[Footnote 3: No studies of present-day conditions are available. The proportion spent for food, clothing, etc., will remain nearly the same. It is safe to multiply the above estimates by two to obtain the actual cost of living in the year 1919.]
GUIDING GIRLS TOWARD THE IDEAL
guide is one who helps other people to find
themselves. Vocational guidance is the science of this
THE EDUCATIONAL AGENCIES INVOLVED
The three agencies most vitally concerned in this problem of “woman making” are necessarily the home, the church, and the school—the home and the church, because of their vital interest in the personal result; the school, because, whatever public opinion has demanded, schools have never been able to turn out merely educated human beings, but always boys and girls, prospective men and women. And so they must continue to do. Nature reasserts itself with every coming generation. This being so, we must continue to “make women.” If we desire to make homemaking women, the most economical way to accomplish this is to use the already existing machinery for making women of some sort. We cannot begin too soon, nor continue our efforts too faithfully. The school cannot leave the whole matter to the home, nor can the home safely assume that the “domestic science” course or courses will do all that is needed for the girl. Being a woman is a complex, many-sided business for which training must be broad and long-continued.
The teacher has perhaps scarcely realized her responsibilities or her opportunities in this matter. For years, and in fact until very recently, the whole tendency in education for girls has been toward a training which ignores sex and ultimate destiny. The teachers themselves were so trained and are therefore the less prepared to see the necessity for any special teaching along these lines. They may even resent any demand for specialized instruction for girls.
Yet we are confronted by the fact that the majority of girls do marry, and that many of this majority are woefully lacking in the knowledge and training they should have. Nor are these girls exclusively from the poor and ignorant classes. There is no question about the responsibility of the school in the matter. The state which “trains for citizenship” cannot logically ignore the necessity for training the mothers of future citizens.