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Then there are much-needed lessons in this course to impress upon the youth who are to receive them the idea that we are not the only people in the world; that we should earnestly cultivate friendship and sympathy with other peoples, and that it is our duty to preserve peace and avoid war; these lessons will also arouse the proper aspiration for a settlement of international disputes by peaceable methods.
Running through the book is a correct appreciation of the great benefits that we have received from past generations and of the importance of preserving them. The poems and stories have been selected with care, and are an earnest of the success with which the book can be used. Beginning with the municipal government and then dealing with the state and federal government, the lessons explain our complicated political system in a simple way. Of course, the interest of the child will first be most easily caught by object lessons in the functions that are daily performed before his eyes in all the multiform activities of a properly conducted municipal government; and, with this as a basis, the further explanation of his relation to the state and federal governments becomes a matter of easy ascent.
To the authors of the book, all who realize the capital importance of a proper preparation of the coming generation for useful citizenship should feel a debt.
WILLIAM H. TAFT. NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT.
TO THE TEACHER
THE NEED OF A COURSE IN CITIZENSHIP Who am I? Where am I going? Who is my neighbor? What ought I to do? Every child sooner or later meets these questions along his path and on his answers hang the issues of his life. To anticipate the direction of the unique life of each child, and to go with him hand in hand a little way - this is the hope of parents and teachers. They must not only be ready with living answers to his questions when they are asked; they must through every year prepare the way for both question and answer by an attitude of expectation. A teacher does not say to her pupil, “You are the child of your parents. They have done much for you. How can you repay it?” but she herself never forgets the need of instilling loyalty and devotion to the family. Quietly and persistently she drops seeds of appreciation, and in daily ways of suggested service she tends and waters in every child the opening leaves of good will.
“For we are members, one of another," that is her constant creed for herself and her class. “With good will doing service,” that is the spirit of her daily lessons. The greatest gift from teacher to pupil is an enlarging and enduring standard in his relation to work, play, family, friends, citizenship. Even at six years a child is old enough to feel that he is a member of the school and of his home, and is eager to serve them both in minute but precious ways. Year by year his world widens and he is ready to accept new ties as his own. Throw a peb
ble into a stream. From a small center the ever-widening circles radiate till they reach the most distant shore. So loyalty to the simplest ties may enlarge circle by circle in the stream of a child's growing life till it reaches the shore of good will among all men.
PLAN OF THE COURSE Our theme is, therefore, that of citizenship governed by good will and expressed in service. We begin in Grade I with the Home as a center. Through the year by story and poem and above all by definite suggestions for helpfulness, the teacher will strengthen the children's devotion to their family. In Grade II the School and Playground are taken up. Both are of absorbing interest to little children and in both they need to see meanings and opportunities greater than they have appreciated. Already in very concrete ways they can be shown how significant in our towns are the public schools, how much thought and money are spent for them, how year by year the schools point onward to new opportunities. In Grade III the children will be ready to take pleasure in recognizing and beginning to help the neighborhood that bounds their little world. The parable of the Good Samaritan told at the beginning of the year gives the keynote for neighborliness.
In these first grades the spirit of helpfulness and good will is suggested through stories, poems, and deeds of kindness rather than by direct teaching about home, school, or neighborhood. In the fourth grade boys and girls can begin to know what a town or city stands for and to see as parts of a whole its different departments: fire, police, health, charity, street, school, and government. The age of hunger for fact has arrived. We can
take advantage of it and develop responsibility in respect to laws and officials.
In Grade V we reach out to the nation as a whole. In every instance we try to relate the historical struggles and achievements with the struggles and achievements of everyday life. When our subject is the heroic virtue of pioneers, we not only give examples from the brave deeds of early settlers, but show how every one of us is called on to be a pioneer in new courage, in advanced and difficult standards of honor, in self-forgetting loyalty.
Grade VI is also given to patriotism because this is the central duty of citizenship. Without our homes and our country we are but strangers on the earth. Until we love our country warmly and intelligently we are not fit to leave the public schools. The need of our time is, in Professor James's stirring words, "to inflame the civic temper.” We can do it only by giving to the youth of our land clear, concrete, intimate knowledge of his country's history and by calling on him for his uttermost service. Grade VI accents American ideals: honesty, sympathy, courtesy, industry, courage, self-control, reverence, a sacred regard for the truth.
In Grade VII we show how the life of our nation, from its beginning to the present day, has been closely interrelated with the great world movements. This study will point out to the pupil that even the most distant countries are closely linked to ours. We show also that a citizen of the United States, the melting-pot of the nations, has peculiar obligations in strengthening the ties of human brotherhood; that our national ideals can be realized only if we do our share in promoting the spirit of good will.
In Grade VIII we point out each nation's contribution to the world's work; the acts of friendship, justice, and honor among nations which have drawn them together; and the remarkable growth of agencies such as international conferences, treaties, and the Hague Court of Arbitration, which are making the world one great family. We show the necessity for coöperation on the part of each and all. The course ends with suggestions as to how each one of us can link his individual life to the life of the whole through good will and active service.
RELATION TO THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM This material can be used in many ways. We will suggest a few.
1. Morning exercises and talks. Probably the most frequent use of this course in citizenship will be in the morning exercises. In the stories, suggestions for talks, and the bibliography, every teacher will find treasures. Morning exercises may drop into drowsy routine; they may be significant events in a school. This course gives an opportunity to use them for consecutive and definite ends. Can we not, day by day and year by year, deepen a child's conception of his family, his city, and his nation - his human ties? Citizenship is a cold word on lips ignorant of the fire at its heart, a dim word to eyes half closed. But follow the path of devoted citizens and patriots. Watch Clara Barton leaving home and friends to plunge gladly into hardship and horror in the flooded Ohio Valley; look at Lazeer gently and resolutely laying down his life in Cuba that yellow fever may be conquered forever. Patriotism is a word of perilous beauty.