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suggesting the contest, while newspaper publicity would add much to the general interest.
Back of it all there must be one person planning, directing, and solving the difficulties of the work, guarding against any sudden agitation that would detract from the stability of the undertaking, and developing in the school and community a continuous and growing interest in the practice of thrift.
All For The Game
Long ago I quarreled with a playmate,—
I was all for galleries of painting;
She was for the chute and crazy stair.
She might go and chute her precious chute!
So, when now with Life I have a quarrel,
Galleries of art or crazy stair,—
Where she leads what matter, so I play?
JULIA MARY MARTIN.
Direct Moral Education: An Experiment
CARRIE BARDEN, DEPARTMENT OF THEMES, STATE TEACHERS COLLEGE, ST. CLOUD, MINN. SANDROME educators, I suppose, have always believed as
did Ruskin that "education does not mean teaching people what they do not know; it means teaching them to behave as they do not behave." But probably very many have thought that mere knowledge of subjects prescribed by the usual school curricula would make people behave as they do not behave; that that knowledge is the "Open, Sesame" to all power including that which is spiritual and moral; and hence that it is the purpose of the school to teach people what they do not know about all subjects under the sun except the one most important their own social conduct. More and more, however, notably in the last five or six years, schools are coming to regard knowledge as a mere by-product of the educational process, and to measure, or try to measure, their achievements in terms of character values. Schools are beginning to recognize that the prime function of education is to alter habits of conduct, to impart an interest in harmonious living, to develop the most perfect type of personality that it is possible to develop from each one of their school citizens.
To further this paramount aim of education, the best schools are taking every occasion and employing every available method and resource. More and more the organization of the school; its spirit; the teaching methods; all the activities of students, not only those of the usual curriculum subjects with their precious ethical material, but extra-class activities such as those of clubs and societies and athletics student directed, of assemblies student managed, of student government-all are being bent toward the one art that is of concern to everyone-the art of living. In a certain school a fifty-dollar annual prize to the best school citizen
brings definitely into students' consciousness, through its printed conditions, public opinion concerning such phases of morality as school service, co-operation, appropriate dressing, and evils of "knocking." In some schools, a steadily increasing number, I believe, distinct courses in moral instruction are given although a speaker in 1915 before the N. E. A. declared: "The best experience has proved that direct and formal instruction in morals either orally or by means of text books has been unsatisfactory." Of such instruction which has not been unsatisfactory I wish to speak.
The basis of the work was the $5,000 prize code of morals written by Professor Hutchins of Oberlin College. Five or ten minutes at the beginning of a fifty-minute period in a Primary Methods class of a teachers' college were given over four times a week to a discussion of the laws of this code. The discussion was entirely voluntary; no student was called upon. But it had been suggested by the teacher that the class bring in concrete illustrations of the various laws, drawing their examples from history, from literature, from business, from the child life about them, and from their own lives. It has been said again and again that the personality of the teacher is the basis of all moral education in school. How much the success of this little experiment was due to the eager interest of the teacher, to the fact that "her thoughts had reality and depth because they harmonized with the life which she had always lived," to the courage that has made her unafraid of ridicule, and unafraid to stand by her convictions though she has to stand alone, to her avoidance of anything like censoriousness, to her occasional use of religious sanctions, it would be hard to say. Certainly without the presence of some a least of these facts, the experiment would have been cheap. The teacher adopted this direct method of teaching morals because she had long been of the opinion that neglect almost always attended an indirect treatment. A few illustrations will suffice to show the character of the discussions and suggest their possible moral value.
The "law of duty" was under discussion. "The good American does his duty. The shirker or the willing idler lives upon
the labor of others and thus makes the common life poorer and harder, and injures his country and her cause. I will try to find out what is my duty, what I ought to do, and will do it whether it is easy or hard. What I ought to do I can do." One girl's frank confession ran thus: "One evening at Minerva play practice Miss Hill asked all in cast to see her at three fifteen the following day on an important matter. The next day I neglected to go to the meeting. At the meeting Miss Hill read a list of the articles which each girl was to bring to a dress rehearsal to be held the same evening. Because I didn't know what to bring, one of the girls hurrying to Gymnasium volunteered to tell me. But the little time she spent in telling me so delayed her that she was late for 'Gym.' The instructor sent her for an excuse. When she finally obtained the excuse it was useless for her to return tɔ 'Gym.' Consequently she was forced to make up the work the next day, using a period that she usually spent upon her teaching preparation. Therefore, my neglecting to attend the meeting inconvenienced the girl greatly and may even have hurt the children whom she taught. My failure in duty made the common life a little harder and maybe a little poorer." There were cited many cases of failure to do one's share of committee work; of lack of consideration for others in the use of a library book needed by many; of inability to contribute to a great social-welfare movement, such as that concerned with the war-stricken children of Europe, because of the spending of money for movies most of which were at least of questionable value, and for extravagant clothes when plain ones would have served the wearer and the school community much better. And one conscientious student who had taught a rural school before coming to this teachers' college said regretfully: "A teacher whom I knew taught her pupils to think that the only things worth while were material things. Some of the pupils who had been brought up in the right way thought the teacher must know best and followed her ideas. Later when I, one of these pupils, became a teacher I taught what I had learned from her. Because I didn't find out what was my duty in this matter, many children were hurt for all time." One
student asked the class what could be done to help bring to a realization of the harm she was doing herself the girl-a type that exists in every school-who hurries around the last minute before class time gathering a speck of the lesson from each of several persons. The discussion brought out not only that one should refuse to give the desired information to such a person and frankly tell her that the refusal was a kindness to her, but also that the group should lose no opportunity to bring out in the presence of the offender, in as kindly a way as possible, the harmfulness of her conduct. Severe group discipline of a recalcitrant member but no doubt merited discipline! Perhaps it needs to be recalled that these were student discussions and student decisions made with only a word now and then from the teacher.
As to the extent that these ideas and ideals of duty are operative in the conduct of these students in other social situations very few data are available. It has, however, been observed that students in this course in which direct moral training is given are seen, a little oftener than is the average student, to return early to the library a book needed by many, to generously offer a muchsought book or magazine to someone not fortunate enough to have obtained the use of it, and to study during some recreation hour that this courtesy may be extended; that these students are a little more prompt in committee work and a little more willing to do the inconspicuous or unpleasant part; that they are a little more likely to leave the blackboards clean for the next workers, even returning sometimes from another floor or another building to do this neglected or forgotten duty.
It is surely good for prospective teachers, as students in this course are, to have explicitly brought before them the “law of good workmanship," another of the laws of Professor Hutchins' code, a part of which is the ideal, not of beating others—an ideal still much too common in schools as elsewhere-but the ideal of beating one's own record; not competition with others but competition with oneself. "We want school life," says Henry Neumann of the Ethical Culture School of New York City, "to be organized around the idea not that each student is to do his utmost