Educational Writings

1917 The Elementary school journal  
Two years ago at the meeting of the Department of Superintendence Dr. Ayres called attention to the fact that school surveys are a part of a general movement which is resulting in careful scientific studies of all social conditions. These scientific studies of charity organizations, housing conditions, and other social matters, represent the laboratory side of the social sciences. It is easily possible to carry on an experiment in physics in the narrow compass of a physics laboratory, but an
more » ... eriment in social life requires the larger range of community organization which is presented by a city or a state. Something of the same lack of breadth has appeared in many of the educational discussions which were carried on prior to the beginning of the movement for school surveys. There were model schools and experimental schools which, in a limited way, tried out experiments in school organization, but it is the larger school system which brings to the surface all the problems of school organization and methods of instruction. The school survey as a part of the social survey movement is therefore an enlargement of theoretical education and of practical reform which is steadily making its way and is influencing both the science of education and practical educational procedure. Such a statement as this is reinforced by the reading of a pamphlet' issued by the Russell Sage Foundation. This pamphlet deals chiefly with the Springfield survey, of which Mr. Ayres's school survey was a part. Without attempting to refer to all the details that are given in the pamphlet, attention may be called to one special section which answers the question which has frequently been raised in connection with every school survey that has been carried on. That question is: What are the results in tangible reforms that issue from a survey ? It may be said that a similar catalogue of results is given for I Community Action through Surveys. All use subject to University of Chicago Press Terms and Conditions ( EDUCA TIONAL WRITINGS 301 other sections of the general social survey made in Springfield and in other cities. We quote, however, the one section which has to do with the results of the school survey in Springfield. i. The Rules of the Board of Education have been revised, reducing the number of committees to three, as follows: (a) Education, (b) Finance and Supplies, and (c) School Property. 2. The junior high-school system has been adopted, and four junior high schools organized. 3. A new high-school principal was elected, and the entire organization and course of study changed. Everything complained of in the survey has been eradicated. A well-planned system of supervised study has been introduced, and the very best of discipline is obtained without friction. 4. A new modern high-school building is now being erected and will be ready for occupancy next year. This building will accommodate about 1,500 pupils, and will cost, completed, nearly $500,000. The lighting, ventilation, and general sanitation of all the schools have been given attention and greatly improved. Fire-exit locks have been placed on all outside doors, and fire escapes on the high school. 6. The new school buildings in course of erection meet the highest standards of requirement with respect to lighting, heating, ventilation, and sanitation. 7. A special supervisor of buildings is employed who sees that all of the property of the district is kept in proper repair. 8. Patrons' clubs have been organized in every district of the city, and nearly every schoolhouse is now used as a social center for neighborhood meetings. Public meetings and political discussions are held in the auditoriums of the several schools, and about one-third of the voting places of the city are now located in school buildings. 9. The number of teachers employed in manual training and household arts has been more than doubled since the survey and pre-vocational training and guidance are promoted. 1 o. The school census has been revised, and valuable additional information is now obtained. i i. A new salary schedule for teachers and janitors has been established on a basis of efficiency, and the required qualifications of principals and teachers have been raised. 12. Seven branch libraries have been established in as many different schools, and five other centers, the books being furnished to each of these twelve schools through the city library. 13. Attendance department has been reorganized and an experienced supervisor of attendance has been secured. The work of the department has been studied and carefully systematized. 14. Finally, the entire course of study for the elementary, junior high, and senior high schools, has been revised and modernized.
doi:10.1086/454550 fatcat:ktt33fjngvbonnkdhvnot5k7hu