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Plans for Organizing School Surveys (Classic Reprint)

Plans for Organizing School Surveys (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Plans for Organizing School Surveys

Education is no longer the simple process that it once was. From haphazard imitation a progressive step was made long ago toward conscious effort to teach in a systematic way. Ultimately this tendency crystallized among the favored classes into the practice of having a single individual teach a single child one subject at a time. From the demand that a single child be taught a single subject by a single individual we have progressed to the point where children in large groups must be taught, not simply a single subject, but the three R's, and not simply the three R's, but many additional subjects also. Modern education, too, is no longer limited to the intellectual field, but extends into the physical and the moral as well. Besides all this, the present-day school system is called upon to educate, not simply the children of from six to fourteen years of age, as formerly, but kindergarten children, youths, and adults, also. Moreover, these kindergarten children, youths, and adults are to be trained, not simply that they may make a better living for themselves and that they may also serve in the maintenance of the best that has been experienced thus far by the race, but, further, that they may make actual contributions to the knowledge that the race already possesses. With this increase in the scope of the things to be taught, in the variety of individuals to be taught, and in the purposes behind the teaching, the element of complexity has developed to such an extent that thorough organization has become essential. Devices are needed to aid the mind in grasping the situation, and in focusing the attention of educators on individual parts of the school system while they at the same time carry in mind the idea of the whole.

So rapidly has this complexity been forced upon us that we sometimes feel lost in the maze of it and realize the inadequacy of the organization that has been thus far developed to meet it. The need of a careful examination of our product to see whether it meets expectations or not continually forces itself upon our attention. A further problem is at present formulating itself, and that is the desirability of an examination to determine, whether we are teaching the things actually needed by pupils in the public schools.

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