Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/399

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395
AGRICULTURE IN THE HIGH SCHOOL

Lastly, there are the unequaled opportunities of a sociological or missionary nature which come oftenest to one possessing practical knowledge and which if taken advantage of make him truly altruistic. Hitherto the real if not the admitted purpose of education has been the good of the educated, however much society, as a whole, may have profited from its educated members. But it is coming more and more to be recognized that no feature of an educational system, supported at public expense and whose single aim is citizenship, can be defended that does not contribute directly to social efficiency.[1] Social efficiency includes all that may be appropriate to the most utilitarian phases of industrial education, but it includes a good deal more. Racial betterment must be the compelling motive. On the final test of social efficiency "he that is greatest among you shall be your servant."[2]

The evaluation of these hitherto unassumed school functions is, to him who insists that everything done in the school be assigned its proper "preparatory" value in credits of admission to higher institutions, the difficult end of the problem of the adjustment of agriculture to the course of study. The purpose of the high school is to undertake them and do them to the best of its ability, leaving it to the college and university to worry over their pedagogical classification and estimation.[3]

  1. Effort for the production of property is ethical, and the moment the child engages in it he places himself on the side of law and order in the community. "—Hodge, "Nature Study and Life," p. 30.
  2. "No matter how full a reservoir of maxims one may possess, and no matter how good one's sentiments may be, if one have not taken advantage of every concrete opportunity to act, one's character may remain entirely unaffected for the better. . . . A character is a completely fashioned will, and a will. . . is an aggregate of tendencies to act in a firm and prompt and definite way upon all the principal emergencies of life. . . . Every time a resolve or a fine glow of feeling evaporates without bearing practical fruit is worse than a chance lost; it works so as positively to hinder future resolutions and emotions from taking the normal path of discharge. There is no more contemptible type of human character than that of the nerveless sentimentalist and dreamer, who spends his life in a weltering sea of sensibility and emotion, but who never does a manly concrete deed."—James, "Psychology," Vol. I., p. 125.

    "Education must seek to develop social action. It can take no account of possible thought or feeling which exercises no influence upon one's behavior. . . . The school can not have for its leading principle the improvement of the individual as an isolated being."—'Shea, "Education as Adjustment," p. 95.

    "Education for culture alone tends to isolate the individual; education for sympathy with one's environment tends to make the individual an integral part of the activities and progress of his time."—Bailey, "The Nature-study Idea," p. 63.

  3. "The interests of higher education will be better served by such prescription of college entrance requirements, and such tests of preparation, as will do most to vitalize instruction in the secondary schools."—Brown, "The Making of Our Middle Schools," p. 443.