The idea of the regional or local survey is gaining ground and in some respects it will prove to serve the same purpose as the “Community Civics” of the American high school.
There have been attempts to introduce economics into the secondary school curriculum, but they have not persisted to any extent. In the Memorandum of Curricula of Secondary Schools issued by the Board of Education in 1913, it is suggested that “it will sometimes be desirable to provide, for those who propose on leaving school to enter business, a special commercial course with special study of the more technical side of economic theory and some study of political and constitutional history.” For the rest there is no mention of the subjects intimately connected with government. It is clear that the Board expects that out of the subjects of the ordinary curriculum, with such special efforts suggested by public interest as may from time to time occur, the student will gain a general knowledge of the affairs of the community round about, some knowledge of the principles of politics, clear ideas concerning movements for social reform, and some acquaintance with international problems. If he does so, he will have secured a useful introduction to the studies associated with adult life.
An intelligent study of languages will help materially in this direction and, whilst this is specially true in the cases of Greek and Latin, there is no reason why modern languages should not serve the same purpose. It is, however, often the case that the study of the history and institutions of modern countries is not associated sufficiently with the study of their language.
The public and grammar schools of England, as contrasted with the newer secondary schools, are more especially the homes of classical studies, and it is through the working of these schools that the knowledge of institutions in ancient Greece and Rome will have its greatest effect on citizenship.
The study of political science as a specific subject is gaining ground in universities, whilst the study of the Empire and its institutions has naturally made rapid progress during the last few years. There may also be noted distinct tendencies, arising out of the experience of the war, towards the foundation of schools destined to deal with the institutions and the thought of foreign countries. In the schools of economics and history there is fulness of attempt to study all that can be included under the generic title of civics which, after all, may be defined as political and social science interpreted in immediate and practical ways.
[Footnote 1: Peabody, The Religion of an Educated Man.]
[Footnote 2: Haines, The Teaching of Government.]
[Footnote 3: Haines, The Teaching of Government.]
[Footnote 4: Bourne, The Teaching of History and Civics in the Elementary and the Secondary School.]