The Vitalized School eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 249 pages of information about The Vitalized School.

7.  Discuss the extent to which the management of the classroom should be democratic.

8.  How may the monarchical government of a school fit pupils for a democracy?  How may it unfit them?

9.  In what ways may the following institutions raise the level of democracy:  centralized schools? vocational schools? junior high schools? moonlight schools? evening schools?



=Patriotism as a working principle.=—­The vitalized school generates and fosters patriotism, not merely as a sentiment, but more particularly as a working principle.  Patriotism has in it a modicum of sentiment, to be sure, as do religion, education, the home, and civilization; but sentiment alone does not constitute real or true patriotism.  The man who shouts for the flag but pursues a course of conduct that brings discredit upon the name of his country, belies the sentiment that his shouting would seem to express.  The truly patriotic man feels that he owes to his country and his race his whole self,—­his mind, his time, and his best efforts,—­and the payment of this obligation spells life to him.  Thus he inevitably interprets patriotism in terms of industry, economy, thrift, and the full conservation of time and energy, that he may render a good account of his stewardship to his country.

=Spelling as patriotism.=—­With this broad conception in mind the teacher elevates patriotism to the rank of a motive and proceeds to organize all the school activities in consonance with this conception.  Actuated by this high motive the pupils, in time, come to look upon correct spelling not only as a comfort and a convenience, but also as a form of patriotism in that it is an exponent of intelligent observation and as such wins respect and commendation from people at home and people abroad.  Or, to put the case negatively, if we were all deficient in the matter of spelling, the people of other lands would hold us up to ridicule because of this defect; but if we are expert in the art of spelling, they have greater respect for us and for our schools.  Hence, such a simple matter as spelling tends to invest the flag of our country with better and fuller significance.  Thus spelling becomes woven into the life processes, not as a mere task of the school, but as a privilege vouchsafed to every one who yearns to see his country win distinction.

=Patriotism a determining motive.=—­In like manner the teacher runs the entire gamut of school studies and shows how each one may become a manifestation of patriotism.  If she has her pupils exchange letters with pupils in the schools of other countries, they see, at once, that their spelling, their writing, and their composition will all be carefully assessed in the formation of an estimate of ourselves and our schools.  It is evident, therefore, that the pupils will give forth their best efforts in all these lines that the country they represent may appear to the best advantage.  In such an exercise the motive of patriotism will far outweigh in importance the motive of grades.  Besides, the letters are written to real people about real life, and, hence, life and patriotism become synonymous in their thinking, and all their school work becomes more vital because of their patriotism.

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The Vitalized School from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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