Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/132

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places in the trees and shrubs. Forthwith practically every pupil in the school volunteered to make boxes for the nests. Whether the smaller children could make an entire box or not mattered but little; the strength of their want through a real sense of the need, coupled with the little they could do, added cubits to their moral stature.

A practical difficulty in the way of teaching children to realize their motives in some useful end, is that to many people it looks too much like common work; there are parents, therefore, who strenuously object. They say their children can get that at home, and that the school should stand for something else—for culture! This is a curious fact, in view of the glorification that labor is now receiving at the hands of the people. However, the large storekeepers do say that this great revival of enthusiasm for labor has not as yet appreciably increased the demand for overalls and jumpers. No one has reported, so far, that the cuts of these elegant and useful trappings of toil are appearing in the latest fashion plates of our high-class tailors. From this it may be inferred that with most people the labor question has not yet gone beyond the stage of academic discussion. Hence the difficulty of getting the pupils actually to work either in school or at home. Last year the children wished to have blooming plants in their school-room windows. They thought to improve matters by substituting for the unsightly pots the more beautiful creations of their own hands which they could easily make in the clay-room. Immediately a parent wrote that if our pupils could find nothing better to do than to make jardinières to beautify the University of Chicago he would take his son from the school—and he did! The kind of school which this type of parent really wants is one where his boy can insensibly acquire curvature of the spine, a sallow complexion, spectacles, and—culture! We have trade and technical schools that give education for the sake of labor; we must now have schools that give us labor for the sake of education.

To sum up, therefore, the resources of the school which the teacher may utilize in the development of a social organism we have on the part of the pupils (1) a natural spirit of helpfulness; (2) an inborn love of work; (3) a desire to take the initiative; (4) an ambition for creative work; and (5) an alertness of mind toward public" needs. Upon these foundation stones the social structure must be reared.

That these qualities of character may be normally developed, the curriculum must provide an abundance of suitable material; the class exercises must keep to the forefront matters of public interest and the entire organization must offer a maximum of freedom to the individual who thinks and works in the interest of the common welfare. Everyone recognizes these elements of character as being those which give us the highest type of citizenship in the community at large. It is inter-