« ElőzőTovább »
• Thinkince has made to give
Trace back even a little way the efforts of valiant leaders to bless all people with free education, the march of the pioneer across a bewildering continent, the devotion of the scientist pressing through dark problems to the light of knowledge, the blood-stained toil of laborers in mines and tunnels to make our progress swift, our lives secure, the fathers' struggle to give their children bread. Every advance has meant courage, sacrifice, coöperation. Thinking of these things, our gratitude rises with outstretched hands claiming the right of service.
2. Reading and story-telling. Many teachers will like to associate the course in citizenship with reading, literature, and story-telling. In our extracts and references throughout this course we mean to use literature that is beautiful, moving, and of lasting value. Tolstoy's story, “Where Love is God is,” to take one instance, illustrates with rare vividness the blessings of kindness to our neighbors. Such stories may be used with great advantage as reading-lessons.
All children love stories. We can use, for example, when teaching "obedience," the delightful story of “Raggylug,” in Ernest Seton Thompson's Wild Animals I Have Known, and every child in the class will drink it in, moral and all. A moral alone is sharp and bitter as salt without soup, but a moral shaken and stirred into a genuinely good story adds flavor that the child himself appreciates.
3. Dramatization. This plan can be of assistance in pageants, in plays, and in the celebration of anniversaries, birthdays of great men, and special occasions. Pictures, too, and, where available, the educational pictures of the biograph illustrating historical events and
d approped by Washingt
various forms of social service, can be used to make the lessons more vivid.
4. History and geography. The connection of this outline with history and geography will be clear when we glance at the plan from Grade V to Grade VIII. When the class is studying colonial history the heroic virtues of the early settlers will add appropriate stories. The subject of courage can be illustrated by the story of Daniel Boone, and that of self-control by Washington's conduct after the disastrous defeat of St. Clair. Geography will be well remembered if it is lighted up by a study of racial characteristics and of national flags and songs.
5. Civics and citizenship. Throughout our course the accent on good citizenship is marked. In Grades IV and VI especially the outline will lend itself to lessons in citizenship, but the subject is never lost sight of and we believe that the material in definition and support of good citizenship will be a help to every teacher. Our nation cannot afford to have indifferent, ignorant, prejudiced, or corrupt citizens. The inspiration of teaching leaps out of the hope of fanning a great flame of patriotism that shall burn all corruption from politics. Every child in our nation belongs in the teacher's care. If she can instill and inflame in him love and loyalty to his ties, she will have rescued and redeemed the nation.
6. Ethical training. Some schools already have definite periods for moral lessons. To them this outline offers a progressive course and many concrete illustrations. Our plan has a single center, the increase of sympathy and good will from year to year. There are no "don'ts” in the foreground; it is positive and not negative, and above all, it dwells not on the self-conscious idea of virtue for its own sake, but on such loyalty to our actual ties as shall demand every inch of virtue we can acquire.
All good ethical teaching will inevitably reach across from school to home and from home to school. The teacher aims to make the children more helpful, more sympathetic, more obedient at home as well as at school. Her lessons on hygiene and cleanliness should make the daily care of children easier for the parents; her constant exemplification of the spirit of helpfulness suggests to children what they can do to help at home. Our course aims directly to make vivid to children the value of their own homes, and to help them see their homes as part of the working community. In carrying out the plan of this course, parents and teachers can join, the parents following at home and encouraging by home reading the development of good will, which the teacher is strengthening at school.
Unless ethical instruction passes into ethical action, it is worse than useless. Therefore, this course has been planned to give opportunities both for action and training in grasping the principles of right-doing. The spirit of good will grows by service. In every grade we suggest special forms of helpfulness suited to the age and opportunities of the children; -e.g., in Grade II ways of seryice to the old and feeble; in Grade III ways of service in helping the neighborhood. The older boys may well express their service through civic clubs and the younger boys and girls in Bands of Mercy. In every case the teaching must crystallize into habits of right action.
7. Incidental teaching. The use of this outline as an aid in teaching reading, history, geography, civics does not in the least preclude incidental teaching. Often the
very best occasions for instilling moral lessons come through some incident in school or in the neighborhood. The opportunities due to special events should always be used. We believe, however, that our book will suggest stories or acts that will help the teacher to make even more graphic and permanent the lessons of any special occasion.
A teacher may find it preferable to use the topics for each year in a different order from that we have assigned. The marking by months is meant to be suggestive only. The teacher may change the order of subjects, repeat any topic if it seems to her wise and take, if it is best, more or less than a single month on any topic. We do not think of our course as a narrow-gauge road along which every teacher must go, stopping at each station on schedule time. It is rather a series of beacon lights in a wide field, but with a definite goal to be attained at the end of the year.
Great ideals are invading our time. Welcomed or rejected in their weak and humble birth, the ideals of democracy and good will are yet destined to flower anew, blossoms in the twentieth century from a perennial vine. By imparting and by living in the spirit of citizenship every teacher becomes a branch of the great tree of democracy whose roots penetrate from land to land. In her teaching of the ideal of democracy and good will she expresses our perpetual gratitude to the world.
A COURSE IN CITIZENSHIP
BY MARY McSKIMMON
The one great theme for the year is Kindness. The ideal of kindness is to be woven into all the relations of the child and directed especially toward his home, his playmates, and that part of the animal world with which children come in contact. In this year the work will be successfully accomplished when the child's life finds its natural expression in activity controlled and beautified by kindness toward all who come within the circle of his little world.
Stories to be used in this grade Child's Book of Stories, Penrhyn W. Coussens. Duffield. For the Children's Hour, Caroline S. Bailey and Clara
M. Lewis. Milton Bradley Co. Mother Stories and More Mother Stories, Maud Lindsay.
Milton Bradley Co. How to Tell Stories to Children, Stories to Tell to Chil
dren, Best Stories to Tell to Children, Sara Cone Bryant.
Houghton Mifflin Co. All About Johnny Jones, Verhoeff. Milton Bradley Co. Old Deccan Days, Mary Frere. Joseph McDonough Co.