Living and Learning
.. in the School
BULLETIN NO. 56-A
DIVISION OF INSTRUCTION
STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
COLIN ENGLISH, Superintendent of Public Instruction
EDUCATION for good citizenship has, from the beginning, been
one of the major purposes of public schools. Through the years
the schools have attempted to help children understand the
values involved in the Amer-
ican way of living and ac-
quire the skills needed for
PW The schools of today, using
.. the knowledge acquired from
"of research in child development
S. .... and in the process of how
S human beings learn, are pur-
Ssuing this goal. This bulletin,
erl Living and Learning Democ-
racy in the School, sets forth
the varied means by which
the schools today help child-
ren develop the values and
skills necessary for living in
Courtesy Granger Studios Democracy has many defi-
nitions, but common to them all in America are these four prin-
ciples: belief in the worth of the individual, belief in the im-
provability of society and the responsibility of man for its con-
tinuous improvement, faith in the intelligence of man as a means
of improving society, faith in cooperative effort and in persuasion
rather than violence as ways of working.
Learning to apply these principles in everyday living is not
merely a matter of acquiring information. If it were, the learning
could be organized as so much subject matter to be mastered.
Instead, learning to apply the above principles is the product
of every experience the student undergoes. It is furthermore,
the product of all his living in home, church, and community,
as well as in school.
The daily living of the child must foster democratic skills.
Too often in the past the child's living has had an autocratic
setting. His activities were largely prescribed and dictated by
adults. Unquestioning obedience was the only skill the child
practiced. Yet the child must have opportunities under guidance
to advance to a higher type of obedience and to use initiative,
resourcefulness, self-control, responsibility, and cooperativeness
if he is to develop the characteristics needed for living in a
The following pages show how opportunities for practicing
democratic skills permeate the entire school day and how
children who undergo these experiences should emerge from
their school year well-grounded in the values of democracy
and skilled in its procedures.
Grateful acknowledgment is made to the many schools and
groups contributing pictures for this bulletin. Appreciation is
also extended to Mrs. Dora Skipper who gave encouragement
to the entire undertaking, to Miss Mildred Swearingen of the
Division of Instruction staff who assumed major responsibility
for organizing the bulletin, to Howard Jay Friedman for his
valuable assistance in the arranging of materials, and to other
members of the Department who reviewed the manuscript.
o, ur t.esy of P ". Cn Schol
Courtesy of Palm Beach County Schools
"We learn what we live day by day."
How DO CHILDREN learn attitudes? From what they ex-
perience day by day. They will learn such attitudes and
values as fairness, respect for others, self-reliance, per-
sistence, initiative, willingness to suspend judgment until
evidence is secured, and cooperativeness out of their
own responses in daily activities. Rules, exhortations to
good conduct, and the dramatic example of heroes of
literature and history play a small though sometimes
significant part in formation of attitudes: significant be-
cause they help shape our ideas of what others expect
of us and therefore what we expect of ourselves; small
because ideals, at best, are only one factor in a situation
demanding action. The child learns most vividly from
what he does. Therefore the activities of the entire school
day-language arts, mathematics, science, social studies,
health and physical education, art, music, particularly
the way the classes are organized for work, the devo-
tional and assembly periods-are the rich source for
effective formation of attitudes.
To the Colors
Courtesy of Indian River County Schools
Schools display the flag .
SCHOOLS display the flag daily. They teach flag etiquette and make fre-
quent use of flag exercises. Ceremonies, such as a flag raising or the
pledge of allegiance to the flag, are of worth in the formation of attitudes
and values since they quicken sentiment toward group unity and help
the individual identify himself with the good of the group. Such cere-
monies also provide an opportunity for children to be articulate about
their loyalties and to express these loyalties publicly. Perhaps the greatest
value of all lies in the opportunity for growth of a sense of dedication
to the unfinished tasks of democracy and the further improvement of
"My country, 'tis of thee...
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Toward group unity and common loyalties . .
ASSEMBLY programs and devotional periods help pupils understand the
ideals of their country and develop bonds of common loyalties. Often
the community shares in these programs, thus increasing their effective-
ness as a means of binding diverse people together through common
experiences and common concerns. Patriotic songs are a part of most
programs, and the dramatic presentations, whether pageants, plays, or
skits, are centered about national holidays and special events, the birth-
days of state and national heroes, or current happenings in the national
or world scene. From Constitution Day in September to Flag Day in
June, each school month has its quota of historical events to be com-
memorated. The teacher-pupil planning and the hard work that go
into the preparation of these programs mean that students have oppor-
tunity to do cooperative planning and to develop initiative, resource-
fulness, persistence, and responsibility for carrying through a chosen task.
uourresy ol iarasora uounLy 6cnoots
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IZ nw .W
Courtesy oj Leon County Schools
Individual responsibility . .
LEARNING to assume and discharge responsibilities is of prime importance.
Through the use of the daily tasks of classroom living, children learn to
assume responsibility, either by choice or assignment of tasks, and to
carry through on a responsibility once accepted. They learn to take turns
in performing desired duties and to take turns also in doing the less
glamorous and more tedious tasks. The child feels secure with his class-
mates because he knows he is contributing to the group good. He learns
to respect the variety of efforts involved in group living; that is, he
comes to realize that different people make different contributions but
that all may be equally deserving of respect, a concept essential to
S"Our newspaper will be -
S ready on Tuesday."
Courtesy of Sarasota County Schools
Working together . .
LEARNING to work by committees is important in a democracy. A child
learns attitudes as well as skills in holding different roles in committee
work-as active member one time and as a secretary or chairman the
next. He learns necessary skills of participation and comes gradually to
the equally necessary realization that leadership is the product of the
demands of a situation, not a mysterious quality reserved to a few
persons "born to lead."
Courtesy of Florida Future Farmers
Skill in democratic procedures . .
DEVELOPING skill in the use of democratic procedures requires practice.
The opportunities for practice must be frequent and based in real sit-
uations. Participation in student councils, class organizations, and special
interest clubs gives boys and girls the chance to achieve poise and
facility in the use of such democratic techniques as leading a meeting,
contributing to a discussion, differing courteously with co-workers, ar-
riving at a plan of action agreeable to a group.
Practicing democracy through voting . .
PUPILS engage in voting on frequent occasions. They have opportunity
to learn both its principles and its procedures. They see voting as a
responsibility as well as a privilege. They learn that true voting is not
the casual expression of a momentary point of view but is rather the
expression of a carefully reasoned opinion based on the most complete
evidence available. Pupils also gain experience in cooperating whole-
heartedly after being on the losing side of an issue. Furthermore, they
learn that in a democracy the channels of communication are kept open
and that the minority group can try by persuasion and reasoning to win
enough others to its view to form a majority.
"We've agreed on these rules ..." .
Courtesy of Osceola County Schools
Rules have reasons . .
To MANY children laws are remote and arbitrary inventions of adults.
But a child who has participated repeatedly in making standards for
class work and in setting standards for conduct on a bus trip or on the
play ground discovers that rules have reasons behind them. Rules and
laws grow out of a social need when people live and work together.
Rules are intended to protect and expedite, not to hinder. Furthermore,
the student who has helped frame constitutions for schools and clubs
knows something of the orderly process by which laws are made and
amended. He knows that laws can be created or modified to meet the
changing needs recognized by a majority of voters. Such a person has
the basis for a real respect for law.
Courtesy of Pinellas County Schools
Good choices have good reasons . .
MAKING choices is a matter of reasons, too. It also involves responsibility
for carrying through on choices made. Freedom of choice is not the
same as license, whim, or caprice. Freedom to choose is an opportunity
to use one's own initiative and intelligence in meeting a problem. Choice
therefore demands information and reasoning. Choices always have con-
sequences. Pupils need to have opportunities to make choices, under
guidance, in order that they may learn to consider appropriate factors,
anticipate outcomes, and assume responsibility for the consequences of
A citizen keeps informed.
Systematic instruction for democracy . .
DEMOCRATIC attitudes and skills are the product of daily living in the
school. They are also the product of systematic instruction. Each subject
area makes a contribution. The major portion of the systematically
planned work comes in the field of social studies (history, geography,
civics) and in language arts (communication skills and literature).
American history is taught on a cycle plan at the fifth, eighth, and
eleventh grades so that as pupils mature in their abilities to understand
the significance of past events, they receive further instruction. Local
and state history are stressed in the third and fourth grades, American
geography in the fifth and seventh, civics in the ninth, and problems
of democracy in the twelfth.
Audio-visual materials, from flat pictures to films, are used as a part
of the planned work to make history and geography vivid. Current
events are discussed regularly, for citizens of a democracy have a re-
sponsibility to keep themselves informed.
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7 17 ;r . .
"When in the course of
counTesy 07 L eon county acniools
The story of America . .
TEXTBOOKS tell the story of America. Beginning with the fourth grade
(nine-year-old children are acquiring considerable skill in reading and
have lived long enough to develop a budding sense of time and distance),
textbooks are rich in material about our country-its history, its resources,
its people, and its problems. Titles themselves reveal the nature of the
content: Our Nation Begins, Our Nation Grows Up, The American Con-
tinents, Frontiers Old and New, Florida Through the Years, Makers of
America, United States in the Western World, America-Land of Free-
dom, Calling all Citizens, Government of Florida, Florida: Wealth or
Waste?, The Development of America, Challenges to American Youth,
Society Faces the Future, American Government.
Among the historical documents included in texts and given detailed
study are the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of
Florida, the Declaration of Independence, Washington's Farewell
"Listen, my children, and
you shall hear..."
--ay If A !CLLIC'tC SLU L LIIL OUI-Ia- L-
Living and learning democracy
through books . .
THROUGH wide reading, children extend still further their knowledge of
the American scene, both past and present. Biographical and historical
stories abound in library materials. Through well-written and well-
illustrated books children identify themselves with dramatic events of
the past and come to appreciate the feelings of people in all parts of
the world today. Famous stories such as The Courtship of Miles Standish,
The Promised Land, "America for Me", The Citizen, Message to Garcia,
The Ride of Paul Revere appeal to the present generation of students
as much as to the students of former years. Such stories form a common
literary and patriotic heritage which helps make us into one people.
"It was on this spot that. . "
4 14 I
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ii gC~9aL ~m.
Courtesy of Florida Park Service
Making history live . .
VISITING important sites makes history vivid. Pages of print come alive
when children actually see the spot described. They visualize the crisis
which was met at that place and identify themselves with the people
of that period. History ceases to be a series of fixed events enacted by
solemn elders. It becomes instead problem solving situations where
choice and human intelligence help determine outcomes. Cause and
effect relationships are recognized. Today's problems take on a new
perspective and pupils begin to see themselves as contributors to history.
They also begin to see democracy as an ideal to be achieved anew in
each generation, to be achieved progressively with man evolving better
and better solutions to more and more of his problems.
"Let's check that again ...
II II. :i-lll ..... ..
Problem-solving, a necessity
of democratic living . .
SKILL in problem-solving is needed by every citizen of a democracy. He
needs to be able to see problems as a challenge to human intelligence.
He must be able to analyze a problem, suspend judgment until evidence
is assembled, come to a trial conclusion, and test his conclusion for
accuracy. He must know the probable means and sources for obtaining
information and evidence.
Problem-solving is a part of many activities of the day, but the field
of science is rich in opportunities. As students seek to understand their
environment and man's effort to control it, they come face-to-face with
problems that matter in their own living.
... my own, my native land."
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Courtesy of Florida Future Farmers and Florida Forest Service
Wise resource-use, the work of every citizen . .
THE PERPETUATION and improvement of our way of life depend upon the
wise use, development and conservation of our human and natural
resources. Some resources, such as air and water, are inexhaustible but
most of our resources, such as soil and minerals are exhaustible. Some
resources, such as top soil and minerals are non-renewable but some,
such as timber, are renewable. All teaching and learning is related di-
rectly or indirectly to resources-use. Experience is indispensable in
understanding the relationship of living to resources and in developing
knowledge, desirable attitudes and habits with regard to all that sustains
life and gives it values. Wise resource-use is the responsibility of every
citizen in a democracy.
Courtesy of Pinellas County Schools
Teamwork and talent in the arts . .
THE ARTS offer boundless opportunities for cooperative effort. In both
music and the graphic arts the best effects are often achieved through
combined efforts of many persons. People can do in groups what none
of them can achieve as individuals.
At the same time the arts call for the highest development of individual
talents and skills. Individual differences are not only respected but prized
and encouraged. Our society can not afford to lose the talents now
latent and undeveloped in pupils. Every child needs the chance to dis-
cover his own potentialities, in many art media.
The heritage of great music and art is a part of our common culture
which helps make us one people.
Learning by playing . .
PHYSICAL education offers the young child a chance to learn the important
lessons of taking turns and of getting along with others. For the older
child it means opportunities for increasing self-control, for cooperative
effort, for teamwork, for good-natured rivalry with individual and group
opponents, for learning to abide by the rules of the game. Physical edu-
cation is a proving ground for such characteristics as cheerfulness, good
temper, endurance, initiative, and resourcefulness. It helps children enjoy
trying their skill against worthy opposition and valuing the process re-
gardless of who wins or loses.
"What do you suggest as
Sthe next step?"
A democratic school setting . .
THE VARIED activities of the day must have a democratic setting if pupils
are to learn from example as well as precept. The administration of the
school and faculty itself must be organized along democratic lines, with
opportunity for teacher initiative and cooperation. If the school world
is autocratic in its methods, youth can learn democracy only indirectly
as if teachers were saying, "Do as I say but not as I do." Children need
to know that school plans are evolved and problems settled daily not
through dictation and force but through the method of conference,
reason, and persuasion.
Courtesy of Dade County School
Citizens of One World . .
TODAY all the world is our neighbor. In this period of rapid travel and
communication languages and customs of other people are often a part
of children's experiences. Citizens of a democracy need to know how
other people live, feel, and think in order that we may all be good
neighbors. We must be able to look beyond surface differences in custom
to the common needs and aspirations of man.
Courtesy of Volusia County Schools
Sharing-freely, gladly . .
FROM the kindergarten through the twelfth grade, pupils learn to share
what they have with others. They participate whole-heartedly in civic
drives and campaigns such as Community Chest, March of Dimes, and
Christmas Seal Sale. They form local units of community, national and
world organizations such as Junior Red Cross and Scouts. From these
activities children learn the value of united effort, acquire facility in the
use of committee techniques, and have opportunity to develop individual
resourcefulness and initiative. They become thoroughly familiar with
the voluntary giving and voluntary organizing which are so characteristic
of the American way of living.
"The Lord is my Shepherd .. .
Courtesy of Leon County Schools
Spiritual values . .
ACQUIRING spiritual values is one of the fundamental needs of youth.
Florida is one of the states which provides for the daily reading of the
Bible in the schools, without sectarian comment. Students, who are of
many faiths, learn to respect one another's views and customs, learn to
seek the highest level of agreement and cooperate in action at that level.
They learn respect and reverence for spiritual matters and develop a com-
mon core of spiritual values-honesty, generosity, kindness, and faith
in the brotherhood of man.
The fourth R--
Photos Courtesy of-
Lee County Schools
Leon County Schools
Leon County Schools
Respect for individual differences-sixth graders all
Photos Courtesy of-
Brevard County Schools
Osceola County Schools
Dade County Schools
Living and Learning
at work... at play.
Photos Courtesy of Florida A. and M. College and St. Lucie County Schools
: -,' :.!t75r
in the School
Courtesy of Dade, Duval, Lee
Mananten and aranta Con RMhn qnl
and Florida Future Farmers
~' '"~_1"-' 'J~-~:
CONTINUITY OF INSTRUCTION IN DEMOCRATIC LIVING
REAL CONTINUITY of learning for an individual depends to a large extent
upon the kind and sequence of his own experiences. Yet, there is also a
degree of continuity that comes from the logical or systematic arrangement
of subject matter, which gives some direction to the sequence of a pupil's
The social studies program in Florida schools has a twelve year scope.
It emphasizes the persistent problems of men as they have sought freedom
and security through the years and stresses the responsibility of man for
the further improvement of society. A glance at the grade themes listed
below reveals the expanding environment approach to the study, from the
immediate home and school environment of the first grade child to the
problems of our democracy in a world setting at the twelfth grade level.
GRADE THEME IN SOCIAL STUDIES
I Living in Home and School-how members of the family help one
another; how members of the school take care of themselves and help
II Helping One Another in the Community-how different kinds of
workers contribute to neighborhood living, how to use and care for
the facilities furnished in home, school and neighborhood.
III Developing and Improving the Community-why the community
grew up here, how people lived then, what services provided in
the community are similar to and different from those of earlier
times, how we organize in groups to improve our community.
IV Living in Different Types of Communities-Now and in Earlier Times
-how people in different communities in Florida and the world make
the most of their human and natural resources, how people develop
different ways of living or similar ways, Florida History.
V Improving Life in Different Regions of the United States-how people
in different regions of the U. S. make the most of their human and
natural resources, how people in different communities cooperate
to meet individual and group needs, life in other countries in this
hemisphere, American History.
VI Developing Successful Ways of Living on a World Basis-how people
in different parts of the world utilize their human and natural re-
sources, how man has changed the conditions of his living through
science and invention.
VII Living and Working in the Western Hemisphere-understanding the
interaction of geographical factors with the ways men live; how the
people of the Western Hemisphere adapted themselves to and con-
trolled the natural resources of the continents and thereby developed
different ways of living.
VIII Ways of Living in the United States-historical aspects of how ways
of living have developed in the United States, a chronological and
comprehensive treatment of the history of our nation and how our
people have come to live and believe as they do.
IX Civics-an analysis of community life and the responsibilities of cit-
izens, with special emphasis on Florida government; understanding
the economic, political and social aspects of democracy.
X World Relationships-a background of world history against which
pupils can clarify their democratic faiths and see the relationships
of these faiths to the varying social conflicts and problems of our
XI American History-deepening and broadening understanding of
American ways of living and consideration of means for developing
better ways; comprehensive study of the roots of our national life.
XII Problems of Living in Our Democracy-a careful appraisal of living
in our democracy in order that pupils may actively participate in
our social life and institutions and work for their further improve-
ment; personal, community, Florida, regional, and national problems.
IN ADDITION to social studies, all other subject areas make a contribution
to instruction in democratic living. In most cases, the major concepts and
skills have their beginnings in the primary grades and are expanded and
defined in the succeeding years. The organization of the school and the
nature of the assembly programs also contribute to the continuity of
Language Arts Communication skills-listening, speaking, reading,
writing; facility in participation in group meetings.
Literature-stories of children in real life situations comparable to a
child's own experiences where desirable characteristics are shown
as plausible and attainable; children's classics having a historic
setting; development of a common literary heritage.
Science, Health, The method of reflective thinking-learning to seek
Safety evidence before coming to a conclusion, holding
opinions tentatively, testing conclusions.
Realization of the impact of scientific invention and discovery upon
ways of living. The fundamental nature of wise resource-use.
Individual responsibility for personal and community health and
Mathematics Skills-in our complex, interdependent society a per-
son has to become competent in number skills in
order to be a cooperating, working member.
Problem-solving-mathematical understandings contribute to solutions
of the problems of social and physical environment.
Content of problems-the actual content of practice problems helps
determine social information and attitudes.
Arts Common heritage-appreciation for the same or sim-
ilar music, at and crafts helps bind people to-
Group effort toward a common goal, as in a school chorus or the co-
operative planning and painting of a mural.
Development of individual talents for the enrichment of the society.
The arts as an approach to intercultural understanding.
Physical Education Skills for worthy use of leisure time.
Development of principles of group effort taking
turns and teamwork.
Development of attitudes of fair play, cooperation after friendly rivalry,
spirit of live and let live.
School and Class-
Democratic organization of the school-student ad-
visory councils, safety patrols, class officers.
Organization of instruction-committee work provides
practice in filling various roles as secretary, chairman, member;
achievement of poise and facility in democratic techniques as lead-
ing a meeting, contributing to a discussion, differing courteously.
Individual responsibility-skill in assuming and discharging responsi-
Devotional Period Building a background of common experiences which
and Assembly increases our common interests and concerns.
Programs Celebration of national holidays, birthdays of national
heroes, and national or world events, as: Constitu-
tion Day, Columbus Day, Armistice, Thanksgiving, birthdays of
Lee, Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson; Pan-American Week, United
Developing reverence, spiritual values, and group loyalties.
Courtesy of Manatee County Schools
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STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
COLIN ENGLISH, Superintendent
Bulletin 56 A December, 1948