Imatges de pàgina

keep up the articulation of the school because he has a compelling interest with the colleges and universities, and in it. also to keep the student from coming Running the school and the classes short of the mastery of living because on a democratic plan inevitably leads of lack of understanding of the formal to a desire to study civics and politics. education of the past and present, are In these ways the student comes to get, only a part of the instruments of edu- as a means to an end, what in the ordication at Moraine Park. Training in nary school is the end of his work. He business and in citizenship are granted follows his interests. He acquires with as much importance and as much time feverish enthusiasm the things that as the formal studies; and beneath all he might otherwise rebel against. The three is the ever-considered basic oc- idea is, not to lay a course of education cupation of being physically well and before a boy and tell him to swallow strong.

it, nolens volens, but to lead him along II

to a point where he demands it. He

works out his own education. The The method of the school varies in teacher stays in the background as detail from day to day, from year to friend and adviser. He does not do all year, from class to class and pupil to the swimming himself, but gets the boy pupil, but, in general, it seeks always to come into the pool with him. Educato blend studies and life, mental and tion flows from the irresistible impulmoral drill, with business and citizen- sion of his own activities until it ship. So far as practicable, all things becomes his life. are learned or acquired by doing. Citi- So wide are the boundaries within zenship is mastered by making the which the girls and boys may follow the school democratically self-governing, needle of their own inclinations that even to the conducting of the classes, if, as sometimes happens, a class votes wherein one of the class presides and to pursue a study in the conventional does the paper work,' leaving the manner of study, recitations, and exteacher free to be one of the bunch' aminations, it has its way; for the old The studies are absorbed by utilizing way is held to be as good as any for them. This utilization may be through those who like it. This does not often the ‘projects' or through the working occur. Usually the indirect route is the out of real-life problems. The book one followed. learning comes in as a tool in handling Take English, for example. Spelling the problem. Instead of leading a boy and grammar are merely incidental. up to a textbook on arithmetic, for The pupils read pretty much what they example, and giving him so many rules want to read, fix a minimum of achieveto learn and so many examples to do, ment, and choose their own themes. the textbook is arrived at by indirec- Eager to write or to understand, they tion. If a boy is going through all the perceive the necessity of knowing what phases of a duplication of earning is correct in composition and rhetoric. money, saving it, and building a home Spelling, grammar, and composition on the installment plan, he finds him- are now appealed to. Themes written self up against many real-life problems in the pursuance of any study or ocin mathematics and naturally wants cupation serve for the themes of the to know how to meet them. At this English class. A boy who was all for agstage he is eager for the study of math- riculture in his interests was utterly ematics. He takes up arithmetic now indifferent to literature. But to acquire the facts that appealed to him, he had and the financing must be earned. So

. to read various agricultural papers and the boys rent a plot of land and plant bulletins. Then he noticed that some popcorn, which they tend, harvest, and of these publications were easy to read sell. This involves many business acand had an appealing style, while others tivities and much business initiative. were obscure and dull. This observa- Incidentally they learn something of tion opened the door of English and agriculture, something of the popcorn literature to him. He desired to learn business, something of banking, somehow to write lucidly and interestingly thing of commercial correspondence. At himself.

each stage of the progress of the project The learners of the arts of life can go they have to do something that is done as slowly or as rapidly as their abilities in everyday life

in everyday life — and their natural and energies determine. They receive prompting is to find out how to do it in credits, not on the basis of so many the best way. They are turned to comhours a week or on mere memory ex- position, to arithmetic, to typewriting, aminations and formal recitations, but to bookkeeping. The mechanical and rather on what they have mastered as scientific by-paths are many and obvishown by inquiry, ability-testing exam- ous. The air-ship boys were unfortuinations, and observation. As the child nate enough to purchase an engine that progresses, he is informally appraised was not satisfactory: In trying to unfrom time to time, and fundamentally load it, they fell into a commercial surveyed and checked up at long inter- temptation. They bethought themselves vals. Many children are notoriously to offer it to the school bank, which is slow in grasping particular drill stud- the project of another group, as collat

for example, mathematics. For eral for a loan, leave the loan unpaid, them there are no despairing moments and let the bank take possession of the of agonizing tests and torturing exam- worthless engine. At this point they inations at Moraine. The mastery of learned something of business ethics mathematics being but one seventh and morals. of the mastery of thought-expressing,' The bank project, besides being one the child to whom numbers come but means of the mastery of the arts of life slowly has abundant opportunity to for its shareholders and officers, is imcompensate his pride and defend him- portant in the financing of the other self from mortification. Left to his own projects, as well as a convenience to the evolution in ample time, he generally students in general, and an open door to finds himself sufficiently informed, even banking practice. It has about a hunin the most backward studies, to master dred accounts and its deposits amount minimum requirements before the day to one thousand dollars. It makes loans comes for him to be graduated.

at current interest rates, and on notes The so-called projects are related to supported by collateral or good indorseall the ten occupations. They are real- ments. life enterprises, in the development of The projects number more than a which the child finds understanding of hundred. Usually they are of a moneythe arts of life. One group of boys has earning or money-absorbing nature, a project for building an air-plane-a but they are sometimes purely research natural enterprise in an aeronautical or educational, and may be within the centre like Dayton. This project has its school's purview or outside it. Among mechanical, scientific, and business as- them are a school drug-store; a printpects. First, of all, it must be financed; ing-shop; a newspaper; managing the

ies, as,

school library; toy-manufacturing; a paths of their own interests and inclinalunch-room; a law firm to look after tions through the studies and activities the legal contacts and court trials that that give the mastery of the arts of life. arise under the self-established govern- They are driven on by the impulsions ment and from the conflicts of projects; born of what they do. In a large sense a brokerage company; a second-hand they'run' themselves and the school. store on pawnshop lines; a towel-supply Thus they come to the final goal of the service; a lost-and-found office; getting twelfth grade, – though grades are but out the school catalogue (which is al- shadowy things in this school, which most entirely performed by the stu- flows steadily rather than advances by dents); camera shop; serving as secre- steps, — only partly by virtue of the taries to the director and instructors; book-learning that is revealed by set advertising production for school an- examinations, but as men progress in nouncements and business projects; daily life; and they show their progress an insurance company, which protects by their deeds rather than by accounts against various losses, including broken of what they have memorized. panes in the greenhouse that still shel- The pupils are divided into four ters the larger part of the school; an groups, with a normal allocation of advertising company; a bookstore; a four years to the first or primary group, transfer company; a construction com- two years to the second, three years to pany; and so on.

the third, and three years to the fourth. What with the handling of the many To each group are assigned certain and diverse projects, and the work of standards, the attainment of which inthe details' that perform the school dicates eligibility for the next higher chores, – such as janitoring, – the ,

group. The standards are not arbiinternal business administration of the trary, but are used as goals, and are school, and some of its external rela- subject to change. Just now, for examtions, are largely carried on by the ple, the child is ready to emerge from pupils. There are, of course, various the first group when (1) he has made clubs, and sports and play are as much definite progress in physical developa part of the daily programme as classes ment toward the norm for his age, acand 'projects.'

cording to standard tables; (2) when

he has attained satisfactory standing in III

at least seven of the personal traits of The very fact that the school began self-control, thrift, perseverance, trustin a disused greenhouse and without worthiness, obedience, truthfulness, a

, much physical equipment opened the helpfulness, generosity, courage, initiaway for many projects and leaves it still tive, self-reliance; (3) when he shows open. There were, and are, many alter- by mental tests that his intelligence is ations to be made. The boys plan within two years of the normal for his changes in their environment, and actual age; and (4) when he has reached carry them out with saw and hammer, a full fourth-grade standard in the plane and paint-brush. Subject to the drill subjects,' namely, reading, spell

', advice and counsel of the instructors, ing, numbers, and writing. they make their way through school To complete the work of the second much as they will have to make it group, the requisite normal physical when the designated school years are progress must be in evidence; there must over. They educate themselves. With- have been satisfactory advancement in in spacious bounds they follow the the personal traits; there must be a wellestablished purpose to support the right tional. It is the hope of the founders and oppose the wrong'; there must and director to persuade colleges and be an intelligence within two years of universities to accept Moraine graduthat indicated as normal for the child's ates on the school's recommendation, actual age, and the attainment of a full confidence being felt that they will full sixth-grade proficiency in the drill more than make good. Already Michisubjects.

gan, Ohio State, and some other univerTo pass through the third group the sities and colleges have agreed to accept pupil must keep his physique up to the Moraine boys for the full valuation the age-standard, pass mental tests indica- school accords to them. A number of ting an intelligence within two years boys, by their college records, have jusof that for his age, and have a standing tified the school's confidence in them of 'good' in at least seven of the nine and in itself. 'occupations' that are based on the Moraine is as adaptable and reasonprimal occupation of body-building or able in its own entrance-requirements health-preserving; and must have com- as it would have the colleges in theirs. pleted, with a grade of 'good,' at least By means of an application blank, ten of the twelve units of the drill-sub- which is an elaborate questionnaire, it ject work of this group- a unit being gets a survey of the applicant's life, a year's work.

character, disposition, attainments, perTo complete the fourth group (end of formance, inclinations, and health. twelve years of work), the physical The parent, not the child, fills out and standard must be satisfied, the intelli- signs this blank. The last two quesgence test must be passed, all the nine tions remind him sharply of the educaoccupations' must be mastered to the tional creed he subscribes to in sending extent of 'good,' and, finally, credit his child to Moraine. They are: gained for twelve units of conventional Do you believe that self-discipline studies of this group, and a total sixteen is the kind for children to acquire, units, including those of the last year rather than that they be trained by of the third group. These units are force of the will of adults?' chosen so that they'equip for entrance Do you believe that books, classes, to college or for a life occupation.' materials, are of secondary importance

In reviewing these progress-require- to fundamental attitudes and qualities ments, it will be observed that in each in education?' group there are three fields of appraisal

IV in addition to the conventional ones. Roughly, it might be said that at Mo- The pressure of Dayton boys and raine the work of the typical school girls to get into this school, lured by the counts only as one fourth of the pupil's glowing accounts of its fascinating adadvancement; and that statement pre- ventures in the book of life, soon scrapsents briefly the difference between this ped the original scheme of a private school and the familiar ones. Were it school for a dozen or so sons of the not for the fact that Moraine must creators. The latter are all democratic adapt itself to the general educational Americans, and they abhor exclusivescheme, in order to equip its graduates ness. They had no intention of estabfor college entrance examinations and lishing a school that should seek patronto enable them to produce the accepted age, but were merely trying to find a symbols of education, it would doubt- better way of educating their children less give still less weight to the conven- not to set them apart from other


children. Within limits, a larger num- Park is out in the country, though but ber of pupils would contribute to the a few miles from Dayton, so that the realization of their ideas, as it would older children have the advantage of create a community, and establish op- passing all their school-work and playportunity for contacts and the practice hours in the midst of fields and forests, of the 'occupations' that would be im- though their homes are in the city. So possible in a small group. Moreover, a far, Moraine is entirely a school for larger school would afford a desirable Dayton, there being no accomodations demonstration of the applicability of for children who do not live with their the conception to the public schools. families. The long waiting-list makes By a weighted scale of tuition, whereby it doubtful whether Moraine will ever wealthy parents pay more than those grow away from Dayton. Its spirit will less fortunate, it has become possible to doubtless go to other cities in like keep the school from becoming a mere schools to be. congregation of rich men's sons. As the The admirers of the conventional school is a self-governing democracy, school will decry Moraine Park as one

the citizens' have a voice in the matter more of many pedagogical fads and eduof admissions. Newcomers are accepted cational experiments, and practical'

' on probation while the community gets men will brand it as a doomed child of a chance to give them the ‘once over.' theory. Yet it is entirely the creation No snobs or mere sons of their fathers of practical men -- self-made men can get by that searching scrutiny, who desired a thoroughly practical although hasty judgments are often school for their boys. When, some ten revised after taking counsel with the years ago, Colonel E. A. Deeds and Mr. instructors.

C. F. Kettering, men whose names are The democratic spirit of the school is of much import in the American autofurther promoted by the comradeship motive industries, and others, were deof instructors and pupils. The for- veloping one of the products of their mer have no pride of position. They genius, two boys, imitating their fathare of, for, and by the boys. They ers, developed a waste-paper basket, stand on no dignity of authority. The and manufactured and marketed it boys address them as familiarly as they with such success, that, though they do each other, and they maintain their were but seven or eight years old, they leadership solely by virtue of their en- made a thousand dollars. This venture gaging personalities and their success in being wound up, one of the boys took helping the boys to explore zestfully up poultry-raising and made a correthe realm of education. The teacher sponding success of it. The fathers, perwho requires the support of authority ceiving that the boys had developed cannot remain at Moraine Park.

strong commercial, engineering, and inThe expansion of the school, now but dustrial tendencies, and were educating three years old, has compelled an en- themselves in the 'getting-on' side of largement of its housing. A beautiful life, so indispensable to happiness in home not a schoolhouse — has been this age, bethought themselves whether erected in Dayton proper for the ac- it was possible to send the boys on commodation of the little tots, a cottage through school and college, and give

a for the older girls has been erected at them the rest of the equipment of a the Park, and soon the boys will have well-balanced man of culture, without a new building there; but the green- checking or perverting their spontanehouse will not be forsaken. Moraine ous tendencies to learn for themselves.


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