Now the rich can take care of themselves and the very poor and unfortunate cannot be permanently helped, but this great middle class, upon whom the nation must depend in every crisis, can and must be assisted to the extent, at least, that conditions be made possible through which they may raise their efficiency and so increase their earning capacity to a point commensurate with their needs. A thorough-going, national system of industrial and vocational “preparedness” would solve this problem.
The marvelous efficiency of Germany is due in large part to the fact that her great middle classes have been made efficient through a national system of trade schools.
The prosperity and perpetuity of a nation rests largely upon its ability to provide an adequate number of highly trained experts to be leaders, inventors and executives. In a democracy, these skilled leaders are especially important. Among the problems to be solved are questions of government, education, finance, economics, business, industry, health, manufacturing, engineering and mining. Any nation that lacks guidance in these particulars is indeed weak and pitiful. The universities, colleges, and higher technical schools supply nine-tenths of these experts, yet in the U.S. to-day there are only 250,000 students enrolled in all the colleges and universities of the country; this is about one to 500 of the population, a number entirely inadequate to perform the tremendous service that will be expected of this nation in the near future.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. State the nature of the school.
2. How did the ideal of universal education arise?
3. State the chief function of the school.
4. Name the habits and ideals peculiar to the school.
5. What is the secondary purpose of the school?
6. Contrast the efficiency of the home and the school.
7. What high compliment may be paid to teachers?
8. Is the comparison made between the home and the school overdrawn?
9. Compare the practical school of to-day with the school of the past.
10. Do you favor uniform dress for high school girls?
11. What is your opinion of modern style which so many mothers foster?
12. Have you any boys taking industrial work in school?
13. Prove that high school education pays.
14. What is the duty of a nation towards its great middle class?
15. Do you believe in a national system of industrial and vocational schools?
16. Why are experts needed particularly in a democracy?
The Social and Civic Institutions of the State (Society) Exert a Powerful Influence over the Lives of Children. The Citizen Must See to It that this Great Educative Influence of His Community Is Uplifting in Nature