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America first" for years that has been a popular advertisement, and to whom can this properly apply if not to teachers, who have all those children to train up to love their country? Who else should more properly know America? The teachers should be given special privileges, special honor, because they are teachers. That is what I think.
I do not know, of course, to what degree we shall succeed in a new plan that we have of granting honors in service to former students in the New Hampshire Normal School. This, we believe, will be an encouragement to former graduates of the Normal School to do constructive work. This service may be along several lines health promotion, enjoyment of music by pupil and community, inducing in pupils a desire for higher education in high school or normal school; co-operation among teachers, teachers helping each other to professional growth and efficiency and benefit to the community; campfire girls, boy scouts, promotion of economic efficiency; legitimate means of making, saving, and spending money. Having selected their line of service, teachers should be assisted in every possible way in preparation for their work. Once every six weeks they should send in reports of what they have accomplished. After the examination of these reports, criticisms and suggestions will be sent to each teacher. If possible, a monthly bulletin will be sent containing valuable suggestions. Any teacher working for honors in the service may secure a teacher and helper. At the end of the year the teacher shall present a thesis dealing with the possibilities of service in the chosen line, mentioning successes, failures, and mistakes. This shall be certified by the school superintendent, after a thorough examination by him, as being a correct statement of the work done and results attained. To each teacher complying with the requirements who at the end of the year receives a grading not lower than C, and whose reports and thesis give evidence of constructive work and original accomplishment, the Normal School will grant a certificate of honor in service. A list of honor teachers shall be sent by the Normal School to the Commissioner of Education and to all school superintendents as soon as possible after the awarding of honors, and the lists furnished will specify the lines of service.
In view of the special contents of this number of EDUCATION, the Editor asked the Bureau of Education at Washington for latest statistics showing the relative number of pupils in the rural districts of the United States, as compared with the number in the city schools. The reply is as follows:
Enrollment in rural schools (including towns of less
These statistics enhance the value of such gatherings as the Worcester Convention for the discussion of rural school problems. the rural districts will come the greater number of the leaders in business, statesmanship, the professions, and the rank and file of productive citizens of tomorrow. The opportunity and the responsibility of the rural school teachers are unsurpassed.
The old-style College Entrance Examination,-and the same kind of test wherever used, has received "a black eye." To cite one authority only, among many, Dean Herbert E. Hawkes (as cited in The National School Digest) has condemned the system as wholly misleading because entirely inaccurate. He proves that the marking of a paper by different instructors in the same department, or by a given instructor under varying conditions of temper, digestion, and other physical situations, varies in accordance with these varying influences.
"In one test a final examination paper in first year high school English was graded by 142 teachers in 142 high schools. The paper was marked all the way from 64 to 98 per cent. Another paper of the same kind, rated by the same 142 teachers, was graded from 50 to 98 per cent. A paper in American history, graded by seventy history teachers, received marks ranging from 43 to 90. A geometry paper, scored by 114 mathematics teachers, was marked as low as 28 and as high as 92."
Yet, by such examinations, for centuries, students have been admitted to college or rejected. Many a man who was rejected has afterwards made good in business, in politics, in statesmanship, and even in letters and in the various learned professions. And, alas, many another has become discouraged and has drifted through life in indolence and unproductiveness, or has gone down, down, down, into poverty and crime and become a public charge and a public nui
sance. We know of no educational subject that should be studied and investigated more carefully and profoundly than this one. Yet it has mostly been left in the past to circumstances, including the temporary or permanent disposition and physical and mental and nervous vagaries of the teacher or professor who conducted the given examination, and whose markings would decide the scholastic fate of his pupils.
We believe that the plan of modern psychological tests is a vast improvement upon the old haphazard method of examinations, oral or written. But even so, this method also has its dangers, against which all parties should carefully guard, lest injustice be done and careers wrecked. We cannot believe that a single test of any kind should decide so important a matter as entrance to college, for instance. For physical conditions, mental conditions, nervousness, and a variety of other things may put any person into a state of mind and body, temporarily, which would make him unable to react to a given requirement or questionnaire, though the next day, under different conditions, he might record a perfect reaction to the same tests. Here is the danger of examinations of any and every kind,-a danger which should be recognized and carefully guarded against. The effect of a psychological test upon those who score high would, of course, be most excellent in stimulating ambition and developing self-confidence for further achievement. What we are pleading for is "the other fellow." His tendency will be to become discouraged and to drop out, if he is labeled second class, third class, or defective. Give him sympathy. Give him several chances Study him from different angles. Give him time,-before classifying him, before separating him from his comrades and from courses and from incentives which may bring out shortly the evidence that he, too, is inherently able to make good.
"The steady increase in extra-curriculum activities in our colleges is believed to be largely responsible for the much discussed decline in our standards of scientific education. It is believed also that the abnormal development of commercialized inter-collegiate athletics is the greatest obstacle to our efforts to restrict such activities to sane and reasonable limits. Our standards cannot be materially improved until the colleges divorce themselves from commercialized athletics, and this necessarily involves elimination of the high-salaried professional coach and correction of the existing disproportion in expenditures for athletics and for educational purposes. This is largely a responsibility for those outside the college, since the principal sup
porting influences for the present athletic system have been found in organized college alumni and business men. The athletic program now proposed for a number of educational institutions cannot be justified upon the basis of any real benefit to be derived by the mass of students from the present athletic system. The building of athletic stadia costing millions, while acute educational needs remain unsatisfied, is little less than a betrayal of the cause of education to commercialism. Neither scientific training nor scientific research can reach its highest development while our entire program for physical education concerns itself with an almost negligible minority of men and leaves the vast majority of students upon the bleachers."
So says E. G. Mahin, Professor of Chemistry, Purdue University.
The National Committee on Mathematical Requirements announces that its complete final report, "The Reorganization of Mathematics in Secondary Education," will be ready for distribution this month. Requests for free copies of this 500-page report may be sent to J. W. Young, chairman, Hanover, New Hampshire. Owing to the labor and expense involved, the receipt of applications for copies of the report is not in general being individually acknowledged. Applicants may rest assured, however, that their requests will be filled when the report is ready for distribution.
That a tourist's valuables are safer in Mexico than on Broadway, New York; that there are 2,000 miles of splendid automobile roads under construction there; that the rapid increase of schools, colleges and normals is fast doing away with illiteracy; and that "there is no reason why our relations with the sister republic to the south should not be as amicable as those with Canada, and the boundary as intangible," are some of the striking statements made at assembly by Dr. Henry Mace Payne of New York City, mining engineering expert, to students of the State College of Washington, Pullman, Wash.
In recognition of the work done for the children of Belgium in the year following the signing of the armistice, the Belgian Government has awarded a medal to the Junior American Red Cross, which has just been received and is now on display in the museum at Red Cross National Headquarters, Washington. The medal is in the form of a plaquette, which was designed by the sculptor, Rosseau, and was issued
by the Comité National during the war.
On the face of the plaquette,
in high relief, is the figure of a mother bringing her child to the doctor at a Consultation des Nourrissons, where she received medical advice and proper food. The Comité National was headed by Mr. Herbert Hoover, and the school canteens and other activities of the Junior Red Cross were carried on in cooperation with that committee. The work of its child section, Aide et Protection aux Oeuvres de l'Enfance, was recognized as being so essential to Belgium that the government made it an official organization, L'Oeuvre National de l'Enfance. This is the second medal to be awarded to the Junior American Red Cross by a foreign nation, the first being presented about a year ago by the Italian Government.
From one of our contemporary educational papers we clip the following, which seems to us to be excellent counsel for superintendents and school boards:
"Last year many schools were delayed and much inconvenience and annoyance suffered generally, because school buying of furniture and supplies was held off until the last minute. School boards realized that prices were declining, and, naturally, wished to get the full benefit of all declines prior to the opening of school. A "buyers' strike" was on. Jobbers could not foresee the avalanche of orders which came swooping down on them late in August and early in September. During the summer a light trade was indicated, consequently small stocks were carried. The heavy and sudden sweep of orders for immediate delivery in early fall quickly absorbed these small stocks and created an abnormal demand upon the manufacturer. Confusion, delays, and disappointments resulted. Schools criticised the supply houses, who, in turn, criticised the factories. The dissatisfaction was general, and in many cases developed into bitterness. Schools cannot hope to gain by holding off ordering until late suminer. On the contrary, orders placed early in the season are likely to secure lower prices than those placed later. In addition, early ordering for future shipment will promote prompt deliveries and general satisfaction. Goods will be more carefully selected, better packed and delivered on time, if the school boards will make up their lists of requirements and get their orders in not later than July."