Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Part I: Basic considerations and...
 How to use this bulletin
 Problems which challenge Florida...
 Tentative point of view
 Aids in defining a school's...
 Organization of instruction
 Part II: Suggested guides to teachers...
 The school in the community
 Living in the school
 Large unit teaching
 Growth in service

Group Title: Its Florida program for improvement of schools Bulletin
Title: Ways to better instruction in Florida schools
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080766/00001
 Material Information
Title: Ways to better instruction in Florida schools
Series Title: Its Florida program for improvement of schools Bulletin
Physical Description: vii p., 1 l., 340 p. : incl. forms. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida -- State Dept. of Education
University of Florida -- Curriculum Laboratory
Publisher: State Dept. of Education
Place of Publication: Tallahassee
Publication Date: 1939
Copyright Date: 1939
Subject: Education -- Curricula -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Education -- Aims and objectives   ( lcsh )
Education -- Experimental methods   ( lcsh )
Educational counseling   ( lcsh )
Teachers -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: Prepared at Florida curriculum laboratory, University of Florida. M.L. Stone, director; Clara M. Olson, consultant; W.T. Edwards, consultant.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080766
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - AEG2008
oclc - 02826095
alephbibnum - 000865231
lccn - e 40000142

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Part I: Basic considerations and suggested procedures
        Page ix
        Page x
    How to use this bulletin
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Problems which challenge Florida schools
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
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    Tentative point of view
        Page 38
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    Aids in defining a school's objectives
        Page 54
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    Organization of instruction
        Page 87
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    Part II: Suggested guides to teachers for developing major aspects of the school program
        Page 127
        Page 128
    The school in the community
        Page 129
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        Page 131
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    Living in the school
        Page 190
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    Large unit teaching
        Page 211
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    Growth in service
        Page 307
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Full Text





Bulletin No. 2
October, 1939


Prepared at
University of Florida

M. L. STONE, Director
CLARA M. OLSON, Consultant
W. T. EDWARDS, Consultant

COLIN ENGLISH, Superintendent



& -


F orew ord .................................................. ..................... ................................................ v



I. H ow to U se T his B ulletin ................................................... ..... ..... 1

II. Problems Which Challenge Florida Schools ......................... 6

III. T entative P oint of V iew ......................................................... .............. 38

IV. Aids in Defining a School's Objectives ............................................. 54

V O organization of Instruction ......................................... ...... ....... 87



VI. The School in the Community .......................... ................. 129

V I I G u id a n ce ..................................................................... .................... 1 5 5

V III. L giving in the School ........................................................... ................ 190

IX L large U n it T each in g ..................... .................................................................... 211

X E v a lu a tio n .................................................................................. .......................... 2 7 2

X I. G row th in S erv ice ...................................................................... ..................... 3 0 7



The Florida Program for the Improvement of Instruction is one
phase of the larger program for the improvement of schools. It was
planned by the State Department of Education during the summer
of 1938, several years after a somewhat similar program had cul-
minated in the publication, in 1933, of the Elementary Course of
Study and several secondary school bulletins. The present program
is based upon the principle that the improvement of instruction is a
continuous process and should be carried on through the democratic
participation of pupils, teachers, administrators, and laymen.

While a plan for the improvement of instruction may set up cer-
tain goals and objectives, it can never hope to achieve such a state of
perfection that improvement will no longer be necessary. The ever-
changing nature of society and the unpredictable advances which are
made from time to time in psychology and in other sciences will al-
ways demand that the school modify its program to meet the chang-
ing needs of individuals and of society as a whole. For this reason the
improvement of instruction must be continuous, and while much
planning is necessary, the plans must always be subject to such
changes as are necessary to guide education in the direction indi-
cated by the best thought of the times.

Such a program involves the continuous preparation of materials
and further extension of the cooperative school movement which was
initiated in the spring of 1939. During the summer of 1938, Cur-
riculum Bulletin Number One, Source Materials for the Improve-
ment of Instruction, was prepared by a group of Florida teachers
at Peabody College in Nashville; at the same time at the University
of Florida a group of physical education teachers cooperated in the

production of A Tentative Course of Study in Physical Education
for Secondary Schools. During the summer of 1939, four bulletins
were prepared at the University of Florida: Bulletin Number Two,
Ways to Better Instruction in Florida Schools; Bulletin Number
Three, A Preliminary Guide to a Study of the Elementary School
Curriculum in Florida; Bulletin Number Four, Plans for Florida's
School Health Program; and Bulletin Number Five, A Course of
Study in Physical Education. Plans for additional publications
related to the instructional program will be made during the
1939-1940 scholastic year. The teachers and administrators are
urged to make known their needs by writing the State Department
of Education and suggesting phases of the instructional program
on which materials should be prepared.
This bulletin is presented to the teachers and administrators
throughout Florida with the hope that it will enable individuals and
total school groups to face boldly and intelligently those problems
of adjusting the school program to meet the new conditions which
have come about by social changes in the nation, state, and commun-
ity. This bulletin is primarily for faculty study groups who wish
to re-think their philosophy in determining the needs of pupils and
community and in constructing a school program which is condi-
tioned to meet these needs.
It is.my belief that the statewide use of this procedure by entire
faculty groups will reveal for Florida a pathway to a new educa-
tional program, a democratic school program which will be alive and
interesting and more worthwhile to parents, teachers, and pupils.
By its very nature such a program will keep our schools up with the
times through a process of continuous study and revision of what
is being taught. Unless school people conceive the improvement of
instruction as continuous through planning and discussion and re-
vising in light of future developments, then this bulletin will have
failed to do what is hoped. It must be noted, however, that this
bulletin in itself serves only to keep us all pointed in the same gen-
eral direction.
This bulletin was prepared during the summer of 1939 at the
Florida Curriculum Laboratory, University of Florida, by a group
of Florida teachers. It challenges teachers to analyze their philoso-
phies of education and to study their communities and their pupils.

Those teachers who think and plan in terms of fundamental prin-
ciples realize the value of discussion, study, planning, and revision
of the school program in meeting the needs of pupils and the com-
munity. Therefore, school principals and teachers are asked to con-
sider the true relation of everything that is done by the pupils in
school to those principles and objectives which they as teachers be-
lieve to be most essential.
The preparation of this bulletin was made possible through con-
tributions by the Florida Education Association and Upsilon Chap-
ter of Kappa Delta Pi, University of Florida. The cooperation as
evidenced by these organizations as well as by the faculties of the
teacher-training institutions is greatly appreciated. Especial ap-
preciation and recognition are here given to the consultants and to
the members of the committee who developed and wrote this bulletin.
The members of the committee were Ernest W. Cason, Irene C.
Christen, Blake Clarke, John M. Haynes, Dana T. Leitch, C.
Marguerite Morse, Edna Parker, Joyce E. Pritchard, W. E. Rice,
Jr., and Sarah Sealey. The State Department is especially in-
debted to Walter J. Matherly, University of Florida, and Doak
S. Campbell, George Peabody College, who reviewed certain chap-
ters and made valuable suggestions, and to Charles W. Knudsen,
George Peabody College, who gave bibliographical help. It is also
indebted to Ralph L. Eyman, Florida State College for Women,
Paul Irvine, Alabama Polytechnic, and Lucius M. Bristol, Univer-
sity of Florida. Acknowledgment and appreciation are also ex-
pressed to the publishers who gave permission for the use of cer-
tain materials and to the many individuals who gave freely of their
time in the completion of this bulletin.

State Superintendent
of Public Instruction.

Basic Considerations and Procedures

Chapter One


This bulletin is one in a series of publications to be prepared in
a continuous program for the improvement of instruction in Flor-
ida schools. It contains the materials necessary for re-thinking the
responsibility of the school in a democratic society. In keeping with
the democratic principle, it does not present a pattern for reorgani-
zation. The materials contained herein are inclusive enough to
enable each school to develop its own plan of organization.
Individual Use of This Bulletin.-An individual teacher may
use this bulletin profitably. The teacher controls to a greater ex-
tent than anyone else the activities and attitudes of the pupils in his
class. He more than anyone else in the educational system guides
the actual living of the pupils. If a lone teacher, failing to secure
the cooperation of any group, studies this bulletin or parts of it,
thinks over seriously its implications for his own work, and puts
into effect a program which is the result of this thinking, one of
the fundamental objectives of the bulletin will have been realized.
Students of this bulletin, however, whether working singly or in
groups must not consider any of the problems discussed in Part
Two out of their relation to the fundamental concepts developed in
Part One. The very essence of every idea and suggestion in the
later chapters of the bulletin is derived from the combination of
factors explained in Part One and displays its full significance only
when viewed in relation to them.
Group Use of This Bulletin.-This bulletin has been designed
primarily for use by study groups. While an individual teacher
may do much to improve instruction in his own room and even to
influence teaching throughout the school, group cooperation is nec-
essary before any extensive reorganization of the curriculum can


be accomplished. Similarly a large group, each contributing the
results of his own thinking and democratically participating in the
criticism and revision of the whole, can work out a far more effec-
tive program of reconstruction than can any one individual of the
group or all the members of the group working independently.

It is hoped that many teacher groups in all parts of the state
will study this bulletin diligently and discuss it freely and demo-
cratically, working out from the results. of their thinking new and
expanded programs for their own school. Such a study group may
consist of the entire faculty of one school, a smaller group within
a faculty, or, in the case of small schools, several faculties may meet
together. County superintendents and principals, as well as teach-
ers, are urged to encourage the formation of study groups and par-
ticipate democratically in their discussions and planning. It is
hoped that the officials of the district associations of the Florida
Education Association and county superintendents will assist in or-
ganizing groups throughout their districts. Their work can be es-
pecially valuable in organizing the teachers of very small schools
into larger groups in which the combined thinking of all can be
utilized. County classroom teachers associations and organizations
of principals may also sponsor the use of these materials and con-
sider the broader aspects of the improvement of instruction in their
own programs.

When a study group has been formed, procedures must be worked
out whereby maximum benefit may be derived by all from the con-
sideration of the ideas suggested in the bulletin. Probably it would
be wise to choose a leader for each discussion. However, if the
leader ever so ably propounds upon the subject matter of a certain
chapter while the rest of the group, not having thoroughly read and
thought upon the matter beforehand, merely listen to the end and
then adjourn, the meeting may be considered a failure. Significant
advances in education will come not by the passive acceptance of
new ideas, but by the active formulation of new policies. For a fully
effective meeting, each teacher must come with his head full of ideas
that he has developed in his own mind after a careful study of the


section or sections of the bulletin under discussion. He must have
thought of the problems presented in relation to his own particular
situation and that of the community as a whole. The leader, instead
of lecturing, may ask thought-provoking questions, questions which
will lead each teacher to see better the implications of the materials
at hand for his own work, questions which will promote thoughtful
and meaningful discussion of the functions of education in general
and of the local schools in particular.

Out of the discussions of the group should gradually grow a
definite program for each school and each teacher participating, to
which each member of the group has contributed some part. Not
only should each teacher have worked on the part directly affecting
his own program, but he should have contributed his ideas to the
work of the entire group. It is not necessary that the plan worked
out be comprehensive or revolutionary at first. In fact, it is desir-
able that only a few well considered changes be made at first and
that the results of these be studied and evaluated as well as possible
to indicate the direction of further change. At no time should any
position, whether worked out by the group or stated in the bulletin,
be considered as final. Every process of education must be continu-
ously re-evaluated and reorganized in the light of its success in
meeting the real and present needs of the pupils.
Organization of This Bulletin and the Relation of Its Parts.-
This bulletin consists of two parts which are different both in their
purpose and development. PartOne treatsof those aspects ~f.edi-
catioun bhich.. are. both basic, and general and which must be under-
stood...before any specific plan for the improvement of instruction
Scan Je intelligently evolved. Part Two considers more specific prob-V
lems which will arise when the implications of Part One are-,trans-
lated into action. Out of relation to each other, Part Two loses much
of its significance and Part One becomes mere theory, difficult to
bring into practice.
Chapter Two, Problems Which Challenge Florida Schools, pre-
sents a rapid but highly significant survey of the economic, social,
and health conditions in Florida and in the United States as a whole
which demonstrate the need for more effective education of Florida


youth. It shows the flaws and the futility in the present school
treatment of the ills of society. It might well be studied in conjunc-
tion with Chapter Six, The School in the Community, which shows
something of the part the school may play in improving the greater
society of which it is a part.
Chapter Three, Tentative Point of View, makes clear the posi-
tion of the bulletin in respect to the place of education in the
world of today and the implications of modern philosophy and psy-
chology for the school. It is the keystone chapter which maintains
the relationships and significance of all the rest. It is not expected
or desired, however, that the readers will unreservedly accept this
point of view as their own. Each teacher or groups of teachers who
wish to make worthwhile accomplishments in the improvement of
instruction must have a carefully thought out and defensible phil-
osophy of his own or their own.
Chapter Four, Aids in Defining a School's Objectives, suggests
a procedure for developing and expressing such a philosophy, as well
as a procedure for attempting to learn the real needs of the pupils
of a school. When any present day school seriously looks at its exist-
ing program with the real needs of its pupils in mind, it cannot fail
to see a need for a reorganization of its curriculum and practices.
This reorganization must, of course, be consistent with its philosophy.
Many forward-looking schools are moving by one plan or another in
the direction of the experience unit as the organization of instruc-
tion which so far best meets the needs of boys and girls. Chapter
Five, The Organization of Instruction, discusses the ways by which
this organization may be achieved and Chapter Nine, Large Unit
Teaching, explains its psychological foundation and furnishes illus-
trations of its actual use.
School pupils, like everyone else, have to make many decisions,
large and small, which profoundly affect their own future happiness
and success and may affect the general welfare of society. In the
past schools have done little to help young people act wisely in the
situations where their futures as workmen, homemakers, and citizens
are at stake.
Chapter Seven, Guidance, makes suggestions as to how a school
may undertake to give its pupils concrete help in the successful and


useful conduct of their lives. Chapter Eight, Living in the School,
illustrates by actual example how children may become zealous and
worthy citizens of a democratic society.
Pupils, teachers, parents, and other citizens are always consciously
or unconsciously evaluating the success of the school according to
their own knowledge of the activities of the school and their own
conceptions of its proper functions. Such evaluation is necessary to
progress, but there is great need for a better understanding of the
bases on which a significant evaluation may be based and the means
by which it may be achieved. Chapter Ten, Evaluation, discusses
this problem.
Obviously a program for the improvement of instruction of the
scope suggested in this bulletin will make demands on teachers which
many are not now ready to meet. The teacher who would assume
and hold a worthy place of increasing usefulness in the new order
must constantly grow to meet these demands. Chapter Eleven,
Growing in Service, discusses the directions such growth will take
and gives suggestions as to how the teacher may increase his educa-
tional stature.
A Look Forward.-Neither this bulletin nor any other can sup-
ply a formula for successful teaching. It does not even presume to
answer many of the questions it raises. It furnishes for study the
basis to which the increasingly fruitful program must be related.
The phenomenal increase and improvement of Florida schools in
recent years and the continued faith which all American people place
in their schools justify the belief that many of these problems will
be resolved and others which arise will be likewise resolved as the
schools continue to increase and improve their invaluable service to
young and old.

Chapter Two

Change or improvement is never instituted for its own sake.
Always definite situations, definite needs, definite problems are back
of changes in the program of the school or in the service of any
other public institution. The United States and Florida today have
needs and problems which cannot be ignored by those who formu-
late school policies and develop programs of education designed to
fulfill the twofold obligation of serving the individual and the

To attempt to give a picture of the kind of state and nation in
which Florida schools function, with particular emphasis on un-
solved problems, is the purpose of this chapter. Two important
reasons indicate why a good school program must be built upon such
understanding of the environment. First, the school, in theory, de-
rives its curriculum from its environment, of which these problems
today are an especially vital part; and, second, it seems likely that
these very social and economic problems must be worked out by this
generation or the next if democracy is to continue. The schools,
then, have the definite responsibility of developing citizens with suf-
ficient social intelligence to overcome the difficulties facing our
state and nation.

To say that we live in a changing world has become commonplace.
People have been saying it, or could have been saying it, since the
very beginnings of society. The fact that our world today is chang-
ing is certainly nothing new. However, one distinguishing quality
of change today is its rapidity. Changes in our era have come in
such rapid intermingling that it is very difficult for an individual to
see the extent and meaning of events and situations of which he is
a, part.


There are many different ways of describing the nature of the
evolving process in which America now finds itself. Specialists in
every academic field can point out changes which they consider fun-
damental in the modern world. Geographically it may be said that
the frontier has been conquered and that expansion and exploitation
are giving way to adjustment and conservation. Sociologically
speaking, population growth is rapidly declining toward a station-
ary level; fundamental institutions, such as family and church, are
in a state of disorganization and decreased influence. From the
economic point of view, we have passed from an agrarian age into
an industrial, power age; we are changing from a philosophy of"
production to a philosophy of consumption, but the philosophy is
far in advance of actual progress in achieving the wide distribution
of purchasing power that is needed actually to develop an economy
in which production for use is the controlling motive. Political
changes include a tremendous expansion in public services and regu-
latory powers of government. Heading the list are scientific and
technological changes, probably the basis of most other changes tak-
ing place, which are advancing at a much faster rate than social in-
vention, or changes in philosophy and ways of controlling individ-
uals, groups, and forces which work against the good of the greatest
The fact that life today is vastly different, both in externals and
in many fundamentals from what it has been in the past has signifi-
cant implications for Florida schools. Before investigating these
educational implications, it will perhaps be helpful to consider some
specific problems of the United States as a whole and of Florida as
a state which have appeared as ways of living have changed.


In considering national problems, we shall mention briefly only
some which are of fundamental importance and which seem to threat-
en the future of democracy. Some involve greater danger than
others, but each of the eight threats discussed in the following para-
graphs constitutes in the minds of those who are concerned for the
future of democracy a definite challenge to the way of life which we
call American.


SThe following discussion owes its organization and point of view
in large measure to George S. Counts's presentation of democracy's
liabilities in his recent book The Prospects of American Democracy.

1. Concentration of Economic Power.-In the early period of
American history economic democracy existed. The vast majority
of Americans in the days of the founding fathers were farmers, liv-
ing on land which they owned and controlled, dependent for a liv-
ing on no one but themselves. Each man with his family was self-
sufficient. There was an abundance of land on the western frontier
and beyond, so that no one, with the exception of relatively few
slaves and indentured servants, was forced to depend on any one
else for necessities.

Early American leaders feared the day when the country would
cease to be a nation of freeholders, when most of the property would
be owned by a few men and the rest would be economically depen-
dent on those in control. Daniel Webster predicted what might hap-
pen if such a condition arose:
The freest government, if it could exist, would not be long acceptable, if
the tendency of the laws were to create a rapid accumulation of property in
few hands, and to render the great mass of the population dependent and
penniless. In such a case the popular power must break in upon the rights
of property, or else the influence of property must limit and control the
exercise of popular power. Universal suffrage, for example, could not long
exist in a community where there was great inequality of property. The
holders of estates would be obliged in such case, either in some way to
restrain the right of suffrage, or else such right of suffrage would ere long
divide the property.'

If Daniel Webster was right in asserting that political democracy
rests on a foundation of economic democracy, it is obvious that de-
mocracy today has a precarious basis.

The facts about the distribution of income today are alarming
to those to whom democracy includes economic life. In an economic
system potentially capable of providing every family with $4500
worth of goods, one-third of them today are living on less than $780

'Journal of Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of Delegates
Chosen to Revise the Constitution of Massachusetts (Boston, 1853), pp. 311-312
as quoted in George S. Counts, The Prospects of American Democracy (New
York: The John Day Co., 1938), p. 78.


a year. One-tenth of one percent of the families receive a total
amount almost as great as that received by the lowest 40 percent
of the families. Yet even more significant than this wide disparity
of income, which need not of itself destroy democracy, is the concen-
tration of ownership of productive property. The vast majority of
Americans today, probably 80 percent of them, own practically no
tools of production. The rise of the modern corporation has con-
centrated ownership even more; in 1935 the Bureau of Internal
Revenue reported that "of all corporations reporting from every
part of the nation, one-tenth of one percent of them owned 52 percent
of the assets of all of them." The argument that corporations mean
ownership of property by large groups rather than by individuals
is not a valid one, since small stockholders very rarely exercise any
form of control over the corporation's enterprise. Control of wealth
even within one corporation is in the hands of a few powerful in-
dividuals, and quite frequently the same individuals control several
The fact that more than 80 percent of Americans are no longer
"free" men, economically speaking, is of tremendous moment.
Alexander Hamilton believed that "in the general course of human
nature, a power over a man's subsistence amounts to a power over
his will."2 Democracy's economic basis is indeed precarious.

2. The Rise of Chronic Unemployment.-Contrary to all opti-
mistic predictions of the last decade, unemployment is still with us
and gives every indication of remaining with us indefinitely unless
we are able to work out a much better solution to the problem than
has yet been suggested. Even during the 1920's, the nation had a
permanent margin of one or two million unemployed. During the
depression the number rose to somewhere between thirteen and six-
teen million. Estimates even today place the figure above ten mil-
Failure to find work and the necessity of "going on relief" have
meant demoralization to millions of individuals. A substantial por-
tion of our population-not forgetting their families-is in the sit-
uation of being an unnecessary and burdensome part of society.

'Counts, op. cit., p. 223.


Constant worry, a sense of personal inadequacy, resentment against
injustice, all are having a marked effect on human personality. Dread
of losing one's job in such a time of stress has developed in almost
the entire population a sense of need for social security.

Unemployment endangers democracy principally in two ways:
first, it creates in many individuals a mental and emotional state
which makes them peculiarly ready to grasp at any social panacea
for which glowing claims are made; and, second, unemployment on
the scale on which it now exists challenges the effectiveness of po-
litical democracy as a means of directing the economic order to-
wards social ends.

3. Complexities of an Industrial Order.-Living in an urban-
ized industrial world is vastly different from living in an agrarian
society where most social relations were face-to-face and relatively
simple. Social interrelations today are intricate and difficult to vis-
ualize. The individual in modern America is affected by many forces
and events of which he is quite often ignorant and over which he
certainly has no control. Therefore, problems which a century and
a half ago could be solved by individuals or by small groups, today
can be worked out only through mass action. Thus the responsibili-
ties of government have increased tremendously.

Democracy today faces difficulties and complexities which up to
the present time it has been unable to deal with effectively. Even
experts disagree as to the best solutions. The resulting confusion
and bewilderment on the part of vast numbers of Americans has
made them far too eager to fall in line behind popular leaders, how-
ever ignorant or unthinking those leaders may be, who promise to
solve all of America's problems by one simple plan. In this mood,
the average citizen by going only a step further would accept the
leadership of any demagogue who is skillful in playing upon fears,
prejudices, and ideals. Recent developments in Europe show that in
time of stress, human nature prefers to lean on confidence-inspiring
authoritarianism, rather than to put its trust in the poorly directed,
muddling efforts of a popular government that does not appear to
know where it is going. Democracy can meet this challenge only by
effective action in curing the nation's ills.


4. Heritage of American Individualism and Loyalties.-Amer-
ica's legacy of freedom of individual action is a great, yet a danger-
ous, ideal. Economic individualism for the early American farmer
was possible and desirable. But today, for all practical purposes,
freedom of individual economic action means freedom only for the
very small percentage of individuals upon whom the rest of the popu-
lation depends for employment and daily bread. If democracy in
an industrial age is to serve the interests of all the people, then it
must build a type of social control which will insure the use of
productive property for the benefit of all the people.
Our tendency to glorify the Horatio Alger kind of man who rises
from rags to riches through personal worth and hard work repre-
sents a high ideal of character. This traditional idealism, however,
is slowing down the development of an industrial civilization which
is in harmony with democracy, because it is used to advantage by
those who are interested in maintaining our present economic aris-
tocracy. Other American traditions and loyalties are being ex-
ploited in the same way by reactionary interests. Empty symbols
and inspiring phrases quoted from the founding fathers have mean-
ing today only in their relation to democracy today, which is of
necessity vastly different from democracy of their times. America's
heritage of ideas and ideals has potentialities for promoting pro-
gress or bringing reaction, according to the degree of historical un-
derstanding and social insight which American citizens apply to
5. Tradition of Violence and Intolerance.-America's develop-
ment presents a strange paradox. Democracy is, in one sense of its
meaning, an appeal to reason, rule by the majority with the consent
of the minority. Yet in countless instances, both past and contem-
porary, Americans have rejected peaceful settlement of differences,
have resorted to violence, and have questioned the right of individ-
uals to act or think differently from their fellows.
Hatred and violent action, both by individuals and by groups,
are recorded in history against such minorities as Indians, Negroes,
Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Mexicans, Chinese, Japanese, and others.
If violence were a matter of merely historical interest, it might be
dismissed as a natural phase in the development of a young nation.


[But in our own era, the nature of the conflict between capital and
labor is of particular importance and potential dangerj7 Both sides
have been guilty, and both sides have thereby helped to postpone
the day when mutually satisfactory relations will be established.
Americans who are willing to reject peaceful settlement of differ-
ences and to abrogate such constitutionally guaranteed rights as
freedom of speech, assembly, and religion, and the right to a fair
trial are a greater menace to democracy than are all the fascist-
sympathizers in the nation. /Democracy and the social good are
served better by ballots than by bulletsJ
6. Danger of International War.-Democracy has no more
deadly enemy than war. Dictatorship replaces democracy during
the conflict] Hatred and barbarism are exalted, while the best qua-
lities developed in an advanced civilization-tolerance, unemotional
reasoning, human sympathy-are in disfavor. Domestic difficulties
are ignored while everyone concentrates on the supreme object of
winning the war. If war should last long enough, democratic in-
stitutions might easily be permanently abolished. Past wars in
American history, according to Charles A. Beard, have in every
case strengthened the position of the economic aristocracy.
America's problem is much more complex than merely choosing
whether to enter or stay out of war if it should occur. The exact po-
sition which the United States takes toward warring nations can
have unpredictable effects both on democracy at home and in the
rest of the world. Since America cannot possibly control all the
factors which will determine her action in a world at war, it is
decidedly to her advantage to participate in and perhaps initiate in-
ternational action which would serve to promote understanding
among nations and would help remove present injustices that are
the causes of war.
7. Increased Power of Propaganda.-jAmerica is proud of the
fact that her ambitious school system has taught virtually the whole
nation to read and that scientific advance has enabled most of the
nation to see moving pictures and to listen to radio broadcasts. This,
of course, represents a type of cultural progress. However, it also
means greater exposure to the appeals and arguments of whoever
happens to control those agencies of communication which have be-


come so important in American lifeJ Not only have the means of
communication been improved and speeded up, but the art of ad-
vertising and the subtle science of propaganda have also advanced
rapidly. Propagandists have attained such skill that even the criti-
cal reader is often confused by the conflicting ideas presented so con-
vincingly to him. JTlhe power of the press, the screen, and the radio
in molding public opinion is a potential threat to democratic gov-
ernment, especially in view of the fact that money can, and often
does buy the resources of these institutions.]

It might even be said that special interests and pressure groups
have almost taken the place of an articulate public opinion in en-
couraging and opposing legislation of various types. The average
citizen is too busy to let his representatives in Congress or in the
state legislature know what action he would like to see taken. The
opposite is true of many "patriotic" societies, manufacturers' asso-
ciations, labor groups, and corporate interests. LTheir lobbyists work
unceasingly for ends which may or may not be in the public interests

intelligent public opinion is the cornerstone of the democratic
structure. Partisan propaganda which for selfish reasons attempts
to shape public sentiment is one of the most insidious of all the
threats to democracy.

8. Civic Illiteracy.-American schools have taught the people
to read and write, but the schools have not yet developed in their
pupils an understanding of their own society nor the ability to re-
shape it in more socially desirable directions, History has taught
pupils many facts and many important names in American history,
but it has not given them insight into the forces and traditions that
have made America the kind of nation it is today. Civics and po-
litical science have presented in a logical way the structure of social
institutions, governmental forms, and processes. But nowhere have
the schools helped pupils to understand the basic forces in our social
and economic order or the conditions which are threatenng

The leaving pupils as a group are seriously deficient in their knowledge
of the problems, the issues, and the present-day facts with which American
citizens should be concerned.


The test results show that boys and girls in New York State learn
many of the facts of American history . . Pupils who are on the point
of leaving school know a good deal also about the "headline" facts in the
current news . . The deficiency in their knowledge comes in connection
with certain kinds of facts and with their appreciation of underlying issues.
Comparatively well-informed though they are about such matters as labor
troubles and current government activities, they are not acquainted with
recent changes in the structure of government, and they are seriously unin-
formed or misinformed about foreign affairs . . The deficiency in the
knowledge of these young people appears again in their lack of familiarity
with certain fundamental social concepts . . Deficiencies in knowledge are
even more strikingly evident in the results of tests designed to explore pupils'
knowledge of social conditions in their own communities ....
Once he is out of school, the ordinary boy or girl does practically nothing
to add to his readiness for citizenship, nor does he even keep alive the
knowledge of civic affairs or the interest social problems which he may have
had when he finished his schooling.3

As democracy's problems have become more complex and more
difficult of solution, the number of activities and interests compet-
ing for the attention of the average citizen has multiplied many
times. foo often social and civic problems have been neglected by
individuals for more attractive matters. The depression seems,
however, to have aroused unusual interest in economic and political
issues; here again the failure of organized civic education is evident
in the confusion and misinformation which characterize the think-
ing of all too many citizens. JThese crucial times are demonstrating
democracy's vital need for a school program which can develop
social intelligence in its citizens.:

It seems desirable at this point to emphasize the fact that, al-
though the picture of democracy given in the preceding paragraphs
may seem discouraging, it is certainly not the purpose of this dis-
cussion to suggest that democracy is inevitably headed straight for
disaster. America possesses priceless assets and tremendous poten-
tialities which will undoubtedly be sufficient to offset the liabilities if
rightly used. It is, therefore, increasingly important that we as
Americans do more than congratulate ourselves upon the achieve-
ments and virtues of our social order; we must recognize its defects

'Francis T. Spaulding, High School and Life, The Regents' Inquiry (New
York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1938), pp. 17-28.


and weakneses and work unceasingly toward solving its problems
and building a better nation and world.
Counts considers the following to be America's greatest assets:
the relative absence of feudal institutions and mentality; the demo-
cratic heritage of institutions and ideas; the experimental temper of
the American people- willingness to make changes; the tradition
of "good neighbourship"; the contemporary European spectacle, as
it indicates the results of autocracy and dictatorship; the weaknesses
of the American aristocracy; the unsurpassed natural and technical
resources of the country; the relative security of the nation from
external attack; the relatively high cultural level and political sense
of the masses; the growing body of precise knowledge of man and
human affairs.4

American democracy indeed faces an unpredictable future-on
the one hand are grave hazards and bewildering problems, and on
the other, magnificent potentialities and ideals. One of the most
helpful elements in the situation is the increasing recognition of and
concern for the ills from which the nation is suffering. Encouraged
by this trend, American schools are re-examining their responsibili-
ties in the democratic order and are working toward a program which
can develop citizens capable of directing the future of democracy.


S.To Floridian needs to be told about Florida's natural advan-
tages-climate, beaches, scenic attractions, fishing and hunting oppor-
tunities, favorable conditions for citrus fruit, and so on down the
list. Florida's position as a state which is annually visited by a
greater number of people than live in the state makes inevitable
widespread advertisement of and pride in the wonders of the state.7

Yet the other side of the picture, Florida's problems and mal-
adjustments, is of equally vital importance, particularly to teachers
in their task of planning a school program to serve the needs of
Florida boys and girls and the society in which they live. We may
be justly proud of our number-one rank as a grapefruit-producing

'Counts, op. cit., pp. 251-288.


state and of the contribution which we make to the nation's health
through supplying citrus fruits; yetLFlorida with all its sunshine
and citrus products holds an unenviably high rank among the states
in malnutrition, tuberculosis, malaria, and hookwormj Florida ranks
first in the production of phosphate, an important mineral in fer-
tilizer prQduction; but Florida uses some of this fertilizer in an
attempt to farm on 665,000 acres of land which the National Re-
sources Board classes as land too poor to support its operator at a
decent level of living. Florida points with pride to her coastline,
longer than that of any other state, and to her abundant lakes and
streams; yet many Florida citizens are ignorant of the serious ero-
sion affecting many of the finest beaches and of the extent to which
pollution of streams and bays is affecting public health and fishing
grounds. Plorfid ranks second as a producer of naval stores yet
production is declining as 6 percent of Florida's 22,000,000 forested
acres are burned every year.

Florida is, in many respects, a unique state. Many people think
of Florida as being very much like the other twelve states of that
"South" which President Roosevelt has described as "the Nation's
No. 1 economic problem." Others consider that Florida's unique
pattern of development has made it a young state entirely unlike the
"Old South." Neither of these views, of course, is a completely
accurate one. To understand Florida one must be aware both of the
characteristics and problems which it shares with the other South-
ern states and of the many ways in which it is quite different from
neighboring states.

Wealth and Income.-Whether we like it or not, wealth and
money income have become factors of more than academic import-
ance in our modern economic order, since both individuals and states
have come to depend almost entirely on money for the goods and
services they need. Without adequate wealth an individual family
cannot have good food, good clothing, a good home, nor can a state
have good roads, good schools, good hospitals, or good libraries.
Therefore, some idea of Florida's wealth is necessary for a picture
of the state as a whole. lf Florida's total income for 1935 had been
divided equally among all the state's population, each person would
have received $352. The national average for that year was $432


per person. Thirty states had a higher per capital income than Flor-
ida, and only seventeen states received less Florida's income was
lower than the averages of all regions of the United States except
the Southeast; among the Southeastern states Florida had the high-
est per capital income. The picture in 1929, the peak year of pre-
depression prosperity, shows Florida in very much the same posi-
tion. The state's per capital income of $510 fell well below the na-
tional average of $652, but was still the highest of the Southeastern
states. In 1929 Florida ranked thirty-second in per capital income.

The farmers of Florida and of the nation in general consistently
receive a lower average income than the rest of the population. In
"prosperous" 1929 the farm population of Florida averaged $419
per capital, while the non-farm group received $577 per capital.
Farmers outside the South averaged $528 that year. Of Florida's
72,857 farmers in 1935, 23,438, almost one-third, owned none of the
land on which they farmedJ Forty-two percent of the state's farm
families lived in unpainted frame structures. Their farms averaged
eighty-three acres in size, with half of them smaller than forty acres.
Farms in the United States as a whole averaged 154.8 acres per farm.
The comparatively small size of Florida's farms might be accounted
for in part by the fact that many of them are truck farms and pro-
ducers of specialized crops which do not require large acreage. get
it is undoubtedly true that many Florida farms, like those of the
South in general, are so small that their operators must plant every
available acre in cash crops, neglecting soil-restoring crops, pasture,
and woodland. The result is worn-out soil and families dependent
on an uncertain money income for many necessities which could
be produced at home.j

Changes in the farm population as well as in the extent of its
wealth are also significant. The number of farmers in Florida in-
creased by only 4,000 in the decade from 1920 to 1930. But between
1.930 and 1935 the figure jumped from 58,966 to 72,857, an increase
of 13,891. Every other Southeastern state showed a loss in the farm
population during this period. A study of the significance of this
population change might reveal other problems in answering such
questions as these: Where did these 13,000 new farmers come from ?
Are they economically incompetent people who were unable to sup-


port themselves in cities and towns? Has the move to the farm re-
sulted in a higher standard of living? Are they using more scientific
agricultural methods than did the older farmers?
Non-farm income in Florida is on very much the same level as
in the other Southeastern states. jhe average industrial wage in
the South is only $865, while in the rest of the nation the average is
$1,219J Probably one reason for the South's present low industrial
standards is the policy of hailing as a great achievement the estab-
lishment of any factory or industrial concern whatsoever, regardless
of whether it pays living wages to employees and uses natural re-
sources wisely. The South, Florida included, even advertises its
low standard of living, calling it "cheap labor," and favors invest-
ment of out-of-state capital by granting to many kinds of industry
tax-exemption for a period of fifteen years.

In considering the relative importance of conditions in agricul-
ture and industry, it is significant that Florida is no longer primarily
an agricultural state. gn fact, as a source of money income, manu-
facturing now supplies $191,000,000 of the state's annual income,
and agriculture only $175,000,000.) As for actual numbers of work-
ers in the various types of occupations the 1930 Census reports 302,-
153 (over half of all gainful workers) employed in distributive and
social occupations, with only 133,648 in agriculture and 128,921 in
manufacturing and mechanical industries.

Florida along with the rest of the nation has become acutely
aware of the problem of unemployment, with its consequent increase
in the number of families on relief, difficulties for youth in becom-
ing financially independent, and unmeasured psychological effects
on the individuals concerned. rn 1933 Florida was one of four
states with 20 percent or more of its families receiving unemploy-
ment relief. According to the Federal census of unemployment
made in 1937, Florida had 106,768 people without work and 50,718
partly employed, a total of 157,438, out of the 1,010,663 between the
ages of fifteen and seventy-four.

Natural Resources.-The story of the American people's un-
bridled exploitation of the riches of an untouched continent is be-
coming a familiar one. "We cut down the forests, burned the soil


out of the cut-over land, plowed up the plains of the cowboy where
nature said only grass should grow, pumped out the underground
water supply, speeded up floods, killed off the birds and beasts,
wasted the oil fields, poisoned the rivers with sewage, and destroyed
the fish which used to live in them-until today, three short centuries
after Plymouth Rock, Government experts soberly calculate that
half the original fertility of America has vanished."5
Perhaps Florida people think of the conservation problem as one
which concerns only the Dust Bowl of the West, the gullied cotton
farms of the Black Belt, the deforested Lake states, and similar
areas. Mow great a problem, then, is this matter of misuse of nat-
ural resources for Floridaj And, did Florida have great natural
wealth to begin with ?
1. Soil.-Nature was not in a particularly generous mood
when she dealt out Florida's share of soil. LOnly a very small por-
tion of the state's land can be considered excellent for farming
purposes. The National Resources Board found only 71,000 "ex-
cellent" acres in Florida's total area of 35,000,000 and classed less
than 1,000,000 as good, almost 4,000,000 fair, over 12,000,000 poor,
and 17,000,000 non-arable, or unsuited for farming. By way of con-
trast, our neighbor state Georgia was found to have no excellent
land, but almost 2,000,000 acres of good land and more than 15,-
000,000 fair, with a smaller acreage of the poorer classifications
The problem of soil erosion is not so serious in Florida as it is
in the other Southern states. However, erosion has advanced much
further than most Florida citizens are aware. The Soil Conservation
Service reports that on 6.3 percent of Florida's land area (excluding
large cities) one-fourth to three-fourths of the topsoil has been lost as
a result of sheet erosion, while 2.3 percent has been affected by
gullying. The percentage of the land area now in agriculture is 9.8
percent. Thus it appears that the land affected by erosion has
almost as large an area as the entire farm acreage of the state.
As the National Resources Board has pointed out, Florida does
have a great deal of mediocre and poor soil. But is the quality of

"Katherine Glover, America Begins Again (New York: McGraw-Hill Book
Co., 1939), p. viii.


the soil poor enough to account for the fact that Florida spends more
of its farm income for fertilizer than does any other state in the
nation? Sixteen and four-tenths of farmers' income, or $15,153,000,
was spent for fertilizer in Florida in 1930; the states outside of the
Southeast spent an average of only 1.2 percent for fertilizer. Al-
though it is true that some specialized Florida crops require more
soil enrichment than do many types of farming carried on in other
sections, there is undoubtedly much unscientific farming that de-
stroys vital plant food elements in the soil without making any at-
tempt to restore the nutritive chemicals. It is also true that a great
many farms have been established on "submarginal" land, land that
cannot support its operator. Of this miserably poor soil 665,000
acres are now being tilled by farmers who must spend much of their
paltry cash income for commercial fertilizer, and even then are able
to improve the productiveness of the soil only enough to maintain
a meager standard of living.
Florida's soil resources must be scientifically studied, wisely used,
and carefully conserved. The problem is largely one of widespread
ignorance about the nature of Florida soil, its best uses, and modern
farming practices.
2. Water.-Florida's greatest problem with regard to water
resources is not one of improving navigation facilities and prevention
of beach erosion. CThe problem is a much more vital one; it concerns
public health. "Abatement of pollution in streams and bays, im-
provement of dwindling and unpotable water supplies, and drain-
age of malaria-infested lowlands are dominant water-resources
needs"6 of the state, according to a National Resource Board study.
The rapid growth of towns and cities in Florida is far in advance
of construction of sewer systems, sewage disposal facilities, and
water supply facilities. ain one section of the state fifty-four out
of the ninety-eight communities have no sewer systems All over
the state many towns and cities dump untreated sewage into streams
which may supply water for other communities or into bays which
support fisheries. Such practices will become more dangerous as
towns grow larger.

'Summary Report, Florida State Planning Board (Tallahassee, 1937),
p. 35.


fThe importance of malaria as a health problem in Florida seems
to indicate the need for many small drainage projects However,
there is controversy over the advisability of drainage as the best
method of fighting malaria, because of possible lowering of the under-
ground water level. Further study of the question is needed.
3. F'orests.-Few people in Florida realize just how critical
the condition of the state's forest resources has become. [Iore than
90 percent of the state's virginal forests of fifty years ago have been
used or destroyed. Sixty-two percent of our twenty-two million
forested acres are "burnt over" every year.f As a result, Florida
suffers a loss of thirteen million dollars annually in forest resources
destroyed by fire, a greater loss than that of any other state]. In 1930
one-third of the forests were not being restocked. Florida uses 260
thousand cubic feet of wood yearly, while only 175 thousand cubic
feet are being replaced by growth. And while we are using more
than nature can replace, our production in naval stores and other
forest products, with the exception of pulp wood, is declining.

It is not difficult to see the seriousness of the forest situation
which Florida will face within a few years if present tendencies
c6itinue. The two most dangerous forces are damage from fire and
expoitation for industrial purposes.]

Of the fires which burn nearly two-thirds of Florida's forested
area every year two percent are caused by lightning, 43 percent by
carelessness and 55 percent are set deliberately. an Florida's "flam-
ing forests" young and mature trees are injured, seeds are destroyed,
growth is retarded, the best pasture grasses are destroyed, necessary
chemicals in soil and humus are burned out, food and shelter for
wild life are destroyed; and when the fires are over, there is left an
ugly, charred, blackened woods for the eyes of out-of-state visitors
and Florida citizens who love their stateJ

Fire protection, with the cooperation of individual owners anr!
the State Forest Service, can prevent such conditions. In 1937 less
than three percent of the protected area of two million acres was
burned, while in the entire state 62 percent suffered from fire. More
widespread protection from fire will come only when individuals are
educated to see the need for wise forest management.


[jThe second source of danger to Florida forests, the practice of
over-cutting or stripping woodlands, has been a problem for a long
time; but it has assumed more threatening proportions in recent years
with the establishment of several pulp and paper mills which have
greatly increased the demand for cut timber. There is danger that
unrestricted cutting will reduce Florida's forests to the depleted
status of many other states where mills have been in operation for
a longer period.
The Florida Forest and Park Service makes this statement with
regard to the problem: "The record of the industries that depend
upon timber for their raw material is on the whole poor insofar as
seeing to it that timber is cut in a manner whereby the land remains
productive. Although the new pulp industry appears to subscribe
to the idea of conservative cutting, nevertheless this industry has yet
to prove that it is fully committed to the policy of demanding strict
compliance to conservative cutting practices by those contractors
who supply their pulpwood."7
4. Wild Life.-Natural conditions have made Florida one of
the most favorable areas in the nation for maintaining an abundance;
of wild life; and the trend of Florida's development has made ,~te
state's supply of wild life of unique importance. Florida's fisYh and
game are of value because of their place in the recreation oppor-
tunities which bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to the state
every year. They are valuable as a source of income to several
thousand commercial trappers and fishermen. They protect agricul-
ture. They help maintain the "balance of nature, "the adjustment
of the various animal and plant species to each other.

Organized protection of wild life in Florida has not kept pace
with destructive forces. A few examples will show the general trend.
With a woodland that has supported 2,000,000 deer and could do so
now, the number of deer in the state is 16,908. TIfe number of
quail has so declined that a hunter now is satisfied with an average
of four or five conveys in one day, while twenty-five years ago he
would have averaged twelve or fifteen. Not many years ago vast

'Fifth Biennial Report, Florida Forest and Park Service (Tallahassee,
1938), p. 8.


numbers of wild turkey could be found in the state; today only a
remnant of the original flocks remains. Commercial fishing com-
panies are reporting annual catches of little more than half the vol-
ume of ten or twenty years ago. Cthe trapping industry now has an
annual income of $500,000; in 1931 its value was $1,150,00W
Efforts of the state government .to protect wild life have brought
good results as a beginning in a tremendous task. However, without
the consent and cooperation of Florida citizens, even the best scien-
tific study and the wisest regulations can do little to stop the de-
struction. As long as so-called "sportsmen" continue to boast of
having killed more game than the bag limit allows and are willing
to hunt and fish out of season, just so long will the birds and beasts
and fish continue to decline in numbers.
Probably the school is the only organization which can bring
about statewide appreciation of the value and present condition of
wild life in Florida and develop in all citizens the willingness not
only to observe present laws but also to pass even stricter ones.
Florida's generous hunting season, weeks longer than those of most
other states, must be shortened and regulations adopted to protect
the female and young of the various species so that natural propa-
gation may help maintain a normal supply. Many more artificial
aids are needed, game preserves, "planting" of new oyster bars,
control of water pollution, and the like.

5. Minerals.-Florida is a young state, geologically speaking,
and possesses, so far as is known, none of those highly valuable min-
erals which require formation periods of millions of years. The
principal minerals of the state are phosphate, limestone, fuller's
earth, kaolin, peat, diatomite, sand, gravel, and clays. Mineral pro-
duction in 1938 was valued at $13,777,623.

Here are two important problems with regard to our mineral
resources. first, the state needs to undertake much study and in-
vestigation to discover the location of our most abundant supplies of
minerals and to find out whether any unknown mineral wealth ex-
ists in the state. Second, Florida needs to develop more manufac-
turing industries which will make use of our mineral resources. In-
stead of shipping a large proportion of raw materials out of the


state to be sent through a manufacturing process and perhaps to be
sold back to Florida consumers, in many cases the finished goods
could be produced in Florida. For example, a fruit and vegetable
producing state like Florida, which also has sand and limestone suit-
able for glass manufacture, could manufacture to advantage glass
jars and bottles. Yet Florida has only one small glass factory)

6. Recreational Resources.-The importance of the business of
entertaining many out-of-state visitors makes Florida's recreational
resources, both natural and artificial, a matter of interest to the en-
tire state. Since tourist trade brings in a larger income than either
farming or manufacturing, it should be a primary concern of Flor-
ida citizens to see that the attractions which bring visitors into the
state should be conserved and expanded.
Some significant information as to why people visit Florida and
what they enjoy most in the state was obtained by the Highway Plan-
ning Division of the State Road Department in a survey which in-
cluded 451,535 cars entering the state during a one-year period.
Seventy-three and seven-tenths percent of the visitors came for re-
creation, 10.8 percent on business, 8.2 percent for reasons of health,
and 7.3 percent to visit friends. The visitors' preference for various
forms of recreation showed that 49 percent enjoyed water sports
and fishing most. Out-of-door recreation accounted for 96 percent
of all expressed preferences.
The problem of recreational needs is of too broad a scope to be
discussed effectively in a few paragraphs. However, the recommenda-
tions made by the State Planning Board as the result of a recent Park,
Parkway, and Recreational Area Study, give some indication as to the
state's greatest needs in developing a complete and well-rounded re-
creational program. The Planning Board recommends expansion of
existing state parks; state acquisition of areas which should be pre-
served because of scenic, scientific, archaeologic, or historic values;
development of recreation areas for sections of the state which are
not now served by existing facilities; development of areas to meet
mass needs, such as swimming, picnicking, boating, nature study,
music festivals, pageants, organized camping, and vacation camping;
establishment of an efficient and adequate library system; develop-
ment of planned recreational activity in state parks under good lead-


ership; carrying out of an educational program to acquaint people
with the recreation areas and opportunities in the state; coordination
of recreational programs and agencies; and the use of permanent
markers for parks, historic and scenic locations, highways, and
Human Resources.-Florida's use or misuse of her natural
wealth is only half the picture; the other half is the picture of the
human beings who live in Florida, and whose success in getting along
with each other and in adjusting to their natural environment largely
determines the degree of achievement which the state as a whole will
In Florida, as well as in the rest of the nation, there are many
problems and unsatisfied needs which prevent human beings from
developing their potentialities-physical, economic, social, intellec-
tual, spiritual. This means not only that many individuals fail to
achieve maximum self-realization, but also that weak spots which tend
to undermine democracy are created in a closely interrelated social
structure. Today's human problems include such topics as the fol-
lowing: poverty, poor health, inadequate housing, crime, maldistri-
bution of income, unemployment, lack of cultural opportunities, un-
wholesome recreational activities, race conflicts, family disorganiza-
tion, and passive citizenship.
Such a list could be extended indefinitely, and each problem
would probably be found to exist in varying degree in Florida.
However, a few are particularly important to the state and lend
themselves to discussion because objective data are available. Some
of these are considered in the following paragraphs.
1. Health Problems.-Florida's sunshine and other natural ad-
vantages have not made the state immune to disease. On the con-
trary, individual citizens and the state as a whole are suffering great
losses every year from poor health conditions, many of which are
preventable. An excellent health survey of the state, completed in
June, 1939, after six months of intensive study by the American
Public Health Association, points out a number of undesirable con-
ditions and makes recommendations for ways of attacking the prob-
lems. The following information and interpretations are drawn
largely from the report of the survey.


While not recognized by many lay people, hookworm exists to an alarm-
ing extent and is a public health problem of real significance. Although this
disease is concentrated in certain areas of the state, it affects the economic
complexion of the whole state as perhaps no other single disease . . Three
counties showed a hookworm incidence of over 70 per cent of the rural white
population . .. Of the 29,064 persons examined, 34.8 percent were found
to be infested with hookworm ....
Rarely is hookworm a direct cause of death but it does have profound
and devastating effect upon the general health and efficiency of the infested
persons often causing anemia, heart disease, jaundice, and stunting growth.
In the age group 15-19 years is found the greatest prevalence, with age
groups 5-9 years and 20-24 years next in order. This definitely affects
the progress of the school child and the working capacity of the young
adult . It is estimated that at least 186,500 persons in the rural areas
of Florida are infested with hookworm."
Hookworm is a disease which is easily curable and is entirely pre-
ventable by adequate sanitation.

plorida has an exceptionally high malaria death rate. The na-
tional rate is 2.1 deaths per 100,000 population, while four counties
in Florida have a malaria death rate of over 100. In sixteen coun-
ties the rate is greater than 50 per 100,000. A conservative esti-
mate gives 102,000 as the number of cases of malaria in the state
at any given time. Malaria is another energy-sapping, preventable
tis stated, and by reliable sources, that the case rate of syphilis and
gonorrhea in Florida equals if not exceeds that of any state in the Union 1. ..
On the basis of figures released by the United States Public Health Service,
applying to the country as a whole, syphilis will infect one out of ten of
the adult population in Florida . . Only a relatively small proportion of
these cases receives adequate medical treatment.9
Partly because of the high incidence of venereal disease and be-
cause the state has no law requiring protection of the eyes of new-
born babies, Florida has the second highest rate of blindness in the
nation, according to the State Welfare Board_.
The tuberculosis death rate in Florida, though not extraordinarily high
is nevertheless considerably higher than in the United States as a whole,
and is showing a gradual increase. In 1937, a total of 966 persons died from
tuberculosis in Florida. It follows that there were at least 7,700 cases of

8The Health Situation in Florida, Florida State Board of Health (Jack-
sonville, 1939), pp. 7-10.
'Op. cit., p. 12.


tuberculosis in the state in that year. Many of these infected persons are
not known to the State Board of Health or to local health departments. The
result of unrecognized cases of tuberculosis spreading disease to others
needs no comment ....
It is the common belief that pneumonia is not present to any extent
in Florida. In 1936 pneumonia was responsible for the death of 1,227 resi-
dents of the state. For four years previous to 1938, it was the fifth leading
cause of death ....
Over a five-year period, an average of 1,790 infants died annually during
their first year of life. As a conservative estimate 50 per cent of these lives
could have been saved by the application throughout the state of available
scientific information . . few years ago Florida held the unenviable
position of having the highest maternal mortality rate of any state in the
Union.) Recently this has been reduced and in 1937 Florida's maternal death
rate was fifth from the highest among the forty-eight states. At least 40
per cent of these lives could have been saved .. ."

cThe conditions described above, along with facts about the in-
comes of Florida people seem to indicate that there are many thous-
ands of individuals in the state who cannot afford adequate medical
carejLqually serious is the fact that many sections of the state are
not now served by public health agencies) Those agencies which exist
should have facilities and funds sufficient for carrying out preven-
tive measures, controlling factors which affect community health,
and providing medical treatment for those who cannot pay for the
services of private practitioners. rOnly seventeen of the sixty-seven
counties have full-time health units Health is no longer merely an
individual problem; it is imperative that community action, founded
on public interest and public financial support, be undertaken in all
parts of the state if any progress is to be made.

In the matter of health, Florida schools have a definite responsi-
bility not only in the long-recognized function of developing per-
sonal health habits based on accurate information, but also in build-
ing up in individuals and in the public thinking a concern for com-
munity health and a willingness to provide public health service for
the many problems which can never be solved by individual action

2. Crime.-The nation's highest crime rate is found, not in the
large Northern cities about which "gangster" literature centers,

O00p. cit., pp. 13-14.


but in the Southeast. In 1930 when New York City had a homicide
rate of 7.1 per 100,000 and Chicago's rate was 14.4, Memphis, Ten-
nessee, was far in the lead with 58.8. As for state crime averages,
Florida has an unenviably high rank. [Florida had the fourth high-
est state murder rate in the nation ith 20.8. The state's burglary
rate, 727.2, was also fourth highest. J Florida was one of three states
with 150 or over per 100,000 population in state or federal prisons
in 1929.
Particularly significant for schools is the fact that so large a
proportion of today's criminals are young, with the largest group
centered around the ages of twenty-one and twenty-two. Another
important development is experimental psychology's recent progress
in predicting the likelihood of future criminal tendencies. It has
been at least tentatively established that pupils who are socially mal-
adjusted, who dislike school, and whose reading skill is very poor,
constitute the group in greatest danger of developing anti-social
habits. Therefore, schools should attempt to give individuals of that
type especial attention and help.
3. Race Relations.-Florida, with its Negro population of al-
most one-third, often joins the other Southern states in using its
colored citizens as an explanation of such problems as low income,
poor health, high crime rate, and low housing standards. However,
a state which believes in and practices democracy cannot use such
an explanation as an excuse for any social problems. It is really
admitting the existence of another, and perhaps a greater, social
The fact that the state still has not achieved a fair and mutually
beneficial pattern of race relations is to a large degree an indictment
of the school system: first, because it has not provided for all, or even
most of, the Negroes educational opportunities which would make
it possible for them to improve their own economic, cultural, and
health standards; and, second, because the schools have not developed
in white citizens the ideals of democracy and the respect for human
personality upon which progress in race relations is absolutely
It is necessary and desirable that improvement in this field should
be achieved slowly, but the need for caution is not an excuse for


schools to evade their responsibilities in the matter, or in other vital
personal and social problems which are considered "touchy."

Other human problems have been mentioned or implied in the
foregoing sections on wealth and natural resources. fPoverty, with
the resulting low standards of diet and housing; subsistence living
on sub-marginal farm lands; starvation wages in many industries-
all these and many others are problems in the state which Florida
schools must recognize. Their solution through the democratic pro-
cess can be worked out only by an informed citizenry trained in
critical thinking and cooperative action.

The strains and conflicts discussed in the earlier sections of the
chapter are primarily those of an adult world. Naturally many of
the stresses are reflected in the world of childhood and youth, per-
haps even magnified in the case of that group of youth which must
make the difficult transition from adolescence to adulthood in diffi-
cult times. The brief presentation of some of youth's problems which
follows will give further evidence of the need for an improved school
program capable of giving youth more vital experiences in and more
adequate preparation for life in the modern social order.
Jobs for Youth.-During the last decade youth has encountered
tremendous difficulty in finding work. One-third of all the unem-
ployed persons in the nation are between the ages of sixteen and
twenty-four. It is estimated that 40 to 60 percent of out-of-school
youth spend a year or longer without jobs. Hundreds of thousands
of young people have been out of school for two, three, or more
years, and have never been employed.
Most of those who have been fortunate enough to find work are
very poorly paid. The median wage of employed youth in cities is
about $15 a week and between $5 and $9 for rural youth. In many
communities a surprisingly large proportion of young people work
without wages.
The adverse effects of unemployment and low wages are all too
evident. Young people without the privileges and responsibilities of
adulthood often remain emotionally immature and unstable. Mar-


riage in many instances must be postponed. Lack of money limits
recreational activities. More adequate vocational guidance and train-
ing in school can help in many individual cases, but the ultimate so-
lution of the problem depends upon more thoroughgoing remedies
for economic ills.

Recreation for Youth.-Young people faced with today's eco-
nomic insecurity, personal frustration, increased complexity and
speed of living, and longer hours of leisure,, whether they are em-
ployed or jobless, have special need for constructive and satisfying
forms of recreation.

In most communities public drinking centers, motion picture
theaters, dance halls or "jooks," and other forms of commercial
amusement are much more easily found than are playgrounds, parks,
churches and schools with directed recreational programs, swimming
pools, libraries, and the like.
A recent survey of an Eastern state showed that young people
listed the following activities in the order in which they participated
in them: individual sports, reading, team games, loafing, dancing
and dating, movies, hobbies, radio, quiet games, and spectator sports.
The recreational opportunities which the same young people would
like to have came in this order: parks and playgrounds, community
centers, swimming pools, dances, supervised activities, educational
classes, clubs, and movies.
Society has failed to help youth solve their recreational needs in
two respects. The schools have given little or no training in the
wise use of leisure; and communities have not met their responsi-
bility of supplying leadership and adequate facilities for wholesome

Family Life for Youth.-Youth's problems of family life are of
two kinds. First, the young person must adjust to the family of
which he has been a member since birth, and second, he needs pre-
paration for marriage and for the family which he will found.
Among the difficulties which tend to destroy the satisfactions and
happiness of modern family life are the increasing divorce rate, the
high percentage of maladjusted marriages, poor housing, inadequate
income, the shrinking role of the home, and widespread ignorance


about human relations and personality. Besides these difficulties,
which are relatively common characteristics of the family today,
are the problems which arise in later adolescence. Changing social
and moral conventions often give rise to bitter conflicts between the
old and the young within the family group. The supreme problem
of adolescence, that of establishing oneself as an independent indi-
vidual, is made more complex by the frequent failure of parents to
understand the adolescent personality and by economic conditions
which have forced many young people to remain financially depen-
dent during the years when they should be assuming adult respon-
sibilities and privileges.

Education for marriage and parenthood has been undertaken
by relatively few schools and colleges and in many cases is not taken
care of in the home. Youth today feel the need for accurate and
sane sex information, knowledge of budgeting and money manage-
ment, and an understanding of human personality on which satis-
fying family relations may be established. However, education alone
cannot solve all the problems. Economic conditions make it extreme-
ly difficult for many engaged couples to provide the financial basis
necessary for marriage. Unemployment and low wages for young
people caused a decided drop in the marriage rate during the worst
part of the depression. Youth's frustration in their normal desire
to found a home must inevitably have harmful effects.

Citizenship for Youth.-America is neglecting one of its most
dynamic potentialities when it fails to develop in adolescents en-
thusiasm for democracy and a vital interest in creative citizenship.
Youth is the time when ideals, loyalties, and spiritual energy can be
most readily encouraged to seek expression. Yet, because of in-
adequate efforts on the part of institutions and agencies concerned
with the development of youth, young people find themselves con-
fused in their thinking and unable to express those social ideals
which they have. Many young people do not have a clear idea of
what democracy is or of their responsibilities as members of a demo-
cratic society. They are confused by the different standards of
right and wrong as taught in school, home, and church, and as prac-
ticed in business, politics, and social life. They see many different
and opposing brands of "patriotism" in action.


In view of the predicament in which America finds itself today,
educating youth for life in a democracy is one of the most urgent
tasks which society, largely through its schools, must perform. An
appreciation of the meaning of our democratic heritage, an under-
standing of the nation's needs and problems today, the ability to
think critically and purposefully, habits of cooperative action-these,
at least, youth need in order to share in the task of building a de-
mocracy which will more nearly attain the ideal of the good life
for all the people.


In the face of the social and economic conditions in Florida and
in the United States, the threats to democratic living in America,
and the problems facing youth today, what are the schools of Flor-
ida doing ? Will the generation of citizens now in school understand
the social and economic conditions of our state and nation ? If they
understand them, will they be willing to make personal sacrifices
to improve them? Will they be successful homemakers and wise
parents? Will they be worth the payment of an adequate living
wage to the industries which employ them or be able to succeed fi-
nancially in independent work? Will they use their leisure in con-
structive ways? If the answers for a large number of these young
citizens is no, why are the schools, along with other social agencies,
failing to help them succeed in these activities ?

A recent exhaustive study made in the State of New York of
the young people graduating from or leaving the schools there came
to the following conclusions concerning the kind of citizens they
were producing.

The total impression of these boys and girls newly out of school is one
of a group largely adrift, cut off from adult assistance, out of contact with
any kind of helpful supervision. Few of them engage in any organized
activity which allows them to apply the training in cooperative action that
their schools may have given them. The majority become inert, so far as
interest in civic affairs is concerned; they neither read about social problems
nor listen to discussions of such problems.
Collectively, the leaving pupils constitute a group schooled in academic
facts, recognizing their rights as free citizens in a free country, but uncon-
cerned about civic responsibility, and not awake even to the immediate and


local problems and issues which will shortly confront them as citizens,
taxpayers, and voters."
No doubt a similar study in Florida would produce much the same
kind of results.

The conclusions of this study concerning preparation for con-
tinued learning, for recreation, for vocations, and for social compe-
tence were similarly discouraging. In spite of the poor showing
made by the products of New York schools on tests and surveys to
determine their political, economic, and social competence, they
were found to rank well toward the top when compared with students
leaving the schools of other states.

One reason for this deporable situation is that the schools of
today scarcely touch upon the fundamental aspects of modern life.
In fact, they often consciously avoid the controversial issues, local
problems, social relationships, and economic questions which will
confront their students at every turn. In spite of the fact that the
schools now house all kinds of children from all kinds of homes,
they still cling to a traditional curriculum of subjects originally
planned for aristocrats and professional people. It is true that
Latin, Greek, and the ancient classics have to a large extent given
way to modern language, science, and the modern classics, but the
ideals and the methods remain the same. Children are to be taught
to live an intellectual life separate from their physical, social, and
economic needs. Such an education may be justified for an aris-
tocracy whose other needs are well supplied at home, but it cannot
be pardoned in an American democracy.

Today's schools largely ignore the physical needs of the growing
child. Most of them do not supply any adequate medical inspection
service to determine individual needs or any help in correcting them.
No one knows what positive harm the schools do to physical and
mental health by holding their pupils indoors and inactive, engaged
in uninteresting mental activities, during so large a part of the day.
A "recess" or at best a physical education period is about the only
concession many schools make to the physical well-being of their

"Spaulding, op. cit., pp. 31-32.


The failure of the school to provide for the vocational needs of
youth is obvious. Few of the school subjects taught today bear
much direct relationship to the economic life of the community or
the nation. Few young people acquire in school any adequate con-
cept of the industrial society in which they hope soon to find satis-
factory places. Few receive vocational training that will help them
in the work they actually find. Of Florida's 13,292 school teachers
in 1937-38, only 485, less than four percent taught vocational agricul-
ture, vocational home economics or vocational trade and industry;
of these, more than half were employed in part time or evening
school.12 As special courses constitute practically the only form
vocational education now takes in Florida, the attention given to
this important phase of living is shown to be meager indeed.

As to the social and recreational needs of young people, most
schoolroom situations discourage any social contact between pupils
whatsoever. An occasional school party or dance is the only plan-
ned and supervised social experience many schools provide for their
pupils. Much of the supervised recreational activity carried on in
schools consist of such large-group sport events as football and bas-
ketball which do not carry over into adult life, or worse still of
merely being a spectator to such sports. Much worthwhile recrea-
tion is supplied, of course, in games, reading, music, dramatics, etc.,
but much of this, too, ends with school days.
One of the most serious omissions of all is the failure of the
schools to recognize and provide for the individual needs of their
pupils resulting from individual differences. Variations in intelli-
gence, physical condition, experience, and home background in chil-
dren of the same age are almost as wide as could be imagined, yet
most schools apparently expect all their students to benefit from an
identical routine of studies, planned for the children of the aristo-
crats of an age past, and scaled down to the abilities of the 'average"
child of today. On the part of the child who is below average in
intellectual ability, the failure to meet the demands of this curriculum
often results in defeatist attitudes or in rebellion against school or
life in general. Of the intellectually superior child who is not chal-

"Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State
of Florida, 1936-38 (Tallahassee).


lenged by this program, it may make a loafer who is satisfied to "get
by," and insensible to opportunities and responsibilities his greater
capacities place upon him.

In the face of the inadequacy of the present school program to
meet the real needs of modern youth, it is not surprising to find that'
many children progress through it slowly, and that its holding power
is poor, especially in the upper grades. Of the pupils in the elemen-
tary grades (1-6) of Florida schools in 1937, it was found that 36.5
percent of the white children and 50.4 percent of the Negro children
had made slow progress, failing one or more grades.13 Such large
scale repeating of grades obviously adds greatly to the cost of schools
in addition to being wasteful of the time and damaging to the per-
sonalities of the students. No direct statistics are available as to the
holding power of Florida schools, but the enrollment in various
grades furnishes a picture of the combined effects of slow progress
and high pupil mortality. In 1937-38 there were 58,208 pupils in
the first grade, 33,077 in the seventh grade, 19,496 in the tenth grade,
and only 13,604 in the twelfth grade.14 Plainly a steady stream of
Florida school children come to feel, with their parents, that school
is no longer worth while for them, and leave it to spend their time in
other ways, more or less profitable. It can hardly be said that they
are not justified in thus condemning the school by their action.
The picture of Florida schools, however, is not quite so dark as
it has been painted. Throughout the state there is a large and rap-
idly growing group of teachers and other school people who are
coming to realize that their schools are in need of a fundamental
reorganization of curriculum, necessitating corresponding changes
in teaching and administrative procedures. They realize this re-
organization must be begun now, for American democracy is already
threatened; yet it will take precious years to bring the schools up to
the point where they will even fairly adequately meet the needs of
their communities. Many schools now are taking the initial steps
in meeting their pupils' needs, and a few have already progressed

"Edgar L. Morphet and M. W. Carothers, "Age-Grade Progress Status
of Elementary School Pupils in Florida," Florida School Bulletin (Novem-
ber 15, 1938), pp. 10-16.
"Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State
of Florida, 1936-1938 (Tallahassee).


far in this direction. The State Department of Education is at-
tempting to help teachers and faculty groups meet their long recog-
nized responsibilities and has launched a long range program for
the improvement of Florida schools which emphasizes the need for
each school's re-thinking the basic assumptions that underlie the
educational program and rebuilding its entire system of activities
in the light of its new thinking. This bulletin has been designed for
the purpose of helping teachers and faculty groups to recognize their
real problems, think them through, and take active steps to meet

COUNTS, GEORGE S., The Prospects of American Democracy, New
York, The John Day Co., 1938
GLOVER, KATHERINE, America Begins Again, New York, McGraw-
Hill, 1939
RAINEY, HOMER P., AND OTHERS, How Fare American Youth New
York, D. Appleton-Century Co., 1938
Social Trends, New York, World Book Co., 1936

Special Bibliography for Florida and the South

State Publications:
Biennial Reports of the following:
Florida Forest and Park Service
Florida Commission of Game and Fresh Water Fish
Geological Division and Archaeological Division, Florida
State Board of Conservation
Florida State Board of Health, The Health Situation in Florida
(1939 survey)
Florida State Planning Board:
Summaries of the Park, Parkway, and Recreational Areas
Study and Forest Resources Survey for Florida (unusu-
ally interesting and attractively presented)
Summary Report, March, 1934-December, 1936


Department of Agriculture:
Sixth Census of the State of Florida, 1935
Fifteenth Census of the United States, U. S. Bureau of the Census,
Washington, 1930
ODUM, HOWARD W., Southern Regions, Chapel Hill, University of
North Carolina Press, 1936
Report on Social and Economic Conditions in the South, National
Emergency Council, Washington, 1938

Chapter Three


The very essence of a democratic program of education involves
the idea of freedom and almost infinite variety of types of activity.
In order, therefore, for a school program statewide in scope to be
consistent, it must not rely merely upon administrative formulas,
which themselves will be restrictive, but must rely upon the under-
standing of broad basic assumptions which are in accord with the
democratic principle and which at the same time take full account
of the learning process. The degree and extent to which the schools
of the state understand such assumptions together with their im-
plications and use them in thinking through and arriving at the kind
of program they should develop to meet the needs of their situations
will determine in a large measure the success of the state program.
It is felt that a mere statement of assumptions would give little
help, even if it were possible to state such assumptions concisely with-
out losing something of their meaning. It is hoped, however, that
the following discussion will clarify the tentative point of view which
underlies the Florida Program for the Improvement of Schools.
Briefly, the point of view developed in the following paragraphs
is this: (1) The primary concern of each school is the kind of
learning that takes place in each of its pupils. (2) Learning is the
result of the interaction between the unique, dynamic, creative
organism, which is the individual, and the dynamic environment. To
understand the kind of learning which takes place, therefore, the
school must understand the nature of the human organism and the
environment in relation to each other. (3) The nature of the
human organism is the same whether the individual be a Chinese,
a Bushman, or an American. The nature of the environment will
vary both in respect to its physical aspects (such as soil, climate,


etc.) and in respect to its cultural aspects (culture being used with
the anthropological meaning). Therefore, the school must study
the environment in all of its ramifications. (4) Great culture groups
are distinguished by their way of life which results in large measure
from their way of thinking or their philosophy of life. The demo-
cratic culture furnishes the greatest opportunity within the cultural
frame for the optimum and maximum development of the individual.
Moreover, the American people are committed to the democratic ideal.
Therefore, the American school must be a social agent for developing
a way of life in keeping with the democratic ideal. (5) The im-
plications of both the nature of the human organism as a guide to
the nature of learning and the democratic ideal as the guide to a
way of life must be accepted by each school if progress is to result.
It is felt that the rapid, running discussion of the basic assumptions
presented in the paragraphs that follow will clarify the point of
view, particularly if followed by a serious study of some of the
references suggested in the bibliography at the close of this chapter.

The school is designed to promote the development of the indi-
vidual and at the same time, in cooperation with the community,
to achieve those conditions which are essential to the good life for
all. Of chief concern, then, to the school are the learning and liv-
ing which take place under its guidance. Learning results from
interaction between the individual and the environment. Therefore
the school must be concerned with the environment of all of the in-
dividuals whose education it seeks to guide. This implies an un-
derstanding not only of the environment which the school seeks to
create but also of the cultural patterns which impinge at all times
upon the individuals who compose the school.

The environment is always dynamic. It may be described, for
the sake of a common approach, as the natural environment and the
man-made environment of which the school is one phase. By the
man-made environment is meant the culture, which embraces all the
ways of thinking, feelings, and acting which distinguish one large
social group from another. It includes language, tools, customs,
attitudes, knowledge, institutions. The significance of the cultural
aspect of the dynamic environment as a factor in influencing learn-
ing places upon the school the fourfold obligation of:


1. Understanding the nature of the influence of the culture
2. Becoming more nearly aware of the culture in all of its
3. Recognizing and understanding the relation of the individ-
ual's creative nature to cultural change
4. Accepting responsibility for fostering the individual's crea-
tive intelligence which enables him to free himself from complete
enslavement to a cultural pattern and allows him to effect cultural
change for the achievement of the good life for all.
The Nature of the Influence of the Culture.-The child is born
into a culture-more accurately the culture through which he will
acquire the characteristics that will mark him as French, German,
Chinese, American, or as a member of some other cultural group-
and grows and becomes as he interacts with the surrounding social
life built upon that culture. At birth there is about him in actual
use by the family and community into which he is born, a particular
culture. Because of his helplessness, his well-being and even his
continued existence are dependent upon the care his family and com-
munity give him. He must eat the food they offer him, dress as
they dress him, talk as they talk, do as they do. He must live their
life. Thus their values become his values, their ways his ways. As
he grows older and comes in contact with even larger groups, similar
learning is repeated in the larger community situations. He lives
the group ways. His very self is built upon the group model to the
degree that he approves. What he lives, he becomes.
Since living is a process of continuous interaction with a dynamic
environment, life becomes increasingly complex for the individual
as his living touches more or less intimately the living of other in-
dividuals whose immediate environing circumstances (culture) have
been in many specific respects different from his own. Such dif-
ferences in the larger group culture-sometimes referred to as the
uneven distribution of the culture-arise from differences in wealth,
hereditary family status, sub-regional cultures, and native capacity
of individuals. They result in corresponding differences in individuals
in respect to their appropriation of the group culture. These re-
sulting differences give rise to conflicts which the individual can re-
solve only through choice.


"The choices within any one culture are always different from
the choices in another culture, and nothing is much stronger in its
pressure upon one than the demands of one's own chosen line. One
thus becomes what one has chosen to be, but always within the avail-
able framework of the cultural offering. In this way is individuality
built within the cultural pattern."' Thus the culture together with
the biological inheritance of the individual furnishes the oppor-
tunity, the limitations, and the stuff out of which the personality of
the individual may be developed.

In his upward climb, in his search for the good life, man has
been increasingly concerned to find a way of living together that
would furnish the greatest opportunity for his fullest development
as an individual. Consequently, various group cultures have developed,
shaped in a large measure by some concept of what constitutes the
fullest and richest development of the individual. To say the same
thing in different words: some philosophy of life has permeated
every great culture. The American people have had an abiding
faith in democracy, in the potentialities of the common man, in
equal educational opportunity for all the people. Critical appraisal
of life in a culture permeated by the democratic ideal in comparison
with life in cultures where the totalitarian principle furnishes guid-
ance leads to the conclusion that the democratic culture furnishes
the greatest opportunity within the cultural frame for both opti-
mum and maximum development of the individual. The foregoing
conclusion will be developed more fully in a succeeding section.

Nature of the Culture.-It may appear to be getting "the cart
before the horse" to discuss the nature of the influence of the cul-
ture before discussing the nature of the culture. It has been felt,
however, that once the school understands the nature of the influ-
ence of the culture, the school will be constrained to understand the
culture in order that it may be utilized more intelligently in educat-
ing the individual.

Nature supplies man with the materials he will use for his life-
purposes; the culture determines how he will use these raw materials.

'Harold Rugg, editor, Democracy and the Curriculum, Third Yearbook,
John Dewey Society (New York: D. Appleton-Century Co., 1939), p. 301.


To quote Kilpatrick, "The contributions of the culture are so many
and so pervasive in our lives that it takes an effort to think what
life without the culture would be."2 To understand this all per-
vasiveness, it is helpful to try to think what life today would be like
if it were suddenly divested of all that the culture has given. Lan-
guage, clothing, social amenities, inventions, books, many plants and
flowers, preparation and preservation of foods, all the great discov-
eries would disappear, and man beginning again through a process
of trial and error would most likely starve before he had so much
as learned which food to eat!

The culture is dynamic and cumulative. The human organism
is creative. Therefore, each individual as he comes under the influ-
ence of the culture, in turn influences the culture, by the contribu-
tion of his own creative activity. The soil, the water, the sun, and
the creative nature of the human organism, these are the elemental
forces through which cultures emerge.
"In sum, the culture is communicable intelligence. It is em-
bodied on the one hand in the contrived objects and institutions
through which the group carries on the varied processes of its asso-
ciated living. It is at the same time and on the other hand embod-
ied in .the people who thus live together using the resources made
available to them by the culture. '"

Conscious Direction of the Emerging Culture.-From the time
that man discovered and developed the method of conscious criticism
and invented the method of conscious invention, he has possessed
the means not only to achieve his personal freedom from the auto-
matic control of the culture, but also to remake the culture. It is
the function of the school in a democratic society, therefore, to de-
velop in each individual not only the means for achieving greater
freedom for himself and the larger group but also a willingness and
concern for so doing.
This implies that intelligence must be given free play in social
affairs, free play to devise new plans of action as they may prove
necessary and put them into effect. Opportunity to employ such

2Ibid., p. 292.
"Ibid., p. 293.


intelligence in the actual living in the school must characterize the
school that accepts responsibility for developing a democratic culture.
The Nature of Learning.-The growth and adjustment of an in-
dividual are accomplished only through his own activity. In every
situation in which the individual reacts, he does so as a complete
organism. Intellect, emotion, and skills are so interwoven that all
are involved to a greater or less degree in every experience which
he has.
From birth, each human organism is unique, dynamic, and cre-
ative, different in potentialities from all other human organisms.
As has been pointed out previously, these differences are accentu-
ated by the difference in the environing circumstances of his grow-
ing years. He is born into a complex world, into a dynamic civiliza-
tion in which he himself is a dynamic force. Life for him is pur-
posive and purposeful.
Though he is born a unique organism, he develops his personality
through social contacts, ever adapting himself to the environment
of which he becomes more and more a dynamic part. So closely in-
terwoven are his reactions to life about him that he cannot be under-
stood out of relation to his environment. Two things must be stud-
ied: those things with which he comes in direct contact and the de-
gree of his maturation. The individual learns what has meaning
and significance for him at that particular stage of his development.
The point may be illustrated thus:
"Our everyday observations of growing children reveal an inti-
mate relation between their growth, maturation, and learning. To
Jimmie his dad-as-foreman-at-the-roundhouse grows in significance.
His understanding of the roundhouse world is ever expanding. Jim-
mie sometimes goes with his father on the inspections that he makes,
and he notices things about the machines that he has not noticed be-
fore, although they have always been before him much as they are
now. He is not satisfied with just noticing; he wants to know all
about them, and while he is asking questions and learning more
about them they are continuously changing for him. The evidence
of this changing world is reflected in his common expressions, 'I
never noticed that before,' 'I see that now,' 'Oh, yes, I see.' Jimmie,
like many another, is impatient with his own learning; he wants to


learn everything at once. He is always asking, 'Dad, why didn't
you tell me before?' And his father answers, 'Son, you can't learn
everything at once. I'll help you when you are ready to learn.' "4

Learning comes when the learner is ready. Jimmie, in the para-
graph quoted above, is not ready at three or seven to understand
how the steam from the boiler enters the steam chest and pushes
the piston. He can learn, but what he learns depends upon his
level of development and upon the experiences he has had. He does
not add a bit of information to a bit of information, one block upon
another as it were. Since no two problems or situations can ever
be exactly identical, his learning involves the development of insight.
Each situation calls for more than a mere reaction to external stimu-
lation. At no time can he depend entirely upon fixed patterns or
associations, however adequate they may have been in the past.
Moreover, individuals do not develop at the same rate. Differ-
ences in ability and in immediate environment make for variations
among individuals of the same age. It is essential, therefore, that
the school study both the social setting and the stage of development
of each individual.

What are the implications of the foregoing basic assumptions for
guiding the learning of pupils ?
If the teacher believes the foregoing statements, he will recog-
nize the necessity for regarding each pupil as a unique organism.
He will attempt to help the pupil secure and use the experiences
which can have meaning and significance for him at his present
level of maturity. He will help each pupil find joy in the achieving
of a wide variety of purposes. He will take advantage of the ten-
dency of the child to go on seeking and striving and meeting situa-
tions at increasingly mature levels. Indeed, the teacher should
utilize the many situations involved in everyday living so that the
pupil becomes disturbed at the appropriate points. At the same
time the teacher will realize that it is not possible to predict the
exact avenues through which an individual pupil may become dis-
turbed to the extent that he will do something about the situation.

'Frank Seely Salisbury, Human Development and Learning (New York:
McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1939), pp. 23-24.


The good teacher continually studies the emotional, intellectual, and
physical maturity of the general age group with which he is working.
In planning experiences with the pupils the teacher will be con-
cerned about whether the ideas involved are at the appropriate level
for the pupils under his care and guidance. He will be sensitive to
the behavior of the pupils as they move into and through the exper-
ience. At every stage he will look for indications of whether the
experience is being pitched at too high or too low a level of under-
standing, of whether it is stimulating each pupil to too much or to
too little effort, of whether it is zestful and pleasant and is calling
forth the best within each pupil or whether it is leaving him apa-
thetic and resentful.

Because the teacher realizes that the organism learns through
many avenues of approach, he will stimulate activity in pupils in
keeping with their unique capabilities. He will try to assist the pu-
pil to gain the meaning of things through contact with varied re-
lationships. Thus, the classroom experiences will offer opportunity
for each child to make a contribution and to pursue ends which are
significant to him as well as to the group. Because the good teacher
realizes that change is essential to healthful living, he will provide
a balance of activities which are so interrelated as to make for in-
creased or decreased tension as the behavior of the children de-
mands. Thus, what is a "good" activity, becomes a relative and
not a fixed thing.

The Democratic Ideal, the Guiding Principle.-As has been as-
sumed previously the democratic culture furnishes the greatest op-
portunity within the cultural frame for the optimum and the maxi-
mum development of the individual. The democratic ideal, there-
fore, should serve as the guiding principal to the schools of Florida.
It is the purpose of this section to throw some light on the meaning
of the democratic ideal and point out some significant implications
it has for the school.

American democracy is more than an ideal conceived by the mind
of man. It has pervaded the customs, the attitudes, the sentiment,
and the modes of living of the people, finding expression in varying
degree in their economic, social, and political structures. It is more


than any one or all of these. "It is an attitude of mind to which the
exploitation of man by man is abhorrent, a way of life in which hu-
man personality is judged of supreme, of measureless worth, an
order of social relationship dedicated to the promotion of the indi-
vidual and collective interests of common folks: in a word, it is a
society 'of the people, by the people, and for the people.' "B It im-
plies for all members of the group equal opportunity to develop a
good life physically, economically, socially, intellectually, and
What does the foregoing interpretation of the democratic ideal
imply for the school? Since the individual is the unit of society
with which the school must concern itself and since the individual
learns through his own experiences, which result from interaction
with his organism and the environment, the school must first of all
give the individual an opportunity for growth in a democratic envir-
onment. This implies for each child a well-rounded program of liv-
ing, a succession of purposeful experiences in interpretation and
utilization of democratic processes, a gradual induction into contem-
porary life with direct emphasis on the conditions and problems of
society and of individuals who compose the society. It implies for
each child the development of an awareness of the extent and mean-
ing of the culture, a social sensitivity, the ability to think critically
and experimentally about problems of human adjustment in terms
of individual and group action, the willingness to act and the habit
of acting for the welfare of the group, and finally the development
of his own peculiar talent whereby he may contribute more richly to
the life of the group and thus effect desirable modification of the
It implies, further, by its very nature, a continuous, dynamic,
ongoing program of education which results only when all concerned,
the teacher, the administrator, the parent, the child, and even the
layman, share in the thinking and planning necessary to the rea-
lization of purposes in keeping with a dynamic society.

Summary of the Foregoing in Terms of Guiding Principles
Tentatively Stated.-In light of the foregoing discussion there seem

5Rugg, editor, op. cit., p. 190.


to be apparent certain guiding principles for developing a school
program consistent with the nature of learning and the democratic
ideal. Stated tentatively these principles are:
1. The school must become increasingly aware of the culture in
all of its ramifications.

2. The school must recognize the significance of the conflicts in
the culture (especially the immediate community) of each of its
3. The school must be concerned with the kind of environment
which it provides for the learning and growing of its pupils.

4. The school has the responsibility of guiding its pupils in the
direction indicated by the democratic ideal.
5. The school must recognize that education is a continuous pro-
cess from birth through the entire life of each individual.

6. Each school must begin where it is and continuously re-make
its program in light of the needs of its pupils as these needs are seen
in relation to the nature of the individual and the demands of a dy-
namic environment.

7. The curriculum of the school consists of all the experiences
which its pupils have for which the school assumes responsibility.
8. Responsibility for the development of the curriculum of each
school must be shared by all those concerned-pupils, teachers, ad-
ministrators, parents.

Characteristics of the New Program of Education.-After one
has studied carefully the nature of the environment, the nature of
the human organism, the nature of learning, the nature of the demo-
cratic ideal as a guiding principle, and the interrelationship of these
in the development of the individual, it may be helpful to envision
the school that must be created to meet the challenge of such rela-
tionships. The paragraphs that follow attempt to describe in broad
outline the kind of school that will meet the challenge.6 The good
school in a democratic society is the integrating and coordinating

'Democracy and the Curriculum has stimulated much of the thinking
presented in this section.


agency of all the conditions which contribute to the development of
an individual capable of creative thinking amid the contingencies
of the present and the future. The fabric of its curriculum is
woven from the basic problems of active living and from the needs
which society has today. The curriculum embraces all experiences
for which the school assumes responsibility. Thus, the school life
centers around such vital problems as health, work, leisure, partici-
pation in government, the satisfying of material wants and aesthetic
longings, the conservation of natural resources, and the utilization
of human energies.
The good school begins with the birth of the individual and ex-
tends through his life. It prepares for parenthood and infant care.
Later, through expert advice in the nursery school, the parent learns
much that is pertinent to the care of the child in the home. Here,
too, the child has the benefit of hours spent with a social group of his
own age and thereby is somewhat prepared for the new ideas he
meets in his early days of school. He grows naturally, then, in his
interests with an ever widening horizon-neighborhood, community,
state, and eventually the world. Since the school must furnish ex-
panding experiences that will arouse his curiosities and whet his in-
terests, it must see the panorama of natural resources, institutions,
industries, human relationships, and aesthetics in their relationships
to each other and to the dynamic individual. Thus, the curriculum
for such a school must be seen with all its ramifications in the light
of the immediate needs and possible future needs of society. It will
be neither a fixed curriculum nor one which is planned only day by
day. Rather it will anticipate and plan for the future, yet possess
a flexibility which will make possible the guidance of pupils even
under varying narrow environmental influences.
During the years from nursery school to adulthood, the pupil
will participate in a series of experiences designed for (1) the de-
velopment of an individual 'who assumes increasing responsibility
for self-direction and for the development of his potentialities in
such a way as to bring about optimum satisfaction both to himself
and society and (2) for the development of an individual who as-
sumes increasing responsibility for clarifying the meaning of de-
mocracy and for the solution of personal-social problems in terms of
this ideal. Such experiences will thus contribute to the development


of desirable personality. Moreover, each individual will participate
in a series of experiences designed to prepare him for entrance into
education for his chosen career. To provide such experiences im-
plies that the school must have an understanding of the problems
of contemporary life, an insight into affairs of social concern. To
provide such experiences intelligently means in the democratic way
of life that the pupil must learn by actually living in and through
the problems of concern to a democracy. He must have opportunity
to make his contributions, good or small, according to his ability,
through cooperative action just as he will be called upon to do in
his life outside the school.

As the school designs the curriculum to embrace the great basic
problems of life, it will be aware 'of the significance of health as a
factor in personal and social welfare. It will take care that pu-
pils are healthy, likewise that they understand how to keep healthy
and maintain standards of health in the community. The problem
of selecting a mate and making a home is of much consequence to
those in late adolescence and should receive its due consideration in
the planning of the curriculum for pupils of that age. Of equal
concern will be the earning of a living and the wise expenditure of
money earned. Of this problem, too, the school will take cognizance.
Neither will the school overlook nor neglect the special interests and
talents which differentiate individuals. This means for all, rich and
varied experiences, opportunities to delve into many media for ex-
pression of feelings; it means for each pupil a chance to explore
special subject fields such as language, mathematics, music, drama;
to study more thoroughly than many of his associates may wish to
do such subjects as the physical sciences, mechanics, and the voca-
tions. The school will strive to develop abilities and aptitudes in
such a way that not only will the individual attain his maximum po-
tentialities, but society also will profit by the contributions he may
make through his creativity.

The community, urban or rural, will become a laboratory in which
the pupil will find a richer experience than can be furnished within
the walls of the physical plant of the school. Pupils who may profit
by so doing will be given opportunity to learn by actual experience
something of the trades and vocations of the community. At the



same time the pupils will share in such areas as beautification pro-
jects, improvement in facilities for recreation, traffic regulations,
campaigns or drives for worthy projects, little theater activities, and
similar community interests. By making possible such participation
on the part of the pupil in the life of the community, the school ful-
fills its function as a coordinating agent. When the period of gen-
eral education is concluded, the school will have provided guidance
for the pupil's entrance into education for a profession or induc-
tion into a non-professional career.
Furthermore, the school will become a laboratory for the com-
munity. It will become the coordinator for the various agencies
which seek the solutions of community problems, such as hous-
ing, zoning, beautification, sanitation, transportation, and in rural
areas more specifically, marketing, irrigation, erosion, and kind-
red problems. The school will serve as the laboratory where the
needs of the individual and the problem of the community may be
studied in their relation to each other. Here study and learning will
be carried on in the solution of vital basic problems, giving exper-
iences that will make possible reflective and critical consideration
of the future problems of the democratic society.
As has been said, the new school will assume the responsibility
for education throughout the life of the individual. Therefore, the
school must be ready to serve the individual even though he may be
employed in the home, in a trade, or in a profession. Not only will
it give opportunity to study in the language arts or to learn a trade,
but it will furnish likewise the opportunity for enrichment of per-
sonality through forums and lectures, studios and libraries, for those
who desire to broaden their horizons and use their leisure so that it
will give a zest and a joy to life.
In planning for this comprehensive field of education, the school
will utilize the talents of its entire personnel. It will seek to have
all understand the broad purpose of the school, the psychology and
philosophy upon which the curriculum rests, for only through such
insight and understanding can progress be made.

In order to make it easy for groups working on curriculum
revision to refer readily to the basic assumptions together with


their important implications, it has been thought advisable to end this
chapter with the following summary. It will be noted that the
implications have been somewhat amplified. This statement of im-
plications does not take the place of the eight guiding principles
stated above, but merely supplements them.

Basic Assumptions
1. The individual organism is unique, dynamic, and creative.

2. The environment is dynamic.

3. Learning is continuous and is a result of the interaction of
the dynamic organism with the dynamic environment.
4. The growth of the individual is accomplished through his own
activity; from birth, and in every situation, he reacts as a whole to
his total environmental influences.
5. Growth proceeds at a varying rate and intensity for different
individuals. Likewise, rate and intensity of growth vary from time
to time in each individual in accordance with the dynamic interaction
of his capacities and environmental influences.
6. A democratic culture furnishes the most favorable conditions
for optimum growth and satisfaction of the individual and of the

1. The school should provide a stimulating environment that
fosters many varied interests and purposes on the part of pupils.
2. The school should give special attention to the physical well-
being of its pupils. Health should be related to the program of the
entire day.
-3. The school should guide the experiences of the child in such
a way that he preserves his emotional balance and at the same time
grows in ability to cope with situations at increasingly more mature
4. The school should provide experiences through which the
child will become increasingly aware of, concerned about, and ac-
tive with reference to the welfare and happiness of his fellows. Care


must be taken not to build up tensions with respect to social situa-
tions which are beyond the maturation level of the pupil.
5. Teachers should utilize school activities as a means of giving
children direct experiences in the processes of democratic, coopera-
ative living.
6. Since the individual and the environment are dynamic, the
school should utilize problem-situations in such a way as to promote
ever increasing ability of pupils to think at the level of their matura-
tion and intelligence.
7. The school should provide for the acquisition of knowledge,
techniques, and skills which have functional value in a life where
new problems must continually be met and solved. Since the indi-
vidual's purposes are many, one cannot delimit the knowledge that
any child or even all human beings will be likely to need.
8. It seems desirable that instructional activities in the class-
room be organized in large units. In this way time is adequate for
resolving the problems with which pupils are concerned. Oppor-
tunities for participation on the part of each member of the group
are greater. A problem may be concerned with some major conflict
in man's thinking, a desire to understand or appreciate, an intent
to master some skill, or the will to build something.
9. In planning experiences with pupils, the teacher has a re-
sponsibility for stimulating children to judge the importance of their
undertaking in terms of their own needs and in terms of group needs,
that is, society's needs.
10. The framework of the curriculum should be built around
needs of pupils which arise in their interaction with the culture.
Experiences with the immediate natural and man-made environment
should be the point of departure and should be expanded in keeping
with the growing abilities and interests of the pupils.
11. The teacher should be encouraged to plan with pupils those
experiences most essential to the individual and society within this
general framework and in accordance with pupil needs.
12. The entire school program should be planned with reference
to a continuous educational process beginning with birth, progress-
ing through life.


13. Character development should permeate the entire school
program. Since the organism is learning all the time, specific and
unrelated lessons devoted to character education do little good.
14. The curriculum includes all those experiences of children
for which the school assumes responsibility. This includes special
responsibility for out-of-school experiences.
15. The success of the school program should be judged in terms
of changes in pupil behavior with reference to values implied in the
democratic way of life. Skills are only a part of the attributes nec-
essary for successful democratic living and should not receive dis-
proportionate emphasis.
16. In order to improve the total living of pupils, the school
must engage and participate in activities for improvement of com-
munity life.
17. The daily program should be flexible enough to allow modi-
fications in daily planning, but not so flexible as to be disintegrating.


BEARD, CHARLES A. AND BEARD, MARY R., America in Midpassage,
New York, Macmillan Co., 1939.
The Purposes of Education in American Democracy, Educational
Policies Commission, National Education Association, Wash-
ington, 1938.
RuGG, HAROLD, EDITOR, Democracy and the Curriculum, Third Year-
book, The John Dewey Society, New York, D. Appleton-Century
Co., 1939.
SALISBURY, FRANK SEELY, Human Development and Learning, New
York, McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., 1939.
The Structure and Administration of Education in American De-
mocracy, Educational Policies Commission, National Education
Association, Washington, 1938.
The Unique Function of Education in American Democracy, Edu-
cational Policies Commission, National Education Association,
Washington, 1937.

Chapter Four



Every real student of education comes to the conclusion sooner
or later that no program for the improvement of instruction, whe-
ther it be concerned with only one classroom or with a program
nationwide in scope, can lay claim to worth unless it be based upon
beliefs which are consistent and defensible. Educational literature
is full of such cautions as:
Each school, and each teacher, should all the while be building and using
as inclusive and satisfactory a philosophy as possible.1
S. a curriculum without a basic philosophy, guiding principles, and tenta-
tive but clear values, can be little more than inconsistent piece work.2
S. It is therefore unscientific and impractical to continue to project and
raise structures of educational theory and practice without probing for the
solid base on which to rest their foundations."

One must be constantly defining and redefining his own beliefs. It
is not enough to accept what someone else says one should believe,
nor what is simplest and most convenient to believe. The beliefs must
be those which the individual teacher himself can honestly and con-
scientiously defend.

Possibly an examination of one's own philosophy might lead to
changes in the curriculum, in methods, in evaluative procedures, in
pupil-teacher relationships, and other phases of the educational life.

'W. H. Kilpatrick, Remaking the Curriculum (New York: Newson and
Co., 1936), p. 96.
'Henry Harap, editor, The Changing Curriculum (New York: D. Appleton-
Century Co., 1937), p. 32.
'Ibid., p. 61.


Indeed, if a teacher has any knowledge at all as to how to go about
defining and redefining his own beliefs and examining his own prac-
tices in the light of these beliefs, and does not so define, redefine, and
examine them, he is unfaithful to the boys and girls whose education
is entrusted to him.

This section of the bulletin attempts to provide a workable meth-
od by which any teacher and any faculty can define their own phil-
osophy of education and see just what this philosophy means when
translated into school practices. There is no attempt in this section
to influence any teacher to accept any particular belief or set of
beliefs. The sole purpose here is to set up a procedure whereby a
teacher may define his own philosophy for himself. The method
Given herein are two contrasting philosophies of education, stat-
ing specifically the position of each philosophy concerning vital
questions of education. One of these vital questions is asked. Then
the position of one school of thought is stated, beginning, "I be-
lieve. ." There follow immediately some of the educational im-
plications of this belief. Then in the column to the right a contrast-
ing position, as nearly the opposite viewpoint as possible, is stated,
beginning, "I do not agree. I believe. . ," followed by some of the
educational implications of that particular position. It is suggested
that the teacher examine both of these positions critically and then
try to decide what his own belief is. He may then see how well he
is putting his belief into action in his teaching. Perhaps inconsis-
tencies will appear.
The two circles in the space just above each belief are a device
to enable the teacher to obtain a graphic picture of his own philoso-
phy. If he agrees whole-heartedly with the position, he will "black
in" the first circle. If he agrees, but with some reservations, he will
"black in" the second circle. Of course he will "black in" only
one circle under each question heading. After the entire section
has been studied in this manner, the teacher may transfer the re-
sults of the "blacking in" procedure to the chart on page 80.
After his position has been so registered on the chart, the teacher
may see at a glance toward which school of philosophy his own be-
liefs are tending, and may gain some idea of how consistent his be-


liefs are, since the bulletin tries to list contrasting, consistent
It is not at all intended that a teacher must accept either posi-
tion even with reservations. It is highly desirable that each teacher
state specifically for himself his own position on each of these ques-
tions. That his position does not agree with either statement implies
in no sense that the position is not of worth. The sole purpose of
this section is to assist the teacher in defining his own beliefs. It
may or may not be possible to "black in" the circles.

In order that the teacher may formulate his own beliefs more
readily, a space is left immediately following the two contrasting po-
sitions for the teacher's use in writing his own beliefs or his reser-
vations. The space is captioned by the words MY POSITION IS

A procedure for defining and translating the philosophy into
action is presented here.
1. Each teacher should attempt to state his own beliefs with
their implications. If he is in complete agreement with a position
and the implications as stated in the bulletin, he may accept those
as his own. If he disagrees with both positions, the teacher should
write out his own position.

2. A faculty may use the following method: Study one ques-
tion at a time, giving ample opportunity for discussion. Each teach-
er will state specifically his own belief, with its implications. Then
the group will attempt to define the faculty's position on the ques-
tion, by "pooling" their thoughts, and by following majority opin-
ion. Effort should be made to get the position so stated that there
is complete understanding by everyone and agreement at least by
the majority. (This is not to imply that a teacher may not hold
reservations, but these reservations should be of a minor character.)
After this procedure has been followed with each question, there will
be stated the philosophy upon which that particular school should
3. A next step would be that of listing the possible changes to-
ward which the beliefs as stated would inevitably point. The facul-


ty should do this, considering the school program as a whole, and
each teacher should list the changes which he should make because
of the clarity of both the school's philosophy and his own.
4. With the school's philosophy clearly stated, each teacher
should examine his own beliefs in relation to it. Should wide dis-
parities be apparent, it would behoove the teacher to see whether he
can conscientiously follow the school's philosophy to an acceptable
degree or whether he will have to teach quite differently.
5. With this philosophy as a "frame of reference," the objec-
tives of education in general and of your school in particular should
be worked out.
6. With these objectives as guides, each teacher can plan his
work in harmony with them.
7. The methods of instruction which the teacher will use should
be in harmony with the objectives of the school. The evaluation of
the work of the pupils will be based directly upon these objectives.
8. The relationship of a philosophy of education to the other
concerns of the school is presented in the figure below.


QUESTION 1: What is the supreme purpose of education, to develop
the child according to his own needs and those of
society so that his education may serve both himself
and others, or to develop the child according to the
needs of society so that his education may serve that

0 o 0 o

I BELIEVE the supreme purpose
of education is to develop the child
according to his own needs and those
of society so that his education may
serve both himself and others. This
development shall be in the nature
of developing in individuals the
ability of intelligent self-direction in
cooperation with others.

shall consider the individual pupil
as the real center of the whole edu-
cational process. I shall find out
everything I can about each pupil.
I shall be very much concerned with
the growth of the pupil physically,
emotionally, mentally, and socially,
and shall be interested in the ma-
terials of instruction only in so far
as they promote this growth and
development. It will be relatively
unimportant that the pupil "test"
well on his knowledge of facts. I
shall be more concerned with the
changes in the pupil's attitudes,
ideals, and behavior which such
knowledge and understanding bring
about. I shall not insist on passive
acceptance of facts, subject matter,
social customs, beliefs, etc. But I
shall be very much concerned with
how the individual thinks and acts
critically on these things, comes to
"stand on his own feet," becomes of
worth to himself and to others be-
cause of becoming of value as an
individual. It means I shall adjust

the supreme purpose of education is
to develop the child according to the
needs of society so that his educa-
tion may serve that society. The
individual is of worth only in pro-
portion to the contribution he makes
to the continuation and enrichment
of the group culture or social in-
shall teach so that the pupil will
learn that the culture is greater
than himself and that his very life
and nurturing influences are products
of that culture. He must therefore
develop himself for the purposes of
filling his place in that culture, of
transmitting it to posterity, and en-
riching it through his individuality.
He must learn that sacrifices must
be made to the culture, even to the
extent of losing his entire indi-
viduality. I shall try to develop
John's individuality not so that John
can live a more abundant life for
himself alone but primarily so that
John can use his development to
perpetuate and enrich the heritage
into which he was so fortunate as to
be born. I shall be concerned with
selecting the best in the total social
inheritance and with organizing and
presenting it in such a way that the
individual will actually feel himself
a part of this culture, feel that it
is greater than any individual, and


my materials and methods to meet
individual needs, interests, and abil-
ities of my pupils, regardless of how
my "work" seems to progress and
whether the class "gets through the
book" or not. I shall not place great
emphasis upon acquisition of infor-
mation in respect to the various
phases of the social inheritance. I
shall try to see that my pupils do
acquire such information, but only
as a means towards developing their
individual personalities and indi-
vidual worthwhileness. The test of
my teaching shall not be "What do
the pupils know of the social in-
heritance?" but rather, "Is each pupil
being really developed to the great-
est possible extent of his own capaci-
ties, taking into account his own
needs, and the needs of society?" I
shall provide many opportunities for
pupils to develop a sense of responsi-
bility both for themselves and for
others. I shall try to bring them to
have justifiable confidence in their
own abilities. I shall consciously try
to provide experiences in which the
pupils have opportunities to develop
the ability to think for themselves,
to make their own decisions, and to
evaluate their own work. I shall pro-
vide many opportunities for coopera-
tive effort and shall try to teach the
ability of working with and sharing
with others.

be willing, if necessary, to sacrifice
at any time his individuality to the
continuation of this social inheritance.
I shall not spend time studying the
potentialities of each individual for
self-realization. Instead, I shall spend
that time in studying and organizing
the facts and "subject-matter" of the
social inheritance with which every
student must become thoroughly
familiar. Evidences of personality
growth and a desire for expression
of individuality are not the test of
my effectiveness as a teacher, but
evidences of knowledge and apprecia-
lion of the social inheritance and a
desire to perpetuate it even at a
personal sacrifice are the true test of
my effectiveness.




QUESTION 2: What should be the functions of the school to serve
best a democratic society?

0 o Jo o

I BELIEVE the functions of the
school should be (1) to see to it that
the pupils become appreciative of the
various phases of our democratic way
of life and become sensitively aware
of its weaknesses, (2) to develop in
individuals the art of criticizing ex-
isting institutions in the light of
their present effectiveness, (3) to
give the pupils courage and ability
to revise these institutions when
necessary and to project new institu-
tions to meet new needs, (4) to de-
velop each individual to the fullest
extent of his capacities and so im-
bue him with the democratic ideals
that he will utilize his development
for society as well as for his own
happy living, and (5) to afford op-
portunities for practicing the demo-
cratic way of life. "Schools exist
(at least in a democratic society) to
help the young grow up into intel-
ligently self-directing members of the
culture group, able and disposed to
join with others in the continual task
of remaking the common culture and
life into something ever finer."'

shall assist my pupils to become
thoroughly familiar with the values
of democracy and the advantages of
such a way of living. This does. not
mean at all that a study of other
ways of living is to be censored.
Indeed, quite the contrary is true.

'Kilpatrick, op. Mt., p. 117.

the functions of the school to serve
best a democratic society are (1) to
glorify democracy by "playing-up"
the "good" phases and "toning down"
or even entirely forgetting the "bad"
phases, (2) to bring pupils to an
unquestioning acceptance and un-
critical attitude towards existing in-
stitutions of democracy, and (3) to
develop individuality to serve de-
mocracy first and itself last.

shall allow pupils to deal with ma-
terial which glorifies democracy. I
shall present films, for instance,
which depict the expansion of the
United States, but shall not allow
study of how some of this expansion
was accomplished. I shall preach that
democracy is the Christian way of
life and as such is beyond man-made
criticism or improvement. My pupils
will be ready to "save the world for
democracy." I shall prohibit study
of such things as Nazism, Fascism,
and Communism. I shall assume that
we have a healthful society and that
touching less healthful societies by
study may contaminate us.


Democracy looks best in relation to
other ways of life, not as an abso-
lute. Should we present it alone to
the pupils, they will soon discover
its present weaknesses, and possibly
be led to conclude that that which
they knew not of would be much
better. I shall try to develop each
pupil's ability to think and try to
teach him to be critical, to evaluate
processes in the light of their pres-
ent products and effectiveness. I can
do this by having pupils engage in
real problems, allowing them ample
opportunities to make mistakes and
many opportunities to evaluate. I
shall consider each individual pupil,
try to know his needs, his interests,
and his capacities, and to plan for
him as such. I shall at the same
time provide for the socialization of
each pupil by providing numerous
experiences in cooperative effort and
by individual counseling.




QUESTION 3: Are all persons except institutional charges capable
of learning to think critically-that is, to work intel-
ligently towards the solution of confusing problems?

0 0 I0 0

I BELIEVE that all are capable of
this and that the skill can be devel-
oped. It seems obvious that our edu-
cational methods in the past have
not been designed to teach this abil-
ity. The fact that some products of
our schools do not have this ability
is no valid argument that the job
cannot be done. I believe it can be

shall try to understand just what the
process of thought involves, how it
develops, and what means I can use
to foster it. I shall assume that all
my pupils can be taught to think,
and will value their efforts at think-
ing for their full worth, regardless
of how poorly they have learned the
process up to that time. I shall not
assume that some can think and that
others never can be able to. I shall
try to avoid discriminating between
"dumb" pupils and "bright" pupils.
Instead, I shall consider this "dumb-
ness" and "brightness" as relative,
varying, and greatly modifiable by
skillful teaching.

that it is not possible for all persons
to learn to think critically. Critical
thinking is a highly specialized abil-
ity, obviously dependent upon super-
ior neurological inheritance. We do
not all claim to be able to attain
other highly specialized abilities.
There is no objective evidence that
all can learn to think critically. Such
a thing has never been done in the
history of mankind, not because of
the lack of teaching skill, but because
of the native limitations of many

shall not insist in my teaching that
all pupils seek to acquire this ability.
Such seeking would be most waste-
ful of time, energy, and money. I
shall try to develop this ability in
those pupils who seem to be able to
acquire it, but I shall not follow the
same methods with those who cannot
acquire the ability. Indeed, the ma-
terials of instruction will vary with
these two groups. Possibly it might
be better for all, and more honest
with ourselves, if we should actually
divide the two groups physically.




QUESTION 4: Under what conditions does real learning take place
most effectively and economically?

0 0 0l o

I BELIEVE that learning best takes
place when there exists a real pur-
pose meaningful to the learner, when
the problem is rooted in previous
meaningful experience, and when
there are sufficient pertinent ma-
terials, data, and guidance available
for the solution of the problem.
I.earning is an active process of
interaction between the individual
and his environment. When this
interaction is taking place, both the
individual and the environment will
change. "In order to grow, indi-
viduals must be given freedom to
share in determining the ends for
which they are to spend their ener-
gies. These ends or purposes must
be rooted in present experiences if
they are to be charged with

shall be very much concerned with
the 'increasing quality of the pur-
posing of the pupils. I shall not in-
sist that work be done on a problem
without pupil purposing until every
device I know has been exhausted
in trying to bring about that pur-
pose, and even then I shall question
seriously whether I should insist un-
til I can get that purposing. Either
the purpose should be the pupil's own,

"John L. Childs, Education and the
Philosophy of Experimentalism (New
York: The Century Co., 1931), pp.

that the best learning takes place
when the learner is passive and in
this passivity is receptive to receiv-
ing stimulations from the environ-
ment, resulting in his making re-
sponses. Learning takes place effi-
ciently when the stimulus is suffi-
ciently strong and when the correct
responses are made repeatedly, until
they become fixed. I believe that it
is not a fundamental requisite for
learning that situations for learning
grow out of the immediate experi-
ences and purposes of the learner.
It is not possible to accomplish this
anyway, and if it were, it would be
a waste of time to a great extent.

shall be concerned that pupils remain
passive in the classroom. I shall be
concerned primarily, then, with the
logical organization and presentation
of subject-matter, and shall evaluate
the effectiveness of my instruction by
measuring how much knowledge and
how0 many skills have been retained:
by each pupil. Anyway, I shall my-
self eliminate from the problems all
irrelevant data from the considera-
tion of the pupils. I shall insist on
the correct responses and consider
any other response a detriment to
the learning process. This means I
shall not allow students to make
mistakes, "run down" false leads, and
test impossible hypotheses when I
can see how they are going to result.


or it should be accepted by him as
worthy. I shall try to know the
fundamental interests and needs of
my pupils so that I may try to pro-
vide situations which are vital and
meaningful to them or which may
become so. I shall aid in the as-
sembling of data on the problem and
shall be a guide and a counselor to
the pupils in their seeking the solu-
tion to their problem. My function
will be not that of driving the pupils
through problems I think valuable to
them, but rather of guiding them to-
ward the solution of their own
problems. I shall always try to begin
with leads that grow out of the
pupil's immediate experience, so they
may lead from the familiar to the
unfamiliar. This means I shall let
the pupils have a large part in de-
termining what they are to study,
how they are to study it, and in
evaluating the results of the process.
"All real education must accept
children as they are, and build upon
their present tendencies and inter-
ests. We do not have to arouse them
to action if we will but use the
dynamic tendencies already impelling
them to constant activity. The direc-
tions this activity takes are many-
some are desirable, some not. Wise
guidance encourages the desirable
and discourages the undesirable
manifestations of this innate energy.
But the urge to grow is embedded
in the very protoplasm of boys and
girls. The teacher is the one who
undertakes to guide their growth.

"Children's interests are of first im-
portance, however trivial they may
seem to an unsympathetic adult.
They reveal the level of development
attained by the child, and the ave-

I shall emphasize drill to mastery
of both skills and knowledge. If
the stimulation is strong enough, the
correct responses will be formed.
And it is my job to see that this
stimulation is strong enough, even
if I have to use fear and force as
motivations. The end accomplished
will justify the means. This means
that the curriculum will be made
by the teacher, and the methods of
instruction be devised by him, and
the product of the learning process
evaluated by him. It is not necessary,
nor even desirable--indeed, nor pos-
sible-that pupils participate in these
three things.


nues open for further progress. No
rational person who is free to choose
applies himself to tasks that are
wholly uninteresting to him. His in-
terest may be in a remote goal rather
than in an immediate task which
must be accomplished in order to
reach the goal. But interest there
must be, or no systematic or per-
sistent efforts will be put forth."6

6John A. Hockett and E. W. Jacob-
sen, Modern Practices in the Ele-
mentary School (New York: Ginn
and Company, 1938) pp. 8-9.




QUESTION 5: Does the human organism react to things as a whole,
or do its specific parts react separately?

0 0 0 0

I BELIEVE that "the individual is
an organism, integrated from the be-
ginning. Any behavior, no matter how
specific, involves the organism as a
whole."' Every individual is carrying
on many learning simultaneously.
"The child does not leave behind him
his physical, emotional, or social
needs as he enters the classroom.
While gathering information or learn-
ing skills he is also developing emo-
tionalized attitudes toward himself
and his fellow pupils, his teacher,
and his society. In every school ex-
perience, he is learning and practic-
ing satisfactory or unsatisfactory
forms of social adjustment."8 Each
act and instance of learning neces-
sarily includes the response of the
organism as a whole. ". . Thinking,
feeling, moving, glandular action,
etc., are all inseparably blended in
the new acquisition."'

shall take into account in my plan-
ning, in my teaching, and in my
evaluation the development of the
whole child. I shall be concerned
with such things as his attitude to-
wards arithmetic, the home condi-
tions he leaves in the morning, the
envy he bears to some of his fellows,
his habits of neatness, how he looks

'Harap, op. cit., p. 42.
"Hockett and Jacobsen, op. cit., pp.
'Kilpatrick, op. cit., p. 80.

that learning are specific and that
the organism reacts to stimuli with
its specific parts independently. For
instance, a child may be learning to
write and be reacting specifically to
the stimulus of the letters before him
to be copied. He is not at the same
time building up a hatred for writ-
ing, developing powers of concentra-
tion, developing an attitude toward
his teacher and going through a
myriad other reactions simultaneous-
ly. Or, if he is, it is relatively un-

shall be concerned with teaching the
specific job at hand. If it is a skill,
I shall so teach. If it is an ideal, I
shall so teach. If it is a knowledge,
I shall so teach. If it is a habit,
I shall so teach. It is ridiculous to
try to teach a pupil to spell ten
words correctly, to develop the ap-
preciation of the written word, to
instill the ideal of correctness, and
to develop the habit of concentration
all at the same time. I can teach
concentration; I can develop an at-
titude; I can impart knowledge. But
it is only wishful thinking to hope
to do them all at once. Each one
requires separate emphasis. I shall
see to it that the stimulus presented
is powerful and that it occasions the
correct response each time. I shall
evaluate my work by how well each


me in the eye when he is talking.
I shall provide opportunity for sev-
eral kinds of desirable growths
simultaneously. And I shall conduct
my classes so as to keep these things
in mind. I shall help my pupils to
see that they are learning not merely
one thing at a time. I shall be con-
cerned with the breadth and kind of
experience as well as with the in-
tensity of the experience. When the
pupil and I come to evaluate his
growth, we shall try to see how his
whole self has developed and not
merely how one part has developed.

specific thing is accomplished-not
everything together.




QUESTION 6: Can the intellect and the emotions be developed sep-
arately from each other?

0 0 I0 0

I BELIEVE that the maintenance
and development of emotional sta-
bility are primary functions of edu-
cation. I believe that, even if we
wanted to, we could not deal with
the mind and not touch the emotions.

shall plan my work and guide the
experiences of my pupils with the
aim constantly in mind of developing
the emotional growth of the pupil.
Pupils will have opportunities for
participation in dramatics, play,
music, discussions, cooperative work,
literature, success, failure, recon-
struction, and any other activities
which present opportunities for de-
veloping integration of personality.
I shall constantly consider how my
pupils are reacting to the job they
are doing. I shall seek to discover
the degree of development of emo-
tional control and stability, one
criterion of the effectiveness of my

that the intellect and the emotions
are a dualism and should be so con-
sidered in my teaching. I believe the
mind is capable of dominating the
emotions, and that it is the primary
function of the school to train the
mind and not concern itself directly
with such intangible things as ap-
preciations and emotional stability.
The mind, if so developed, is the

shall concentrate all my efforts on
developing a disciplined intelligence.
I shall not be greatly concerned with
whether a pupil enjoys what he is
doing, whether he has fits of temper,
or has more or less deep-seated pre-
judices. I shall teach so that the
pupil will know many things, will be
able to accomplish tasks, will be
able to solve confusing problems (if
he is capable), and will be able to
think logically. Then he will be
master of his emotions himself. The
test of the effectiveness of my teach-
ing will be how well developed is
the pupil's intellect.




QUESTION 7: What is the basic unit of learning?

0 0 0 0

I BELIEVE that the basic unit of
learning is the unit of experience,
rather than sense stimulation, or-
ganic drives, or instincts. "A typical
unit of experience would include the
various phases of an activity, which
starts with the need occasioned by
a disturbance in the relationship of
the individual to his environment,
which continues through the various
efforts made by the organism in
overcoming the disturbance and ends
with the restoration of the state of

shall be greatly concerned with the
quality or kind and the extent or
range of experiences that pupils have
under my guidance. I shall be con-
cerned especially that they have ex-
perience (1) in solving or resolving
personal problems that are perplex-
ing to them, (2) in facing and study-
ing situations that extend their
knowledge and understanding of the
total environment, and (3) in facing
problems in everyday living the solu-
tion of which and the method of
solving which contribute to the de-
velopment of the democratic way of
life. Because I recognize the effect
the immediate environment of the
child may have upon his experience,
I shall provide a stimulating en-
vironment in the school so far as I
am able. Because I recognize the

"'Childs, op. cit., p. 73.

the unit of learning is the S-R bond
pattern. I believe a person need not
purpose to learn. All that is necessary
is a stimulus of sufficient strength
and an insistence by the teacher
that the correct responses be made.

shall be greatly concerned to know
what responses are necessary to the
educated man and what stimuli are
necessary to produce these responses.
To arrive at this knowledge I shall
first of all attempt to ascertain the
skills, knowledge, attitudes, and ap-
preciations that are necessary to all
people, and then I shall analyze each
one of these desired outcomes very
minutely. Having done this I shall
devise learning exercises suitable for
engendering the specific skill, knowl-
edge, or attitude desired. I shall at-
tempt to make the work pleasant,
although I believe that is not
especially necessary. I shall use
pupil interest and purpose as a sort
of motivation when it is convenient
to do so, but I do not believe that
either is essential to learning.

Once I have provided for the skills,
knowledge, attitudes, and apprecia-
tions that all need, I shall attempt
to predict the additional training
necessary for each individual as an
individual and by a sort of job
analysis, find the specific things in
which he will need training, and as
in the case of the common skills,


effect his inner feelings and re-
sponses may have upon his exper-
ience, I shall seek to understand the
nature of each pupil, to learn of his
past experiences, his prejudices, his
preferences, etc. Because I recognize
the effect conditions in the social
order may have upon any and all of
mj pupils, I shall be striving con-
stantly to understand better the so-
cial order of which the pupils and
I are alike a part.

Moreover, I shall be very much con-
cerned that the activities of the pupil
shall be purposeful. I shall see to
it that I serve my capacity as ad-
viser to the pupil in his seeking to
solve the problem and reach a state
of satisfaction. And I shall try to see
to it that the pupil's purposing does
lead to some solution somewhat ac-
ceptable to him. In order that there
may be greater opportunities for a
rich experience for the pupils, I shall
plan for activities or experiences in
the classroom that are closely relat-
ed to fundamental needs and pur-
poses of human beings and that in
the degree of their complexity are
in keeping with the maturation of the
pupils concerned. I shall be ever on
the alert for leads to activities or
projects or "units" in which not only
many types of experiences may be
had, but in which also the learning
is likely to be more abiding because
of the degree of purposefulness of
the learners. Once such a lead has
been seen and seized, as it were, the
pupils and I shall plan ways of
reaching the desired goal or goals;
and experience, the unit of exper-
ience, as I have defined it in my
beliefs, may be said in that par-
ticular instance to have begun. Not

etc., devise suitable learning exer-
cises and provide practice for

The interrelations of experience are
not so important in learning. The
intellect is physical and is subject
to physical laws. When a stimulus
is presented strong enough, a re-
sponse will be made. This is the
fundamental unit of learning.


only are planning and executing nec-
essary to a rich experience; evalua-
tion is likewise important for pupils
and teachers alike, evaluation of
their planning, their processes, and
the end products of their experienc-



QUESTION 8: Can the necessary knowledge and skills be acquired
in purposeful activities?

S0 0 o

I BELIEVE that "necessary skills
and knowledge can be acquired with
purposeful activities."

shall devote much time to permitting
the pupils to carry out the purposes
which they consider worthwhile and
desirable. I shall assist them to ac-
quire the skills and knowledge nec-
essary to the carrying out of their
purposes. I shall likewise consciously
try to have them engage in activities
which will necessitate their devel-
oping a variety of skills and a depth
and breadth of knowledge. I shall
check frequently to see whether these

that it is impossible for pupils to
acquire the necessary skills and
knowledge if they depend only upon
activities which they themselves pur-
pose. This is too haphazard, too
wasteful of time and money.

shall insist that there be an orderly
and logical development of knowledge
and skills from the first grade
through the twelfth, giving ample
time for the development of an edu-
cated person. I shall insist that all
necessary subjects be taught and that
they be presented in a logical man-


things are being acquired. I shall try
to have the pupils consider the skills
only as tools in the solution of their
problems, and knowledge only as the
means to a greater end. I shall be
very much concerned myself with
the ultimate ends or goals of educa-
tion, but I shall not set this up as
the goals for my pupils, who cannot
accept it as theirs. Their goals must
be more immediate and more clearly
seen and understood by them if real
learning is to go on.

ner so that the pupils will see and
understand the whole subject when
they have completed the sequence.
Specifically and especially I shall at-
tempt to define the fundamental
skills and knowledge which are im-
portant so that the students may
drill on the skills and acquire the
knowledge in a logical manner. So
long as I can see that a skill or
knowledge may be useful sometime,
it is quite unnecessary that I spend
valuable time trying to get an im-
mature mind to see it. The job of
the student is to develop the skill,
acquire the knowledge, and to use
them in the future when the need




QUESTION 9: When is an experience really educative-that is, what
is the criterion of worthwhile growth, or what knowl-
edge is valuable?

0 I0 0

I BELIEVE that an experience is
really educative when it results in
dynamic changes in the individual
doing the experiencing. This kind of
growth will be evidenced by "(a) an
evergrowing range of healthy inter-
ests and (b) an ever-growing ability
and disposition to base action on
A worthwhile experience will "live
fruitfully and creatively in subse-
quent experience."" I believe that
we may discriminate between an
experience which is educative and
one which is mis-educative according
to the type of experience it moves
toward and into. The criterion of
worth-while growing is that growing
leads to further expanding growth.
shall try to determine in what direc-
tion an experience is heading. I
shall try to look ahead of the pupil's
immediate experience and ask myself
such questions as "Is this experience
going to make the pupil want to
know more?" "Will it open new vistas
of experience?" I shall not be en-
tirely concerned with the successful
completion of the present exper-
ience; I shall try to make this ex-
perience serve as a "springboard" to
other experiences on a higher level.
I shall not be interested in placing
"Kilpatrick, op. cit., p. 76.
"John Dewey, Experience and Edu-
cation (New York: The Macmillan
Co., 1938), p. 17.

that an experience is educative and
results in desirable growth when it
results in addition to the sum total
of the pupil's store of knowledge,
skills, habits, attitudes, or ideals.
Whether they result in changes in
behavior is not my concern. In fact,
it would be next to impossible for
anyone to ascertain whether a change
occurs or not.
shall insist that my pupils build up
an ample fund of information and
skills for use whenever need arises.
The test of my effectiveness will be
how much my pupils know and what
they can do. These knowledge and
abilities do not have to coincide at
all with present needs or purposes
of the pupils. They need not flower
immediately into changes in behavior.
Indeed, some may never flower, but
it is necessary that the pupil have
a vast store from which to draw as
needs arise. Schools exist, after all,
to prepare children for the necessi-
ties of adult life.


a mass of knowledge on "cold stor-
age" in the pupil's mind for possible
use in the future. I shall try to have
the pupil go through experiences and
acquire knowledge, habits, skills,
and attitudes which will begin im-
mediately to have meaning and to
be really assimilated into the per-
sonality of the individual. If they
are meaningful, they will become a
functioning part of the pupil; if
they become a part of his living, they
will make him a slightly different
individual. These changes then will
show whether the experiencing has
been educative or mis-educative.



I BELIEVE the curriculum should
consist of all of the actual exper-
iences of the pupils for which the
school assumes responsibility. I be-
lieve an assembly program is a part
of the curriculum; a student govern-
ment association is a part; play-
ground activities are a part; the

the curriculum is a body of logically
organized material available for pu-
pils to learn. The youth in our schools
must be "geared' to this body of
material to be learned. The cur-
riculum as here defined, is of im-
portance in itself. Youth, then, must


learning of correct spelling is a part;
the school garden is a part; the his-
torical facts are a part; the rela-
tions among teachers and pupils a
part. The unit element of the cur-
riculum is "not a specified lesson of
subject matter to be learned-but a
person facing an actual situation."
I believe the school curriculum
should be "geared" directly to the
needs of youth.

shall include all of the experiences
of the pupils in my planning. I
shall be teaching all of the time that
the pupils are on the school grounds,
and the times I go with them off
the school grounds. I shall not be
concerned merely with a body of ma-
terial to be learned. Rather, I shall
be concerned with how all materials
can best be utilized in the experienc-
ing of the pupils. I shall not, for in-
stance, consider fractions as a part
of the curriculum until these frac-
tions figure in the experiencing of
the pupils. The curriculum is not
apart from the pupil; it is actually
the experiencing of the pupil. Be-
cause I believe the curriculum should
be "geared" to youth's needs, I shall
ascertain just what these needs are.
A definition and classification of
these needs will form the base for
planning the scope and the sequence
of the curriculum.

set out logically to acquire it.

shall be concerned with organizing
and presenting this material to the
pupils in such a way that they may
learn it efficiently. I shall be con-
cerned with logically organized
knowledge, not with providing some
haphazard experience for the pupil
in which he may pick up a fact or
two in the process. The curriculum
may be well compartmentalized,
broken into subject matter fields, and
these subject matter fields logically
organized and learned in logical man-
ner. The curriculum is adult-made
and may even be expert-made or
teacher-made. Surely the child is not
to select what he is to learn and then
learn it. Even experts have trouble
in deciding what he should know.
We teachers shall decide what is to
be taught.




QUESTION 11: Should the school and the adult community be in-
timately related, or should the school be considered
an agency set quite well apart from the adult

0 0 I0 0

I BELIEVE that the school is an
integral part of the community.
shall always try to integrate the life
of the school with that of the home
and the community. I shall utilize
to the fullest extent the resources of
the community. I shall be very much
concerned with the life of the pupil
during the times he is not actually
on the school grounds or in the school
building. I shall try to have the school
program result in direct and indirect
benefits to the community, but I shall
not consider myself a "crusader." I
shall be very much concerned that
my teaching is directly in line with
the needs of the boys and girls in
their own particular community.

that society sets the school off as an
institution apart to teach the young
members of society. The community
does not wish to be utilized as a
laboratory nor does it wish the school
to reform it. I believe the home life
and the out-of-school activities of
the pupil are not the concern of the
school. What goes on from the open-
ing of the school day until its closing
is the concern of the school, but no
shall assume that the teacher is not
called upon to consider himself the
omnipresent nursemaid to the pupils.
a reformer of the community, to "be-
devil" it or "extend the walls of the
school," and I shall not do these
things. I shall concern myself with
teaching the pupils as they come to
me day by day into the schoolroom.
I shall use materials conforming with
the course of study and let the pupil
live his own life outside of the school.
I will not waste time making a "com-
munity survey." I shall not take my
children on excursions out into the
community. I shall consider that the
community has given the building


and the school equipment and the
teaching personnel to the pupils and
should not be further troubled to
aid in the education of the pupils.
That is the school's responsibility.



QUESTION 12: Should all boys and girls complete the senior high
school as the minimum education, or is the secondary
school for just the more able?

o o0 o

I BELIEVE that all boys and girls
should complete the secondary school.

shall try to get all eligible pupils to
come to school. I shall seek to elimi-
nate those causes which force boys
and girls to drop out of school. First,
then, I shall find out what these
causes are and then set out system-
atically to do what I can to over-
come them. This may lead me to offer
differentiated curricula, to make my
instruction more individualized, to
adjust my teaching to the real needs
of boys and girls, to do a real job
of personal, educational, and voca-
tional guidance, to help set up special
kinds of schools, to effect changes

secondary schools are for the more

shall use every means I know to de-
termine who are the more able as
they come through the elementary
school and use every device to en-
courage these to continue their edu-
cation. I shall seek to adjust the
curriculum and methods to this group.
Of course, then I shall discourage
the less able from going into the
secondary school, where they will
almost certainly fail. I shall try to
give the less able a mastery of the
minimum essentials, and as they
leave school, I shall help them to


in school administration, but I shall
have the courage to carry out the
implications of my convictions. Ex-
pressions of dissatisfaction on the
part of the pupils will be to me red
lights of danger, and I shall study
each case individually and try earn-
estly to make adjustments. I know
I shall have to make school work at-
tractive and school life a happy, de-
sirable life.

secure jobs, or to go on with a
specialized vocational training, but
not at public expense. I shall try to
segregate the pupils before any be-
gin to be consistent failures. The
individuals who go on who are not
able will soon fail, and will event-
ually eliminate themselves. I shall
not be concerned with the tremendous
task of providing equipment, ma-
terials, and instruction for every boy
and girl of eligible age, of hopefully
wishing to provide success for every
individual in his secondary school
work; it cannot be done. It has never
been done in our country, and we are
among the leading nations of the
world. We do not apply this kind of
wishful thinking to any other type
of training of animal behavior. We
do not try to make race horses out
of all horses, performing dogs of all
dogs, milch cows of all cows. Organ-
isms differ widely in inheritance and
innate capabilities. I shall recognize
this by providing secondary educa-
tion for the more able. Democracy
does not imply that all men are cre-
ated equal in biological inheritance.
It is essentially undemocratic to at-
tempt to force an individual to do
a job he is incapable of, and that
is what we would do if we attempted
to graduate all boys and girls from
the secondary school.




QUESTION 13: Are the nature of the universe and the nature of
society dynamic, changing, emerging, evolving, or are
they fixed, static, and unchanging?

0 I 0 0

I BELIEVE that the nature of the
universe and the nature of society
are dynamic, changing, emerging,

shall consider all physical things, all
ideas and ideals, all knowledge, all
truths as relative and changing. I
shall try to teach my pupils to con-
sider such things as susceptible of
change. I shall try to get them to be
developing standards of judgment
and evaluation constantly. I shall try
to get them to be critical of the
status quo. I shall discourage the
idea that all knowledge we have now
is true. I shall try to have students
engage in active experience and to
develop their standards of worth-
whileness from experiences, and not
from "say-so," nor to receive their
standards from some empirical au-
thority outside of themselves. I shall
pay special attention to the changing
nature of the physical world and
the evolving nature of society, and
to the dynamic nature of man him-
self in my effort to bring .pupils
to see that "the old order changeth,
yielding place to the new." "We seek
to discover not what the Gods say,
not what has been previously estab-
lished as the good, but what exper-
ience now reveals.""

"Harap, op. cit., p. 34.

that the universe is fixed and un-
changing, and that it has been so
since Creation, except for minor
modifications too slight to be con-
sidered by one generation.

shall teach that certain values are
true and unchanging values, that the
knowledge we have acquired can and
must be accepted as true. I shall not
upset my pupils by teaching that
everything, even life's values, are
in a state of flux. I believe there is
"truth," not "truths," and once we
know the truth it is unchanging. I
shall discourage questioning of
"Why? Why? Why?" and get pupils
to accept things as true because au-
thority says they are true, whether
it be in the realm of knowledge or
of ideals.




The chart below is to enable you to get a graphic view of your
beliefs, to see in what direction they are tending, and to see how
consistent they are with each other. The vertical row of circles at
the extreme left represents fairly well a philosophy which is almost
the exact opposite of the view at the extreme right. The two inner
rows represent variations from the two extreme positions.
Transfer to this page the markings you gave each question in the
preceding discussion. Note that the positions of the circles on the
right of the line are reversed from their positions before the state-
ments in the preceding discussion.
I believe . I do not agree. . I believe. ..
Agree Agree Agree Agree
Question Fully Partially Partially Fully
1. 0 0 0 0
2. 0 0 0 0
3. 0 0 0 0
4. 0 0 0 0
5. 0 0 0 0
6. 0 0 0 0
7. 0 0 0 0
8. 0 0 0 0
9. 0 0 0 0
10. 0 0 0 0
11. 0 0 0 0
12. 0 0 0 0
13. 0 0 0 0


1. ALTSTETTER, M. L., "The Philosophy of Education of 200 Sec-
ondary Schools," Educational Administration and Super-
vision, XXIII (September, 1937), pp. 409-25.
2. BODE, BOYD H., Conflicting Psychologies of Learning, New York,
D. C. Heath and Co., 1929.
3. BREED, FREDERICK S., Education and the New Realism, New York,
The Macmillan Co., 1939.
4. CHILDS, JOHN L., Education and the Philosophy of Experiment-
alism, New York, The Century Co., 1931.
5. DEMIASHKEVICH, MICHAEL, An Introduction to the Philosophy
of Education, New York, American Book Co., 1935.
6. DEWEY, JOHN, Experience and Education, New York, The Mac-
millan Co., 1938.
7. HARAP, HENRY, editor, The Changing Curriculum, New York,
D. Appleton-Century Co., 1937.
8. KILPATRICK, W. H., Remaking the Curriculum, New York, New-
son and Co., 1936.
9. MOSSMAN, Lois C., The Activity Concept, New York, The Mac-
millan Co., 1938.
10. The Purposes of Education in American Democracy, Educational
Policies Commission, National Education Association, Wash-
ington, D. C., 1938.



"Greeting his pupils, the master asked:
What would you learn of me?
And the reply came:
How shall we care for our bodies?
How shall we rear our children?
How shall we work together?
How shall we live with our fellowmen?
How shall we play?
For what ends shall we live? ..
And the teacher pondered their words and sorrow
was in his heart, for his own learning
touched not on these things.""
No programs of education are defensible unless they are based
upon the needs of the pupils. Some programs have been based upon
pupil-felt needs; some, upon adult-felt needs; some, upon a combin-
ation of pupil-felt and adult-felt needs; and some have been based
upon a conglomeration of haphazard choices, traditions, and whims.
Probably all educators would agree that the programs and methods
should function directly along the lines indicated by the needs of
youth, although they would not agree on the method of determining
these needs, nor upon how the effectiveness of the school in meeting
these needs should be determined. This bulletin makes no attempt
to state what is the method for such determination. Rather, it is the
purpose here: (1) to set up a procedure whereby each school may
determine the needs of its pupils in a manner consonant with basic
assumptions set forth in Chapter Three of this bulletin and (2) to
suggest a method for evaluating the school's program in the light
of these needs. There is provided here a means for ascertaining
pupil, teacher, administrator, and patron opinion on both of these
problems. No attempt is made here to provide objective means of
determination; probably such objectivity is impossible.
It must be kept in mind that the needs of boys and girls are
dynamic, ever-changing needs, and must be so considered in plan-
ning programs to fit these needs. A careful consideration of the

14J. Crosby Chapman and George S. Counts. Principles of Education (New
York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1924) quoted in Progressive Education Journal,
January, 1939, p. 10.


real needs of the boys and girls must be based upon a defensible
philosophy of education. A teacher must know what the nature of
the child is, how he learns, what constitutes worthwhile education,
what the nature of his environment is and how it affects his educa-
tion in order to judge whether a seeming need is of worth. For
instance, if a teacher believes a child learns in a particular way,
certain needs which other educators feel are valid are then invalid
in that teacher's scheme of education. In other words, the needs
of youth must be defined in terms of a "value base."

The point of view taken in this bulletin, as set forth in Chapter
Three, is one which is considered tenable at the present time for
the improvement of schools. The position is taken that the na-
ture of the child is such that each individual is unique, purposive,
and creative, and that the child learns by his own activity by inter-
acting as a complete organism with his environment, which is dynamic,
emerging, and everchanging. Further, the point of view is that
education is an on-going continuous process. What then are the
needs of boys and girls since their nature is unique, purposive, and
creative ? What are their needs since they learn by interacting with
their environments ? What are their needs since the nature of their
environment is dynamic, emerging, and everchanging? What are
their needs since education is an on-going, continuous process?

Below is given a partial list of needs in answer to these questions.
It is obvious that the list given here is for faculty consideration in
order that they may study these larger considerations and break
them down into specific needs. It is felt that the faculty, by going
through this procedure, will then really understand and appreciate
what they are doing with this phase of the plan for the improvement
of the program of instruction. It will be of much worth to a faculty
to set out to make this list as clear and as complete as possible. This
list may then be duplicated to be furnished to pupils, faculty, school
officials, and laymen-any, or all, according to the method the par-
ticular school would like to follow. The purpose is to get a wide-
spread opinion as to just what these individuals think are the real
needs of boys and girls. In a community where there has not ex-
isted a close relation between the school and the patrons, or between
the teachers and the pupils, it may not be feasible to include parents
and pupils at first.


Before submitting the list, the faculty should go over it carefully
to agree on just what is meant by each statement as it is worded
and just what methods are to be used in getting individuals to use
the list. This is necessary in order that the results may be valid.
The list may be given to all pupils who are mature enough to know
well what it means and who will give serious thought to it, to the
faculty members, to school officials, and to laymen. Ample space
should be provided on the lists to enable and to encourage additions
to the list to be made by those checking it. The duplicated list will
be prefaced by an explanation and a request for the individual to
check the ones he considers are the real needs of boys and girls in
that particular school-not his own particular needs, but rather
those of all the boys and girls. It would likewise be advantageous
to request, too, an indication of what the individual considers are
the ten, fifteen, or twenty most important needs.
At the conclusion of this procedure, those guiding the educational
program will have clear definite data on just what are considered
the real needs of the boys and girls in their own particular school by
those who are most concerned. This information should prove in-
valuable to them in planning an improved educational program.
The real work and study will come after the list as compiled has
been evaluated in terms of how well the school is meeting the needs.
Unless these procedures do result in careful study leading to con-
structive action, they are an utter waste of time.

Some of the Real Needs of Boys and Girls
(This list has been drawn up, and additions to it should be made,
in the light of the basic assumptions about the child, his environment,
the learning process, and the social philosophy of democratic living.)
1. To be studied carefully as an individual different from all others
2. To be taught by teachers who take into account in their teaching the
pupil's particular abilities, weaknesses, interests, and problems
3. To have his parents and friends really understand him
4. To have opportunities to be active in learning things
5. To have opportunities to express himself in writing, construction, music,
art, dramatics, and in other ways
6. To be educated so that he can express himself when opportunities are


7. To be faced with situations that require critical, creative thinking and
to be able to meet the situations
8. To have his school work closely related to his experiences and under-
9. To have real help in choosing his life's work
10. To have the kind of education, either direct or preparatory, which
affords help in his chosen life's work
11. To have the ability and opportunities to carry on his education after
he has been graduated or has left school
12. To have the abilities to establish and maintain a home of his own after
leaving school
13. To have a satisfactory home life at the present time
14. To be intelligent about the economic situation both now and in the
future, and to be able to adapt himself to changing conditions
15. To be intelligent about the social conditions both now and in the
future and to be able to adapt himself to changing conditions
16. To be intelligent about the physical world about him now and in the
future, and to be able to adapt himself to changing conditions
17. To have a well-rounded personality
18. To have his environment in the school a happy, stimulating one
19. To have his environment in the community a happy, stimulating one
20. To have good health, both physically and mentally
21. To have sympathetic, helpful guidance on his difficult problems
22. To become increasingly capable of intelligent self-direction
23. To have all of the factors of his environment which affect him con-
ditioned as much as possible by the school-his home, associates, out-of-
school activities, and summer activities
24. To acquire a sense of responsibility for his own actions and for par-
ticipating in group activity
25. To have the ability to work and to play with others
26. To have a developing philosophy of living

Attention is called again to the fact that the listing above is one
of general consideration. The faculty will need to break each one
down into specifics. For instance, if one need is for happy, stimu-


lating school environment, what are the specific needs, such as an
attractive room, abundant material, close relationship with the teach-
ers, and a few close friendships which make up this larger "need
for a happy stimulating school environment?"

A Method for Determining How Well the School is Meeting
These Needs
Now that there is a relatively complete listing of the needs, there
remains the important task of evaluating the school's program and
methods in the light of these needs. Given here is a proposal for
doing that job. Have the compiled list duplicated and furnished
to the same groups as before. The pupils, in addition to checking
this list, are to add their own particular needs and indicate the de-
gree of efficiency of the school in meeting these needs. A form to
use is suggested below.

Directions: Given below is a list of the needs of the boys and
girls in our school. You are asked to study the list carefully with
the purpose of judging how well the school is meeting each one of
these needs. Of course, your honest opinion is what is desired. It
is absolutely necessary if this report is to be worthwhile that each
individual indicate his honest opinion, regardless of personal likes,
dislikes, preferences, or prejudices. You are asked to indicate in the
space to the left of each need your opinion as to how well the school
is meeting that need in your own case. Use a "W" for well, and
"F" for fairly, a "P" for poorly, and an "N" for not at all. Add
to the list your own particular needs and indicate in the same manner
how well the school is meeting them.
1. Statement of need
2. Statement of need
3. Statement of need
The results should be compiled according to the same plan as the
compilation. Then comes the time for careful, analytical study of
the results with a view toward effecting changes in the school's pro-
gram and methods along the lines which the study indicates.

Chapter Five


Responsibility for Reorganizing Instruction.-Much intelligent
criticism with regard to the organization of instruction is now
being offered by pupils and laymen as well as by professional
workers in the field of education. Each of these groups has come
to feel that something is wrong, that the kinds of educational ex-
perience which schools are now giving youth fail to meet the de-
mands of a complex, democratic society. The inadequacy of the
present curriculum is particularly acute at the secondary school level.
Responsibility for attacking the problem should, in a democracy,
quite logically fall upon all the groups concerned-upon teachers,
pupils, administrators, and laymen. However, primary responsibility
for initiating intelligent change should ordinarily rest with the
educational leadership of the local system, the county system, and
the state. Principals and county superintendents, working co-
operatively with faculty members, pupils, and parents should develop
ways and means of attacking the problem which will most likely
prove effective in their own particular situation. Because there are
certain phases of curriculum reorganization which are likely to be
common to several situations, certain suggestions and procedures
are set forth in this chapter. It seems safe to assume that if Florida
school administrators feel the challenge of the important task of
redirecting and reorganizing instruction and are given suggestions
as to ways and means of beginning such a program, curriculum
revision in this state may become a continuing process, carried on
largely through local initiative and leadership.

Democracy in Curriculum Development.-So important is the
task of developing a curriculum that meets the needs of all of the
pupils of a school that it requires active cooperation of the entire


school staff. The principal should approach reorganization of the
school's program in a democratic way, for it is through contact
with the democratic process in action that teachers will best catch
the spirit and significance of the undertaking. Before beginning
curriculum reorganization, the principal should not feel, and the
faculty should not expect him to feel, that he must have the answers
to all the many questions that will arise. Indeed, solutions which
are arrived at tentatively through group decision and which are
modified through cooperative effort of the entire staff always func-
tion best. Such decisions carry with them the support of the larger
portion of the faculty and therefore are more likely to be put into
actual practice. Whole-hearted participation in making decisions
relative to change brings with it a degree of enthusiasm, under-
standing, and responsibility which is difficult to obtain in any
other way.
If the democratic principle is to be applied in its broader sense,
resources other than those of the local school system should be
utilized. Local groups need to share their findings with others and
to participate, through broad reading or direct social contact, in
the progress which is going on in other localities. Bulletins issued
by the State Department of Education, recent books on trends in
the school curriculum, educational magazines, and professional meet-
ings make distinct contributions where there is intelligent thinking
on the part of all persons concerned with reorganizing the present
program. This bulletin has been prepared to present considerations
basic to the improvement of instruction in Florida and to suggest
procedures which may be used by faculty groups to improve their
school. Included in the bulletin are comprehensive treatments of
phases of the school program. The bulletin itself may serve as a
basis for faculty discussion. For intensive study, it will be helpful
to supplement it with books selected from the bibliographies which
have been placed at the conclusion of certain chapters. Faculties
should make an effort to secure some of the books listed in the
bibliographies. The principal or county superintendent may easily
use this bulletin as a means of stimulating faculty participation and
growth through professional faculty meetings.

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