The High School Failures eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 116 pages of information about The High School Failures.

48.  Van Denburg, J.K. The Elimination of Pupils from Public Secondary Schools, p. 183.

49.  Annual Report of the U.S.  Commissioner of Education, 1917.

50.  Thorndike, E.L. Educational Psychology, Vol.  II, Chap.  I.

51.  Swift, E.J. Mind in the Making, Chap.  I.

52.  Thorndike, E.L. Elimination of Pupils from School, U.S.  Bull. 4, 1907.

53.  Meredith, A.B. Survey of the St. Louis Public Schools, 1917, Vol.  III, pp. 51, 40.



It is not the purpose of this chapter to formulate conclusions that are arbitrary, fixed, or all-complete.  There are definite reasons why that should not be attempted.  The author merely undertakes to apply certain well recognized and widely accepted principles of education and of psychology, as among the more important elements recommending themselves to him in any endeavor to derive an adequate solution for the situation disclosed in the preceding chapters.  The significance of those preceding chapters in reference to the failures of the high school pupils is not at all conditioned by this final chapter.  Since as a problem of research the findings have now been presented, it is possible that others may find the basis therein for additional or different conclusions from the ones suggested here.  For such persons Chapter VII need not be considered an inseparable or essentially integral part of this report on the field of the research.  Indeed the purpose of this study will not have been served most fully until it has been made the subject of discussion and of criticism; and the treatment that is recommended here will not necessarily preclude other suggestions in the general effort to devise a solution or solutions that are the most satisfactory.

It appears from the analysis made in Chapter VI of the pupils’ capability and fitness relative to the school failures that it is impossible to make any definite apportionment of responsibility to the pupils, until we have first frankly faced and made an effective disposition of the malfunctioning and misdirection as found in the school itself.  It does not follow from this that any radical application of surgery need be recommended, but instead, a practical and extended course of treatment should be prescribed, which will have due regard for the nature and location of the ills to be remedied.  Anything less than this will seem to be a mere external salve and leave untouched the chronic source of the systematic maladjustment.  It is not assumed that a school system any more than any other institution or machine can be operated without some loss.  But the failure of the school to make a natural born linguist pass in a subject of technical mathematics is perhaps unfortunate only in the thing attempted and in the uselessness of the effort.

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