the course of education. Within two years, the following further 
activities were begun. Since most of these are still in effect, substantially as 
enacted or inaugurated, only a listing of them with brief comment will be 

1. A federal system of financial aid to help young people meet the 
expenses involved in attending high school and college. Funds are usually 
paid for useful work done by the youth, incidental to his education. The 
funds are distributed to high schools, colleges, and universities through 
the appropriate state educational agencies and the U. S. Office of Education. 
The selection of students to receive aid and the direction of their work and 
educational experience are handled by the counselors and administrative 
staff of the local educational system, subject to minimum safeguards against 
abuse, formulated by the respective state departments of education. In the 
cases of youth who are unable to work, for reasons of health or other causes, 
the local school authorities have authority to grant necessary financial aid 
outright, without work requirements. 

2. The systematic collection, evaluation, and distribution on a national 
basis of information concerning occupational trends. In our closely knit 
economic life, occupational information is inadequate precisely to the ex- 
tent that it is less than national in scope. Intelligent vocational guidance and 
training are not feasible without such data. The use of such information is 
now so commonplace that it is difficult to realize that, less than a generation 
ago, millions of youth selected occupations and prepared for them without 


any solid knowledge whatever about future employment probabilities. 
Although various government agencies have a part in conducting the neces- 
sary studies, the information that is of particular use to schools is adapted to 
their special educational requirements and sent to them by the U. S. 
Office of Education. 

3. Expansion and strengthening of the U. S. Office of Education. 
All during the war the executive branch of the government was so 
organized and administered that the schools were badgered by materials, 
questionnaires, directions, requests, and directives from a score of different 
government agencies. In 1945, however, all federal educational services 
were brought together in the Office of Education, and that agency was 
staffed with enough capable people to do a good job. It has turned out 
that this practice costs far less than the total expenditures arising from the 
previous chaotic, wasteful, and dispersed federal efforts in educational 
leadership. And, what is at least equally important, it gets better results. 

'The recent history of the U. S. Office of Education exemplifies perfectly 
the power of professional leadership in a democracy to bring about de- 
sirable changes in education and to do so without the exercise of compul- 
sion. Foreign educators who have recently visited our country in such large 
numbers are always amazed to see the accomplishments of the Office of Edu- 
cation and even more amazed to learn that its powers are not conferred upon 
the Office by legislative orders but are achieved by reason of the compe- 
tence of its staff, the sound and far-reaching research program on which its 
recommendations are almost invariably based, and the faith which the Office 
exhibits in the goodwill and good sense of the local and state educational 

"In 1945, the Commissioner of Education placed before the President, 
the Bureau of the Budget, and the Congress a comprehensive and com- 
pelling program of educational leadership, thoroughly supported by evi- 
dence. It required about a threefold increase in the staff and in the amount 
of the budget. The educational profession, through the National Education 
Association and various smaller organizations, gave valuable help in de- 
vising and supporting this program. The teachers and the other interested 
citizens of the nation saw to it that the program received a sympathetic and 
favorable hearing. 

"The principal elements of this new program may be summarized as 

A. It utilized all federal services that could contribute to the contin- 
uous research, basic to planning an educational program for all American 
youth. Among these cooperating agencies were those concerned with pub- 
lic health, public works, employment,. social security, apprenticeship, child 
welfare, labor relations, agriculture, and commerce. The Office requested 


the appropriate federal agencies to make such studies in the fields of popu- 
lation, migration, employment, industrial and agricultural trends, and other 
broad social problems as are necessary to a realistic educational program. 
These studies now go forward continuously. The pertinent results of such 
studies are made widely known to educators throughout the nation through 
a well-directed program of publications, conferences, research, field serv- 
ices, and experimentation. 

B. There was created within the Office of Education a strong division 
of secondary education to study and report the progress made by the states 
and localities in developing all aspects of a complete program of education 
for all youth and to render advisory service in this field. 

C. Several studies of special importance to the immediate postwar 
situation were launched at once. One of these was concerned with con- 
verting the great war industry training program to peacetime needs and con- 
ditions. Another inquiry determined what demobilization policies were 
likely to be followed by the Army and Navy and studied the effect of these 
on the schools and colleges. Changes in employment opportunities and qual- 
ifications resulting from the increased mechanization of production were 
studied intensively. Experiences derived from the Army testing and educa- 
tional programs were thoroughly examined to see what useful conclusions 
might be round for application in the public schools. Methods of health 
education, foreign language teaching, citizenship education, safety educa- 
tion, and other fields were brought under constant review by the Office. 
Information concerning the findings was regularly channeled to schools 
at all levels and in all parts of the country. 

D. The technical services concerned with school buildings were 
strengthened. Many hundreds of new school buildings were built soon 
after the war. The Office of Education rendered service of inestimable 
value in helping local and state authorities to plan these buildings in terms 
of the educational programs of the years ahead. As a result, a building 
program which might have 'frozen' outgrown educational programs or out- 
moded systems of school organization fora generation or more has actually 
helped to bring about a more modern school by supplying a more modern 
school plant. 

State and Local Developments (1940 to Date) 

"This cooperation by the federal government, important though it was, 
could not have been effective without simultaneous action by many other 
public and private agencies. In one way or another, directly or indirectly, 
every citizen was involved. 

"In the years ahead, historians of American education will doubtless 
write many important monographs on the various phases of the great edu- 
cational awakening of the 1940's. This volume cannot attempt a full treat- 
ment of the subject, partly because we are living too close to the actual 
events to see them in good perspective, partly because the movement has 
not yet run its full course, and partly because the infinite variety of the forms 


of state and local planning and action renders a complete discussion im- 
practical in a brief and general historical account. 

"We shall, however, mention five of the groups and agencies which have 
played, and are still playing, a major role in the sweeping educational 
changes that characterize recent times. These are: 

1. The state education associations 

2. The chief state school officers 

3. The local educational officials 

4. The principals and teachers in 

secondary schools 

5. The teacher education institutions. 

"In addition to these professional groups, a special word should be 
said regarding- the support of citizens' organizations. The changes which 
have occurred in American education in the past few years could not pos- 
sibly have been achieved by the efforts of educators alone. Great credit 
is due to a number of important citizens' organizations and to the devoted 
interest of their leaders and of members of lay boards of education. Organ- 
izations of parents have been particularly influential, notably the National 
Congress of Parents and Teachers and the state and local parent-teacher 
associations. These fathers and mothers have rightly felt that they have as 
much at stake in the schools as educators have, and they have made them- 
selves parties to and collaborators in all of the far-reaching changes that' 
have been described. Many citizens who are not parents or who are not 
affiliated with the parent-teacher organizations have also been actively 
interested. Service clubs/ various organizations of women/ civic and patri- 
otic societies/ organizations of labor, of business, and of farmers/ and many 
of the church organizations might be mentioned and their work praised in 
detail, if space permitted. 

"Neither the list of agencies, however, nor the following accounts of 
what they did are exhaustive. 

State Education Associations 

"By 1940 the state education associations had arrived at a position of 
great potential power in their respective areas. They included in their 
membership nearly 100 percent of the nation's teachers. Through their 
journals, they could speak to these teachers every month in the school year. 
Through the planning and conduct of conventions and institutes they exer- 
cised great influence on the thinking and actions of the teaching profession. 
Their assistance in reorganizing secondary education was indispensable, and 


it was given unstintingly. They saw to it that their Senators and Congress- 
men had a clear understanding of the needs in their respective states for 
federal aid to education and, what was equally important, of the most 
effective methods of meeting those responsibilities. They conducted un- 
flagging campaigns to secure state aid for education in amounts that would 
lift the entire educational service and remove dangerous educational in- 
equalities within each state. Several states had already adopted such sys- 
tems of support, even as early as 1930. In every case, these systems were 
enacted and defended largely because of the efforts of the organized teach- 
ing profession. 

"In addition to the support of sound state school finance legislation, the- 
state education associations began a concerted drive to secure a well- 
staffed, professional department of education in each state. Even as late as 
1944 most of the chief state school officers were dependent for their posi- 
tions on the ups and downs of partisan politics/ their terms of office were 
too short for effective educational planning/ the salaries attached to the 
positions did not, as a rule, properly reward a high type of leadership/ their 
staffs were always small and often subject to political pressure. The state 
education associations became convinced that we should never have a secure 
and satisfactory educational opportunity for all children and youth until that 
situation was changed. 

"In a few states the professionalization of state educational leadership 
had come in the twenties and thirties and even earlier. But the shortcom- 
ings of the majority of states in this respect tended almost inevitably to act 
as a drag -on all the others. 

"Even today there remain a few states which cling to the old plan of a 
weak, politically-centered state department of education. But they are not 
likely to remain long in this category. The example of the majority of the 
states, with their new professional state education departments, is showing 
even the most skeptical citizen and legislator that the proposed reforms are 
in the interest of economy, efficiency, and good educational service. 

"In addition to championing the financial and administrative improve- 
ments, which have just been described, the state education associations 
were active in many other fields. In a few states, where the siate depart- 
ments were unwilling or unable to initiate planning for youth education, 
the state associations took the lead. In all states, the associations have coop- 
erated closely with public officials in drafting the necessary legislation and 
in securing its enactment. They have been particularly useful in the bitterly 


contested campaigns to raise the school-leaving age to the eighteenth 

State School Officials 

'The chief state school officials themselves were active in improving 
their own status and possibilities of service. It happened that an unusually 
large number of the state school officials during the war years were of out- 
standing caliber. Whether this fact was due to greater public interest in the 
election of these officers because of the wartime problems of education, or 
to the influence of critical times in calling forth great educational leadership, 
or merely to a fortunate combination of circumstances, is a problem which 
requires further research. Whatever the cause may have been, these forty- 
eight men and women seemed to have realized keenly that, under the law, 
they were the directors of the destiny of American education. 

"While no fundamental change in the theoretical relationship between 
states and localities in the control of education was brought about, the state 
departments of education were greatly strengthened in order actually to 
perform certain functions (to be described later) which, until then, had 
been theirs only in theory. 

"The chief state school officers began by insisting that their offices were 
professional and not political. They acted that way/ they reproved anyone 
else who did not act that way. They insisted that their staffs be professionally 
selected and paid. They asked that their own positions be made profes- 
sionally secure and responsible. 

"In many states the necessary reforms required the tedious processes of 
amendments to the state constitutions. By now, however, almost all chief 
state school officers are appointed by nonpolitical state boards of education 
for terms of at least four years. Political and residential requirements have 
been abolished. The salaries compare favorably with those of the superin- 
tendents of education in the larger cities. The budgets and staffs of the state 
departments have been made more nearly adequate to the duties incident 
to a modern program of public education. 

"In the past ten years, each of the state departments of education has 
developed certain minimum standards for the local school systems under its 
jurisdiction. These minimum standards include such matters as the qualifi- 
cations of personnel/ a minimum salary law for teachers/ the effort of the local 
district to support its schools/ the safety, sanitation, and general adequacy 
of school buildings/ length of school term/ enforcement of attendance laws/ 


interdistrict transfer of students/ and the establishment and consolidation of 
school districts. 

"All the state departments now contain two relatively new divisions. 
One of these gives special and continuous attention to studies in school 
finance and the organization of school districts. Upon the basis of such 
studies, recommendations have been -made to many of the governors and state 
legislatures concerning changes needed in the financing and organization 
of education. The present program of secondary education would have been 
quite impossible without greater participation by the states in the support 
of education and without legislation which creates local school districts 
suited to modern conditions and needs. 

"The other new division keeps in close touch with the secondary edu- 
cation division in the U. S. Office of Education, surveys the occupational 
conditions and trends in the state, and plans a comprehensive secondary- 
school program. In some states this program had involved an extension of 
existing systems of junior colleges under the boards of local junior college 
districts/ in others, the establishment and development of new types of 
schools for youth, sometimes with an agreed-upon specialization of certain 
institutions in certain vocational fields/ in still others, the development of 
regional technical schools or institutes under state control. In every state, 
the program has included the development of a statewide system of guidance 
for youth, operated by local educational systems, but coordinated by the 
state department of education. 

Local Educational Officials 

"The history of the activities of local boards of education and adminis- 
trators in developing our modern program of secondary education is com- 
plex. The outward events can be observed and recorded/ the changes in 
loyalties and points of view which gave significance to these events are 
extremely difficult to define. 

"Two concepts which gained currency among local educational officials 
between 1940 and 1945 played a critical and perhaps a determining role 
in deciding their courses of action. 

"One of these was the concept that organized public education is an 
expression of state policy even though its administration is handled locally. 
The provision and management of public education in the United States had 
always been primarily a responsibility of the state department. The federal 
Constitution clearly implies this/ each of the states recognizes that responsi- 
bility in its constitution and statutes. 


"Local school districts are creations of the state/ and local officials have 
a legal and moral responsibility for the provision of educational oppor- 
tunity to all the children of the state who need the services of education 
which the local district can supply. Recognition of this fact did not lessen the 
responsibility of the local board member to the district whose citizens 
elected him to office, but it did throw a new light on the way in which that 
responsibility could be met. Local boards of education and school super- 
intendents began to talk less about the local freedom to manage their own 
educational programs and more about the local duty to assist in developing 
and conducting the over-all program of education in the state. This point 
of view had been in the making for a long time. There was nothing particu- 
larly novel about it when at long last it achieved rather general acceptance 
in the mid-1940's. Nor was it adopted on charitable or humanitarian 
grounds, for any local board of education could see that it had a direct 
interest in the education of youth everywhere in the state and, indeed, in 
the United States as a whole. 

'The second fundamental concept in the point of view of local school 
officials was the recognition that their job was not merely schooling, but 
education. The older conception, which is now being rapidly replaced, is 
well illustrated by the fact that, although most of the local boards were and 
are officially entitled 'board of education/ the common language, up until 
very recently, used the expression 'schoolboard* without regard to the legal 
title. Nowadays, however, the term 'board of education* is coming into more 
frequent use both legally and in ordinary speech. Likewise, the term 
'superintendent of schools/ although still commonly used, is gradually being 
replaced by the expression, 'superintendent of education/ 

"As changes in vocabulary, these are neither important nor universal. 
They do represent a fundamental change in American thinking about what 
a local agency for education should be doing. In other words, local school- 
boards have become public educational authorities, offering a program 
which includes academic, vocational, and leisure-time activities for people 
of all ages who may profit by participation in it. They have broadened this 
program to adapt it to the needs of older youths and adults. They have devel- 
oped close coordination of schools, libraries, and recreational services 
under qualified and responsible leadership. They speak of 'educational 
centers' at least as often as they do of 'school buildings' and they recognize 
that schooling is only one part of the total educational experience. 


'These were certainly not novel ideas. They have been held by many a 
philosopher, statesman, and educator. It was in the years 1940-1945, how- 
ever, that they became the accepted currency in the interchange of thinking 
about the administration and purposes of American education. Not that the 
great majority of educational officials recognized that their theories were 
undergoing a profound change. It would be impossible to state in some 
cases whether the change in practice resulted from a change in theory, or 
vice versa. In any case, many of those who were quite active in the total 
program of planning for a better educational system for youth and in putting 
that program into effect remained largely unaware of the theoretical impli- 
cations of their own actions. Nevertheless, the climate of opinion was im- 
portant even though those affected were not fully conscious of it. 

'The preceding paragraphs may perhaps seem to resemble an educational 
philosophy rather than a sober account of events suitable to a history of 
education. However, the widespread acceptance of such new points of 
view is, in itself, a historical event of first importance. An understanding 
of these viewpoints is necessary if one is to follow what happened to our 
local school systems in the late 1940's. 

"The events themselves are not spectacular. Only when we understand 
that the developments in each local community were part of a great national 
revival in education do we sense the importance of the sum-total of a series 
of changes that were made in one educational system after another. 

"For instance, agitation for larger districts of administration in the rural 
areas had been going on in the United States For at least half a century. 
Progress had been slow. Suddenly, the acceptance of the principles enumer- 
ated above broke through the barrier of inertia and prejudice. It seems 
incredible now that even in 1940 there were over 100,000 independent 
administrative units for education in the United States. The 10,000 dis- 
tricts which we now have are the results of combinations and consolida- 
tions. So strong was the influence of example and of the new feeling of 
responsibility that, gven in states where the law did not at first compel 
the local units to consolidate, much well-considered consolidation occurred. 
Local boards and educational officials began to see that, as state officers, 
they could not honestly continue to operate inefficient arrangements 
for education. Some states adopted the county as the unit of educational 
administration. In most states, however, natural community areas for educa- 
tional authorities were created to take the place of the old, arbitrary, jbolit- 


ical subdivisions which often had little or no meaning for the service of 

"Many of the events and decisions in these local communities were so 
minor that one hesitates to mention them in a general history of American 
education. The decision of a local board of education in a small town to 
hold a special meeting every two weeks for the express purpose of planning 
youth education and youth service in the community does not in itself seem 
to be a world-shaking event. Yet such little acts, multiplied ten thousand 
times over, did much to give us the educational system we now possess. 
It does not seem nowadays that it would require profound insight and 
imagination for a local board of education to consult with employers, labor 
unions, business organizations, social agencies, farmers' groups, parent 
organizations, voluntary youth groups, employment services, veterans* 
groups, service clubs, professional societies, church organizations, and 
the local organizations of teachers in planning its educational program. 
Today we regard such communitywide consultation as a perfectly natural 
part of the democratic process. Yet only a few years ago such consultation 
was rare. When it occurred, it was marked by a certain self-consciousness 
and formality on the part of all concerned. Only a few years ago it would 
have seemed an exciting novelty for a superintendent of education to make a 
systematic collection of information regarding employment trends, occupa- 
tional opportunities, and educational qualifications for employment in the 
community it was serving. As long as the school was isolated from the life 
of the community, it would, of course, be natural for the school to be quite 
unconcerned with the vocational aspects of community life. 

"Another important result of the change in the thinking of the local 
educational officials was their attitude toward the financing of education. 
During the years of the depression, a certain habit had become rather firmly 
established in the thinking of educational administrators. Whenever they 
were confronted with a desirable new educational service, they usually 
asked, first of all, whether the money could be secured. When the answer to 
that question was not immediately available, the flow of creative -ideas was 
blocked. The experiences of the war, together with the changes in educa- 
tional theory which have already been described, fortunately broke that 
habit. The local officials turned the spotlight on the services to be rendered 
to the youth and on the economic, social, and other values to the com- 
munity which would accrue from these services. When a desired program 
seemed to have a cost which put it beyond the immediate reach of the com- 


munity, that fact alone did not thwart their determination to proceed as 
far and as fast as possible. Of course, they did not allow themselves to float 
completely away from reality. Somewhere in the process of their planning, 
they always made careful estimates of the cost of various parts of the pro- 
gram. But these estimates were not allowed to become the initial or the 
chief consideration. 

"As a result of this general change in attitude, many boards of education 
found that funds were forthcoming for a bold and practical program that 
gave promise of squarely meeting widely recognized community necessities. 
. They found that public reluctance to supply money for education often arose 
from a lack of vigorous leadership. They found that, if they spent all the money 
they had as wisely as they could and then asked for the amount required to 
finish the job, they could often obtain funds in amounts which had hitherto 
been quite unavailable. 

"The building program, of course, occupied a considerable part of their 
attention. Sites available for new school buildings were located and pur- 
chased during the war, or options were obtained upon them for later pur- 
chase. Plans for the new buildings were ready for use when the war ended, 
and these plans were definitely related to the type of educational program 
for the community which the best educational statesmanship of the time could 

"One of the most difficult of the local problems, and one which is still 
far from a complete and satisfactory solution, is that of providing an oppor- 
tunity for youth to get an experience in the world of productive work. 
There has been considerable resistance to this idea on the part of both em- 
ployers and labor leaders. Provision for such experience has meant in some 
instances a slightly lower productive efficiency. It often requires modifica- 
tions of employment rules and customs. In spite of all the difficulties, how-^ 
ever, both employers and leaders of organized labor are coming to realize 
that they cannot shut off young people from vocational life without grave 
personal and social consequences. Some communities have had success with 
a plan which reserves certain areas of work in which youth should have first 
opportunity. Gradually, but surely, an adequate supply of work experience 
jobs, as well as of opportunities for civic experience and participation, 
is being found for youth in all local communities. 

"A final comment regarding the local educational leaders must mention 
the programs for improving the teachers in service. It is estimated that at 
least a third of our present secondary-school staff was employed in educa- 


tional service during the second World War. In the cities the proportion 
is perhaps half. Consequently, fundamental alterations in the educational 
program would have been impossible without continuous improvement of 
those already on the job. Teachers have been given opportunity to vary 
from established procedures. Skilled and sympathetic supervisory leadership 
has been provided. Attendance at university summer schools, which was so 
general in 1920 and 1930, continued to be popular, but this is now less 
important in most high schools than the work of active curriculum revision 
committees and organized professional programs of reading, observation, 
and discussion. Practically all of the larger city-school systems, and some 
of the state school systems, have organized summer workshops on specific 
educational problems. 

"The institutions for the preparation of teachers have also been helpful. 
They turned with new vigor after the war to the task of in-service education. 
They made sure that the members of their own staffs were in constant and 
stimulating contact with the actual problems of teaching, administration, 
and research in the public-school systems of their region. They made, and 
are still making, constant effort to adjust their programs of in-service educa- 
tion to meet the problems which teachers and administrators actually face 
in the secondary schools. This has required in many institutions a rather 
drastic revision of existing courses and arrangement of schedules. Some insti- 
tutions have offered instruction off campus and at hours not commonly 
covered by the traditional school days. There has been a considerable ex- 
pansion of arrangements in many institutions whereby educational leaders 
offer instruction to prospective teachers on a part-time basis, and some 
teachers colleges have even assigned members of their staffs to half-time 
field work with the school systems in their vicinity. 

Secondary-School Staffs 

"Principals and teachers in the secondary schools constitute another 
group to which reference must be made in any account, however brief, of 
the history of American secondary education since 1940. During the war, 
the majority of these professional workers came to understand that they were 
privileged to be serving the nation in one of its great creative periods. 
They realized that if they resisted all change, that if they spent their energies 
defending traditional curriculum interests, they could not stop change from 
coming but could only stop it from coming their way. They decided not to 
allow the currents of history to by-pass them. 


"One of the first activities in many secondary schools was a careful 
staff study of the occupational life of the community. The teachers realized 
that the dominant interest of the great bulk of the youth in their charge was 
getting a job and becoming economically independent. They therefore took 
pains to become informed about opportunities for employment in the com- 
munity, and the schools established definite arrangements whereby young 
people could secure part-time work experience which would yield both 
financial and educational returns and which might ultimately lead to gainful 
employment on a full-time basis. 

"Second, they became concerned about all the youth of the community 
not merely about those who happened to be enrolled in the schools. This 
change of viewpoint can be illustrated by an example. In 1935, if a student 
came to a certain high school late some morning, he was asked for an excuse. 
But, if he did not come to school at all, and if he were beyond the com- 
pulsory attendance laws, nothing whatever happened. The school was much 
interested if he came late/ it was usually entirely disinterested if he stayed 
away completely. Now, in this same school, the teachers make it their busi- 
ness to know why a young person leaves school. Merely to cross his name off 
the high-school register without further reflection, and perhaps even with a 
sigh of reljef, would now be regarded as a distinct lapse of professional 

'The third line of action was related closely to the second. It consisted 
of the inauguration of systematic methods for obtaining information about 
all former students of each high school. Ever since the establishment of the 
American high school, the typical institution had taken great pride in the 
college records of its graduates. It seems almost incredible to us today, but 
it is nevertheless a fact that, before the war, there was scarcely a single high 
school in the country which had reliable information about the vast majority 
of its former students who did not attend college. Whether such youth were 
well adjusted in their occupational and home life,- whether they continued 
their own personal cultural development/ whether they were reasonably 
active in the discharge of their civic duties all this was absolutely unknown 
territory to the faculty and administration of the secondary school. Nowadays 
such information is collected as a matter of course and is used constantly 
as a key to individual guidance, curriculum adjustment, and public relations. 

"A fourth line of action, which has been widely developed in recent 
years, has resulted, in nearly all of our secondary schools, in the establish- 
ment of programs which seek to make education completely open and 


available to all who can profit by it. Some city-school systems have special 
local endowments which are available for meeting the needs of those 
whose education might otherwise be terminated because of lack of funds. 
These endowments are, of course, powerfully supported by the federal and 
state systems of grants-in-aid to students. 

"The origin of this line of action goes far back in American educational 
history, but the chief reason for its almost universal application at present is 
to be found, more than anywhere else, in the policies adopted by the fed- 
eral government with regard to the higher education of soldiers during the 
war and of veterans afterward. So great was the need for qualified and 
trained manpower in the war that the federal government established what 
amounted to a system of federal scholarships for training young 'men for tech- 
nical and officer's work in the Army and Navy. Hundreds of colleges were 
enrolled in this program. The selection of students was made without refer- 
ence to the economic ability of the individual. If a young man could demon- 
strate his ability to profit by training in a field of national need, all of his 
college expense was paid for by the government. It was natural and fairly 
easy, therefore, to make a transition to a peacetime application of the same 
principle. In fact, this was done by the federal government during the war 
by the enactment of legislation to support the education of demobilized 
service men and women. 

"A fifth area of operation has been the achievement of a larger amount 
of unity and cooperation among teachers of the different subjects. If any of 
us could turn the flight of time backward in order to visit a high school of 
the early 1940's, he would probably be surprised to see the large amount 
of time given by members of the staff to the defense of 'their' respective 
subjects. One might even have found instances (not common, it is true, but 
nevertheless symptomatic) of schools which could not introduce necessary 
new subjectmatter into the program because it was impossible to reach 
an agreement as to the department which should be responsible for giving 
the instruction. Only in comparatively recent years have the teaching staffs 
of our great secondary schools set themselves free from this bondage. For 
example, the close cooperation which now exists between vocational and 
nonvocational teachers was rarely found, even as recently as ten years ago. 
False and harmful cleavages have now been largely overcome. A compre- 
hensive effort has been going forward to attach a sense of Worthiness and 
dignity to all forms of socially useful labor. 


"Along with this change, of course, came a departure from the tradition 
of the high school as a college preparatory institution. Here again, in order 
to sense the, great shift that has occurred, it is necessary for us to imagine 
ourselves in what almost amounts to another educational era. It is literally 
true that, less than a generation ago, the American high school was dom- 
inated by the supposed requirements of the colleges, even though only a 
very small proportion of its graduates then went on to college. Long after 
most of the colleges had ceased to require detailed subjectmatter patterns 
for admission, the practice of giving only book-centered, academic instruc- 
tion to the great majority of high-school students persisted. We have recog- 
nized since the beginnings of higher education in America that the students 
who go on to college are an exceedingly important group whose education 
must be provided with great care. But we have more recently come to 
recognize that' the larger group which does not take college education 
has a claim on secondary education equivalent to that of the minority who 
are college-bound. 

"Still another area of change in the high school has been the educator's 
growing concern for the total welfare of the young people of the community 
both during school hours and when out of school. In 1940 the Educational 
Policies Commission of the National Education Association, in a study of 
citizenship education, concluded that few, if any, schools have yet erected 
broad and permanent highways whereby they are inseparably united with 
their communities. 8 The Commission was able to find only a handful of schools 
in the entire United States which were not 'pedagogical islands' cut off 
by deep channels of convention from the world which surrounded them. 

"One of the Commission's staff was amazed to hear the principal of one 
of these schools say: 'In this school, we are really concerned with the total 
experience of our students. If a student has an unsatisfactory home life, we 
do not just deplore it; we try to think of some way to help. If his health is 
bad, we try to arrange to have that improved, either through our school 
health services or in other ways. If the recreational life of our community 
is mean and tawdry, we try to provide a better kind of recreation for our 
young people. If we cannot do that ourselves, we do our best to persuade 
others to do it. We are not always successful. We have to avoid becoming 
unwelcome busy-bodies. But we are absolutely sincere when we say that 

'National Education Association and American Association of School Administrators, Educational Policies 
Commission. Learning the Ways of Democracy. Washington, D. C: the Commission, 1940. 486 p. 


what affects the happiness and welfare of the young people of our com- 
munity is of direct and vital concern to our staff. * 

"That such a statement of policy could be regarded as at all unusual/ 
even in 1940, indicates how rapidly our educational philosophy and pro- 
gram has developed in recent years. 

The Education of Teachers 

"The institutions for the education of teachers and their staffs were 
closely connected with the developing program of youth education. Before 
the war, the teacher education institutions and the public-school systems 
had found themselves caught in a circle which prevented rapid educational 
progress. The boards of education and school administrators, who employed 
the graduates of the teachers colleges, declared that the institutions were 
preparing teachers only for traditional programs of education and that 
modern programs could not be developed because the teachers were not 
available. To this the educational institutions retorted, and with some 
justice, that they could not be expected to prepare teachers for positions 
that did not exist. It was evident that this circle must be broken by simul- 
taneous action on the part of both the teacher-training institutions and the 
school systems in their vicinity. An important influence in this direction was 
supplied by the Commission on Teacher Education of the American Council 
on Education, which was active from 1938 to 1944 4 . 

'The developments of in-service education for teachers have already 
been mentioned. Some of the changes that have occurred since 1940 in the 
preservice education of teachers may be summarized in the following terms: 

"First, there was a great strengthening of instruction in educational psy- 
chology, individual differences, human relations, adolescent psychology, 
human growth and development, and educational guidance and counseling. 
The institutions have recognized that the new secondary school must serve 
all American youth and that the teachers in that school need to understand 
all youth much better than the ordinary secondary-school teacher under- 
stood them, say in 1920 or 1930. The constant effort has been that this 
understanding should spring, not only from a general feeling of goodwill, 

4 Commission on Teacher Education of the American Council on Education, Washington, D. C 1944 and 1945. 

"Teachers For Our Times/' by the Commission on Teacher Education. 

"Evaluation in Teacher Education," by M. E. Troyer and C. Robert Pace. 

"Teacher Education In Service," by C. E. Prall and C. L Cushman. 

"The Collese and Teacher Education," by W. E. Armstrons and E. V. Ho 1 1 is. 

"Helping Teachers Understand Children," by the staff 6Fthe Collaboration Center in Child Development. 
Other volumes dealing with the Commission's all-state programs (by C. E. Prall), with the preparation oF col- 
lege teachers (by E. V. Hollis), and with the Commission's conclusions and recommendations. 


comradeship, and sympathy, but also from the best insight which science 
can supply regardins the ways in which human beings differ from one 
another, the ways in which they grow toward maturity, and the methods by 
which the teacher can achieve understanding of the individual students 
in his charge. 

"Second, the study and teaching of school and community relations and 
of educational sociology were greatly strengthened. Prospective teachers 
were given more close firsthand contacts with other community institutions 
as well as with the schools. Since the great task of the new secondary 
school was seen as the development of good citizens, it was recognized 
that the teachers would not be effective in this task unless they themselves 
were active, informed, and effective members of society. Likewise, teachers 
who are to induct youth into occupational life through work experience 
should themselves have some work experience in employment other than 
teaching. Many school systems now give preference in employment to those 
teachers who have had such experience. 

"Third, the expansion of the school program in the fields of guidance and 
vocational training has resulted in a parallel expansion of the program for 
preparing teachers in these fields. Many teacher education institutions 
immediately after the war gave special types of training to men and women 
who had been successfully teaching or doing personnel and counseling 
work in the various war industry training programs and in the Army and Navy. 
Many of these people have become excellent teachers and counselors in 
the school of today." 

So much for the "history" of what must happen in American 

The Commission wishes to add a f e^v words of comment. We 
address these words, not to the teacher, the labor leader, the 
businessman, the parent, the taxpayer, but rather to all of them 
in their common capacity as citizens of the United States. 

How Genuine Is Our 
Interest in 

In the building of our country's future, the education of our 
youth comes first. The war has reminded us of many virtues and 
ideals that we had forgotten. One of them is the duty we owe to 


our children in the provision of their education, not education 
merely in terms of books, credits, diplomas, and degrees, but 
education also in terms of living and of preparation for future 

Look about you. See what we now, in wartime, find it neces- 
sary and proper to do for our young men and women in the 
armed forces. Every one of them is taught some specific occupa- 
tion, useful to him and to the nation. The health of all of them 
is zealously guarded by every resource of medical science. Their 
diet is ample and nutritious. There is useful work for each one 
of them. Opportunities for their recreation are provided every- 
where. They are well-clad and cleanly-housed, well-fed and 
carefully educated. We compete among ourselves to see to it 
that they have books to read, music to hear, space to play. We 
stay at home that they may travel. We deny ourselves that they 
may have abundance. Their morale and their civic loyalty are 
our constant concerns. The uniform which proclaims them 
Americans is the complete and sufficient guarantee everywhere 
of just and considerate treatment for all American youth. This 
all costs time, effort, sacrifice, thought, and a great deal of 
money. But we would be properly ashamed to consider conven- 
ience when their welfare is at stake. 

Shall these young people and their successors in the onward- 
moving generations be less precious to us when the firing ceases? 
Is our concern for their welfare, health, education, merely a 
selfish reflection of our desperate need for their youthful ener- 
gies and lives on the field of battle? Are we going to forget youth 
as soon as we no longer need them to fight in the war which we 
allowed to happen? Where we now teach them how to work, 
shall we later tell them that their services are not wanted? 
Where we now assure them that the future of our nation lies in 
their keeping, shall we later tell young people, in effect, to keep 
out of civic affairs? Where we now provide college education 
for all persons qualified for leadership, shall we later return to 
college education as an economic privilege? Shall we, as soon 


as peace comes, declare an end to all hopeful cooperation for the 
welfare of our youth? Shall we then pinch the pennies for peace 
where we now deal out dollars for destruction? 

The program here proposed will cost much more than the 
inadequate education of the past. There is no doubt of that. 
But consider this if we make our economic system work even 
reasonably well after the war, we shall have a national income of 
around 110 billion 1940 dollars. Experts who have studied such 
matters tell us that, with such an income, we will spend: 

25 billion dollars for foodstuffs, as compared with 16 billion 

in 1936 

16 billion dollars for housing, as compared with 9 billion 
13 billion dollars for household operations and equipment, as 

compared with 6.5 billion 

8 billion dollars for automobiles, as compared with 4 billion 
8 billion dollars for clothing, as compared with 4 billion 
3 billion dollars for recreation, as compared with 1,6 billion. 

Shall we, under such conditions, refuse to increase the 2.5 
billion dollars which we have been spending for schools and 
colleges to educate children and youth of all ages? Shall we, 
with the highest per capita income of any nation in all history, 
use our increased wealth to feed, clothe, and house the adults in 
comparative luxury .and neglect to spend any of our increase 
for the improvement of the education of our children and our 

Would you like your children to attend schools like those of 
Farmville and American City? They can, if you really want 
them to. Enough is known about how to operate such schools, 
there is plenty of timber and stone to build them, plenty of 
wealth to finance them. Your children, your community, ypur 
entire state and nation can have schools as good as, or better 
than, the schools described in this book as soon as you and enough 
other Americans demand them and do your own special but 
essential part in bringing them into existence. 



Acceleration of students, 299, 329, 333 
Achievement, intellectual, 53, 74, 137- 

43, 299 

Adolescence, 111, 145-49 
Adult education, 48, 152-5*, 331-32, 

out-of -school adults, of, 48, 152-56, 


parents, of, 331-32 
Advisers, class, 291, 310, 311-13, 316, 

326, 336 
See Guidance 
Advisers, vocational, 298, 311, 312, 

315, 320 
Agriculture, 13, 27-28, 45, 48, 49, 60, 

61, 62, 73, 83, 95, 117, 140 
relation to economic security, 48, 95 
scientific advances in, 27-28 
teaching of, 45, 48, 49, 60, 61, 62, 

73, 83, 117, 140 
Algebra, 13, 45 

See Mathematics 
American City community, 172, 174- 

84, 188, 203-204, 282-86 
depression, effects of, 174-76 
occupational distribution in, 282-86 
origin of, 172 

population growth in, 174, 188 
postwar period, effects of, 181-84 
war, effects of, 176-79 * 
war, school's part in, 179-81, 203- 


American City, schools in, 188, 229- 
30, 231-40, 241, 242-43, 308- 
309, 330-32 

American City School Camp, 330-32 
chart of public education, 241 
curriculum of, 231-40, 242-43 
enrolment in, 188, 241-42 
organization of, 229-30 
principles of, 308-309 
scope of, 241 
American Youth Commission, 225, 

Areas of learning, charts on, 151, 153 

Art, teaching of, 83, 96, 127, 245, 

246, 262, 329 
See Literature and the arts 
Astronomy, 142 
Athletic program, 111, 112-14, 124, 


American City, 279-81 
Farmville, 111, 112-14, 124 
Attendance, compulsory age limit, 35, 

35n, 48, 226-27, 285, 343, 350 
Aviation, 142 

Avocational interests, 123-26, 245 
Basic skills, 68-69, 288, 289, 299, 329 
Bible, reading of, 148 
Biology, in schools, 73, 111, 141, 274, 


Braille, 334 
Building plans public schools, 366- 

67, 402 

Building standards division of school- 
house planning, 34n, 366-67 
Bureau of Labor Statistics, 200 
Bureau of occupational research, 253, 

282, 283, 317 
Business education, 45, 49, 60, 61, 83, 

140, 297, 301 

Centralized vs. decentralized educa- 
tional planning, 9, 218-20 
Character education, 143-49 
Chemistry, in schools, 62, 73, 111, 

141, 142, 223, 235, 274, 298, 308 
Churches and schools, cooperation be- 
tween, 148-49 

Citizens' advisory council on postwar 

education, 205, 207-209, 229, 

285, 3,31 
Citizenship education, 51-58, 75-100, 

187, 193-94, 205, 207-209, 229, 

251, 258-66, 285-331 
American- City, 193-94, 205, 207- 

209, 229, 251, 258-64, 265-66, 


common learnings, in, 251, 258- 
64, 265-66 

school program, place in, 193-94 


Farmville, 54, 57, 75-100 

community study, part played by, 

57-58, 81-83 
diffusion of, 77 

knowledge as tool of civic compe- 
tence, 54, 89-97 
need for, 76-77 

political action, developing com- 
petence in, 87-88 
principles of, 78-100 
public problems, study of, 84-87 
relation to occupational prepara- 
tion, 57-58 
scope of, 83-84 
time allotted to, 100 
City council on postwar planning, 202 
City life and education, 253-55 
City planning commission, 255, 261, 

282, 304, 317, 327 
See Planning, comprehensive 
Civic competence. See Citizenship edu- 

Civic projects in schools, Farmville, 34, 
44, 58, 81-83, 122, 123, 125, 126, 
155, 159 

community health center, 34 
community library, 34, 122, 123, 

125, 155 
community recreation center, 34, 

extending student activities to local 

community, 81-83 
health survey, 105-107 
occupational survey, 44, 58, 82, 159 
Civilian Conservation Corps, 197-98, 

385, 386, 389 
accomplishments of, 389 
termination of, 197-98, 389 
Civilian defense councils, 179 
Class instruction, use of, 52, 62, 141, 

142, 245 
College-preparatory courses, 50, 51-53, 

71, 74, 300 
See Entrance requirements colleges 

and universities 

Columbia, education in state of, 20, 

Commission on postwar education, 
205, 206-207, 209-40, 285, 286- 
89, 293, 309-10, 330 
action, proposals for, 226-29 
educational needs, study of, 217, 


membership of, 206 
procedure and policy, questions of, 


report, quotations from, 286-89 
taking stock of the schools, 210-13 
Commission on Teacher Education, 

214-16, 407 

Commissioner of Education, 393 
Committee on economic development, 

Committee on postwar planning, 201, 


Common learnings, courses in, 234-38, 
239, 243, 244, 248-51, 252-67, 
267-70,292, 310-11, 315 
community institute, in, 265-66 
definition of, 252 
, description of, by grades, 252-67 
how developed, 234-38 
imperative educational needs, meet- 
ing, 239 

methods in teaching of, 251, 267-70 
purposes of, 248-51 
teachers of, as counselors, 239, 268, 

292, 310-11, 315 
time allotment, 243, 244 (chart) 
Community Council, Farmville, 29, 
33, 34, 86, 97, 98, 106, 107, 148 
Community festival, 119, 125, 151, 

157-58, 161-62 
See Farmville community 
Community Institute, American City, 
38, 38n, 48, 70, 227, 242, 245- 
48, 300-303, 320-21, 356 
enrolment in, 242, 245 
financing of, 248 
guidance in, 320-21 
purpose of, 227, 245-46 
reasons for attendance in, 70, 246-47 
state training center for air-condi- 
tioning, refrigeration, and air 
transportation industries, 70, 247, 
301, 302, 356 


students, origin of, 247-48 
vocational education, in, 300-303 
Community institutes, Columbia, 70, 

allocating vocational fields among, 


local control of, 358-60 
name of, 353 
number of, 70, 360 
organization of, 352-53 
state system, administration of, 353- 

Community, school and, 44-45, 58, 

81-83, 105-107, 159 
program, systematic part of, 44-45 
student participation in activities of, 

student surveys of, 44, 58, 82, 105- 

107, 159 

Consolidation of school districts, 33- 
35, 160, 163, 343, 347-50, 358, 
Consumer education, 89, 110, 223, 

256, 269 

Cooperatives, 25, 61-62 
Correspondence courses, 49, 51, 142 
Correspondence study bureau, 71 
Council of social agencies, 224 
Council on postwar planning, 202 
Counselors, 40-41, 47, 73-74, 307-308, 

311, 313-20, 322-23 
developing personnel for, 322-23 
difficulties of , 313-20 
duties of, 47 

individual interests, in, 307-308 
professional guidance, in, 73-74 
requirements of, 40-41 
teachers as, 239, 310-11 
vocational education, in, 311 
County agricultural agent, 39, 73, 82 
Cultural heritage, 126-28 
Curriculum, 36-37, 50, 60, 71, 228, 

231-40, 241, 242, 244-45 
American City, 228, 231-40, 241, 
242, 244-45 
flexibility of, 244-45 
imperative educational needs, to 
meet, 228, 242 

planning of, 231-40 
schedule, chart of, 241 
Farmville, 36-37, 50, 60, 71 
differentiated, 36-37 
flexibility of, 50, 60 
individualized programs, 71 
See Areas of learning 
Curriculum, part played in by state, 


Delinquency. See Family life 
Democracy, 78-81, 97-100, 127, 128, 

129, 134 

democratic living in school, 78-81 
developing understanding and appre- 
ciation of, 127 
fostering loyalty to, 97-100 
life, democratic way of, 128, 129, 

Depression, meeting the, 156-57, 384- 


Divorce. See Family Me 
Economic processes, understanding of, 

128, 129-30, 246 
Economics, in schools, 89, 245 
Education, 1, 8, 10 In 
class distinctions in, 8 
experiments in better, 220-24 
future alternatives in, 1 
purposes of, 1.0 In 

Educational change, studying condi- 
tions leading to, 213-20 
Educational leadership and finance, 

Educational Policies Commission, 1, 

225, 387-88, 406 
citizenship, on, 406 
federal youth agencies, on, 387-88 
Educational theory, changes in, 398- 


local, 398-403 
secondary-school staffs, attitudes of, 


significance of, 401-402 
Elective vs. required subjects, 53-54 
Electrical trades, vocational training 

in, 66, 130 

Employment, 3, 58-59, 70, 166, 191, 
384-85, 386 


part-time, 70, 166, 191, 325-27 
trends in, 58-59, 317 
World War I, after, 384-85, 386 
World War II, after, 3, 181 
youth, conditions affecting, 286-89 
Employment, bureau of part-time, 191 
Engineering profession, interest in, 

71, 73 

English, in schools, 12, 13, 45, 120, 
140-41, 222, 256, 257, 268, 329 
See Literature and the arts 
Entrance requirements colleges and 

universities, 51-53, 373-75 
Environment, importance of, 15-16, 

126, 314-16 
differences in, 15-16 
growth, in, 126 
guidance, in, 314-16 
Equalization, educational, 5, 16-19, 76, 
164, 227, 344-47, 378-79, 390 
conditions in, 164 
federal and state aid, through, 5, 76, 

378-79, 390 

financial problem of, 344-47 
importance of, 16-18 
planning, need for, 18-19 , 
Ethical principles and ideals in adoles- 
cence, 145-49 

Excursions, 27, 44-45, 68, 152, 258-61 
American City, 27, 258-61 
Farmville, 44-45, 68, 152 
Experience, 99, 136 
as roots of loyalty, 99 
through literature, 136 
Failure, treatment of, 56 
Family life, 54, 89, 96, 110, 114-19, 

150, 222, 223, 233, 255, 269 
American City, 222, 223, 233, 255, 

common learnings, in, 255 
cooperative emphasis in, 222, 233 
teachers, specially trained, 269 
unit on, 223 

Farmville, 54, 89, 96, 110, 114-19, 

curriculum, in, 54, 150 
personal development, in, 110, 

survey, in, 58 

Far East, understanding of, 89, 96 

Farm income, 24, 28, 30 

Farmville community, 23-29, 29-34, 

38-39, 156-59 
depression, effect of, 23-25 
farm family incomes, 24, 28, 30 
organization of , 156-59 
population, 23, 24, 26, 30-31, 32, 


postwar period, effect of, 29-34 
war, effect of, 25-29 
Farmville community schools, 34-35, 

159-69, 170 
administrative organization of, 159- 

69, 360 

dissatisfaction with, 170 
Farmville Emergency Council, 157 
Farmville Secondary School, 33-35, 

157, 160-64, 349-50 
attendance of, 33, 35 
consolidation of, 33-35, 160, 163, 


organization of, 34, 160-62 
plant of, 162-64 
Federal activities, 392-94 
Federal aid to education, 5, 76, 378-82, 


apportionment, method of, 378-82 
dispute over, 387-89 
Federal Aid to Education Act, 390, 


need for, 76, 379, 390-91 
requests, early, failure of, 5 
Federal Aid to Education Act, 390, 

Federal control of education, 1, 5, 7, 

8, 390-91 

class distinctions in, 8 
elimination through federal aid, 5, 


loss of flexibility in, 7 
meeting a need, 7 
reasons for growth of, 1, 5, 7 
Federal youth agencies, 3, 7-8, 197-98, 


educational character of, 387 
Educational Policies Commission on, 

establishment of, 386 


termination of, 197-98 
total effect of, 389 
wisdom of, 386-87 
Finance school, proposals for action 

on, 228 
Finance school, state system of, 342, 

programs, maximum and minimum, 


tax burden, equalization of, 344-47 
Foreign languages, in schools, 238, 246, 

298, 308, 329 
common learnings, in, 238 
community institutes, in, 246 
Forestry, 142 
Four-four plan, 304 
Freedom and security, as theme of his- 
tory, 91-93 

French, in schools, 142 
See Foreign languages 
Friend of the court, 233 
Friendship, courtship, and marriage, 

111-12, 114, 118-19, 265 
American City, unit on, 265 
Farmville, course on, 111-12, 114, 


Future Farmers of America, 158 
Geography, 89, 330 
German, in schools, 142 
See Foreign languages 
Government controls, 288, 290 
Government, 54, 76-77, 82, 87-88 
citizenship, relation to, 76-77, -82, 


special interests in, 54 
Government, school, 268 
Growth, 102-103, 126, 249-50 
areas of, 102-1.03, 126, 249-50 
organism and environment, interac- 
tion between, 126 

Guidance, 39-43, 46-50, 73, 152-54, 
195-96, 228, 309-23, 344, 376- 
78, 398, 408 

American City, 195-96, 228, 309-23 
class advisers, 310, 311-13 
common learnings, tinder, 310-11 
community institutes, in, 320-21 
continuing character of, 195-96, 
228, 309 

developing personnel for, 322-23 
environment, need for knowing, 

individuals, knowing students as, 


military service, in, 319 
occupational situation, need for 

knowing, 316-20 
parents' cooperation in, 3 1 5 
program of, 309-23 
teachers as counselors, 310-11, 

315, 320 
Farmville, 39-43, 46-50, 73, 152-54, 


counselor, requirements of, 40-41 
counselors' responsibility for, 42- 


definition of, 39-40, 309 
diagnostic testing, 46 
school program, keystone of, 39 
sharing responsibility for, 41 
student planning, 46-47 
teacher's responsibility for, 41-42, 

youth, for out-of -school, 48-50, 


state service of, 344, 376-78 
statewide system of, 398 
teacher education in, 313, 323, 


Guidance and pupil personnel service, 
291, 312-13, 312n, 317-18, 322 
city office of, 291, 312-13, 322 
materials furnished, types of, 291, 

312n, 317-18 

"Guides to the Teaching of Common 
Learnings," quotations from, 267- 

Habits, development of good, 68 
Handicapped students, special services 

for, 333-36 
Health, in schools, 45, 83, 111, 117, 

130, 235, 239 

Health and physical education, 34, 60, 
103-10, 112, 244, 269, 271-74, 
276-77, 281, 311, 312, 315 
American City, 244, 269, 271-74, 
276-77, 281, 311, 312, 315 


community cooperation in, 269, 

277, 281 

examinations for, 271-74, 276 
guidance in, 311, 312, 315 
parents, education of, 276-77 
program of, 271-81 
time allotment for, 244 (chart), 


war, effect on, 271 
Farmville, 34, 60, 103-10, 112 
health center in secondary school, 

34, 107-10 

health examinations, 103-105 
rural health services, 102 
survey of community health, 105- 


Health and safety committee, 112 
Health center, Farmville, 34, 60 
History, 99, 142, 148, 235, 238, 245, 

257, 261-62, 298 
citizenship education, as related to, 

89-97, 261-62 
common learnings, in, 238, 245, 257, 

261-62, 298 
community study, outgrowth of, 


integration in, 235 
methods in teaching of, 91-97 
reasons for study of, 94, 99, 148 
relationships in, 90, 261-62, 298 
special interest in, 54, 142 
world history, 96 

History that must be written, 3 8 1-408 
educational expansion, 383-84, 385 
federal activities, other, 392-94 
Federal Aid to Education Act, 390- 

91, 392 

federal emergency action, 386-91 
leadership, program of, 393-94 
state and local developments, 394- 


U. S. Office of Education, 393-94 
History that should not happen, 1-10 
educational lethargy, reasons for, 3-7 
National Bureau of Youth Service, 

3, 7-8 

planning, prevention by, 10 
youth, effect of demobilization on, 2 
Home demonstration agent, 39, 73, 82 

Home economics, in schools, 45, 48, 
117, 118, 130, 140, 222, 223, 235, 
246, 269, 274, 295, 315 
Homemaking. See Home economics 
Housing, 177-78, 235, 283-84 
comprehensive course in, 235 
problem in American City, 177-78, 


Hygiene. See Health; Health and physi- 
cal education 

Income and expenditure, possible post- 
war, 410 
Individual, learning respect for the, 


Individual differences, types of, 15-16 
Individual differences and interests, 35, 
36, 50-56, 112-14, 123-26, 242- 
43, 244, 245, 297, 307-36 
adjusting schedules to, 327-29 
athletics, in, 112-14 
handicapped, of, 334-36 
individual interests period, 244 

(chart), 245 
needs, education suited to, 35, 50-56, 

242-43, 324 

program for, 123-26, 307-308 
slow learners, 334-3 
vocation, related to choice of, 36 
vocational education in, 297 
Individualized programs and records 

of progress, 323-25 
Industrial and labor relations, under- 
standing, 221-22, 246 
Intellectual curiosity, 141-42 
Italian, 142* 

See Foreign languages 
Junior placement bureaus, statewide 

system of, 69 

Junior placement service, 312, 322, 326 
Labor, 286-88 

organizations in, 286-87 
specialization of, 288 
Labor relations, 209 
Labor unions, need for study of, 286- 

87, 289-90 

Laboratory facilities, 62, 71 
Language. See English 
Large-scale enterprise, 286 


Latin, 13, 142 

See Foreign languages 
Latin America and hemispheric rela- 
tions, teaching of, 89, 96 
Leadership, 54, 72, 87, 155, 156-59, 


community organization for post- 
war, Farmville, 156-59 
encouragement of, 54, 72, 87, 155 
program for educational, 393-94 
League of Women Voters, 343 

among students, 266 
Learning, 138-42 
applied, 139-41 
purposeful, 138-39, 142 
relationships in, 139 
self -direction in, 139, 142 
Legislative action, state program of, 
, 227, 340, 341-44 
main points in, 343-44 
need for, 227, 340 
organizing program for, 341-43 
Libraries, 25, 34, 45, 60, 71, 102, 111, 

122, 125, 155 

Literature and the arts, 83, 95, 118, 
127, 128, 134-37, 148, 238, 245, 
246, 257, 262, 264, 298, 308, 329 
aims in teaching, 134-36 
civic competence, as related to, 95 
common learnings, in, 238,245,264 
community institute, in, 246 
cultural birthright, part of, 127, 128 
curriculum, part of, 83, 134-37 
history, with, 95, 134, 262 
personal problems, related to, 118, 

134, 148,257 
Loyalty, 97-100 
Machine shop. See Mechanics 
Machines, labor-saving, 27-28, 30, 285, 


Marks students', 50, 55 
Mathematics, 36, 45, 54, 73, 127, 130, 
133, 139, 140, 141, 142, 223, 
224, 235, 238, 246, 257, 297, 
298, 301, 329 
Mechanics, 28, 45, 60, 61, 66, 130, 

140, 246, 297 
American City, 246, 297 

Farmville, 28, 45, 60, 61, 66, 130, 

Medicine and nursing, student help in, 


Mental hygiene, importance in guid- 
ance, 40, 111, 146 
Mentally superior students, 54, 71, 72, 


developing, need for, 72 
individualized programs for, 54, 71, 


special services for, 332-33 
Metal trades. See Mechanics 
Military service, as occupation, 308, 


Motion pictures. See Visual aids 
Music, 36, 53, 96, 120, 127, 246 
National Bureau of Youth Service, 3, 

National Institute on Education and 

the War, 203 

National Planning Association, 201 
National Resources Planning Board, 

National Youth Administration, 197- 

98, 385, 386, 389, 391 
effect of, 391 

termination of, 197-98, 389 
value of, 389 

Needs, common vs. differential, 36, 37 
Newspapers and magazines, unit on, 


Nutrition. See Home economics 
Occupational interests, 15, 56-58, 398 

differences in, 15 
. education, opportunity for, 58 
state education department studies, 

through, 398 

youth, of Farmville, 56-58 
Occupational planning council, 253, 

303, 317, 326, 327 
Occupations, field of, 44, 45, 57-58, 
59-75, 82, 159, 316-20, 392-93, 

American City, 316-20 
city, survey of, 317 
materials, types of, 318-19 
organizations providing informa- 
tion on, 317-18, 392-93 


situation, knowing occupational, 

Farmville, 44, 45, 57-75, 82, 159, 


excursions, through, 44 
groups in which Farmville youth 

fall, 59-75 
motion pictures, 45 
preparation for, 60-75 
relation of citizenship education 

to, 57-58 

surveys, 44, 58, 82, 159 
U. S. Office of Education, infor- 
mation from, 45, 393, 398 
Parental attitude and cultural back- 
ground, differences in, 16 
See Environment 

Parent-teacher congresses, city, state, 
and national, 209, 343, 347-48, 
376, 395 

Phonograph recordings, 142, 262 
Photography, 142 
Physical education, 118, 120, 277-78, 


See Athletics 
Physics, in schools, 62, 73, 142, 223, 

Planning, comprehensive, American 

City, 184-88 
city, 184-86 
educational, 187 

neighborhood and regional, 186-87 
Planning, postwar educational, 1, 10, 

18-19, 200-206, 383 ' 
board of education on, 204-206 
immediate need for, 1, 10, 18-19, 


interest in, 200-203 
material for, 18-19 
school buildings, for, 402 
Planning, student participation in. See 
Student participation in planning 
Political action, developing compe- 
tence in, 87-88 
Preinduction courses, American City, 

4, 203-204, 308 
Principal, importance of, 291 
Problem method, weaknesses of, 89 

Production, agricultural, Farmville, 23, 

26, 27-28, 29-30, 32 
figures for, 28 

part played by education in, 27-28 
postwar demand for, 29-30, 32 
war need for, 26 
' Professions, entry into, 44-45, 72-75, 

American City youth, 298 

See Farmville 

Farmville youth, 44-45, 72-75 
community, meeting needs of the, 

excursion, observation through, 


field work, in, 72-73 
guidance in, 73-75 
learning requirements of, 72, 73 
Progress, 93-94 
Psychology, 111, 246 
Public affairs, course in, 155 
Public employment service, 253, 303 
Public problems, study of, 97 
Public relations, spirit of, 211-12 
Public school superintendents, associa- 
tion of, 342 

Public works, postwar, 3, 7, 326 
Radio, 96, 142, 262 
Reading, 62, 68 

Record, personal history, 41, 42, 46, 
50, 55-56, 110, 273, 310, 311, 
315, 316, 324-25, 377-78 
grades replaced by, 50, 55, 324-25, 

guidance information from, 42, 56, 

310, 311, 315, 316 
health on, 41, 46, 110,273 
optional character of, 378 
Recreation, teaching of, 83 
Recreational and leisure-time activities, 

Farmville, 119-26, 151 
facilities for, 121-23 
functions of school in relation to 7 

121-23, 125-26 
personal development, related to, 

102, 117, 119-26, 151 
recreation center, 34, 126 
student planning for, 122-23 


Remedial instruction, 140, 151, 257, 

324-25, 334, 336 

Research, bureau of educational, 330 
Residence halls, 247-48, 327, 357 
Responsibility, school's continuing, 

See Youth, provisions for out-of- 

Rural communities, Farmville, 23-29, 

31-33, 136-37 

importance of school in, 136-37 
improvements in, 24-25, 31-33 
problems of, 23-25 
urban movement in, 24 
war, effect of, 25-29 
Rural youth leadership conference, 88, 

Russian, 142 

See Foreign language 
Schedules and sequences, 149-52 
School districts, reorganization of, 


School officials, local, 398-403 
changes in thinking of, 400-403 
two concepts, 398-99 
School officials, state, 397-98 
School trustees, association of, 343 
Schools, postwar lethargy of, 3-7, 8-10 
reasons for, 3-7 
results of, 3, 7, 8-10 
Science, 36, 45, 53, 54, 95, 110, 111, 
118, 127, 130-37, 139, 141, 224, 
238, 239, 246, 270, 274, 297, 
298, 329, 330 

civic competence, as related to, 95 
common need for study of, 53, 130- 

37, 270 

cultural aims of, 133 
personal problems, resource for meet- 
ing, 53, 110, 111, 118 
See Chemistry, Biology, etc. 
Scientific method and point of view, 

53, 127, 128,130-31 
Scientific view of the world and of 

man, 131-33 
Secondary education, extension upward 

of, 351-61 

Secondary schools, postwar, 4, 6, 383- 
90, 404-405 

effect of depression on, 385 

expansion of, 6, 383-84 

federal youth agencies, challenge 

of, 386-90 
needs of, 4 

new areas, staff study of, 404-405 
Sequences of learning, 54 
Smith-Hughes program, 7 
Social studies, 12, 72, 82, 89-97, 221, 

222, 224, 246, 299, 329 
citizenship education, in, 89-97 
community institute, in, 246 
course at Farmville, outcomes of, 


curriculum, in, 82, 222, 224 
industrial and labor relations, unit 

on, 221 
understandings to be developed in, 

Society, study of as core of social 

studies, 90 
Spanish, 12, 142 

See Foreign languages 
Sports, program of. See Athletics 
Standards, minimum for education in 

state, 343, 345-46, 397-98 
State and local developments in educa- 
tion, 394-95 
State department of education, 162, 

344, 364-76, 378, 398 
college entrance requirements, and, 

community youth councils, and, 


curriculum, and, 370-71 
division of schoolhouse planning, 


guidance, in, 378 
membership of, 364 
school districts, relations with, 162, 

365-66, 398 
teachers, on, 367-70 
work experience, and, 372-73 
State education associations, activities, 

342, 376, 395-97 

State secondary-school principals' asso- 
ciation, 342 
State teachers' association, 342 


"Statement of Standard Employment 

Practices To Be Followed in the 

Cooperative Work Program," 


Student aid, financial, 47, 165-69, 

304-305, 312, 325, 380-82 
American City, 304-305, 312, 325 
employment through, 304-305 
responsibility for, 312-325 
Farmville, 47, 165-69 

program, main features of, 166- 


provision, methods of, 47, 165-69 
federal provision for, 380-81 
state, distribution through, 380-82 
Student assistants, 119, 120, 123, 168, 

327, 334, 336 
Student participation in planning, 54 

80, 96, 135, 139, 251 
Student's Guide to Common Learnings, 

quotation from, 252-56 
Subjectmatter organization, 256-57 
Summer term, 329 
Taxation, system of, 344-47 
equalization between districts, 345- 


rate, calculation of, 346-47 
Teacher education and certification, 
214-16, 275, 293, 313, 323, 367- 
69, 402-403, 407-408 
guiding principles of, 368-69 
in-service, 214-16, 275, 293, 313, 

323, 402-403 

legal standards, keeping to, 368 
preservice education, changes in, 

367-68, 407-408 
Teacher placement, 268-71 
Teacher selection, vocational, 292-93 
Teachers, survey of, 210-11 
Teaching profession, 53 
Terminology, educational, changes in, 

Testing, 41, 46, 50, 51, 252-53, 299, 

310, 312 

college, as predicting success in, 50 
counselor's need for knowledge of, 


diagnostic, 46, 252-53, 310, 312 
for entrance into armed services, 51 

grades, to supersede, 50, 51, 299 
Time, teaching use of, 252 
U. S. Office of Education, 319, 378, 

392, 393-94 

expansion and strengthening of, 393 

leadership program of, 393-94 

Victory farm volunteer program, 27 

Visual aids, 45, 45n, 68, 96, 262, 318 

motion pictures, 45, 68, 96, 262, 


television, 45n, 96 
Vocation, guidance in choice of, 68, 


Vocational education, 60-75, 282-307 
American City, 282, 283-85, 286, 
289, 291, 293-94, 294-303, 305, 
303-307, 311, 312, 317 
for youth who leave full-time 
school from high school, 294-9 S 
for youth who leave school after 
community institute, 300-303 
for youth who plan education be- 
yond community institute, 

guidance in, 311, 312 
knowledge and skills in, 284-85, 

286, 293-94, 299 
occupational trends, criteria of, 


place of principal in, 291 
representative advisory commit- 
tees on, 291, 305, 306-307, 317 
schedule of, 243, 244 (chart) 
seven purposes of, 289-91 
teachers in, 291-93, 311 
work experience, 289, 292, 294- 

95, 303-306, 311 
Farmville, 60-75 

for youth who expect to live and 

work in cities, 67-70 
for youth who expect to remain in 

Farmville, 60-67 
for youth who plan to attend 
four r year colleges and profes- 
sional schools, 71-75 
projects in, 61-63, 68, 71 
purposes in Grades XIII and XIV, 

War Manpower Commission, 200 


War production training program, ef- 
fect of, 198-200 
Woodland Park, 242, 301 
Work-experience programs, 47, 63-66, 
168, 192, 246, 303-306, 328- 
29, 372-73, 389 

American City, 192, 246, 303-304, 
305-306, 328-29 
community institute, in, 246 
influence of war on, 303-304 
scheduling, problems of, 303, 328- 


school program, place in, 192 
statement of standard employ- 
ment practices to be followed 
in the cooperative work pro- 
gram, 305-306 
Farmville, 47, 63, 64-65, 168 
definition of, 63 
guidance during, 47 
individualized plans for, 64, 168 
mutual benefits from, 64-65 
influence of federal youth agencies 

on, 389 

principles of, 372-73 
World at work, study of the, 43-46, 

150, 151, 152 

World War II, 2, 3, 52, 203-204, 299 
demobilization in war and industry, 

effect of, 2 

schools and, 3, 52, 203-204, 299 
workers, training of, 2, 3 
youth education, turning point in, 2 

Youth, all American, 11-19 
common qualities in, 16-17 
descriptions of, 11-14 
educational differences in, 15-16 
providing education for, 14, 17-19 
Youth, changes in education of, 188- 


conditions conducive to, 2 1 3 -1 6 
obstacles and resources, 210-13 
planning for, 197-204 
processes of, 188-240 
types of, 1,88-96 
Youth council, community, 148, 158- 

59, 161, 375-76 

Youth, cultural birthright of, 126-29 
Youth, independence of, 48, 57 
Youth, loyalties of, 97-100 
Youth, needs of, 225-26, 230-31, 243 
differential and common, 230-31, 


imperative educational, 225-26 
Youth, personal development of, 100- 


Youth, provisions for out-of-school, 

34, 48-50, 121-22, 152-56, 195- 

96, 247, 300, 321, 336-37, 344, 


American City, 195-96, 247, 300, 

321, 336-37 
Columbia, 361-62 
Farmville, 34, 48-50, 121-22, 152-