=Influence upon pupils.=—From the foregoing it will be seen that this type of recitation represents, not a modus operandi, but, rather, a modus vivendi, not a way of doing things, merely, but a manner of living. The work of the school is redeemed from the plane of a task and lifted to the plane of a privilege. The pupil’s initiative is given full recognition and inspiriting freedom ensues. The teacher is not a taskmaster but a friend in need. Pupils and teacher live and work together in an enterprise in which they have common interests. The emoluments attending success are shared equally and there is no place for envy in the distribution of dividends. There is fair dealing in every detail of the work, with no semblance of discrimination. There is a cash basis in every transaction. If a pupil’s offerings are rejected, he sees at once that they are inferior to others and becomes a willing shareholder in the ones that are superior to his own. Nothing that is spurious or counterfeit can gain currency in the enterprise, because of the critical inspection of the members of the group, all of whom are jealous for the preservation of the integrity of their organization.
In this cross section of life we find young people learning, by the laboratory method, the real meaning of reciprocity; we find them winning the viewpoints of others with no abatement or abrogation of their own individuality; we find them able and willing to make concessions for the general good; we find them learning justice and discrimination in their assessment of values; we find them enlarging their horizons by ascending to higher levels of intelligence. This work is as much a part of life for them as their food or their games and they accept it on the same terms. They are becoming upright, intelligent, effective citizens by performing some of the work that engages the time and energies of such citizens. They are learning how to live by the experience of actual living.
=Part of an actual recitation given.=—Some schools have developed this type of recitation to a very complete degree and in a very effective way. In one such school the young woman who teaches the subject of history makes the following report of a part of one of her recitations in this study:
The class was called to order by the chairman for the assignment for the next day’s lesson, which proceeded as follows:
Teacher:—To-morrow we shall have for the work of this convention the New Constitution as a whole. We are ready for suggestions as to how we had best proceed.
Earl:—It seems to me that a good way would be to compare it with the Articles of Confederation.
Joe:—I don’t quite get your idea. Do you mean to take them article by article?
(Joe and Frank begin at the same time. Teacher indicates Joe by nod.)
Joe:—But there are so many things in the new that are not in the old.