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Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2019 with funding from 
UCL Library Special Collections 


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THE NEW ERA 


INDEX TO VOLUME 18 

January to December , 1937 


CONTENTS 


A Page 

Adler, Alfred : An Appreciation, Dr. Aline 

Furtmuller . 286 

Adolescence, Handicrafts in, Anne Dillon- 

Clarke . 317 

Adolescence, The Problems of, in a Boys’ 

Boarding School, Hugh Lyon . 111 

America, An English Visitor’s Impressions of 

the Nursery Schools of, C. M. Styer . 209 

Attitudes of Young People towards Sex, 

Sidonie M. Gruenberg . 33 

Austria, Sidelights on Family Legislation in. 

Anon . 41 

Authority and the New Education, \V. T. R. 

Rawson . 295 

B 

Beginning of Expression, The, Flora Shepherd 276 

Board of Education, What the, may expect 
of the Local Education Authority, F. IL. 

Spencer . 226 

Boy, from Five to Nine Years of Age, The, 

Irene M. Ironside . 114 


C 

Catalonia, Education for Citizenship in, 

Norma Jacob .. 172 

Catholic Approach to God, A, E. I. Watkin... 66 

Child Guidance Clinic, What Parent and 
Teacher may Expect of the, M. S. M. 

Fordham . 251 

Child Guidance : Treatment in the Environ¬ 
ment, C. L. Hay-Shaw . 273 

Children and the Friends’ Meeting, Francis H. 

Knight . 74 

ChildEiood, Religious Education in Early, 

J.W.D. Smith . 81 

Christianity, The Social Gospel of, A. J. 

Drewett . 71 

Citizen and his Education, The : U.S.A., 

Katherine Taylor . 154 

Citizen and the History Book, The, Vivian 

Ogilvie . 125 

Citizen, The Future, and Travel, J. Richard 

Traynor . 175 

Citizenship and Economics, R. L. Hall . 130 

Citizenship and History, M. Charles . 123 

Citizenship and Intelligence — A Prospect, 

Raymond B. Cattell . 136 

Citizenship, Education for, in Catalonia, 

Norma Jacob . 172 

Citizenship, Education for Democratic, 

John H. Nicholson . 151 


Citizenship, Education for : England, Eva M. 

Hvbback . 

Citizenship, Education for : Elungary, Martha 

Nernes . 

Citizenship, Education for, in the U.S.S.R., 

Vivian Ogilvie . 

Citizenship, Growing Into, W. R. Seagrove... 
Citizenship in Exile, Education for, Norman 

Bentwich . 

Citizenship, National Socialist, Education to¬ 
wards, Franz Schidgki . 

Citizenship, Practice in : Scotland, Charles 

Irvine . 

Citizenship, Teacher-Training and, W. Fraser 

Mitchell . 

Co-Education, W. B. Curry . 

Co-Education, Laura Hutton . 

Co-Education : Is it a Help or a Hindrance 
to Feminine Development ? Ella Freeman 

Sharpe . 

Co-Education Number (April 1937), Notes on 

the, Barbara Low . 

Co-Education : Some Objections Countered, 

Paul Roberts . 

Co-Education : Some Psycho-Analytical Con¬ 
siderations, Barabara Low . 

Co-Education, The Effect of, on the Sex-Life 

of the Individual, Anon . 

Co-Educational Day School, The, as a Pre¬ 
paration for Adult Life, W. A. Grace . 

Commentary on the “Keep-Fit” Movement, 
Phyllis Gollancz . 


Page 

!59 

165 

269 

140 

132 

163 

168 

309 

103 

94 

109 

1 77 
100 

9 1 

97 

105 

281 


D 

Dalton Plan, The, in a Senior Boys’ School, 

Albert Corlett . 3 

Day-Nursery School, The—An After-War 

Problem, Rose Marie Vajkai . 200 

Day-School, The Co-Educational, as a Pre¬ 
paration for Adult Life, W. A. Grace . 105 

Domestic Science as Social Education : 

U.S.A., C. Winifred Harley . 278 

Drama and the Secondary School, H. K. 

Sheldon . 18 

Drama as an Educative and Social Force, 

Anon . 150 


E 

Economics and Citizenship, R. L. Hall . 130 

Education and Peace, Report of the Sixth 

International Montessori Congress . 261 

Education for Citizenship in Catalonia, 

Norma Jacob . 172 























































INDEX 


Page 


Education for Citizenship : England, Eva M. 

Hubback . 159 

Education for Citizenship in Exile, Norman 

Bentwich . 132 

Education for Democratic Citizenship, 

John H. Nicholson . 151 

Education for Citizenship : Hungary, Martha 

Nernes . 165 

Education for Citizenship in the U.S.S.R., 

Vivian Ogilvie . 269 

Education, National Socialist, towards Citizen¬ 
ship, Franz Schulzki . 163 

Education, The Citizen and his : U.S.A., 

Katherine Taylor . 154 

Education, The New : A Re-Statement of 

Ideals, K. G. Saiyidain . 265 

Education, The, of Parents through Nursery 

Schools, G. A 4 . Berryman . 192 

Egyptian Slum, A Nursery School in an, M. C. 

I iesching . 194 

England : Education for Citizenship, Eva M. 

Hubback . 159 

-'English School Theatre, The. 322 

English Visitor’s Impressions of the Nursery 

Schools of America, An, C. M. Styer . 209 

Expression, The Beginning of, Flora Shepherd 276 

F 

Family Legislation in Austria, Sidelights on, 

Anon . 41 

Feminine Development : Is Co-Education a 
Help or a Hindrance ? Ella Freeman 

Sharpe . 109 

Friends’ Meeting, Children and the, Francis H. 

Knight . 74 

G 

Guidance, Child : Treatment in the Environ¬ 
ment, C. L. Hay-Shaw . 273 

Guidance, Vocational, What the Parent and 

School may Expect of, Martin Dawson... 254 

H 

Flamburg, Notes on Child Welfare Work in, 

Margarete Hanser . 196 

Handicrafts in Adolescence, Anne Dillon-Clarke 317 

History and Citizenship, M. Charles . 123 

History Book, The, and the Citizen, Vivian 

Ogilvie . 125 

Holland, A Note on Nursery Schools in, J. E. 

Schaap . 199 

Flungary : Education for Citizenship, Martha 

Nernes . 165 

I 

Infant Schools in Italy, Aurora Beniamino . 203 

Intelligence and Citizenship—A Prospect, 

Raymond B. Gattell . 136 

Italy, Infant Schools in, Aurora Beniamino . 203 

J 

Jealousy, Problems of, Doris Engelbert . 319 

Journey, Our School, to Italy . 16 

Judaism, Religious Education in modern, 

Israel I. Mattuck . 62 

Junior School : London, Obstacles in the, 

A. E. Dawes . 298 

Juvenile Court and the Teacher, The, A. J. 

Lynch . 307 


K Page 

‘Keep-Fit’ Movement, A Commentary on 

the, Phyllis Gollancz . 281 

L 

Learning the Social Virtues in the Nursery 

School, Louis Verel . 186 

Leisure, The Use of, at a Public School, E. H. 

Lockwood . . . 22 

Local Education Authorities, What the, may 
Expect from the Board of Education, 

H. G. Stead . 223 

M 

Marriage Relationships, Joan Alalleson . 35 

Modern Schools and Poetry, Howard J. White 284 

My Outlook upon Religion in my life, Anon. 77 

N 

National Socialist Education towards Citizen¬ 
ship, Franz Schulzki . 163 

N.E.F. To-day, The. 86 

N.E.F.. The, and English Education, C. D. L. 

Brereton . 258 

New Education, Authority and the, W. T. R. 

Rawson . 295 

New Education, The : A Re-Statement of 

Ideals, K. G. Saiyidain . 265 

New Education, Obstacles to the, France, . 

Roger Lallemand ... . . 303 

New School, On Starting a, A. K. C. Ottaway 25 
Note on Nursery Schools in Holland, A, J. E. 

Schaap . 199 

Notes on Child Welfare Work in Hamburg, 

Margarete Hanser . 196 

Notes on the Co-Education Number (April 

1937), Barbara Low . 177 

Notes on Pre-School Education in Zurich, 

Emmy C. Hiirlimann . 214 

Nursery School, The Day-, An After-War 

Problem, Rose Marie Vajkai . 200 

Nursery Education in the Soviet Union, Vera 

Fediaevsky . 210 

Nursery School in an Egyptian Slum, A, M. G. 

Liesching . 194 

Nursery School. Learning the Social Virtues 

in the, Louis Verel . 186 

Nursery School, Play in the, D. E. May . 188 

Nursery School, Points I had in Mind when 

Designing a, A. K. Tasker —.. 216 

Nursery School, What the, Expects of the 

Infants’ School, E. R. Boyce . 234 

Nursery Schools of America, An English 

Visitor’s Impressions of, C. M. Styer . 209 

Nursery Schools, The Education of Parents 

through, G. M. Berryman . 192 

Nursery Schools in Holland, A Note on, J. E. 

Schaap . 199 

Nursery Schools in the United States, Mary 

Dabney Davis . 206 

Nursery Years, Physical Care of Children in 

the, Ethel Dukes . 183 

O 

Objections, Some, Countered on Co-Educa¬ 
tion, Paul Roberts . 100 

Obstacles in the Junior School : London, 

A. E. Dawes . 298 

Obstacles to the New' Education : France, 

Roger Lallemand . 303 

On Starting a New School, A. K. C. Ottaway 25 

































































INDEX 




P 

I " ’sical Care of Children in the Nursery 

Years, Ethel Dukes . 

y in the Nursery School, D. E. May . 

:try, Modern Schools and, Howard J. 

White . 

nts 1 had in mind when Designing a 

Nursery School, A. K. Tasker . 

tery in a Country School, Leslie Amos . 

ctice in Citizenship : Scotland, Charles 

Irvine . 

ictice of Self-Direction, The, Adelaide 

Gardner . 

paratory School, A, I. 0 . Williams . 

:paratory School, What the, may Expect 

of the Home, W. R. Seagrove . 

)blems of Adolescence in a Boys’ Boarding 

School, Hugh Lyon. 

)blems of Jealousy, Doris Engelbert . 

x'ho-Analytical, Some, Considerations on 

Go-Education, Barbara Low . 

blic School, What the, may Expect of the 

Preparatory School, N. V. Gorton . 

R 

ading Tests in a Junior School, Louise le 

Teller Swann . 

ligion. in my Life, My Outlook upon, Anon. 
ligious Education in Earlv Childhood, 

J. W. D. Smith .'. 

ligious Education in Modern Judaism, 

Israel I. Mattuck . 

ligious Education, A Venture in, H. W. 

Howe . 

iral Secondary School, A, E. J. Padfield and 
Lawrence Abram . 

S - 


Page 

183 

188 

284 

2l6 

3*3 

168 

78 

12 

240 

111 
3i9 

9 1 

243 

2 

77 

81 

62 

84 

9 


hool, Country, Pottery in a, Leslie Amos... 313 

hool Journey to Italy, Our, Anon . 16 

100I Medical Service, What we may Expect 

of the, Ralph Crowley . 247 

hool, New, On Starting a , A. K. C. Ottawav 25 


hools, What the, Expect of the Training 

Colleges, F. A. Cavenagh . 231 

otland : Practice in Citizenship, Charles 

Irvine .!., 168 

condary School, What the, may Expect 

from the Junior School, M. W. Thomas 238 

lf-Direction, The Practice of, Adelaide 

Gardner . 78 

x, Attitudes of Young People towards, 

Sidonie M. Gruenberg . 33 

x-Life of the Individual, The Effect of Co- 

Education on, Anon . 97 

x Relationships in the U.S.S.R., Beatrice 

King . 52 

xual Relations, and Social Organization in 

Sweden, Gunnar Inghe . 47 

delights on Family Legislation in Austria, 

Anon . 41 


>cial Gospel of Christianity, The, A. J. 

Drewett . 71 

>cial Organization and Sexual Relations in 


Sweden, Gunnar Inghe . 47 

pviet Union, Nursery Education in the, Vera 

Fediaevsky . 210 

ate-Aided or Retarded ? H. W. Howe . 10 

veden, Sexual Relations and Social 

Organization in, Gunnar Inghe . 47 


T Page 

Teacher, and the Juvenile Court, The, A. J. 

Lynch . 307 

Teacher Training and Citizenship, W. Fraser 

Mitchell . 309 

Teacher Training, Report of the International 

Commission on, Ruth Me Murry . 142 

Theatre, The English School. 322 

Toy List, Ada Jordan. 312 

Travel and the Future Citizen, J. Richard 

Traynor . 175 

U 

Unemployment and Family Life in South 

Wales, Elspeth Davies . 38 

United States, Nursery Schools in the, Mary 

Dabney Davis . 206 

U.S.A. : The Citizen and his Education, 

Katherine Taylor . 154 

U.S.A. : Domestic Science as Social Educa¬ 
tion, C. Winifred Harley . 278 

Use of Leisure at a Public School, The, E. H. 

Lockwood . 22 

U.S.S.R., Education for Citizenship in the, 

Vivian Ogilvie . 269 

U.S.S.R., Sex Relationships in the, Beatrice 

King . 52 

V 

Valu£ of Work Camps in Secondary Educa¬ 
tion, The, W. F. Hoyland . 20 

Venture in Religious Education, A, H. W. 

Howe . 84 

Vocational Guidance, What the Parent and 

School may Expect of, Martin Dawson... 254 

W 

Wales, South, Unemployment and Family 

Life in, Elspeth Davies . 38 

Welfare Work, Notes on Child, in Hamburg, 

Margarete Hanser . 196 

What I am Doing—The Dalton Plan in a 

Senior Boys’ School, Albert Corlett . 3 

What the Board of Education may Expect of 
the Local Education Authority, F. H. 

Spencer . 226 

What the Local Education Authority may 
Expect from the Board of Education, 

II. G. Stead . 223 

What the Nursery School Expects of the 

Infants’ School, E. R. Boyce . 234 

What Parent and Teacher may Expect of the 

Child Guidance Clinic, M. S. M. Fordham 251 

What the Parent and School may Expect of 

Vocational Guidance, Martin Dawson... 254 
What the Preparatory School may Expect of 

the Home, W. R. Seagrove . 240 

What the Public School may Expect of the 

Preparatory School, N. V. Gorton . 243 

What the Secondary School may Expect from 

the Junior School, M. W. Thomas . 238 

What the Schools Expect of the Training 

Colleges, F. A. Cavenagh . 231 

What we may Expect of the School Medical 

Service, Ralph Crowley . 247 

Work Camps, The Value of, in Secondary 

Education, W. F. Hoyland . 20 

Z 

Zurich, Notes on Pre-School Education in, 

Emmy C. Hurlimann . 214 













































































INDEX 


AUTHORS 

Abram, Lawrence . 

Amos, Leslie . 

Beniamino, Aurora . 

Bentwich, Norman . 

Berryman, G. M. 

Brereton, C. D. L. 

Boyce, E. R. 

Cattell, Raymond B. 

Cavenagh, F. A. 

Charles, M. 

Corlett, Albert. 

Crowley, Ralph . 

Curry, W. B...... 

Davies, Elspeth. 

Davis, Mary Dabney . 

Dawes, A. E. 

Dawson, Martin . 

Dillon-Clarke, Anne . 

Drewett, A. J. 

Dukes, Ethel . 

Engelbert, Doris . 

Fediaevsky, Vera. 

Fordham, M. S. M. 

Furtmiiller, Aline . 

Gardner, Adelaide . 

Gollancz, Phyllis . 

Gorton, N. V. 

Grace, W. A. 

Gruenberg, Sidonie M. 

Hall, R. L. 

Hanser, Margarete . 

Harley, C. Winifred. 

Hay-Shaw, G. L. 

Howe, H. W. 

Hoyland, W. F. 

Hubback, Eva M.. 

Hiirlimann, Emmy C. 

Hutton, Laura. 

Inghe, Gunnar 

Ironside, Irene M. 

Irvine, Charles . 

Jacob, Norma . 

Jordan, Ada. 

King, Beatrice . 

Knight, Francis H. 

Lallemand, Roger . 

Liesching, M. C. 

Lockwood, E. H. 

Low, Barbara . 

Lynch, A. J. 

Lyon, Hugh . 

Malleson, Joan . 

Mattuck, Israel I. 

May, D. E. 

Me Murry, Ruth . 

Mitchell, W. Fraser . 

Nemes, Martha . 

Nicholson, John H. 

Ogilvie, Vivian. 

Ottaway, A. K. C. 

Padfield, E. J. 

Rawson, W. T. R. 

Roberts, Paul .. 

Saiyidain, K. G. 

Schaap,J. E. 

Schulzki, Franz . 

Seagrove, W. R. 

Sharpe, Ella Freeman . 


Page 

9 

. 3 1 3 

203 

132 

. 192 

258 

234 

!36 

231 

r 23 

3 

247 

!03 

38 

. 206 

. 298 

254 

317 

71 

— 183 

.... 319 

.... 210 

251 
286 
78 

28l 

243 

IO5 

33 

130 

196 

278 

273 

....10, 84 
20 
159 

.... 214 

94 

47 

.... 114 

168 
172 
312 
52 

74 

303 

194 

22 

•••9 1 , 177 
307 

hi 

35 

62 

188 

142 

309 

165 

151 

125, 269 
25 
9 

295 

100 

265 

i 99 
163 
140, 240 
109 


Sheldon, H. K. 

Shepherd, Flora . 

Smith, J_W. D. .. 

Spencer, F. H. 

Stead, H. G. 

Styer, G. M. 

Swann, Louise le Teller 

Tasker, A. K. 

Taylor, Katherine . 

Thomas, M. W. 

Traynor, J. Richard .. 
Vaj’kai, Rose Marie 

Verel, Louis . 

Watkin, E. I. 

White, Howard J. 

Williams, I. O. 


BOOK REVIEWS 

Allen, Arthur B., Puppetry and Puppet Plays . 

Anderson, Harold H., Children in the Family... 

Arlitt, Ada Hart, Adolescent Psychology . 

Badley, J. H., A Schoolmaster''s Testament . 

Blackwell, Basil (Publisher) Series of Children's 

Books ... 

Burt, Cyril, The Backward Child . 

Cattell, R. B., The Fight for our National In¬ 
telligence ... 

Chesterman, Linda (Ed.), Music for the Infant 

School . 

Fisher, F. J. and Amabel Wiliams-Ellis, A 

History of English Life ... 

Gray, J. L., The Nation's Intelligence .. 

Hanna, Paul R., Youth Serves the Community . 

Harrower, M. R., The Psychologist at Work : 
An Introduction to Experimental Psychology... 

Headmaster Speaks, The . 

Headmistress Speaks, The .. 

Jacks, M. L., Education as a Social Factor . 

Jepson, R. W., A New Guide to Precis Writing... 
Kenwick, Evelyn E., Number in the Nursery and 

Infant School . 

Lanchester, Waldo S., Hand Puppets and String 

Puppets ... 

Malherbe, E. G., assisted by J. J. G. Carson 
and J. D. Rheinallt Jones (Ed.), Educa¬ 
tional Adaptations in a Changing Society . 

McAllister, Anne H., Clinical Studies in'Speech 

Therapy . . . 

Miller, Emanuel, The Growing Child and its 

Problems . . . 

Moody, Edith, Dressed Soft Toys . 

Neill, A. S., That Dreadful School . . . 

Peterson, Peter, Flihrungslehre des unterrichts . 

Rawson, Wyatt, The Freedom We Seek .. 

Raymont, T., A History of the Education of 

Young Children . . . 

Rouse, W. H. D. (Translator), The Story of 

Odysseus . 

Shannon, Monica, Dobry . 

White, Jessie, The Nursery Class . 

White, W. Bertram, Great Lives of To-day...... 

Williams-Ellis, Amabel, and F. J. Fisher, A 
History of English Life 





























































































































IN HOME AND SCHOOL 



Editorial Note 


his issue of The New Era has been entirely 
written by teachers. We had meant to preface 
it with a careful commentary on the present 
■ganization of education in this country, but our con- 
ibutors have filled all the pages and we were loth to 
ut’ them. Some questions leap to mind however, and 
e would welcome answers to them from readers. All 
le children from the Junior Elementary Schools are 
lbmitted at eleven plus to a competitive examina- 
on. on the results of which they are drafted almost 
revocably into one of three divisions: Secondary, 
Antral or Senior — the order corresponding roughly 
i the order of the intellectual attainment of the 
ntrants to each type of school. What effect does the 
rospect of that examination have upon the work of 
le Infants’ school and Junior elementary school? 
Obviously many lessons in social living — not to 
peak of individual talents — are neglected under the 
ressure of its requirements. And when that fence is 
afely jumped and the eleven plus-year-olds are 
stablished in their appointed courses, how far have 
leir true needs been met? 

Those who matriculate from the Secondary school 
nd go forward to a university career have, at least in 
nany cases, embarked upon a road for which they are 
ntellectually fitted. In one sense their reach and their 
;rasp are commensurate. Those who matriculate and 
hen pursue a non-academic career are in a less 
ertain case. They have lived for about ten years under 
die constant immanence of examinations. Are we to 

i laim that in return they have gained a cultural 
background? If so, it has been thanks to no syllabus, 
iut rather to the contageous enthusiasm of some 
ndividual teacher who has made some subject 
plossom as the rose. 

As regards the alternatives to the Secondary school, 
,ome of the Central schools are so good that far- 
lighted heads of Junior Schools are urging their 
rlaims on pupils who, intellectually, are well qualified 
or secondary schooling. Their technical equipment 
ind their contact with industry are admirably 
irticulated, so that their leavers go straight to jobs in 
whose elements they have been well grounded and 


which offer great scope to the most able of them. The 
gain to the community of thorough training in 
skilled workmanship is obvious. What is the loss 
in individual culture? What are the dangers of early 
vocational training? What culture, in the true sense of 
the word, does the one type of school give and the 

other withold? . , . 

What about the Senior Schools? One article in this 
number shows one way of making them places of true 
education, instead of a place where the‘duds’may mark 
time till they are shot of school. Other teachers up and 
down the country are finding other ways. But does 
this quite justify the community in damning any child 
as more or less a failure at eleven plus? It is true they 
have another consolation. I hey may enter a Junior 
Technical School at thirteen and there receive the 
most skilled and most expensive form of State-aided 
education in the country. Is it cynicism, carelessness 
or our sense of fair play that throws this boon to the 
children we have weeded out as incapable of bene- 
fitting from a Secondary or Central school? And what 
do the Junior Technical schools think of this arrange¬ 
ment? f 

Finally, if general culture, which we none ot us 

belittle, is apt to leak out of the chinks of our curiously 
devised educational structure—how can it be per- 
suaded to remain and flourish there? Is the Multilat¬ 
eral’ school a solution? Or is it merely one more move 
towards even vaster centralization at the cost ot 
individual talent and initiative? 

Many people have the answers to all these questions 
cut and dried and will suspect our motives in asking 
them. We have no motive, except puzzlement and 
wish for light. Not the least of life’s opportunities 
is the universal chance it gives of making the best of 
things as they fall out. But the opportunities of the 
young are of a fresher and less contemplative nature 
and it seems to us urgently necessary that the needs 
of a child of eleven plus should as far as possible be 
studied in their own right. We should not comfort 
ourselves with the thought that if he is forced to ma 'e 
an inadequate choice he will develop the power ot 
standing by it and turning it somehow to good. 



I 










Reading Tests in a Junior School 

Louise Le Teller Swann 

Headmistress of L.C.C. Junior School, Columbia Rch, E,2 


A method of teaching and testing Reading 
should provide, at the same time, sound 
training in ‘the steps by which we do 
arrive’. 

When children of 7-8 years of age are 
promoted from Infants to Junior Departments, 
I think it is fair to state that: 

(< a ) some read excellently, with correct 
knowledge of building up new words, and with 
the power to read a simple book quite fluently: 

( b ) some read moderately well, with know¬ 
ledge of simple words, and power to build up by 
the phonetic method, or very frequently to 
recognize by the Sentence Method, longer 
or less frequently used, words: 

(c) some can do what Dr. Ballard calls 
‘bark at print’, that is, they can just say the 
printed word without giving meaning to the 
passage as such: 

(d) some (from my experience over many 
years I should say about 10-20%) have not 
yet gained a knowledge of the relation between 
the printed letter, its corresponding sound, and 
the consequent building up of words from 
phonetically sounded syllables. 

Now Groups (c) and ( d ) are likely to acquire, 
very quickly, a feeling of ‘I can’t’ instead of a 
feeling that ‘I can’. Psychologically this is 
one of the most important things at this age, 
and it was to engender from the outset en¬ 
couragement as opposed to discouragement 
that my system of teaching and testing reading 
was evolved. 

When I go into a classroom to test reading, I 
spend quite ten minutes or more telling these 
young pupils that if they feel they are not yet 
very good readers, I will tell them how they can 
get full marks, viz. fjj. 

I explain to them (1) that there is no hurry; 
they can keep me waiting as long as they wish 
while they look at the words, bit by bit, to see 
what sounds they make (I find this an excellent 
antidote to the habit of guessing which nervous 
children acquire because, after finding the 
first syllable correctly, they feel they haven’t 


time to build all the word that way, so they 
hazard ‘concert’ for ‘consider’; ‘afternoon’ for 
‘afterwards’; ‘happy’ for ‘happened’, etc., and 
so lose the final joy of getting the complete 
context from their own efforts — v/e call this 
effort our first time round or building up test. 
Every pupil gets full marks who says the w T ords 
that are on the printed page. She may struggle 
— she may hesitate—but if the word comes as 
the result of this effort, she gets her reward—- 
full marks for Part I Reading. 

The children are then told that although they 
have mastered a very difficult part of reading, 
they have not yet learned to read for pleasure, 
so second time round reading test is to aw^ard 
25 marks to all who can read a fairly long pas¬ 
sage Tike a tale’ as they would read, it ‘to a little 
brother or sister as a bed-time story’. This 
brings forth their best efforts at what is techni¬ 
cally called ‘expression’. The marks given are 
in grades of 5:—25; 20; 15; 10; 5. 

The children themselves are excellent judges. 
They immediately recognize the quality of 
‘tale like’ reading, and those w T ho fall below 
standard see for themselves that their next 
efforts need to be directed, not to beating 
Nelly anybody, but to beating their own 
present attainment. In other w r ords, they see 
that Part I Reading needs Part II added to it. 

They are then told that, in order to get for 
themselves a perfectly clear picture of what 
they have read, or are reading, it is necessary 
that they should know the exact picture that 
a certain word in the passage brings to their 
mind. They are trained to see that as soon as 
their vision is blocked or blurred, the passage 
for them is spoilt. So third time round reading 
is real fun. Every pupil may try to supply the 
‘picture-word’ answer or ‘bull’s-eye’ answer. 
When a pupil has given five answers, the total 
mark 25 for meanings is secured. 

4=20; 3 — 15; 2=10; 1 = 5. 

For anyone who has never tried this I con¬ 
sider it as illuminating. Some of the answers 
given are wonderful, and the method, if 


2 


■anuary 1937 reading tests in 

ystematically used, entirely stops such an- 
wers as: ‘What is quietly?’ ‘Quietly is when you 
;o quiet’. I wish I had kept notes of some of the 
nswers that have been given by children of 
1-9 years of age. The joy of the morning is 
vhen Class Teacher and Mistress exchange 
glances, as some wonderful answer is given by 
l child, an answer which shows such clarity of 
r ision that we might w’ell feel envious. 

Then comes fourth time round reading, 
.£., reading for information. The pupils are 
;iven a chapter, or part of a chapter to read 
ilently for 30 minutes, and then books are 
:ollected and twenty-five very short questions 
equiring one or perhaps two or three words 
or an answer are set. It is essential that these 
questions should be fool-proof, that is, there 
ffould be no doubt as to what is the word or 
vords required for the answer. 

Marks 1 for each correct answer. The pupils 
hen set down their own marks on paper. 


Building Up = 
lake a Tale = 
VTeanings = 
information — 


They thus see that the four 
parts are part of one whole. 


They also see, which is extremely important, 
a) their own strength, ( h ) their own weakness. 

I examine Reading in this way twice a year. 
The children’s results are set out on loose-leaf 
Records; the children are never told ‘what they 
>ught to have done’ but their marks in each 


A JUNIOR SCHOOL 

section compared with their own marks in that 
section six months previously. 

I have used the methods for 17 years. 

I have never known it fail to help weak pupils 
to overcome their own weaknesses. I have 
seen a child’s face glow with pride of achieve¬ 
ment as she hears: 

I here is a w r onderful story, ‘Once upon a 
time there was a girl whose marks were: 

Pt. I 10 Pt. II o Pt. Ill 5 Pt. IV 10 
then „ 20 „ 10 ,, 15 „ 20 

>> 25 » 20 ,, 20 ,, 22 

” ” 2 5 >> 2 5 >> 2 5 >> 25 

If any reader of this article would like to see 

the method in operation, he or she would be 
very welcome during the months of October 
or February. It takes a long time. At least two 
hours in every Class for Part I. I allow a fort¬ 
night to test Reading, but it is much more than 
a Test. It is teaching and training all the time. 
It embraces many factors in the tremendous 
subject of English. 

I would like to make one point clear: 

Where a pupil stands up and reads excellently 
first time, she is awarded straight away, 25 
for Part I, 25 for Part II. There is no desire to 
make them build up slowly when it is obvious 
that they have passed that stage already. 

It is entirely a method by which encourage¬ 
ment at every stage is given to those who need it. 

It is also a method that children understand, 
and understanding, appreciate. 


What I am Doing—The Dalton 
Plan in a Senior Bo/s’ School 

Albert Corlett 


Headmaster of the Greenacre Senior Boys* School, Great Yarmouth 


|k I OT ‘what I am doing’ but ‘what we are 
doing’, staff and boys included. This is all 
the more important because our type of 
work implies a selected staff, yet impartial 
investigators have proved our success without 
this advantage. Still, anyone who has created 
pn organization, particularly one of spiritual 
and academic significance, must know the 


necessity as well as the dangers of its de¬ 
pendence on one personality. 

I am trying to provide such an organization, 
and an atmosphere, within the very restricted 
environment of an Elementary School, that will 
allow the whole natural boy of eleven to grow 
and develop. The meagre staff, space and 
material would astonish those in expensive 















the new era January 1937 


private and Public schools who are striving to 
achieve the same end by the same methods. 2 \d. 
per head, per week, covers all equipment and 
this sum compares favourably with the allow¬ 
ance by other County Boroughs. 

Enlightened people, according to their means, 
are shunning more and more, institutions where 
mass treatment and examination ‘sweating’ 
prevail; they are anxious that their children shall 
develop harmoniously in body, mind and spirit; 
that character-training and academic assimila¬ 
tion shall interact. What is being done for these 
favoured children we are trying to do for a very 
poor section of the community. 

Elementary Schools, however, are controlled 
by Committees, mostly of Councillors, who 
cannot be expected to know much about the 
technique of education and are very conserva¬ 
tive in such matters. ‘Schools and Teachers are 
there’, say they, ‘what prevents education?’ 
Something must have prevented it, for ever 
since the State Control of schools there has 
been disappointment with the results. 

The publication of the Hadow Report in 
1926, on the Education of the Adolescent, 
seemed to herald the dawn of a new era. But the 
dawn is not yet! Reorganization in some 50 
per cent, of the school population has taken 
place, huge expenditure has been incurred in 
providing new buildings, emphasis has been 
laid on practical work and the development of 
crafts and latterly on physical training. They 
have piped, but who has danced or sung! There 
is a pretence that schools have changed but it is 
a mere alteration of fa9ade: the old technique 
prevails within. 

Educationists have insisted for years on the 
uniqueness of each child. The Consultative 
Committee responsible for the Hadow Report 
either must have believed that mass treatment 
was the only possible means of education in 
Elementary Schools or they must have mis¬ 
trusted the weapon that was to their hand. 
Individual work had been advocated long before 
the Committee deliberated, but no one knew 
how it could be organized until Helen Park- 
hurst showed the way in the Dalton Plan. In 
the first Hadow Report of 340 pages there are 
but 8 lines given to Individual work and that of 
a spurious kind, conducted within the frame¬ 
work of the Class System. 


Before me always is the fact that at least 
85 per cent, of the nation’s children are in the 
Elementary Schools. The calibre of our social 
civilization is definitely related to the products 
of these schools. Character-training is the prime 
consideration of both the Hadow Report and 
the Board’s excellent ‘Suggestions for Teach¬ 
ers’. But character-training is essentially an 
individual matter, neither for counsel nor 
dogma: it is dependent on individual action and 
the Class System cannot provide it. Unless the 
child is cultivating habits of good social living 
and giving play to natural human virtues such 
as integrity, initiative, self-reliance, industry 
and kindliness, he is losing an opportunity that 
will never return, and life generally, and later, 
social life in particular, will be the poorer. 
The Fascist atmosphere of the Class System 
cannot admit of the expression of these virtues: 
freedom is necessary; the rational freedom of 
our own Democracy. There must be liberty of 
choice, action and speech and the exercise of 
human companionship, all denied by the 
traditional, inhibitive technique that still 
prevails. Furthermore, school must have a 
cultural significance. Facility in reading and 
writing at least is demanded by our complex 
social organization, and disquieting occurrences 
indicate that the new orientation due to the 
Hadow Report prevents its achievement. 

For various reasons, the general attainment 
and ability of entrants to the Senior School are 
poor. Bare literacy comprising only reading and 
writing requires much time. Practical work is 
necessary in the education of all young people, 
but the over-emphasized pursuit of crafts is a 
digression from an essential purpose, however 
artificial, of the schools. What real cultural value 
have crafts and the sciences for that matter to 
the children in these Elementary Schools? 
Literature, widely conceived, should be the 
main cultural subject, involving expression, oral 
and written, action and quiet individual reading. 

Since 1870, the schools, though poorly staffed 
and equipped, have had some opportunity of 
cultivating literacy and culture, a respect and 
desire for learning; but the general cultural 
level is low. One knows that time is short and 
opportunity fleeting; but since such little results 
have emerged, is it not time a more spiritual, 
intimate, and rational attempt was made? 


January 1937 the dalton plan in 

The foregoing were some of the considera- 
ions that compelled me to a particular line of 
iction in preparation for the opening of the 
jreenacre Senior Boys’ School in September 
929. 

I would attempt the Dalton Plan. I had never 
>een the plan in acton but I had read Helen 
3 arkhurst’s book and the two written by Mr. 
A. J. Lynch. The essential rightness of Helen 
Parkhurst’s philosophy and practice struck me 
immediately: it overcame the many obstacles 
that I had met in the way of education under 
the Class System, throughout my professional 
ife. My experience will prove that no one need 
be deterred from attempting the Plan. From 
January 1929 to September 1929 I was Head¬ 
master of a large all-standard Bovs’ School that 
was to become a Junior School after reorgani¬ 
zation. For many years I had been Principal 
of the Municipal Evening School of Science 
and Navigation, taking actual part in the 
teaching. The organization and equipment of 
the new school had to be done in my spare time! 
Further, when it was known that a new approach 
was to be made to education, there was neither 
sympathy nor help from anyone. 

The new school was to be opened with a staff 
of seven, including myself — with one exception, 
the manual instructor, all transferred from the 
old school. Two years later an additional 
teacher was appointed and now we are eight! 
The new school accommodated theoretically, 
240 boys — with difficulty: we have commenced 
the year with nearly 260. 

The staff read the above.-mentioned books, 
discussions were held and all agreed to co¬ 
operate loyally. One disloyal member only is a 
source of danger. Slackness in either staff or 
headmaster can bring chaos. Apart from a 
graduate in science, who has now retired, there 
were no real specialists. The Dalton Plan is 
supposed to demand specialists and subject 
rooms. There are five class-rooms, a laboratory 
and woodwork room, flanked by a covered 
verandah and facing south, occupying the north¬ 
east corner of a block of buildings accommodat¬ 
ing eleven hundred children, Infants, Juniors, 
Senior Girls and Boys. Two central halls, 
apart from the class-rooms, are shared, the 
senior boys occupying one for five half-days 
each week. There is no playing field. 


SENIOR BOYS’ SCHOOL - 

Lack of space both for play and work is an 
ever-present anxiety and has negative reactions 
on the virtues of the method. 

For an Elementary School the curriculum is 
very wide, with an emphasis on literature, 
although that subject has no particular devotees 
except perhaps the Headmaster. Every member 
of the staff has made himself responsible for one 
subject and all share in the others. The historv 
‘specialist’ takes the greater part of the music 
and a class in English, though not in litera¬ 
ture. The manual instructor has a class in 
arithmetic and takes two classes in games. 
I am responsible for all 3rd year boys in 
literature, for the upper section of these boys in 
English and for a class of the most advanced boys 
in mathematics, if such a term can be used for 
the type of work done. In addition I have the 
lower section of the 3rd year boys in Dramatic 
work, 3 hours per week with the most retarded 
children in the school and during Free Study 
periods I am always in action. My spare time is 
spent in the administrative work of the school 
and in interviewing parents! 

Subject rooms are considerably fewer than 
subjects and have an unusually composite 
population during ‘Free Study’. I am assuming 
the general procedure of the Dalton Plan is 
known. The school has suffered through un¬ 
imaginative planning—no fault of the architect 
but of the Board—like many others that were 
hurriedly built, shortly after the publication of 
the Hadow Report. The full effects of the break 
at eleven years of age were not envisaged, 
particularly the mental calibre and attainment 
of those passing to the Senior School. Some 
years ago twenty-four of the ninety new boys 
who entered could not read; the proportion has 
since decreased but there is always a very 
retarded and backward group requiring special 
treatment, for which the building and small 
staff are ill adapted. These boys enter a con¬ 
venient age group for oral lessons, but we all 
have one or more periods with them during Free 
Study, whilst the rest of the boys in the room 
carry out their own programmes. 

We have our yearly contracts, divided into 
monthly assignments and weekly periods. 
Assignments are rightly considered as vital to 
the Plan. Certainly there must be a detailed 
programme in each subject, but its advance pre- 





6 


THE NEW ERA 


January 1937 



paration need only keep the most capable 
worker fully occupied. We have never had the 
time or the courage to correlate our assignments, 
a laudable but arduous undertaking; but I think 
that if a publisher would prepare two grades of 
assignments in each subject, for each year of the 
course, more schools would adopt the Plan. 
Their range and difficulty however must be 
measured with discretion for these new schools, 
the pupils taking precedence over the subject. 

I had only time to prepare three-year 
assignments in science before we started. Our 
other assignments had been used in Mr. Lynch’s 
school at Tottenham, and though grateful for 
their help we discarded them later. The work 
was ‘scamped’ because the boys found the time 
too short to read them through, consult the 
authorities and then answer questions. We 
prefer the assignments in almost skeleton form, 
to allow immediate approach to first-hand 
information. On these lines I have prepared 
yearly contracts in science, art, English (gram¬ 
mar) literature and geography for the whole 


school, with the appropriate information for 
each Class lesson. The history ‘specialist’ has 
written very good contracts for four years’ work 
and those in hygiene, biology and gardening 
have been well prepared by another member of 
the staff. 

Consideration of features affecting the as¬ 
signments will lead us co the ‘mechanics’ of our 
Plan and the virtues arising from its practice. 
The ‘excellent disciplinarian’ of the old days 
was a kinsman of the jailer—but he knew his 
craft better than teachers of this generation. 
Let us pray for the imagination that begets 
sympathy and kindliness. Many of these boys 
with tragedy in their lives respond to kindness 
as to the ‘all-cheering sun’. Some of the entrants 
to the school make me wonder what good has 
been wrought by our vaunted civilization, for 
they are near to savagery. These boys show the 
civilizing effect of purposeful work induced by 
a sympathetic atmosphere, free from as many 
irritating ‘taboos’ as possible. Although some 
are ‘on probation’ on entrance, it is rare to find 








January 1937 the dalton plan in 

:hem again before the magistrates even after 
eaving school. What other institution but the 
school has the opportunity of straightening 
these distorted lives and of offering balm to 
their wounded souls? Those, too, the majority, 
who are struggling in poverty, need our bene¬ 
ficent attention. 

Mind-content in all these children is pitiably 
weak and they must be helped in their approach 
to the assignments. The richly endowed child 
can proceed to individual work with the 
minimum of guidance and reap a rich academic 
reward. The pupils in these Senior schools are 
those left after the double ‘creaming’ for 
Secondary and Central schools. There are 
several boys of very good intelligence who 
always escape from this operation, but the 
majority are below the average. Yet they are all 
rich in character possibilities. All boys undergo 
a Group Intelligence Test during the first two 
days of the School Year. ‘Working’ classes are 
arranged from these tests, two for each year. 
All assemble for scripture in ‘register’ classes 
according to their ages, and these, to the boys, 
are their real classes. 

Miss Parkhurst had no time-table. Our 
numbers, restricted space and staff, and calibre 
of boy compel a time-table. There are two half- 
hour class lessons each morning and afternoon 
session. The rest of the time, excluding scrip¬ 
ture, is spent in Free Study. Many of the class 
lessons, of course, include music, games and 
concerted physical exercises, but during the 
remainder the work of the assignments is 
lightly traversed, special individual and group 
difficulties are elucidated and additional and 
up-to-date information is supplied. Exercise in 
the use of dictionaries and reference books is 
continually given. Reading aloud, individual 
recitation and dramatic work keep the balance 
orally. It is in ‘Free Study’ time that the 
individual character of the school is shown. 
The boy decides what subject he will study, his 
choice being limited by the capacity of the room 
and the general rule, not always respected, that 
he shall do a week’s work in each subject per 
week. From the I.Q’s the teachers ‘temper the 
wind to the shorn lamb’. The lower ‘working’ 
classes of each year also have a less compre¬ 
hensive programme than the upper. 

In the early days of the school an unruly 


A SENIOR BOYS SCHOOL 7 

crowd would collect round the doors of the 
Practical rooms and time was wasted in selec¬ 
tion—here may be interpolated the fact that 
whatever difficulty has arisen it has been 
squarely faced and overcome. Now only a cer¬ 
tain number from each working class is allowed 
in the Practical rooms each session. This is con¬ 
trolled by a number of metal discs, in charge of a 
monitor from each class. The discs are issued on 
demand and collected by the monitor or his 
assistant on entrance to the room, the fact being 
recorded in his note-book. Every boy is thus 
assured of at least one Free Study period per 
week in each Practical room. Furthermore, 
thirty-two boys are engaged in this monitorial 
capacity, exercising integrity and self-reliance: 
every job in the school that can be undertaken 
by a boy, and demands individuality, has its 
appropriate monitor and assistant and probably 
70 to 80 boys are so engaged. 

When a boy enters a Free Study room he 
settles down to his work without enquiry of or 
from the teacher. Having finished, he either 
gives his work orally or places his book on a 
shelf for correction and leaves the room 
without permission, to seek other work else¬ 
where. In a natural atmosphere, spiritually 
sweet, he finds no distaste for any subject: 
given work beyond his powers, or bullied by a 
teacher, he will refuse to enter the room of that 
teacher until compelled. Why give freedom and 
make it as tyrannous as slavery? The boy is more 
important than the subject. In a Free Study 
room, particularly for a practical subject, you 
will often hear more than a buzz of conversation. 
If you enter the room the noise will not cease: 
in fact, few boys will notice you. You are in a 
boys’ workshop and they can work and study 
in this atmosphere. 

Both boys and teachers must know what work 
has been done. Some teachers use Record books, 
others graphs. Each boy has a Record card, 
particular to this school, which shows by 
a graph what has been done in all subjects at 
any time during the year. When he has finished 
a month’s work in a subject, the card is ini¬ 
tialled and dated by the teacher of that subject. 
When his month’s work in all subjects is com¬ 
plete, he brings the card to me. I enter the date 
of completion in my Record book, stamp the 
card and return it. 






8 


THE NEW ERA January 1937 


Each day every boy has to decide the subjects 
he will study and this becomes a habit, the 
cumulative effect of which is a positive gain 
to his character. He has to take action himself to 
do his job. Many difficulties have to be over¬ 
come, mostly by recourse to reference books, 
but his own initiative directs. He is expected to 
do a week’s work in all subjects each week, and 
although this is not always possible he makes 
the endeavour. The atmosphere of freedom and 
trust invites his integrity, in proving himself 
equal to the confidence. The encouragement of 
the teacher in his difficulties, his individual 
talks and discussion give him further confidence 
and also pride in himself: he becomes self- 
reliant and you can notice it in his manner. 
His freedom, with the responsibility of carrying 
out his work, compels the exercise of those 
features of right living that I mentioned pre¬ 
viously. 

The study rooms are interesting laborator¬ 
ies: it is possible to examine children really at 
work. Boys of all ages from n to 15 are inter¬ 
mingled, engaged in different work and at 
different stages of that work: the room is contin¬ 
ually changing its composition. This is the 
interaction of groups mentioned by Miss 
Parkhurst as so salutary for all, both old and 
young. Boys can help boys often better than the 
teacher—and they do. Help is not asked for 
when it is needless. They are only too anxious 
ffo play against bogey’. Always are they willing 
and anxious to help a weaker brother: many of 
the better boys are in charge of their less 
capable colleagues. A well-conducted study 
room is the most encouraging sight I know. 
The teacher is not continuously strained as in 
the class system. The boys know their jobs; the 
teacher is for reference, guidance, and 
correction of work: the onus of discipline 
falls on the boy and an unexpected serenity is 
found. 

The method apart, the finest educative, shall 
I say civilizing, agencies in the school are 
Dramatic work and the memorizing, with 
understanding, of noble prose and poetry. The 
Hall is used for these purposes. Pieces to be 
memorized are copied into a rough book. This 
prevents wear and tear of text-books and helps 
literal accuracy. No poem is accepted unless 
repeated without prompting, and as the poem is 


often of the boy’s choosing, the whole represents 
a complete achievement. 

A House Svstem provides a gentle competi¬ 
tive excitement throughout all school activities. 
There are five Houses: Dickens, Faraday, 
Nelson, Scott (Capt.) and Shakespeare, and 
within them are coteries and clubs for draughts, 
chess, cycling, angling, concerts and dramatic 
work, cricket and football. No Test Match can 
equal a House football match for keenness: 
played on forbidden ground, used for net- 
drying, there is an added tenseness, from the 
fear of seeing the law in motion! The School 
Debating Society ow r es its success to the fact 
that boys are accustomed to speaking before 
others in the ordinary school routine. 

I have not space to mention certain curious 
results obtained from Intelligence Testing in suc¬ 
cessive years; but, in conclusion, I would like to 
state our experience with reference to matters 
now exercising the public mind, viz. the health 
and physique of the nation, and the introduc¬ 
tion of physical training for their improve¬ 
ment. The system of education in vogue in the 
school has reduced nerve strain and fear to a 
minimum and has given increased happiness 
and serenity to the pupil, resulting in increased 
vitality in all directions. 

The attendance is excellent although it is 
not made a fetish and the children are mostly 
poor and live a long distance from school. 
Parents frequently state how well their sons 
have been since attending the school. The size 
of many of the 3rd year boys is a source of 
comment of visitors. Measles, fevers, influenza, 
and similar ills have touched us lightly. Children 
with distaste for school find a new elan. For the 
last five years the boys have won the Tug-of- 
War in the Inter-School sports without any 
particular specialized coaching. 

These observations may be empirical and the 
results mentioned may have reference to other 
factors such as nearness to the sea, a healthy 
subsoil, regular physical exercises. But these 
matters have had comparative consideration 
and the conclusion drawn is that the whole 
metabolism of the body is vitalized and har¬ 
monized by the practice under the Dalton Plan. 
If such be the case it would seem that something 
further is needed in the schools besides physical 
training. 


Rural Secondary School 


E. J. Padfield, B.A. and Lawrence Abram, M.Sc. 


B exey’s School, Blackford, is a school 
practically unique both in foundation and 
purpose. During the reign of Queen 
[Elizabeth, there lived in this county a shepherd, 
ailed Hugh Sexey, who through industry 
ccumulated wealth and lands, and through his 
mdoubted ability and personality rose in rank 
intil he became Almoner to the Queen herself, 
drawing, no doubt, on his own experience he 
ealized, even in those distant times, the 
>enefits brought about by a sound education 
md at his death left his estate in trust, with 
Instructions that the moneys obtained should 
>e used for educational purposes and to support 
welve old men in their old age. From the be¬ 
ginning a considerable fund has accumulated and 
here are at the present time three boys’ schools 
.nd one girls’ school, supported or assisted 

F y this Trust, which is administered by a body 
f men known as the Sexey Visitors. 

It was decided to start a school in the Parish 
)f Blackford, many of the Sexey lands being 
ituated in that district. The beginnings were 
tumble, one master and a few boys meeting 
laily in a disused barn in the hamlet of Chapel 
lUlerton. This, of course, was only a temporary 
jneasure, being highly insufficient to meet the 
Leeds of the district. The foundations of the 
present school were laid, with boarding accom¬ 
modation for both boys and girls, and the 
school was opened in 1899 under the Head- 
mastership of Mr. E. H. Smith. It was intended 
; o meet the specialized needs of the district, 
which is agricultural. To this end a small but 
fully equipped farm was added to the school 
premises, and here, all those pupils, both boys 
knd girls, who wish to study farming methodi¬ 
cally and scientifically, can by practical work 
mder the supervision of a capable bailiff 
upplement the theoretical training of the 
dassroom, receiving instruction in the making 
)f butter, cheese and cider and the care of 
poultry, while ploughing, sowing, reaping and 
laymaking are all in their due season part of 
he daily routine of those who are pupils of 
:his department. 


Practical instruction is given in the wood¬ 
work shop in the construction of movable farm 
buildings, together with a knowledge of car¬ 
pentry which will enable the boys to carry out 
minor repairs to buildings and implements 
without the necessity of summoning professional 
assistance. In the Science Laboratory they are 
taught how to deal with pests which attack 
crops, and how to treat various diseases which 
may attack animals. Finally the pupils sit for 
an examination conducted by the University 
of Oxford and the Somerset Farm Institute. 

To balance this agricultural course, which is 
followed mainly by boys, there is a very com¬ 
prehensive course in Domestic Science for the 
girls, during which they are trained in all the 
various branches of Housewifery — cooking, 
laundry, needlework, hygiene and elementary 
home nursing. If they so wish girls may take 
these subjects in the School Certificate 
Examination. 

It must not be imagined, however, that 
specialization in Farmwork and Domestic 
Science exclude the more usual subjects of 
Secondary school education from the time¬ 
table. In the ordinary course of events a pupil 
works his way through a five-year course cul¬ 
minating in the School Certificate examination, 
but at any stage after the second year a pupil 
may decide to switch over from the academic 
to the practical side. He then concentrates 
upon those subjects which have a direct bearing 
upon agriculture, such as botany and general 
science, with a less intense study of such subjects 
of general value as arithmetic, history, English, 
and art — spending upon them rather less time 
than the usual pupil is able to afford. 

It will easily be realized what a great advan¬ 
tage the possession of this farm is to the school 
itself, as it ensures a constant supply of fresh 
milk, butter, cheese and eggs, and also vege¬ 
tables, a factor which is, without doubt, 
largely responsible for the excellent health and 
physical fitness of all those who are boarders 
at the school. 

In connection with the geography course a 


9 

















10 


THE NEW ERA 


weather recording station has been established. 
The children are trained in the accurate keeping 
of statistics on temperature, pressure, rainfall 
and prevailing winds, and to be able to notice 
and understand the signs of approaching 
changes in weather conditions. This it will 
easily be understood is of great value to those 
whose livelihood depends to a large extent upon 
the vagaries of the English climate. 

During the Senior years of the history course 
especial attention is paid to modern European 
history, the children being encouraged to work 
and think for themselves upon the problems 
confronting modern civilization. English is 
run upon the usual lines followed by modern 
teachers, with its attendant debates, play- 
readings and the reading of papers by pupils, 
with occasional visits from external lecturers. 
There is a very full and comprehensive time¬ 
table in connection with art, and the children 
are entered not only for the Oxford School 
Certificate examination, but also for the 
examinations held by the Royal Drawing 
Society. Religious instruction plays quite a 
prominent part in the education of the boys 
and girls. The subject is under the general 
supervision of the Headmaster with assistance 

State-Aided or 

H. W. Howe 

A state-aided school is compelled to 
work within a rigid framework dictated 
by outside influences largely beyond the 
control of governors or headmaster. Its personnel, 
up to 50 per cent of its members, must be drawn 
from certain elementary schools: its curriculum 
must conform to Board of Education require¬ 
ments, and little freedom is allowed as to choice 
or even arrangement of subjects; it must submit 
its annual budget to the L.E.A. and it is under 
the compunction of passing its scholars through 
external exams which tend to cast a shadow over 
the field of work and substitute cramming for 
education. How far then is it possible for such 
a school to claim in any sense to be progressive? 

Is there not a certain presumption in the 
claim of any school to be progressive? There is 


January 1937 

from the Vicar of Blackford who prepares 
candidates for the Archbishop’s examination 
in Religious Knowledge. 

As in all modern schools, games play an 
important part in the life of the school. 
During the winter months football and hockey 
are played by the boys and girls respectively, 
the girls competing in the Somerset Schools’ 
League matches. The traditional English game 
of cricket is played by the boys in summer, 
while girls play tennis. There is a flourishing 
Guide company, in which Boarders and Day 
girls mix socially out of school hours, and are 
trained to realize that, whereas their work in 
school fundamentally benefits only themselves, 
here they are working for a body and not for an 
individual. 

Thus it will be seen that the school bears an 
important part in the history and well-being 
of the locality, and is able to do much to raise 
the study of farming from a haphazard muddle 
to a well thought out and scientific process, an 
ideal not often realized in these agricultural 
districts remote from any large town, where 
previously it has been the rule that what was 
good enough for one’s great-grandfather is of 
equal value to-day. 

Retarded ? 


Headmaster of Keswick School 

an inexorable timelessness about the world of 
values; and one is sometimes tempted to wonder 
whether the fidgety search for new methods 
may not easily lose sight of the simple absolutes 
that are the true aim of education. There may 
be a real advantage in having your school 
anchored to certain immovables: the element 
of stability and even a lack of excitement is 
as salutary in school life as it is in matrimony. 

On the material side the State-aided school 
often attains to a standard of buildings and 
equipment which a private school might envy. 
Nor is there much difficulty about the provision 
of ‘new’ subjects such as biology, civics or 
economics. There is, in fact, in the larger schools 
a prevalent trend towards the ‘multiple bias’ 
idea which is prepared to offer almost every 




January 1937 


STATE-AIDED OR RETARDED? 


I I 


combination of subjects within the sacrosanct 
*roup system laid down by exams. But whether 
hny society over 300 should be called a school 
is at least a moot point. Fortunately there 
'emains plenty of scope for the smaller school, 
and it would seem that the best conditions for 
a live secondary school are found in a country 
district where the school serves a small town 
and its surrounding villages and also caters 
(for boarders. Co-education is the natural 
corollary, and the community will consist of 
day boys and girls drawn from all classes of 
the community with a strengthening of the 
‘upper class’ element through the boarding¬ 
houses. 

We should naturally demand of a school that 
it should prepare its children for life, and as 
life is rendered more difficult as well as more 
interesting by the complexity of its elements, 
the more varied the contributary elements to 
the child at school the better. That alone 
would appear to be sufficient justification for 
not separating the sexes. Simplicity of organi¬ 
zation is often claimed in favour of a school 
being either day or boarding—but too many 
educational problems are examined from the 
point of view of the organizer. How much 
better for boarders to be in contact with the 
values of home life and the freer air that comes 
in (even though it may sometimes be germ¬ 
laden) from the country or the town; and for 
the day children to make contact with boarders 
from other parts of England or from abroad 
and to have their interests catered for on a 
weekly plan rather than being confined within 
an eight-hour day. 

There is surely little to be said in favour of 
a careful selection of children from one section 
of the community. The State-aided school at 
least allows children from all types of home to 
get to know each other, and it is an error no 
less prevalent than vulgar that children of one 
class have everything to give and nothing to take 
from those of another. The language difficulty, 
both as to accent and vocabulary, presents no 
problems except in the minds of those who 
mistake artificial refinement for culture, and 
directness of speech for vulgarity. Genuineness, 
sincerity, downrightness, tend to be more 
deeply imbedded in a community the majority 
of whose members come from homes where 


values remain simple from the sheer pressure 
of economic necessity. 

If there is little freedom from rigidity in 
the class teaching and curriculum up to the 
stage of the first exam, those who remain for 
the VI Form stage are able to discover how to 
work for the work’s sake. What teacher does 
not deplore the two chief bugbears of school 
organization, straight rows of desks and the 
succession of mincemeat lessons necessitated 
by the 7 or 8 period day? These still prevail 
from 11 to 16, but there is much greater freedom 
both in the preparatory and upper forms. Some 
variety can be achieved by varying the number 
and length of periods on different days of the 
week, and there are still some schools which 
prefer to use the six-day week for the spread 
of work, rather than to gain a so-called holiday 
on Saturday by overcrowding and standardizing 
the other five. 

Making provision for physical training lessons 
in the ordinary class periods and a generous 
allowance of time (say three afternoons a week) 
to games, should help to prevent mental in¬ 
digestion. It is also beneficial to have buildings 
well scattered, necessitating movement in the 
fresh air between at least every other class period. 
A good library, which all forms visit and enjoy 
and where any who can escape the routine of 
classes can find quiet and easy access to books, 
is the most important asset to freedom; while 
Art, Handicraft and Music rooms also offer 
an essential outlet for that sensitiveness to 
beauty and love of creating which is part of 
the heritage of every unspoilt child; nor is there 
any reason why rooms and passages should not 
be relieved by pictures and flowers, while the 
companionship of the surrounding hills is a 
constant if unconscious reminder that 
scrambling lives like ours have been lived 
before. Nor is it necessary to regard classroom 
and playing-field as the chief means of contact 
between teachers and children. The most 
valuable lessons in co-operation are probably 
provided by the numerous societies which 
meet whenever they can find a free moment, and 
there are few schools which have not discovered 
the invaluable means of expression afforded by 
dramatic production. 

Many hard things are said of four hoary old 
survivors from the traditional regime—marks, 










12 THE NEW ERA . January 1937 


prizes, homework and detention. But in spite 
of attempts to oust them they seem, like Nature, 
to come back again. Are any of them really 
symbols of slavery? They are surely useful 
implements which wisely used can be made to 
correspond to elements of life as it has to be 
lived, but which in the hands of a tyrant can 
be made into weapons of tyranny. 

Is it not just at this point that we should 
look for the real progress that has been made 
in education in recent years? The tyrant as 
schoolmaster is not yet as obsolete as he should 
be (do not psychologists warn us that our 
motive for choosing the profession is our love 
of making others toe the line?), but we begin 
to realize that children must be regarded as 
ends in themselves and not as means to our 
ends. Punishment therefore ceases to be vin¬ 
dictive and to approximate more to the auto¬ 
matic and impersonal reactive method of nature. 
Wrongdoing tends to lose much of its attraction 
when rules are reduced to a minimum and the 
individual finds himself expected to behave 
as one of a team. The aim of correction is to 
hold up the mirror to the delinquent, to 
introduce him to himself, to get him to see 
himself with the community as a background— 
and to leave it at that. 

If actual self-government is too wasteful of 
time to find a place in a crowded day it is 
possible to treat rules as guiding lines acceptable 
to the general will of the public, and open to 
alteration as soon as they become unnecessary. 
Prefects, if carefully selected and trained both 
by preliminary offices and regular meetings 
to discuss their job, can do much to spread the 
feeling that the school belongs to and is made 
by its members, and a general sense of res¬ 
ponsibility can be fostered by the allotment 


of as many minor offices as possible at all 
stages of school life and by encouraging the 
idea that everybody counts for one and can 
probably do at least one thing as well as, or 
better than, anyone else. 

This spirit of freedom and individuality is 
the most important thing a school can teach 
and is largely independent of method and 
organization. It lies at the heart of that religious 
sincerity which should form the basis of the 
school. Every vital activity in a school contri¬ 
butes to the reality of its religious life. But there 
is scope also for specific religious teaching. 
The Scripture lesson need not stop, as Art or 
Handicraft often stop, with the Lower Fifth. 
It may and should be the most vital as w r ell as 
the most useful lesson of the week; if the 
teaching of the Bible is related to the values 
of everyday life as it is lived in the school and 
in the world outside, it still remains the richest 
source of true education. One period a week is 
probably all the time available in class; but 
much can be done with morning assemblies, if 
trouble is taken to arrange the lessons on a 
coherent scheme. 

And when the age of spiritual self-conscious¬ 
ness begins, it is perfectly possible to form a 
group for religious discussion at which a party 
of two dozen or so boys and girls of all 
denominations will divide up into small groups 
and hammer out in earnest the deeper problems 
which it is hardly possible to deal with by any 
other method. It is here that they wifi discover 
most readify for themselves the conflict that 
lies at the heart of life and prepare themselves 
for that attitude of acceptance and toleration 
without which there seems little hope that they 
will leave a better world than they have 
inherited. 


A Preparatory School 

I. O. Williams 


W hat am I doing? The answer is: reading 
books such as Reason and Emotion , One 
Woman’s Story , Inside Europe , Walter 
Rathenau , The Secret of Childhoodand everything 
written byH. G. Wells; keeping in touch, as far as 


Headmaster of T re Arddur 
House* Anglesey 

possible, with political, economic, social and 
religious movements the world over; summing 
up and estimating the claims of the Communists 
and their adversaries; for the battle is one 
throughout the world. 


January 1937 a preparatory school 

But this is only background. When the 
question is asked in relation to the boys in the 
school, the honest answer is ‘I am not quite so 
ure as I should like to be!’ Were the question 
ut ‘What are you trying to do?’ the reply 
you Id be, ‘To educate them in such a way that 
hey will be able to earn an honest, decent 
iving in the world (a) as it is now and (b) as it is 
tending to be; and this with a strong bias 
towards science and modernism.’ 

I write this article with less enthusiasm than 
the subject deserves because I am convinced 
there will never be any serious, intelligent and 
idealistic reform of the curriculum in the 
Preparatory School until some economic and 
social reform has been accomplished. The 
?resent curriculum bolsters up powerfully 
things as they are and the powers that be, and 
Dresents a cluster of bristling spearpoints upon 
which most educational reforms become pain- 
ully impaled. 

The story of Evolution seems to be this: 
climatic and cosmic changes are continually 
aking place and Life, in whatever form it is 
expressed, must adapt itself to these changes, 
or decay sets in. Not the strongest eventually 
survive but those most adaptable, and as far as 
lumans are concerned, those with sufficient 
inner vision to apprehend (perhaps even only 
emotionally) what the next stage is; the rest 
drop out. 

At present education in the Preparatory 
School is dominated, through the Common 
Entrance Examination, by Medievalism. There 
are wheels within wheels with the cogs all 
rusted and clogged, and in their meshes the 
mind of the boy is mangled and mauled, so 
that in manhood but little ‘vision’ as a rule 


*3 


survives. 

This problem then remains to-day for the 
Preparatory School. How can it see that the 
boy is capable of earning his living in the social 
fabric as it is, and yet not let him be accounted 
among those ultimately (and how soon we 
cannot say) damned by the law of Evolution ? 

In this particular school we see to it (however 
much against the grain) that the boys are 
brought up to a high standard in all those 
subjects demanded by Common Entrance. This 
is the primary obligation to the parent; but no 
more time is devoted to these subjects than is 


necessary. It should be remembered that in this 
examination no paper is set to test musical 
knowledge or ability, Science, Nature Study, 
Painting, Drawing, Handicraft, Observation or 
General Knowledge. Nor are the public schools 
altogether to blame, now that the School 
Certificate has become the ‘sine qua non’ of any 
job. 

After the demands of the C.E.E. have been 
met on the timetable, we see what can be done 
to save the boys from the ultimate fate of the 
dinosaur. By postponing Greek and reducing 
Latin a little, time has been found for two 
Science periods a week throughout the school, 
beginning with simple observation of flowers 
and animals; biology in the middle forms; and 
simple experiments in Heat, Light and Elec¬ 
tricity in the senior forms. 

As has rightly and wisely been pointed out, 
the child’s approach to Science should be 
through (1) wonder (2) observation and (3) 
classification. In this subject we find the 
enthusiasm of the boys knows no bounds. 
Their interest in detail and minutiae is remark¬ 
able and their willing application nothing short 
of astounding; they lap up information as a 
thirsty dog laps up water. 

As a typical example of method this term’s 
Vlth form work might be cited. Our senior 
Science master decided to tackle ‘the motor 
bike’. He dug out of an attic in Holyhead a 
derelict 6 h.p. Matchless motor-cycle, price 
15s.; it had lain abandoned in dust and cobwebs 
for four years. Within twenty-four hours he was 
careering round the school (tyres completely 
flat needless to say) with the noise of the engine 
drowned by the shouts and merry derisive 
laughter of the boys. Stage 2, the bike has been 
dismantled, first the engine, then the gear-box, 
the magneto, etc. Every detail will be explained 
and the reassembling will be done partly in 
class, but more during the leisure of the week¬ 
ends, for in such pursuits the conventional 
distinction between work and play vanishes and 
the knowledge thus acquired is not easily 
forgotten. 

In addition to the meagre time that under 
present conditions is allotted to Science, 
opportunities for acquiring knowledge and 
method are offered by a series of hobby rooms. 
One is set aside for Nature Study; in it may be 







THE NEW ERA 


H 

found a strange collection, varying according to 
the season of the year and the craze of the 
moment, but considering the age of the boys the 
results are not to be despised. Collections of 
birds’ eggs of course there are; but even better, 
a number of finished-with nests, set up with 
plasticine eggs of the right shape and markings. 
On another shelf there is a case of moths and 
butterflies, some caught by stream and hill, 
others patiently bred, and all set with meticulous 
care by the boys themselves, and named. 
There is always a handful of boys who make 
themselves real authorities on this subject, and 
to whom other boys and grown-ups alike can 
refer for information. There are also collections 
of pressed flowers, and seaweeds mounted under 
glass, the former found during rambles and 
classified partly during botany lessons, the 
latter collected on never-to-be-forgotten sum¬ 
mer afternoons with long fishing nets and 
shorts rolled up almost out of sight. In the 
summer there is also a sea aquarium in which 
live starfish, ‘sea-cows’, hermit crabs, anemones 
and all sorts of strange creatures. Other hobby 
rooms are devoted to carpentry, railways, clay 
modelling, and lino cutting, and there is a 
fifth which contains a lathe and is the home of 
various crazes. Last year it staged model aero¬ 
planes; this year wooden candlesticks, and other 
articles turned on the lathe, are making their 
appearance. 

The boys’ gardens are optional and the 
owners are given a free hand with their plots. 
There is an increasing tendency for neighbours 
to remove their dividing stones and to co-oper¬ 
ate; in several cases there are as many as four 
or five plots thrown into one with extraordinarily 
pleasing results. This is probably indicative and 
suggestive. There is no quarrelling or bickering 
and each and all seem to work harmoniously 
together to produce something satisfying to all. 
Individual prizes for gardens have been 
abolished owing to the impossibility of picking a 
winner, and now the prize money is handed over 
to the Gardening Club, and usually results in the 
purchase of a wheelbarrow, or some such 
instrument for which a need has been felt. 
The boys manage their own finances and these 
are kept systematically. 

Visitors to the school are surprised at the 
keenness of the boys on Music. Nearly 50 per 


January 1937 

A SELECTION OF 
RECENT PUBLICATIONS 

PERSONALITY IN SPEAKING 

by Mrs. A. M. Henderson, 

Author of Good Speaking. 

With a Foreword by Lord Macmillan. 

Crown 8vo, 128 pages, 2s. 6(J. net. 

Mrs. Henderson has done much pioneer work 
for the establishment of training in speaking 
on lines of practical usefulness. Her ideas are 
on individual lines, and have originated with 
the needs of her students. The methods 
presented in this book are simple, direct, and 
effective. They combine a knowledge of 
English and English usage, with a knowledge 
of the art of speaking, and so provide a 
training which develops mind, imagination, 
and personality. 

THE MILLY-MOLLY-MANDY 
INFANT READERS 

Adapted from J. L. Brisley’s Miily-Molly- 
Mandy Stories. 
by Margaret M’Crea. 

Illustrated in Two Colours by the Author. 

In Four Books. 

Crown 8vo, 32-36 pages each. 

Manilla cover, 4d< ; Limp cloth, 6d. each. 

Of all the popular children in modern fiction 
surely Milly-Moily-Mandy is the most renowned 
and the most beloved. She is a sister to 
many thousands of youngsters throughout 
the English-speaking world, while the 
littlest ones have all heard of her. 

These Milly-Molly-Mandy Primers introduce 
her to these small children in such a way that 
they can follow her little adventures for 
themselves. The type is large, the sentences 
are short, the pictures are interesting. 

EDUCATION OF THE SLOW- 
LEARNING CHILD 

By C. P. Ingram. 

Illustrated. Large Crown 8vo. 432 pages. 
Index. 7s. 6d. net. 

In the interest of the gifted child it is often 
considered wise to segregate the backward 
children into special schools. The author of 
this book repudiates this necessity. In a 
school organization it is possible to allow for 
not only gifted and retarded children, but 
even for borderline and backward cases as 
well. The nature and needs of these children 
are explained, and a programme is suggested 
for them. 


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Prospectuses on application to 

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January 1937 

cent, learn the piano, two the violin and many 
play less exacting instruments. Four short 
periods of singing take place each week, and 
few entertainments are so popular as the 
voluntary Saturday concerts got up as often as 
leisure permits — concerts which include solos, 
duets, community singing, dancing and acting. 

Here perhaps one should mention the school 
‘A’ (Antarctic) Club. Its history is curious. 
Some years ago a friend sent us a copy of 
Edward Wilson of the Antarctic by Seaver. 
Parts of this were read to the Vlth form 
during their weekly General Knowledge period, 
but this did not suffice. Although the boys 
were so young, the life of Edward Wilson and 
the story of Scott’s Expedition to the South 
Pole, and of the scientific work he did in the 
Antarctic, made such an impression on them 
that they insisted on the book being read to 
them from the first page to the last. Many 
bought it with their own money at Christmas. 

Carried forward by this deep-seated enthus¬ 
iasm, in six months we had purchased, or been 
given, all the well-known works about the 
Antarctic including Scott’s own diary, The 
Great White South , Antarctica , The Worst 
Journey in the World , Antarctic Penguins, 
Mawson’s Home of the Blizzard , Shackleton’s 
South , Heart of the Antarctic and many others. 

Mr. Ponting, the official photographer of the 
expedition, supplied us with half a dozen of his 
most beautiful photos, and when he died 
shortly afterwards we added a large number 
more from his own collection, and also a 
penguin’s egg. Best of all we were able to 
purchase his complete set of lecture slides. 
[These slides, between two and three hundred, 
may be borrowed at any time by any school 
or institution in the country.] They are ex¬ 
tremely beautiful, and many fascinating 
lectures can be given by anyone with some 
knowledge of things Antarctic. 

The boys, with the help of a member of the 
staff, modelled an Adelie Penguin rookery in 
plasticine, with its ice and snow and dozens of 
penguins in characteristic attitudes. They also 
modelled to scale a big triangular section of the 
Antarctic showing McMurdo Sound, Hut 
Point and the whole journey across the ice, up 
the Beardmore, and to the Pole itself, together 
with the routes of Amundsen and Byrd. 


15 

Dr. Murray Levick, a member of the ex¬ 
pedition and now the organizer of the Public 
Schools Exploration Society, has been down to 
lecture to us, making the story even more 
realistic, for he was plied with innumerable 
questions by the boys. Commander Worsley has 
also stayed here and lectured, and Mrs. Wilson 
has spent three or four days with us, bringing 
with her a great number of her husband’s 
sketches and paintings made during the 
1901-1904 expedition. Most generously she 
gave some of these to the Club, a very valued 
possession. 

This keenness on the South Pole expedition 
and knowledge of the men who took part in it, 
coupled with all sorts of hobbies and interests 
of their own, revitalized the boys like yeast, and 
it has certainly left some permanent marks on 
the community. Some of the following reasons 
may supply the explanation. The boys dis¬ 
covered, perhaps for the first time, (1) the true 
value of the work they were doing here, (2) the 
value of thoroughness and accuracy, (3) the 
value of makeshift and compromise when 
necessary, (4) the value of a diversity of interests 
such as painting, photography, music, botany, 
and so forth, (5) the value of, and necessity for, 
keeping as fit as possible, and (6) the value and 
necessity of pluck, courage, observation and 
persistent effort. 

A marked improvement in handwriting 
became apparent and also in such subjects as 
Latin Prose which require many of the charac¬ 
teristics mentioned above. A spontaneous 
transformation occurred in the boys’ gardens; 
weeds were dug out, soil was dug deep and a 
good deal more artistic feeling became apparent, 
and this improvement at any rate has remained. 

My previous belief that the Preparatory 
School curriculum needed alteration became a 
conviction when it became crystallized in my 
mind (1) how much knowledge a child imbibed 
when working from a felt need or innate desire, 
and when working with pleasure rather than 
with artificially stimulated interest; and (2) 
how character and personality resulted from 
work carried out under these conditions. For 
many years I have advocated the reduction- of 
Latin in Preparatory Schools to make room for 
other more creative and spontaneous activities, 
not because I belittle the Classics, or under- 


A PREPARATORY SCHOOL 



16 THE NEW ERA January 1937 


estimate their value—they are my own subject 
and I have found great pleasure in them—but 
because in a world where knowledge is being 
accumulated at an almost alarming rate, it is 
self-evident that if an individual is to keep up 
with it, then something must go, and I see no 
other subjects that can be dropped. At present 
Maths, Geography, History and English are 
increasing in importance. The only other 
subject that could go would be French, but 
there seems more sense in spending six hours a 
week in learning the language of one of our 
neighbours than in acquiring the dead language 
of a past age. 

To my mind the importance of the Classics to 
Society should be stressed, but not the languages 
themselves. These, I feel, should eventually be 
cut out to leave time for the study of the people 
that spoke them, their mode of life, their 
history and philosophy and their contribution 


to civilization. On an average, a boy in the 
higher forms of a Preparatory School does three 
hundred and sixty hours Latin per year, 
slowly and laboriously acquiring the technique 
of a difficult language. Ask yourself whether he 
would not be better educated, and better 
equipped for life, more alive and alert, more 
adaptable and useful to himself and to others, 
if he were to spend those three hundred and 
sixty hours a year working with zest and keen¬ 
ness on subjects more appealing to his mind and 
more satisfying to his inner cravings. 

[P.S. — I wrote the above, as requested, 
from a personal standpoint, but much of 
it is borne out by the Report of the sub¬ 
committee appointed by the Council of 
the I.A.P.S. on Curriculum Reform (No¬ 
vember, 1936). This is a masterly piece of 
work, and the horizon seems brighter than 
ever before.] 


Our School Journey to Italy 

From a Centra! Girls’ School 


I T may interest those who think of trying an 
Italian School Journey to know that our 
fortnight cost each girl £12, each mistress 
£14. We had to find the money ourselves— 
no grant was available. Of course, we had the 
advantage of the reduction in fares granted by 
the Italian State Railways during the Holy Year 
celebrations. We were singularly fortunate in 
our accommodation, all of which was arranged 
for us by a personal friend of our head-mistress. 

Our present head girl went on this journey, 
and she provided me with two illustrations of its 
effect on the girls. Eight months after our 
holiday, she sent me, as a Christmas gift, an 
exceedingly well-written and carefully kept 
diary of her experience; and a few days ago 
she was heard to express a most appreciative 
and intelligent opinion regarding some picture 
which was under discussion. 

We have had a Continental School Journey 
every year for some time now, and after each 
one the girls give talks to the school, and show 
their snapshots and postcards by means of the 
epidiascope. We have also had some very 
interesting articles for the School Magazine 


on journeys to France, Belgium and Italy. 
I could mention many more things which prove 
that the Continental School Journey is w r ell 
worth the trouble. 

When in March, 1934, a party of four mis¬ 
tresses and ten girls went for a fortnight to 
Italy, they experienced something of the thrill 
felt by all pioneers. Such a School Journey 
involved much planning and preparation; there 
were certain difficulties owing to the fact that 
the Holy Year celebrations were being held in 
Rome, which necessitated several visits to the 
Italian Legation; there was considerable corre¬ 
spondence with proprietors of hotels, and the 
girls themselves were highly amused when they 
proceeded in a body to the photographer’s to 
have passport photos taken! 

We left Victoria for Folkestone on a fine March 
morning. The girls enjoyed the calm crossing, 
the picnic-lunch eaten half on Boulogne station, 
half in the train, and the journey to Paris, where 
we arrived in the early evening. Dinner had 
been ordered at a restaurant near the Gare St. 
Lazare. 

Then came the novelty of a night in the train. 


January 1937 

None of us had much sleep! At dawn we had 
our first glimpse of the Italian Alps, and after 
that we spent our time at the windows. 

We reached Pisa about 6 o’clock that evening, 
and drove to our hotel, where dinner (our first 
real Italian meal) awaited us. Most of the girls 
were so tired that they went straight to bed; 
but they were up before six next morning to 
get a glimpse of the famous Leaning Tower. 
We were lucky enough to see it and the 
Baptisterie in brilliant sunshine. 

Back at the hotel, we were given little packets 
of lunch, and then caught the morning train 
to Rome. We spent two hours there (we were 
to return later), and reached Naples late that 
evening. 

The biggest thrill of our stay in Naples was 
our visit to Pompeii. The train journey afforded 
glimpses of a Mediterranean that really was as 
blue as it appeared on the postcards we had 
bought. On the grim slopes of Vesuvius, draw¬ 
ing nearer and nearer as our train rounded the 
Bay, the girls could discern marks where the 
lava had poured down to destroy the town below. 
Once inside the town we could put our hands 
into the dents made by the chariot wheels. 
Houses and shops stood more or less as they 
had been when the town was overwhelmed; 
money lay on counters, food on tables. One 
house in particular, with its courtyard and 
pillars, gave the girls an excellent idea of the 
Roman dwellings. We trod the uneven paving 
of the Forum and imagined the busy market 
scene when the town was in its prime. 

We were sorry to leave Naples—but Rome 
lay ahead. Here we stayed in a real Italian 
home, a flat in the centre of the town, with 
pleasant rooms and a sunny verandah. There 
was much chatter and laughter as our party 
gathered round the table to eat the pleasant, 
wholesome meals prepared by our hostess. 
She could not understand a word we said, 
but was kindness itself, and chuckled with 
delight ' at the obvious enjoyment of the 
‘bambini’. Her brother, our host, spoke English, 
and under his guidance we made the most of 
our three days in Rome. We spent a morning 
at Hadrian’s villa; none of us will ever forget 
the warmth of the sun, the beauty of the 
cypresses against the blue sky, and the wealth 
of wild flowers sprinkled like jewels in the 


OUR SCHOOL JOURNEY TO ITALY 


*7 


spring grass. We climbed the hill to Tivoli and 
agreed that those old Romans knew what they 
were doing when they built their country 
houses there. 

We could not get over the fact that ’buses 
ran to the Colosseum—the word on the front 
of a ’bus gave us quite a shock! We saw the 
Colosseum first by day, and could not look 
enough at its grandeur; but it was even more 
impressive by moonlight; its walls seemed 
almost menacing in their height; the arches 
echoed eerily to the sound of our footsteps; 
and the great cross in the centre of the arena 
reminded us powerfully of the sacrifices made 
there. 

It was a gloriously sunny morning when we 
visited the Catacombs; this emphasized for us 
their dimness and eeriness. An English-speaking 
monk showed us how to light the candles, and 
led the way through the marvellously con¬ 
structed passages hewn out of the solid rock. 
We had often read about the Catacombs, but 
had never imagined that these underground 
passages were so numerous or so lengthy. We 


PASSAGES TO AUSTRALIA 

Delegates and others attending the 

AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND 
CONFERENCES 

of the 

NEW EDUCATION FELLOWSHIP 

are invited to communicate with the 
official Travel Agents for full details of 
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THE NEW ERA 


18 

walked back thoughtfully along the Appian 
Way, feeling thankful that we had not lived in 
those days of bitter persecution. 

Time permitted only a fleeting visit to the 
Forum, and our method of ‘doing’ it was in the 
best globe-trotting tradition, for we took to our 
heels and ran here, there and everywhere, so 
that we should miss nothing. But that is not 
the way to see the Forum, and we came away 
loudly vowing to visit Rome again, if only to 
stand once more where Mark Antony stood, 
and imagine the seething Roman crowd below. 

We could not have seen St. Peter’s under .more 
impressive circumstances, for as it was Holy 
Week and Hoiy Year the huge cathedral was 
ablaze with light and colour, and packed with 
worshippers and sightseers from all over the 
world. It was an amazing experience to see how 
this celebration drew all nations together by its 
world-wide appeal, and to realize that here was 
the heart of a great community of people. 

We left Rome feeling that we needed a little 


January 1937 

rest; we found it in Florence. The kindly 
Florentines made our little party feel at home, 
so that most of us were soon going in and out 
of shops on our own, and making purchases 
which weie proudly displayed at our hotel in 
the evenings. We revelled in the warm colour 
of the Cathedral and the Campanile; we spent 
a never-to-be-forgotten morning in the Uffizi 
gallery; we climbed by tram to Fiesole, wan¬ 
dered in twos and threes up and down the 
quaint streets and visited the monastery at the 
top of the hill. We shopped in the market and 
compared English and Italian prices; we spent 
our money down to the last lira; and we never 
tired of standing where Dante stood in the 
picture we knew so well, and gazing at the 
wonderful old bridge. 

Our return journey was uneventful, save for 
a crowded morning spent in Paris. We left, sad 
that our marvellous fortnight had come to an 
end, but with memories that will remain with 
us as long as we live. 


Drama and the Secondary Schoo 


H. K. Sheldon 

A s this article is to be severely practical, I 
shall deal only with the actual dramatic 
work that we have done ourselves, and 
shall try to show the attitude that we have 
towards it and the place that it takes among us. 
I shall leave out any kind of dramatic work done 
in Form-rooms in connection with the English 
work, as much has already been written about 
that, and besides, we feel here that its use has 
been, and still is, somewhat overrated: often, 
the careful reading of a Shakespeare play, for 
example, is better than somewhat feeble 
attempts at a dramatic representation of it. 

But we are believers in dramatic work, not 
only as a valuable aid to speech training, but 
for all sorts of other reasons; and these reasons 
will appear as I proceed with my article. 

There are, in my opinion, two methods of 
dramatic presentation. Either (a) one can choose 
a play in which there are few characters, and in 
which every gesture and every movement is 
carefully studied; or (b) one can choose a play 
which demands many characters, and in which 


Headmistress of Luton High Schoo! 

‘crowd-work’ is, as it were, all-important. 

In our school, so many girls are keenly 
interested in acting that it would be almost 
unfair to choose method (a). Besides, method (b) 
does away with much chance of ‘swelled-head’, 
and that is all to the good. 

So, to begin with, we have to find a play in 
which some hundreds of characters can take 
part, in which there are innumerable speaking 
parts, manifold opportunities of music, dancing, 
singing and so on, and some really important 
mass-scenes, for only in this way can all our 
would-be actresses be employed, and it was our 
aim when our school was smaller to let anyone 
act who wished to do so. To-day that is not 
altogether possible. 

Where can we find such a play? There the 
difficulty begins, because after use has been 
made of one or two likely Shakespeare plays, we 
are absolutely at a loss. Some years ago, when 
we first began the search, we did find something 
really lovely and really suitable in Alfred 
Noyes’s ‘Robin Hood’. We were almost the 


January 1937 drama and the secondary school 


first people to act this play; most certainly the 
first school to be given permission to do so; 
though since our day many have done so, and 
some of them have borrowed the music we 
wrote for it then. It was a lovely play, and I 
think we did it as well as we have ever done 
anything, though we had to act it on a stage that 
was only a few inches high in the middle, as our 
Hall was then two huts placed together, and the 
middle beam was really very low! We were not 
in the least deterred either at that time, or when 
we acted ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, by 
the presence of a large wooden pillar support in 
the very middle of our stage, or by curtains that 
could not be fixed securely. We simply arranged 
ourselves to the sides of the pillar; and accepted 
with equanimity any idiosyncrasies of the 
curtains or of the lights. A door in the middle- 
back into a store cupboard, was ingeniously 
turned into a window with a grating, and so 
realistic was the idea of depth that someone in 
authority asked me if I thought it quite safe for 
people to climb such a height! That was 
triumph indeed, and shows that imagination 
and ingenuity will overcome most difficulties. 
We were fortunate too in having people who 
really did exactly fit the parts. 

But when the next time of choice came, we 
were again faced with the difficulty of finding a 
play—and when all hope had failed we began 
to write—sometimes several of us together, 
sometimes one or other of our number—series 
of plays that we have acted since. In this way we 
have produced, since 1930, three original plays 
entitled:— 

‘Hereward the Wake’; ‘Briar Rose’;‘Cophetua 
and Arsinoe or The King and the Beggar Maid’; 
besides a play for the Lower School which we 
called ‘Know You What It Is to be a Child’, and 
in which every girl but one in the Lower 
School took part. 

We have always designed, cut out and pinned 
every costume in school, and we have been 
responsible for scenery and properties, so that 
talents other than those of a dramatic kind have 
been called into play. The rehearsals have 
brought together as actors, or in other ways, 
members of the staff, and girls from all parts of 
the school. They have taught the lessons of 
co-operation and of concentration—each mem¬ 
ber has been made to feel that no part is so 


unimportant as not to be really important, and 
from our choruses of one time have come our 
Principals of another. We have sometimes run 
some of the parts in duplicate, but otherwise we 
have not particularly troubled about under¬ 
studies. 

We have tried in our plays to get variety of 
tempo and of interest: and in all cases songs and 
music—also written in school—have been an 
integral part. We have now quite a beautiful 
stage, with an extension that can easily be put 
up. This extension has steps all along the front 
and a pillar at each side bearing the lights. As 
there are no back-rooms to our stage, much of 
our action of entering has to take place up the 
Hall, but as our plays are of the somewhat 
spectacular kind, this is all to the good; and in 
many ways adds to the interest. My advice 
would be ‘Try to turn all your difficulties into 
assets’. 

You may like to have a few details about each 
of these original plays that I have mentioned. 

The play of ‘Hereward the Wake’ was based 
partly on Kingsley’s story, partly on legend, 
with the introduction of the Leofric and 
Godiva Story as a Prologue. The use of Good 
Spirits and of Evil Spirits, typifying respectively 
the different phases of Life in the Fens, added 
something to the interest of the play; as did 
particular emphasis on the Witch episodes: and 
on the influence of Torfrida and of Alftruda. No 
desire to end in a proper ‘story book way’ could 
however make the ending a happy one. 

‘Briar Rose’—a Christmas play—told the 
story of the Sleeping Beauty, in which our 
Prince Florizel brought up in the enervating 
atmosphere of the South, finds love and 
happiness in the brisker, colder North. The 
production was remarkable for its really lovely 
costumes and colours: the member of our staff 
who is responsible for the costumes was 
fortunate in obtaining wonderful bargains in 
the way of materials. The other things that one 
specially remembers are a Gilbertian Scene 
between ‘Proud Potentates’ and ‘Languishing 
Ladies’; the contrast between the two Courts of 
Pomposo and Dolce Far Niente and of Tuberoso 
and Multifiora: all the lovely Fairy Scenes; and 
perhaps most of all the words and music of 
the ‘Theme Song’. In this play we had 322 
characters. 







20 


THE NEW ERA 


It is not easy to find even stories still unused, 
but that of Cophetua and the Beggar Maid 
remains almost so. Out of the few lines that we 
have in Tennyson’s ‘The Beggar Maid’ we 
concocted quite a long story of an ancient feud 
between dark and fair peoples: between the 
proud and fair conquerors under Cophetua I 
and the conquered dark race, and of a curse that 
should be worked out under a Cophetua, 
seventh of that name; and it is that seventh 
Cophetua, who, after many adventures, finds in 
his own home, among the downtrodden serfs, 
the maid appointed for him. 

In our Lower School play we brought in all 


January 1937 

the books read in that part of the school, and so 
it became more particularly interesting to the 
young actors. 

At the moment, we are busily employed in 
getting up The Tempest’ as we felt that it 
would lend itself to our kind of acting. We have 
in it 147 actors, and have introduced various 
types of Spirits of the Island, of trees, of sands, 
of waves, and we are having a good deal of 
music in it. 

I wish that all my readers could come to see 
it. If at any time anyone would like to hear any 
more of our efforts, I shall be most happy to an¬ 
swer any questions or to show any photographs. 


The Value of Work Camps 

in Secondary Education' 

W. F. Hoyland 

/ 


T here is not a school in the Country that 
is not aware of the danger that it may 
become shut off from the outside world 
and lose touch with all forms of society other 
than its own. Accordingly more and more 
subjects are being introduced into the curricula 
which will bring the pupils into closer contact 
with the social conditions around them, and 
enable them better to understand the reasons 
for the present economic and international 
situation. The problems of local government 
and housing schemes are studied, visits are 
made to assizes and petty sessions, and 
lectures are given by men of all professions. 
There may be a club, run by a few pupils, for 
working lads in the town, and two representa¬ 
tives from the school may attend the Duke of 
York’s Camp each summer. 

All these are excellent in their way, but they 
do not get very far. A visit to a family living 
under evil housing conditions leaves an im¬ 
pression on the mind of the visitor, but in 
most cases he has done little more than look on 
from a distance—he knows very little about the 
lives of the people who live there. The lads’ 


1 Full details of Work Camps where parties are welcomed can be 
had from:—Work Camps for Schools and Colleges, Clearing House 
for Information, Woodbrooke, Selly Oak, Birmingham. 


club may produce friendships, but they are 
made in recreation under special conditions—- 
there is not much understanding of the boy’s 
everyday life in the home, factory and street. 

There is only one certain way to get to know 
someone really well: it is to work with him. It is 
when men share manual work that real friend¬ 
ships are made, and that a knowledge of one 
another is gained. There are not many profes¬ 
sions that school children can take up for a 
short time with any great success, but there is one 
that everyone can do tolerably well: it is to dig. 

All over England and Wales there are small 
communities of unemployed men with allot¬ 
ments, many of which are run on a co-operative 
basis. To these Work Camps parties of school 
children go for a week or more to share with the 
men the work of digging in the ground. If the 
Work Camp is in the country the members of 
the party may sleep under canvas, feeding and 
spending the evenings with the men. More 
usually it is in a town—Wigan, Oldham, 
Bolton or many others—where the children live 
as paying guests with the families of the men 
with whom they work. Thus, in living in the 
home a close insight is gained of the housekeep¬ 
ing problems faced by unemployed families; by 
spending the day-time working side by side 



January 1937 the value of work camps in secondary education 


with the men class barriers are broken down, 
while built up in their stead are bonds of friend¬ 
ship and mutual understanding. 

Recently parties have gone abroad and done 
similar work with the unemployed of Austria, 
Denmark and Sweden: there is a farm in the 
Pyrenees where an exiled German family is 
struggling to live, and there are the Bruderhof 
communities in Germany and England. The 
Work Camps need not be confined to our own 
Country, they can be extended to break down 
barriers of nationality and race. 

It is not the object of the Work Camps to 
better the lot of the unemployed, though its 
efforts are doubtless helpful; its object is the 
education of the school children in a subject 
which cannot be taught in any other way. 
They are brought into intimate contact with 
men and social conditions they would not 
ordinarily meet. Some day those children will 
be taking on responsibilities that may mean the 
government of their town or even Country, and 
in any case will involve numbers of their fellow 
men: the experiences gained at Work Camps 
will enable them to carry out these respon¬ 
sibilities well. 

The task of organizing the Work Camp 
parties from the school is not a difficult one. 
Perhaps the first one was, for I had never been 
before myself and it was necessary to resort to 
persuading boys to come with me. After that 
many of them were anxious to go again and 
their enthusiasm caught on in the school. Now, 
they organize their own parties of five or six, 
with one of their number acting as leader. 
Nearly every holiday I take a party myself of 
junior boys—14 or 15 years old—to a co-opera¬ 
tive farm in Sussex, where they get their first 
taste of a Work Camp, but after this experience 
I urge them to join a party run by a senior boy. 

Better than any theorizing about the value of 
Work Camps is to hear from those who have 
actually taken part in them. Below are repro¬ 
duced a few extracts that have appeared in 
school magazines. 

Cymmer 

(Cymmer is a small mining town in South 
Wales where a community hut and garden have 
been built by unemployed men.) 

‘The thought of going there made him feel 


afraid. He was not sure he was going to enjoy 
the life. He did not mind sleeping in a hut —he 
had done that before —he did not mind hard 
manual work, digging in soil that was half rock, 
but he was not quite sure that he was going to 
like living side by side with Welsh miners, 
working with them, talking with them, eating 
and sleeping with them. Had they anything in 
common? Wouldn’t he be a little standoffish, 
and they shy and unassertive? 

‘He arrived — painfully selfconscious of the 
car that had brought him — and tentatively 
shook hands with all who greeted him. He 
looked round wondering how it was all going to 
work out. 

‘The week passed. 

‘Now he was saying good-bye, warmly 
shaking each man by the hand, and as he 
travelled home he thought over all that had 
happened, and all he had learnt during those 
seven days. He had dug in the side of a hill. 
He had moved barrow-loads of soil. He had 
hacked rocks out of a quarry. He had helped 
build a garden. He had helped in two concerts, 
when hundreds of men, women and children 
had crowded into that hut, till there was not 
even standing room, and he had listened to 
singers perform before a truly appreciative audi¬ 
ence. He had been down a coal mine, and seen 
some of the conditions under which men work 
for their living. And he had played in a rugger 
match on the top of a mountain. But there was 
something else he had done — it w r as hard to 
describe it — something that made him very 
sorry to be going away, leaving behind those 
friends with whom he had lived in such a close 
community. He had discovered what a lot he 
and they had in common, and what a lot there 
was to be learnt from them. He had learnt how 
a crippled man can work, and be really glad to 
be alive, and how men, faced with no prospect 
of better times, can be cheerful and courageous. 
They were all human beings like himself, who 
felt as he did, and thought as he did, who 
worked and ragged as he did: men who had 
made him their friend as he had made them his’. 

Wigan 

(Here there are co-operative allotments.) 

‘My friend and I were staying with a family 
who were certainly much better off than most, 




22 


THE NEW ERA 


although they had a grown-up son out of work. 
Their hospitality was royal, yet they had never 
had visitors before. 

‘At ten o’clock the students (nine of us) went 
on to the allotments to work. It was not so 
much the work we did as the talks we had that 
were so enjoyable, and perhaps we were 
impressed with two men in particular. One was 
an old campaigner, the oldest owner of an 
allotment. . . . He enjoyed toffees and as there 
were no cigarettes handy we talked over toffees 
in small huts when it rained. The second man 
was a wonderful gardener and he had turned 
his patch of turf into the neatest weed-free plot 
of ground we had ever seen. The actual work 
was the rough digging of plots belonging to men 
who were ill. 

‘We were there four days: we saw the life of 
Wigan and realized that where before we had 
perhaps been afraid to tread, we were now 
welcomed with outstretched arms’. 

‘A most constructive week was spent at Wigan 
where we dug strenuously during the day and 
talked continuously during the evenings. We 
learnt a great deal about small incomes and the 


January 1937 

skilful way in which they can be used, and yet 
we felt very much at home. Our host was an ex¬ 
miner and was very jolly and full of fun. Even 
at sixty-five, he challenged the entire party to a 
snowball fight which ended in a broken street 
lamp. Although the town is dull and drab we 
soon found out that the people were exactly the 
opposite and we should be well advised if we 
could employ a little of their high-hearted 
happiness in our own lives. Perhaps we shall’. 

New Hope Farm , Withy ham 

(This is a small poultry farm on the borders 
of Kent and Sussex.) 

‘We were there in January. There was plenty 
of mud after the rains. At nine o’clock on the 
evening of our arrival we helped to shift some 
forty head of poultry from one house to another. 
The storm-lantern glimmered, Wellingtons 
squelched, as with the warm roundness of a 
ruffled hen under each arm, a burden which 
tended on some journeys to protest at such an 
undignified method of conveyance, we trudged 
betv/een the wire-netted runs. Fencing, gate¬ 
building, logging kept us busy. There is 
plenty to do.’ 


The Use of Leisure 

at a Public Schoo 

/ 

E. H. Lockwood 


A boy who comes to Felsted School at the 
age of, say 13J, is pitchforked, as it were, 
into a ‘junior room’, one of those bare and 
uncivilized apartments whose furniture is 
suited to the ragging and toughing propensities 
of the small fry who inhabit it. At that age it’s a 
glorious thing to live where nothing is breakable 
except the windows. The amenities of civiliza¬ 
tion are represented chiefly by a ping-pong 
table and a gramophone blaring jazz, or perhaps 
in these days its more cultured colleague the 
wireless set. The best thing about the junior 
room is the cheerful horde of boys, about 25 of 
them, for whom it is a temporary home. And the 
word ‘home’ is not here a misnomer, for one of 


the things a boarding-school can do is to help a 
boy to begin the transference of his allegiance 
from the home of his parents to a home of his 
own, and the first stage of that process is for him 
to make his home among his fellows. 

Now this living with the herd, though doubt¬ 
less very sound psychologically, suffers from 
certain disadvantages, the chief of which is that 
the mechanism by which the individual 
emerges from the crowd is, or at least has been, 
gravely defective. It is all very well to say that a 
boy must be a boy before he can be a man, but 
men who have never got out of the schoolboy 
stage are as useless in the world as so many 
Peter Pans. 



The Bury Garden 


j January 1937 the use of leisure 

The prefect 
system has pro¬ 
vided one ex¬ 
cellent method 
of emerging 
from the 
crowd, but the 
prefect’s job is 
a job, not a 
privilege, and 
therefore for 
the few rather 
than for every¬ 
one in turn. In¬ 
dividuality for 

j 

the many is 
hard to organ¬ 
ize. It is cer¬ 
tainly harder to 
manage than 
the herding 
business, for it demands more space, more 
freedom and a greater variety of opportunity. 

But if there is any one thing which is charac¬ 
teristic of the modern tendency in education it 
is the attempt to provide this greater freedom 
for individual development. In school hours, 
this is reflected in a wider choice of subjects and 
in a tendency, perhaps by means of such devices 
as the Dalton Plan, to extend what may be 
called sixth form methods to the lower parts of 
the school. But it is the special business of the 
boarding-school to consider that part of the 
pupils’ life which lies outside school hours, and 
part of that business should be to provide some 
of those things which a good home can give —- 
perhaps in greater abundance and variety than 
any home can do. 

Obviously a boy should be enabled to make 
good use of his leisure, for that is the time when 
he is most completely himself, the time when 
he has a chance to follow and develop his own 
tastes. How can we help him in this? 

Before going further it may be as well to state 
exactly how much leisure a public school boy 
has. The following programme probably allows 
as much spare time as any: — 7.45 breakfast, 

8.30- 9.0 morning prep, 9.10 chapel, 9.30-12.50 
school (with 20 minutes break), 1.0 dinner, 

1.30- 2.0 rest (lying on beds, reading or talking), 

2.30- 3.45 games or runs (4 days a week) or 


AT A PUBLIC SCHOOL 23 

O.T.C. or Scouting (1 day a w r eek), 4.15-6.15 
school (3 days a week), 6.20 tea, 7.15-8.30 prep, 
8.40 prayers, 10.15 lights out (9.15 for juniors). 
On Sundays, two chapel services are compul¬ 
sory and there is a f-hour period for Scripture 
prep. 

It will be seen that, except on Sundays, the 
free time is practically limited to a couple of 
hours on half-holidays and an hour each 
evening; and even this limited allowance is 
considerably more than in former days, when 
the evening hour was occupied by ‘second 
prep’ five days a week. The free hours in the 
afternoon were partly occupied, then as now, 
by such voluntary activities as carpentry, 
boxing, music practices and rehearsals, and it 
may well be imagined that the school societies, 
dependent chiefly on Saturday evenings (from 
9 p.m.) and Sundays, maintained a precarious 
existence. But they did keep themselves alive, 
some of them for 50 years, and eventually an 
almost unique opportunity presented itself of 
giving them a permanent home and a chance to 
develop. This was due to a former governor of 
the school, who lived close by in a sixteenth 
century farmhouse called ‘Felsted Bury’. He 
had been one of the first members of the school 
Scientific Society in 1877, and after a life spent 
mostly in India and Persia he retired to Fel¬ 
sted Bury and died there, leaving the very 
attractive house and garden to the school. 

The garden was immediately made available 
to the whole 
school, at first only 
on Sundays. This 
in itself was a 
great privilege, 
because nothing 
could have provid¬ 
ed a more com¬ 
plete contrast to 
the noisy and bar¬ 
racks-like atmos¬ 
phere of a crowd¬ 
ed school build¬ 
ing. Here was 
space, order and 
quiet. There was 
never a truer 
remark than 
Thring’s, that ‘the 










2 4 

almighty wall is, after all, the supreme and final 
arbiter of schools’. The silent influence of sur¬ 
roundings, beautiful or ugly, is more penetrat¬ 
ing than any amount of talk, and that is why 
this first step was so significant and valuable. 

Next, the house was repaired and redecorated 
and was planned out as a house of leisure-time 
activities. This immediately raised an interesting 
educational problem. There is no harder lesson 
to teach boys than to take care of things, 
whether their own things or the community’s. 
How, then, would they treat this rambling old- 
fashioned house of about 20 rooms, under what 
must necessarily be very slight supervision? 
What sort of furniture and equipment could 
safely be installed? What rules would be 
necessary? 

The only possible course was the bold one, 
to furnish the house as such a house deserved 
and to minimize restrictions in its use. The 
utmost care was given to the decoration and 
furnishing. Light paints and distempers were 
used, easy chairs were provided and carpets, the 
general effect being something quite different 
from a school building. This produced the 
desired result and it is satisfactory to record, 
after years, that the worst wear and tear has 
been on the stair carpets. 


January 1937 

Rooms were allotted to the different school 
societies, but the societies have not been 
encouraged to regard their rooms in a posses¬ 
sive spirit, as castles to be defended. There are 
70 or 80 ‘full members’ who have the complete 
run of the house at any time, besides 120 to 150 
‘associate members’ who have similar use of the 
rooms belonging to their own societies. The 
full members are selected by a committee 
consisting of about 10 boys and 2 masters, one 
of whom is the Warden and lives in the house. 
This committee is not primarily an experiment 
in self-government. It does govern, not because 
someone has decided that the boys ought to 
be allowed to make their own mistakes, but 
because the united commonsense and know¬ 
ledge of 10 boys and 2 masters is in fact better 
than that of any one person. If the Warden has 
influenced the committee it has been almost 
entirely in the direction of preventing the 
multiplication of rules. There are indeed 
practically no rules, the chief exceptions being 
that boys using the darkrooms must sign an 
attendance book and that the radiogramophone 
in the Music Room must only be used for good 
music (the house rooms in the school buildings 
provide ample facilities for the other sort). 

The Music Room is naturally one of the best 


THE NEW ERA 




















January 1937 the use of leisure 

used rooms in the house. It has held up to 80 
people (a tight fit) for a Musical Society concert. 
It is used for orchestra practices and some 
particularly enjoyable Sunday evening sing¬ 
songs. Usually these consist of part-songs and 
madrigals, sung for fun, not as practice for a 
performance. This term, however, they have 
formed the earlier practices for the opera 
‘Ruddigore’ which is to serve the double 
purpose of providing the school concert and the 
annual entertainment given by the school to the 
village. At other times in the Music Room there 
are usually boys listening to the gramophone or 
wireless, with varying degrees of attention, 
reading a magazine or a miniature score as the 
case may be. 

In the Art Room there is always some kind of 
work going on, usually for one of the three¬ 
weekly competitions (just now it is posters for 
‘ Ruddigore’). The History Room is more of a 
library, and so is the Debating Room, which is 
shared by the Debating, Modern Affairs and 
Shakespeare Societies. The last is a dramatic 
society and their work naturally centres round 
the stage in the school hall, where they produced 
‘Tobias and the Angel’ this year, ‘Macbeth’ 
last year. They also did ‘Androcles and the 
Lion’ in the garden on the day the Bury was 
opened. 

Debates may be either in the Bury (sometimes 
in the Bury garden), or in the school hall. 
Another room in the Bury is shared by the 
Geographical and Meteorological Sections of 
the Scientific Society and others again belong to 
the Zoological and Engineering Sections. The 
last has a model-making room elsewhere. The 
Wireless Room and the observatory are also 
outside the Bury, for practical reasons. Two 


AT A PUBLIC SCHOOL 25 

darkrooms in the Bury attics are in use at all 
possible hours and a good deal of indoor work is 
done in the Photographic Studio. In or near the 
old kitchen premises are to be found the 
Careers Room, the school magazine office and 
a small but efficient bookbinding industry. 
Finally there are two general rooms: the Lecture 
Room, where many distinguished visitors have 
held forth, in supplement to the innumerable 
papers read by boys to the different societies; 
and the hall of the house, which is a lounge 
where full members may read their newspaper 
in becoming dignity and where weekly coffee 
parties are held with a view to stimulating the 
dying art of conversation. 

Literary efforts are not confined to the school 
magazine. There has been a Bury Magazine and 
a Bury Report, and the latter is to be an annual 
production, written and illustrated by the 
boys. There is a Foreign Travel Association, 
which has organized tours abroad. Foreign 
visitors have likewise been entertained in the 
Bury, and one of the best evenings we have had 
was the occasion of a joint sing-song in the 
Music Room with a German hockey team. 

It is too early to say what will be the eventual 
effect of the Bury on the School, but at the 
least we can say that in the future there will be 
no excuse for the intelligent person who says 
that his school was a Sahara, or for the person of 
invincible dullness for whom life consists of 
office and golf. Dullness impoverishes the 
world, but everyone who learns to enjoy life 
intelligently, who learns to appreciate beauty, to 
talk or write well, or to understand the interest 
of what goes on in the world, is likely in due 
course to do his share towards making the 
world fit for human beings to live in. 


On Starting a New School 


A. K. C. Ottaway 

B Y the time this article is published this 
school will have finished its first term. On 
the 21st of September, 1936, I and five 
other members of staff watched about two dozen 
children come to a new school for the first time. 
By half-term the numbers had grown to 29. 


Headmaster of Burgess Hill School 

The school is in Hampstead, London, N.W.2, 
and is planned for 100-120 boys and girls 
between the ages of 5 and 13. It is a progressive 
preparatory school, and thus aims at making 
reforms in one of the most backward sections of 
English education. It is hoped more especially 


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THE NEW ERA 


Painting furniture for the Kindergarten 

to prepare pupils for entry to schools closely 
linked to the modern movement in education, 
but should parents desire preparation for the 
more conventional type of school, any normally 
intelligent child will be able to attain the neces¬ 
sary standards of admission. This means that 
boys may have to take the Common Entrance 
Examination, however it interrupts and distorts 
their education, until the very urgent reforms in 
this examination, which seems imminent, are 
brought into operation. Many preparatory 
schools are struggling to be sane and enlightened 
under the dominating burden of this examina¬ 
tion. We support all efforts at its reform not 
because we object to hard work, but because we 
insist on hard work at the right subject matter 
for the junior boy’s age, abilities and interests. 
Just as wrong food for the body can ruin 
physical health, however hard the rebellious 
yet miraculously adaptable viscera attempt to 
digest it; so the wrong mental food des¬ 
troys the efficacy of a mind which may 
even give every appearance of having 
assimilated it. 

What is our time-table at Burgess Hill? 

How do we hope to achieve the all-round 
development of each child, without over¬ 
stressing the intellectual work, or allowing 
too many claims from the increasingly 
important practical subjects, or making 
a fetish of games or any other one feature of 
the curriculum? The children are at school 
from 9.30 to 4.15 each day. This makes a 
total of 33! hours each week. With our 
present time-table (making arbitrary 


January 1937 

distinctions for the sake of numerical 
representation), 14 hours each week are 
spent on academic subjects, or ‘brain 
stretching 5 in the ordinary school-lesson 
sense; 6f hours are given to practical 
subjects (including art and music); 4J 
hours to games, exercises, and free time; 
2 it hours to feeding time and the same 
amount to rest; 2J hours to sweeping, 
cleaning and tidying; and 1J hours to the 
daily School Meeting. 

The academic work must obviously 
include the basic subjects that any 
school has to teach. A few of the differ¬ 
ences from the conventional preparatory 
school may be mentioned. General 
science is introduced early, notably biology and 
the elements of human physiology. History- 
geography is treated as one subject, along with 
the beginnings of social studies, as aspects of 
the evolution of society and man’s place in the 
world. Maths-geography is another subject, 
called ‘space 5 and is an introduction to geometry 
and astronomy, and later space-time. English 
is taught not merely as grammar or the study 
of (often wrongly) selected literature, but as a 
means of written and spoken expression, as an 
instrument of accurate thought, and as an 
approach to great writers through prose and 
poetry which is in touch with the emotional 
and mental experience of the child. Our 
tendency with foreign languages is to postpone 
written and formal grammatical work until the 
age of 11, and to encourage the spoken word as 
early as it is wanted. Latin is voluntary, except 
for examination candidates who need it, and for 


Making a plan of the School and Grounds 







January 1937 on starting a 

them it is taught for 2 to 3 years at the most. 

So much for ‘lessons’, and during ‘lesson 
time’ as well as during the other activities now 
to be described, there are two key-words which 
indicate what we hope the school will be. The 
school aims at being a workshop and a com¬ 
munity. As a workshop there is the art work 
and all varieties of handwork and crafts, which 
are given the position of importance they have 
gained in all modern schools. In addition, the 
link of work with society is made by the under¬ 
taking of useful practical jobs for the service of 
the whole community. The spirit of this work is 
shown by the small girl who on a wet games 
afternoon was cleaning the floor of a lavatory 
during its re-decoration, and looking up with a 
radiant smile though dirty face, she said ‘I like 
:his much better than football’. And she also 
ikes ‘football’, for we play a conveniently un- 
:onventional game, a mixture of foot and hand- 
aall, which boys and girls can play together with 
:he greatest vigour and safety. 

The community life is regulated by a daily 
school meeting. This will always be a meeting of 
;he whole school while it is small enough, and of 
ongitudinal sections of the school, changed 
fom time to time, when it is found to get too 
arge. The school is a democracy where the 
)pinion of every member is consulted. And 
vhen each of us is consulted, each one of us is 
■esponsible; and the success of our community 
lepends on the way we face that responsibility. 
School duties are arranged at this meeting. 
These are chosen and not appointed, and so are 
Iways willingly accepted. Every child in the 
chool has a daily duty of some service to the 
^roup life, unless he or she prefers not to take on 
.nything at all. So far, any child who has not 
.ccepted a duty at first, has always been found 
o ask for one later. If a case arises of a child who 
:ontinually prefers to do nothing, it will be 
egarded as a special behaviour problem. 

The school meeting is free to discuss any 
natter concerning the regulation or organiza- 
ion of the social life. Is not the influence of the 
taff at this meeting a very large factor? Of 
ourse it is, but if this influence is effected by 
eason and persuasion, and not by coercion, 
[here is no harm in this, if the staff are the right 
ind of people. The grown-ups are members of 
le community with more knowledge and 


NEW SCHOOL 27 

experience. Naturally they will often find better 
solutions to problems than the children will 
find. What if the solution found by the grown¬ 
up is not accepted by the children? This has 
not happened yet. If it does the answer is that 
the Headmaster makes the final decision, 
because he is the Head of the school. Everybody 
knows that, and if they do not accept it they 
will have to leave, unless the Governors decide 
that the Headmaster has to leave. It is not a 
system by which the children govern the school, 
and so we don’t call it self-government. The 
children are not given judicial powers or powers 
of punishment, nor are the decisions made 
by majority voting. It is a system of consulta¬ 
tion, where everybody’s opinion is listened to, 
and an agreement reached whenever possible by 
common consent. If agreement cannot be 
reached then the appointed leaders of the 
school, that is the staff, must be trusted to make 
the best decision. 

Finally, what character qualities do we 
encourage in the developing personality of the 
child? Anyone who has lived with young chil¬ 
dren under 7 years of age must have noticed 
their unbounded spirit of eagerness and 
enthusiasm. They are excited by every new 
thought and every new thing. Everything they 
do is education. How often do we see this 
creative spirit of childhood become deadened 
and dull and resistant? Is is not a great tragedy 
to see young boys and girls resistant to work, or 
bored and without vital interests? 

There are two opposite ways of spoiling a 
child. Here is a story told by Strindberg: ‘When 
he was a small boy he expressed a wish by 
saying “I will”. But his father said to him, “You 
have no will,” or “Little boys don’t will.” 
When he became grown up a bit his father 
asked him one day, “What do you want to be?” 
The boy did not know, and he had given up 
wanting because it was forbidden. True he had 
a liking for music, but he did not dare say so, for 
he thought it would be stopped if he did.’ This 
is the tragedy of a child who had given up 
wanting because it was forbidden. The opposite 
tragedy is that of a child left entirely free to do 
as he likes and to follow every passing whim and 
fancy. Adults, possibly through a mistaken view 
of freedom, leave him to take the line of least 
resistance, so that he gives up the moment effort 









28 the new era January 1937 


and patience are required. His eager spirit, 
through lack of help and guidance, flits from 
one new subject to another, and he never 
acquires the habit of steady work at any one of 
them. When the immediate stimulus is ex¬ 
hausted he becomes bored, and so never finds 
his true self, and may leave his most valuable 
capacities unawakened. 

People are often afraid that the progressive 
school makes things too easy for the child, and 
so falls into this latter type of error. A school 
that does this makes a grave psychological 
mistake, because children are happy working 
hard, and need to overcome difficulties. Even 
when the work at first appears arduous and 
unpleasant, it is of the greatest value to the 
child to experience the joy of achieving when at 
first he thought he was failing. Therefore it is of 
great importance to keep alive those qualities of 
zest and vitality, which lead both to enjoyment 


Fellowship News 


ENGLISH SECTION 

JANUARY MEETING 

The Annual Meeting and Lecture of the English 
Section will take place on January 6th at University 
College, Gower Street, within the programme of the 
Conference of Educational Associations. The General 
Meeting will be held at 3 p.m. The main item on the 
agenda is the presentation of a revised scheme of 
membership, recommended by the Executive. The 
meeting will be followed by tea. At 5 p.m. Professor 
Sir S. Radhakrishnan, whose contributions to the 
Cheltenham Conference will be fresh in many 
memories, will deliver an address on Education and 
the Life of Spirit. 

GENERAL MEETING 

A General Meeting of the Section was held on 
November 28th to hear the recommendations of 
the Provisional Committee which has been consider¬ 
ing the future of the Section and to take a number of 
decisions. Dr. Susan Isaacs took the chair and about 
fifty members and friends were present. 

The Chairman explained that it was generally 
agreed that the time had come to separate the work 
of the English Section from that of the International 
body, to build up a strong autonomous Section w-ith 
a democratic constitution and to embark on a wider 
development of activities in this country. 

The Treasurer of the International, Mr. W. Laffan, 


in creating, and also to the power of facing 
defeat and difficulty. 

Of equal importance is the development of 
sensitiveness. By this I mean a capacity to feel: 
keenly, to be sensible of another’s feeling, and 
to react quickly to changing circumstance. One: 
of the aims of education is to make people more 
aware of themselves and the world in which: 
they live. 

Then with minds quickened and sensitive' 
there remains the task of training our pupils to 
relate thought and action. We need people in the! 
world not only able to think and feel, but able: 
to act as well. Let us remember the following! 
words of Pericles from his famous speech in 
praise of the Greeks of his day. ‘For we have a: 
peculiar power,’ he said, ‘of thinking before wej 
act and of acting too, whereas other men are: 
courageous from ignorance, but hesitate upon: 
reflection’. 

. 


International Headquarters, 29 Tavistock 
Square, London, W.C.I 

read a report on the present position of the Fellow--' 
ship, the main point of which w r as that, as certain 
temporary grants had ceased, the work must now 
depend on the strength of the membership. 

The Chairman then outlined the recommendations 
of the Provisional Committee. There seemed no doubt 
that a real place existed for the N.E.F. in England, 
as a clearing house for ideas, research and pioneer 
work, and as a means of bringing together the various 
educational agencies, more particularly the two great 
groups, the state schools and the public and private* 
schools. The problem resolved itself into a choice 
between two more or less alternative policies: 
(1) to lie low and set our house in order, (2) to go 
ahead with an ambitious programme and appeal 
for wide support. In the opinion of the Provisional' 
Committee, the first w r as inevitable for the time being, 
but we should make the second our ultimate aim, 
and put it into action bit by bit as circumstances 
allowed. Its basis would be the framing of a scheme of 
vital activities and the engagement of a Field Or¬ 
ganizing Secretary with the energy and initiative to 
carry it out. 

In open discussion members showed their essen-1 
tial agreement with this line of policy and emphasized 1 
the need for keeping a clear aim and remembering? 
that the Fellowship stood for a certain stream of 
tendency, which was generally understood by the'! 
term ‘New Education’. It was realized that New: 
Education was not the monopoly of any one type of 





January 1937 

school: there was experiment in every type, and we 
wanted to hear of each other’s endeavours and share 
our experience. 

Mr. Henshall then presented the Constitution 
which the Provisional Committee had drafted. It 
was discussed paragraph by paragraph and, with 
certain minor emendations, adopted. 

The Constitution provided for a large Council and 
the meeting proceeded to elect 121 persons and repre¬ 
sentatives of 20 organizations to form this body. The 
idea of having such a large Council is that the 
Section may be able to count on active support in 
different parts of the country and different spheres of 
educational work. Fresh centres of interest may thus 
be established to which Headquarters can turn when 
it comes to plan local campaigns and activities. 

Various projects have been proposed which would 
extend the usefulness of the Fellowship in England, 
and it is hoped that other members will put their 
ideas forward. As far as the Section’s restricted means 
permit, new forms of activity will be set on foot; 
but the realization of a full programme of vital work 
must depend on a large increase in membership. 
Representatives of different branches of educational 
work have expressed themselves most encouragingly 
on the prospects of support among their respective 
groups, and energetic efforts will be made to reach 
them and enlist their interest. If every member will 
do his utmost to secure new members, the way can 
be prepared for a bold policy of valuable work. 

COUNCIL MEETING 

Those members of the Council who were present 
met after the General Meeting and elected an Execu¬ 
tive Committee which can meet at more frequent 
intervals than the Council and direct the work of the 
Section. The Executive consists of Mr. A. Corlett, 
Mr. W. B. Curry, Mr. E. Salter Davies, Capt. G. D. 
Griffith, Mr. A. E. Henshall, Mrs. Eva Hubback, 
Dr. Susan Isaacs (Chairman), Mrs. Beatrice King, 
Mr. W. Laffan (Treasurer), Mr. A. J. Lynch, Mr. P. 
E. Meadon, Mr. V. Ogilvie, Mr. A. K. C. Ottaway, 
Miss H. K. Sheldon, Dr. H. G. Stead, Miss L. 
Swann, Miss K. Twentyman (Secretary), Miss F. 
Webb, Mr. L. G. Weedon and Mr. J. C. Worsley. 
Mr. J. Compton and Mrs. Volkov were subse¬ 
quently co-opted. For the present the Headquarters 
Committee of the International will meet^ jointly 
with the Executive; its members are Dr. W. Boyd, 
Prof. F. Clarke, Mrs. Hartree, Mr. Laffan, Mr. 
Lynch, Mr. Rawson and Miss Soper. 

ORGANIZING SECRETARY 

The Executive has received several applications 
for this post, but has not yet made an appointment. 
If members know of anyone specially qualified to 
undertake this work, will they kindly communicate 
with Headquarters. 

RECEPTION 

The Annual Reception of the N.E.F. and the 
E.A.N.S. was held on November 28th at the Royal 
Academy of Music, under the chairmanship of 
Lord Allen of Hurtwood. A large number of mem- 


29 

bers and friends were present and enjoyed an un¬ 
usually stimulating evening. The programme opened 
with a short recital of pianoforte music by Miss 
Virginia McLean, whose brilliant playing set the note 
of alertness and concentration which characterized 
the meeting. Professor John Mcmurray followed with 
an address on The Contemporary Resistance to 
Christianity. It was a frank and searching study of the 
present lack of any guiding principle in life, of which 
educators are only too painfully conscious. He 
maintained that the scientific facts on which human 
society actually rests were discovered by Christ and 
that throughout the past two thousand years progress 
has meant the gradual realization of some of these 
facts. It was no conventional version of Christ’s 
teaching that Professor Macmurray put forward; 
indeed, familiar sayings appeared in a new light in 
the course of his address, often because he took them 
literally. In the space of a few lines it would be im¬ 
possible to report an address crammed so full of 
matter, and we are glad to hear that he is hoping to 
develop his theme in the form of a book. When 
members retired for refreshments, eager discussion of 
the address could be heard on all hands and we 
can assure Professor Macmurray that he put into 
our minds disturbing thoughts which will keep us 
thinking for many a day. 

FORMS OF MEMBERSHIP 

Acting on the instructions of the General Meeting 
of November 28th, the Executive has considered the 
revision of the forms of membership of the English 
Section and has adopted the following: 

Individual M ember ship 

(1) Full Membership, £1 is, comprising all the 
privileges now given to Full Members plus special 
terms to conferences. Additional members of the 
same family at the same address, 10s 6 d: the same 
privileges, without an extra copy of The New Era. 

(2) Associate Membership, 5 s, giving the services 
of the Information Bureau, notices of conferences, 
General Meetings, etc., and of events in the locality, 
and the right to vote at General Meetings. 

Group Membership 

(1) Teachers and others in a group of not less 
than three, 1 os 6 d per member, giving the privileges 
of Full Membership but only one copy of The New 
Era per group. 

(2) Students (not earning a salary) in a group of not 
less than six, 5s per member, giving the privileges of 
Associate Membership, plus special terms to lectures 
and conferences and one copy of 1 he New Era per 
group. 

Institution Membership 

For organizations, schools, etc., £5 5 s , giving the 
privileges now given to ‘Service Members’, together 
with the right to one vote for an accredited repre¬ 
sentative at General Meetings, and the services of the 
Bureau and special terms to lectures and conferences 
for members of the organization. 

WORLD FELLOW TEAS 

These will begin again on Friday, January 15th. 


FELLOWSHIP NEWS 




Book Reviews 


The Headmaster Speaks. By the Head¬ 
masters of Ampleforth, Bristol Grammar School , 
Clifton, Fettes, Glasgow Academy, Manchester 
Grammar School, Mill Hill, Repton, Rugby, Stowe 
and Tonbridge. ( Kegan, Paul, Trench, Trubner 
& Co., 7IB) 

It is difficult to review this book fairly because these 
Headmasters shelter behind phrases and words that 
beg the questions which many of us are asking. For 
instance, the Headmaster of Ampleforth says that 
‘Public spirit is fostered by the presence of tradition 
and the application of reasonable sanctions conse¬ 
crated by wise traditional methods,’ but the 
reasonableness of the sanctions and the wisdom of 
the methods are not discussed. 

He goes on to state the case which is more or less 
endorsed throughout the book, that the schools 
stand for three things: ‘Religion, discipline and sound 
learning.’ He believes ‘that the object of our schools 
is to produce good and able men to serve God and 
their country’. But we are not in the least agreed as 
to what constitutes the service of God and country, 
and are left to conclude that these Headmasters do 
in fact approve of a system which {a) perpetuates 
class privileges dependent on wealth, ( b ) fosters a 
conception of ‘loyalty’ that is limited to the British 
Empire, (c) trains future citizens to rely ultimately 
on the weapons of fear and force. Then again there 
is endless talk about the importance of ‘discipline,’ 
as if we were all agreed as to the kind of discipline 
that is important. What is a disciplined body? 
What is a disciplined mind? We answer these 
questions by our methods of instilling discipline. 
By ‘a good disciplinarian’ we may mean a man who 
keeps boys in order at school, or we may mean a man 
whose boys behave in an orderly fashion after they 
have left school. The Headmaster of Fettes, in 
defending corporal punishment, says that it is 
‘expeditious and nearly always efficacious’; so of 
course is a bombing air-raid, if you judge its efficacy 
by its immediate and superficial results. As to 
‘sound learning’ there is, as usual, a great deal 
about the value of Latin and Greek, and as usual 
there is the implicit assumption that all boys, of 
whatever type, ought to fit into a scheme of intellectual 
education designed for potential scholars. There is 
no suggestion of a comprehensive scientific approach 
to the exceedingly difficult problem of getting the 
best out of five or six hundred boys, of whom perhaps 
half are not gifted in the intellectual sense. 

Instead of facing this problem squarely, making 
experiments, and studying the experiments made in 
some of the modern schools, these Headmasters are 


content to retort with little dogmatic half-truths, 
e.g. ‘the boy who has learnt to work at Latin 
Grammar, which he detests, has learnt an invaluable 
lesson of citizenship’ (Headmaster of Mill Hill). 
Latin is ‘still, I believe, the finest instrument of the ] 
schoolmaster, and the best discipline for the boy, 
whether clever or not’ (Headmaster of Fettes). ; 
Generalizations, based on special cases, are neither i 
helpful nor edifying. 

One can appreciate the visionary and the prophet i 
even if he is unscientific, and the energetic man : 
who overcomes all obstacles even if he lacks inspira¬ 
tion, but these Headmasters portray themselves as 
neither one thing nor the other. They say in effect 
that they are very busy men, hopelessly overburdened 
with innumerable claims and endless immediate 
problems, they ‘deplore’ a long list of ‘tendencies’ 
and hope for the best. In a short review it is im¬ 
possible to criticize all these essays individually. 
Read the Headmaster of Rugby’s contribution: it 
is the refined statement of a scholar, full of balance, 
restraint and virtue. The trouble is that Jones minor, 
whose name is Legion, somehow gets left out. Jones 
minor manages to extract from school chapel that 
portion of Christianity which coincides with a 
nebulous ideal that his father calls ‘manliness’; he 
gathers that virtue can be imposed by force; and 
collects enough of sound learning to pass the School 
Certificate, avoid punishment, and keep his people 
quiet. He makes allowance for his Headmaster, 
becomes an expert in ‘Ways of Escape’, and goes on 
his way rejoicing. 

The Headmaster of Clifton is well worth reading. 

He knows quite well that the problem is a personal 
one and that until he can find the right masters 
nothing significant can be done. He is modest enough 
to suggest that the schools are in need of ‘a really 
great Headmaster—a man of vision, strength and 
courage—at once prophet, scholar and statesman’. 
We are sure he is right. We know so well that it is 
not in fact Latin, but the man who teaches Latin; 
not Science, but the scientist; not the theory of punish¬ 
ment, but the man in authority; not discipline as 
such, but men and women who make or mar the 
youth. 

The Headmaster of St. Paul’s says that ‘the 
problem of the proper training of teachers has not 
yet been solved’. Has it ever been faced? A good 
University degree, following a public school educa¬ 
tion, and the ability to say ‘well played’ or alter¬ 
natively to write ‘he lacks application’, are insufficient 
qualifications for an exceedingly difficult task, which 
involves human understanding and the creative 
ability to tackle old problems in the light of new 
knowledge. J. C. H. 


Published by the New Era, 2g Tavistock Square, London, W.C.i, and printed by the Shenval Press Ltd., 58 Bloomsbury Street, London, W.C. 









THE NEW ERA 

IN HOME AND SCHOOL 


Outlook 

T he last time that the New Era issued a 
special number on sex was in 1924. 

It is interesting to look back and com¬ 
pare. In the earlier number sex was treated 
is an individual problem, viewed almost in 
vacuo , or at most against the limited and still 
3ersonal background of the family. In this 
ssue we have tried to show it as a problem so 
impinged upon and exacerbated by other 
things as to have lost all outline. One critic 
protested ‘But there is no sex problem; there 
is only an economic problem’. And one can at 
least agree that if there were no economic 
problem, the problems of marriage and sex 
and love would reveal themselves as other 
than they now seem. 

To the individual, sexual love can bring 
ecstasy and despair so profound as to blot out 
temporarily the very self that feels them. Yet 
these disturbances seem transient. We forget — 
having no conscious store-house for such 
chaotic upthrusts. Only some deeply etched 
irrelevancy remains. 

‘I have mislaid the key. I sniff the spray 
. And think of nothing, I see and hear nothing, 
Yet seem, too, to be listening, lying in wait 
For what I should, yet never can remember. 
No garden appears, no path .... 

Neither father nor mother, nor any play¬ 
mate; 

Only an avenue, dark, nameless, without 

end’. 

So the individual copes — largely for his own 
peace of mind — with this strange associate, 
his sexual nature and all its profound ac¬ 
companiments. Society, however primitive, 
takes a hand, traces a pattern and insists more 


Tower 

or less fiercely on conformity to it, lest social 
order itself be swallowed again in chaos. The 
free society will see to it that the pattern is not 
arbitrary, but is adjusted to the reasonable 
demands of the individual. The free personality 
will realize that his best chance of fulfilment 
lies within the bounds of such a pattern. 

T his issue of the New Era contains accounts 
of legislative attempts to find an acceptable 
social pattern in Sweden, Austria and Soviet 
Russia. In Sweden and Austria the economic 
inequality of women is felt to be a high 
barrier to any reasonable solution of the sex 
problem. Dr. Inghe points out that in Sweden, 
however hard she works, a woman is rarely 
able to support herself, much less her de¬ 
pendent children. In Austria, however hard 
she works, even if she is the major bread¬ 
winner, she still does all the housework when 
her ‘working day’ is done. Each contributor 
implies that if these injustices and the under¬ 
lying attitude which they exemplify were put 
to rights, the millenium would be much 
nearer. They may be right — the attempt is 
worth the toil. We would only suggest that in 
marriages where the wife earns at least as 
much as her husband, and where their 
joint incomes pay for the competent running 
of the home without the wife’s doing a ‘hand’s 
turn,’ as the saying goes, there are still 
problems to be faced. Moreover these problems 
are sometimes so grave that the wife may be 
justified in wondering whether, by dropping 
her career, lowering the family’s standard 
of living and doing her ‘own’ work herself, she 
would not ultimately be standing all those 
concerned in better stead. Similarly, in those 


3 1 











32 


THE NEW ERA 


families where the wife comes home from a 
day’s work to hod her housework done and 
her children tended by her ‘unemployed’ 
husband, here too, there are problems, harder 
perhaps and no less profound. 

In any attempt at a valid sexual relationship 
one must, in Katherine Mansfield’s borrowed 
phrase, squeeze the slave from one’s soul. It is 
a hard and sometimes even a bitter business. 
It may mean taking a line which those loved 
best misread as unkindness. But were the 
slave and the task-master squeezed from every 
soul, would all be plain sailing? 


February 1937a 

| t is noteworthy that our contributors from j 


I T is interesting to note the differences be¬ 
tween Swedish and Austrian legislation. In 
Sweden the law-makers’ radical reforms were 
in advance of the innate conservatism of those 
for whom they were legislating. In Austria, 
on the contrary, common practice over-shot 
a still conservative set of laws. Both cases seem 
perhaps strange in a democracy. 

But the strangest case of all is Soviet 
Russia’s. Mrs. King defends the U.S.S.R. ably 
against those who accuse her of reaction in her 
new decrees about abortion and divorce. One 
may accept this defence, and y^t be left 
wondering why it was necessary. ‘No one (in 
early days of the U.S.S.R.) proposed enforcing 
monogamy by law. The ill effects of such an 
attempt in capitalist countries were too glar¬ 
ing. It was left for time and education to con¬ 
vince the people.’ Yet the Soviet has found 
herself unable to wait upon time and educa¬ 
tion. Would a continued patience have under¬ 
mined the physique of the nation? or is it that 
the ‘irresponsible young people’, many of who 
had known no home, seemed likelv to con- 
tinue to refuse to set up homes of their own? 
or is there still reallv an economic barrier to 

j 

maternity, in spite of all the legislation and all 
the effort? 

It is no doubt a matter of time. In the end 
some compromise will be evolved that will 
be reasonably agreeable both to the individual 
and to the state. Whether that compromise 
will be similar in the U.S.S.R. and in Sweden, 
which country will reach it first, and which in 
the end will prove to have taken the more 
economical road are interesting matters for 
speculation. 


Sweden and Austria make little reference 
to children in their consideration of the 
marriage and divorce laws. In Great Britain 
the solidarity of the home is made the key-; 
stone of any secular argument against easy; 
divorce. It has been the cloak for much mud-i 
died thinking and also much hypocrisy . We I 
now admit fairly generally that a home in: 
which there is serious discord between bus-. 
band and wife may be disastrous to thel 
children and that a child’s intuition may! 
sense hostility which is never openly expressed-; 
before it. And yet that harsh and witty dictum: 
that parents are just the people who ought; 
never to have had children is confuted daily! 
by psychologists and laymen alike. Parents orj 
foster parents seem to be the only people who 
have much hope of bringing up children in 
security or joy. The child from even the most 
conscientious and scientific institution seems; 
to lack something that it would have found in S 
a much less promising huine of its own. 

So the home becomes the meeting-place of 
the interests of the state and of the individual. 
Neither can easily achieve stability unless the 
home is stable, yet neither can produce 
stability to order. T he state should make its 
decrees as reasonable and as uncoercive as 
possible, since it is legislating for the turbulent 
and chaotic forces of creation. The individual 
too must come to terms with these forces— 
not in subservience or fear but in a sensitive 
acknowledgment of them and himself as part 
of a far greater whole. 

Fortunately the stars in their courses would 
seem to be fighting for us. ‘The physically 
interpreted universe as it appeared to the 
physics of the last century seemed to be pro¬ 
gressing continuously towards a state in which 
activity would be at a standstill .... For the 
new physics the universe appears in a differ¬ 
ent light. It is no longer towards a state of 
rest, but towards a state in which co-ordinated 
activity prevails over what had seemed to be 
nothing but chaotic activity, that the per¬ 
ceived universe is progressing. A gradual 
cooling down appears as a gradual disappear¬ 
ance of primitive chaos’. 1 


1 ‘The Philosophy of a Biologist.’ J. S. Haldane, p.26. 





Attitudes of Young People 

Towards Sex 

Sidonie M. Gruenberg 

Director, Child Study Association of America 


j ex has always been a source of difficulty 
in human society; and sex education of 
kJ some sort has always been a necessary part 
of growing up. Even the famous conspiracy of 
silence of the Victorian era was a form of sex 
education. 

In all his relations, not alone with respect to 
sex, the problem of the adolescent, now as 
always, is to reconcile his instinctive and 
organic urges with the requirements of society 
on the one hand, and with the ultimate 
interests of the individual on the other. His 
problem therefore involves moralities and 
character formation; it calls for more or less 
systematic efforts to guide or educate his 
growth. 

We have in our time become more conscious 
of the problems of adolescents, and the 
problems themselves have become more 
complex. In part, this is because the time 
interval between sexual maturity and social 
and economic independence has come to be 
decidedly greater than in earlier epochs. Work 
and marriage and self-reliance and independ¬ 
ent status as adults have all been deferred, so 
that to-day a very considerable portion of our 
young people are not yet out on their own 
until they are well past twenty years of age — an 
age that in earlier generations found most 
people accepted and more or less settled as 
adults. Our greater confusion is due in part to 
the rapid throwing together of all kinds of 
people with their divergent traditions and 
cultures, by means of the cinema and the radio 
and the pictorial press. Such contacts with 
different cultures are always challenging to 
established customs. But now they come when 
young people are more than ever sceptical and 
outspoken, and also when their own situation 
makes these young people more than ever 
concerned with sex. 


One of the most painful lessons we have to 
learn as parents is that we cannot shield our 
children from their own emotional experiences. 
And this is especially true in the realm of 
attitudes and emotions that have to do with sex. 

The mothers of to-day’s adolescents came 
into their young motherhood at a time when 
people generally were in revolt against the 
prudery of the late nineteenth century — 
roughly during the period between the 
beginning of the century and the end of the 
war. During this period enlightened adults 
were sure that most of their own emotional 
problems and difficulties derived from the 
well-known conspiracy of silence in which 
their parents had brought them up, which had 
left them a heritage of ignorance and inhibi¬ 
tions with which to meet life. Now we have 
watched a whole generation of children grow 
up under a new regime, under the tutelage of 
parents who have schooled themselves not 
only to impart to their offspring correct 
information concerning the facts of life, but to 
discuss freely with them any and all matters 
relating to sex. Many of them have naively 
hoped that, with this sounder objective 
approach, the new generation would be spared 
most of the emotional upheavals which 
punctuated growing up thirty to fifty years ago. 
And most of them have been sadly disap¬ 
pointed to find to-day’s young people running 
true to the older form. The fallacy has ob¬ 
viously been that parents, having learned 
certain valuable lessons about the maturing of 
youth, have failed to reckon with the original 
nature of man — and woman — and especially 
with continuing needs of adolescents. 

Two young women, recent college graduates, 
were comparing notes on the development 
of their own sex interests and attitudes. 
Brought up literally poles apart, in different 


33 








THE NEW ERA 


34 

parts of the world, one by very modern parents 
in an atmosphere of free discussion, the other 
in a home of mid-Victorian hushes and taboos, 
they were amazed to discover how similar had 
been their maturing with regard to sex. At 
fifteen they had both considered sex disgusting 
and unnecessary; at eighteen they had found it 
interesting; at twenty-two they both looked 
smilingly back at their childish views, but now 
felt sex to be indispensable to a fulfilled life. 

We do not know whether adolescents among 
primitive peoples ordinarily look upon sex as 
‘disgusting and unnecessary’, as did these two 
young ladies. But there are certainly great 
individual variations among our own popula¬ 
tions. With many individuals there is an 
aesthetic revulsion of feeling against anything 
that involves attention to the bodily processes, 
or against anything that affects the privacy of 
the body. There are such demands for privacy 
and reticence even where the greatest freedom 
is tolerated or encouraged. Older people should 
recognize such differences in temperament or 
sensitivity. Our guidance includes the open 
acknowledgment of the right of each person to 
develop his own way of life, with the qualifica¬ 
tion, however, that each accept responsibility 
along with freedom to make his own choices. 

The parallel between these two girls 
suggests further an appreciation of sex as 
somehow related to ‘fulfilment’. This may not 
be universal; it probably arises only where the 
home itself cherishes certain values. The home 
leads to the formation of significant attitudes, 
even if these are not identical with those of the 
parents, wherever it does in fact operate as a 
unified and unifying experience for the 
growing children. For the home is the hearth 
around which develop the deepest affections, 
the strongest drives, the most enduring 
values and ideals. 

The fears which parents entertain as to the 
maturing of their children and the appre¬ 
hensions which the young people themselves 
feel as to their own fulfilment are largely 
derived from the visions of failure all around. 
Everywhere are to be seen unhappy marriages; 
and these cannot so easily as formerly be 
accepted as decrees of fate. There is the 
increasing divorce rate, indicating efforts to 
escape unhappy marriages, but making no 


February 1937 

promise of anything better. There are various j 
conditions that prevent marriage. 

These failures, and others, can in general be 
attributed to interferences with the normal 
maturing process. We assume that this 
maturing involves a progressive integration of 
the physical and the psychic elements, in the . 
characteristically human experience of love, i 
and that it ripens into satisfactory adjustment i 
to mates of the opposite sex. 

Both of these young women, however, j 
noted an important difference—not in their | 
attitudes toward sex but in their feeling about i 
their parents. For one of them had learned to j 
find in her mother a guide, counsellor and 
friend—a reliable source of support and .i 
helpful information to be drawn upon if and | 
when she chose—though she might not always 
choose. The other knew that the parental 1 
channels of comfort and wisdom were j 
irrevocably closed to her for all time. 

Therein lies, perhaps, the greatest strength 
of what we believe to be our better ways of sex 
education: that the roads of communication 
are kept open between the elders and the 
youngsters, between the experienced and the 
experiencing. Nor must we assume from this 
that a wholesome relationship between parents 
and their sons and daughters implies a contin¬ 
ual series of frank conversations. For it is in the 
nature of youth to keep its own counsel, to be 
reserved and shy concerning its emotional 
experiences, and to exchange its thoughts on 
its own level with its contemporaries. It is often 
not until years after an experience that one 
cares to talk about it—even to the most 
understanding of parents. It is important only 
to know that one can. 

This we have learned in the past quarter of 
a century of sex education. Further, we have 
learned that as parents we can neither forestall 
nor shape our children’s maturing experiences, 
with the pain and joy that come with them. We 
cannot even, as we had fondly hoped, ensure 
them right attitudes—even granting we know T 
our own to be right. Broadly speaking, the 
attitudes of young people toward sex, toward 
marriage, toward the good life will be deter¬ 
mined by the kind of persons they innately are 
and by the environment in which they have 
found themselves. The attitudes of other 






February 1937 attitudes of young 

young people like themselves will set their 
standards, modified by their own inner 
feelings, which are impervious alike to our 
preachings and to their contemporaries’ ways 
of behaving. Whether to ‘pet’ or not, whether 
to be promiscuous, are questions which each 
will answer according to his own nature — 
there are adolescents more impelled than 
others by sensual drives, or by assthetic 
revulsions, or by an inner integrity and reserve. 

What then may we hope for those young 
people about whom we care so much? We may 
hope that they will value the new freedoms 
and opportunities that modern conditions 
have brought them; but that they will at the 
same time be aware of the responsibilities that 
go with them. We can help them to an under¬ 
standing of what responsible action means in 
all human relations. Legal forms and restric¬ 
tions may change, custom and convention may 
grow stale and meaningless. Old sanctions 
lose their force and old codes become neglec¬ 
ted. But those who accept release from ancient 
bonds must be ready to recognize the equal 
claims of other human beings; and they must 


PEOPLE TOWARDS SEX 3- 

be ready to accept also the personal and social 
consequences of their own conduct. 

A generation or more ago the range of 
choice was already widening, for women as 
well as for men. Many then feared casual love 
affairs because these might entail indefinite 
attachments and commitments. We may hope 
that in the future our young people will fear 
rather the effect of such casual experiences 
upon the growth and integrity of the personal¬ 
ities involved. 

Yet, while we cannot hope either to set the 
stage for our children or to shape the part they 
will play there, we still do have a necessary 
service to perform for them as interpreters and 
clarifiers of the many conflicting standards 
and ideals they find around them. It is largely 
from their parents and their own homes that 
they will derive their ideals of home life, and 
of family relationships. It is here that they may 
envision marriage as deeper, more compre¬ 
hensive, than sex—to realize its satisfactions 
and demands, the rewards of continuity and 
its price, the joys and responsibilities of 
parenthood. 


Marriage Relationships 

Joan Malleson, M.B., B.S, 


I have been asked to write an article on the 
following statement: ‘Marriage relationships 
are frequently failures because young people 
know so little of the essential features of the act. 
Can any instruction help them over this?’ 
The question is one of great importance. 
Any light that can be shed on marriage diffi¬ 
culties should be of immense value both to the 
individual and to society. 

Some indication of the prevalence of sexual 
maladjustment may be given by the increasing 
number of couples who seek divorce. Although 
it would be untrue to hold that sexual dis¬ 
harmony is at the root of all marriage difficulties, 
it is probably a much larger factor than is 
generally recognized, often even by the couple 
themselves. Marriages where the sexual bond 
is perfect have a way of keeping intact in spite 
of great incompatibility of temperament or of 


adverse circumstances, often to the surprise 
of outside observers. In those marriages where 
it has failed to be established or has ceased to 
exist (sometimes only from the fear of preg¬ 
nancy), it is generally found that one or both 
partners suffers from some degree of un¬ 
happiness and physical and psychical ill-health. 
Even if these marriages do not end in divorce, 
by their instability they create an atmosphere of 
social unrest which is detrimental to society 
as a whole. 

In legal circles excellent efforts are being 
made to help couples in distress by the establish¬ 
ment of private courts to deal with the social 
side of marital adjustment. Up to the present 
these courts have not acquired what should be 
an essential part of their equipment — the 
establishment of clinics under the charge of 
doctors competent to deal with contraception and 






3 6 

gynaecology, and with the psychological diffi- 
culties of both sexes. If this side of the court 
work were developed, many of the social and 
legal difficulties of married couples would 
become of secondary importance. 

It is necessary to give only the briefest out¬ 
line as to what is implied by the term ‘sexual 
maladjustment’. By law, it is required that con¬ 
summation of the sexual act should have 
occurred once at least, before a marriage is con¬ 
sidered valid. Although divorce for nullity is 
occasionally sought, many couples do not wish 
for divorce in spite of failure of consummation. 
Far more numerous than these are couples who 
manage some degree of sexual union but with 
very much less physical and psychical satis¬ 
faction than that experienced by the average 
person in the so-called more ‘normal’ marriage. 

Seeing that sexual matters, particularly 
personal ones, are not readily discussed, and 
seeing that any estimation of physical and 
psychical satisfaction is so hard to make, it is 
not surprising that there is widespread lack of 
knowledge in connection with this matter. 

Of late years the enlightened public, as well as 
the medical profession, are beginning to learn 
that many disorders of mind and body are 
actually caused by conditions of nervous 
strain; important among the factors which 
cause this are disturbances in sexual behaviour. 
Thus frequently a man or woman suffers a 
falling off of happiness or health in the early 
weeks of marriage and if a satisfactory adjust¬ 
ment is not achieved these ‘anxiety’ symptoms 
of mind or body may be prolonged indefinitely. 
It is important that help should be available 
for such couples in the early stages of marriage, 
before the difficulties have become firmly 
established. 

It may well be asked, how does it come about 
that the most primitive of all biological acts 
should prove difficult to certain individuals? 

It is not generally known by the laity, nor 
indeed until recently by the medical pro¬ 
fession, that inability or difficulty in per¬ 
forming the sexual act has almost invariably a 
psychical (i.e. ‘nervous’) origin and no physical 
basis whatever. If we exclude the initial 
difficulty associated with virginity, it would be 
safe to say of both sexes that less than one per 
cent of such cases are due to physical causes. 


February 1937 | 

There is a popular tendency to regard sexual 
inadequacy as a mere lack of technical know- j 
ledge, which any good text-book on the subject 
will quickly remedy. The complexity of the : 
matter is far greater than that. 

It would be correct to say that almost all 
sexual incapacity has for its origin, fear. 

It is fairly easy to believe that being afraid 
can temporarily paralyse or banish sexual 
desire. What is more difficult to understand is 
that there may be no apparent reason for the 
fear, nor indeed any recognition of its presence. 
In other words, fear which is wholly unconscious 
may yet be powerful enough to disturb the 
whole sexual behaviour. In mild degrees it will 
cause only such symptons as slight clumsiness, 
inability to comprehend the other’s feelings, or, 
according to the sex, failure to give readily or 
receive easily and with full satisfaction. In more 
severe, but much rarer, cases, it may cause 
inability for any sexual union at all. 

People accept these facts with difficulty—they 
desire a more precise explanation before 
they can be convinced. Yet we do not find it 
difficult to accept the unconscious origin of 
other fears. None of us can offer rational ex¬ 
planation of our phobias, whether they be of 
spiders, mice, ‘heights’, or enclosed places. 
Clearly they come from unconscious levels of 
the mind. 

Although the psychical trends which make up 
a person’s behaviour are infinitely complex, 
there are certain main patterns of disposition 
which human beings are liable to follow, and 
some knowledge of these is likely to be of value. 

I will comment only on two main types of fear 
which have important bearing on sexual 
incapacity—fear (most often interpreted as 
‘dislike’) of the body, and the fear of loving. 
Let us consider them in this order. 

The very first training which the young 
infant receives is associated with bodily pro- 
cessess, bodily control, and a little later with 
bodily interests and curiosity. It has been the 
custom, particularly in Victorian times, to train 
children strictly by means of scolding them or 
shaming them, until every spontaneous feeling 
and process of the body becomes fraught with 
guilt. Thus the excretory and sexual organs 
become classed together as ‘taboo’ and may 
seem even wicked and alarming. If the infant’s 


THE NEW ERA 





February 1937 

3wn body is so shocking to grown-ups, is it 
Surprising that horror is roused when he learns 
later that reproduction involves the use of those 
hateful bodily parts? As he matures, experience 
accustoms him to more adult standards, yet 
always in the sub-conscious levels of the mind 
ais first impressions remain. 

It is children with much fear of bodily 
functions who may reach adult life with little 
knowledge of sexual matters. The child who is 
afraid to learn goes reticently through school 
life gleaning no knowledge of sex and child¬ 
bearing, and believing that all other people feel 
about these matters as he does himself. Mothers 
are frequently blamed by their newly married 
daughters for not having told them of the sexual 
facts: such a mother has undoubtedly too much 
Inhibition to allow her to instruct her children, 
yet the real damage was inflicted in their in¬ 
fancy when natural instincts and curiosities 
were too harshly treated. 

Put it more simply. What mother animal 
teaches her young to copulate? It is never 
necessary. But if a litter of young animals were 
punished ever time they exhibited sexual in¬ 
terest, is it likely they would be able to copulate 
normally in later life? So, each generation of the 
civilized human race makes sexual incapacity 
and neurosis for the next. 

Just as physical processes can be tinged with 
fear, so the more psychical aspects of loving may 
be marred. The ability to love is born in us; 
from infancy onwards it will be fostered or 
stunted by experience. The earliest love re¬ 
lationships of the child are by far the most fate¬ 
ful. In infancy, all experiences, good or bad, 
Decome incorporated in the growing personality 
and hence determine the later emotional re¬ 
sponses. The burnt child dreads the fire, and 
thus demonstrates how fear (though its origin 
may be long forgotten) still influences be- 
aaviour. 

Some people can attain no full sexual satis¬ 
faction unless the union is impelled by love. 
Yet many people may be almost unable to love 
:>ecause, in their past experience, love has been 
met wflth serious disappointment, perhaps 
misunderstanding or rebuff. 

Thus the girl whose father has terrorized the 
household will never wholly escape her un- 
:onscious dread of men, and she will meet the 


37 

most kind and loved husband with some fear; 
while the boy whose nurse or mother scolded 
and found fault may feel in need of defence 
from even the gentlest wife. Often it seems that 
the saying: ‘Perfect love casteth out fear’ 
should more properly be reversed. 

I have tried to explain some of the less re¬ 
cognized causes for sexual incapacity. The 
question follows, ‘Can any instruction help 
them over this?’ The answer would, most 
generally, be ‘Yes.’ 

Medical examination, and assurance that the 
trouble has no physical or incurable basis will 
give infinite relief to most patients, as will the 
full discussion of a matter which has pre¬ 
viously been so guarded. Whilst bearing in mind 
the patient’s extreme sensitiveness about these 
subjects, the physician can still give some 
account of what is permitted in sexual intimacy: 
he should aim at helping the patient to see how 
his own restrictions are still based on nursery 
taboos, and should have no place in adult 
sexual life. Once the patient can understand 
that they no longer make for ‘goodness’ but 
for ‘harmfulness’, he is in a better position to 
revise them and substitute freer and more adult 
standards. 

The first marital experiences will generally 
bring about a new orientation towards sexual 
matters, in which the freer partner should be 
the other’s guide. Yet sometimes the re¬ 
strictions of one partner arouse anxiety and 
difficulty in the other, and it is then that the 
advice of a third person will be of great service. 

The couple should be told that readjustment 
of life-long standards may not come quickly, 
and that with the growth of confidence in one 
another they should come to feel secure enough 
to love fully. 

Many people suffer from so much unconscious 
fear that complete sexual satisfaction is 
not possible for them, or may only be just 
possible at times of exceptional stimulus, such 
as in good holiday spirits, or with the novelty 
of a change of sexual partner. It is natural that 
people with such difficulties should fear that 
there is something intrinsically wrong with their 
choice of married partner. There is a modern 
tendency to maintain that the achievement of 
sexual satisfaction is so essential to the in¬ 
dividual, that any amount of marital disruption 


MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIPS 





3 § 

is warranted for its attainment. Such an 
attitude arises generally from an insuffi¬ 
cient understanding of the factors involved. 
Although in some cases a change of cir¬ 
cumstances or partner will give relief, these 
measures often prove to be no more than a 
temporary improvement. The patient’s trouble 
rises from internal , not external factors; and 
he or she is likely to drift always into the same 
type of situation again. 

For anyone whose sexual capacities are re¬ 
stricted, real freedom to achieve satisfaction 
implies acquiring relief from unconscious fears. 
In serious cases, this can be achieved only by 
psycho-therapeutic treatment—a measure which 
is likely to be more widely adopted in the future. 

In general, these sexual disturbances will be 
found in the more sensitive and intellectual 
people. Fortunately for society such people can 
often employ their unused sexual energy in 
work of high social and creative value. 
Yet it remains true that for this output the in¬ 
dividual may have to pay a high price, both in 
personal health and happiness and in those of 
his or her partner. 

Marriages may occur between people who 
have similar types of sexual restriction, and 
these help to provide a suitable solution to such 
an individual’s problem; but there are other 


Unemployment 


Elspeth Davies 

N O one will question the fact that un¬ 
employment is leaving its mark on 
the family life of those areas which it 
has devastated; and in places where family 
life has been strong, this means a very serious 
loss, not only to the institution of the family, 
but to the whole life of the community. 

There are of course many influences implicit 
in unemployment itself, and in the means taken 
to relieve it, that are making for this disinte¬ 
gration, but before trying to examine these, it 


February 1937 

marriages where it is evident that the sexual 
adjustment will never be wholly satisfactory 
to both persons. If such marriages are to re¬ 
main stable and happy some degree of sublima¬ 
tion into other interests will have to be achieved. 
That this is possible for many people is un¬ 
doubtedly true. It is not unusual under such 
circumstances for a couple to start having- 
children with the deliberate intention of 
cementing the marriage by a common interest.; 
Hazardous as this step must be, there is no 
doubt that interest in the children sometimes 
provides compensation and an excellent outlet 
for sublimation. 

Anyone advising on such matters should be 
careful never to forget the extreme intricacy of 
each individual’s make-up. Emotional re¬ 
sponses cannot readily be estimated; occasion¬ 
ally a marital situation which offers little 
hope of solution may in time mature and 
flourish in some unexpected way. 

In so short a space, it has been possible only 
to touch superficially on a few aspects of sexual 
difficulty. There are indications that society 
is coming to expect a truer standard of marital 
happiness, and we may hope that it will come 
to tolerate the easier dissolution of any 
marriage which has proved unproductive of 
happiness. 

and Family Life 
in South Wales 

is important to realize that the strain which 
families are feeling in the ‘special areas’ to-day, 
illustrates in a very striking way the fact that 
poverty is at the root of a great number of 
family troubles. 

In the mining valleys of South Wales, 
family life has always been a very vital force. 
The loyalty and the intimacy, the affection 
and the warmth of a strong family feeling has 1 
been a source of strength to individuals and 
the basis of a community life, the quality of 


THE NEW ERA 


February 1937 unemployment and family life in south wales 


which can only be realized when people from 
the valleys go to towns in other parts of the 
country, or when people from those towns come 
to the valleys. This tradition of family and 
community life was built up in better times — 
when periods of hardship were followed always 
by periods of prosperity, and the standard of 
living and the standard of hope were, on the 
whole, adequate to health and strength. Now 
poverty, unrelieved by hope, has settled on the 
valleys. 

A recent investigation in the Special Areas 
conducted by the Committee of Industrial 
Women’s Organizations of the Labour Party 
showed that of a sample of 476 unemployed 
families, over 80% had less than 4/- per head 
per week to spend on food. It does not require 
much imagination to realize what year after 
year of this will mean. Nerves are bound to 
suffer, and nerves on edge mean strain in the 
family. Fathers and mothers who have been 
living long on the ‘dole’ know what it is to 
fight continuously against the inertia and 
listlessness which follow on a low diet. There 
is a continual temptation, perhaps particularly 
for the woman, to let things go, to give in, to 
cease making the effort to keep up appearances. 
And those appearances mean so much in 
family life. In the old days, father would change 
his clothes when he came home from the pit 
and go out in the evening in a tidy suit; mother’s 
wash day, which was a trial to her family, kept 
house furnishings and clothes in scrupulous 
cleanliness. Now, father has no second suit to 
change into, but he does not even trouble to 
put on a collar and tie to smarten up in the 
evening; mother has little enough to wash, 
but even so, her wash day grows shorter and 
shorter. 

This slackening of standards is due to 
lassitude brought on by long under-feeding, 
but every child in the family is aware of it, and 
it is bound to have an effect on their respect 
and their loyalty for their homes. 

It must, however, be emphasized here, as it 
will have to be emphasized again and again, 
that while self-respect may have gone from 
some homes, there are very many more which, 
in spite of everything, are maintaining heroic¬ 
ally the tradition of family life in the valleys. 
It will take more than 10 or 20 years of poverty 


completely to break down those traditions. 

The fact that poverty is perhaps the greatest 
enemy of family life is of course true universally, 
but it can be illustrated particularly well in a 
district where wide-spread poverty has suddenly 
descended on a people with a relatively high 
standard of living. The first remedy for so 
many family difficulties both among parents 
and children is undoubtedly an adequate diet. 

Very much has been said and written about the 
tragedy of marriages on the dole. Where these 
occur, there is a heavy bias against their 
success. Not only does the long monotony of 
idleness and poverty make for disillusionment, 
but in nearly every case there has been no 
opportunity for saving towards buying a home, 
and married life starts with the future mortgaged 
until the instalments on the furniture have been 
paid off. It is true that many couples who start 
in this way manage to catch up with their debts, 
at any rate to a reasonable extent, but it is not 
uncommon to hear of a young wife returning 
home from her shopping to find her furniture 
being carried out of the house. Under these 
circumstances, it is always too easy for self- 
respect to follow the furniture and recrimin¬ 
ations and perhaps slothfulness to take its 
place. 

However, it must be said that in these days 
marriage on the dole does not seem to be a 
common thing, at any rate in South Wales. 
Here and there a young fellow, who does not 
wish to contemplate leaving the district, will 
marry sooner than see his 17/6 unemployment 
allowance cut, through the new regulations, 
to 10/-. But this is probably not as hurried as it 
sounds. Hundreds of young people in the 
special areas have been courting for four or 
five years, under a considerable strain, and 
when they find that by marrying they will be a 
few shillings better off, even if those few 
shillings only amount in all to 24, they may 
jump at the excuse for terminating a long and 
weary time of waiting. On the whole, however, 
the young people are in no hurry to commit 
themselves to living, or partly living, on 24/- a 
week. One or the other leaves the district for a 
job, and eventually they come together again, 
marry, and settle down in Slough or Birming¬ 
ham or Kilburn. The happiness of their 
married life in these strange places, away from 






THE NEW ERA 


4 0 

the family and the community that have meant 
so much to them, must be the concern of those 
people among whom they have come to live. 

But what of the families who have been 
existing on the dole for many years? First of all, 
the fact that the breadwinner is without em¬ 
ployment is bound to have its dangers. The 
impetus of regularity has gone from life, there 
is no need to get up when the hooter sounds; 
indeed, with food short and light and coal 
precious, there is every reason to stay in bed as 
long as possible. From this it is so easy to slide 
into slipshod ways that one cannot but admire 
the great majority of families who manage to 
preserve punctuality and regularity of life. 

Mr. John Newsome tells in his book ‘Out of 
the Pit’ of a little boy who, when asked what he 
was going to be when he grew up, replied, ‘On 
the dole, like my daddy,’ and the most careful 
father must be aware of the influence that his 
idleness is going to have on his children. In 
many houses, boys of 15 are rising between 5 
and 6 o’clock in the morning and setting out 
for the pit, while their fathers are still in bed; 
and the problem that has begun while the boy 
was still at school, increases as he grows older. 
At 18 years of age, he earns a wage of perhaps 
25/- a week. Of this, he is only allowed under 
the Means Test, to keep 20/6 for his ‘personal 
requirements including maintenance’. A 
precious 4/6 of what would have been his 
pocket money, whether he wishes it or not, 
must go to help keep his father. At 22 years of 
age, when he is perhaps hoping to save up to 
get married, he may only keep 28/- out of a 
wage of £ 2. Can it be wandered that family 
life often cracks under this strain? The father 
is sensitive that his sons are forced to keep him 
while he is yet able-bodied, and the inferiority 
complex which he develops and which no 
special allowances can ever really cure, may 
have all kinds of unhappy manifestations. The 
sons on the other hand pay less and less regard 
to the advice and authority of their father. Or it 
may be between brothers that the friction is 
born; one brother has to help keep another by 
Act of Parliament, and many a boy has gone 
on the roads sooner than stay at home under 
such conditions. 

There are surely better ways of bringing 
labour to factory or factory to labour than by 


February 1937 j; 

risking the disintegration in bitterness of a 
very precious family tradition. But here again, ; 
tribute must be paid to the numbers of fathers j 
and sons and brothers who have not allowed j 
the Means Test to spoil the unity of their [J 
family. 

Whether in bitterness or in the excitement of i 
adventure, young people are leaving the mining j 
valleys in their thousands. At the age of 14, all I 
readers of this paper will agree, a child should j 
still be at school, and this by legislation will ! 
soon, to a great extent, be ensured. And yet to- ■ 
day there are boys and girls of 14, and very ; 
many of 15 and 16, who are living and working j 
at a distance from their homes that may * 
represent in ordinary fares well over half of the 1 
total income of their familv for one week. For j 
an adolescent boy or girl, home represents the j 
one stable thing in a rapidly changing world, 
and yet in all sorts of ways, consciously and j 
unconsciously, the people among whom these i 
children have come to live, are undermining 
their loyalty to their homes. And without this i 
loyalty, it is little wonder if they lose their 1 
sense of stability among the strange excite¬ 
ments of the prosperous towns to which they 
have come. One or two illustrations may be j 
given. To the people in the valleys of South 
Wales, death has always been the occasion of a 
family re-union. Sacrifices have always been 
made to be present at the time when one of the 
members of a family is to be buried. This is an 
outward and visible sign of family loyalty 
that has great significance. A girl from an 
unemployed family in service near London 
receives news that the baby has died at home. 
Her mother wants her for the funeral and has 
sent money for the fare. Her mistress, with 
common sense on her side, realizing that to go 
home at this stage will unsettle the girl, reasons 
with her. What good can she do by going home? 
Would it not be very much better if her mother 
spent the money on clothes for the children? 
And yet who has the right, however strongly 
justified by common sense, to challenge so 
deeply rooted a custom, to risk undermining 
the teaching and the influence of that girl’s 
home? Certainly not a mistress whose influence 
over the girl is not likely to last for more than 
another twelve months. 

Or a young boy has been found a job by the 




February 1937 unemployment and 

Ministry of Labour, and is sent to lodge with a 
respectable family, carefully investigated by an 
official from the Employment Exchange. But 
one visit cannot reveal the whole truth about 
that family. Perhaps the woman has had no 
boy of her own and begins to absorb the 
affections of the little exile, trying to wean him 
from his family, until his mother, realizing what 
is happening, uses all her persuasion to get him 
to return home. It is difficult to gauge what 
may be the effects of such a conflict on an 
adolescent boy. These problems are not ones 
that can easily be resolved by the best systems 
of after-care. 

The Great Western Railway is perhaps the 
best authority on what ‘The unemployed’ of 
South Wales feel about the exile of their young 
people. Every holiday, numbers of day and 
half-day excursions are run from the valleys to 
London and Birmingham and the Midlands, 
and the trains are crowded with parents going 
to spend a few hours with their children, or 
children returning to snatch a little glimpse of 
their homes, in both cases at considerable 
sacrifice. 

The Ministry of Labour would, in answer 
to this problem, point out that it is doing its 
best to encourage and help families to migrate 
to the districts where their children have found 
work, and this is a good answer as far as it 
goes. But in a sense the problem still remains. 


FAMILY LIFE IN SOUTH WALES 41 

The family exiled from its community may 
feel as lonely as the child exiled from its family, 
and many a woman living perhaps on a fairly 
good wage in greater London has written 
to her friends in Rhondda or Merthyr to the 
effect that she would sooner live in poverty in 
the warmth of a South Wales community than 
in comfort where no sense of community 
exists. A great obligation rests on the people 
living in those districts to which immigrants 
from the ‘Special Areas’ are coming, to show 
them the hospitality of their town. 

The problem of unemployment and of the 
transference of labour, which has seemed to 
many its only solution, presents a very grave 
challenge to those who value family life and its 
influence on the Community. 

Disintegration of families is undoubtedly 
going on, and reflection on the influences that 
are moulding a generation growing up under 
the shadow of unemployment does not make 
for peace of mind. The only answer to the 
problem is surely to preserve the traditions of 
family and community life in qr near the 
places where they have flourished, to bring 
work and industry to the special areas, instead 
of dispersing their people and their traditions 
over the country, and allowing the energy and 
health of those who remain behind to be 
sapped by unemployment and economic in¬ 
security. 


Sidelights on Family 

Legislation in Austria 


W hen in time to come all the dis¬ 
tracting problems which at present 
trouble mankind have been at least 
in part resolved; when war has been abolished; 
when national claims have disappeared; when 
just distribution of property has been attained 
and the development of the individual is 
assured, there will yet remain, for our wiser 
descendants to solve, the problems connected 
with the social life of husband, wife and 
children. Until that time these problems are 


found side by side with every historical mani¬ 
festation and change; they permeate everything 
and are mixed up with and influenced by every 
passing event. 

This is most easily perceptible in countries 
where decisive outer changes have taken place 
in a relatively short time. The slow moderniza¬ 
tion of the old, great, imperial and conservative 
pre-War Austria was followed in 1919 by a 
turbulent progressive movement. In the small, 
new republic to which Austria had been 







THE NEW ERA 


42 

reduced, Socialists fought a democratic battle 
against the traditional Catholic, agricultural 
and patrician parties and succeeded in intro¬ 
ducing many new ideas. Their efforts pro¬ 
gressed until about 1930, when resistance became 
ever stronger and more pronounced and 
finally—in 1934—eliminated the socialistic 
and democratic forces. These changes, of course, 
expressed themselves in characteristic manner 
in the new legislation, as well as in the applica¬ 
tion of the existing laws. 

There is in Austria no quite new legislation 
connected specifically with women’s problems 
(as there is, for example, in Czechoslovakia, 
where things proceed from the same pre-War 
basis). But here, as elsewhere, circumstances 
change, even within lawful limits, to such an 
extent that certain new customs become in¬ 
cluded in the application of some law, till at 
last this law has become an empty husk, a 
mere formality. On the other hand, however, 
newly created laws, especially those of a pro¬ 
gressive character, need years, if not decades, 
before their intention penetrates to the classes 
that hold aloof. Such abstention, of course, is 
intentional on the part of the Conservatives and 
passive in the case of the backward members of 
the community. 

The Austrian laws concerning the family and 
the life of women, can provide very lucid 
examples both of laws that survive in conflict 
with changed conditions of life, and of modern 
laws which contrast with old traditions. To the 
first group belong the regulations concerning 
matrimonial rights, family rights including 
divorce and the prohibition of contraceptives 
and abortion. To the second group belong those 
connected with woman’s franchise and her 
position in public life, also a long register of 
protective laws for children and adolescents, 
all having arisen during the period 1919 to 
1930. 

Of least interest for the non-Austrian are 
perhaps the laws concerning the wife’s status 
in the household. Here, as in many countries, 
these still reflect the standards of more than a 
hundred years ago. The husband, as the chief 
breadwinner and provider, is the head; he can 
give or withhold permission to the woman who 
bears his name and manages his home, to 
travel, and to enter upon business or pro- 


February 1937 


I 

I 


fessional work; he even has the right to apply : 
‘light’ correction to her. All this is written in 
the code of Civil Law; all this forms the basis 
for the thinking and, above all, for the con¬ 
victions of millions of people. And, as almost 
everywhere else in the world, a few thousand 
women and men are fighting against this in the 
the name of reason and justice. 

As almost everywhere else, through the 
development of machinery, of industry, of 
capitalism, women have been forced into wage¬ 
earning employment. As elsewhere there has ap¬ 
peared this paradoxical state of affairs: that the 
woman in her employment is, compared with 
the man, up against a threefold disadvantage: 
less pay (for equal output), no possibility of 
reaching the higher positions (either in the 
workshops or in the office), and no pride in 
her profession because in public opinion and 
secretly in her own consciousness any work 
outside the home is looked upon as merely a 
temporary emergency. The enthusiastic en¬ 
joyment of their professions experienced by 
young intelligentsia can only in the course of 
time reach wider circles. This is the reason why 
the work of the household has remained ex¬ 
clusively the woman’s sphere, even if both 
husband and wife leave the house and return to 
it at the same time; even if the daughter’s 
hours of work are the ^ame as those of the son. 

The man’s position as head of the home, 
chief breadwinner and authority had already 
before the war lost much of its importance in 
countless educated families and in the majority 
of working-class households. The economic 
crisis of post-War years has gone further. In 
many cases the economic role of the two 
sexes has become entirely reversed. The highly 
paid husband is without work, the poorly paid 
wife the sole breadwinner; the young apprentice, 
his training finished, is without a job, the 
young girl is at work (though underpaid). 1 

In the middle-classes, among small indepen¬ 
dent employers, shopkeepers, skilled artisans, 
minor civil servants, a class whose women 
had never worked for payment, there has 


1 See the excellent description in the short book by 
Dr. Kathe Leichter, “Thus we live!” (So leben 
wir!) Vienna, Arbeiterkammer Verlag, 1932. 






February 1937 sidelights on family 

broken out something like a panic, fertile soil 
for all kinds of slogans of despair! One of these 
declares: ‘The crisis is due to the employment of 
women, who compete with men. Away with it!’ 
A glance at the employment statistics of the 
professions covering the years before the crisis 
would upset this statement, but it is part of the 
crisis-mentality that nobody thinks it worth 
while to give that glance. And so it comes about 
that at a time during which the woman’s share 
in maintaining the home is equal, sometimes 
superior, to the man’s, the legal prerogatives of 
the man continue to be safeguarded by 
law. 

Here we must speak about divorce. Divorce 
has become a battlefield between the right of 
the free individual and the conservative de¬ 
mands of the community. That is why divorce 
reform has been most hotly contested in 
countries where the demands of society are 
supported by the conservative might of a 
strictly limited hierarchy (close corporations, 
castes, a church supported by the State, etc.). 
Two other facts meet here to complicate the 
problem of divorce in Austria: 2 (1) matrimonial 
law varies according to religious denomina¬ 
tions, and (2) Austria is a Roman Catholic 
country. The interesting question why the 
Catholic point of view with regard to marriage 
and woman is so far stricter and narrower than 
the one held by Jews or Protestants cannot be 
dealt with here; we can only touch upon the 
actual consequences of this point of view. To 
repeat: marriages are in principle registered by 
the religious communities, which also keep the 
records. The civil marriage ceremony was 
originally an expedient for mixed religious 
marriages; only the last three decades show a 
slow increase of non-religious marriage cere¬ 
monies. 

Divorce, therefore, is managed quite differ¬ 
ently according to the religious persuasions of the 
parties. Protestant marriages can be divorced 
or separated at the petition of husband or wife 
on the grounds of guilt, or by agreement on 


2 Austrian law recognizes (1) divorce, i.e., cessation 
of cohabitation and of man’s duty to support wife 
and children; (2) separation, i.e., cessation of cohabita¬ 
tion, but continuation of the husband’s duty to 
provide for the children. 


LEGISLATION IN AUSTRIA <3 

grounds of irresistible dislike. Jewish marriages 
can be divorced and separated by agreement of 
both parties or at the petition of the husband, 
even against the wife’s will. The wife cannot 
bring a suit, even if she can prove adultery on 
the part of the husband. But the Catholic 
marriage is in principle indissoluble, even if 
only one of the parties is a Catholic; even if 
both afterwards resign from the Church. A 
separation may indeed be pronounced, but no 
divorce. Re-marriage is not permitted. 

At the time of the great upheaval of all 
social and family ties after the War it became 
impossible to isolate the Catholic marriage from 
the convulsions of the times, and there arose a 
practice, which led to the so-called Dispensehe, 
a truly Austrian arrangement by which divorced 
Catholics who wish to marry again can do so, 
but only before the Civil Authorities. They 
approach the head of the local authority, that is 
the Landeshauptmann , the chief magistrate, in 
provincial districts, or the burgomaster of 
Vienna, and apply for a dispensation from the 
prohibition to marry implicit in the existing 
marriage contract. Whether the dispensation 
is granted depends on the ‘free estimation’ 
of the local government. There are different 
kinds of obstacles of varying force. There is no 
law that could raise objections; if any are 
raised, this is due to the normal feeling of the 
people for justice and fairness. The ultimate 
authority is the Bundeskanzleramt or Chancelry. 
Even at the time when Dr. Seipel, Roman 
Catholic ‘prelate and conservative politican, 
was Chancellor, the Chancelry provided and 
ratified such dispensations, but the Vice- 
Chancellor (for example, the German Hartleb) 
was entrusted with it. The result is the grotesque 
situation by which one or even two people say: 
‘State, you consider me as having been married; 
now, please, consider me as as not married.’ And 
the State does so, thus, so to say, facilitating 
bigamy. But because as a Roman Catholic State 
it is somewhat annoyed at having to do such a 
thing, it corrects the matter in the following 
manner: 

Whenever the highest Austrian judicial 
authority, the First Court of Justice, has had to 
decide as to the validity of such a marriage by 
dispensation, it has rejected it. Therefore every 
other Court is obliged to declare every and any 







THE NEW ERA 


44 

marriage by dispensation, of which it gets 
notice, as not valid. A mere notification at any 
Court is sufficient. Perhaps the husband is 
tired of his second wife, or the first wife wants 
to harm him and her successor, or some tenant 
next door is annoyed about mats being shaken 
out after ten o’clock in the morning. On the 
strength of any such notice the marriage is 
annulled. The wife has no claim on the 
husband; nothing is left her! Only one thing 
remains: the children of such a fairy-story 
marriage may go on existing, are even declared 
as legitimate, and have all the claims of legiti¬ 
mate children on the father. 

This curious expedient in such a critical and 
unnatural position existed in Austria during 
almost two decades. Especially frequent were 
dispensation marriages in Vienna under the 
socialistic administration, when the burgo¬ 
master acted as chief county magistrate. Since 
1934 no more dispensations have been granted, 
and the dispensation marriages that are still 
extant lead a hard-pressed and fearful exis¬ 
tence. However, the Concordat, which was 
formed very soon after February, 1934, be¬ 
tween the Vatican and Austrian Government 
and which deals with questions concerning in¬ 
spection of schools, education and marriage, 
has not brought in any great changes or 
tightening up of divorce. 3 

Quite in harmony with the Roman Catholic 
point of view regarding the one-marriage is that 
of birth control. Sexual intercourse outside 
marriage is tabooed, condemned as sin, silently 
tolerated. The products are children of shame 
(about this more in a following paragraph). 
Conjugal intercourse should lead to the pro¬ 
creation of children. 

In spite of all the efforts of women Socialists 
and their parliamentary representatives it was 
not possible, between 1919 and 1934, to delete 
from the Penal Code, or even to modify, the 
infamous paragraph 144, whereby abortion, 
and any assistance towards it, must be punished 
as crime. 

The conservative powers of the religiously- 
minded peasantry, and the upper classes faith- 


February 1937 1 

fully clinging to traditions, were too strong. 
But the needs of daily life, the despair of work¬ 
ing-class women with many children, the desire 
of young working-class couples to get on in the 
world were stronger still, and therefore a kind 
of practical compromise developed in those 
years. The law permits the magistrate to give a 
mild verdict in cases where there has been 
‘irresistible compulsion’; it allows the doctor, if 
there is danger for the expectant mother, to 
sacrifice the expectant child. Hundreds of judges 
have therefore recognized ‘irresistible com¬ 
pulsion,’ when some woman, out of employ¬ 
ment, did not want to bring a sixth child into 
the world. There were also hundreds of judges 
who did not do so, but hundreds of doctors 
diagnosed danger for the young woman con¬ 
cerned, which danger even began at some slight 
lung weakness, and the Health Insurance .made 
the rest possible. This practice has stopped in 
Austria. Even prevention through contracep¬ 
tive means is not allowed to be advertised, or 
to be mentioned. 

Two circumstances have probably contri¬ 
buted to bring to pass the reforms of all kinds 
for the better treatment of children and 
adolescents: increased realization of the value 
of human beings and the importance of each 
individual life, together with the results of 
psychological and educational researches, which 
had been going on for several decades before 
they suddenly seized the imagination of 
specialists and the general public alike. This 
was proved by innumerable school reforms in 
Austria, and also by the treatment of youthful 
criminals and unsocial characters. 4 

Just as valuable are the reforms in the field of 
child-welfare, which includes all the children 
neglected or forsaken by their family. Juvenile 
offices have been created that are indeed the 
authorized Centres for the protection of all the 
rights and interests of children. They have the 
guardianship of all foster-children entrusted to 
outside families; they represent the claims of 
illegitimate children on dilatory fathers; or of 
children whose parents have been divorced. 
They have the right to intervene in cases of 


3 Exception: the Burgenland, in which until then 
the more broad-minded marriage laws prevailed. 


4 See “Problem of Delinquency in Vienna.” New 
Era, June, 1936. 





February 1937 sidelights on family 

cruelty to children. But here runs an un¬ 
certain harrier-line between modern feelings 
and views and old-fashioned traditional abuses, 
and it requires courage and much tact to act 
for the good of all concerned. 

One can only say that in Austria the legal 
protection of the illegitimate child goes much 
further than in many other countries. There is a 
law—like all of its kind, created in the years 
between 1919 and 1934—which is known by the 
name of a woman (lex Rudel-Zeynek) and which 
threatens the father with punishment if he 
neglects the maintenance of his illegitimate 
child. Every well-known and much-favoured 
excuse and trick is foreseen and has been made 
impossible. By the way, the legal determination 
of the illegitimate father is made easy in Austria, 
as it only requires proof that intercourse has 
taken place (even if also with other men) to 
make a claim. There is a very enlightened 
regulation that the claim of the illegitimate child 
to certain standards of education is to be settled, 
not as in Germany according to the social 
position of the mother, but according to the 
income of both the parents. 

There arose also, during the decade and a half 
after the War and the creation of the Austrian 
Republic, a series of advisory welfare centres in 
Vienna and in all the provincial capitals— 
advisory boards for the welfare of infants in 
arms; advisory boards for mothers, maintained 
by the locality. Doctors and nurses were ap¬ 
pointed. These, though voluntary, w^ere ex¬ 
traordinarily well patronized, and mothers 
would return to them again and again. Advice 
to mothers began before the expected con¬ 
finement and was supplemented with other 
help, free of charge, such as money, milk, baby 
clothing. Then there was, in Vienna only, an 
advisory board for married people, an undertak¬ 
ing new to Austria, which during the ten years of 
its existence has made itself only very slowly felt; 
up to the end of 1933 not more than five 
thousand cases could be given advice. 

Privately owned associations of a social or a 
scientific character kept up other kinds of 
advisory centres. There was a society which, 
under medical supervision and with the help 
of the socialist district organization, supplied 
women who could not otherwise have afforded 
them with contraceptive means. Then there 


LEGISLATION IN AUSTRIA 

were advisory centres for education, some based 
on Freud’s and some on Alfred Adler’s teaching. 
The school reform also worked for the develop¬ 
ment of advisory centres for parents, and helped 
these to become popular by starting Parents’ 
Clubs in connection with every elementary 
school. These the parents were obliged to 
join and so make it possible for parents and 
teachers to Work together. In this way, down to 
the end of 1933, much parent education, in 
every section of the community, was carried 
out; parents in rich circumstances often need it 
quite as much as the poorest, and many a 
family Magna Charta has been set up. Political 
democracy is not tenable unless there is a 
corresponding family democracy. 

The same applies to the relationship between 
men and women. The period of the political 
and social reforms in Austria gave woman the 
franchise for every political corporation, sup¬ 
plied her with the right of entrance to every 
profession, and equal standing in all public 
services. This evolution had come too quickly 
and too suddenly to allow it to be all at once 
firmly and harmoniously established. It has 
perhaps done good work by making women 
everywhere take some interest in politics and 
public life. 

The right to take part in local and parlia¬ 
mentary government has not brought women 
anv sensational successes. The conservative 

J 

parties gave women only a few openings, 
though the socialistic parties gave them more. 
In parliamentary committees and municipal 
councils the women members worked dili¬ 
gently and intelligently. As was to be expected 
they showed no signs of nursing especially 
women’s causes. In the new Austria, political 
corporations are not elected, but are appointed 
by the Government, and there are practically 
no women in politics. 

The new professional openings for women 
have developed very slowly. In 1919 all avenues 
for study and all positions were opened to 
women in theorv. In the good old times, no 
man considered it unwomanly when a laun¬ 
dress or a farm maid-servant did some fifteen 
hours daily of the heaviest physical work, but 
university professors persuaded the first timid 
girl undergraduates that to study was un¬ 
womanly, and the profession of doctor, for 




THE NEW ERA 


46 

example, far too exhausting. Exactly so did the 
men in Austria, after 1919, discover that women 
are no good as solicitors or magistrates; that 
schoolmasters cannot stand female school- 
inspectors; that women make the best and 
most efficient private secretaries, but must by no 
means be managing head of an office. 

In spite of all this there were in Vienna some 
female solicitors; the local nursing homes ap¬ 
pointed female physicians-in-chief and many 
female assistant-doctors acted in the hospitals; 
some women inspectors were included in the 
school-boards of Vienna; here and there one 
discovered a woman bank-clerk; some two or 
three women architects made a name for them¬ 
selves. (Women chemists and dispensers al¬ 
ready existed, also schoolmistresses of all 
degrees and in every capacity). 5 

But it was the enfranchisement of women 
which enabled us to gain a true perception of 
the value of women’s work in public opinion 
and in woman’s own consciousness. The three 
most important conditions: equal training, 
equal pay, equal chances for advancement, had 
to force their way step by step, always hindered 

5 Here I would like once again to draw attention 
to a publication by the Wiener Arbeitskammer, 1930: 
“Manual of Women’s Work in Austria”; edited by 
Dr. Kathe Leichter. 


February 1937 

by the professional envy of male colleagues, the 
lack of confidence on the part of the woman 
worker herself, and the distrust and envy of 
the woman without a profession. Herein also 
was found the chief obstacle to the fourth 
condition: complete freedom to marry, for the 
woman in public service. 

Every good and every harmful conservative 
power has joined together to enforce upon the 
professionally active woman this undignified 
limitation of her personal freedom, and by 
doing this has prevented just the highly gifted, 
most valuable women becoming mothers. For 
fourteen years the marriage prohibition for 
schoolmistresses in elementary schools had 
been done away with in most Austrian pro¬ 
vinces; for those in the higher schools it had 
never existed. But since 1934 marriage means 
for all women in public services, for teachers or 
officials, voluntary resignment. Further, living 
together with a man without marriage is re¬ 
garded as an official misdemeanour and can be 
retaliated by dismissal. 

It is paradoxical that even in free and 
democratic England enforced celibacy in 
certain professions hampers and limits women 
to this day. Would it not be a grateful task to 
search for the reasons for this evil and to seize 
it at its very roots? 


THE NEW ERA 

There is a keen sense of the complexity of modern prob¬ 
lems among a thinking minority. Your friends will surely 
be grateful to you for introducing them to the thought- 
provoking and vivid exchange of ideas which our maga¬ 
zine offers. 

THE NEW ERA makes a welcome PRESENT at any time 

8/- POST FREE 

PLEASE MAKE USE OF THE ACCOMPANYING FORM 











Sexual 


Relations and 
Organization 


Social 
in Sweden 

Dr. Gunnar Inghe 


S weden entered late the ranks of the 
industrial countries. It was not until the 
’eighties of the last century that her growing 
proletariat forced her to embark upon a vast 
programme of social reform. I hope to show 
briefly the course of these reforms and their 
effect upon social and family life; and I 
believe it will be seen that, though a late 
starter, Sweden is now in advance of some of 
the continental and Anglo-Saxon countries in 
much of her social legislation. 

As long as this was a purely agricultural 
country, and the land was the chief source of 
livelihood of the working classes, the patriarchal 
system and a solid family sense remained un¬ 
shaken. The economic bond between man 
and wife was strong enough to prevent 
serious erotic conflicts. This did not mean that 
conjugal faithfulness was greater during this 
period, but common economic interests held 
the home together. A married woman had no 
property rights, no independent income, and 
no chance of standing on her own feet. At the 
same time she had very important duties in 
the household and on the land, and had there¬ 
fore more say in the household than the law 
actually prescribed to her. 

Industrialization brought changes. To begin 
with, the man left the land for the factory 
while the woman remained at home to a greater 
extent than before and became more depend¬ 
ent on his earnings. The hold of the man over 
his wife was therefore tightened. The bourgeois 
family which we meet with to-day (the wage¬ 
earning husband and home-keeping wife) has 
held within itself from the beginning the seeds 
of its own dissolution, however. The women 
were not satisfied to be relegated to mere 
housework, and as industrialization pro¬ 
ceeded they were gradually absorbed into the 
factories. At the same time agitation began for 
reform of the marriage law. 


Legislation for the protection of the workers 
was practically unknown before the ’eighties. 
Such matters as night work, juvenile and 
female employment were not limited by law. 
Illegitimate children had a sorry time of it. 
The unmarried mother got no maintenance 
for her child except from rather unsatisfactory 
poor-law institutions. The progress of the 
worker’s movement brought with it laws for 
the protection of workers and especially of 
women. In 1900, statutes were passed en¬ 
forcing a period of four weeks’ rest before 
child-birth for factory workers. This was 
later extended to six. No wages were paid 
during this period and this made new legisla¬ 
tion necessary. In 1912 a maternity allowance 
was instituted. Contributions to maternity 
benefit was however not obligatory, so this 
measure had very limited significance until, 
after years of propaganda for sick-benefit 
reform, new legislation was passed in 1931. 

The position of juvenile employment 
improved and protective legislation was 
gradually passed. Illegitimate children bene- 
fitted by new laws about children’s rights in 
general (1917, T8, ’20). The poor law was also 
made more flexible. The first changes of the 
marriage laws were made in 1908 when 
church marriage was no longer the only form, 
a civil form of marriage being set up. In 1920 
new legislation was put through which 
changed radically much of the existing 
legislation. 

Taken as a whole one can see how the legal 
development during these years proceeded in 
waves according to the party in power. One 
can see this particularly in regard to sexual 
problems. By 1880, propaganda for birth- 
control along Neo-malthusian lines was 
reaching Sweden. It was attacked violently by 
the reactionaries. Through the influence of 
the growing workers’ movement, the demand 


47 









THE NEW ERA 


48 

for information about sex grew more and more 
insistent, especially in the beginning of this 
century. Agitators began to go about the 
country carrying out propaganda more or less 
secretly. 

Politically this period is important for the 
first reform of the franchise, which was forced 
upon the reactionaries of the right by the very 
energetic activities of the left. In 1908 as 
already noted, civil marriage was instituted. In 
1909 a general strike broke out, the greatest 
economic fight between employers and em¬ 
ployees which has ever taken place in Sweden. 
It resulted in compete defeat for the workers, 
partly because they had overestimated the 
strength and solidarity of the trade unions and 
the neutrality of the community as a whole. 
There was an immediate and serious set-back 
in trades union membership. The political 
influence of the workers partly diminished. 
The reactionaries made the most of their 
chance and in 1910 severe legislation was 
passed against the sale of contraceptives and 
the imparting of information about sex. 

The reactionaries were in power throughout 
the world war until, under the pressure of food 
restrictions and popular unrest, a more radical 
policy/began to manifest itself. This culminated 
immediately after the war in a new coalition 
between liberals and social democrats. Thanks 
to this, new legislation was brought in for poor 
law reform, child protection, the marriage 
laws, sex information, and the fighting of 
venereal diseases. The special regulations about 
prostitutes were removed. In the political 
sphere the franchise was widened, women 
were given votes, and the general level of 
taxation was lowered. 

( will now outline the main advances made 
in family and marriage legislation especially 
in so far as they differ from Anglo-Saxon 
countries. The legislation of 1920 is in many 
ways a remarkable piece of work. It was not 
the result of a scientific sociological analysis 
of the family problem of our time, but it was 
none the less in many ways very logically 
conceived. Its fundamental thesis is that 
husband and wife have absolute personal 
economic equality . The husband has no power 
to compel his wife in any way. The old 


February 1937 

patriarchial system has entirely disappeared. 
The same standard of faithfulness is demanded 
of the man as of the woman. Each is respon¬ 
sible for the economic support of the other. In 
the marriage agreement safeguards can be made 
by each party for the protection of his or her 
personal property in case of divorce or in case 
of debt or bankruptcy of the other party. 

Though equality between the sexes has thus 
been established in law, this does not mean 
that equality really obtains in practice. The 
actual social conditions and even certain parts 
of the social legislation makes such equality in 
many ways a fiction. The woman is still in 
reality dependent on the man for her liveli¬ 
hood, and even where the woman is a wage- 
earner—as she very often is in the working 
classes—her wages are usually less than the 
man’s. Even the unmarried woman is handi¬ 
capped. She is hardly ever able to support 
herself entirely. The best means of livelihood 
is still marriage and woman’s position of 
dependence is thereby made plain. The con¬ 
sequence is that she still remains sexually and 
spiritually dependent. There are still cases 
where a woman who marries and has a child is 
dismissed from her employment without any 
reason being given. Only collective agreements 
within a given trade can resist and break this 
misuse of power. 

The marriage law therefore is still in some 
ways a fiction. Social conventions of in¬ 
equality have prevented its full working. ‘The 
law emanates from a more modern conception 
of morals than is held at present by the 
majority’, which only helps to make the laws 
the more significant. The development of 
society must go hand in hand with social 
organization. 

As regards the dissolution of marriage, the 
new law is hardly more radical in its wording 
than was its predecessor. During the whole of 
the 19th century society supported the idea of 
the indissolubility of marriage and in principle 
still does so, the growing flexibility of custom 
has taken place within the framework of this 
idea. 

S ince 1920 the grounds for divorce are: 

refusal to co-habit over a period of two 
years; adultery; bigamy; venereal disease; 




February 1937 sexual relations and social organization in Sweden 


continuous insanity for three years; imprison¬ 
ment with hard labour for three years. Also 
the court may grant a divorce if one of the 
parties is a chronic alcoholic or drug addict. 
As a preliminary to divorce there is a judicial 
separation, which may be adjudged on the 
grounds of ‘deep and continual disintegration 
of the marriage’. If both parties agree to seek a 
judicial separation on these grounds (which 
they may do a year after the marriage is 
contracted) the court has no right to investigate 
the case. This is now the most usual ‘ground’ 
for divorce. If during this year of judicial 
separation husband and wife have had no 
intercourse, the question of divorce automati¬ 
cally arises. 

As has been seen, the above law meets a 
variety of requirements with regard to divorce. 
That divorce is not more frequent is partly due 
to economic and social pressure which makes 
both marriage and divorce a serious step for 
the wage-earner. The woman finds it difficult 
to support herself on her own earnings and 
the man finds it difficult to supplement her 
earnings if she is living under a different roof. 
Even here the freedom given by the laws is 
modified by social conditions. It seems to me 
that the most urgent problem in Sweden and 
in most bourgeois countries is not so much to 
make new legislation as to work for a greater 
flexibility of social convention, especially in 
regard to women. Woman’s increasing entry 
into industry as competitor and comrade to 
man is the most natural way for both sexes to 
gain freedom and self-reliance. Rapid progress 
is being made in this direction. 

Divorce in Sweden is steadily increasing. 
In 1921 there were 1,192, and in 1930 2,260. 
Last year there were 43,858 marriages. The 
figure for divorce in 1930 was 0.36 per 1,000 
inhabitants. Compared with most other 
countries, this figure is not particularly high. 
The U.S.S.R. shows a figure of 3.15; U.S.A. 
1.64; Denmark and Germany (1930) and 
Hungary show higher figures; other European 
countries somewhat lower. Only England 
shows a much lower figure. In 1930 it was 
0.09 divorces per 1,000 inhabitants, and the 
total number of divorces overtopped the 
Swedish total by very little, in spite of the 
small Swedish population of 6,000,000. I take 


49 

it that the foreigner has no right to jump to the 
conclusion that English marriages show less 
marital discord than Swedish. I should 
imagine on the contrary that the increased 
pressure works in the opposite direction. The 
English are behindhand in divorce reform. 

B efore 1918 children of unmarried or of an 
extra-marital relationship were considered 
illegitimate. Such children had no right of 
inheritance from father or mother, but later 
had the right to inherit from the mother. Both 
father and mother on the other hand had in¬ 
heritance rights over the property of an 
illegitimate child. Such children were forced 
to earn their own livings as early as possible and 
neither parent was responsible for maintenance 
once the child was fifteen. Moral prejudices 
and the religious idea that such children were 
the fruits of sin made any reform of these 
conditions impossible for a long time. Through 
post-war legislation these illegitimate children 
were put on a somewhat more equal footing 
with other children. For every child born of 
an illegitimate relationship, a guardian is now 
appointed. He helps the mother with advice 
and information as to the protection of the 
child’s rights. He has to ascertain the paternity 
of the child and insure that the father main¬ 
tains the child. In other ways he has to notify 
the local authority in case of need so that 
assistance may be given. 

These guardians do very useful work, though 
they are hampered by much red tape and by 
limited funds. The investigations of paternity 
are in the hands of the court, which sometimes 
makes use of blood tests in this connection. 
The mother has the right to public mainten¬ 
ance if she is destitute. The father is respon¬ 
sible for maintaining the mother for at least 
six weeks before and after child-birth. After 
this both parents contribute to the main¬ 
tenance of the child according to their in¬ 
dividual means. This obligation continues 
until the child is eighteen. He takes the 
mother’s surname and has the right of inheri¬ 
tance from her. He has no rights on the father 
after the age of eighteen. There is therefore 
still a serious discrepancy between the civil 
rights of legitimate and illegitimate children. 
Of late suggestions have been made by the 






THE NEW ERA 


5 ° 

Census Commission (of which, more later) 
for bettering the economic position of these 
children, but they have not in mind a radical 
reform of the popular conception of this 
problem as a whole. The guardians still remain 
the most constructive institution. This prob¬ 
lem of illegitimate children is important in 
Sweden because they are numerous. In 1934 
such births were 14.2 per cent, of the total 
live births. In the towns the illegitimate 
births are about one-fifth of the total and in the 
country about one-tenth. There has been an 
increase of illegitimacy during the last 20 or 
30 years; 

C ontributions to Health Insurance, which 
are voluntary in Sweden, took over the 
insurance of motherhood in 1910. The 
benefit consists of 2 s. per day for a minimum 
of 30 days and a maximum of 56 days — the 
latter for women working in certain industries. 

Half of this benefit is contributed by the 
State, and this half goes to the mother if her 
means are below a certain figure, even she 
herself does not pay contributions to the sick- 
benefit funds. The funds are distributed by the 
local authorities. This whole scheme meets 
with public criticism and is likely to be 
reformed. A nursing mother should be allowed 
time off in which to feed and care for her child, 
without deduction of pay. In fact the scheme 
should be extended so that maternity does 
not diminish the working mother’s contribu¬ 
tion to the family budget. At present it depends 
on the goodwill of the employer whether this 
is so or not. The result is that the woman is too 
often anxious to get back to work before she is 
really fit. This is another case of a good law 
not yet fully implemented by public opinion. 
Working women do not feel themselves 
sufficiently secure to insist on their rights and 
never will do so until the trade unions back 
their demands. 

Professional women are in theory on a basis 
of equality with men, but they cannot become 
judges, priests or physical training instructors 
to men. Neither may women be employed as 
miners or road-makers. But in competition 
with men in the labour market their work is 
still considered to be of less value than a man’s, 
which has ill effects on both sexes. At present 


February 1937 

there is an energetic propaganda being carried 
on by professional women for equal work for 
equal pay. This is especially so among ele¬ 
mentary school teachers and they seem likely 
to win their case. This will open the way for 
other professions. 

Educational problems are similar in Sweden 
and elsewhere. There is an attempt to replace 
the old ‘teacher’s desk’ type of school by an 
activity school, but this effort has had little 
effect on the state schools in spite of the 
experiments made in certain private schools. 

On the other hand, progress has been made 
in the provision for young children. Sweden 
has been backward in the matter of creches, 
nursery schools and kindergartens. There are 
still only 100 creches and 40 kindergartens in 
the country. These have been started by 
private initiative but often receive grants from 
local authority or the state. The standard of 
nursery schools is still not high—the best 
being found in Stockholm. They are very 
much in people’s minds, and are urged 
whenever people meet to discuss the economic 
independence of women and the rights of the 
child. The U.S.A. has inspired us with its 
example in this respect and the U.S.S.R. has 
also given us rich material. 

I have already mentioned the law of 1910 
forbidding instruction about birth-control. 
This law has become the focus of discussion on 
sex problems. It has not prevented the spread 
of information about birth-control and pro¬ 
phylaxis against venereal disease, but this 
propaganda has largely fallen into the hands 
of quacks because medical men and educa¬ 
tionalists have been loth to break the law. This 
explains why until 1933 there was no official 
bureau for information about sexual matters. 
In that year one was started, chiefly through a 
workers’ organization, and called the National 
Bureau for Sex Information. In spite of great 
opposition, this bureau shows magnificient 
enterprise. It employs at present three doctors 
and its president is Mrs. Elsie Ottesen-Jensen, 
a practising doctor. She and Professor Knut 
Vicksell, who began the campaign in 1880, 
and the statesman Hinke Bergegren, are the 
chief workers in this movement. Similar 
bureaux have been opened in provincial 



February 1937 sexual relations and social 

centres where social democrats are in a 
majority. 

A very effective lex veneris was passed in 
1919, which was difficult to put into practice 
because of the ban on information about sex. 
Nevertheless, it did make treatment for venereal 
disease compulsory and free, w r ith the result 
that syphilis is now practically unknown and 
the figures for gonorrhoea are the lowest in the 
world. In latter years sex instruction has 
gained ground in the schools, especially 
instruction about venereal diseases in the 
upper forms. Sex-instruction, linked with 
biology, is now taught from the junior forms 
upwards. It is too soon to prophesy what will 
be the social results of this instruction. I 
personally feel that, with modifications and 
careful teacher training, we shall encourage a 
saner attitude to sex in the coming generation. 

The National Bureau for Sex Information 
and also certain doctors arrange lectures about 
sex problems, but both lectures and printed 
matter about these subjects are rare. The 
‘Popular Journal for Sex Instruction’ was first 
published in 1932. This publication is strongly 
radical and straight away met with disapproval 
from the reactionaries. It was subject to legal 
prosecution, but was acquitted. This was the 
last effort of the reactionary parties, and it 
looks for the moment as though the latter w T ere 
retreating on all fronts. 

The law of 1910 was accompanied by 
legislation against abortion with the result that 
criminal abortion has increased largely of late 
and has become a terrible menace to the health 
of women. Under continued attacks the law is 
likely to become more flexible. It has been 
suggested that abortion be made legal in cases 
where the social circumstances of the mother 
make it seem necessary, but it is unlikely that 
the social democrats will dare put through such 
a measure. It is more likely that they will 
widen the medical grounds for abortion, so 
that they cover the mother tired out by 
much child-bearing. At the same time the 
public outcry against illegal abortion is going 
to be used as a means of increasing the 
financial benefits and social assistance for the 
would-be mother. 

As far as one can judge prostitution has 
diminished of late. This can be attributed to 


ORGANIZATION IN SWEDEN 51 

the greater enlightment and enhanced freedom 
of the youth of both sexes, to the improvement 
in the economic status of women — in short to 
the increasingly friendly attitude between the 
sexes. Camping and out-of-door activities are 
growing and the relatively free relationships, 
which have always obtained, are now becom¬ 
ing more conscious and more responsible. I 
think one may look forward to increasingly 
liberal legislation about sex, and the gain in 
personal liberty that will result can best be 
estimated by those who, like myself, have seen 
the disastrous effects of religio-social inhibi¬ 
tions in these matters. 

T he birth rate in Sweden, which was about 
30 in the 1,000 throughout the nineteenth 
century, has fallen steadily, with the result that 
the population is now falling. This has 
happened in spite of the ban on birth control 
information, and was the reactionaries’ excuse 
for opposing such information. Now, however, 
the social democrats realize that the popula¬ 
tion question is vital and must be solved. 
Moralizing on the part of the State is useless. 
The falling birth-rate must have definite 
causes. What are these? Professor Myrdal, 
national economist and a leading figure in the 
Social Democrat party, has explained that the 
causes lie in social discrepancies. We must 
raise the economic level of the workers, do away 
wfith inequalities, build better houses, feed the 
children better, help the mothers more in 
child-care and build more nursery schools. We 
must in fact see to it that children are welcome. 
They must not be allowed to be a burden on 
poor parents, and this means that we must 
make further demands on those who are in 
better financial circumstances. At the same 
time it does not do to bring pressure to bear on 
people to have children. Sex instruction must 
be given freely. 

A Census Commission has been appointed, 
containing members of various political parties 
and also experts from outside politics. It has 
already drawm up various suggestions to be 
put before Parliament. Maternity help should 
be increased so that every expectant mother 
shall receive 75 kronen from the State — in 
special cases 200 kronen. Better care for 
orphans has been suggested; increased allow- 






THE NEW ERA 


52 

ances for children and for maternity care. 
Finally a few weeks ago the Commission 
proposed unanimously that the law against 
birth-control be abolished and that a campaign 
be started for setting up bureaux of informa¬ 
tion and increasing sex-instruction in school. 
Reports from the leading scientists, medical 
men, teachers, sociologists and moralists have 
been published. The Commission expressed 
its frank opinion that birth-control is a good 
thing, on the grounds of health, economics, 
hygiene, family psychology and morality, but 
that it must be accompanied by measures 
which will raise the social services to a far 
higher plane. Free lunches for all school 
children have been urged. Recommendations 
will also be made about the employment of 
expectant mothers. Housing conditions are 
being investigated both in town and country. 

(It is obvious that if all these measures were 
adopted it would mean an enormous cultural 
and social advance. They would relieve 
economic pressure and make life freer and 


February 1937 

more humane. For women they would mean 
freedom from sexual slavery, and the increased 
social care would ease the bearing and care 
of children, and free the woman worker for 
other cultural and social tasks.) 

All this development has gone on within the 
framework of a bourgeois society. There have 
been no major changes in economics, finance, 
industry and rights of ownership. All the 
measures hitherto taken have been in the 
nature of reforming past abuses. As they 
progress however, they will bring about a 
radical reshaping of the very structure of 
society. 

Only two things could prevent the progress 
of social, economic and sexual freedom in 
Sweden. First, a Fascist dictatorship—the 
chances of which look extremely remote. 
Second, that Sweden should be drawn into a 
major European war. The preservation of 
peace is the prerequisite of all progress 
and is therefore the steady aim of Swedish 
democracy. 


Sex Relationships in the U.S.S.R. 

Beatrice King 

Author of Changing Han : The Soviet Education System 


T he U.S.S.R. is the most disconcerting 
of countries. Enthusiastic supporters of 
the whole or part of her regime are con¬ 
tinually being let down. A new decree is pro¬ 
mulgated; in due course it is hailed in advanced 
circles abroad as the apotheosis of advanced 
thinking. And while articles are being written 
and speeches made to this effect, the Soviet 
authorities, with a callous disregard for their 
foreign supporters, change the decree and cut 
the ground from under their feet. A recent 
example of this was seen in the new decrees 
dealing with divorce and abortion. They have 
been greeted by many of the people in England 
as a return to bourgeois morality. When seen 
against their true background they are of course 
nothing of the sort. 

The Soviet idea of a Communist society is 
one in which discipline, self-control, restraint 


and responsibility play a considerable part; 
one in which the welfare of the state takes pre¬ 
cedence over the desires of the individual; 
one which at the same time strives to achieve 
harmony between the welfare of the state and 
the desires of the individual. Lack of restraint, 
lack of self-control, absence of social responsi¬ 
bility and over-indulgence are for the Communist 
vices destructive of society. 

Morals and ethics have been separated from 
religion and the code of behaviour is adapted at 
need to the changing conditions of the country. 
New laws often merely record and stabilize 
changes of behaviour called forth by changing 
economic and social conditions. As a new set 
of circumstances emerges so the previous law 
ceases to fulfil its purpose and is supplanted. 
The drafts for the new laws are always dis¬ 
cussed by the people before they are embodied 


February 1937 sex relationships 

in decrees and these in the main express the 
will of the people. 

In considering the problem of sexual ethics 
in the U.S.S.R. two highly important facts 
must always be borne in mind. One is that 
woman in the U.S.S.R. is economically free, so 
free that the fulfilment of her biological 
functions can in no way rob her of her in¬ 
dependence (that is of her economic inde¬ 
pendence without which all other independence 
is sham). The law insists that a pregnant woman 
must be given, according to occupation, 6 or 8 
weeks off both before and after childbirth with 
full pay 1 , after which she must be taken back to 
her original job. This by the way is only possible 
in a country where production is for use and 
not profit. Private competitive enterprise could 
not stand such a charge on its profits. 

Further to make economic independence a 
reality, all factories, all new blocks of flats have 
to provide creches and nursery-infant schools 
adequate for the number of children, while the 
schools provide a hot or cold meal for their 
pupils. All this gives substance to woman’s 
political equality. 

But there is a second factor which has 
hitherto militated against the first: the con¬ 
servatism and backwardness of the mass of 
Russian women. The promulgation of decrees 
giving them complete equality with men did not 
all at once turn them into progressive-minded, 
fearless creatures. This psychological change 
has not even yet been effected. Similarly the old 
reactionary attitude of the men to women did 
not suddenly disappear with the revolution. 
That attitude is not dead yet. 

The Soviet legislation for women opens up 
the possibility for the development of a new 
type of woman, fearless and free, who will 
realize the duty she owes to the community in 
return for the new life the community has made 
possible for her. It makes possible, nay in¬ 
evitable, a new relationship between the sexes. 
The nature of the mass of the women has acted 
as the brake on this development and is partly 
responsible for the changes in the laws. 

Now let us glance at the history of Soviet 
marriage and sex relations. Neither Marx nor 
Engels made any definite pronouncements on 


IN THE U.S.S.R. cjo 

these. They laid down no rulings as to the form 
they must take under Communism, though it 
was implicit in the idea of a social revolution 
that the woman would be free. 

I he first act of Lenin in this connection was 
to abolish religious marriage and to set up civil 
registration which was non-compulsory. Divorce 
was made free, was given at the request of either 
husband or wife, and required the presence of 
only one of them at the divorce court. It 
followed that illegitimacy disappeared as did 
adultery. The law stated that cohabitation for 
six months constituted de facto marriage, with 
all its responsibilities of maintenance of off¬ 
spring and maintenance of either party by the 
other in illness or unemployment (the former 
responsibility lasted till the children were 
self-supporting, and the latter for the duration 
of the marriage and for six months after 
separation, should that occur). A divorce could 
not be obtained unless the partners had 
ceased to cohabit. Since registration was not 
compulsory (it was only encouraged as final 
evidence of marriage in any dispute over 
alimony) it was possible for men to practice 
bigamy and even polygamy. Undoubtedly some 
did. Though serious Communists hold very 
firmly that monogamy is the best form of sex 
relationship, and developments in the U.S.S.R. 
are tending to prove that this is so, no one pro¬ 
posed enforcing monogamy by law. The ill 
effects of such an attempt in capitalist countries 
were too glaring. It was left for time and educa¬ 
tion to convince the people. 

The old foundations upon which life had 
been built were completely destroyed by the 
Revolution. New ethical foundations could not 
be laid in a day. They had to be forged slowly 
and painfully by experience; they had to be 
adjusted and readjusted to the rapidly changing 
conditions of this newly emerging society; the 
process was difficult, complicated and not with¬ 
out individual tragedy. 

In the early days it was the peasant and the 
worker woman who suffered more perhaps than 
anyone from the changes in law and life. To 
leave a dependent woman with one or more chil¬ 
dren became a common practice, so common 
that a law was passed 2 by which a man proved to 


1 Latest decree fixes 8 weeks for all women. 


2 In 1925. 









THE NEW ERA 


54 

be the father of a child had to pay a third of his 
income towards its upkeep if he left the mother. 
This was demanded for every child that could 
claim him as father so that it was not uncommon 
for a man to be giving away all his wages, and 
to be living on the income which his latest wife 
was receiving from the fathers of her child¬ 
ren. 

Not unnaturally men resorted to all kinds of 
subterfuges to escape the consequences of their 
actions. To combat this, alimony was deducted 
at source wherever possible. Women’s legal 
aid centres were organized and helped to trace 
disappearing husbands. A woman could claim 
any man as the father of her child. It was for 
him to bring proof to the contrary. Thus by 
realistic methods did the Soviet author¬ 
ities combat moral laxity and anti-social con¬ 
duct. 

More than anyone, youth shed every re¬ 
straint, every vestige of the old sex ethics. The 
law which had legalized abortion made this 
simple. Marriage was regarded by them as an 
utterly bourgeois institution. Love was some¬ 
thing for which they had no time. The sex 
instinct was no different from hunger or thirst. 
When the need arose one satisfied it. The re¬ 
lations between the sexes became purely 
physiological. They were cleansed of all 
emotions. If the young woman became pregnant 
the abortion clinics were free and no questions 
were asked of any working girl. There were 
young women who had as many as ten abortions 
with consequent disastrous effect to their 
physical and nervous systems. 

This condition of affairs was not approved of 
by Communist leaders. This attitude to sex 
receives no support from any Communist 
teaching. Communism demands citizens pre¬ 
pared to discharge the responsibility without 
which there can be no freedom, it demands 
citizens who have travelled considerably be¬ 
yond the sex habits of the jungle. But the 
leaders realized that the disease must work 
itself out, that youth could not be made 
ethical by the passing of restrictive legisla¬ 
tion. 

The widespread laxity, the irresponsible talk 
alarmed the leaders and in 1920 and the follow¬ 
ing years it received much attention in the 
press and on the platform. The most famous 


February 1937 

and most important pronouncement, because 
he had the greatest influence on youth, was 
contained in Lenin’s letter to Clara Zetkin on 
the subject. 

‘Naturally the changed attitude of the young 
people to sexual questions is “fundamental” and 
appeals to a theory. Some call their attitude 
“communist” and “revolutionary”. They honestly 
believe that it is so. I at my age am not impressed. 

. . . The so-called new sexual life of the young 
people—and sometimes of the old—seems to me to 
be often enough wholly bourgeois, an extension of 
the good bourgeois brothel. All that has nothing 
whatever to do with free love as we communists 
understand it. You are doubtless acquainted with 
the capital theory that in communist society, the 
satisfaction of the instincts, of the craving for love, 
is as simple and unimportant as “the drinking of a 
glass of water”. This “glass of water” theory has 
driven some of our young people crazy, quite 
crazy. It has been the destruction of many young 
men and women. Its supporters declare that it is 
Marxist. I have no use for such Marxism which 
deduces all the phenomena and transformations in 
the intellectual superstructure of society straight 
from its economic basis. Things are not quite so 
simple ... I consider the famous “glass of water” 
theory to be utterly un-Marxian, and moreover, 
unsocial. 

‘Engels in his “Origin of the Family” pointed out 
how significant it is that the universal sexual im¬ 
pulse has been developed and purified into in¬ 
dividual sex love. After all, the relations between 
the sexes are not simply an expression of the inter¬ 
play between social and economic conditions and a 
physical craving. Of course thirst cries to be 
quenched. But will a normal person under normal 
conditions lie down in the dirt on the road and 
drink from a puddle? Or even from a glass with a 
rim greasy from many lips? But most important of 
all is the social aspect. Drinking water really is an 
individual concern. Love involves two, and a 
third, a new life, may come into being. That im¬ 
plies an interest on the part of society, a duty to the 
community. 

‘As a communist I have not the slightest sym¬ 
pathy with the “glass of water” theory even when it 
is labelled “love made free”. Besides this “libera¬ 
tion” is neither new nor communist. You will re¬ 
member that it was preached in literature about 
the middle of the last century as “the emancipation 
of the heart”. As practised by the bourgeois it was 
revealed as the emancipation of the flesh. I do not 
mean to preach asceticism by this criticism. Such 
a thing would not occur to me. Communism is not 
meant to introduce asceticism but the joy of life 
and vital vigour attained partly through the ful¬ 
filment of love. But in my opinion the hypertrophy 
in sexual matters which we often observe now, does 
not produce the joy of life and vital vigour, it 


February 1937 sex relationships 

detracts from them. In the revolutionary epoch 
that is bad, very bad. 

‘The young people have special need of the joy 
of life and vital vigour . . . Healthy bodies, 
healthy minds. Neither monks, nor Don Juans, nor 
yet that half and half product the German Philis¬ 
tine . . . The Revolution calls for concentration, 
the augmentation of our powers ... It cannot 
tolerate orgiastic conditions such as are common 
with d’Annunzio’s decadent heroes and heroines. 
Unbridled sexual life is bourgeois, a phenomenon 
of decadence . . .’ 

By 1936 the development of the country de¬ 
manded a readaption of the laws dealing with 
sex-relationship, a crystallization of the chang¬ 
ing attitude. First to be dealt with were the 
abortion laws. These had not been introduced 
in the first place because the authorities be¬ 
lieved in abortion but because it was the 
sanest way of dealing with a serious existing 
evil. In 1932, before there was any question of a 
change, I already met with the opinion among 
Soviet doctors that abortion was harmful. This 
was particularly impressed on me by Professor 
Braude, the famous gynaecologist. 

The improved conditions of life had not 
caused the expected reaction in the attitude to 
divorce and abortion. Young women still per¬ 
sisted in frequent abortions, though not quite 
so many as in the early days. The hospitals 
were receiving too many cases in consequence. 
Contraceptive appliances were far from suffi¬ 
cient, the methods far from sure, and it was 
always difficult to persuade the factory girl— 
yesterday’s peasant girl—to use them. There 
were still many men and women taking too 
great advantage of easy divorce. The various 
abuses of freedom were still too much in evi¬ 
dence. 

The leaders came to the conclusion that in the 
improved material conditions a more orderly 
and responsible society might be demanded. 
They held that the response to the increase 
of freedom should be an increase in responsi¬ 
bility. Hence the changes in the laws. 

I was in the U.S.S.R. when the new pro¬ 
posals were placed before the nation for dis¬ 
cussion. I took part in many meetings and 
private discussions. The final laws embody 
almost entirely the will of the people. The new 
laws make abortion illegal except where a com¬ 
pleted pregnancy is likely to be harmful to 
the mother. The majority of women felt that 


IN THE U.S.S.R. 


The great advances of our time are increasingly 
being made in the borderland region between 
two intellectual disciplines. This is the province of 

SCIENCE AND SOCIETY 

a journal appearing three times a year, edited by 
Pryns Hopkins, with whom are associated 
Alexander Farquharson and William Stephenson. 
The central theme of the February-May number 
is the movement from individualism to collec¬ 
tivism in the economic organization of society. 

Mr. G. D. H. Cole has written the leading 
article. Contributions to the economic central 
topic are then made by others from the angles 
of their special fields—by Dr. Raymond Firth 
from an anthropological, Miss Kathleen How¬ 
land from a social visiting, the Countess Russell 
from a sexological, Dr. D. H. Kress from a per¬ 
sonal habit, Professor J. C. Flugel from a 
psycho-analytic and Dr. John Lewis from a 
philosophic angle. 

You will be pleased with this new magazine 
and glad to possess its early issues. Subscribe 
now, at 10 shillings for six numbers, or 2 
shillings per single copy. 

LONDON : THE MERCURY PRESS 

BUSH HOUSE, KINGSWAY, W.C.2 


so long as housing was still a problem, abortion 
should be permitted in a second and certainly 
a third pregnancy. With one exception all 
those with whom I came into contact were 
in hearty agreement that there should be no 
abortion in the first pregnancy except on 
medical grounds. They insisted that attention 
must now be concentrated on contraceptive 
appliances. The old custom of early marriage 
has become almost universal as a result of the 
economic security which also encourages parents 
to have children while they are young. This 
eliminates the very great discrepancy in age 
between parents and children so prevalent in 
our country. It also means that when the 
children are on the way to being self-supporting 
the parents have most, and probably the best, 
of their life in front of them. It is all these con¬ 
ditions peculiar to the U.S.S.R. which make the 
change in the abortion law tolerated in that 
country, and so disappointing to people in this 
country. The U.S.S.R. has not our problems. 
There are no mothers in desperate need for 












THE NEW ERA 


February 1937 


whom abortion is a matter of life and death. 
Economic need is dealt with by industrial and 
social organizations and by the state, while free 
clinics deal with medical needs. The non¬ 
existence of illegitimacy eliminates the other 
desperate reason for abortion. 

I am convinced that, wherever there are good 
social or medical grounds for it, abortion will be 
allowed. It was admitted to me by responsible 
people that the measure had to be made drastic 
in order to pull up the irresponsible young 
people very sharply, and most men and women 
agreed that it was a right step, but that it must 
be temporary, and I am certain Soviet authori¬ 
ties will before long admit its temporary 
nature. 

The change in the divorce law was slight. 
Both parties must be present in court when a 
request is made and the one that asks for divorce 
must pay 50 roubles. This met with whole¬ 
hearted approval from the women and toler¬ 
ance from the men. Many women suggested 
the cost should be 100 roubles and further that 
a fine should be imposed on women who made 
an income out of divorces. A new law gives a 
bounty to families of over six children. It was 
hoped at the same time to give extra help to 
large families, which exist all over the country¬ 
side and also to encourage town-dwellers who 
had been limiting their families to two. The 
alimony to be paid by a father for a child is 
now 25 per cent of his income. 

The U.S.S.R. is criticized from both sides, 
the left and the right. Those who consider that 
discipline and control in matters of sex 
are bourgeois and that children are a 
hindrance, charge her with puritanism and 
even Victorianism. There are others who charge 
her with the destruction of family life. Both 
accusations are groundless. It is true that the 
temporary shortage of housing, the work de¬ 
manded from all socially minded women and the 
temporary shortage of goods makes family life 
difficult for many, but it is very far from being 
destroyed. It is a very different family life from 
that in capitalist countries. It has ceased to be an 
economic unit and has become a biological 
and psychological, or if you will, spiritual unit. 
There is no compulsion to live in a family, there 
is only the attraction exercised by affection or 
by community of interest. The unified code of 


morals, obligatory alike on men and women and 
or all groupings of people, the unity of purpose 
of the whole nation is having an integrating 
effect on the family. Economic independence 
and security is removing the proprietory atti¬ 
tude of the husband to the wife and the parents 
to the children. 

I have on many occasions had experience of 
happy family life in the U.S.S.R. Only lack 
of space prevents my giving many examples of 
happiness, security, and a fine and sensitive 
feeling of responsibility. It is hardly necessary 
to state that a great many personal difficulties 
still remain. Apart from the difficulties caused 
by shortage of housing and overwork, the re¬ 
adjustment of the individual to the changing 
conditions often causes maladjustment in mar¬ 
ried life. But then is it likely that there will ever 
exist a society in which there will be no in¬ 
dividual problems arising from any relationship 
so essentially complex as marriage? 

Can one guess at the future of marriage in the 
U.S.S.R.? It is certain that some of the romance 
of love and youth will come back, but it will be a 
romance from which the fictitous has been 
eliminated. There is a growing realization that 
life generally is full of romance in the U.S.S.R. 
and it is affecting love. 

With an increased leisure and well-being 
there will be time for courtship and for love- 
making after marriage as well as before. The 
tendency that way can already be observed. 
But women will not need to resort to artificial 
means to stimulate love in a man, nor will the 
man need to seek a woman for any other reason 
but that he loves her, wishes to live with her 
and have children by her. 


A COURSE OF EIGHT LECTURES 

on the 

MENIAL HYGIENE OF CHILDHOOD 

By DR. MARGARET LOWENFELD, DR. ETHEL DUKES, 
DR. ALAN MONCRIEFF, DR. E. V. MACLEOD, 
MRS. MARGARET HAY and MR. E. J. D. RADCLYFFE, at 
Friends House, Euston Road, N.W.i, on Wednesdays, 
February 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, at 6.15 and 8„i5 p.m. 

Fee for the Course, £1/1/0. Day Tickets 5/6. Single 
Tickets 3/-. Reduction for Institute Members 

Application for syllabus and tickets should be made to 
THE SECRETARY, The Institute of Child Psychology, 

26 Warwick Avenue, W.9 Abercorn 3215 









Fellowship News 

GREAT BRITAIN 
Annual Meeting 

The Annual Meeting of the English Section was 
held on January 6th at University College under the 
chairmanship of Dr. Susan Isaacs, and was attended 
by over fifty members. A Report was read on the 
year’s work, including the development of the past 
three months, and the Treasurer made a statement on 
the financial position. Considerable discussion 
followed on the future policy and activities of the 
Section. After an adjournment for tea, the Annual 
Lecture was given. Sir Sarvepalle Radhakrishnan, 
who was to have delivered it, was unfortunatelv ill 
and had to cry off two days before the meeting. But 
luck was with us even in our misfortune and Professor 
Jose Castillejo, of Madrid University, stepped into 
the breach at this very short notice and gave a most 
delightful and interesting address on ‘A New Basis 
for Curriculum and Method in School.’ 

Branch News 

The Liverpool Branch has arranged two lectures in 
the immediate future: — 

‘The Psychological Co-operation of Parents, 
Teachers and Psychologists’, by Dr. Charlotte 
Biihler (February 19th) and ‘Religion in Education’, 
by Dr. Olaf Stapledon (March 12th). 

Tea-time Talks 

At Headquarters the Teas began again after the 
Christmas holiday on January 15th. The talks in 
January have been as follows: ‘The development of a 
new residential area and its problems of educational 
building’, by Mr. Leonard F. White; ‘What are New 
Methods of Language Teaching?’ by Baron Metzradt- 
Uhyst; ‘Progressive Education in Poland’, by Dr. Z. 
Lubienski. 

The first talk in February will be on the 6th: — 

‘Some Experiences with Backward and Retarded 
Children in relation to Intelligence Tests’, by Mr. 
P. A. Barons. 

In Edinburgh the Tea-time Talks for February 
are: — 

February 2nd, ‘Fear in its Relationship to Educa¬ 
tion’, by Dr. W. Rushforth; February 16th, ‘The 
Education Outlook’, by Sir William W. M’Kechnie. 

AUSTRALIA 

We have received the Annual Report of the 
Australian Council for Educational Research, which 
is a Service Member of the N.E.F. and is organizing 
next year’s Australian Regional Conference. The 
Report tells a most encouraging tale of many-sided 
activity. In addition to supplying information on 
educational subjects to inquirers, official and un¬ 
official, the Council has published some fifty studies 
and investigations, many of them the fruits of re¬ 
search carried out with the aid of grants from the 


Council. The titles range widely over the field of 
education and a large number of the books should be of 
great practical value to teachers. Another useful piece 
of work undertaken by the Council has been the 
provision for Australian teachers of attainment and 
intelligence tests suited to local conditions, based 
on the testing of large numbers of children. Parallel 
to the Australian experiment the New Zealand 
Council for Educational Research (another Service 
Member) applied the same tests to about 25,000 
children in that country. This close collaboration 
is probably the first instance of a large experiment of 
the kind carried on at the same time in two different 
countries. Yet another side of the Council’s work has 
been its help in circulating collections of material for 
the teaching of art and the appreciation of music, 
and its concern with the improvement of the educa¬ 
tional services of museums and art galleries. 

This list by no means exhausts the activities of the 
Council. 

Of special interest to us are the pages of the Report 
which deal with the preparations for next year’s 
N.E.F. Regional Conference in Australia and New 
Zealand. “The forthcoming Australian conference 
will be unique in several respects,” the Report 
states. “It will be the first time that all States and all 
educational interests have co-operated in a project 
of this kind.’’ 

AUSTRIA 

To members visiting Vienna 

Mrs. A. M. Schaemminger, formerly Dr. Dengler’s 
colleague at the Austro-American Institute, has 
opened a pension for students and other visitors : the 
Pension Internationale, Alserstr. 26, Vienna IX. 

CANADA 

Homework 

A Canadian member, Mr. C. PI. Savage, of 
Grand’mere, Quebec, has sent us a 32-page dupli¬ 
cated precis of a book which he is preparing on 
Homezvork: Blessing or Curse? He has made a very full 
and interesting study of the problem and of various 
experiments in modifying and abolishing homework, 
including some undertaken in England. A copy of the 
precis may be seen at Headquarters. 

FRANCE 

The November number of Pour VEre Nouvelle 
devotes considerable space to religion and includes 
the addresses given at Cheltenham by Professors 
Bovet, Katzaroff and Ghidionescu. These striking 
addresses formed the starting-point of the very 
earnest discussions of the subject at the Conference. 
Copies may be obtained for 7 fr. 50 c. from the 
Groupe Frangais d’Education Nouvelle, 29 rue 
d’Ulm, Paris V. A copy may be seen at Headquarters. 

Professor Bovet’s address is also reproduced in the 
January number of Religion in Education. 


57 










THE NEW ERA 


58 

INDIA 

Punjab Section 

The Section has organized an N.E.F. library in a 
room at the Central Training College, Lahore. A 
large number of inspectors of schools have joined the 
Section and it will now be possible to influence 
teachers and parents in the smaller towns. Local 
groups have been formed at Mahilpur and 
Nagrota Bagwan. 

Central Provinces Section 

Local groups have now been formed at Nagpur, 
Raipur and Akola. An exhibition of work by school 
boys and girls was held at Nagpur in November, 
Jubbulpore in December and Akola in January. The 
Nagpur group organized a series of entertainments to 
raise funds for the tour of the International N.E.F. 
delegation to India. 

U.S.A. 

National Conference 

of the P.E.A. (which is the American Section of 
the N.E.F.). 

A National Conference is to be held at St. Louis, 
Mo., on February 25th-27th. A feature of the 
Conference will be the exhibition of a large portion of 
the children’s art work (including the American 
contribution) which was shown at the Cheltenham 


February 1937 

Conference. After the Conference the material will be 
divided up into several travelling exhibits and sent 
for display to schools and museums throughout the 
States. 

Commission on Secondary Curriculum 

The work of this Commission, under the auspices 
of the P.E.A., has been divided up into groups of 
subjects: Social Studies, Community Study, American 
Tradition; Science, Mathematics; English and the 
Arts—Art, Creative Writing, Language. Sub¬ 
committees have been set up to study them in detail. 

Committee on Experimental Schools 

This Committee is at work procuring material for 
a clearing-house of information on current develop¬ 
ments in progressive school practice in U.S.A. 
which is to be established at the National Office. A 
large number of schools have been circularized and 
responses received from 22 private and 21 public 
schools. The questionary asks for a report on any 
development in the school’s theory or practice which 
might be of general interest or value, particularly on 
parent participation in the life and work of the school, 
the school’s own participation in the life of the 
community, and curriculum changes looking toward 
better knowledge and appreciation on the part of the 
pupils of the processes, problems and needs of 
contemporary society. 


Book Reviews 


The Nation’s Intelligence. By J. L. Cray 
(Watts & Co., 2/6.) 

This book is evidently intended to be a ‘popular’ 
account of the findings of intelligence test surveys 
with regard to the social, occupational and scholastic 
distribution of mental capacity in this country. 
Unfortunately it omits any reference to at least nine- 
tenths of the work that has been done on the matter 
by English psychologists and confines itself mainly to 
a L/ondon survey reported by Mr. Gray in two recent 
articles. 

The style is a lively one, well fitted for a popular 
exposition and brightened by flashes of wit. Much 
recklessness of statement, dogmatism and even non 
sequitur passages and sheer rancour may be forgiven 
in such a style; yet it is regrettable that these are 
likely to impinge upon a suggestible reading public 
rather than on an audience of critically-minded 
scientists able to assess them at their proper worth. 

Apparently for no better reason than a dislike of all 
authority, the writer throws overboard at the begin¬ 
ning of the book everything that psychologists have 
discovered about intelligence. For him, intelligence 
tests can claim to measure nothing more than is 
involved in the test at the moment of doing it, and 


have necessarily no relation to any capacity shewn in 
daily life. His criteria of a test are, therefore, that 
older children score better on it than younger children 
and that it has some agreement with ‘other educa¬ 
tional ratings’. Flimsier criteria could not be imagined. 
Burt, Terman, Stern, Thurstone and Spearman 
have lived in vain as far as Mr. Gray is concerned. 
Having thus cut the ground from under his own feet, 
it is not surprising that when he comes to discuss the 
social implications of test surveys and the environ¬ 
ment-heredity controversy in the latter part of the 
book he is rendered incapable of drawing any firm 
and constructive conclusions. 

An extreme environmentalist bias distorts all the 
choice of data in the discussion of environment and 
heredity in relation to mental capacity. Freeman’s 
early finding that children adopted into other families 
tend to have an intelligence like their foster brothers is 
set out, without any statement of the later finding that 
the welfare workers had tended to place children in 
families of similar social standing to those from which 
they had been orphaned. The repeated finding by 
thorough researches that malnutrition within wide 
limits has no effect on mental capacity, whatever it 
may have on mental energy, is passed lightly over 
with the dogma that an increase of standard of living 


February 1937 

‘might raise the average I.Q. of those classes by 10 to 
20 points.’ 

Socialists who have striven ardently and actively to 
improve the welfare of their fellow men through 
attention to eugenic measures will be astonished to 
hear that eugenics is not a science but a ‘school of 
thought’ and indeed a dark scheme of the Conserva¬ 
tive party to favour (by burdening with more chil¬ 
dren?) the middle classes. In a context demanding a 
different adjustment to political foundations, however, 
the writer states (p. 110) that ‘the eugenist . . . devotes 
an inordinate amount of his time and energy to 
efforts to change the social environment.’ It is such 
statements and manipulations of scientific questions 
which force the reader, whatever his viewpoint, to the 
conclusion that the work is propagandist rather than 
scientific. Indeed the book reeks with political 
feeling, which reaches the peak of ridiculousness 
perhaps in the statement that Spearman’s hierarchi¬ 
cal theories of the nature of intelligence are not to be 
seriously considered because ‘They do not harmonize 
with the increasingly democratic structure of Anglo- 
Saxon communities.’ 

‘Vivez dans le calme des laboratoires,’ said Pasteur 
to the politically excitable youth of France. That 
splendid calm and purposefulness which many are 
hoping to bring into the fever of social discussion by 
the application to humanproblems of the social science 
is completely betrayed and the political application 
of such sciences as psychology and economics is 
likely to be discredited, through works such as this. 

The survey which Mr. Gray has been enabled to 
make in London is of considerable interest, particu¬ 
larly since previous surveys in that area, being un¬ 
endowed, have not been on a really adequate scale. 
It is a pity that so extensive a survey has its value as a 
contribution diminished on account of its not being 
accurately comparable with the Scottish and other 
enquiries, owing to the writer having used, again for 
no apparent reason, an American test with an Ameri¬ 
can standardisation and the I. B. instead of the more 
generally useful I.Q. One may, moreover, wonder 
whether the ‘object all sublime’ of Mr. Gray’s 
arguments, namely, to make the education fit the 
intelligence, is the real aim of the psychologist. As 
far as ‘scholarship’ selection is concerned, the far- 
seeing psychologist is not concerned to equate 
opportunity to intelligence, but to intelligence plus 
certain important constitutional character and 
temperament qualities, at present ill-defined, which 
guarantee the good use of intelligence. 

In spite of the lively intelligence shewn in this 
book, therefore, it reveals all the weaknesses of 
having psychological questions dealt with by a 
sociologist, and especially by a sociologist whose bias 
causes him, in the eyes of any reasonably well-in¬ 
formed reader, to do a disservice both to the scientific 
approach and to the political school which he attempts 
to favour. R- R- Cattell. 

A History of English Life. Amabel Williams- 
Ellis and F. J. Fisher (Methuen, 8/6.) 

In the spate of History books of the ‘new outlook 


59 

school which pour each year from the presses, it is 
very rarely that we come across a really well-balanced 
piece of work. This is one. In avoiding adulation 
of the Great Man (old school) it does not slip into the 
equally dangerous temptation of making history re¬ 
volve round Florence Nightingale. Again, in social 
and economic analysis, the authors prefer the method 
and results of the Webbs and the Hammonds to the 
much easier way of relying on words like ‘ghastly’, 
‘intolerable’ and ‘unchristian’. Here you will find no 
interpretation of History but an extraordinarily inter¬ 
esting and consecutive account, enlivened by hun¬ 
dreds of illustrations and clarified by some very 
good pictorial statistics by Wilma Hickson. 

The task undertaken was not an easy one — to trace 
in one volume the History (mainly) of the English 
people from earliest times to Pavlov, Freud and the 
Abyssinian War, giving due attention to the life of 
ordinary folk, the progress made in science, art and 
invention, and showing the interaction of all these 
with political and constitutional development. 
These threads are w’oven into a story where the liaison 
between the topics and the chapters is never forced, 
and difficult problems neither oversimplified nor 
academicized. Only authors with a sound grasp of 
economics, sociology, general science and the 
applied arts could have tackled this job so successfully. 

Balance to one reader is bias to another, but these 
examples show the kind of scales used. Marlborough 
gets five lines, Newton and the Royal Society a 
chapter; Coke of Norfolk has two pages, while 
Palmerston, Canning and Castlereagh are not 
mentioned at all; the Black Death gets two pages and 
the Black Prince receives barely parenthetical re¬ 
cognition. I find it hard, however, to forgive the 
authors for the scanty treatment of eighteenth century 
manners and morals, so that the ‘atmosphere’ of that 
period, which is a composite of Hogarth, Johnson, 
coffee shops, bucks, Sir Roger de Coverley, drunk¬ 
enness, Berkeley Square, hustings and so on, is com¬ 
pletely missed. This seems a carping criticism of a 
book which attempts to cover so much in so little, but 
it is noticeable chiefly in contrast to the successful 
w r ay in which the authors have communicated the 
Victorian atmosphere. 

Illustration and source-quotation is w r ell done and 
many are products of original research. Controversial 
questions are treated with scrupulous fairness. For 
example, national rejoicing at English victories in the 
French wars is followed by a speech of an 18th century 
Quaker; an imperialist utterance of Joseph Chamber¬ 
lain’s by the opinion of the Matebele; the ‘laissez- 
faire’ argument by the Socialist and the Protectionist 
case; and a statement of Nazi (pre-power) policy by 
Goering: 

“When I am asked about our economic policy I 
say ‘Look at the honest faces of our Storm Troopers!’ 
That is our economic policy, and it is — Germany!” 

In their desire for academic completeness the 
writers never forget that the readers will, in the main, 
be children. For example: 

“Manv boys and girls who may, alas, have been 
bored by ‘Lycidas’ .... would enjoy the excellent 


BOOK REVIEWS 



THE NEW ERA 


6o 

war conference held by the fiends in ‘Pandemonium’ 
or the beauty of the trees and streams of Eden”. 
Again, instead of giving a long list of Elizabethan 
plays the reader is interested in the stories of two of 
them. 

Indeed, it is the urge to find out more which is 
titillated again and again, so that what I at first con¬ 
sidered to be a fault—that they left me with the 
feeling that they had not said enough about a topic, 
event, problem or person—is probably one of the 
book’s chief merits. Realizing this, they have ap¬ 
pended a list of follow-up books with a note on how to 
get hold of them. 

To many people, an important judgment on any 
history book for school use is the state of mind of the 
reader at the end. ‘A History of English Life’ leaves 
no hangover of gaping wonder about the future 
(helicopters, skyscrapers and bakelite) nor is the 
reader bemused with flabby optimism (League of 
Nations and social progress). But problems are faced, 
and youth, armed with knowledge, courage and kind¬ 
ness, is bidden to get on w T ith the job. 

Denis McMahon. 


February 1937 

Dobry. Monica Shannon. ( Harrap , 6s.) 

This book — a story told primarily for children of 
ten and upwards — is something out of the ordinary. 
It is not only well written, in a style at once vigorous 
and sensitive; it has atmosphere and its matter is 
interesting and original. 

Dobry is a Bulgarian peasant boy whose ambition 
parts company with the farming tradition of his 
family. He wants to be a sculptor. Fortunately his 
grandfather appreciates the boy’s gift and influences 
his mother to give him the career for wffiich nature 
made him. The peasant life of Bulgaria is charmingly 
described and, what is more, the book succeeds 
in conveying something of the spell which the 
land everywhere casts upon those who till it. The 
unfolding of a young artist is portrayed with real 
insight. 

Boys and girls who are beginning to think out their 
future lives should enjoy both aspects of the book. 
It is a somewhat rare thing — an intelligent novel for 
children of that age. 

The illustrations, by a Bulgarian artist, Mr. 
Katchamakoff, who is to some extent the original 
of Dobry, add to the Balkan atmosphere. 

The only thing I do not like is the outside of the 
book: I should keep the dust-cover on. 

V. Ogilvie. 


THE NEW ERA 

Contents of forthcoming Issues : 
March : 

THE FREE PERSONALITY : 
RELIGION 

April : 

CO-EDUCATION 

May and June : 

THE FREE SOCIETY : 
EDUCATION FOR CITIZENSHIP 

July-Aug. : 

NURSERY SCHOOLS 


LETTER TO THE EDITOR 

[Questions about various points in Miss Swann's 
article ‘Reading Tests in a Junior School’ (January 
issue ) with answers by Miss Swann herself.] 

Question: In Part I, presumably, you have all the 
class together including the best; do you not find 
that hearing the same piece read helps the children 
who are to read later on? 

Answer: Yes, the children are together as a class. 
No, they do not read ‘the same piece.’ We go 
straight on from chapter to chapter sometimes 
reading from 20-36 pages while testing. 

(It is presumed that the book chosen is, generally 
speaking, of roughly the same difficulty throughout. 
Actually, there is very little trouble over this matter.) 

Question: In Part III, I gather that any pupil may 
attempt to supply the answer, and that the first 
‘picture-word’ scores five marks? 

Answer: Yes. Answers given during this week by 
pupils of 9 years of age: 

weariness = exhaustion 
peer = look closely 
commencement = beginning 
come = get nearer 

For the pupils of 10-11 years of age the book used 
for the test was Cherry Kearton’s ‘Toto and Simba’. 
One of the greatest advantages is that 30-40 pupils 
hear about 150-200 answers given ranging from: 
entirely wrong; not quite exact; to just the wanted I 
picture-w^ord. 

Again we are training more than w^e are testing, 
hence the time spent on this section is fullvjustified. 

L.S. 



THE NEW ERA 

IN HOME AND SCHOOL 


Outlook Tower 


O ne thing seems to be clear in these latter 
years — this is not a materialistic age. 
One can feel the world’s breath bated 
as in the instant before upheaval — and though 
the upheaval is likely to be political in form 
it seems impossible to view it as other than 
spiritual in essence. ‘My five brothers and I are 
in the fighting line’, ran a post card from a 
young Spaniard three months ago, ‘and we 
expect a very happy Christmas — the most 
really happy we have ever spent.’ A young rebel 
soldier might have written the same words and 
have meant the same quality of happiness by 
them — a personal exultation, triumphing over 
personal fear of beastliness and danger in an 
impersonal cause. The phenomenon is inexplic¬ 
able on any materialistic basis. The happiness 
described is akin to the peace of God in that 
it is past understanding except as a spiritual 
experience. That the outcome is mass murder 
and mass suicide does not alter the fact that the 
drive behind it is supra-sensual, even if it is 
also insensate and insane. 

Why this madness of the spirit warring 
against the flesh ? How can a political leader 
impose a longer Lent on his people than any 
Church has dreamt to do? Why do economic 
theories drive men to massacre and martyrdom? 
What is this vast impulse which herds men as it 
does the lemming over the abyssr Its light blinds 
men to natural values, making death incidental 

and cruelty a fitting tool. 

We would suggest that mankind is in the 
toils of a vast spiritual revival, directed by local 
priests who misread the local oracles. I he 
impulse is one, and of a peculiar intensity, but 
its interpretations are partial, diverse and con¬ 


flicting. We seem to be on the brink of a series 
of religious wars like those which gutted 
Europe at the Reformation. 

T he quest for God is a quest for reality. The 
young child knows that reality does not lie 
fully in things that he can touch and see — one 
must presume that it was this quality of child¬ 
hood that Jesus saw as a prerequisite for 
membership of the Kingdom. The little boy 
who said, ‘Oh, mummy, happy has come back 
to my heart,’ was making a statement of fact. 
What he said was as true and obvious as if he had 
said ‘ the puppy has come back from his walk’. 
We lose this sense of the reality and obviousness 
of the unseen, and with it we lose our sense of 
the wholeness of life. We analyse and divide ; 
we cut up time into days and years; we measure 
space and number the nations and divide the 
very stuff of life into matter and spirit. These 
divisions are made in the interest of knowledge 
and understanding ; we have pegged out the 
universe and have come very near to making it 
unintelligible in the process. 

But the limits of divergence seem to have 
been reached and we are homeward bound. 1 he 
very term ‘light-year’ seems to knff up the 
further edge of time and space. Freud, whatever 
his aberrancies, has shown how closely woven 
are doing and being. Dictatorships blot out the 
ancient rivalries between church and state, 
making corporate faith and corporate action 
one. The present moment is of an extreme 
precariousness. We see on all sides a banding 
together, an effort at synthesis partial, local, 
and, at present, aimed against other bands. 
Unhappy Spain rallies to her two standards 






THE NEW ERA 


62 

sympathies that cut across all national barriers. 
Even the nations that call themselves national 
are international here. 

If one believes that war in a just cause is an 
inevitable and noble exploit, one might well 
force the issue in Spain and make of her battle¬ 
fields Armageddon. But if one believes that the 
partial and local efforts at synthesis are sympto¬ 
matic—practising grounds, tributaries to a 
much vaster synthesis, then one must bend all 
energies to staving off interim conflicts which 
would postpone the general fore-gathering to 
which we tend. 

T he difference between the two views seems 
to lie in the quality of love that lies behind 
them. That great sentence that begins ‘Greater 
love hath no man than this’ does not truly end 
‘that he be willing to kill and die for his 
brother’. It is a warm and noble but partial 
love that interprets it so. We see and fear this 
partial love, and our fear prompts us to meet it 
with hate. If we could only trust enough we 
might see love in any guise as a rehearsal—not 
as a thing to be crushed, but as something to be 
‘waited on’. 

Our readiness to hate as a token of love is a 
sign of spiritual immaturity; yet our readiness 
to love, even partially, is the harbinger of our 
spiritual maturity. ‘We measure the march of 
the stars and we do not know how we love’— 
the growth of that latter knowledge is perhaps 
the next stage of men’s evolution. Only in so far 
as we see life as a whole can we dare eschew the 
piebald love-and-hate that cements our 
present fabric. It is in the service of a whole and 


March 1937 

rounded love that saints and mystics find per¬ 
fect freedom. The experience of such a love is 
common in the family, which does not hate 
other families; in the brotherhood, which does 
not hate other brotherhoods; in the nation which 
does not hate other nations. This is the love that 
casteth out fear. It now awaits extension as a 
whole comity of life. 

T he New Education Fellowship laid down 
as one of its first principles that we should 
help children to realize the supremacy of spirit 
over matter. Days were spent in finding a 
formula that should be acceptable to the nations 
represented and in wording it fittingly in 
various tongues. There was some hesitation in 
accepting the formula at all, especially from 
members of those nations which were struggling 
to free themselves from bigotry and clericalism. 
Certain foreign observers were shocked to find 
the children saying grace before meals in 
progressive schools in England. Perhaps if we 
were drawing up that principle now we might 
put it differently—avoidingtheword‘supremacy’ 
in so close-textured a reality. But we should 
still aim to enable children to know religion as 
a reality, emotional and intellectual, and God as 
inspiration and refreshment. 

This number of the New Era is the last of the 
series on the free personality. We hope that 
readers will not be disconcerted to find it con¬ 
tains an almost sectarian approach to religion. 
This seemed the simplest way of enabling each 
contributor to show the reality of his own 
experience. The upshot of the whole is more 
striking in its unity than in its diversity. 


Religious Education in Modern 

Judaism Rabbi Dr. Israel I. Mattuck 


T he fundamental aim in modern Jewish 
teaching is to create in the child a God- 
consciousness. The belief in God is funda¬ 
mental to Jewish life and thought. It must have 
a fundamental place in the life of the individual 
Jew. The reasons which established its 
importance in Jewdsh life give it its value for 


the individual. It places human life in a univer¬ 
sal context. It binds the life of the individual to 
the ultimate reality in the universe. Out of it 
issues his sense of dignity and of responsibility. 
It is a spiritual necessity; it is a moral necessity. 
It is a spiritual necessity because without it 
a man’s life has no roots ; it is a moral necessity 


March 1937 religious education in modern Judaism 



because it supplies a guide to what is right, and 
the impelling force to pursue it. 

I am using the word ‘God’ as the name for 
spiritual reality, and by the belief in God I 
mean the recognition of Spirit and its domin¬ 
ance in the universe and of a feeling of personal 
relation with it. It is obvious that the concep¬ 
tion of God a child can have must be far 
removed from this. It were well, I sometimes 
think, if we could keep the name God away 
from young children, leaving their introduction 
to it to an age when they feel the awakening of 
the spiritual within themselves ; but that is 
impossible. The impossibility may, however, 
do no harm. Even if the child’s first ideas about 
God are crudely anthropomorphic, they mav 
yet help to produce a lasting open-ness to the 
God-idea. 

The important factor in 
religious education is the 
method. The direct teach¬ 
ing of religious ideas is out 
of the question: they are 
beyond the child’s range. 

Moreover, for those who 
hold the view of Judaism 
which I hold, it is inappro¬ 
priate. Judaism has never 
had any dogmas, and mod¬ 
ern Judaism especially em¬ 
phasizes its undogmatic 
character. Judaism has al¬ 
ways had fundamental ideas 
and teachings, but it had no 
credal statements for which 
it demanded acceptance. 

Traditional Judaism had, however, the Law. 
To it was due the emphasis on education in 
Jewish life ; it also supplied the content of edu¬ 
cation. From the Law issued the impulse to 
education; a knowledge of the Law was its 
first aim, being considered a part of the know¬ 
ledge of God, and used as the way to a sense 
of immediate relation with Him. 

The Law was the perfect revelation of God’s 
will to man. The essence of God was unknow¬ 
able. Jewish thinkers seemed to realize very 
early in the development of Judaism that (rod’s 
essential nature must remain a mystery. But 
though God in His essence could not be 
known, His qualities were revealed in His 


works, and His will for man’s conduct was 
revealed in His Law. ‘The secret things belong 
unto the Lord our God : but those things 
which are revealed belong unto us and to our 
children for ever, that we may do all the words 
of this Law’. (Deut. xxix : 29.) 

The knowledge of the Law was, therefore, 
the prime and fundamental duty of the Jew. 
In the first place, he established by it a link 
between himself and God. 'The mystical love 
of the Law in Psalm 119 may sound strange to 
non-Jewish ears. But to the Jew who believed 
in the Law as the perfect revelation from God, 
the love of it expressed the love of God. And 
for the same reason, a knowledge of it was a 
way of coming to know God. In the second 
place the Law gave directions for conduct. To 
obey its commandments was to live in accord¬ 
ance with the will of God. 
Its commandments needed 
only learning ; once learnt, 
their force was established. 
Their spiritual and ethical 
tone and content, there¬ 
fore, created in the child 
the basis for his life. He 
had in them direction for 
its every aspect, for per¬ 
sonal purity, for righteous¬ 
ness in his relation with 
others, for the ways of 
worshipping God. And his 
belief in its divine char¬ 
acter produced a .strong 
inner impulse to obey its 
commandments. The Law, 
for the Jews who believed in its divine perfec¬ 
tion, supplied the mystical and ethical link 
with God. 

In Liberal Judaism, the Law is not accepted 
as a perfect divine revelation. But in spite of 
that, the Bible remains the chief instrument in 
religious education. Through it the child is 
prepared for the God idea. It can be, when rightly 
used, the best means to lay enduring founda¬ 
tions for the belief in God. As literature, the 
Bible serves that end by the impressiveness 
and the beauty of the language in which that 
belief is expressed. As history, it shows the 
guidance of God in the movement of Israel s 
life and in the development of its thought. In the 


Dr. Mattuck says : 

1. A child cannot be taught re¬ 
ligion, he can at best only be taught 
about it. But to give the child the 
capacity for religion,that is possible; 
and it is necessary, for the child’s 
freedom. 

2. The Messianic hope does not 
mean to the modern Jew the hope 
for the coming of a Messiah, but the 
hope for a time when God’s rule will 
be dominant in the lives of men and 
in the life of human society. 

3. Religious instruction may be 
something more than a preparation. 
It may be in a real sense a part of 
the child’s life and an exercise of his 
personality. 




THE NEW ERA 


64 

Prophets and Psalms, the child comes to know 
what the God-idea meant to others ; 
how they found God in human life and 
in the wonders and mysteries of nature, and 
how they translated His rule into human 
responsibility, The Pentateuch, both by the 
history of its development, and by those 
commandments in it which embody the highest 
stage in its morality and attitude to God, 
contributes direct and indirect instruction in 
the knowledge of God and the moral duties of 
man. In his use of the Bible, the modern Jew 
finds a valuable ally in the modern view of it, 
which helps him to discriminate between the 
earlier and the later ideas, and enables him to 
free it from the difficulties put in the way of its 
influence by the myths, legends and occasional 
primitive ideas which it contains. 

In this method, religious education has a way 
of pursuing its aim: to supply a religious 
basis for personality, without destroying its 
freedom ; it may even be said to cultivate free¬ 
dom. That was, in a measure, true even of the 
older Jewish method. The authority of a Law 
accepted as divinely revealed is unlike the 
authority exercised by a person, in that it gives 
a form of guidance which is at the same time 
effective yet personal. Theoretically, it might 
be said, the child is allowed to discover the 
commandments for himself. The authority of 
a law to which every person has access, and 
which every person who has the knowledge has 
the right to interpret, unlike the authority of a 
person or synod, creates the possibilities of 
freedom. 

In the methods generally adopted by 
Liberal Jews, the relation between religious 
education and the development of a free per¬ 
sonality is even more evident. In the first 
place, there is no dogmatism ; discussion takes 
its place. The indirect method of teaching 
about God, and the endeavour to prepare the way 
for faith in Him by conveying the materials out 
of which such a faith can be built, avoid the 
danger of producing in the child a sense of 
unjustified restriction. The Prophets, who 
occupy a large place in this education, are 
themselves the best example of free personality 
aware of its responsibility to God. 

There are those who say : Teach the child 
no religion, but let him when he grows up 


March 1937 

choose a religion for himselt. The first part is- 
valid advice. Moreover, it is advice that, I 
think, cannot be violated. A child cannot be 
taught religion, he can at best only be taught 
about it. But to give the child the capacity for 
religion, that is possible ; and it is necessary, 
for the child’s freedom. If not given him when 
young, the capacity for choosing is restricted, 
if not destroyed. Freedom of choice pre¬ 
supposes the possibility of choice. To choose 
religion when no capacity for it has been 
developed is an impossibility. Moreover, there 
is always the danger that superstition, which is 
among the things most cramping to human 
personality, will grow, like weeds, in the 
spiritual life of the child if it is not cultivated 
God-wards. Religious education, free from 
dogmatism, enlarges the scope for the exercise 
of spiritual freedom. 

The method of religious education which 
I have described in general outline supplies 
instruction not only in faith in God, but also 
in the way of living under His guidance. The 
Prophets, and some of the laws in the Penta¬ 
teuch, bring home the obligation of social 
righteousness and the duty to work for a better 
social order. In the Prophets, this aspect of 
religious teaching receives supreme emphasis. 
In teaching about them, the teacher has an 
opportunity to make the child aware of present 
social problems and to stimulate the right 
response to them. 

In the same way, the standards for personal 
conduct are brought in, whether for actions 
that have a social significance, or for those that 
have only, or primarily, a personal significance. 
So far as I know, modern Jewish religious 
education does not include any direct instruc¬ 
tion about sex. The older education, which 
included the Talmud, had much to say on it, 
because the Talmud, dealing with all the aspects 
and details of life, deals with that, too. By dis¬ 
cussing matters of sex freely and openly, it not 
only supplied detailed directions, but, what is 
perhaps more important, it avoided the dangers 
of secrecy ; and it also surrounded sex with 
religious significance, and, therefore, with 
religious sanctity. The modern Jew must rely 
chiefly on factors in the child’s education other 
than formal religious instruction to establish 
the right attitude to sex. But he still has the 


March 1937 religious education 

seventh commandment, and the commandment 
‘Holy shall ye be, for I the Lord your God am 
Holy,’ to help him connect it with religion. 

The present circumstances of Jewish life 
enforce upon Jewish education also the aim to 
establish in the child a feeling of attachment 
to the Jewish community. The necessity for 
this effort is obvious in view of the tremendous 
forces working in an opposite direction. It is 
an aim in teaching Jewish history to make the 
child feel the force of that history in his own 
life, to make him feel the significance and 
responsibility of membership in the Jewish 
community. This aspect of Jewish religious 
teaching is not separate from its emphasis on 
the belief in God and obedience to His Law. 
There is in Jewish thought, when it has not 
been most unfortunately secularized, an un¬ 
breakable connection between Jewish history, 
the existence of the Jews, and the belief in God. 

The Messianic hope of the Jews issues from 
this connection. It does not mean to the modern 
Jew, who does not accept Jewish traditional 
belief in its totality, the hope for the coming of 
a Messiah, but the hope for a time when God’s 
rule will be dominant in the lives of men and 
in the life of human society. It is a time which 
will come through the efforts of mankind under 
the guidance of God, and brought to fulfilment 
by His grace. The Jews, in Jewish belief, have a 
function to perform collectively in this process, 
as a people whose whole history and existence 
are bound up with the belief in God. 

No account of Jewish religious education 
would even approach completeness without a 
reference to the home. Ceremonies have had a 
large place in Jewish religious life. Some of us 
think too large a place, that there have been too 
many of them, and that some of them have lost 
all value. But we recognize that they have had 
a value, and that some of them still have. A 
considerable number of Jewish ceremonies were 
for observance in the home. The Sabbath and 
the Holy Days were especially marked by such 
observances. Very often the child was given a 
place of importance in the performance of 
them. In this way, and in themselves, they 
possessed, and possess, a large pedagogic value. 
Through them, their beauty and their relation 
to the home atmosphere, the child can get a 
feeling for God, and an attachment to his 


IN MODERN JUDAISM 65 

religion. They touched the emotions without 
being emotional, cultivated a sentiment without 
being sentimental, and gave piety the attractive¬ 
ness of beauty. Moreover, they are joyous. The 
condition for their value is, obviously, that the 
parents’ part in them shall be a living participa¬ 
tion, not a mechanical performance. 

It will be seen from this sketch that Jewish 
religious education is in its methods, as in its 
aims, related to the distinctive religious ideas 
of Judaism. There is no dogmatic teaching, no 
formal beliefs to memorize and adopt. It aims to 
inculcate the belief in God, and loyalty to Israel 
for the service it may render to humanity as His 
witnesses. The way to God is through a 
knowledge of His law, taking law in the 
largest possible sense, through the influence of 
His prophets, through a knowledge of His 
working in Jewish history, through His 
workings in all human history, and through the 
manifestations of His beauty and power in 
nature. And the way which leads to God is also 
the way of life which He reveals unto man. 

Religious instruction may be something more 
than a preparation. It may be in a real sense 
a part of the child’s life and an exercise of his 
personality. The important thing is, I think, 
that the child should not be commanded to 
adopt a ready-made belief. The aim must be to 
show him, whether by ceremonies in the home, 
instruction in school, or by worship, that others 
have a belief in God and what it means to them. 
If the God in whom others believe is a terri¬ 
fying God, then the effect on the child is 
baneful. But if he is a God of goodness and 
beauty and love, the effect must be enlarge¬ 
ment. Religious education can bring into the 
child’s life che liberating influence of faith in 
God and His law. 


Our readers will notice a new departure in this issue 
of the ‘New Era’—a full page general advertisement. 
We hope to increase the number of such advertisements 
and would like to wish Sparva the success due to a 
pioneer! Our readers may rest assured that we shall 
accept advertisements only from firms whose products we 
know to be of value. 

We regret that book reviews have had to be suspended 
this month through lack of space. They will be resumed 
as a regular feature in the April issue. —ED. 




A Catholic Approach to God 

E. I. Watkin 

Author of ‘The Bow in the Clouds' and ‘A Philosophy of Form’ 
(Sheed & Ward); ‘Theism, Atheism and Agnosticism’ (Unicorn 
Press) 


T o state in an article one’s experience of the 
largest Christian Church, spread over the 
globe and with a history of nearly two 
thousand years, is not easy. I can deal only with 
a few aspects. 

I have been a Catholic for over twenty-eight 
years and have been continuously occupied with 
religious problems. The uncritical days of 
honeymoon delight, when the convert sees only 
what is true and beautiful in his new creed, have 
long since passed. I have had ample time to 
perceive the human shortcomings, the defective 
embodiment of ideals which at first seemed con¬ 
crete flesh and blood. There have been grievous 
shocks, bitter disillusionment. This is not the 
place to detail the evils disfiguring the Catholic 
Church as a body of men and women. I will 
mention only the persistent and seemingly in¬ 
curable political attitude of the hierarchy, by 
which I mean not so much interference in 
secular politics, as reliance upon political 
methods and the favour of governments, 
instead of on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

The shadow upon the face of the Church, if 
not what her foes believe, is as black as they 
believe. But through and in and beneath the 
darkness a light shines brighter than any which 
shines outside. 

Religion is the response to religious needs, the 
affirmation of religious values. These needs and 
values are distinctive, sui generis. They are not 
scientific, aesthetic or even moral, though they 
have consequences and repercussions in these 
lower spheres. The object of religion is not to 
make men’s lives richer in knowledge or 
beauty or more moral, or to produce a better 
social and economic order, though it should 
bless all endeavours towards these ends. Its 
object is to unite men with God. 

If there is no order of being higher than the 
natural order of man’s life as a rational and 
social animal, religion is an illusion. It stands or 
falls by its claim to reveal and communicate a 


Spirit that transcends man’s life and ex¬ 
perience in time and space. In this sense it is 
otherworldly. But this other world is not a 
world we enter only when we leave this world, 
nor its life one which begins when this life is 
over. It is an eternal life present here and now, 
in though beyond this life of succession and 
mortality. Because in religious experience man 
partakes here and now of eternal life, he con¬ 
cludes that there is something in him which will 
not die. But this belief is secondary, an implica¬ 
tion of present experience. Religion does not 
look directly from the present to a future life 
but upwards or inwards, whichever metaphor 
you prefer, to a life embracing in its eternity the 
succession of life before and life after death. It 
finds God and His life in the central depth of the 
soul, normally in a dim, half-conscious aware¬ 
ness, but as the experience of a reality fuller and 
more profound than any experienced, however 
clearly, at more superficial levels. In the con¬ 
templation of beauty, in the discovery of 
scientific and still more of philosophic truth, and 
in moral choice, profounder depths of the 
human spirit are engaged, profounder and 
fuller realities experienced than by enjoying 
physical pleasure or pursuing utilitarian aims. 
But deepest of all is the depth of spirit: pro- 
foundest and fullest the reality, engaged in and 
attained by religious experience. 

Religious experience however is not confined 
to one creed but is universally human. No man 
is excluded from access to God, because he is 
not a Catholic or a Christian. God leaves 
Himself nowhere without witness in the heart 
created for Himself and which He alone can fill. 
There is no more powerful witness to man’s 
religious need of an infinite God and an eternal 
life than the religious attitude often adopted by 
those who reject transcendental religion. Com¬ 
munism and National Socialism witness to God 
by deifying a human society, a class or a race. 
But this universal religious experience is not 


March 1937 

enough. The religious experience of the 
average man is too scanty, obscure, and difficult 
to interpret to provide a sufficient religion. Man 
requires the religious experience of men en¬ 
dowed with extraordinary religious insight: the 
mystics, the prophets. And since Absolute Being 
is more not less than personal, God cannot be 
a mere object of experience. The experience of 
God must be His revelation. 

The religious history of mankind discloses a 
line of religious teachers through whom God has 
made a unique revelation of Himself and man’s 
relation to Himself. It begins with Moses, in¬ 
deed Abraham, and cul¬ 
minates in Jesus. And in 
Jesus, Christians believe 
the human Revealer is in a 
unique relation with the 
Divine, is in fact the In¬ 
carnation of the Divine 
Revealer in human nature. 

And since man is social, 
this union between God 
and man and the communi¬ 
cation of God’s supernatur¬ 
al life which it effects has a 
social extension. This is 
the society of souls who 
in union, conscious or un¬ 
conscious, with Christ 
share this life and thus con¬ 
stitute His mystical body. 

And like the individual, the 
social Christ has a visible 
body. It is the Catholic 
Church which Christ 
founded. 

Mankind is not an 
assemblage of isolated 
individuals bound together by a social contract. 
Nor can we subscribe to the contrary exaggera¬ 
tion: the totalitarian society. Between these 
extremes is the solidarity of individuals who, 
while retaining their individual uniqueness and 
the rights it involves, form a society which is 
more not less than their sum, is an organism, 
not an artificial construction. On the transcen¬ 
dent and supernatural plane this is the social 
organism whose head is Christ, whose soul is 
the Divine Spirit, the source of its life, and 
whose bond is charity, the love of its members 


67 

for God and each other in God. This society is 
the Communion of Saints; its visible embodi¬ 
ment the Catholic Church. 

These doctrines and their implications are 
realized and corroborated by religious ex¬ 
perience which in turn they explain and 
harmonize. Religious experience is most empha¬ 
tically not emotion, though, like the rest of our 
experience, coloured by emotion. It is the 
apprehension, dimmer or clearer, of objective 
religious reality, as aesthetic experience is the 
apprehension of an objective beauty, moral 
experience of objective moral values. I con¬ 
fidently affirm that in and 
through the Catholic reli¬ 
gion I have been admitted 
to a fuller and richer body 
of religious experience, of 
religious apprehension, 
than I could have ob¬ 
tained otherwise. The ex¬ 
perience itself is not indeed 
communicated, but its 
testimony is accepted by 
the mind and heart. More¬ 
over this body of experi¬ 
ence is interpreted and har¬ 
monized by the truth 
revealed through Christ, 
His predecessors and 
Apostles, as by no other 
religious doctrine. What is 
elsewhere partial and inco¬ 
herent is here completed 
and reconciled. There is a 
synthesis of religious truth. 
And the philosophy elabo¬ 
rated by Catholic thinkers 
possesses a scope, balance, 
width, depth and subtlety unique in human 
thought. 

Idealism affirms mind to the denial of matter; 
materialism matter to the denial of mind. 
Catholic philosophy accepts mind and matter. 
Oriental thought turns its back upon the world, 
upon nature and man’s natural life. Western 
thought has turned its back upon the transcen¬ 
dental world of spirit. Catholic thought regards 
both. It denies the world as final reality and 
value, affirms it as subordinate reality and value. 
Since man’s capacity is limited, no individual 


A CATHOLIC APPROACH TO GOD 


Mr. Watkin says : 

1. The object of religion is not to 
make men’s lives richer in know¬ 
ledge or beauty, or more moral, or 
to produce a better social and 
economic order, though it should 
bless all endeavours towards these 
ends. Its object is to unite men with 
God. 

2. Without metaphysics, scientific 
knowledge lacks justification or cer¬ 
tainty. Without religion, and more¬ 
over a sufficiently deep, wide and 
rich religion, neither scientific know¬ 
ledge nor practical achievement nor 
social organization can satisfy man. 

3. Such conceptions as . . . sin as 
opposed to simple wrong-doing have 
no meaning outside the deep re¬ 
ligious sphere to which they belong. 
On the merely natural and human 
level they can be discarded as unreal, 
because on that level they are unreal. 
Their reality lies deeper, in the order 
where the centre of the human spirit 
and the solidarity of these personal 
centres are in relationship, positive 
or negative, with God. 



THE NEW ERA 


68 

or group can look equally in every direction, 
work equally on every plane of thought and 
action. Since religion is concerned with trans¬ 
cendent and ultimate reality, with God and His 
eternal life, Catholics have tended to a too 
exclusive preoccupation with these values. And 
because they are the supreme and ultimate 
values, and most remote from the interests and 
values of man’s life as a rational animal in the 
world of time and space, this one-sided em¬ 
phasis has been inevitable and indispensable. 
Man needs the witness of the desert hermits 
to the supreme importance of religion, the 
supreme reality of God. But Catholic theology 
and philosophy have found room for man’s 
earthly interests and values in their subordinate 
place. Catholic monks and ecclesiastics salvaged 
European culture in the deluge of barbarism 
which swamped the Roman Empire. 

Nevertheless the work of the Church as such 
is not on this secular level. It was the break¬ 
down of efficient secular government in Western 
Europe during the Dark Ages which thrust 
upon the Church functions of temporal adminis¬ 
tration, involving the integration of the clergy 
in the political framework of the medieval state. 
This in turn secularized the clergy. Since no 
class of men is willing to surrender power and 
possessions, they clung to this old order when it 
had become indefensible. The disentanglement 
of the Church from secular and political con¬ 
nections will therefore bring the Church back 
to the profound and purely religious sources of 
her life, though in the process multitudes whose 
religion was not rooted in these depths but 
dependent on social and political sanctions lose 
their religious faith. 

We can no longer accept religion on the 
surface. If we see only her exterior we must 
reject the Church. Her doctrines must seem 
arbitrary, meaningless, her rites empty forms— 
both, outworn if picturesque relics of a past 
outlook, irrelevant to modern conditions and 
exploded by modern thought. For they are 
expressions in a language and ceremonial 
necessarily determined by particular historic 
situations of a profound religious truth, 
accessible only to religious insight. Such con¬ 
ceptions for example as original sin, redemption, 
sacred virginity, sin as opposed to simple wrong 
doing, have no meaning outside the deep 


March 1937 

religious sphere to which they belong. On the 
merely natural and human level they can be 
discarded as unreal, because on that level they 
are unreal. Their reality lies deeper, in the order 
where the centre of the human spirit and the 
solidarity of these personal centres are in 
relationship, positive or negative, with God. 

Even the metaphysics implied by Catholic 
doctrine, though not belonging to this ultimate 
religious depth, lie below the empirical level on 
which the natural sciences and even empirical 
psychology move. That these sciences and their 
practical applications should develop autono¬ 
mously according to their own principles is 
good and necessary — as good and as necessary as 
the autonomous development of civil society. 
And this development in the modern world has 
produced such vast achievements that the 
deeper levels have faded from view and meta¬ 
physics and still more religion seem superfluous. 
But the roots of the more superficial and 
practical sciences are in these depths. Without 
metaphysics scientific knowledge lacks justifica¬ 
tion or certainty. Without religion, and more¬ 
over a sufficiently deep, wide and rich religion, 
neither scientific knowledge, nor practical 
achievement, nor social organization, can satisfy 
man. This is already becoming clear. It is 
revealed by a disintegrating scepticism which is 
certain of nothing and a disintegrating indivi¬ 
dualism, for which the individual is the measure 
of his private truth, though truth is true for all 
men. It is revealed by the tendency to deny the 
claims of reason, which the Enlightenment 
opposed so triumphantly to religious faith, and 
to exalt above it some form of blind vitalism: for 
example, the racial blood of the National 
Socialist, or the material production glorified 
in Soviet Russia. This is to exalt force, 
energy above form, which in every sphere is 
apprehended, however imperfectly, by the 
intellect. And this in turn has led to the 
employment of force by dictatorial states to 
suppress all ‘dangerous thoughts’, and inculcate 
a blind subservience and the militarism which 
glories in the mass suicide of modern war. 

It is unfortunately true that, in a short¬ 
sighted fear of more obvious foes, the Catholic 
clergy ally themselves with these dictatorial 
and militarist states, if they make some external 
compromise with Christianity. But the prin- 


March 1937 

ciples of Catholic Christianity condemn these 
compromises of the Church’s human leaders. 

Within the Church, and there alone, are 
contained in full abundance and harmony the 
religious and metaphysical truths which provide 
a secure foundation and a final sanction for 
human knowledge, and the action which must he 
based upon it, in face of sceptism and vitalist 
irrationalism. We cannot simply return to the 
Catholic past. The practical work accomplished, 
the scientific knowledge won for mankind by 
the secularist advance on the horizontal line of 
progress must be accepted and built into the 
edifice of human culture. But .we must advance 
to a Catholic future in which these achievements 
will be firmly based on religious and meta¬ 
physical truth, attained by the philosophic 
insight and religious revelation granted to ages 
whose vision and work were vertical rather than 
horizontal. This synthesis of depth and 
breadth, humanism and theism, nature and 
supernature, the immanental and the transcen¬ 
dental relationships of man must be a difficult 
and probably a slow process. But we must keep 
it before us as our ideal. And we must hold fast 
to the depths. Instead of rejecting the religious 
and metaphysical truth taught by Catholicism 
because we cannot see at every point its harmony 
with the scientific truth of more superficial 
levels, or because its garb is unfamiliar and old- 
fashioned, we must strive to understand it by a 
patient and powerful effort of, what I would 
term, ‘inlook’. 

To take one example. It is easy and plausible 
to regard the doctrine of the Atonement, as 
Bernard Shaw depicts it in his Black Girl, as 
simply a survival of barbaric notions of blood 
sacrifice, and to be offended by the injustice 
of vicarious punishment. When however we 
look into the depths of religious experience 
attested by numbers of religious men and women 
we see that the sacrifice of selfwill by suffering 
and even death possesses a power to compensate 
for the profound de-orientation of the spirit 
from God, the Absolute Reality, which is the 
essence of sin. 

Indeed, this religious experience of the 
reality and need of atonement is so powerful 
that it finds expression in unexpected quarters 
and under perverted guises. It inspired the 
unnecessary, indeed immoral, suicide of Ros- 


69 

mer and Rebecca in Ibsen’s Rosmersholm. 
Richard Aldington, the cynical realist, con¬ 
cludes his Death of a Hero with the passage: 
‘Somehow or another we have to make these 
dead’ (the soldiers killed in the war) ‘acceptable; 
we have to atone for them; we have to appease 
them. How? I don’t quite know. . . . How 
can we atone for the lost millions and millions, 

. . . how atone for these lakes and seas of blood? 
Somehow we must atone to the dead . . . some¬ 
how we must free ourselves from the curse — 
the blood guiltiness.’ 

From the central depths, the religious 
demand for Atonement rises here in all its 
power. But the writer does not know how to 
satisfy it. The Cross, which the Church erects 
on every altar, is the answer. Aldington 
however indicates the solution of the difficulty 
as to vicarious punishment. For he hints at a 
solidarity in guilt and satisfaction. Because in 
the depths we are united as members of a 
social organism, each shares the sin and atone¬ 
ment of his fellows. Christ atoned, not because, 
by some legal fiction, His suffering was 
accepted instead of that due to the guilty, but 
because He was one with the guilty in the 
solidarity of human nature, and the head of 
those who, by interior membership of His 
church, are members of His mystical body. 
‘How shall we atone?’ cries Aldington. The 
Christians who have shared the sufferings of 
their head answer his question. Nor is this 
atonement the arbitrary demand of a God whose 
outraged amour propre must be appeased. It is 
God’s nature as Absolute righteousness, and 
therefore the intrinsic rightness of the law He 
imposes on human conduct, which requires 
that wilful deviation from this rightness shall 
be balanced by a free self-sacrificing love. The 
blood sacrifices of pre-Christian religions, far 
from discrediting the religious fact of atone¬ 
ment, were its imperfect expression, to be 
fulfilled, not destroyed. 

The truth of atonement however is invisible 
until we have penetrated below the surface of 
clear reasoning into the spiritual depth where 
truth is apprehended, not by distinct but by 
dim intuition. Because of this obscurity 
atonement, like other truths of this profound 
level, cannot be stated with scientific accuracy. 
Religious intuition perceives that the truths of 


A CATHOLIC APPROACH TO GOD 





THE NEW ERA 


7 ° 

individual responsibility and of solidarity in 
guilt and satisfaction are compatible, that 
‘each shall bear his own burden’, yet we ‘bear 
one another’s burdens’. But it cannot state this 
compatibility in a clearly intelligible formula, 
as the scientist can state the relationship of two 
components in a chemical compound. This is 
true of other Catholic doctrines, for example, 
communion with the dead in God by mutual 
prayer, which also strives for expression in 
Aldington’s desire to do something for the 
dead soldiers. It has undeniably been expressed 
by the popular Catholic mind in crude and 
credulous beliefs and practices. But they have 
never been accepted by official theology and are 
but the surface of an underlying spiritual truth. 
On the contrary, communion with the dead on 
empirical plane, attempted by spiritualism, 
a level no deeper than these unessential 
Catholic trappings, has produced no evidence 
of anything beyond extraordinary parapsychical 
capacities of the subconscious, of scientific, 
not religious value. 

I should like to consider other Catholic 
doctrines and indicate the depths hidden 
beneath an exterior often at first sight childish 
or fantastic. I would show how Catholicism 
occupies the mean between contrasted doctrines 
or standpoints, accepting the positive truth in 
both, rejecting the excessive affirmation of each. 
For example, the Catholic doctrine of God holds 
the mean between the agnosticism which 
denies that we can know the Absolute Being, 
and the anthropomorphism which attributes to 
God human limitations. The true ‘agnosticism’ 
which apprehends God’s incomprehensibility 
is taught by Catholic theology for which God 
is ‘always greater’ than anything we can conceive 
of Him. 

Unfortunately space fails. I would entreat those 
who approach Catholicism from the outside to 
look not away from a surface which may appear 
strange, even repellent, but to the spiritual 
reality within. The essential religious act is 
adoration of the Absolute transcendent mystery: 
a mystery at once awful and fascinating. The 
Catholic religion is the most massive adoration 
of this Divine mystery, and presentation of its 
awe and fascination in the religious history of 
mankind. Its doctrines are the score of a 
spiritual music, meaningless except as capable 


March 1937 

of translation into the music it symbolizes. 
This music is a music of inexhaustible beauty, 
complex yet simple: a harmony of contrasts, 
embracing every theme heard by man’s 
spiritual ear, but dominated by the organ tone of 
adoration in face of the Divine mystery, which 
is the soul’s deepest note. Because the score 
is not intelligible at first sight to those whose 
training has been on other lines, or who have 
been shown only its unexplained notation, it is 
not therefore to be rejected. Nor should we 
reject it because its music can never be perfectly 
executed and is often executed vilely. I invite 
those to whom Catholicism is a sealed book to 
listen to this interior music where it is played 
best, by the great Catholic mystics, and to 
pierce with patient and fixed gaze below the 
surface of Catholic doctrine and practice. 
They will, I am sure, hear a melody which 
awakens echoes from the depth of the soul, 
catch glimpses of the Infinite Light, whence 
all human vision arises and whither it leads. 


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The Social Gospel of Christianity 


A. J. Drewett 


General Secretary, The Auxiliary Movement, S.C.M. 


T here are at least three prevalent attitudes 
discernible to-day on the part of Christians 
towards the problems of political and 
economic life. 

In the first place there are those who say that 
the Church’s task is the conversion and 
cultivation of the spiritual life of the individual. 
According to this view politics and economics 
are concerned with the ‘material’ things of 
life and as such must be left alone by the 
Christian lest he become soiled through 
contact with them. This conception of the 
function of religion, known as pietism, is 
common on the Continent—especially amongst 
the ‘reformed’ Churches, and is one reason why 
the advanced political groups in these countries 
have rejected Christianity altogether. 

Secondly, there is growing up a group of 
people within the Churches who consider that 
in this period of transition the main concern 
of the Church is with political and economic 
affairs. They see in Fascism the enemy of 
Christianity and feel that the task for Christians 
to-day is to join forces with all who oppose it. 
They believe, further, that a Socialist order of 
society (the extension of democracy into the 
economic field) is the only soil in which real 
Christianity can develop. 

Thus, Hecker in Religion 
and Communism says: ‘We 
are confident that the class¬ 
less Communist order will 
provide an infinitely more 
advantageous environment 
for the selection, develop¬ 
ment and nurture of the 
subtle psychic qualities of 
man than was ever pos¬ 
sible in the class-stratified 
materialistic civilization of 
acquisitive society. ... I 
cannot help thinking that 
future generations of Rus¬ 
sian people will re-discover 
Jesus.’ 


The real point at issue between these two 
divergent points of view is this — Those who 
would concentrate on individual religion 
maintain that a more Christian social order will 
only come about when men and women as 
individuals accept the principles and power of 
Christ in their own lives. In other words man 
creates his environment. Those who take the 
other view believe that we have reached a point 
when advance in personal righteousness is 
impossible until the social environment has 
been changed. Man is conditioned by his 
environment. 

Both of these views are one-sided and 
precarious. The first tends to stress the 
‘spiritual,’ the second the ‘material’. The first 
is in danger of becoming ‘otherworldly’ and of 
driving out God from the world (deism); the 
second is in danger of becoming purely human¬ 
itarian and pantheist. The one stresses the 
transcendence, the other the immanenceofGod. 

It is precisely this relationship of the spiritual 
and the material worlds that Christianity claims 
to have resolved in the central dogmas of its 
creeds. That is why the Christian claims to be 
heard in the sphere of social activity. 

We shall now attempt to set forth the views 

of the third group of 
Christians. They believe 
that any social order which 
is to be better than the 
existing one must be based 
on certain principles whose 
roots are to be found in 
Christian theology. In the 
first place the whole effort 
of the Church and the 
Christian in the social 
sphere is founded upon 
the faith that, in the In¬ 
carnation, God has identi¬ 
fied Himself with the fate of 
His Creation. The Incarn¬ 
ation testifies to the poten¬ 
tial perfection of earthly 


Mr. Drewett says : 

1. The effort of the Christian in the 
social sph ere is founded upon the 
faith that, in the Incarnation, God 
has identified Himself with the fate 
of His Creation. 

2. There is no warrant in Jesus’ 
teaching for the belief in the inevit¬ 
ability of gradual ness or that we shall 
slide into a new and better social 
order automatically. 

3. All kinds of barriers have been 
and are being erected between man 
and man. The erection and main¬ 
tenance of these barriers is, in the 
Christian view, a thwarting of the 
will of God. 

4. All efforts to create a world¬ 
wide community on earth may be 
said to run with the grain of the 
universe. 


7 1 







72 

things and also to the inestimable significance 
of the individual. The sacramental principle 
provides the only adequate solution of the 
relationship between the spiritual and the 
material worlds, and the Incarnation is the 
greatest of the sacraments. Christianity is 
neither ‘otherworldly’ in the sense that it is not 
concerned with the affairs of this world: nor 
is it ‘this-worldly’ only, as some of the critics 
of the Church would have us believe. It is 
realist. It sees the world of men and things 
as they are and as they might be—it is constantly 
striving ‘to fashion all things according to the 
pattern seen in the mount’—to bring the 
heavenly city down to earth. 

As with the Incarnation—so with the Cross, 
Resurrection and Ascension of Christ. 
Christianity has its roots firmly fixed in history 
—in the life of a historical person, Jesus of 
Nazareth—but Christian theology also main¬ 
tains that the historic facts of the Birth, Death, 
Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ 
have an eternal significance. Here we have an 
epitome of the eternal struggle between good 
and evil—the guarantee of the final overthrow 


March 1937 

of evil and the assurance that God rules in His 
Universe. It ic only in this faith and with this 
assurance that victory becomes possible. With¬ 
out it men fall into disillusionment and 
despair. 

One of the great principles which Jesus 
taught and which is completely demonstrated 
in His death and resurrection was that life 
can only come through death—progress through 
suffering. 

‘Except a corn of wheat falleth into the 
ground and die it abideth alone.’ This biological 
principle Jesus extended into human affairs 
and this, perhaps more than any other of the 
principles which he enunciated, gives us the 
clue to what is happening in the world to-day. 
It reminds us that there is no warrant in His 
teaching for the belief in the inevitability of 
gradualness or that we shall slide into a new 
and better social order automatically. The 
tranquillity of the later nineteenth century 
led to the rejection of the stern side of Christ’s 
teaching and the religion taught in His name 
was often mere sentimentality. The War and 
the crisis caught the Church unawares and men 


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March 1937 the social gospel 

were again forced back to the Gospels. Some¬ 
what to their surprise they found an almost 
complete word picture of what was actually 
happening in the world. Wars and rumours 
of war, nation against nation, parents against 
children, men’s hearts failing them for fear. 
‘When ye see these things come to pass, know 
ye that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand.’ 

The usual explanation of these unpleasant 
passages in the Gospels was that they referred 
to the fall of Jerusalem in the year 70 a.d. 
Since then we had learnt better ways and we 
could now progress gradually but comfortably. 
Such a view was based on a complete misunder¬ 
standing of Jesus’ teaching. He probably 
foresaw the destruction of Jerusalem because 
he saw that the Roman Empire was being 
undermined and would before long break up. 
In this sense the nineteenth century critics 
were right. But Jesus, with the insight of 
prophetic genius, saw that this break-up was 
an illustration of a principle always at work. 

It would be repeated throughout history. 

It was failure to appreciate this principle of 
catastrophic change which misinterpreted such 
parables as that of the leaven so as to justify the 
pleasant doctrine of inevitable progress. What 
Jesus saw T happening in his own day is again 
happening to-day. For this reason his descrip¬ 
tion of His own times is so relevant. 

But what actually is happening? The process 
can best be described as the extension of 
Community. From the first Jesus recognized 
no barriers of race, religion, class or sex. This 
is perhaps best illustrated in the amazing 
conversation with the Woman of Samaria. In 
the first place, it was quite unconventional for a 
man to talk to a woman alone for any length of 
time; but it was just ‘not done’ for a Jew to have 
dealings with the Samaritans. The woman, of 
course, was well aware of this — ‘Our fathers 
worshipped in this mountain, and ye say that in 
Jerusalem is the place where men ought to 
worship.’ Jesus answered her: ‘W oman, believe 
me, the hour cometh when ye shall neither in 
this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem worship the 
Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we 
know what we worship; for salvation is of the 
Jews, but the hour cometh and note is when the 
true worshippers shall worship the bather in 
spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such 


OF CHRISTIANITY 73 

to worship Him.’ In His last command as 
recorded in Matthew we find Him telling his 
disciples to go into all the world and baptise all 
nations. How completely revolutionary was this 
idea can be seen from the first chapters of the 
Acts. It was a long time before the Apostles 
could really bring themselves to take Jesus liter¬ 
ally and to admit Gentiles into the Church with¬ 
out demanding conformity to the Jewish Law. 

The attitude of the disciples was typical of 
that of the majority of men to-day and through¬ 
out the ages. All kinds of barriers have been 
and are being erected between man and man. 
The erection and maintenance of these barriers 
is, in the Christian view, a thwarting of the will 
of God and is bound to be as ineffective as a 
wholesale disregard of the law of gravitation. 
For, oddly enough, great forces are at work 
breaking barriers down and making the world 
in fact a unity. Chief amongst these forces 
to-day is science. Mankind must become a 
community or perish. The universal community 
is truly at hand. If we reject it we are in effect 
working against the grain of the universe. 

This brings us back to theology again. The 
Christian is not simply a social reformer bent 
on making the world the sort of place he would 
like it to be. He claims that Jesus Christ 
revealed the truth about God and about man. 
The world is God’s world and is to be the 
scene of a process which, when God’s will is 
done, will issue in the establishment in this 
world of His kingdom. The kingdom of God is a 
community in which men live as neighbours, 
each contributing to the good of all, but never 
losing their individuality. This is not a pious 
hope, but is in the very nature of things. God 
Himself is not an isolated individual, but a 
perfect community of three persons. Man is 
made in the image of God and is therefore 
expressing his true nature when he too is 
living in community with his fellows. All efforts 
to create a world-wide community on earth 
mav therefore be said to run with the grain of 
the universe, to be in accordance with God’s 
Will and to be founded on the nature of God 
Himself. 

But, of course, theology must issue in action. 
What is the Christian to do in the world to-day? 
In the first place, he should take the trouble 
to understand what is going on around him. 






74 


THE NEW ERA 


He should cease to think in terms of sacred and 
secular, religion and politics, this world and 
the next, and think of all human activity as the 
sphere of religion, as God’s concern. This will 
lead him to study contemporary affairs in the 
light of the principles of the New Testament. 
It is only the man who knows what he is about 
who can be depended upon in time of crisis, 
and since Christians claim to have a power in 
their lives, it is imperative that they should be 
instructed if their very enthusiasm for social 
righteousness is not going to be exploited by 
the forces of reaction. 

Secondly, the Christian must be a converted 
man. To be converted, or ‘born again’ as Jesus 
put it, means the complete rejection of the 
standards of the world. In the present situation 
this would mean that we should think of men 


March 1937 

and women as persons and not as ‘Fascists’, 
‘Communists’, ‘hands’, or in any terms of other 
impersonal or functional category. It is this 
concern for people as persons which will drive 
the Christian into social activity. Conversion 
further involves the abolition from our minds 
of class and race-consciousness, and the entry 
now into that Kingdom which knows no 
frontiers of race, nationality or class. Wealth, 
power and prestige are only of importance so 
long as men think they are ; the Christian, 
by despising these attributes of Mammon 
would do more to overthrow them than do 
those who use more violent methods. The 
kingdoms of this world know how to meet 
force of arms; they are powerless against the 
force of love which Jesus makes available for 
those who follow Him. 


Children and the Friends’Meeting 


Francis H. Knight 


Secretary of the Friends* Education Counci!, 
For 25 years a teacher in Friends* schools 


T he Society of Friends came into being as 
part of the Puritan revival in the seven¬ 
teenth century in England. Friends 
protested against empty formalism in worship 
and insincerity and extravagance in life ; and 
so they discarded all external aids to worship, 
had no priest to mediate between the individual 
soul and God, no consecrated building, no set 
forms of prayer, no music. Their Meetings for 
Worship were, and are, held on a ‘basis of 
silence’ under the direct guidance of God’s 
Spirit in the simplest possible setting. Their 
worship grows, like all creation, out of silence. 
The silence is an environment in which the 
Spirit can exercise itself. Out of the attempt to 
get into touch with fellow-worshippers and 
with God, something is born for the individual 
and the group. But if the attempt is not made, 
or fails, the result is barren. Just because there 
are no ‘externals’, failure is more complete. A 
Friends’ Meeting is a real adventure involving 
the greatest possibilities and the gravest risks. 

Friends have practically no technique of 
worship and give very little direct training 
to their children as to how they shall take their 
share therein. There is practically no emphasis 


on the control of the mind and emotions. The 
stillness is one of spirit rather than of mind or 
body. Children must not strive after a cataleptic 
trance or the technique of a fakir. The right 
attitude is rather a positive one, a cultivation 
of good thoughts and goodwill, and especially 
of the group sense—that feeling for one 
another which issues in corporate worship 
and corporate blessing and guidance. As all 
creation grows out of silence and as the Society 
of Friends grew into a knowledge of the 
presence of God on a ‘basis of silence’, so the 
children grow into the Quaker way of worship, 
absorb it. As soon as ever a child expresses a 
desire to attend Sunday School and Meeting it 
is allowed to do so, although at first the request is 
largely prompted, no doubt, by a desire to imitate 
its parents and a reluctance to be left behind. 

F rom earliest years, explanations of the 
method of worship are given to children 
by their parents in terms adapted to their 
understanding. They may be encouraged to 
think of the past week, to ask for forgiveness 
for selfishness or ill-temper and to say ‘thank 
you’ for happy homes and parental love. When 


CHILDREN AND THE FRIENDS’ MEETING 


75 


March 1937 

a Friend ‘speaks’ or utters vocal prayer, they 
must try to listen and understand and share 
in the exercise. It will, however, be all very 
simple in the early years and consist largely of 
growing into that attitude which later flowers 
in worship. 

For children under about eleven Sunday 
School classes are provided, from which they go 
straight into the adult Meeting for Worship for 
the last 20 to 30 minutes. Something is done 
in class to explain to them the meaning of 
worship, and the lesson-material provides them 
with something to think about. Very young 
ones may have their own picture-books to 
look at, but even as early as four or five years 
old they can begin to get accustomed to the 
‘silent waiting’. The outward stillness and the 
inward peace and ‘gatheredness’ of their elders 
enwrap their souls and make them happy. Of 
course, these little ones are often restless and 
impatient, and sometimes audible sighs escape 
into the still air. But unconsciously they do 
learn to value the silence and are brought into 
real, though probably unconscious, contact with 
God. 

At about the age of eleven or twelve many 
Friends’ children enter one or other of the 
Society’s boarding schools, where special 
Meetings are held on Sunday mornings for 
the youngest boys and girls. The conduct of 
these Meetings varies but they are the children’s 
own, very few adults being allowed to attend. 
Sometimes particular children will give little 
readings of their own or other’s choosing; 
sometimes hymns are chosen beforehand or 
suggested during the course of the Meeting. 
Always there is the minimum of pre-arrange¬ 
ment and the maximum of spontaneity, always 
the ‘basis of silence’, and always the guiding 
adult or adults keeping as far as possible in the 
background. Sometimes older boys and girls of 
17, 18 or 19 give help voluntarily, three or 
four at a time, in these meetings, but always in 
the same self-effacing spirit, the experience 
being of great value to both helpers and helped. 

From about the age of twelve, the actual 
religious exercise of the children in most 
Friends’ schools consists of daily family 
‘reading’ or ‘prayer’, a mid-week meeting of 
about half-an-hour’s duration, a Sunday 
evening school-service and a Sunday morning 


The great advances of our time are increasingly 
being made in the borderland region between 
two intellectual disciplines. This is the province of 

SCIENCE AND SOCIETY 

a journal appearing three times a year, edited by 
Pryns Hopkins, with whom are associated 
Alexander Farquharson and William Stephenson. 
The central theme of the February-May number 
is the movement from individualism to collec¬ 
tivism in the economic organization of society. 

Mr. G. D. H. Cole has written the leading 
article. Contributions to the economic central 
topic are then made by others from the angles 
of their special fields—by Dr. Raymond Firth 
from an anthropological, Miss Kathleen How¬ 
land from a social visiting, the Countess Russell 
from a sexological, Dr. D. H. Kress from a per¬ 
sonal habit, Professor J. C. Flugel from a 
psycho-analytic and Dr. John Lewis from a 
philosophic angle. 

You will be pleased with this new magazine 
and glad to possess its early issues. Subscribe 
now, at 10 shillings for six numbers, or 2 
shillings per single copy. 

LONDON : THE MERCURY PRESS 

BUSH HOUSE, KINGSWAY, W.C.2 


Meeting for Worship. All these have their 
special characteristics and play their part in a 
deliberate welding together of life and worship; 
but only the last-mentioned is a Friends’ 
Meeting pure and simple, and so concerns this 
article. 

Although just over fifty per cent of the 
children in Friends’ Schools are in no way 
connected with the Society they all join in 
these meetings. In practice it is impossible to 
distinguish the non-Friends from the Friends 
and the former seem to learn the art of worship 
at least as well as the latter and to dislike and 
criticise and appreciate in turn in much the 
same way as the Friends do. 

E arly in the school life of every one an 
opportunity is found for explaining the 
meaning of the Meeting for Worship. 
Something is said of the origin of the practice of 
Friends and how they believe God guides the 
meeting; and suggestions are made of ways in 
which boys and girls may use the silence. It 
is right for them to start from what they are 
interested in at the moment; with yesterday’s 
football match, last night’s lantern lecture, the 











THE NEW ERA 


76 

playbox one of them may be making in the 
workshop, and so go on naturally to review the 
past week, see where they might have done 
better, kept their tempers, been better losers, 
adopted a higher standard over a dove-tail, and 
so on. Such considerations help to develop not 
only individual character but the social sense, 
enabling them to enter to some extent into the 
similar aspirations, good resolves and sense of 
failure of others. This is positive, not negative 
control; natural, not artificial. The sense of the 
presence of God may only arise later and it may 
well be more healthy so. They will find God 
first in their sense of fair play, ‘decency’, 
sportsmanship and so on; and, in the silence, 
His Spirit (starting from this) will gradually 
make its own appeal. Older Friends can help and 
guide them by the sympathetic and stimulating 
atmosphere which they help to create. Nothing 
is too commonplace to find place in our thoughts 
in Meeting, whether we are old or young. Some 
thoughts however are too mean or sordid or 
selfish and this will become brilliantly apparent 
under the light of God’s Spirit in the heart. 

After self-examination and prayer for forgive¬ 
ness and gratitude for loving care and protection 
and guidance, the children may proceed to 
look forward to the coming days with resolve 
and humility and a prayer for strength. Then 
they may think of the other members of the 
meeting (this is most important) of their hopes 
and failures, joys and sorrows. Then they may 
seek to bring themselves into a right attitude to 
any Friend who may be led to ‘speak’ or utter 
vocal prayer, to pray to be kept from criticism 
and cynicism and to be helped to catch the 
sincerity of what may be a halting and nervous 
and brief address, to put themselves in fact into a 
responsive mood. It may well be explained to 
them how vitally this affects the spirits of those 
who ‘speak’ and the value of the messages which 
they are thus enabled to deliver. And of course 
whenever the silence is broken the boys and 
girls will listen, will try to discern the spirit and 
the message and will ponder over it after the 
speaker has sat down. 

If children, or adults, for that matter, can 
thus practise directing their thoughts and 
emotions there will be little time left in a ‘live’ 
meeting for mere day-dreaming or slumber. 
At the same time no exception can be taken to a 


March 1937 

good deal of day-dreaming on the part of little 
children in meeting. Let them spend only a 
total of five or ten minutes in directed thought 
and dream for all the rest of the time, even so 
the conscious effort will have its reward and 
the stillness will play its part on their sub- 
consciousness and they will come gradually 
to realize that they do meet God there. 

I N practice it is found that children show 
much more capacity for corporate worship 
and much more appreciation and discrim¬ 
ination than might be supposed. They have 
a surprising understanding of what is fitting and 
proper in a Meeting for Worship. They know 
when there is too much ‘speaking’. Evidence 
points to about half silence and half ministry as 
being a proportion most acceptable to young 
people. They know when a Friend is too 
wordy or too regular in ‘speaking’ every 
Sunday, or taking upon him- or herself too 
great a share in the meeting. They realize 
instinctively that the guidance of the Spirit of 
God is not mechanical, that He can make fine 
use of great learning and wide and deep 
experience, and can also speak powerfully 
through an illiterate Friend, if humble and 
sincere withal. They know that political 
matters or any spirit of controversy is out of 
place, though almost anything can be brought in 
if the spirit is right and it is really laid before 
God. Humbug does not ‘get away with it’ with 
boys and girls. But honesty, courage, sincerity, 
humility, good-humour ‘get there’ every time. 

Finally, children like to feel that the Meeting 
is part of their life. They like to hear voices 
with which they are familiar in the class-room 
or on the hockey field or in their homes ‘rightly 
dividing the word of truth 5 . Sometimes they will 
take vocal part themselves, although naturally 
it is a rare thing when experience and wisdom 
count so much. But never must they be 
regarded as, or allowed to feel themselves to be 
fulfilling only a passive or receptive role in the 
Meeting. Only those who have themselves 
‘talked’ in a Meeting, in which boys and girls 
were giving them all their spiritual support, 
can have an adequate idea of the vital part which 
these ardent young spirits can play in this quest 
for God and His strength and goodness and 
beauty and truth. 


My Outlook upon Religion 

in My Life 


T o give this outlook in so many words is an 
almost impossible task, for I must confess 
that even at my present age I have not 
regarded the position seriously, or really had 
need to do so. I have often spent time consider¬ 
ing what religion is, and how it can help me, but 
my investigations have rarely prospered, and in 
the few moments of true enlightenment that I 
have had, the scientific side of my character 
and the realist in me have asserted themselves, 
and my glimpse of true realism has been 
destroyed by what is probably a false sentiment. 
For when viewed carefully and analysed, what 
I call my realism is not realism but a shallow 
obstinacy, backed only by the most slender 
arguments. 

In spite of this outlook I used to feel strongly, 
and even do now, only to a lesser degree, a 
distinct feeling of being uncomfortable and 
angered when anyone spoke of God or religion 
in a critical or a blasphemous way. I felt this, 
although it could not be said I was a religious 
boy or one who kept the ideals of his religion 
in any marked manner. Somewhere, and at 
some time, I must have had impressed upon 
me the awful holiness of God, as portrayed in 
the Old Testament. I can remember no such 
happening, but there is that innate dislike and 
fear of laying open the heart of the religion to 
which I belong, and it is only beginning to 
disappear as I grow older. 

Although both my grandfathers were in the 
Church, my immediate religious upbringing 
was certainly not strict, and my attendance at 
Church was entirely voluntary. Being somewhat 
of a sentimentalist, the Church services always 
used to impress me, and the sacredness of the 
spot always gave me a feeling of comfort and 
confidence. Yet to-day, attending the Quaker 
Meeting, I can regain those same sensations, 
but in a more marked degree, as there is absent 
the one thing I really disliked in the Church 
service, the immediate continuity of the 
various parts of the service. I could have no 


time to think upon what I was doing, upon 
what was said, or upon what I felt, and this I 
often found distressing. So, although at first 
I had rather too much of the opposite, or so I 
then thought, I now enjoy and profit by the 
silence of the Meeting more than any other 
form of worship I have attended. It is true my 
thoughts very often stray from those connected 
with religion, but it is the feeling of the Meeting 
and my own occasional strivings which are 
better than automatic chanting of hymns and 
Te Deums. But as yet I cannot truthfully say 
that I have included God in all departments 
of my life, in fact I have done so in very few, 
but I have always had the capability of praying 
with absolute seriousness and with real belief 
in what I am saying. 

From a Boy at a Friends School 


ST. CHRISTOPHER’S 

College, Blackheath, S.E.3 

Training College for Teachers 
of the Christian Faith 

The 6th annual Vacation Course on the Teach¬ 
ing of Religion in Schools, will be held from 

JULY 31st—AUGUST 7th, 1937 

The programme includes lectures on 
subject matter and on theory and 
method of religious teaching, together 
with opportunities for conference and 
group discussions. 

The lecturing staff consists of : — 
Professor A. A. Cock, The Rev. Dr. 

J. K. Mosley, The Rev. J. R. Coates, 

P. A. Tharp, Esq., Deaconess Dorothy 
Batho, Miss C. R. Newby, Principal 
of the College, and members of the 
regular staff of the College. 

FEE - X\ guineas 

FURTHER PARTICULARS FROM THE SECRETARY 


77 









The Practice of Self-Direction 


Adelaide Gardner 

E astern psychology is being more 
seriously considered in the West than 
hitherto, and there are certain aspects of it 
which are now recognized to have proved their 
value both in education and in psychotherapy. 
The genuine Indian yogi has a directive control 
over his mind and emotions that enables him 
to remain imperturbable in circumstances that 
would shake less disciplined persons to the 
roots. A very brief outline of the point of view 
which underlies certain eastern methods of 
training will be given here, with a few examples 
illustrating possible applications of these 
methods to ordinary western life. The point of 
view and even the exercises are by no means un¬ 
known in the West, but they have been very 
explicitly stated and examined by Eastern 
students of yoga. 

The student applying for instruction in self- 
knowledge is first trained to recognize the 
unreliability and impermanence of the senses, 
of emotion, and of automatic thinking. Along 
with this he is led to realize the existence in 
himself of a serene and permanent centre or 
point of contact with the one, universal life. 
This is termed the Self. Various religions and 
philosophies give different 
explanations of this Self 
or Spiritual Ego. Bud¬ 
dhism sees it as an ever- 
changing bundle of capa¬ 
cities and hence terms it 
unreal, impermanent, 
whereas the teaching of the 
Vedanta is that the human 
Self is a fragment of the 
Divine Self, as some might 
say a tiny particle of God, 
or in purely Christian 
terms, a child of the 
Father. 

However it may be de¬ 
scribed, it functions in the 
individual as the link be¬ 
tween reality and transient 
experience, and the human 


being who can in waking consciousness realize its 
nature and capacities becomes at once creative 
and able to control his thought and feeling and 
hence his actions, without the usual dependence 
upon stimuli from his environment. 

The third factor in the practices we are j 
about to describe is the deliberate use of 
repeated choice or volition, to select those 
elements of thought, feeling and action which: 
are known to conduce to harmony and genuine 
happiness, which are indeed considered to be 
desirable building material for future ex¬ 
perience. These are cultivated as one would I 
cultivate the capacity to speak a new' language: 
—by study, practice and repeated effort along 
given lines. 

Let us now enlarge a little on these points and 
see where they touch upon western teaching and 
experience. Analytical psychology has done 
much to bring to the West a realization of the 
capacity of both senses and feelings to distort 
the facts of experience. It has also shown us that 
once the mind has registered a group of asso¬ 
ciated experiences (in Rivers’ terms, once a con¬ 
ditioned reflex has been established), there is a 
marked tendency to prejudge any further 

experience at all asso¬ 
ciated with what has 
passed, and to project into 
it the already active feeling 
tone of the first group. 
Hence we like certain 
music because we have 
been happy when hearing 
it, and we don’t want it 
criticized: only a conscious 
critical effort of analysis 
or a re-education of taste 
will make us hear it as 
sentimental and trivial. 

Such automatic reac¬ 
tions of mind and feeling, 
as well as the automatic 
tensions of the body, are 
clearly understood by the 
Eastern yogi, but he views 


(1) The student applying for in¬ 
struction in self-knowledge is first 
trained to recognize the unreliability 
and impermanence of the senses, of 
emotion, and of automatic thinking. 
Along with this he is led to realize 
the existence in himself of a serene 
and permanent centre or point of 
contact with the one universal life. 

(2) There is to-day an increasing 
number of people who feel that the 
only freedom worth having is that 
which permits the Self to express its 
creative vision through the higher 
faculties of the individual. What are 
these higher faculties? Is it not pos¬ 
sible that the root of them all lies 
in a certain disciplined capacity, to 
act selectively, by deliberate and 
discriminating choice, made in full 
awareness of one’s social responsi¬ 
bilities? 


78 



I larch 1937 THE PRACTICE OF 

pern very differently from the ordinary 
Western analyst, and his methods of freeing 
himself from the restrictions they impose are 
fvidely different. To the yogi they are indeed 
obstructions to the free play of the creative 
spirit, but he does not adopt the materialistic 
new of the creative impulse, nor see it merely 
is a physical function; rather it is creative 
ntelligence, with the creative use of volition in 
"egard to thought, feeling and physical be- 
laviour as its most immediate human expres¬ 
sion. Merely to enjoy certain automatic nervous 
releases due to physical sex experience seems to 
:iim in no sense a full expression of psychologi¬ 
cal freedom. To him freedom may be said to be 
ichieved only when a man can deliberately 
Release his creative energies at any level —• 
rreating with the mind, regenerating and 
reorienting emotion, or doing physical creative 
vork at will and when he chooses. Obviously 
such an ideal of freedom is to be achieved only 
through careful training. It is an art, the art of 
living in constant self-awareness and with an 
Assured sense of self-mastery. 

The student who is being trained on these 
lines, when he reviews his automatic reactions, 
considers them always in the light of that 
Doint or centre in himself where volition func¬ 
tions, and where he touches relatively perma¬ 
nent values. He links the study of instinctual 
reactions to the practice of self-direction, and 
continually evokes from the Self its powers, 
particularly that power of interior self-change 
•which we term the will or choice. 

In the West to-day the will is very little con¬ 
sidered because it has been almost hopelessly 
confused with desire and impulse. Protessor 
Aveling 1 has, however, clarified the question and 
the Personalists have stated a theory of the 
Self, with the will as one of its powers, which 
very closely approximates the point of view of 
the Vedanist school. Professor Aveling’s work 
is based on years of experiment in psychological 
laboratories and upon some thousands of 
records of introspection on the act of choice. 
He distinguishes at least three levels of choice: 
(1) the automatic or heavily conditioned, which 
might easily be called impulsive; (2) a state of 
awareness of motivation during choice, where 

1 See Personality and the Will, by Professor Aveling. Published 
by Cambridge University Press. 


SELF-DIRECTION yp 

the mind wavers between reasons for and 
against; and (3) a deeply interior act so subtle 
that it fails to register on any psycho-galvano¬ 
meter. This latter act is described by many of 
those experimenting as ‘cold’ choice. It is a true 
act of will, of volition. Whatever the Self may 
be, and neither East nor West agree within 
themselves upon this matter — both the Per¬ 
sonalists and many schools of eastern psycho¬ 
logy regard this act of interior self-change, pure 
cold willing, as an activity of the Self and a 
manifestation of its independence from the 
automatic levels of consciousness. 2 

When one comes to consider the problem of 
control of mind and feeling, the importance of 
having some understanding of volition is 
evident. The Western analyst has done his 
best to get along without it and to try to con¬ 
vince us that just by re-living past experience 
an automatic resolution will occur and leave us 
‘free’. Although frequently this does occur, it 
by no means always happens, be the past 
experience re-lived ever so vividly. Moreover 
we are beginning to query—free for what? Is it 
the best in us that benefits by instinctual free¬ 
dom? There is to-day an increasing number of 
people who feel that the only freedom worth 
having is that which permits the Self to express 
its creative vision through the higher faculties 
of the individual. What are these higher facul¬ 
ties? Is it not possible that the root of them all 
lies in a certain disciplined capacity to act 
selectively, by deliberate and discriminating 
choice, made in full awareness of one’s social 
responsibilties? 

The critic may say: ‘Oh, this is just going 
back to religious compulsion and inhibitions. 
We have outgrown that.’ But we have hy no 
means proved that the newer method makes 
men happier, nor have we yet demonstrated 
that so-called psychological freedom develops 
leaders and social workers of the stature and 
capacities that we developed in more inhibited 
and yet deeply religious periods. It is true that 
the Victorians were trained to evoke the spirit¬ 
ual will and other capacities of the Self 
largely through fear of the wrath of God, and 
this often engendered neuroses in the weak. 


2 Compare the persona of Jung, the automatic individual; in 
Jungian terms the Ego would be the Self. But Jung stresses the 
intuition as an expression of the Ego and tends to ignore the will. 











THE NEW ERA 


8o 

But in the strong it did at least give to the 
individual self-reliance, integrity of purpose, 
and other qualities that are evoked by success¬ 
ful disciplined effort along lines determined 
beforehand. Those who learn deliberately and 
for good reason to act contrary to impulse, 
awaken the innately human power of self- 
direction, or deliberate choice. The Victorians 
and Puritans may be criticized for imposing 
such discipline through fear, but they bred 
many vigorous and competent people. Is it 
not possible to-day to find a discipline that we 
can use which, by awakening in us our capacity 
to delete automatic habit and replace it with a 
chosen line of behaviour, will evoke again the 
finer powers of human nature? But now it must 
be followed not through fear but through desire 
to attain genuine creative freedom at all levels, 
and from the need for a deeper self-respect. 3 

Let us then consider a few examples of such 
disciplinary practices as one can readily adapt 
to modern Western life, and which the Eastern 
students of yoga state to be effective for evoking 
the higher capacities and faculties of human 
beings. 

The first is a conscious questioning of one’s 
motives, particularly the study and question¬ 
ing of impulsive actions and hasty speech. An 
attitude of challenging regard is to be taken 
towards such behaviour, particularly when 
it causes pain to others or proves injudicious. 
This attitude is progressive, that is, it can be 
applied at deeper and deeper levels of con¬ 
sciousness, and acts as a self-analysis, with 
many experiences in common with analytical 
therapy. 

At the same time concentration on small 
tasks is advised, so that mind, feeling and 
action are for certain intervals of time wholly 
unified in one activity. This sort of unity 
occurs automatically, say, when one is dancing 
well, or when one is engrossed in a novel, but 
the student is to learn to summon such whole¬ 
hearted absorption at will, through choice, and 
through constantly recalling his mental activi¬ 
ties and feeling tone from wandering, and 
addressing both to the attitude best suited for 
the task in hand. The nature of the task is of 


3 Gerald Heard, in his recent book The Third Morality, has put 
the case for the social necessity for releasing man’s higher powers so 
brilliantly that this point is not dealt with here. 


March 193 ' 

very little importance, but it should not hav< 
too much emotional attraction or the elemen 
of discipline is lost and the training of volitior 
becomes negligible. 

The reading of certain types of books of ; 
rather abstruse nature requiring some con 
sideration and concentration is also advised 
Even if the mind is bored or lacks comprehen¬ 
sion, the student is to persist in this study 
disciplining the mind, as it is disciplined by an) 
volitional effort, to follow the lead of the 
Thinker, the Self, and not to capitulate tc 
emotional reaction or whim.. The book sc 
studied must be of inherent value, and not 
superficial, one worthy of attention and study, 
but again the effort made is not primarily foi 
the sake of understanding the material, although 
that will incidentally result in the course ol 
time if not at first, but for the sake of putting 
the control of the mind in the hands of the Sell 
and so not leaving it always at the mercy of its 
automatic reactions, evoked by external stimuli. 

All these are exercises preliminary to and 
surrounding the central effort of meditation, a 
habit that is not much used in the West except 
in religious bodies. In the East the phrase— 
‘That a man thinks on, that he becomes’—is 
held to be literally true, hence a short period 
each day is set aside by many people, business 
men, professional workers and others, for 
brooding thought upon those virtues and 
capacities which they consider desirable to 
cultivate. The judge may meditate upon truth 
in order to evoke in himself an interior per¬ 
ception of the validity of the evidence presented 
before him. A doctor might meditate upon 
insight to perfect himself in diagnosis, and the 
educationalist upon wisdom. The method in¬ 
volves an honest awareness of one’s weaknesses, 
as we have noted above, and no false assertions 
in regard to possessing qualities which are 
actually absent. What is advised is the considera¬ 
tion of a desired quality, a deep study of its 
manifestations in others, particularly in great 
people in history who have possessed it, and a 
patient endeavour to express the quality in £ 
daily living. Such brooding meditation eachi 
day is considered the growing point of ex¬ 
perience. Study and practice follow this up, to 
build in and enrich the understanding of the 
quality and to train capacity for expression. 



March 1937 the practice of 

The study and practice should balance medita¬ 
tion, acting as tests of reality and guarding 
iagainst self-deception. 

There is no space here to deal with exercises 
more directly concerned with the emotional 
life: one may only say that the direct control of 
emotion which can arise from these practices is 
^startling to a Westerner who first experiences it. 
Emotions ‘created’ from within can be genuine 
;and sincere and lasting, hut the technique is too 
complicated to be more than touched upon in 
a short article. 4 

4 See Chapter XIII. Yoga and Western Psychology, by Coster. 
Oxford University Press. 


SELF-DIRECTION 81 

The value of this technique may he debated 
by educationists who believe in psychological 
freedom as a panacea. But there are many, as we 
have said, who have begun to realize that 
freedom has a wide variation of meaning and is 
by no means the only condition necessary for 
a sound education. Self-direction will one day 
again come into its own, and some of the above 
very old and time-honoured methods he 
recognized as an integral part of the curriculum 
of the ultra-modern school. But the educator 
who would use them effectively will find it 
essential to experiment with them first upon 
himself. 


Religious Education 

in Early Childhood 

J. W. D. Smith 


T he essence of religion is to be found in the 
relationship of the individual personality 
to God. And this relationship is at the same 
time a relationship to one’s fellows. What is the 
nature of it? Love is the word we use to describe 
it but the term has become so sentimentalized 
that it may fail to convey the meaning. ‘Thou 
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, 
and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, 
and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as 
thyself’. It is a progressive relationship. Where 
there is life there must be growth. It implies a 
gradual abandonment of ego-centricity in every 
form, the substitution of the spirit of love and 
self-giving for the spirit of selfishness and fear. 
It means finding life by losing it. ‘Thou hast 
made us for Thyself and our hearts are restless 
until they find rest in Thee’. 

There is much in common between the 
teaching of religion and the teaching of the 
psychology of personality. Both are concerned 
with the restless tension and conflict in the 
human soul. Both are aware that fear and ego- 
centricity are the enemies of freedom and ful¬ 
ness of life. Both urge us to give ourselves 
freely and trustingly to life. Both stress the 
importance of achieving integration of person¬ 


ality. The language is different but the essential 
meaning is the same. Religion may seem to 
some to be negative, narrow and restrictive in 
its teaching. Such an impression commonly 
arises from a caricature of religion. And when 
religion is wisely negative the demands it makes 
are in the interests of a deeper freedom. 

Recognition of this large measure of agree¬ 
ment leads us to the first factor of importance 
in the religious education of young children. 
All that psychology teaches about the signifi¬ 
cance of parent-child relationships in early 
years has a bearing on religious development. If 
these relationships are unsatisfactory the child 
begins life at a disadvantage. His early need for 
security has not been wisely satisfied and his 
attitude to life is a false one. He constantly feels 
the need to assert or defend his own person¬ 
ality. His whole attitude is self-centred. He is 
the victim of fear. But fear is irreligious and 
ego-centricity is sin. It follows then that 
influences affecting the religious life of a man 
or woman are operative long before religious 
teaching of any kind could possibly begin. Of 
course this does not mean that the child whose 
early home environment is all that the psycholo¬ 
gist could desire will grow up a religious man 







82 the new era March 19373 


or woman. Nor does it mean that the child who 
is unwisely treated will be irreligious in later 
life. Such a suggestion would obviously be 
absurd. But it does mean that home relation¬ 
ships in those early years may lay the founda¬ 
tions of a healthy or unhealthy religious life. 

None of us can wholly escape the ‘fear- 
attitude’ in some degree. So too a religion in 
which fear and ego-centricity are entirely 
absent is a goal towards which we struggle, 
not a present possession. To the extent that 
wrong attitudes are present in the personality 
as a whole, they will colour the religious life 
also, for religion, on the human side, is ex¬ 
pressed in man’s relationship with his fellow- 
men and with the ultimate mysteries of cosmic 
reality. Thus unhealthy emotional relationships 
in early years may be responsible, in large 
measure, for that neurotic form of religion which 
begets bigotry and hypocrisy. At the least it is 
probable that children who have formed false 
attitudes in early childhood will experience a 
larger element of struggle in their religious life. 
It is true that many Christian saints have passed 
through a period of acute emotional struggle, 
with an accompanying sense of guilt and 
estrangement. But that fact should not lead us 
to regard the experience of the ‘twice-born’ 
soul as a natural or desirable element in re¬ 
ligious development. The task of the parent in 
the earliest years of child life is a spiritual 
adventure. Any mother knows the demands it 
makes on her own character and spiritual re¬ 
sources. But the significance of these early 
years for later religious development is not 
always recognized. 

If we define religion in terms of relationship 
with God is it possible to trace religious 
development back into early childhood? There 
seems little possibility of awareness of God in 
the first few years. The parents form the centre 
of the child’s world. It is in or through them 
that he finds satisfaction for his deepest needs. 
But between four and six years of age children 
begin to reach out towards a wider world. The 
parents are no longer adequate. Their know¬ 
ledge and their power are limited. There are 
forces operative in life which they cannot fully 
understand or control. When the child 
meets the fact of death for the first time he be¬ 
comes aware of his parents’ inadequacy. To 


some children this first experience of death? 
brings considerable distress. The foundations ) 
of their world are shaken. Their sense of security ? 
is threatened by the discovery that parents too: 
are mortal. Whether the experience be ac-1 
companied by marked emotional tension or not, { 
it certainly symbolizes an important stage in the ? 
child’s development. Another aspect of this j 
stage may be seen in the emergence of questions j 
about origins. The child is reaching out beyond s 
his parents, both intellectually and emotionally, j 
and seeking new foundations for his world. It is 
during this period that we may trace the be- \ 
ginnings of religious development. 

What form should religious education take i 
at this stage? In general it may be said that ! 
‘teaching’ should be incidental and should be : 
given as the need arises and as opportunity ; 
offers. Suitable stories of Jesus may be intro- i 
duced as soon as the interest in stories is well 3 
developed but they should be left to make their 1 
own impression without comment from the 
parent. A child’s growing interest in the world 
of nature should not be shortcircuited by telling 
him that it is God who makes the trees grow. 
To do so is to set his mind puzzling over the 
word God instead of feeding his sense of v/onder 
and his desire for knowledge. Nevertheless it is 
through such questions, pressed back relent¬ 
lessly by the child himself, or through the 
child’s experience of death, that parents may 
first find themselves led to speak of God. 

The real difficulty which many parents feel 
to-day arises from the uncertainty of their own 
beliefs. It is a difficulty which cannot be 
evaded. Sincerity is essential in religious educa¬ 
tion. Parents who do not believe in immortality 
obviously cannot tell their children that people 
go ‘to live with God’ when they die. It is no use 
attempting to teach something which we do not 
believe. Parents who have given up all belief in 
God, or find themselves wholly out of sympathy 
with the Christian Church, but send their 
children to Sunday School because they would 
like them ‘to get some religious teaching’ are 
deceiving themselves. Those who wish to take 
religious education seriously and are perplexed 
about their own position will find themselves 
compelled to rediscover the essentials of re¬ 
ligion for themselves as they accompany 
their children on each fresh step of their quest. 


[March 1937 religious education 

If they are wise they will prepare themselves in 
advance by reading some of the excellent 
Ipopular books on the Bible and on the Christian 
faith which are now available. 

This difficulty cannot be dealt with in a short 
article but one or two suggestions may be 
made. In the first place most of us who have 
faced the difficulty begin by being much too 
sensitive about crude conceptions of God. 
We want to avoid having children learn things 
which they will have to unlearn later. But we 
forget that children are constantly unlearning in 
the course of gaining new knowledge. The 
trouble is that childish conceptions of God and 
a crude understanding of religious truths has 
too often been allowed, or even encouraged, to 
persist into adult life. That need not happen, 
but we cannot provide children of five years 
with a conception of God appropriate to the 
outlook of an honours graduate in philosophy. 
We must be content to let children be quite 
crudely anthropomorphic in their thought of 
God and if we speak of heaven we shall find it 
impossible to prevent the small child thinking 
of it as a place. But the important thing is not 
where the child begins in his thinking but 
whether his thought grows as his knowledge 
increases. 

We shall do well at times to confess our 
ignorance. We may say that ‘some people 
believe’ this or that, but if we do not believe it 
ourselves, we must avoid pretending that we do. 
At the same time there is no need to force our 
lack of belief on the attention of children. If a 
child of five years comes home from school 
talking about angels, it is surely a little ridicu¬ 
lous to explain to him solemnly that we do not 
believe in their existence. We do not worry 
when children chat about fairies. Yet angels and 
fairies have both a symbolical significance which 
may remain with the child long after the 
accompanying intellectual content has been 
radically altered. 

The proper relation of religious teaching to 
conduct is a very important question. The 
‘good’ self and the ‘bad’ self, the ‘good’ mother 
and the ‘bad’ mother, ‘god’ and ‘devil’ are 
factors in the child’s experience from a very 
earlv age. They arise inevitably from the early 
tensions and frustrations of nursery routine. 
{Readers of Dr. Susan Isaacs’ books will be 


IN EARLY CHILDHOOD 83 

familiar with this way of expressing a fact of 
the child’s inner experience in early life.) The 
thought of God as the ‘good helper’ may there¬ 
fore be of real value in the child’s emotional and 
moral development. But care should be taken 
to avoid linking the thought of God with the 
authority of the parents in such nursery situa¬ 
tions. Nursery routine is a matter of expediencv 
not of morality. Moreover the tension of these 
situations is already sufficiently great and the 
struggle to win freedom from parental authority 
in later life is sufficiently difficult without in¬ 
creasing it by introducing a yet more powerful, 
mysterious Being in support of the parent’s 
authority. For this reason it is better to avoid 
associating moral approval and disapproval with 
the thought of God to begin with. 

What about bedtime prayers? Again it must 
be said that the idea of good and bad should not 
be introduced. The child of seven years who 
spoke of a ‘wicked man who would not say his 
prayers’ had made a most unfortunate begin¬ 
ning in the life of prayer. When religious interests 
have awakened most children will respond to 
a suggestion about bedtime prayers. But there 
should be no sense of adult pressure in the 
suggestion. To begin with some simple easily- 
remembered verse is most appropriate, but 
variations may be introduced as children grow 
older. Spontaneity may be encouraged and other 
forms may be taught. There will be times when 
the child does not want to pray. These should be 
accepted without comment. And it need hardly 
be said that a sympathetic attitude on the part 
of parents at all times is essential. 

[The theme of this article is developed more 
fully by the present writer in Psychology and 
Religion in Early Childhood 1 . Most parents who 
want practical help will find useful suggestions 
in The Scripture Lesson in the Infant School 1 
and The Sunday Kindergarten 3 although these 
are prepared for day school and Sunday school 
respectively. The attention of parents should 
also be directed to the Institute of Christian 
Education from which expert guidance on the 
whole field of religious education may be 
obtained.] 


land 2 S.C.M. Press: 2 s. 6 d. 
3 C. of E. S.S.I. 






A Venture in Religious 

Education 


H. W. Howe 

R eligion being the art of enjoying the fulness 
of life, or, if you like, ‘man’s total reaction to 
experience’, one may well hesitate to claim 
that any instrument of teaching might lead boys 
and girls to assimilate their experience, that, in 
the words of the collect, their ‘hearts may surely 
there be fixed where true joys are to be found’. 
I had always winced a little at the annual 
entering of the number of periods on the 
Board’s Time Table against the symbols R.I., 
though it was somewhat of a salve to reflect 
that by taking all the periods oneself one could 
see that the instruction was not too instructive. 
But after years of courses on various parts of 
the Bible, and the quite unrelated Confirmation 
training and Sunday School teaching, for which 
I was not responsible, which numbers of my 
pupils underwent, I had been realizing more 
and more forcibly that there was a serious gap 
to be filled if we were really pretending to 
prepare boys and girls for life. 

The need was recently expressed by Professor 
Raven, when, in complimenting headmasters 
on their good work in preparing boys physi¬ 
cally, mentally and morally, he stressed the 
absence of adequate education of that side of 
the personality that centres round the affections 
and the life of fellowship and all that it implies. 
I had no doubt that we were touching the 
fringe of the problem most nearly in our Vlth 
Form periods, whether discussing the Bible, or 
Art or Poetry. But it all seemed unrelated to 
the more specifically religious training that 
some were receiving, or had received, from their 
pastors, and it was not touching those below 
the Vlth. 

It so happened that three years ago a special 
opportunity arose through the coincidence of 
three factors, a particularly thoughtful Vlth 
Form, a set of Confirmation candidates whose 
preparation had to be entrusted to an inexperi¬ 
enced, diffident and therefore enlightened 


Headmaster of Keswick School 

curate, and a headboy of quite outstanding 
discernment. I decided to invite any boy or girl 
in the top three forms to attend a meeting at 
which we would explore the possibilities of 
starting a group for religious discussion. About 
25 boys and girls responded, a number that has 
remained fairly constant, though the girls have 
always been in a large majority : apparently it 
still requires more courage on the part of a boy 
to acknowledge an interest in religious matters. 
It would be interesting to know whether it is 
the general experience that the girl is as little 
susceptible to the ‘pi’ complex as she is to the 
‘swot’ complex, two bugbears which still seem 
to affect the average boy all too deeply. 

I have always left the restarting of the meet¬ 
ings in October to members’ initiative (meet¬ 
ings were not found practicable in the summer), 
and there has so far been no failing off in 
interest, though the meetings, lasting ij hours, 
occupy the only free evening in the week. 
From the start the direction of the course has 
been left as far as possible to the decision of the 
meeting, though after the first two terms I 
worked out a tentative syllabus which has 
proved an adequate guide for discussion up to 
date. At the end of the first term the group had 
to face the sudden loss of the headboy who had 
been its moving spirit and most brilliant 
contributor. How far its vitality has been due 
to a desire to perpetuate his memory and to 
keep his personality alive amongst us, I cannot 
say : the group took on the more permanent 
form of a society known as the Eubians, a title 
which both incorporated his initials and was 
indicative of the Good Life in which all effective 
religion is expressed. 

An important factor is the room in which the 
meetings are held : ideally it should be small 
enough to preserve an air of intimacy and home¬ 
liness and large enough to enable the whole party 
to get together and to split up into sections 



March 1937 a venture in rel 

Kvhich can discuss more or less in private. A 
large room with a hre and with bays at the sides 
would be most suitable. We meet in a comfort¬ 
able drawing-room and use an adjoining room 
for one sectional discussion. A series of from 5 
to 8 questions are issued to each member a day 
beforehand, together with a few quotations or 
explanations, and perhaps followed by sugges¬ 
tions for reading, from the Bible or elsewhere. 
‘The Spirit of Man’ has provided many useful 
passages ; most of the members possess copies. 

After the subject for discussion has been 
introduced and connected with the previous 
week’s findings, the society breaks up into 
three or four groups (whose members remain 
constant as far as possible) of from 5 to 7 
members, including in some cases an adult 
leader, and spend the next 45 minutes or more 
discussing any or all of the questions. The 
senior members of the Vlth prefer to be left 
alone, though they sometimes admit one of 
the adults. I often wish more of the Staff 
could be present, but the members always prefer 
to limit the number of adults (only two of whom 
are in fact on the Staff) to 5, and essentially 
they are right. If there w 7 ere more they might 
easily monopolize discussion and there would 
be difficulty in training them to be listeners 
rather than instructors. The technique, of 
course, consists in sitting back as patiently as 
possible, and, with the youngest and least 
articulate groups, of fertilizing the ground and 
bringing up new aspects of the subject until a 
side of it appears which makes contact with 
their own experience. Sometimes a written 
answer from all the members of the group 
simultaneously is the only way to avoid carrying 
‘passengers’ : it is essential that everyone should 
feel that any personal experience, anything 
sincerely felt, is grist to our mill and may 
contain the real grain. 

There is one reporter, sometimes more, in 
each group, each member taking a turn. The 
last twenty minutes are spent in pooling the 
findings of the various groups. Reports seldom 
do justice to the interplay of mind on mind, but 
it is often surprising to the framer of the 
questions to see how widely and deeply they 
have been taken by the collective approach. 
Particular misconceptions are dealt with on the 
spot. Written reports are sent in during the 


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truly golden countryside. 

Cooks announce a special Easter departure of the 

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Illustrated folder showing detailed itinerary 
and any other information free on request from 

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week and sometimes every member is asked to 
submit a written question or answer. A hand¬ 
shake on leaving is the only piece of ritual and 
serves to symbolize the fellowship and friendly 
equality of the meetings. 

The following is a brief account of the sub¬ 
jects discussed. The order might well have been 
varied and another time a different starting 
point might be preferred. We started with our¬ 
selves. I will give the first list of questions 
(which proved too numerous for one meeting). 

‘THE SPIRIT PERSONALITY AS BODY, MIND, 
HEART AND SPIRIT’ 

i. In your own experience distinguish 
activities in which one, more than one, all, 
aspects of the personality are concerned. 2. 
Is the spirit as real a part of us as the mind 
or the heart ? 3. To which parts of you do 
Music, Art, Poetry chiefly appeal ? 4. ‘The 
Spirit warreth against the flesh.’ Is this true 
in your own experience ? 5. ‘The things that 
are seen are temporal,’ etc. Can you suggest 
any reason for thinking that the spiritual 
world is the real world ? 6. Suggest any 
quotation from poetry which helps to make 




THE NEW ERA 


86 

the spirit real to you. 7. What character in 

history or fiction seems to you to be most 

perfect?’ 

This was followed by ‘What is Religion?’ 
which brought up the need for a discussion of 
symbols. Then came Morality and Religion, 
and the Nature of God ; for the latter a list of 
O.T. passages was issued to illustrate the 
revelation of God. ‘The Light of the know¬ 
ledge of the Glory of God’, the Christian 
conception of God, led up to a consideration 
of the four cardinal points of the Christian 
life : service, duty, sacrifice and love. 

At this point a syllabus was issued looking 
backward and forward over the course, entitled 
‘Notes on the Way’. Sin was discussed as 
losing the Way, and Salvation as finding it 
again. On the Atonement a talk was given by 
the curate (our first curate had left the town, 
but we were fortunate in finding a second 
equally adaptable and self-effacing). Then came 
Aids to keeping on the Way ; four meetings were 
given to Prayer, the last of which was ‘Science 
and the spiritual world’. (These meetings were 
the most fruitful of suggestions.) The Incar¬ 
nation and the sacramental view of life led to a 
consideration of the Sacraments. Christianity, 
it had been shown, can be regarded as a creed, 
a life or an institution : the three aspects were 
constantly kept in view, and it came as some¬ 
thing of a relief to descend from the heights to 
the practical problem of the Church and the 
implication of membership, our present sub¬ 
ject. After discussing problems of Sunday 
observance, church-going, the future of the 
Church, Foreign Missions, we shall come back 
naturally to the Creed and finally to the Life 


March 1937 

again, as the fruits by which our religion must 
be known and our beliefs shown to be effective. 

Such briefly has been the scope of the 
course : while no subjects have been definitely 
excluded, requests to include other religions 
have so far been discouraged on the ground that 
it is better to get to know our own religion 
before learning about others. So far there has 
been no difficulty over denominationalism. The 
basic assumption has been that there is seldom 
one definite answer to any question that is 
worth asking. This has of course tended to 
encourage the freethinker, while not, curiously 
enough, excluding the Roman Catholic. Most 
intermediate shades of thought have been repre¬ 
sented in the Society: there might be no 
problem of reunion if the churches were full 
of children. 

No originality is claimed for the experiment: 
it can perhaps now claim to have passed the 
experimental stage, which may succeed by its 
very novelty. The Society’s real value can, of 
course, only be estimated by its ultimate effect 
on the lives of its members. But whatever that 
may be, it has produced that feeling of spon¬ 
taneous growth which comes from the active 
contact of personalities at the deeper level, 
which is probably the distinguishing mark of 
any method that is worth calling education. 

[Note. The writer will be glad to send to 
anyone interested, especially if they will under¬ 
take to be critical, a copy of ‘Notes on the Way’. 
It would not be possible even in another 
article to deal adequately with the reports of 
the boys and girls, though they are the only 
material of any value.] 


THE N.E.F. TO-DAY 

THE CRISIS IN THE AUTUMN OF 1936 

In November, 1936, the New Education Fellowship had to face a serious crisis through the 
non-renewal of a Rockefeller grant (which has varied from £3,000 to £1,000 per annum in the 
past). Their non- renewal was due to the Foundation’s newly stated policy of now supporting 
only such projects as will have direct effects upon the advancement of its programme in the 
field of American education. A substantial temporary grant from another source also came to 
an end in the summer. The immediate consequence was that the greatest possible economies 
were made, staff was cut down to a minimum and a complete investigation of the whole of 
the Fellowship’s affairs was undertaken. 


tylarch 1937 THE N.E.F. TO-DAY 87 

[HE POSITION AT THE END OF 1936 

For some time the Headquarters of the Fellowship and the English Section had been run 
jogether, substantially as one unit. The first investigations showed that— 

I. On January 1st, 1937, there was a cash deficit of approximately £400. In addition to this 
£250 had been spent which should have been carried forward as the unexpired balance 
of subscriptions. 


2. On the basis of past experience the revenue for 1937 would be insufficient to cover the 
minimum running expenses. 


As a result of these conclusions a very exhaustive enquiry was held into the finances and 
jdministration of the Headquarters of the Fellowship and of the English Section. While this 
jvas in progress a beginning was made towards the administrative and financial separation of 
he two. 

"HE ENGLISH SECTION 
The English Section held several meetings and— 

1. Adopted a new and democratic Constitution, placing the control entirely in the hands 
of the members. 

2. Elected a iarge and representative Council, which in turn appointed a strong Executive 
Committee to administer the affairs of the Section. 


3. Adjusted its expenditure so that, running on a very modest basis, it can pay its way. 

After very full consideration it was decided by the Committee that— 

1. The English Section could not fulfil its proper function in education in this country 
unless it was in a position to go out into the feld with propaganda and enlist new 
members and sympathizers. 

2. That in order to do this it must add to its staff an Organizing Secretary. That the activi¬ 
ties made possible by such an appointment should lead to such an increase in membership 
as to cover the major portion of the increased cost after the end of the first year. 

3. That such an appointment, estimated to cost about £500 for the year for salary, travelling 
expenses and increased office expenses, is the best way of establishing a strong and 
self-supporting Section. 

4. That every effort should be made to raise the sum of £500, in the confident anticipation 
that this will enable the E.N.E.F. to be placed on a sound and active basis. 


'HE NEW EDUCATION FELLOWSHIP THROUGHOUT THE WORLD 
The investigation into the general affairs of the N.E.F. was even wider and in this case also 
he Constitution has been revised, placing the control in the hands of the representatives o 
he National Sections. It contains a new summary of the permanent aims of the Fellowship, 
n the following words: , r . . „ 

‘The New Education Fellowship sets out to further educational improvement and reform throughout 
the world so that every child-whatever his nationality, race, status or religion-shall be educated 
under conditions which allow of the full and harmonious development of his whole personality, and 
lead to his realizing and fulfilling his responsibilities to the community. . 

‘The New Education Fellowship does not consider education as confined to the years of instruction 
in home school or university, but as a continuous process throughout the life of every individual, 
it therefore maintains an alert and critical interest in all aspects of life and society which affect education 
and seeks to encourage those which appear favourable to its aims. 

Fuller and more detailed interpretations of the aims are made from time to time in the ligh 
>f changing conditions. Lest it should be thought that these aims are too wide or too general, 







88 the new era March 1937 

it should be explained that their interpretation in terms of actual practice is left to each 
National Section, in the light of its own conditions and educational requirements. 

The whole New Education Fellowship throughout the world is regarded as a single movement 
to which people belong by joining their appropriate National Section or Group, whenever 
one exists, or failing that, by joining direct to Headquarters. All members of any Section, any¬ 
where in the world, are therefore Members of the New Education Fellowship. In this way the 
old type of membership known as ‘World Fellow Membership’ ceases to exist, as it has become 
redundant. 

The Headquarters can only exist and function—now that it receives no substantial gifts or 
grants from outside sources—if all Sections will make some reasonable contribution towards 
its upkeep. It is hoped that Sections will provide the necessary costs of a central office and 
enquiry bureau; so far the response has been encouraging—but many distant Sections have 
not yet had time to reply to our communications. 

It is perfectly clear that the ordinary contributions of Sections cannot, at least for some 
years, cover the cost of more than a minimum organization. Any extended activities on the 
part of Headquarters in furthering the international work of the Fellowship must depend on 
other resources. 

At the moment the organization has been cut down so as to keep within the revenue 
anticipated during 1937. This has entailed reducing the staff to one Secretary, a young telephone 
girl and a part-time accountant. Needless to say, this is a very bare minimum; for everything 
else we must depend on volunteer work. 

THE NEED FOR MORE STAFF 

It is important that as soon as possible Headquarters should resume some of the services 
that it has been compelled to relinquish through shortage of funds and of staff. For this It is 
necessary that at least one more person, at a cost of perhaps £300 including incidental expenses 
and increased overheads, should be engaged. It is thought that in the ensuing year a substantial 
proportion of this amount would be received in the form of increased Section dues, particularly 
if the English Section, which pays 15 per cent of its revenue to Headquarters, grows success¬ 
fully. A very large amount of work is done by Headquarters for visitors from abroad, in answer¬ 
ing foreign enquiries of all kinds, in helping Sections to prepare and run their Conferences, and 
in various forms of Committee and Research work; all of these are gravely handicapped by 
staff shortage. 

DEALING WITH THE DEBT 

It is proposed to deal with the debt and the need for ordinary day to day working capital 
by trying to sell the lease of the house which the Fellowship now occupies, and to rent offices 
elsewhere. This will be sad to many who have been with the Fellowship for a long time, but it 
appears to be the only way of dealing with the present difficult position, and this cannot be 
long delayed. The amount of the cash deficit as above and the amount required for the ordinary 
working capital are about £850, and the sale of the lease should more than realize this amount 
after paying off the Bank Loan and all the incidental expenses. 

It is hoped that members and friends of the Fellowship will feel that the emergency has 
been squarely faced, and that appropriate measures have been taken to ensure the Fellowship's 
continued useful existence through any lean times that may lie ahead, while preserving a 
preparedness to spring into wider and fuller activity the moment that adequate resources 
become available. 

FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE N.E.F. 

The requirements of the N.E.F. which must be met before the extensive re-organization 


March 1937 the n.e.f. to-day 89 

which has taken, and is taking, place can meet with complete success are approximately as 
follows : 


1. Fund for salary, expenses, etc., of an Organizing Secretary for the English Section 

for one year, to widen the work and expand the membership £500 

2. Fund for rebinding books in the present extensive library, re-stocking and 

arranging, and restoring lending library service. (About double this amount 
could, of course, be spent with great advantage and without waste.) £175 

3. Fund for additional member on Headquarters staff for one year £300 

4. Fund for office equipment, including duplicator, etc. £100 

5. Fund for publishing the report of the Cheltenham Conference. (This will be 
recovered from sales and be available later for financing other publications.) £120 

6 . Fund for committee work and investigations, and the necessary secretarial work, 

postages, translating, etc., connected with them, and also to cover the cost of 
publishing consequent reports and similar topical publications £250 

7. Fund to be the nucleus of the fund for the next World Conference—in the 
meantime available for the preliminary work connected with it and other work 
in connection with foreign conferences, all of which can be repaid in due course 
out of the funds of the conferences, but has to be in use for some time as working 


capital in the Conference Fund, for salaries and other necessary expenses £500 

Total Present Capital Requirements £1,945 

Further sum urgently needed during the the next three years £1,000 

Requirements over three-year period of re-organization £2,945 


Is it too much to hope that our friends and sympathizers will enable us at once to com¬ 
mence all of these things and put our house thoroughly in order—so as to be able to face 
our important work in the future without acute financial anxiety? In any event it is most 
earnestly hoped that at least £ 1,000 will be made available very shortly, for without this no 
real progress can be made. 

While single contributions will be of great help, we are asking in particular for special 
subscriptions for three years to cover the full period of re-organization. 

Support given to the Fellowship now will all be applied to making it fully active, yet financially 
sound and self-supporting at the earliest possible moment. 

While the fellowhip has many financial needs, at present there are two of particular import¬ 
ance: one is for more members, so as to widen its sphere of work and influence; the other 
is for the greatest possible measure of actual support and interest on the part of its present 
members, so as to make its activities full of life and significance, even if restricted by shortage 

of funds. 

W. LAFFAN, 


Hon. Treasurer, N.E.F. and E.N.E.F. 





Europe and America 


- L’AVENIR-- 

HOME-ECOLE NOUVELLE 

An open-air mountain school for boys and girls, where 
modern methods in education are combined with the 
advantages of family life. 

Camping. Winter Sport. Altitude 4 , 100 ft. 

John Hamshere, M.Sc., Ph.D., Cambridge. 
(Jermaine Hamshere, Infirmiere dipl., Lausanne 

CHESIERES SUR OLLON, SWITZERLAND 


CHILD EDUCATION FOUNDATION 

TRAINING 

SCHOOL 


for teachers of the 


NURSERY AND PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILD 

A Day School and Residence 


535 EAST 84th STREET 

NEW YORK 

Anna Eva McLin, Director 



THE J 

\ A co-educational, 
t progressive school, 

NORTH SHORE \ 

) for pupils of all ages 

COUNTRY DAY ( 

\ from Kindergarten 

SCHOOL \ 

^ to College. 


^ Headmaster 

Winnetka , Illinois ( 

^ Perry Dunlap Smith 


Edgewood, Greenwich, Connecticut. 
A Boarding and Day School for Boys and 
Girls from Kindergarten to College. Twenty- 
acre campus, athletic field, skating, ski-ing, 
tennis and all outdoor sports. Teachers’ 

Training Course. Illustrated Catalogue describes 
activities and progressive aim. 

E. E. LANGLEY, Principal, 201 Rockridge 


SCHOOL AT HOME 

Adapted to your child through a flexible program and 
self-instructive materials. Educational opportunities of the 
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Address: The Director, THE WINNETKA 
EXTENSION SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN 
Horace Mann School, Winnetka, Illinois 


Directory of Training Centres 


THE TRIANGLE : SECRETARIAL TRAINING 
COLLEGE. (Founded 1910). Individual tuition 
and personal interest are outstanding features of 
this training. 59, 60, 61 and 7 (Annex) South 
Molton Street, London, W.i. May. 5306 (3 lines). 


STAFF APPOINTMENTS DEPARTMENT. 
Well-qualified women staff available. Special details 
given of candidates interviewed, on request. 

ADVISORY DEPARTMENT. 

First-hand information given to parents, free of 
charge, on schools and trainings. 

CICELY C. WRIGHT, Ltd., 

50 Great Russell Street, W.C.i. Holborn 9984. 


ST. GODRIC’S SECRETARIAL COLLEGE 

18 ARKWRIGHT ROAD, HAMPSTEAD, N.W.3. 
Principals: Mrs. Warren Loveridge, B.A., Mrs. 
E. E. R. Thorp, M.A.(Cantab.), assisted by a dis¬ 
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Posts offering scope and suited to their individual in¬ 
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available. Residential hostel. Moderate fees. 


DRAMA COURSES. Play Production and Acting, 
held continuously at EVERYMAN THEATRE, 
HAMPSTEAD, and BATH. Schools visited. Crea¬ 
tive work. Self-expression. STAGE COSTUMES. 
Scenery loaned. Fees moderate. Apply CITIZEN 
HOUSE, BATH. 


Vll 






























THE NEW ERA 

IN HOME AND SCHOOL 


Co-Education: Some Psycho- 

Analytical Considerations 

Barbara Low 


T he findings of Psycho-Analysis — the 
greatest scientific discovery of our age in 
all probability — have affected man’s whole 
autlook in every direction of human thought, 
and not least in the sphere of child-training and 
child-education. Yet the educational world has 
remained, if not definitely hostile, largely 
indifferent to this new knowledge, justifying 
the charge brought by Freud against mankind 
in general: ‘A psychological attitude of mind is 
still foreign to you, and you are accustomed to 
regard it with surprise and to deny it a scientific 
status.’ But if we are to achieve anything in the 
nature of a science of education, then clearly 
Lve must studv and understand the human 
material with which we are dealing in its 
entirety — and this concerns teacher as well as 
:aught. Only through knowledge of the 
unconscious life, so hidden and so dynamic in 
ts influence, can we hope to arrive at any true 
nasis on which to found a theory and practice 
ff education. We fumble in the dark so long 
as we take into consideration only the manifest 
:onscious life of the individual, and it is owing 
:o this limited vision that educators too often 
arrive at falsely simplified and distorted 
pictures of the problems with which they are 
dealing. 

The problem under discussion at the 
moment — that of Co-education — is one that 


has given rise to some of the greatest miscon¬ 
ceptions, owing to the very nature of its 
implications. Let me say at once that on this 
matter Psycho-analysis has no ready-made 
solutions to offer (perhaps one of its most 
valuable teachings is that there are no 
ready-made solutions), nor does it hold any 
brief for or against co-education. It is not our 
business, as scientists, to hold briefs for this or 
that particular doctrine, but rather to aim at 
discovering the facts involved in any problem 
under review. Nor it is possible in this short 
article to expound in detail those facts, often 
very intricate. I can merely make statements, 
which are conclusions based on a long and 
profound study of the human mind begun by 
Freud himself and carried on by his fellow- 
workers. 

One of the first considerations we have to 
keep in mind is the very different fate which the 
impulse-life experiences in male and female, a 
fact created partly from the differing biological 
construction of the two sexes, partly from the 
differing relationship of girl and boy respec¬ 
tively to the parents. 

In both sexes we realize the immensely 
dynamic influence of the castration-complex 
with all its ramifications, but we also have to 
note the very different effect on the two sexes 
respectively. Perhaps, however, it will be well 









THE NEW ERA 


9 2 

to explain a little more fully, before going 
further, the term ‘castration-complex’. Its full 
significance is far too wide and too multifarious 
to deal with in a few words, but it can be said 
briefly that the situation (to be found to some 
degree in every human being) denoted by this 
term implies an unconscious sense of guilt 
connected with the sexual organs and their 
pleasurable functioning (most directly con¬ 
cerned with some form or other of mastur¬ 
bation) and with emotions directed against 
the parents’ sexual activities. This guilt-sense 
manifests itself on the conscious level, in both 
child and adult, through numerous forms of 
anxiety, such as a feeling that the sex-organs 
are defective or weak, that the individual is 
physically ill-developed or lacking in some 
respect, that mental power is below par, that 
he (or she) has no will-power, no power to 
love nor to win love. 

These are some of the commonest difficulties 
which evolve from the castration-fear, a fear 
which can most profoundly mould and influence 
the whole external and inner life. Psycho¬ 
analytic researches have shown that some 
amount of this fear is to be found in every 
human being since it is inevitably bound up 
with the Oedipus situation, and only through a 
satisfactory resolving of this can the castration- 
fears cease to inhibit sexual, emotional and 
mental development. If the guilt-feeling is too 
great to allow of tolerable adjustment, castra¬ 
tion-fears may dominate, and frustrate, the 
love-life and satisfactory mental development. 
Thus many a man is debarred from making a 
satisfying love-relationship owing to castration 
fear (he himself will produce ‘logical reasons’, 
or what has been termed rationalizations, 
to satisfy conscious needs, since he is all 
unconscious of the deeper forces at work in 
him). Or a woman experiences such jealousy of 
male achievements that she can form no 
satisfactory attachment or relation to any 
man—lover, father, or brother. Again both 
men and women, however gifted and capable, 
may be unable to initiate or carry through any 
constructive work owing to timidity and fore¬ 
bodings of inevitable failure, all these are 
forms of severe castration-anxiety. 

It may here be objected that I am describing 
‘neurotic’ cases, but it must be borne in mind 


April 1937 

that the neurotic is only a more extreme 
example of the so-called ‘normal’ individual, 
and by no means always especially extreme. In 
the normal individual, the same problems 
present themselves though with less intensity 
and therefore less influentially. 

If we trace the more usual course of develop¬ 
ment of the castration-complex we shall find 
that the woman generally resolves it into some 
tolerable aspect by her compensatory speci¬ 
fically feminine functions which operate either 
directly through child-bearing, or indirectly 
through home-making, child-tending, or in 
kindred occupations. Whereas in the case of the 
male, the castration-complex is more commonly 
resolved — at least to a fair degree — by the 
achievement of work (the more creative, the 
more it can symbolize the return of the lost 
possession) which shall stand as his distinctive 
contribution. 

Let us see how T these facts may affect the 
co-educational ideal, which posits the same 
capacities in both sexes, calling for an identical 
training, a pursuit of the same activities mental 
and physical, and a common goal for intellec¬ 
tual, sexual, and emotional development. It 
may well be that for the woman such parallelism 
and competition with the male will make her 
castration-complex still more difficult to resolve, 
since the ideals set before her tend to turn her 
from the achievements which her instinctive 
impulses demand (however much these are 
overlaid by conscious ideals) and make desirable 
in their stead the man’s achievements, thus 
reinforcing the unconscious sense of inferiority 
and loss. The latter often shows itself in 
hostility to what she considers is an unfair and 
tyrannous man-made world, with an almost 
vindictive desire to outshine the man on his 
own ground (so patent in some feminist 
attitudes) or in a very opposite direction — into 
an excessive self-depreciation. As a result her 
hostility to, and rivalry with, the man, may 
increase in the unconscious and render still 
more unattainable her true feminine sublima¬ 
tion — the only genuinely satisfying one for her. 

If we turn to the man, we may find that by 
taking from him the opportunity for this 
specific and distinctive creative act — something 
exclusively his own — in the sublimated form of 
work or sport, so that he must share it with 


April 1937 

the woman or even see her outstrip him in the 
same sphere, his adjustment may be a matter of 
much greater difficulty, even an impossibility. 
The results I have just referred to will not 
necessarily occur, but are all possible and are 
to be found perpetually, and therefore it 
behoves us to take all such possibilities into 
account. What is amply apparent is that the 
vital fact of the castration-complex cannot be 
ignored in any genuine consideration of the 
pros and cons of co-education. 

When we turn to the more specific sexual 
elements, we find many complexities. A very 
common theory among those who favour co¬ 
education is that the sexual element is con¬ 
spicuous by its absence in properly conducted 
co-educational schools, and replaced by a 
frank ‘camaraderie’. From the deeper know¬ 
ledge gained by psycho-analytical research, two 
criticisms arise. In the first place our fuller 
understanding of sexual impulses and their 
development shows that such a state of affairs 
can rarely be true; in the second place, if it 
could become true it would result in a very 
disadvantageous situation for both male and 
female. 

As we now 7 see from intensive study of the 
human being, the sexual impulses can be 
diverted, suppressed or sublimated, but never 
extinguished. If the apparent (that is, the 
manifest) relationship between the pupils 
show r s absence of sexual feeling, as it frequently 
does, we are forced to believe that one of the 
processes I have mentioned above has taken 
place. If diversion of the impulse, then this is 
mere side-tracking and effects nothing radical: 
w r e are left with either repression or sublimation 
to account for the seeming absence of sexual 
emotions, which might be expected to be 
approaching their zenith with adolescence, 
certainly in its later stages. But a complete and 
true sublimation is hardly to be believed 
possible at this stage, since it could only occur 
through a transference from the sexual to the 
non-sexual of so wffiolesale a nature that it must 
involve a high degree of repression. The 
attempt at sublimation, made unconsciously by 
the individual, and strengthened by the ideal 
of the educators, can only very partially 
succeed, and the unsublimated residue, follow¬ 
ing the usual process gets disguised as 


93 

indifference, neutrality or ‘safe’ comradeship. 

A further factor in producing such an 
appearance is the situation, provided in earlv 
adolescence, in which the child tends to turn 
aw r ay from the opposite sex towards his or her 
own sex. This is very well-known to most 
teachers, but since they have not real under- 
standing of the matter, they do not realize its 
implications. At such a stage of development 
co-education is doing violence to the child’s 
instinctive impulses: either the opposite sex is 
ignored, although nominally co-education is 
carried out, or the child is dominated by the 
ideal of authority, which he has made his own, 
and appears to accept the situation, but it may 
be a false ‘acceptance’, underneath which a 
quite antagonist attitude may flourish. It seems 
likely that up to the age of seven or eight co¬ 
education is a desirable system: after that we 
have no certainty and only further investigation 
of the deeper problems involved, one or two 
of which I have touched upon here, can entitle 
us to definite pronouncements either for or 
against. 

Yet another most important question con¬ 
nected w T ith co-education relates to the difference 
in the mental processes of male and female. 
There can be little doubt that in the sphere of 
intellectual functioning the woman has shown 
herself capable of reaching (sometimes sur¬ 
passing) man’s achievements: there is much 
proof of this in numerous directions. But the 
question arises at what cost does she so achieve. 
We have a good deal of evidence to show 7 that 
the female mental functioning at its truest and 
best follows on the lines of bodily functioning — 
a long and slow gestation producing all sorts ol 
swift and more superficial reactions (I use the 
w r ord ‘superficial’ in its exact sense, with no 
derogatory meaning). Now it is highly 
probable that if the woman is forced to become 
the rival of the man, she will have to ‘speed up’ 
her mental mechanisms, and her own approach 
to knowdedge and experience (the only true one 
for her) may be obliged to yield to a method 
which seems to produce quick success, but in 
reality deflects her from her proper nature — a 
case of‘one man’s meat is another man’s poison’. 

It must be clearly kept in view that the 
question w 7 e have to ask and answer in judging 
systems is not, ‘What can a human being 


co-education: some psycho-analytical considerations 



THE NEW ERA 


i 


94 

achieve?’ Rather it is: ‘What is suitable and 
appropriate for a human being to aim at, 
consonant with the harmonious realization of 
his or her fullest capacity ?’ So astonishingly 
plastic is the human creature, so capable of 
adaptation to a pattern which has become an 
ideal, and so fitted with disguise mechanisms, 
that we cannot arrive at understanding merely 
by observing one or other of the facets presented 
at a given moment. 

I should like to turn for a moment to the 
staff of the co-educational school, to enquire 
how far this system fits their needs. Here it 
would seem we get a favourable picture, both 
for teachers and taught. In the first place, since 
the mingling of the sexes may create a more 
healthy condition than the one-sex staff, we 
can expect a favourable reaction from this fact 
alone, on the pupils, and the ‘atmosphere’ in 
which an individual, especially an immature 
person, must live and grow, is an all-important 
factor in his development. Secondly, the 
mixed staff will afford an outlet for the pupils 


April 1937 

towards the opposite sex, a desirable outlet, 
provided the teachers can deal with it satisfac¬ 
torily, helping towards a more developed 
emotional life later on. 

This opens up the whole question of the 
teacher’s own emotional development with its 
effect on his or her work and influence, too 
large a subject to enter upon here, but obviously 
one which plays as important a part in the 
co-educational school as in the one-sex staffed 
school. 

It will be clear that I have touched upon a 
very few of the issues involved in my subject, 
but I hope that I have given at least an indica¬ 
tion of the problems to be tackled if one is 
approaching the matter in any serious spirit. 

If we can withhold too hasty verdicts of 
praise or blame, if rather we can act as ‘field’ 
workers in opening up the ground in as many 
directions as possible with patient observation, 
then we shall begin to serve the cause of 
Educational Reform in a genuine scientific 
spirit. 


Co-Education 

A Psychologist’s reply to a Psychologist’s criticisms 

Laura Hutton, B.A., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P. 


A t a recent discussion among psychologists 
and educationists someone said that in 
his view the chief point about co-educa¬ 
tion was that it offered greater opportunities ,both 
for good and for evil. That seems to me to sum 
up the matter better than many arguments of 
greater elaboration, and brings us straight to 
the heart of the problem. 

These increased opportunities are chiefly 
connected with matters concerning personal 
relationships, for which co-education obviously 
offers a wider freedom of movement and choice, 
and contemplation of this wider freedom 
unfortunately tends to arouse in many people 
a certain anxiety. They cannot see the adolescent 
young in free proximity without experiencing 
this anxiety, and it is this which is ultimately 
the source of most of the arguments against 


Physician, Institute of Medical Psychology 

co-education. Co-education before puberty is 
scarcely regarded as a problem; it is accepted 
as a matter of course. 

Fundamentally this anxiety represents the 
age-old reluctance of the adult to permit sexual 
experience to the young, though this actual 
argument may never appear openly on the field 
of discussion. If it could be allayed, most of the 
criticism of co-education would go with it. 

The only really valid criticism of a co¬ 
educational system seems to me the practical 
one, that, as the adult lives of the majority of 
men and women differ inevitably, in function 
and opportunity, so the education, and especially 
the later education, of the boy and the girl 
should be modified with this fact in view r , and 
thus actual class co-education throughout the 
whole of school life should not be aimed at. 


April 1937 

But because girls should be taught something 
of house- and mother-craft, and boys certain 
skills and theories which concern the 
family supporter, there is no need to separate 
the sexes throughout school life, and much 
may be gained through the experience of 
companionship in work and interests when 
boys and girls learn together those subjects 
which form the basis of literacy and culture. 

It has been suggested that to educate girls 
with boys will not result in greater mutual 
respect and understanding between the sexes, 
but rather that the sense of inferiority to boys, 
which many girls harbour, consciously or 
unconsciously, as a result of environmental 
influences—boys being more valued than girls 
in the family community — or of bodily 
differences, will be intensified by the enforced 
companionship and competition with boys in a 
co-educational school. I think there are two 
answers to this argument. 

In the first place, as regards the bodily 
difference, though, as the psycho-analysts tell 
us, many girls harbour deep in their unconscious 
minds a conviction, gained in their earliest 
years, that they have been robbed of the organ 
which boys possess and they lack, by no means 
all of them persist in this unconscious belief. 
The psychological development of the girl is a 
complicated affair, involving deep conflicts and 
repressions, but it does not always fail, as some 
psycho-analysts would seem almost to believe. 
Womanhood is surely accepted and valued by 
many girls who later become the well-adjusted 
and happy mothers of the next generation. 
Moreover, any psychotherapist knows that the 
‘penis envy’ of the little girl is only too 
frequently matched by what one may call the 
‘womb envy’ of little boys, some of whom 
openly express their chagrin at not being able 
to have babies. So that it might be suggested 
that co-education will intensify the inferiority¬ 
feeling of boys quite as much as that of girls! 

In the second place, there is a stage in child¬ 
hood, in pre-puberty and very early adolescence, 
when girls are ahead of boys , mentally and even 
physically in some respects. Moreover, through¬ 
out childhood and adolescence the girl, owing 
to the complicated struggles and repressions 
(unconscious) of her earliest psychological 
development, tends to have a more compelling 


95 

super-ego (ego-ideal) than the boy, by which 
she is driven to greater efforts to concentrate 
and achieve in school work. Both these factors 
will be at work in a co-educational school (as 
the latter characteristically is in co-educa¬ 
tional colleges) to cancel out any inferiority- 
feelings of girls, the intensification of which 
is surmised by some critics of co-education. 

Another criticism, based on psychology, of a 
co-educational system is that, while it ostensibly 
offers greater freedom of relationship between 
the sexes, actually the effect is in the opposite 
direction. In the first place it is suggested that 
co-education brings boys and girls together 
during a natural phase of their development 
when their own inclinations are towards 
members of their own sex, and that co-educa¬ 
tion will complicate and hinder a necessary 
phase in psychological growth. This assumption 
of an inevitable ‘homosexual phase’ seems to 
me questionable. Boys and girls certainly pass 
through a ‘gang’ stage, the gangs consisting, 
with rare exceptions, of members of the same 
sex. This ‘gang’ phase is explicable as a 
reaction to a dim premonition of mutual 
attraction between the sexes, involving emo¬ 
tional responses and responsibilities, for which 
the child feels he or she is not yet ready. Hence 
a withdrawal from the opposite sex, and a 
mutual strengthening of defence by alliance 
in the gang or set. To some extent this defensive 
alliance persists throughout adolescence, and 
is probably as characteristic of the co-educa¬ 
tional school as it is of the streets. 

As to a ‘homosexual phase’ in a narrower and 
more personal sense, my impression is that 
intense homosexual attachments are largely a 
product of the homosexually segregated 
boarding-school system. In this case, except in 
a minority of pathological cases, they represent 
a choice faute de mieux, no doubt unrecognized 
as such by the participants, rather than the 
expression of a normal and inevitable phase of 
psycho-sexual development. No doubt, as the 
love-life develops and expands in adolescence, 
the choice of love-object may be at first 
uncertain, owing to unconscious defences and a 
sense of unpreparedness, and romantic feeling 
may be stirred now by someone of the same 
sex, now by a member of the opposite sex. But 
co-education should help rather than hinder 


CO-EDUCATION 


9 6 

here, by making accessible the love-object that 
should normally be the ultimate choice; while 
education in homosexual segregation — in 
boarding - schools especially — renders the 
normal love-object inaccessible and outside the 
range of permissible experience throughout the 
greater part of an adolescent’s life. 

A second criticism of co-cducation, especially 
during adolescence, based on the freedom of 
contact between the sexes which it offers, is 
made,not on the familiar ground of the ‘dangers’ 
involved—the expression of that age-old fear of 
sexual experience for the young referred to at the 
beginning of this paper—but on the ground 
that such freedom of contact, under the con¬ 
ditions of school life, will intensify sexual 
inhibitions and repressions. This, I think, may 
well be the case where the school authorities 
are not really free from anxiety in regard to 
sexual matters; and unfortunately this is often 
the case with just those people who aggressively 
assert their liberal views. Where there is much 
talk on the part of the authorities of ‘good 
comradeship’ between the sexes, and a ‘healthy’ 
freedom from anything ‘silly’ or ‘sentimental’, 
with great insistence on everything being ‘so 
perfectly natural’, there, one may suspect, lies 
buried a good deal of the same old fear of sex, 
which in an older generation found simply a 
different language, and was condemned as 
‘wicked’, whereas the unconsciously fear-ridden 
headmaster or mistress now calls it ‘silly’. 

But maybe there is another source of this 
suspected intensification of sexual repression by 
co-education during adolescence, namely, the 
bringing together of young people who are 
likely to be profoundly stimulated by the 
contact, and then demanding their attention 
to all the multifarious interests, activities and 
duties of school life: the result being that if the 
latter are to be effectively attended to, the 
emotions and excitements of the psycho-sexual 
life will have to be ruthlessly inhibited and 
suppressed. The answer to this criticism seems 
to me to be as follows: it is again that old 
bogey of anxiety about sex which makes us see 
it as the paramount conscious force in adoles¬ 
cent life, swamping all others. As the late 
Dr. Ian Suttie wrote: (I quote from memory) 
‘Give sex its place, and it will keep its place,’ 
and its place is not everywhere nor all the time, 


April 1937 

at least not in explicit form. Adolescent girls 
and boys have an infinite capacity for sublima¬ 
tion. It is a period of intense mental and 
emotional activity, of ‘thoughts that wander 
through eternity’, and in this activity sexual 
forces are being sublimated, not repressed. 
Such sublimation—an unconscious process—is 
characteristic of adolescents, who, as a general 
rule, are not yet ready for full sexual life and 
responsibility. Where freedom is unlimited 
there may be some direct sexual experimenta¬ 
tion, but where the authorities of a co-educa- 
tional school are not secretly anxiety-ridden on 
the sex question, this capacity for sublimation 
will be as actively developed in their school as 
in a segregated one. Where they are burdened 
with sexual anxiety, however,—conscious or 
unconscious—this anxiety will be conveyed to 
the boys and girls in their charge, with the 
result that normal sublimation will be inhibited, 
and become compulsive (as in games worship); 
while sexual consciousness will be intensified 
and rendered anxious or aggressive. In such a 
case the children might be better off in segre¬ 
gated schools, where the restrictions of the 
system, by reassuring the authorities, will 
create a less anxious atmosphere, and the 
capacity for sublimation will be freed. 

This brings me back to my beginning: that 
co-education offers greater opportunities both 
for good and for evil. The ‘evil’ lies, to my 
mind, not so much in the crude suggestion of 
opportunity for illicit sexual relationships 
involving such disasters as premature preg¬ 
nancies, but rather in the intensification of 
sexual anxiety which co-education tends to 
arouse. In maladjusted people (I am still 
thinking of the school authorities, not of the 
children) co-education of adolescents will, 
because of the possibilities of sexual contacts 
involved, intensify their anxiety, with all that 
this brings in its train in the way of insincerity 
and self-deception in the teacher (the would-be 
liberal teacher), and inhibition and/or obsession 
in the taught. The cruder ‘evil’ referred to is, 
on the other hand, not likely to be a general 
result of co-education in adolescence, where 
neither inhibition nor obsession exists, and 
where full opportunities for sublimation are 
available, i.e. in the ideal, truly free, truly 
unafraid environment one dreams of. 


THE NEW ERA 


April IQ37 CO-EDUCATION 


The ‘good’ lies in the freedom of opportunity 
for development to full normal psycho-sexual 
maturity, through real acquaintanceship 
between the sexes: this freedom of opportunity 
demanding a sense of responsibility, circum¬ 
spection, and mutual consideration, which are 
essentials of healthy mental life. Where this 
freedom of opportunity for contact between the 
sexes is non-existent, so also is the training in 


y/ 

responsibility and mutual consideration which 
should be its valuable corollary. 

On the whole it would seem that day co¬ 
education schools would offer the maximum 
of opportunities for the ‘goods’ and the mini¬ 
mum for the ‘evils’ which 1 have described, but 
to embark on a discussion of this point 
would involve more space than is allotted to 
me. 


The Effect of Co-Education on 
the Sex-Life of the Individual 


U nfavourable criticism of co-education 
tends to crystallize into a few main charges; 
and as these appear to be due, in most 
instances, to mistaken assumptions (and occa¬ 
sionally to faulty reasoning), it is perhaps worth 
while to examine them. 

The main contentions seem to be the follow¬ 
ing:— 

i. That the erotic stimulus afforded by co¬ 
education, combined with the repressive 
measures necessary to prevent extremes, 
is harmful. 

ii. That the comradeship ideal between the 
sexes, said to be the ideal of co-education, 
is an unreal one, and that it results in 
delayed sex-maturity and distorted sex- 
life. 

iii. That co-education runs counter to cer¬ 
tain psycho-analytic principles and dis¬ 
coveries, such as, for example, the 
‘castration complex’. 

Let us take these in order, 
i. It may be admitted at once that co-education 
does result in a considerable amount of sex- 
stimulation, but this is probably not greater 
than that at one-sex schools. It has the advan¬ 
tage, moreover, of being a part of natural 
development, and not the result of the re¬ 
pression and consequent exaggerated homo¬ 
sexuality (and, occasionally, sexual intercourse 
with servants and people outside the school) 
caused by the absence of normal companion¬ 
ship with the other sex. In most one-sex 
schools, too, the damage done in this way is 
greatly increased by the guilt-feeling inevitably 


connected with homosexuality — although it is 
now well known that some degree of homo¬ 
sexuality is sometimes a natural stage in the 
child’s growth. Indeed, it may be said that 
nearly all the ‘sex-difficulties’ that are supposed 
to keep the staff at co-educational schools on 
tenter-hooks are present to an even greater de¬ 
gree, and in far more dangerous forms, in one- 
sex schools — with the single exception of the 
practical problem of the possibility of preg¬ 
nancy, a point we shall come to presently. In 
co-educational schools, as in other schools, 
some time is occupied by relationships that are 
largely emotional; but this is not time ‘wasted’ 
—it is a necessary part of experience and 
development. 

It is desirable, however, that this sex-stimulus 
should be minimized, so long as this does not 
involve active repression. There are several 
ways in which this can be done. First, through 
proper sex-instruction. With us, sex-instruction 
is given systematically in the first and last years 
of the school course. In the intervening years 
individuals can and do get what help they re¬ 
quire; systematic instruction throughout the 
school course is not necessary, but it is essential 
that curiosity should be satisfied and prurience 
prevented by a frank and unexcited attitude of 
the staff towards matters of sex, and by the 
study of biology, including special reference to 
human anatomy and health. Secondly, the sex- 
impulse, which finds natural expression in the 
desire to create and the desire for beauty, must 
be given ample opportunity for sublimation in 
both these ways; this is best done by means of 


98 the new era April 1937 


handicrafts, and other hobbies, and the study 
and practice of drawing, modelling, writing, 
acting, dancing (not ball-room), and music. 
Thirdly (and this is most important), conditions 
that are known to be sexually stimulating should 
be avoided; such things as darkened rooms, 
walks at night, frequent ball-room dancing, 
erotic films and reading-matter, and the use by 
girls of cosmetics and alluring dresses. This is 
the kind of ‘control’ that we try to exercise; 
but we do not try, for example, to make kissing 
impossible, and there is ample opportunity for a 
boy and a girl to be alone together. What to 
allow and what to discourage can be determined 
only by experience. 

Such control, the control of stimulation 
rather than the control of normal intercourse, 
cannot be other than beneficial, for it is readily 
accepted by the children as an attempt to help 
them to control themselves, not as an attempt to 
impose arbitrary restrictions. Control is harm¬ 
ful only when it is the outcome of fear. Cut and 
dried rules are undesirable, and though the 
school authorities must have a fairly clearly 
defined policy, this need not be formulated to 
the children. We try to make them feel that 
intersexual attraction is neither ‘silly’, nor pro¬ 
foundly significant, but natural; but we do 
believe that it is undesirable, both for psycho¬ 
logical and for economic reasons, to allow 
intimacy to go to the extreme of consummation. 
There is seldom any necessity to explain this to 
the children. The majority of English children 
have far less desire for sexual intercourse during 
school age than most adults imagine; and even 
if they are aware of this desire, they are also 
aware of the need for control, which is, we 
hope, part of the school ‘atmosphere’. If, how¬ 
ever, any boy or girl resisted this restriction, 
the argument we should use would be partly 
economic, partly aesthetic, and partly on 
grounds of individual health. From the econo¬ 
mic point of view, there is the risk of pregnancy, 
and the reputation of the school and its responsi¬ 
bility to parents. Here, even supposing sexual 
intercourse were desirable for the individuals 
concerned, it is clear that the good of others 
must come first. From the aesthetic point of 
view, life is analogous to art, and the restraint 
imposed by the necessity for design is analogous 
to the restraint necessary to sexual develop¬ 


ment, if life is to develop progressively and 
harmoniously. Children do not often realize this 
directly, but there is no doubt that many of 
them come to feel it indirectly by contact with 
the best art. And there is a strong argument on 
grounds of health, both physical and mental. 
In the first place, there is every probability 
(though this cannot be stated categorically) that 
sexual intercourse during immaturity is psycho¬ 
logically harmful; there is no reason to regard it 
as necessarily fraught with tragic consequences, 
but it is likely to limit fuller development. 
Secondly, we believe that the practice of volun¬ 
tary control, not in sex only, but in all personal 
and social matters, is of the greatest value to 
health of mind. The encouragement to children 
to do whatever their passions prompt them to do 
is a supposed precept of New Education that is 
speedily falling into disrepute. In the field of 
sex, in particular, we believe that children 
should be helped to achieve sufficient self- 
control to delay the final consummation until 
their actions do not involve harmful conse¬ 
quences to others, and until they can bring to it 

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April 1937 THE EFFECT OF CO-EDUCATION ON 

mature responsibility and an objective under¬ 
standing of each other. 

ii. We now come to the contention that the 
‘brother and sister’ ideal is harmful to psycho- 
sexual development. No doubt there is much 
harm in such an ideal, and we hold no brief for 
it. We aim, not at substituting comradeship for 
romantic attachment, but at adding it. It should 
be remembered, too, that though the physical 
element is always present in a boy-and-girl 
friendship, a large part of the relationship, often 
the greater part, is not physical. As has already 
been stated, we believe that the ‘hearty’ atti¬ 
tude — what is sometimes unfortunately called 
the ‘Platonic’ attitude—is a pretence, an avoid¬ 
ance of true friendship which is definitely 
harmful; but we believe, too, that it is equally 
harmful to allow intersexual friendships to go 
the normal lengths of adult relationships. 
Treated in the way we suggest, co-education 
undoubtedly hastens maturity rather than re¬ 
tarding it, and this we believe to be a good 
thing. But we must be careful how we use the 
word ‘maturity’. The air of maturity about a 
public-school boy is frequently unreal, and due 
to assumption of authority and acceptance of a 
code, which is often a screen for inner conflict 
and feelings of inadequacy and ignorance. It is 
clear that we emphatically do not aim at hasten¬ 
ing maturity in the sexual sense, only at 
avoiding delay in its normal development. If, 
however, we define maturity as a condition 
which at the beginning of adult life makes 
continued growth possible, as a willingness to 
accept responsbiility for one’s ozvn actions and 
their results, then the co-educated adult com¬ 
pares well with others. We aim at helping 
children to pass through the difficult adolescent 
period quickly; and there is ample evidence that 
in this sense boys and girls who go up to the 
University from this school are decidedly 
‘older’, that is to say less ‘childish’, than those 
from one-sex schools. We believe, too, that their 
attitude to the other sex is essentially a sane one 
— neither too romantic, like those who are 
afraid of sex, nor too unromantic, like those who 
have been restricted or starved of natural con¬ 
tact with members of the opposite sex. It is this 
attitude that is our aim. We are not concerned 
with the way in which the individual arranges 
his sex-life afterwards; but we deplore mar- 


THE SEX-LIFE OF THE INDIVIDUAL 99 

riages that ‘go wrong’, just as we deplore what 
may be called a ‘vulgar’ attitude to sex matters, 
as evidence that this sane attitude has not been 
wholly achieved. 

iii. Then as to the ‘castration complex’. It has 
yet to be proved that this, like many other 
psycho-analytic hypotheses, has any general 
significance. But if we assume that it exists, 
surely the right technique is to liquidate it by 
conscious acceptance and examination. It is 
argued that co-education offers no opportunity 
for the practice of assertiveness in the male and 
the mother-instinct in women, which are natural 
compensations for the castration complex. The 
answer is that while co-education tends to bring 
out the intrinsic differences in the sexes, and 
not, as is the common delusion, to turn boys 
into milksops and girls into tomboys, it does not 
encourage the excessive development of these 
differences. And it is well that it does not. Such 
‘compensations’ can lead only to a fatalistic 
acceptance of a world in which women concen¬ 
trate on the bearing and mothering of children, 
and men concentrate on the destruction of 
human life. 

Co-education is not, as many seem to think, 
‘all sex’. Most experimental schools are co¬ 
educational, and not all are successful; and there 
is a tendency, when viewing unhappy results, to 
lay the blame on co-education for what may be 
due to other causes, not only in the school, but 
outside it—home-influence, for instance. A 
great deal of sex-behaviour is not determined by 
the school. The selection of staff, too, is of very 
great importance in a co-educational school. It 
is necessary to have staff who are self-controlled, 
yet not themselves suffering from sex-repres¬ 
sions, which are sure to be ‘visited on the 
children’; for it is the unconscious warping of the 
sex-outlook, in any type of school, that is most 
destructive. The public behaviour of a mixed 
staff to one another has a very marked influence 
on the behaviour of the children. It cannot be 
too strongly affirmed that those who are dealing 
with co-education have sex-problems at the 
back of their minds, and not at the front. The 
delusion that this is otherwise, and the other 
delusion that sexual intercourse is inevitable 
unless repressive measures are taken, are at the 
root of most of the popular misconceptions 
about co-education. 


IOO 


THE NEW ERA 


The undersigned (three of whom are mar¬ 
ried) have had co-educational teaching experi¬ 
ence of from five to twenty-five years, and most 
of us have taught at one-sex schools as well. 
Some of us were co-educated, and some of us 
were at public or other secondary schools. 


KENNETH C. BARNES 
HESTER F. BERRY 
GEOFFREY H. CRUMP 
BASIL L. GIMSON 


April 1937 

ARTHUR F. GOTCH 
JAMES L. HENDERSON 
IRENE S, HOBBS 
G. M. ROGERS 


Members of Bedales School Staff. 


Co-Education: Some Objections 

Countered 

P3.Lll Roberts Headmaster of Frensham Heights 


I. S.E.=INTELLIGENT SCEPTICAL 
ENQUIRER 

C.E. — CO-EDUCA TIONAL ENTHUSIAST 

I.S.E. I am interested in this question of 
co-education but confess I am far from con¬ 
vinced. Do you really find it works? Why are 
you so keen about it? 

C.E. I think the kind of way in which I look 
at it is this. We are trying to make education a 
preparation for life by living. Every child is 
going out into a world in which about half the 
population belongs to the opposite sex. A very 
large proportion of human happiness is 
dependent upon a harmonious relationship 
between the sexes. To prepare children for this 
vastly important aspect of their lives must be a 
part of the educator’s job. It seems a queer way 
of doing it to bring them up without any 
normal and easy contact with the opposite sex. 
May I ask you to put the question to yourself 
in this way. If co-education were the normal 
plan, what considerations would induce you to 
advocate a change to separate education ? 

I.S.E. In the first place I suspect that in 
bringing up boys and girls together under 
exactly the same regime you are ignoring the 
important differences in the parts they are 
going to play in the world. 

C.E. If this were the case your criticism 


would be well founded. But you must not 
suppose that a co-educational school brings 
children up as if there were no differences 
between the sexes. Our claim is that, with just 
as full a realization of the differing needs of the 
two sexes as those who think it wiser to 
separate them, we are able to cater for those 
needs even more efficiently than is possible- 
in a separate school. Putting it in another way 
we believe that the peculiar needs of each sex 
can be more fully supplied in the presence than 
in the absence of the other. 

I.S.E. Can you produce any evidence in 
support of this belief? 

C.E. You will, I am sure, realize that in 
dealing with human personality there can be no 
such thing as a ‘controlled’ experiment. Send a 
child to a co-education school and you will 
never know what he would have been like if 
you had sent him to a separate school, and 
vice versa. Send two children, one to a separate 
school and one to a co-education school and 
you cannot measure with any useful accuracy 
the responsibility of co-education for any 
differences you may observe. Moreover, you 
cannot isolate the influence of the co-educational 
factor from other factors which may be found 
in any particular co-educational school. There¬ 
fore the only evidence is that obtained from a 
very general observation of the finished 
products. And while I do not ignore the fact 
that in observing the results of any experiments 


IOI 


April 1937 co-education: some 

it is not easy to avoid seeing the results which 
you are hoping to find, I would remind you that 
the people who are connected with co-educa- 
tional schools are the only ones who really have 
the opportunity of observing their products 
en ynasse , and that therefore their evidence is 
entitled to carry weight. This evidence is 
unanimously and unquestionably favourable. 

I.S.E. What is your answer to the common 
criticism that co-education makes bovs soft 
and girls tomboys? 

C.E. I am afraid that my answer is that the 
people who make it either have never seen the 
products of co-education in sufficient numbers 
for basing a fair conclusion or are doing what I 
mentioned just now, that is, finding what they 
are expecting to find. The fact just isn’t true 
and there is no reason why it should be. 

I.S.E. May I return to your claim about 
bringing up each sex better in the presence of 
the other? I am thinking about the dangers of 
rivalry between the sexes; of girls becoming 
overstrained because of this; of the differences 
in the pace of development of the sexes at 
different periods. How do you deal with all 
this? 

C.E. With regard to the rivalry, I am bound 
to say that I have never seen it. I have no doubt 
that it would not be difficult to stimulate it but 
I should regard it as an incredible folly to do 
so. Many of us consider that the artificial 
stimulation of rivalry between children whether 
of the same sex or otherwise is a measure only 
to be taken with the greatest caution. 

With regard to differences our attitude is this. 
The differences in ability and in rate of develop¬ 
ment to be observed within the same sex are 
far greater than any differences in average 
between the two. If a plan of education is 
making provision for these differences within 
the same sex — as every plan should whether 
co-educational or not — there is no need to 
make special allowances for differences of sex. 
In matters where there are clear differences, 
such as emotional attitude, functional direction 
and physical development it is not difficult to 
make the necessary separate provision. If the 
teacher is conscious of the differences they will 
be catered for whether the school is co¬ 


objections COUNTERED 

educational or not. I would suggest, however, 
that co-education helps the teacher to achieve 
a realization of what differences are funda¬ 
mental and what are superficial. 

I.S.E. Another criticism I have heard is 
that in a co-educational school the boys tend to 
take the lead in most of the activities of the 
school and that consequently a number of girls 
are deprived of opportunities of training in 
leadership which they would get in a girls’ 
school. 

C.E. I have heard that said, too, so I 
suppose someone must have noticed it some¬ 
where. I confess that it has never impressed 
itself upon me. However, to the extent that it 
may be true it is a point that the co-educator 
should note. I think the answer to it is ( a ) that 
in this matter the girl is only meeting what she 
will find in the world at large. To the extent 
that there may be a difference between the 
sexes in this respect I do not fancy that the girl 
is likely to suffer by becoming familiar with 
male standards during school days. ( b ) In every 
school, mixed or otherwise, there should be a 
sufficient number and variety of activities, 
including opportunities of leadership, to satisfy 
the needs of all its children. 

I.S.E. One of the objections to co-education 
which I find the most difficult to get over is that 
during the homosexual period of early adoles¬ 
cence you are putting an unnecessary strain 
upon both sexes by throwing them together. 
What do you feel about this? 

C.E. It is a sound and a strong point. 
While I do not feel that it outweighs the many 
advantages of having the sexes together it 
behoves co-educational schools to watch care¬ 
fully for any signs of this strain and to make 
ample provision for the sexes to be apart as 
well as together. 

I.S.E. There is another aspect of this 
question of strain which I should like to ask 
you about, and that is the question of boy and 
girl friendships. I take it you will agree with me 
that during the latter part of adolescence it is 
natural that individual boys and girls should 
become attracted to each other, and that it is 
also perfectly natural that they should want to 


102 


THE NEW ERA 


give some physical expression to this attraction 
in love-making and kissing. Natural as this may 
be I am far from certain that this is a good 
thing. Apart from the fact that there are other 
important things to do during the later years of 
school life, I do not fancy that it is a good thing 
from the girl’s point of view that she should be 
sexually aroused as so early an age. Do you 
agree with me about this? 

C.E. Certainly I do. While I should be 
unlikely to go as far as to tell a pair of children 
who were genuinely attached that they must 
never kiss each other, I should regard it as a 
very bad thing if anything in the nature of 
experimentation in love-making became a 
matter of fashion. 

I.S.E. Quite so, and what worries me is 
that it seems to me that in a co-educational 
school you must have one of two things. Either 
you must have children giving what I admit is a 
perfectly natural expression to perfectly natural 
instincts or you must have an environment 
either of regimentation or of atmosphere 
sufficiently strong to prevent it. I feel very 
much afraid that if you create either a system of 
rules or a social atmosphere sufficiently strong 
to do this, you may be giving rise to dangerous 
repressions. Particularly do I feel this to be the 
case if you make use of social atmosphere or 
‘tone’ for the purpose. 

C.E. Your point is a good one and requires 
careful answering. The problem is one created 
by modern civilization or at least accentuated 
by it. It has to be faced squarely and anyone 
who imagines that it can be solved except by 
careful and sensitive handling is not being 
helpful. I should straight away cut out as 
possible solutions, both separate education and 
co-education with rules or arrangements which 
prevented boys and girls from having the same 
free intercourse with one another as would 
obtain in an ordinary large household. Further 
I should be profoundly suspicious of any 
school which told me that boy and girl friend¬ 
ships were just the same thing as friendships 
between children of the same sex, and which 
created a school tone which scorned senti¬ 
mental attachments as sloppy. Equally is it 
undesirable that children should feel that their 


April 1937 

friendships are regarded with anxiety or 
suspicion by the grown up members of the 
community. So we have to create an environ¬ 
ment in which it is possible for any genuine 
boy and girl friendship to flourish and yet in 
which it will not become a matter of fashion 
that boys and girls should pair off. 

LS.E. And do you really believe you can 
produce this ideal environment of yours in 
which the dangers can be avoided without risk 
of repression? 

C.E. I honestly do. First, I see no risk of 
represssion in asking children to accept the 
ordinary conventions governing the relation¬ 
ship between the sexes which are common in 
the adult society into which they will shortly be 
entering. Second, children are so eminently 
reasonable. They will not accept adult ex¬ 
perience^—they must waste much time in 
gaining their own—but they will accept reason. 
Reason can make out a case for self-control. 
They see the need for self-control in matters 
such as diet and in ordinary human relation¬ 
ships. The necessity for it in connection with 
the sex impulse appeals to them as reasonable. 
If there is added to this intellectual assent ever 
so little experience of their own in support of it, 
they will willingly accept the aid of safeguards 
and sanctions. If 1 have got to act on the assump¬ 
tion that every effort at self-control involves a 
repression I must give up trying to deal with 
children. I can see the danger of repression 
if we present children with arguments or 
inducements or compulsions which are insin¬ 
cere. But in this particular matter I feel that 
we are fortunate in having arguments which 
are sincere and which cut ice with children, 
a combination by no means universal. 

I.S.E. And you feel satisfied that in 
creating an atmosphere which is free enough 
to avoid the danger of repression you are also 
perfectly secure against the other risks? 

C.E. When you talk about risks you must 
remember that it is always a question of a 
balance of advantage. Life cannot be free from 
risk. When you let your child cross a busy 
street or climb a tree you have to weigh the 
risk you are taking against the damage you do 


April 1937 


co-education: some objections countered 


103 


if you refuse to let it do so. The risks which 
have to be run in a co-educational school are 
no greater than in a separate one and I firmly 
believe they are considerably less. In any case 
I would put it to you that by placing children 
in separate schools you are not solving a 
problem, you are merely running away from it. 
Even your separate schools are not wholly free 
from the dangers of repression. When I see the 
evidences, in a monastic institution, of adult 
anxiety over the question of homo-sexualitv 
I feel very nervous about repressions. 


I wish I could offer you more definite proof 
of all my claims. I have explained why proofs 
of a scientific nature are unobtainable. We must 
base our actions upon reasonable conjecture. 
Without conjecture no human progress is 
possible. In this matter of co-education we feel 
that the conjecture is so reasonable that we 
are justified in acting upon it. 

I.S.E. Well, I will admit that your case 
interests me. I should like to pursue the matter 
further. 


Co-Education 

W. B. Curry 

/ 

I have been asked to comment on Miss 
Barbara Low’s article from the point of view 
of one activelv concerned with co-education 
In the first place, I should like to second her 
implicit plea for a tentative and scientific 
approach to this question. The first contribu¬ 
tion we must all make is to admit that we know 
very little, and that at every age the problem is 
immenselv more complicated than was thought 
by either the advocates or the opponents of 
co-education in its early days. Few of us would 
now endorse the glib optimism of those who 
thought that preoccupation with sexual pro¬ 
blems could be entirely avoided by suitable 
biological instruction. 

Coming to Miss Low’s article, I should first 
of all like to say something about ‘the co¬ 
educational ideal of the same capacities in both 
sexes demanding an identical training, a pur¬ 
suit of the same activities mental and physical, 
and a common goal for intellectual, sexual and 
emotional development’. 

Is this really the ‘co-educational ideal’? 
Certainly it is not at Dartington, and I doubt 
whether it is at many English co-educational 
schools. If co-education became universal this 
danger might exist, since schools of every type 
would then be co-educational. At present co¬ 
education is associated with what is called 
‘progressive’ education, and is therefore associ¬ 
ated with the notion of flexibility, alike in curri¬ 
culum and in judgment of behaviour, and with 


Headmaster of Dartington Hall 

the associated demand for respect for individual 
differences. Miss Low’s definition of the co¬ 
educational ideal seems to imply that co¬ 
education means putting both boys and girls 
into a school which has a common goal for all 
its pupils, and moreover that goal rather 
narrowly defined. Not only so, but the school to 
which her definition would apply would have 
further to assume that each pupil was to have 
the same training and the same curriculum in 
almost every respect. 

If such a school existed, I should agree that 
everything in Miss Low’s paragraph would 
apply to it. Plainly it is wrong to treat boys and 
girls alike in the sense implied by Miss Low. 
But surely we all agree now that it is wrong, 
not merely to treat a boy and girl in exactly the 
same way, but also to treat any two children in 
exactly the same way, whether of the same sex 
or not. Take the phrase: ‘the same activities 
mental and physical’. Why should it be sup¬ 
posed that co-education means this? If at 
Dartington you go into the art room you will 
probably find the girls greatly out-number the 
boys. If you go into the metal workshop you 
will find the reverse. If, however, this were a 
girls’ school, it is a hundred to one that metal 
work would not be available for girls who de¬ 
sired or needed it. 

This brings me to what I have always con¬ 
sidered one of the advantages of co-education, 
provided the curriculum is flexible. A co- 


THE NEW ERA 


IO4 

educational school has to provide within the 
limits of its resources outlets for all the charac¬ 
teristic activities both masculine and feminine. 
The one-sex school does not do this, but among 
boys there are always some who desire the 
activities for which the best provision is normal¬ 
ly to be found in a girls’ school, and vice versa. 
If it is part of our ideal that we should en¬ 
deavour as far as possible to meet all the real 
needs of all our pupils, it seems to me that so 
far at least as activity is concerned the co¬ 
educational school offers definite advantages. 

When we come to moral, emotional and intel¬ 
lectual training, it seems that similar considera¬ 
tions ought to apply, though not of course in 
exactly the same way. If the school is very 
strict, if there is a multitude of rules and pro¬ 
hibitions which must apply equally to all, and 
if the school has a rather rigid code, enforced 
both by law and by public opinion, then one 
must admit the reality of all the dangers to 
which Miss Low refers. If, however, this is not 
the case, and rules and regulations are reduced 
to the minimum required for making com¬ 
munity life possible at all, then I doubt whether 
these dangers need to be taken seriously. 

If behaviour is regarded for the most part as 
a matter for discussion and personal adjust¬ 
ment, there is no difficulty in making all sorts 
of personal allowances. Where strict rules are 
enforced, the matter is quite different, since 
problems of ‘fairness’ and the like arise. If the 
sanction of punishment is used to compel a boy 
to do something it would seem unfair for the 
girl to be ‘let off’. In so far as the school has 
escaped from this set of ideas, it becomes easy 
to differentiate without difficulty in the treat¬ 
ment accorded to different children. At Dart- 
ington, for example, it is not at all unusual for 
us to decide that a particular child is best out of 
class for some days or weeks occupying himself 
as he pleases. Those who are in class do not 
think this unfair. 

While, therefore, I agree that all the dangers 
mentioned by Miss Low are real and important, 
I believe that they are arguments not so much 
against co-education as against rigidity and an 
atmosphere of coercion. 

Secondly, I should like to refer to the view, 
quoted by Miss Low, of those who hold that 
‘the sexual element is conspicuous by its 


April 1937 

absence in properly run co-educational schools, 
and replaced by a frank “cameraderie” This 
subject has been very inadequately discussed 
in print, mainly for reasons of timidity. All heads 
of co-educational schools feel it necessry to be 
able to assure their public that the sexual 
element is conspicuous by its absence, and 
most of them know that this is not true. In so 
far as it is true, I agree with Miss Low that 
those concerned have no grounds for com¬ 
placence. I am disposed to think, however, 
that schools differ, not so much in the degree 
to which it is true (though of course they do 
differ in this respect), as in the way in which 
they attempt to handle the problem, and the 
degree to which they are candid. The problem 
is too complex to be discussed at all adequately 
in the space which remains. I shall content 
myself with suggesting one or two principles 
that seem to me fundamental. 

In the first place, it seems to me very 
important that boys and girls should not feel 
any necessity to conceal their feelings about each 
other from the adults. Nothing should ever be 
said or done which causes the children to feel 


THE REALIZATION 
OF THE INDIVIDUAL 

Is it the answer to the impasse of the 
modern world ? 

Week-end Conference 

on the educational work of Rudolf Steiner 

April 23rd to 25th, 1937 

in the 

RUDOLF STEINER HALL 
Baker Street, London, N.W.l 

(promoted by the Teachers of Michael Hall with 
the co-operation of Rudolf Steiner Schools abroad) 

For detailed programme see inset in this 
number of the New Era , or apply to the 
Conference Secretary— 

MICHAEL HALL, LEIGHAM COURT ROAD 
Streatham Hill, London, S.W.16 







April 1937 

that the adults think it ‘silly’ or in any other 
way undesirable for boys and girls to fall in 
love. Whatever is done must be done in such 
a way as to make it clear that the adults accept 
falling in love as a natural manifestation of 
growing up. 

Secondly, I think it is a mistake to exaggerate 
the dangers, provided discussion can be frank 
and unrestrained. In this matter girls who have 
not been kept in artificial ignorance both of the 
psychological and physiological factors are apt 
to have a well-developed protective mech¬ 
anism. 

Thirdly, while some degree of restraint is 
obviously desirable, it seems clear that the 
nature of the restraint is psychologically 
important. If children are made to feel ashamed 
of the impulse they are asked to restrain (whether 
by calling it ‘silly’ or ‘immoral’ makes little 
difference) then obstacles are being created to 
satisfactory adjustment. This is why it is 
important not to put sexual behaviour on the 
same basis as, for example, stealing, since in 
the one case we hope that the behaviour will be 
happily and successfully adopted in adult life, 


105 

whereas in the other case we do not. But there 
is surely a world of difference between saying 
to a child that an impulse is in its very nature 
shameful, and to be thought about as little as 
possible (or so sacred as to be thought about 
as little as possible), and saying to him that for 
various reasons which he is perfectly capable 
of understanding it is desirable for the time 
being that the impulse should be denied certain 
specific outlets. In the first case you get a 
repression of the undesirable sort; in the second 
case you get an instance of that sort of self- 
control which the child must sooner or later 
learn to acquire not merely about sex, but 
about everything else as well. Control based 
upon reason is not the same thing as control 
based upon fear and shame. 

For these reasons, while I do not believe 
that a co-educational school ought to be able 
to boast that ‘the sexual element is conspicuous 
by its absence’, I believe there is good reason 
for thinking that it is possible to combine a 
proper acceptance of the sexual element with 
that degree of restraint and control which is 
obviously necessary. 


CO-EDUCATION 


The Co-Educational Da/ School 

as a Preparation for Adult Life 

W. A. Grace 


Headmaster of Halesowen Grammar School 


M uch though we owe to genius, most 
people would probably agree that for the 
ordinary run of mankind normal sanity 
and a healthy outlook are very much to be 
desired. If it were possible to make a new 
beginning, it would be interesting to know how 
men and women would set about to plan anew 
the most sensible education. We must assume 
a set of really adult, happily-married parents. 
Such people would desire for their children 
the kind of environment which would be a 
preparation for full maturity. Assuming also 
reasonable economic conditions, they would 
probably have a fair-sized family and a happy 
home life. Their views on the subsequent 
training of their children would be based upon 
their experience of the earlier years of child 
life and the environment of a home. Would 


they go on to invent boarding schools or day 
schools, as we know them, or something 
different from either of these? I think they 
would value home life too much to exile their 
children from home nine months in the year. 
At the same time they would want the child 
to achieve independence, and would realize the 
need of a wider field than the home. Would they 
segregate the sexes? There is nothing in home 
life and very little in the life of the adult citizen 
to suggest this rather strange and unnatural 
isolation. What boys and girls can do together 
in the course of a school dav so much out- 
weighs their separate needs that these can well 
be provided for in a mixed day school. 

I think the odds would be much in favour 
of the natural growth of schools of this type in 
a modern society which accords to women their 



THE NEW ERA 


April 1937 


106 

true place in life and values the right relation¬ 
ship of the sexes. The segregated schools and 
colleges which we take for granted began when 
no such education was thought necessary for 
girls. Modern universities are nearly all co¬ 
educational. It is largely historical accident 
which has given us our present system. We 
have, in fact, no system but a haphazard 
congeries of schools of different kinds. One boy 
enters a mixed school from a junior mixed 
department, another has been spending in a 
junior boys’ school the intervening years since 
he was first taught in a mixed infants’ school. 
The principle of co-education, if sound, should 
be constantly followed throughout; it is 
children from separate schools who are more 
often unsatisfactory at the beginning of the 
mixed secondary stage. Those whose whole 
school life is co-educational have an excellent 
chance of healthy development. 

In stating our case w 7 e shall have to meet 
the customary criticisms. Our defence will 
occasionally lie in showing that the difficulty 
in question is not peculiar to this type of 
school, but presents itself, sometimes under less 
natural conditions, in the segregated and the 
boarding schools. But of course each type of 
institution has its own difficulties and advan¬ 
tages. There are boys and girls for whom a 
boarding school life is preferable, and there are 
purposes, such as the religious environment 
desired by the Society of Friends, which in 
the circumstances can only be obtained in a 
boarding school. 

Let us assume the need of a real under¬ 
standing and happy relationship of the sexes 
in later life, and the ideal of free personality 
growing to maturity in an environment of 
mutual respect and forbearance. On all sides 
we have evidence of pathetic failure to achieve 
such relationships. We see the husband and the 
father, and sometimes the mother, who must 
dominate. We see the family bickering which 
makes the visitor so uncomfortable, the clash 
of wills and selfish desires, unco-ordinated by 
any higher motive outside the self. We see 
distrust of children by their own parents and 
estrangement growing up between them; 
ignorance of the opposite sex, resulting in 
disillusionment, or in fear which inhibits 
spontaneous love in the early days of married 


The great advances of our time are increasingly 
being made in the borderland region between 
two intellectual disciplines. This is the province of 

SCIENCE AND SOCIETY 

a journal appearing three times a year, edited by 
Pryns Hopkins, with whom are associated 
Alexander Farquharson and William Stephenson. 
The central theme of the February-May number 
is the movement from individualism to collec¬ 
tivism in the economic organization of society. 

Mr. G. D. H. Cole has written the leading 
article. Contributions to the economic centra! 
topic are then made by others from the angles 
of their special fields—by Dr. Raymond Firth 
from an anthropological, Miss Kathleen How¬ 
land from a social visiting, Mrs. Dora Russell 
from a sexological, Dr. D. H. Kress from a per¬ 
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psycho-analytic and Dr. John Lewis from a 
philosophic angle. 

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life. These things seem remote from school 
w r ork, but they mean much more to the 
individual’s future happiness, and they have 
their roots in childhood. It is in normal 
development towards a sane and balanced 
maturity that the community life of the mixed 
school and the unbroken home life during the 
day school period, should together contribute 
a great deal towards a happier society. 

Take the matter of mutual understanding. 
When boys and girls are taught together, they 
grow unconsciously to understand and appre¬ 
ciate the normal reaction of the other sex to 
given treatment, or to mental or emotional 
stimulus. They are reading a play perhaps. 
The girl hears the boy’s answer to a question, 
and here and there she notes the difference 
from the answer she would have given. They 
are rehearsing for a Shakespearean perfor¬ 
mance, and little by little under the producer’s 
influence the whole cast can see the players 
coming to life. The love and vitality of Rosalind, 
Celia’s loyalty to her friend — it may be possible 
for boy actors to suggest them, but with girl 
actors equal to the occasion it is Rosalind 







April 1937 THE CO-EDUCATIONAL DAY SCHOOL 


herself, feminine nature as Shakespeare could 
portray it, interpreted by their own school 
friends, it is this that the others are watching. 
Boys can be very successful in feminine parts, 
and we are all aware that convention in Shake¬ 
speare’s time made this the normal custom. 
But from the point of view of interplay of 
human nature, as an emotional and even a 
spiritual experience, I am convinced that the 
possibilities are incomparably greater in the 
co-educational school. 

What is true pre-eminently in such activities 
as the drama is also true in varying degrees 
elsewhere, in the rough and tumble of camp 
life, in socials and dances, in the interchange of 
debate and discussion and ordinary conversa¬ 
tion. They know each other as individuals, each 
with distinctive character, as well as members 
of the other sex. They themselves notice, with 
some surprise, the self-consciousness of boys 
and girls from separate schools, and the curiosity 
they often display — the obvious result of 
segregation. A girl who was at a mixed school 
until the age of 17 and then moved to a 
neighbourhood where she had to attend a 
girls’ school confessed herself thoroughly tired 
of the silliness of many of the girls. Another 
girl wished she could be as natural in mixed 
company as her friend from a co-educational 
school; she seemed unable herself to be free 
from shyness and awkwardness. Where there 
are separate schools in the same town there is a 
great deal of waiting about for each other and 
meeting in arcades and at street corners. A 
sense of guilt and furtiveness may become 
associated with such acquaintances. 

Even in a mixed school some boys and girls 
go through the stage of avoiding the other sex 
whenever possible, but small boys do not often 
develop that arrogant contempt for girls which 
often appears elsewhere, and which may linger 
on, to show itself in later life and make it hard 
for the men to accord to a woman the full 
rights of personality. It is a survival of sex 
superiority which gives rise to the view that 
boys must be taught only by men and will be 
made effeminate if a few ladies take a hand in 
their upbringing. A boy taught only by men 
finds it more difficult later on to work in any 
subordinate capacity under a woman, even 
though admittedly his superior in ability or 


experience. People who suffer from either 
superiority or inferiority in respect of sex are 
sadly out of place in a co-educational school. 

In these days of small families, the boy or 
girl may not even have a sister or brother, and 
without mixed society at school there is little 
chance of understanding. We have to live 
in a world of real human beings. Here and there 
the poet or the painter may have enriched our 
art or literature by the dream pictures of his 
ideal love. And all ot us, however educated, 
may have our dreams and find real romance in 
life. But those who live in an unreal world of 
fantasy and believe in the existence somewhere 
of their ideal bride or hero husband may prove a 
danger to others. After an intimacy, misleading 
to the other party, they may find the reality 
does not correspond with the dream. They do 
not know that love takes people as they are 
with all their faults, and gives the sympathy 
and faith which helps them to be their best selves. 

When a boy-and-girl friendship grows up in 
a mixed school, it does so in the light of common 
day. Now and again, just as between boy and 
boy, or girl and girl, two friends have to be 
brought up against the question whether their 
friendship is being a help to them both or a 
hindrance or distraction from their work. But so 
long as the mutual influence is good the friend¬ 
ship should be free to develop without any 
sense of strain or embarrassment. This is not 
always the case, and the fault may be with the 
friends themselves or with their associates, or it 
may be due to the general spirit of the school, 
which may be lacking in trust and confidence. 
This matter of reposing faith in children is one 
of the greatest constructive forces in education, 
and is, in my opinion, fundamental to the life 
of the mixed school. "Phis is not to advocate a 
blind faith, for confidence may be abused; nor 
a careless trust which takes no pains to train 
the character to respond to it. Such training 
is not so much a matter of direct moral teaching, 
which may in fact be too self-conscious or may 
suggest the thing it wishes to avoid, but should 
be the essential effect of the school’s influence 
on the child. But however good the training, 
the response will sometimes fail. And this is 
just where the true nature of faith in others is 
revealed, showing itself to be akin to love of the 
highest kind. The failure of the boy’s response 






THE NEW ERA 


108 

will not cause bitterness and a sudden hardening 
of treatment, with a reversion to a suspicious 
attitude for the future. The truly creative and 
redemptive reaction on the teachers’ part will 
be a willingness to take endless pains, with the 
boy himself, and his parents perhaps, sharing 
in all possible ways the trouble and the suffering 
which wrong action brings in its train. Only 
in this way can the boy learn the supreme 
lesson of the willing acceptance of suffering as 
the remedy of evil. And no matter how serious 
the breach of trust is, it does not disprove the 
principle of faith. For me the prototype of this 
attitude of mind is the story of the Bishop’s 
Candlesticks in Les Miserables. Redemptive 
action of this sort is not confined to the 
chapters of imaginative literature. 

This matter of confidence must be a difficult 
question for the co-educational boarding 
school. Any limits to individual freedom are 
more obvious there, and boys and girls have 
sometimes been conscious of these fences and 
have sensed an atmosphere of distrust, some¬ 
times reacting by an attitude of revolt. At the 
day school friends can meet at home, and 
friendships be known and understood by 
parents. It is true that they will not always deal 
wisely with them. They may fear that friendship 
may lead to engagement and premature 
economic burdens, and this may lead to 
needless frustration of what might otherwise 
have been just one normal friendship among 
others. For the most part however, the home 
background is an enormous advantage in this 
way, and still more so as against the segregated 
boarding school, where the natural outlets for 
affection are absent, and compensation may 
take the form of almost passionate attach¬ 
ments to mistresses or other girls. This is less 
likely in the day school. 

The continuity of home life bridges little 
gaps of misunderstanding which might have 
become a gulf between parent and child. It is 
pathetic to see a father who has toiled and saved 
to send his two boys away to a public school, 
only to find they now have little in common 
with him, and their visits to the old home 
become more brief and perfunctory. It is in 
the home that there is the best chance of de¬ 
veloping that ‘fellowship of equals’, which rests 
upon sensitive consideration of each individual 


April 1937 

personality. That the individuals which go to 
make up the school community are returning 
daily to the life of home is bound to have its 
effect upon the tone and spirit of the school. 
This was certainly appreciated by Demolins, 
the founder of l’Ecole des Roches, who, while 
imitating in France the modern English 
boarding school, laid so much stress upon a 
nucleus for each house of a married house¬ 
master with a growing family. Then again, 
with a little care, the day school can call in the 
parents’ co-operation in any serious disciplinary 
case, while the home can more quickly discover 
incipient trouble and unhappiness. There 
should be very frequent contact between home 
and school until all parents and staff know each 
other well. 

The relations of staff and pupils must be 
closely affected by the attitude of the staff to 
matters of discipline. In this respect the mixed 
school has a special opportunity. Anything like 
a tariff of punishments suggests that, if the due 
penalty is paid, the offender is entitled to have 
his fling. Motives and consequences are left 
out of account. Caning was recently deplored 
by the Headmaster of Bryanston School, 
because for both parties concerned it ‘removed 
the necessity for thought’. That necessity, for 
us, is to understand the child’s present condi¬ 
tion, the cause and nature of the offence, how 
the misdirected energy may be best diverted to 
healthy activity, and many other factors, which 
cannot be discovered without trouble. For the 
boy, even if he has been caned, that is only the 
beginning not the end of the affair. The new 
alignment, the change of heart, these things 
may or not be achieved, but they do not 
emerge from the punishment alone. In fact 
it may sometimes be in spite of punishment that 
the underlying good sense and feeling bring 
about the change. Without passing an opinion 
upon methods, it may at least be claimed that 
the presence of both sexes has a civilizing 
influence, and that the conditions of the mixed 
day school are favourable to a rational discipline 
which aims at winning responsible co-operation. 

If the supreme concern of education is with 
the hidden springs of action, feeling and 
thought and spiritual aspiration, then any 
results achieved by dint of force or fear or 
selfish motive will be a barren gain. Of the 


April 1937 THE CO-EDUCATIONAL DAY SCHOOL 

demoralizing effects of fear and greed we have 
evidence on every hand. The rule of force in 
all the affairs of the world has brought us to 
the very verge of the abyss. It would need a far 
vision to foresee the home and the school of the 
uture which will be able to build a better 


109 

world. But perhaps we may assume that 
preparation of the individual for maturity, in 
the highest sense of the word, will be an ideal 
which will command the full co-operation of 
both sexes and the best influences of both 
home and school. 


Feminine Development: Is Co- 
Education a Help or Hindrance? 

Ella Freeman Sharpe 


T wo of the most marked characteristics of 
the civilization of to-day are mechanization 
and speed. In the service of man, controlled 
by the creative and preservative instincts, both 
are good servants. Not controlled by these 
instincts they become bad masters and lead 
towards destruction. 

To ‘force the pace’ is an urgency of the 
present age in whichever direction we look. 
It indicates a tendency to neglect the basic 
laws of the natural order to which man belongs. 
We dictate to nature with disastrous results 
and separate from her laws at our own peril. 
Women can either hasten this neglect or insist 
upon co-operation, for they are most deeply 
immersed in the natural order, committed 
bodily to allegiances of times and seasons in 
processes that set their own natural pace. 
Comparable to her is the wise husbandman who 
sows and reaps in due season, without haste and 
without rest. Civilization is safe while anchored 
to natural law; physical life depends on it and 
civilization divorced from it heads for its own 
destruction. 

The girls of to-day must be fitted to adapt 
themselves to the times in which they live; yet 
to provide for them a scheme of education or an 
educational environment that is governed 
mainly by ideals of adaptation to mechanization 
and speed is to lose the greatest hope we have 
of guiding future generations to a more rational 
mode of living than our own. 

The researches made by psycho-analysis into 
the causes which bring about emotional mal¬ 
adjustments from infancy to maturity indicate 


with some precision certain conditions that are 
indispensable if emotional stability is to be 
attained in adult life. Among the basic factors 
that ensure the birth and nurture of a healthy 
child, whose happy interest and hold on life 
will carry him through all the varying troubles 
and trials of succeeding phases of development, 
the following are without question : 

1. The happy acquiescence of the mother 
in her motherhood means the best possible 
pre-natal period for the child. Such happy 
acquiescence is inseparable from marital com¬ 
patibility and assurance. It is inseparable too 
from absence of stress and strain of outer cir¬ 
cumstances during pregnancy. 

2. The mother with the least anxious 
emotional life will suckle her child with the 
greatest pleasure and ease. The child who has 
been most lovingly and ungrudgingly cared for 
and attended to by its own mother has the best 
foundation upon which to build its future, for 
the foundation I indicate is laid down on the 
basis of the child’s needs, not on those of a 
mother’s anxieties. Hence there will be no 
hurry on her part to speed up the child’s 
development or to make him conform to adult 
standards before he has had time to master 
intervening stages. She will refuse to allow 
the pressure of speed in the outer world to 
hurry the rate of adaptation of the child in his 
nursery. 

If only these two conditions were possible 
for a reasonable percentage of our young 
mothers, a more promising race would be the 
outcome. 


s 






no 


THE NEW ERA 


Education for girls must be directed towards 
two objects which must be inclusive not ex¬ 
clusive. In the first place it must help and not 
hinder the unfolding and maturing of the sexual 
impulses which lead finally in the normal 
course to marriage, home-making, child¬ 
bearing, child-nurture. In the second place it 
must develop innate personal talents, that is, 
sublimation. The majority of girls must be 
able to earn their own living. If they develop 
innate interests and earn their living by some 
work congenial to them they will the more 
likely relinquish their calling only when they 
find a suitable mate whom they wish to be the 
father of their children. Girls are thus not 
driven into marriage as a means of livelihood. 
Moreover, a woman’s knowledge of her 
capability to earn a livelihood ensures her 
against anxiety concerning the future that may 
hold the illness or death of the husband. 

Cultural interest and power of achievement 
provides women not only with a sense of 
security: it ensures a cultural atmosphere in 
the home, the easy provision in the nursery of 
a diversity of methods and materials by which 
children’s interests can be developed and sus¬ 
tained. Upon the acquirement of interests, in 
addition to a home-making capacity, depends 
the happy occupation of women’s later years 
when the children have left the parental home 
and established their own. Women who 
maintain an interest in some sublimation will 
be less likely to cling to their children for 
psychical comfort and support in their own 
declining years. 

The advocates of co-education need to con¬ 
sider the following facts:— 

Owing to our cultural environment sexual 
maturity is reached long before psychical 
maturity and the possibility of independence 
from the parents. At sixteen years of age bovs 
and girls are capable of complete sex functioning, 
but emotionally they are not ready to take over 
the responsibilities attendant upon such func¬ 
tioning. Economically neither can be self- 
supporting. The delay demanded by our 
civilization between sexual maturity and the 
actual use of sexual power in marriage and 
procreation has resulted in the evocation of a 
natural defence system by boys and girls them¬ 
selves. Boys at a certain stage ‘look down ’ on 


April 1937 

girls, and prefer their own company. They give 
their admiration and hero-worship to older 
boys and men. Girls tend to do the same, 
forming their first attachments to other girls 
and school-mistresses. Wisely handled, these 
first loves are stages in emotional development 
and form a basis for later solid friendships with 
people of the same sex. But this defence is of 
further importance. The interim between sexual 
maturity and the time of sexual performance is 
bridged in this way. Boys withdraw from the 
girls during the psychological and physical 
upheaval of puberty; the girls need time and 
the removal of too great external physical 
stimulus during the onset and establishment of 
menstruation. 

The emotional life of both sexes during these 
years of maturing sexuality is stormy and 
changeable. Certain extremes must be avoided. 
Too great simulation by the close and constant 
presence of the other sex may foster sexual 
precocity. It may also bring about another and 
equally harmful result: increased repression of 
sexual desire. For girls this often results in a 
feeling of inferiority concerning femininity and 
an over-emphasis on the goal of equalling and 
surpassing boys in their own intellectual 
pursuits. Both of these issues thwart the process 
of a uniform development of body and mind. 

The years during which the establishment of 
sexual changes takes place are invaluable for 
the establishment of cultural interests, for the 
evocation of powers innate in the individual 
and innate in the sex; that is, freed from pressure 
to rival boys on the one hand, and not excited 
too soon sexually on the other, the girl will not 
only develop her own mental interests but will 
naturally wish to equip herself also for the 
role of mother and home-maker. 

The rhythm to which women should be 
attuned is that of nature, not of the machine. 
Seeing that the future race is theirs to bring to 
birth and to nurture through long years of 
dependence, women need the patience that 
takes the ‘long view’ in contrast to the temper 
that frets for quick results. Women above all 
should value the human body more than the 
machine and foster those skills dependent upon 
trained eyes, ears and hands. 

I doubt whether co-education during the 
years of puberty provides the environment 



April 1937 FEMININE 

suitable tor feminine development. Most of all 
do T doubt the value of co-education in present- 
day conditions. The cult of the machine, the 
worship of speed, and the glamour of quick 
results are symptoms of the anxieties of 
present-day civilization, not signs of progress 
ff the human race towards stabilization. The 
formative years that precede womanhood 


DEVELOPMENT T T j 

should be lived in an environment that will 
foster allegiance to the abiding natural laws 
innate in femininity; only so will both sublima¬ 
tion in the form of cultural interests and the 
actual fulfilment of woman’s place in the 
biological order be attended by the joyful 
participation and co-operation that bring pro¬ 
gress and stabilization. 


The Problems 
In a Boys’ 

jHugh Lyon 

■ AM anxious to restrict this paper to the 
I particular aspect of this vast subject which is 
II suggested by my title. Digression, as my 
pupils know to their profit, is a temptation I 
held to with peculiar alacrity; but I am trusting 
o my complete ignorance of girls and of co¬ 
education to save me from straying too far. 
Others can speak with experience of the whole 
expanse of sex education and the light thrown 
lpon it by recent psychology; I shall be content 
f I can give a fairly accurate picture of one 
eorner of the field. I shall even try to avoid discus¬ 
sing day schools, except by way of occasional con- 
rast; for my experience of both types of schools 
floes not lead me to think that the main problem 
s more easily solved in one type than in the other. 

It is first of all important that we should have 
,n idea of the environment of the modern boy, 
nd the way in which it affects him in his 
ttitude to his sexual powers and temptations, 
t is a commonplace that this environment has 
fhanged a good deal in the past twenty years, 
>artly for the better, a little — perhaps — for the 
yorse. It is all to the good that we are, on the 
rhole, less hypocritical; indeed, until the hush- 
tush attitude to sex was modified, progress was 
impossible. It is good also to find sex talked 
bout seriously and sensibly among young 
'eople, with reserves not of convention but of 
atural decency. How far this is accompanied 
y less self-restraint it is hard to judge. What 
&ck of restraint (where restraint is desirable) 
here is to-day is mainly a result of the greatly 
mcreased opportunities of companionship be- 


of Adolescence 
Boarding School 

Headmaster of Rugby 

tween boys and girls, an increase in most ways 
wholly beneficial. Modern facilities of transport 
and less rigid parental control have probably 
more than made up for the disappearance of 
the large family (which gave the best sex educa¬ 
tion of all). But most freedom brings with it a 
measure of licence; and the free discussion of 
the physical side of sex, the modern standards 
in songs, pictures, stories and shows, and the 
sharpening of every form of sex appeal, cannot 
be making it easier for the impressionable young 
man to control and direct his impulses; how far 
they make it more difficult, none of an older and 
more reticent generation can judge. It is an 
excellent thing to bring sex out of the chamber 
of horrors into the light of day; but it is not seen 
steadily in a blaze of artificial light. And though 
it is good to divest it of its cloaks of mystery and 
prudery, it is too often hastily dressed up again 
in fine clothes, and painted and powdered till 
it is even more effectively disguised than before. 

If, then, we are to guide our young friends into 
any reasonable attitude, we must remember not 
only how much things have changed but how 
much also they are the same. The recurrent 
emphasis on the vanishing of restrictions, the 
more sensible behaviour of parents, and the 
happiness and freedom of the young, some¬ 
times suggests that there is no longer any 
problem or difficulty about which boys need 
intelligent guidance. So let it be clearly stated 
that in a civilized society which clings to any 
kind of a moral code, sex is and will continue to 
be a difficulty to the majority of young men 





112 


THE NEW ERA 


during and immediately after the period of 
adolescence. However wise a boy’s instructors, 
however helpful his surroundings, he will be 
faced with problems of readjustment to new 
conditions, with moral conflicts between duty 
and impulse, with shameful surrenders and 
noble conquests, not very different from those 
that we ourselves experienced. And we, like 
our fathers, must be content to look on, after 
we have done what we can, and watch boys be¬ 
coming masters of themselves; we cannot 
fight that battle for them, for ‘no man can 
deliver his brother, nor make agreement unto 
God for him; for it cost more to redeem their 
souls, so that he must let that alone for ever.’ 

I have assumed that though we cannot deliver 
our brother, we can and should do something 
definite to help him. There is to-day fairly 
general agreement on this point, though I was 
once denounced in print for saying so by a 
young gentleman who thought it far more 
satisfactory for boys to learn the facts of sex 
from scribblings on lavatory walls. On the re¬ 
sulting questions, as to the right person to give 
the instruction, the right time for it, and the 
right method, there is much disagreement; 
I can only state my own opinions for what they 
are worth. In an ideal society, I have no doubt 
that the relations between parents and children 
would be so intimate that there would be no 
need for any formal instruction at a definite 
time, since question and answer over many 
years would result in the satisfaction of every 
curiosity, as soon as it was born. But as things 
are few parents can talk to their sons at adoles¬ 
cence about sex without some embarrassment 
on both sides; this may be regrettable, but it is a 
fact. And when there is this embarrassment I am 
convinced that any kind of forced attempt by a 
conscientious father to inform his son about 
‘the facts of life’ is liable to spoil the natural ease 
of their friendship. Moreover, most fathers are 
not experts in this art (for it is an art) and find it 
difficult to say enough; also the very closeness of 
their relationship with their sons makes it hard 
for them to be frank about their own experience. 
I feel myself that the Housemaster is the right 
instructor, not merely a ‘second best’ substitute 
for a reluctant father. After his first few terms in 
office he will become an adept in giving informa¬ 
tion naturally and sensibly, and in revealing the 


April 1937 

sympathy which invites confidence; he will by 
his method of dealing with the subject en¬ 
courage his boys to regard him as a human 
being; and he is on the spot to help any boy who 
has the sense to consult him at the time when 
that help is needed. 

I need not say so much about the time and 
method of such talks. Boys should certainly be 
interviewed singly and quite informally, though 
it is possible and perhaps desirable for some 
general biological information to be given in a 
talk to new boys by the school doctor; and, 
unless the circumstances of the boy or the House 
make an earlier talk desirable, I think it best for 
it to come at about the end of a boy’s first year 
in the school. By then he will know his House¬ 
master fairly well and be ready for an intimate 
talk with him; he will probably also have reached 
puberty and know a little of the difficulties he 
has to face. In a House with a good tone he will 
not have been forced into any situations where 
lack of proper instruction will have betrayed 
him; and such undesirable talk as he has heard 
will simply have been that ‘Prep School’ 
mixture of conjecture, curiosity and ignorance 
which does no lasting harm. 

I have, as I say, assumed that most of my 
readers agree that boys should be officially 
told something, and that no one nowadays 
believes that we ought to put our fingers on our 
lips and acquiesce in the view (even if we don’t 
preach it) that sex is something either too 
horrid or too holy to talk about at all. But I am 
a little apprehensive of the reaction which has 
driven some to the other extreme, and prompted 
them to a purely scientific exposition of the 
facts, with the implication (sometimes openly 
stated) that no moral question is involved. 
The latter attitude seems to me just as likely to 
spoil the happiness which belongs to a well- 
ordered sex life. Surely we can do better than 
this. Surely it is possible to give a boy both 
a knowledge of physiology and high ideals; not 
only to explain to him the details of sexual 
intercourse but to suggest that what in the 
animal world is something merely physical can 
become in man one of the noblest, tenderest, 
and most profound of all his experiences. To 
terrify a boy with denunciation of self-abuse and 
awful hints of its consequences is cruel; is 
it any kinder to pretend that there is no virtue in 



THE PROBLEMS OE ADOLESCENCE 


ri 3 


April 1937 

self-control? The psychologist has warned us of 
the danger of repression; but the way of escape 
he proposes is not that of yielding to our im¬ 
pulses, but their sublimation. We can, if we 
have a measure of understanding, spare a boy 
i the bewilderment, the agonies of self-reproach, 
and the fearful secrecy which w'ere the normal 
accompaniments of adolescence two generations 
ago. But, unless we are prepared to tell boys 
that sex in man is a physical appetite and 
I nothing more, we cannot and should not at¬ 
tempt to blur the truth which their own con¬ 
science tells them; the truth that self-control 
involves conflict, and that without conflict 
! there cannot be character. 

What a Housemaster does in a boarding 
i school can be done, and often is, by the Head- 
; master of a small day school. But in this respect 
| I believe the boarding school to give the better 
opportunity, since it is difficult for any day 
; school Headmaster to know all his boys at all 
: intimately. Moreover a House in a boarding 
: school is a little world where influences can 
: grow and linger; and the very seclusion which 
; led to gross abuses in days when schools really 
j were ‘sinks of iniquity’ is now far more often a 
protection to growing idealism and a strengthen- 
: ing influence to boys who are shamed out of 
their own weaknesses by the strength of others. 
Boys in boarding schools are less open to those 
casual contacts with adult vice which have left 
their mark on many young imaginations; and 
i they are members of a society where life is full 
j of manifold activity. The busier a boy can be 
j when he is young the better; and modern 
| developments in boarding schools make it easy 
; for him to be much more profitably busy than 
• of old. The sexual impulse can be released in 
adolescence in all forms of creative energy; 

| music, art, carpentry, sport of all kinds, 

: hobbies, literature, debates—all these occupa- 
■ tions are doing more for a boy than training his 
! body and his mind. And the school where they 
: flourish is usually a school with a healthy 
| spirit. I would even venture to suggest that 
separation from the other sex is at this age a 
good thing psychologically; for if a boy is to 
have a happy sex life he should break loose at 
adolescence from the maternal influence which 
is all that ‘woman’ has meant to him hitherto. 

[ Complete severance would of course be dis¬ 


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astrous; but the holidays (and how much more 
holidays mean after a boy goes to a boarding 
school!) can keep the bond intact but not com¬ 
pelling. And most boys nowadays get a good 
measure of healthy companionship with girls 
in holiday surroundings, and thus find ex¬ 
pression for those emotions to which no school 
life can give an outlet. 

I have said nothing about the homosexuality 
which is often supposed to be a feature of 
boarding school life. I think it once was; but I am 
convinced that intelligent instruction, sympathy, 
and the fuller and more varied life of the 
modern school are combining to do away with 
its more deliberate form. There remains, and 
probably always will remain, that sentimental 
affection of one boy for another which has in it 
the greatest possibilities both for good and ill. 
But I believe that it does more good than harm, 
and that in a wholesome atmosphere it is in¬ 
sensibly guided into the right channels. 
Certainly those who have experienced it in its 
best form would be the last to decry the con¬ 
ditions which make it possible. For all love that 
is worth the name gives us a glimpse of the ideal. 











The Boy from Five to 

Nine Years of Age 


Irene M. Ironside 

W hat ought our small boys to have in 
the way of environment and education 
during these all-important years—the 
period between babyhood and the moment at 
which custom decrees they should leave home 
and go to a preparatory school? 

i. The society of other children of both 
sexes. In England our boys, as a whole, live 
the monastic life of the preparatory and 
public school, and from the age of 9 to, say, 18 
years this segregation at school continues. 
Many feel that this complete segregation is 
harmful and it is doubtful if its continuance 
before the years of puberty is capable of defence 
on social and physical grounds—its persistence 
is a heritage from the Middle Ages when public 
education at school and university was for 
boys only. It is noticeable that to-day there is a 
tendency even in the preparatory schools— 
those strongholds of blind traditionalism—to 
soften this anti-social harshness by allowing 
boys and girls from neighbouring schools to 
meet for lectures, concerts, tennis, etc., and 
in some of the preparatory schools a certain 
number of girls are to be found. 

With our younger boys—of the pre-prepara¬ 
tory age (5-9 years), the co-educational day- 
school can give a natural association of boys 
with girls. The differing fundamentals of the 
sexes should be learnt by boys and girls working 
and playing together normally. The camaraderie 
induced by constant association in and out of 
school is wholly good. It is sometimes said that 
boys may become ‘soft’ through this associa¬ 
tion, but people who talk in this way cannot be 
visualizing the girl as she is to-day. My ex¬ 
perience is that the small girl is quite as 
vigorous and every whit as courageous as the 
small boy, and her company is an excellent and 
stimulating tonic. I can recall a group of 
children being startled by a small boy of 6 
announcing, ‘What I feel like doing is fighting 
someone.’ His male contemporaries made no 


response, but a little girl started to her feet and 
shouted, Til fight you.’ 

It is said, however, that little girls cannot 
play cricket and football and that the boys must 
be got ready for their preparatory schools. For, 
today, there is a strong movement among 
parents to make small boys play the games 
which are only suitable for big boys and men. 
The preparatory schools are changing their 
games programme considerably, and com¬ 
pulsory cricket and football is, in many cases, 
not an essential part of each day’s exercise, and 
yet parents of little boys of 5 and 6 wish them 
to play football and cricket. When one thinks 
that these children will have at least three 
years of this before they enter their preparatory 
schools, surely we should stop and consider 
whether it is right. 

Children should play the games for which 
they are suited at the moment. Their own 
imaginary games which, while they give intense 
pleasure, involuntarily train in physical control; 
and occasional team games which may include 
informal cricket, tip and run, and a variety of 
ball games. These games give the best prepara¬ 
tion for boys to become good football players 
and cricketers in later years. 

Those of you who heard Herr K. Hahn 
speak, w T ill remember that he does not allow 
compulsory formal games until his boys are 
about 14, just because he believes that these 
organized games have a deadening effect on a 
boy’s imagination. ‘Had I been compelled,’ 
said Professor Miall, the naturalist, ‘to play 
games when at school, I should never have 
been a naturalist.’ 

An added evil is the opportunity given to the 
child to form false values. Little boys are really 
happier playing little children’s games, but if 
they are made to think that it is a fine thing to 
play football ‘like big boys,’ these children 
will mostly say they like it. It is not, however, 
the game they are really enjoying, but the sense 


114 


April 1937 THE BOY FROM FIVE TO NINE YEARS OF AGE 


of importance which the playing of an adult 
game engenders, and this establishes a false set 
of values; they ought to be enjoying the game. 

2. Secondly, the small boy should be taught 
by women for as long as possible, — and by 
women who have been trained for their calling. 
A recent leading article in The Times reads as 
follows: ‘The teaching of small boys is the 
most delicate of educational jobs, since it 
demands that the schoolmaster be part psychia¬ 
trist, part nursemaid; far too often owing to 
lack of prestige and insufficient salary available 
he is only a double Blue, with good-will and a 
medium degree, himself moulded inadequately 
in the same school.' No wonder The Times 
headed this article ‘Little Victims.’ 

It is a deplorable fact that nearly all the young 
men who teach in our preparatory schools have 
had no training whatsoever for this all-impor¬ 
tant profession, and are frequently only putting 
in time before starting off on some entirely 
different career. Unfortunately these young 
men too often think that in order to keep 
discipline they must adopt a bullying tone to 
these young children and all grace of natural 
intercourse is lost. Consequently the boys are 
inclined to use the same manner of speech when 
they return to their homes and then receive 
unmerited correction. Little boys should be 
treated with firmness and, if need arise, with 
severity, but it is essential that at the back of all 
should be great understanding, sympathy and 
affection. The bullying tone should have no 
place; men would not speak to each other in the 
tones they often use to young boys. 

I remember that famous Preparatory School 
Headmaster, the late Lionel Helbert of 
‘Westdowns’, talking to me about a boy of very 
difficult character in his school. (It was during 
the War and several women teachers, beyond 
the one he always employed for his youngest 
boys, had been taken on the Staff.) ‘This boy,’ 
he said, ‘has been so much better since he was 
in the hands of a woman.’ 

To-day there is a tendency to send little boys 
to boys’ schools even sooner than the ordinary 
prep, school age of 9, and while still about 6 or 
7 they are sent to a boys’ school. W hy this 
should be the case it is difficult to understand, 
as even in the unenlightened days of the 13th 
and 14th centuries boys sent from home to 


begin their training for manhood entered the 
society of women, to whom they gave service. 
They were taught piping, harping, singing, 
dancing, for they had also to entertain these 
ladies. The pages had to be graceful, charming, 
courageous and courteous. Yet history does 
not relate that they grew up lacking in manliness. 

As said before, school life with its conven¬ 
tionalizing lessons, games and drill, segregates 
boys for ten years. Why should this segregation 
begin one day before it is necessary? Let me 
quote from a letter of Professor H. A. Harris of 
Cambridge. ‘The feats of daring, of mental and 
physical endurance, whether at the equator or 
the poles, in the Himalayas or the Arabian 
deserts, are the product of the spirit of the 
British race, not of the gymnasium or the 
barrack square. Drake, Cook, Scott, Lawrence, 
owed nothing to physical training.’ He con¬ 
tinues, ‘In Scott’s diary, after feats of incom¬ 
parable physical endurance, is the advice 
Make the boy interested in Natural History, 
if you can; it is better than games; they en¬ 
courage it in some schools’. This leads me 
on to my third point: 

3. The subjects taught. These should be 
along the line of the child’s interest; small 
boys revel in natural science, but now, twenty 
years after Scott’s death, as far as I can dis¬ 
cover, only some few of the boys’ schools give 
any time to this subject, and we live in a 
scientific age! This subject, more than any 
other, trains the mind to think and to think with 
interest. It is not a subject in which facts are to 
be amassed, but a subject which leads to obser¬ 
vation and creative thought. It appeals to 
children because it is an ‘observational’ 
science, and observation is the young child’s 
strong point. ‘If I don’t want to miss a flower 
or a bird,’ said Professor Miall, ‘I always take 
a young child with me in my walks.’ 

The chief subject should be English 
written and spoken — as suggested at the recent 
Conference of Headmasters of Preparatory 
Schools. The arts and crafts, including painting, 
drawing, music, should hold their place in the 
curriculum. Minds kept fresh and keen by 
these cultural subjects, will cope with Latin, 
mathematics, etc., with greater zest and con¬ 
centration on the lessons, which should 
consequently shorten the hours of work. 






u6 THE NEW ERA April 1937 

Some preparatory schoolmasters say that that later they may be fitted for the 

they have not time in the curriculum for some service of mankind and not merely ‘get on’ in 

of the subjects mentioned above; it is therefore life. 

of the greatest importance that until the boy We fail our little sons if we place them in an 
goes to his preparatory school at 9 or 9J years environment which forces them to grow up too 

he should be having the full advantage of soon or give them a curriculum which may 

learning these subjects. stultify or crush that feeling of worship and 

Our little boys are so full of lively interest wonder which glows in each and every heart, 

which must be stimulated and encouraged £ He who wonders reigns.’ 


Fellowship News 


GREAT BRITAIN 

English Organizing Secretary 

The English Section has appointed Mr. C. D. L. 
Brereton as Organizing Secretary. His principal task 
will be to arrange activities in various parts of Eng¬ 
land and thus extend our work into a much wider 
field than has yet been touched. He begins his duties 
on April 1st and we wish him every success. 

New Year Honours 

We offer our congratulations to Sir Percival 
Meadon, Director of Education for Lancashire, on 
the honour of knighthood which has been conferred 
upon him. Sir Percival is a Member of the Council 
and the Executive Committee of the English New 
Education Fellowship. 

Teacher Training Report 

The Report, edited by Professor McClelland, of 
the N.E.F. Teacher Training Commission which met 
at Cheltenham, has now been completed. A copy of it 
may be seen at Headquarters Library. 

Art Exhibition Material 

A selection of the American, Chinese and Polish 
art work shown at Cheltenham has been exhibited at 
the Sutton and Cheam School of Art, the Guildford 
School of Arts and Crafts, the Hull College of Arts 
and Crafts, and the Plymouth Art Gallery. The 
three weeks’ exhibition at Plymouth was visited by 
9,883 people, and Mr. John Tenney lectured on 
Children’s Drawings. This material is still available 
for loan. Applications should be made to Head¬ 
quarters. 

Senor Luzuriaga 

Friends who have read our notes about Senor 
Luzuriaga will be glad to learn that he is now 
settled in Glasgow, as Lecturer in Spanish. 

Bird Songs for Schools 

Mr. Ludwig Koch, of whom Dr. Julian Huxley 
writes that he ‘has brought the technique of recording 


international Headquarters, 29 Tavistock 
Square, London, W.C.! 

the songs of wild birds appreciably nearer perfection 
than any of his predecessors’, has recently delighted 
school children with his lecture on ‘How I Collected 
Bird-Songs’. We are sure that many schools would be 
glad to enjoy the same lecture, which is illustrated 
by lantern slides and gramophone records. Mr. 
Koch’s address is 35 Manchester Street, W.i. 

Visit of Dr. Adler 

Dr. Alfred Adler will be in Great Britain from 
May 20th to August 4th. He has been invited to lec¬ 
ture and hold courses in London and a number of 
other centres. Those who wish to have particulars 
of his engagements should write to the Hon. Secre¬ 
tary, Adler Vacation Courses, 46 Lexham Gardens, 
W.8. 

ARGENTINE 

We are happy to have received from Mme de 
Rezzano, Secretary of the Argentine Section of the 
N.E.F., an account of the work which is going on 
there. She and her husband, who is Professor of 
Education at the University of La Plata and Inspector 
General of Primary Schools, have for the past fifteen 
years been labouring with a group of friends to pro¬ 
mote New Education in the schools of the Republic. 
Through their writings and lectures they have 
made new ideas and methods known, while Professor 
de Rezzano has been able to stimulate, encourage, 
advise and criticize on the spot as his official 
journeys have taken him from school to school up 
and down the vast country. Others, such as Dr. 
Cassani, the Director of the Institute of Education 
at Buenos Aires, Dr. Mantovani, Inspector General 
of Secondary Schools, and Dr. Calcagno, of the 
University of La Plata, have done no less valuable 
work in their particular spheres. Despite many 
difficulties, notable successes have been achieved. 
Teaching on the basis of ‘Centres of Interest’ is now 
widespread in the Argentine, where it has met with 
more favour than any other of the systems. Mme de 
Rezzano’s book, Los Centros de Interes en la Escnela 
Primaria , now in its 4th edition, has done much to 
make the method known. Another advance is the 


April IO37 FELLOWSHIP NEWS 


introduction in 1936 by the National Council of 
Education of new programmes of work for primary 
schools, based on the activity of the children. The 
promotion of New Education in the Argentine is a 
process of gradual penetration, often in the face of 
opposition, and those who work for it have to avoid 
very carefully any suggestion of political or religious 
alignment. 

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND 

The Board of Education, London, has appointed 
Mr. G. T. Hankin, who is one of H.M. Inspectors, 
as its official representative at the Australian and 
New Zealand N.E.F. Conferences. The League of 
Nations will be represented by Mr. Geoffrey Dennis, 
of Geneva. 

FRANCE 

‘Pour I’Ere Nouvelle’ 

The January number of Pour VEre Nouvelle is 
principally devoted to the very interesting discussions 
which took place at Cheltenham of the value of tests 
and examinations. 

Lecture Courses 

As in previous years, the French Section organized 
during January and February courses of lectures at 
the College of Social Sciences. The first course was 
on the general theme of The Control of Studies and 
the Selection of Pupils, and the lecturers were M. 
Vauquelin, M. Francis, Mme Bourdel and Mme 
Roubakine. Two courses for parents were also given, 
on New Methods of Education for Children of 7 and 
upwards , and The Use of Kindergarten Methods in the 
Family. 

French Section Reorganization 

The French Section has undergone important re¬ 
organization with a view to achieving a greater 
amount of effective work and to establishing a 
powerful propaganda movement in France in favour 
of educational reform. To give the Section a broader 
basis the minimum subscription rate has been 
lowered. A number of new branches are being 
formed in various centres and steps are being taken 
to maintain closer contact between the branches and 
the Section’s Headquarters in Paris. An Executive 
Committee, representing different types of educa¬ 
tional work and different points of views, has been 
set up to direct a programme of activities and to co¬ 
operate with other organizations. The Committee 
has drawn up a list of outstanding problems and ap¬ 
pointed rapporteurs to organize research into them. 
Weighty" collaboration has been secured and the work 
of sending out questionnaires has begun. The Com¬ 
mittee hopes to publish the results of these inquiries 
in the form of booklets. Another important proposal 
is that the Section should take part in the educa¬ 
tional portion of this year’s International Exhibition 
of Arts and Crafts in Paris. 


INDIA 
N.E.F. Tour 

A delegation, consisting of Professor Pierre Bovet, 
Mr. E. Salter Davies and Rektor L. Zilliacus, will go 
on from the Australian Conference to India. The 
delegation will be there from October, 1937, till 
January, 1938, and will visit the chief centres of the 
N.E.F. Further details from Mr. E. W. Franklin, 
Spence Training College, Jubbulpore, C.P., or from 
Adiss Soper, International Headquarters. 

All India Conference 

'The All India Federation of the N.E.F. held its 
second annual conference at Gwalior in December, 
within the programme of the All India Educational 
Conference. Pandit Iqbal Narayan Gurtu presided, 
and addresses on the aims and principles of the 
Fellowship were delivered by Principal Saivaidin, 
Dr. A. E. Harper, Principal Pearce and Mr. A. C. C. 
Hervey (who represented India at the Cheltenham 
Conference). 

Punjab Section 

Mr. S. H. Wood, of the Board of Education, 
London, who is in India at the invitation of the 
Indian Government, addressed the Lahore members 
of the N.E.F. in February on the Aims of Education. 
His address included a definition of an educated 
man which is worth passing on: ‘An educated man is 
one who can entertain a new idea, a new person, and 
himself when alone.’ 

NORTH AMERICA 

A Conference will be held in Canada, April 23rd- 
24th, and one in the U.S.A., at Rochester, N.Y., 
April 30th-May 1st. If anyone going from England 
to either Conference would communicate with 
International Headquarters, we should be grateful. 

Mrs. H. T. Clark 

We very much regret to announce the death of 
Mrs. H. T. Clark, of Cleveland, who was a prominent 
and very active member of the N.E.F. She had been 
ill since last July, and was unable to come, as she had 
intended, to the Cheltenham Conference. Her ab¬ 
sence was keenly felt by her friends of many T nation¬ 
alities in the Fellowship, and her death will be widely 
mourned. 

SPAIN 

Children in Spain 

Senora Margarita Comas, of the University of 
Barcelona, who was President of our Spanish Section, 
is at present in England on behalf of the children of 
Spain, thousands of whom are streaming from the 
four fronts to the eastern part of the country. Several 
relief societies are at work, all of them taking children 
regardless of their parents’ political views. As they 
arrive they are received and given a meal by the 
Society of Friends and the Save the Children Fund, 
and then passed on to colonies. The village colonies 







THE NEW ERA 


118 

get local help; those in towns are fed by the Govern¬ 
ment. There is a shortage of food, especially milk and 
sugar, and of clothes and heating. Gifts of clothes, 
old or new, should be sent to Davies Turner & Co., 
82 Queens Circus, S.W.8, marked ‘Children in 
Spain’. The most economical method of providing 
the other necessities is to buy them near the Spanish 
border and save on transport. Money for this purpose 
is badly needed and should he sent to Senora Comas, 
c/o N.E.F. Headquarters. Senora Comas is very 
eager for opportunities of addressing English 
audiences on the Spanish situation and the needs of 
the children. Will members who can arrange such 
opportunities please get in touch with her. Those 
who heard her at the Tea-Time Talk on February 
19th will know how persuasively she pleads the cause 
of these children who so badly need our help. 

New School in Barcelona 

We have received the following account from a 
member of the Society of Friends who has been 
working in Spain:— 

‘In the House of Youth in Barcelona a libertarian 
school, run by five members of the Anarchist Youth 
Association without any official support or financial 
help, has been open since November 1st. The build¬ 
ing was formerly occupied by a convent school and 
has been transformed by voluntary workmen eager 
for education. Its scientific equipment consists largely 
of apparatus saved from fires during the period of 
revolt in Barcelona; whenever a building was burning 
the young educators hurried out to retrieve anything 
of educational or cultural value. Some of the books in 
the library (such as the works of the great Spanish 
mystics) were retained, other books were given by 
publishers, and the library now has complete sets of 
many of the standard editions of Spanish authors as 


April 1937 

well as many good scientific and historical books. 
Pictures have been saved for their artistic merits 
rather than for their subjects, and amongst them are 
several religious works. 

The school is free to all and has pupils of all ages 
and classes. In accordance with Anarchist principles 
of absolute liberty for the individual, every student 
chooses the subjects he wishes to study, and the 
teachers, who are voluntary, do their best to en¬ 
courage each to work along his own lines. The most 
favoured subjects seem to be mathematics and gram¬ 
mar, but the curriculum includes nine or ten scientific 
subjects, as well as history, literature, philosophy, 
music, elocution, art (both decorative and com¬ 
mercial), cooking and typewriting. The school pub¬ 
lishes a newspaper, sends out lecturers on various 
cultural subjects, and lends books from its library; 
it also organizes physical culture and visits to places 
of interest. 

The government of the school is by a central 
committee consisting of representatives from each 
class. Matters affecting the whole school are dealt 
with by this committee, but each class decides for 
itself in matters affecting its own work alone. There is 
also an advisory council composed of representatives 
of the parents, the teachers, the pupils and the Young 
Anarchist organization. 

There is no compulsion of any kind, and on the 
whole this freedom is very little abused; even the 
organizers of the school have been surprised at the 
growth of group unity and individual responsibility. 
The desire of the Catalan people for knowledge is 
greater than all the obstacles in the way of its satis¬ 
faction. It is hoped that in time schools of this kind 
will spring up in all the quarters of the city and that 
the work will lead on to a People's University open 
to rich and poor alike.’ 



Designed and drawn by Leila Barford 


The Nursery Class. By Jessie White, D.Sc. 
( Lond .), BA { Birmingham ). (Published by the 
Auto-Education institute, 46 Great Russell Street, 
London, W.C.l. 8vo. Price Is. 6c/.) 

Dr. White’s little book has been written to fill the 
gap which exists in educational literature. ‘A great 
deal’, she says in her introduction, ‘has been written 
about the Nursery School but very little about the 
Nursery Class’. In practice this has meant that atten¬ 
tion has been concentrated upon small groups of 
children gathered into nursery schools, and very little 
upon the larger number of children in all parts of the 
country who attend the public elementary schools 


whilst they are still below the compulsory school age. 
Dr. White demands the best possible conditions not 
only for the ‘under fives’ but for all pupils of the 
junior school age; and she is alarmed because the 
Board of Education's Pamphlet 106 expresses an 
attitude which appears likely, to her, to delay the 
necessary reforms. 

It is a little late in the day for an official publication 
to attempt to hoodwink teachers by dwelling upon 
the superiority of sympathy, skill and devotion over 
money. Such statements mean no more—and have 
never meant more — than that the government does 
not intend to spend money in encouraging nurserv 
classes. Sympathy and skill without proper apparatus 


















April 1937 

and furniture will not achieve the ends of education: 
nor, it is hardly necessary to say, will proper 
apparatus alone achieve them. 

Dr. White has been a pioneer in the attempt to 
provide satisfactory apparatus at very low rates. The 
Montessori apparatus, too, is not out of the reach of 
people who believe education to be worth while. 
Now and then, perhaps, teachers are able to devise 
for themselves inexpensive additions to this tested 
equipment. But that teachers should spend their 
leisure in rummaging rag-bags and in scavenging to 
employ their skill in making makeshifts because 
official parsimony w ill not sanction the proper equip¬ 
ment of the nursery class is a suggestion which is 
not merely preposterous, but insulting. If the 
parents of children attending the elementary schools 
do not resent it forcefully, their teachers should. 

Dr. White suggests that the results which should 
be looked for, from infant and nursery education, are 
the following seven: ‘Health, happiness, cleanliness, 
strength, refinement, savoir faire and moral insight’, 
(p. 82). She would not consider achievement in 
counting, writing and reading, though giving oppor¬ 
tunity and assistance to the children for making as 
much progress as they were capable of. The ‘inspec¬ 
tor’, who would report upon the ‘results’, might be a 
medical woman with psychological qualifications. 

The several chapters deal with the topics, ‘Exer¬ 
cises of Practical Life’, ‘Meals and Music’ and ‘A 
Burning Question’ — this last a discussion of the 
vexed question of working for results. A second chap¬ 
ter criticizes the various criticisms of nursery schools, 
and Miss Ethel Mannin’s Common Sense and the 
Child is described as a work in which ‘there is a little 
common sense mingled with what no one by any 
stretch of imagination could call by that name’ 

(P- 32)- . 

Be this as it may, Dr. White’s own book is compact 
of common sense and quiet humour. Obviously, she 
feels deeply indignant over the faults of Pamphlet 
106; moved to the extent of adding a final chapter 
dealing with it. This just indignation does not express 
itself in vituperation, however: Dr. W hite’s common 
sense and quiet humour enable her to frame an 
indictment, not only against the pamphlet, but the 
whole parsimonious policy it endorses and the atti¬ 
tude towards the children of poor people which it 
expresses. ... It is unfortunate that a work entitled 
‘The Nursery Class’ is likely to be read only by pro¬ 
fessional teachers, and not by the members of 
Women’s Institutes, Women’s Co-operative Guilds, 
and Women’s Local Government Associations. Such 
bodies, bringing effective pressure to bear on the 
responsible bodies, might do a great deal to bring 
about reforms already overdue. 

George H. Green 

A New Guide to Precis Writing. By 

R. W. Jepson. ( Longmans , Green & Co. 
Price 2s. 6d.) 

This book is written for Matriculation and VI 
Form students but its value is by no means limited 
to preparation for examinations. Mr. Jepson writes 


1 r 9 

in the preface : ‘Precis writing provides a valuable 
corrective to muddled thinking and loose, vague and 
verbose expression’. If you accept that and you are 
interested in the training of rational democrats who 
will be immune against emotional oratory and 
‘inspired’ journalese, you will find a place in the 
curriculum for this book — exam, or no exam. 

The material is well arranged. A preliminary chap¬ 
ter deals with ‘padding’ — circumlocutions, tautology, 
verbosity — avoidance of separate predication and, 
on the constructive side, has some useful lists of 
single-word equivalents for roundabout phrases. 
Then follow general instructions and hints for examin¬ 
ation candidates, and separate chapters on: Narrative, 
character and description, exposition and argument, 
speeches, letters, etc., conversation and dialogue, 
evidence of witnesses, and documents and corres¬ 
pondence. 

Each chapter proceeds on this plan : explanation 
(always clear), examples (introduced naturally) and 
dozens of exercises. After reading the explanation and 
studying the worked examples no normal pupil need 
misunderstand what is expected of him in the 
exercises. 

The examples and exercises are, as the chapter 
headings indicate, collected from numerous sources 
and include legal documents, 18th century letters in 
the ‘grand manner’, a recent speech in the House of 
Commons, a series of diplomatic communications on 
the exchange of prisoners of war, minutes of evidence 
before the Commission on the Private Manufacture of 
Arms, and selections from Bacon, Austen, Macaulay 
and Mill. 

To the teacher of ‘Eng Lit. Comp.’who is beginning 
to sweat lightly about ‘that and Precis paper in July’, 
a set of these books should be a boon ; the individual 
student preparing for a Civil Service examination 
will find a copy a valuable guide; but I would like to 
make its study a statutory obligation on all journalists, 
politicians and clerics. 

Denis McMahon 

Clinical Studies in Speech Therapy. By 

Anne H. McAllister , M.A., Ed.B. (University 
of London Press. Price 5s.) 

This book, though it does not cover the whole 
range of Speech Therapy, is a valuable and admirably 
presented study of those disorders of speech most 
common in schools. Miss McAllister classifies 
speech disorders into two main groups, viz.: — 
Stammering and Stuttering. To quote her intro¬ 
duction: ‘The first group is distinguished by con¬ 
sistent distortions or omissions of certain speech 
sounds so that the speech is unintelligible.’ In this 
group she includes Lisping. Lalling and Idioglossia 
and finds that mental dullness is common. The word 
Stuttering is described as applicable to those ‘types of 
disability by reason of which the individual is 
unable to speak with ease and fluency’, this condition 
being associated with emotional disorder, usually in 
individuals of normal or high intelligence. 

Such a classification is of course open to contro¬ 
versy since, as Miss McAllister herself points out, 


BOOK REVIEWS 



120 


THE NEW ERA 


“a stammer may become a stutter if unpleasant 
emotion is aroused in association with the stammer.’ 
Probably few stammerers, except those of a very low 
mental grade, are without some anxiety in relation to 
their disability unless this is so common in their 
environment as to escape notice, and among the 
excellent case studies in this book are some examples 
of a stammer arising out of emotional maladjustment. 

The psychogenic factors in speech disorders are 
clearly demonstrated in a large number of cases 
described in a manner equally interesting to the 
expert or to the layman in speech therapy, as in the 
chapters on Stuttering associated with fear, with 
inferiority conflicts and with sex disturbances. Such 
factors call for close collaboration between the speech 
therapist and the psychotherapist, although the best 
means of collaboration are not always easy to deter¬ 
mine. 


April 1937 

Miss McAllister considers that the focusing of an 
emotional disorder upon speech is indicative of an 
inherent weakness in the speech organs, and that 
therapeutic attention must first be directed towards 
these. She says truly that 'merely to relieve the 
existing emotional disorder is to offer temporary 
relief only’, but it is surely certain that permanent 
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It is to be hoped that her book will find a place 
upon the bookshelves of them all. M. Nielka 


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THE NEW ERA 

IN HOME AND SCHOOL 


Outlook Tower 


T he last three numbers of the New Era have 
dealt in some measure with the ‘free per¬ 
sonality’. This and the following number 
are concerned with the ‘free society’. The division 
is somewhat arbitrary. No society can be freer, 
or for that matter more duty-loving or more 
compassionate, than the sum of its parts. It can 
perhaps be more vicious than the majority of its 
members but its virtue depends directly upon 
the individual good in the men and women who 
compose it. 

A man can however be a great deal freer than 
his environment seems to warrant. Freedom is 
subjective and is always obtained ‘at a great 
price’: the recognition of limitation. Those who 
say the sky’s their limit, are horribly apt to 
cry for the moon. A certain amount of routine, a 
certain number of things that have to be done, 
seem to form a profitable framework for the 
life of man. The rules of prosody have cradled 
poetry far richer than the free verse which 
denies them. Formalism can overreach itself, 
until the letter is all and the spirit nothing. But 
the incohate is apt to hide little virtue behind 
much mystery. So the free society will still be an 
‘order’ in the monastic sense. This order cannot 
be devised by one intellect, however powerful. 
It can only be devised by the good sense and 
good will of men and women engaged in social 
living. 

F ear and hate are diseases which undermine 
the life of the individual and of the body 
politic. In countless forms and variations, from 
self-hate to the vast mass fears and hatreds ol 
the nations, they poison life because they deny 


life. They are always ignoble, though they some¬ 
times make great claims to nobility. 

The commandment ‘love thy neighbour as 
thy self’, which to the adolescent seems so 
niggardly — making insufficient demands on 
service and self-abnegation — is seen slowly by 
the more adult as high wisdom. Self-hate may 
be as baleful a refusal to accept limits as any 
other. It causes much bad citizenship. For by 
hating oneself — who should be as dear as one’s 
neighbour — one seems to earn the right to hate 
one’s neighbour. On the other hand, acceptance 
of false limitations on the freedom of others — 
limits imposed on one set of citizens by the 
carelessness or selfishness of another — is also 
unsocial. 

T he aim of educators — and first and foremost 
of parents — should surely be to enable 
children to find and accept true limits without 
fear or hatred. The early progressive educa¬ 
tionists were wise in insisting that the young 
child can learn much from the limitations im¬ 
posed on him by the physical properties of 
matter — the hardness of stone, the toughness of 
wood, the malleable inadhesiveness of clay, the 
adhesive non-malleability of glue. I he young 
child needs very varied play material and can for 
the most part learn his own lessons from it, 
though he needs help even here, lest his struggles 
with some recalcitrant property end in rage and 
frustration. Love and laughter can help even 
that fierce individualist the two-year-old in his 
efforts to be himself. 

It now seems as though some of the early 
progressives held back too long in coming to the 


121 









122 


THE NEW ERA 


help of the child. ‘Mother knows best’ is per¬ 
haps one of those truisms which should never 
be stated. But it should surely be true. The 
adult should know more of the possibilities, 
limitations and purposes of life than the child. 
When the child challenges an adult dictum, the 
dictum should perhaps be revised, but not 
cravenly discarded. A child who cannot feel a 
reasonable confidence in the wisdom of his 
elders, who cannot refer his immature standards 
to any measuring-stick but his own wants, has 
little chance to accommodate himself to those 
abstractions of community living, authority 
and justice. 

I N educating children for democratic citizen¬ 
ship we have a two-stranded task. We have to 
help them to be cheerfully themselves and also to 
accede to the will of the majority. They must 
feel and think as individuals, but they must be 
ready to act (or to withhold action, in the case of 
a minority) as members of a group. 

This ability to pause a moment before action 
—so that action may be concerted for greater 
efficacy or abstained from in the public interest, 
is an acquired characteristic. It is necessary to 
all communal living. But its acquisition is not 
without danger. Sometimes the pause between 
thought and action is so prolonged that action 
seems futile and the citizen becomes per¬ 
manently ‘well meaning’ but ineffective. Some¬ 
times, in fear or disgust at this tendency in 
himself, he will force himself to over-ride 
thought and plunge from feeling into action. 
This may explain why the ‘thoughtless’ and the 
over-intellectual tend to meet in political ex¬ 
tremism. Sometimes, too, the feeling and think¬ 
ing may be themselves contaminated by fear or 
hate, so that the ensuing action, though reason¬ 
ably deliberate and even concerted, is anti¬ 
social. One example of this is the tendency, 
apparent in most democracies, to transfer 
capital and curtail production at the advent of a 
socialist administration. Such actions are a 
deliberate refusal to abide by the will of the 
majority. They constitute an attack on de¬ 
mocracy, just as anarchy does. 

A society can only be free if its members feel 
and think strongly enough to be eager to join 
with others in putting their thoughts into 
action. Yet if they, with all their fellows, are too 


May 1937 

few to carry their point, they must be willing 
to bide their time till they have recruited rfiore. 
Their feelings and thoughts should be backed 
with a good-humoured impatience. If they are 
backed with hate they will be met with fear. 
This deadlock of hate and fear, and its con¬ 
comitant, oppression of an energetic minority, 
is the chief menace to democracy and the chief 
barrier to world citizenship. 

E ducation in citizenship has taken on a fuller 
and more conscious meaning in recent years. 
The non-democratic states have hitched their 
educational waggons to the star of the state, 
thus bringing fresh vividness and purpose into 
their schools. Educationists in democratic 
states, envying this new breath of life, are 
making great efforts to break down the isolation 
of the schools from the adult community, dis¬ 
carding some of their academic lumber and 
bringing their life and discipline more into line 
with democratic usage. 

Much good can come of such efforts and there 
is room for many more of them, provided always 
that they are tempered with patience and 
humour. The putting away of childish things 
should be a gradual and spontaneous process. 
To force responsibility too young may have 
even graver consequences than to withhold it too 
long. Further, children are so suggestible that 
we must beware lest, in immunizing against 
fear and hatred in one direction, we are subtly 
instilling them in another. ‘Heal thyself’ is as 
needful advice to those who care for the verv 
young as to those who care for the sick. 

I T is sometimes said that we should enable 
young people to feel that democracy is a great 
cause, just as, under different regimes, com¬ 
munism or national socialism are preached as 
causes. I am not sure that this is true. If, as we 
hope, democracy proves to be the sanest means 
of government, there should be no need to 
flag wag about it. There is surely something 
neurotic about the man who can live vividly only 
within earshot of a clarion call. If democracy 
is the state to which, in spite of animadversions, 
human history is tending, it should surely be a 
state in which—not for which—we can live 
vividly, for the ends of life should not be 
pettier than life itself. 


History and Citizenship 

M. Charles 


F rom the twelfth century to the nineteenth, 
education was a coherent system. Not that 
the same system prevailed throughout that 
period, but that at any time within it the edu¬ 
cated man had gone through a coherent training 
based on a certain philosophy and so designed 
as to produce a definite intellectual attitude. 
In the thirteenth century the system revolved 
round theology. The important question which 
the scholastic philosopher — the ultimate pro¬ 
duct of the system—set himself to answer was 
de veritate Catholics fidei. In the seventeenth 
century the trivium and quadrivium had given 
way to the humane letters; one system had 
given way to another—but a system remained. 
The world from being a unity, if a somewhat 
ideal unity, of the Church, had been dis¬ 
membered into churches, and a complexity of 
nations had replaced the old feudal inter¬ 
nationalism. Nevertheless, although new 
empiricism might replace the old scholasticism, 
so that both within and without men faced 
‘divided and distinguished worlds’, still to 
them as to Sir Thomas Browne, man was the 
true and great Amphibian; no world was alien 
to him; nay, he could contain them all in 
himself. 

Even at the close of the nineteenth century, 
when those worlds were extending ever wider 
and wider, so wide as altogether to exceed the 
compass of the mind trained in either humane 
or polite letters, yet it was hoped that a suc¬ 
cessor would arise to the gentleman of letters — 
the man of science. The man of science is 
amongst us; but he has not provided the type 
of the age, nor science the school. In part this 
is because science has growm so fast as to be 
a system by itself. To accept it as the school 
of the age would mean rejecting in a large part 
the humanistic tradition of past generations. 
Like all our ancestors we must find some 
synthesis of past and present. And that will be 
difficult. No longer does knowledge grow of 
itself into a shapely tree; it has spread and 
become a forest, which we divide up. One 


child, one tree. Occasionally there are General 
Knowledge classes, by way of a rapid tour of 
the forest as a whole. Then we wonder that 
the w r retched children when they become 
citizens, cannot see the w r ood for the trees. 

Mr. E. M. Forster once took as the text of 
a novel the words ‘connect, connect’. They 
should be written up in every school, in every 
library, in every classroom, that the school 
may remember its intention, the child his 
need, and the schoolmaster his aim. Until 
recently, as we have seen, knowledge and 
education were each a whole. Now knowdedge 
has broken up into subjects and education has 
become a collection of subjects instead of the 
achievement of a synthesis. What synthesis 
there is, is moral rather than intellectual, and 
directed to the production of a ‘public school 
man’ rather than a man of letters. Connection is 
no longer inevitable, it must be conscious. 
Something must be found which will fuse 
that heterogeneous collection of subjects into 
something more coherent than a row of sub¬ 
jects in School Certificate. The ‘public school’ 
type, being an abstract from a ruling caste, 
can hardly serve as the model for the whole 
citizenry of a democracy. 

It is because we aim at educating for a 
democracy that those words ‘connect, connect’ 
assume such an urgency. Connection, intel¬ 
lectual co-ordination, is essential to any demo¬ 
cratic citizen. No man who cannot co-ordinate 
what he knows and what he believes is fit to 
take part in the government of his country. 
Here we come at last to the title of this paper. 
We have to find some co-ordinating link, some 
framework into which we can fit our subjects, 
now that theology has become bigoted, the 
humane letters, dead languages, and science 
as discrete a set of territories as any other 
sphere of knowledge. I would suggest that this 
framework should be history. 

Not that children will not be good citizens 
if they do not know the dates of the battles of 
the Wars of the Roses. I heard the other day 


123 


THE NEW ERA 


124 

a class of children who when asked what they 
were doing that term, replied with one voice, 
‘Stone Age to Stephen’. Alliterative unity is 
not enough. One suspects that those children 
are growing up with the conviction that there 
was little history about the Stone Age, and far 
too much about Stephen. Obviously history of 
that kind is no framework at all, but merely 
another ‘subject’, and one that splits with 
alarming facility into innumerable more sub¬ 
jects—political history, economic history, 
political theory, English and foreign (with the 
foreigner’s alarming and unfamiliar corollary, 
Foreign and English)—there is no end to them. 
There is very little connection about all this, 
and altogether too many diverse and dis¬ 
tinguished worlds. 

History in the education of the citizens of 
a modern democracy should be the stream into 
which all tributaries flow. The study of history 
should make impossible the evolution of that 
monster first described and identified by Mr. 
Stephen Potter, Eng. Lit.; Eng. Lit. and Eng. 
Hist, should coalesce into the life of the 
English people. If we must deal in labels, 
perhaps they may destroy one another’s viru¬ 
lence if considered together. At least it should 
be impossible to remember the Industrial 
Revolution without the Romantic Revival, or 
the Reformation without considering too the 
question of the continuity of English prose, 
nineteenth-century Imperialism without a 
glance at The Origin of Species. 

The study of history should teach the young 
citizen that it is impossible to mark off the life 
of a nation into compartments, neatly labelled 
and docketed. The contents so frequently 
overlap and so many cross-references are 
required, that the compartments might as well 
be abandoned from the start. What is important 
is the life of man and the development of 
society. The uneasy (and too often well 
founded) suspicion that in doing ‘the Stone Age 
to Stephen’ we are passing as rapidly as may 
be from one subject to another quite different 
one, should never arise. In the Stone Age as 
in the twelfth century the problem is the 
relation between man and his environ¬ 
ment, and between man and man. In a 
word the problem is the history of society. 

Accordingly, the young citizen should begin 


May 1937 

to suspect that if Burke and the French 
Revolution, Pope, humanitarianism, the rococo 
and the industrial Revolution are all in some 
way interconnected in the Eighteenth Century, 
then it is likely that similar connections exist in 
the twentieth; and further that if he, in his capac¬ 
ity as historian, can build up in the eighteenth 
century a coherent synthesis of political theory, 
economic history, the history of Art, Eng. 
Lit., and plain History, then if he sets about 
it in the right way, he can very probably do 
the same for the problems that face him in his 
capacity as citizen in the twentieth century. 

It is said on every side that the struggle 
to-day is between democracy and dictatorship, 
that the choice lies between these two. It might 
be suggested rather that the choice lies between 
two kinds of citizen. On the one hand there is 
the citizen who will accept the delimitation of 
his functions; who submits when he is told 
that such and such are questions of politics, 
such and such of religion, such and such of 
economics—and that politics is the business 
of the politician, religion of the theologian 
and economics of the economist; whereas his, 
the citizen’s business is to record his vote, 
when he is asked, and not worry his head 
about other people’s business. On the other 
hand there is the citizen trained to take his 
part in a democracy. He, I would suggest, is 
unlikely to listen when told to attend to his 
own business. If he has been trained in the 
study of history he is unlikely to believe 
that the present any more than the past is 
a miscellaneous and disconnected jumble of 
subjects. He will probably consider himself 
as competent, if he sets about it in the right 
way, to form a judgment of the present as on 
the past. 

We have repeated twice the proviso ‘if he 
sets about it the right way’. That clause covers 
two conditions. The first is that the citizen 
should have acquired from the study of history 
an attitude of mind; the second is that he should 
realize the limitations of that attitude. Every 
exercise in historical judgment involves select¬ 
ing and testing an hypothesis, which, like any 
valid hypothesis, should embrace all the known 
facts in its domain. Some such wide hypothesis 
is essential if the citizen to-day is to have an 
attitude of mind, in the sense in which the 


May 1937 history and 

citizen of the medieval world had an attitude 
of mind — if he is to have an adequate frame¬ 
work into which to fit his ideas, and within 
which to gauge the problems on which he 
must make up his mind as a citizen. But, and 
here we come to the second condition, any 
hypothesis must be rejected scrupulously, and 
immediately if it prove inadequate. The 
citizen educated in the study of history might, 
for example, test the racial theory of historical 
development; if the theory failed the test, he 
would feel bound to discard it as unten¬ 
able. 

How then can we ensure that the citizen, 
having already his conception of the develop¬ 
ment of human society as a coherent whole, 
will reject any specious or ill-founded theory 
of the principle of that development? I would 
suggest a much wider study than is usual of 
the writing of history. Surely it is not impossible, 
or even difficult, for a boy or girl to realize 
how close is the resemblance between the 
history of Thucydides and the tragedy of 
Euripides; it is obvious enough that the same 
spirit informs Voltaire and Gibbon — and, one 
might say Bernard Shaw and J. B. Bury. It 
sounds obvious enough; but how many boys 
reading Macaulay know why Macaulay was a 
Whig historian, or even that that was what he 
was? And if a touch of over emphasis or a 
Victorian purple patch in Macaulay may have 
caught their attention, how many have been 


CITIZENSHIP 12 5 

warned that similar limitations and historical 
parochialism are to be found, to a less exciting 
but perhaps more insidious degree, in the 
colourless text books of the classroom? 

In every age, then, there is one question 
which the man of that age asks above all 
others. The educational system should — and 
owing to the coherence of the body of know¬ 
ledge then available, from the thirteenth to 
the nineteenth century did — produce in him 
the attitude of mind best able to find the 
answer to his question. Knowdedge is now 
shattered into so many different parts that to 
build that coherent system is harder than it 
has ever been. But a consideration of the main 
problem of to-day suggests a solution. The 
problem that faces the citizen to-day is above 
all social — what is the place of man in society, 
what is and should be the relation between 
various societies of men? I suggest that an 
answer is to be found in the study of history; 
that the study of history and that alone can 
bind the discordant and disconnected elements 
of past and present into a coherent whole; 
and that through the study of history the citizen 
and the future citizen may reach that hopeful 
yet undogmatic belief in the organic growth 
of society, and in the power and complexity 
of human reason, which may give them the w T ill 
to demand a democracy, the courage to realize 
its full implications, and the power to play 
their part in the democratic state. 


The History Book 

Vivian Ogiivie 3nd the Citizen 


I T is becoming clear that three ideals which 
many of us hold dear — peace, freedom and 
truth — are closely linked together. Those 
who attack one, soon begin to attack the others; 
those who aim at securing one, have eventually 
to serve the others. A good citizen must, I sub¬ 
mit, hold himself bound to pursue and promote 
all three. If he regards war and violence as 
good things, if he wishes to see other men s 
liberty restricted to the measure of his desires, 
if he is indifferent to truth and willing to 


suppress it in the interests of something else, 
he may be a good partisan, but he is not a good 
citizen. For a good citizen is one who is doing 
his best to help forward the advance, not of 
an exclusive group, but of humanity; and the 
gradual emergence as ideals of, first, truth 
(Bacon, Galileo, the growth of science), then 
freedom (the Rights of Man, the American and 
French Revolutions, the abolition of slavery, 
the working class movement), and latterly 
peace (growth of arbitration, pacifism, Feague 




THE NEW ERA 


126 

of Nations), constitutes the spiritual advance 
of humanity in modern times. Those who work 
for them are moving with the current of 
history; those who oppose them are pitting 
themselves against it. 

An education which sets out to make good 
citizens must take acount of all this. We have 
no space here to justify or elaborate the 
position just stated, but, bearing it in mind, 
let us pass on to our specific subject. Do 
history textbooks contribute as they might 
to the development of good citzenship? If not, 
how must they be improved? 

In what follows I am drawing conclusions 
principally from a recent examination of 
English history books in which I took part. 
My experience also extends to a certain number 
of German and French books, and it is only 
fair to state that I have found much graver 
faults in these latter than in even the worst 
of our own. 

The newer English textbooks are often very 
good indeed; unfortunately many of the older 
or more traditional ones still in common use 
are bad. The best that can be said for them is 
that they are futile rather than vicious. They 
do not tell what an intelligent child would wish 
to know. They are, however, mischievous in 
so far as they perpetuate certain traditional 
attitudes which fall below the best moral 
standards of to-day. They read as though their 
authors had digested the words of Anatole 
France: ‘Historians copy from one another. 
Thus they spare themselves trouble and avoid 
the appearance of presumption. ... If you want 
your book to be well received, lose no oppor¬ 
tunity for exalting the virtues on which society 
is based—attachment to wealth, pious senti¬ 
ments, and especially resignation on the part 
of the poor, which latter is the very foundation 
of order.’ 

To those who are using the better new books, 
this may sound unlikely. I can only assure 
them that a large number of the older books 
are in actual use, and that some of the new 
books follow a bad tradition. Such books do 
apparently copy from one another, instead of 
going to first-rate and up-to-date authorities. 
They follow tradition in recounting mainly 
political and military history and giving 
excessive prominence to kings and bygone 


May 1937 

wars (e.g. numerous plans of mediaeval battles). 
They include very little cultural or social 
history, and practically no economic history. 
Their space is often ridiculously apportioned; 
many, for instance, treat earlier times so fully 
that they have to scamp the eighteenth and 
nineteenth centuries. They pick out absurd 
points for attention; one popular book devotes 
most of its one page on the acquisition of 
India to the Black Hole of Calcutta. 

A history book should prepare the young 
citizen to understand the why and the 
wherefore of the world and his own country. 
Recent times are much more important than 
ancient times, and the ordinary doings of any 
age—its day to day social, cultural and 
economic pursuits—are at least as important 
as the abnormal events. To understand the 
industrial and social developments of the past 
hundred and fifty years is indispensable to 
intelligent citizenship. To know the causes 
of the war of the Spanish Succession or the 
family tree of Elenry VII is not. 

Professor Eileen Power has put forward 
a good example of this lack of proportion. All 
English histories mention that Charles I lost 
his head in 1649. Does any school history 
mention that in 1645 the turnip was introduced 
to England? Yet the turnip has had no less 
effect on our history than Charles’s execution. 
By providing a new winter crop it gave the 
country more bread and more meat, since the 
farmer no longer had to leave a third of his 
land fallow nor kill off cattle every autumn for 
lack of fodder. The turnip made possible the 
immensely increased production of food which 
enabled England to feed its much larger popu¬ 
lation and hold out during the Napoleonic war. 
In fact, ‘the battle of Waterloo was won upon 
the turnip fields of Townsend’. 

How should a historian select from the vast 
store of available material? ‘There is a very 
simple principle’, says Professor Harvey Robin¬ 
son, ‘by w T hich the relevant and useful may be 
determined and the irrelevant rejected. Is the 
fact or occurrence one which will aid the reader 
to grasp the meaning of any great period of 
human development or the true nature of any 
momentous institution ? ’ Applying this test, 
we should omit many traditionally important 


May 1937 THE HISTORY BOOK 

events and persons, and put in many that are 
usually ignored. The result would not he 
flattering to politicians, who in their day 
probably thought themselves of more conse¬ 
quence than a mere Shakespeare, George Fox, 
Karl Marx or Pasteur, but it would help us to 
pick out the significant features of human 
development. 

Of course, I do not for one moment suggest 
that history should leave politics on one side. 

It is possible to exaggerate the principle of 
Green’s Short History. The ordinary doings 
of the bulk of a people are essential history, 
but the fact remains that it is high politics and 
not ordinary life which shapes its destiny. 
From an intelligent study of political history 
the student can derive a valuable insight which 
will help to make him a conscious and under¬ 
standing citizen. It will, in Seeley’s phrase, 
‘modify his view of the present and his forecast 
of the future’, for the true problems of history 
are the problems that are still alive, still current 
politics. The trouble with conventional history 
books is that, with all their concentration on 
political history, they have not provided an 
intelligent study of it. They have too often 
merely catalogued events without perspective, 
and when they do survey a period or movement 
they tend to do so from the standpoint of the 
ruling classes—a standpoint whose adequacy 
decreases as we approach our own day. Frankly, 
there are few school histories which deal fairly 
with the working-class movement, and some 
imply that the workers never have any real 
grievances, but are always stirred up by 
unscrupulous agitators. For example, one ele¬ 
mentary book, by a university professor of 
history, attributes the strike of 1926 solely to 
‘fomentations by the Soviet Government in 
Moscow’. 

T hese considerations lead on to the most 
serious fault of school histories. Until 
recently almost all have been written from 
a narrowly national, and often nationalistic, 
standpoint. It is impossible to rest in the history 
of single peoples, without distorting events. 

It often happens that one’s own country plays 
a subsidiary role in some movement of wider 
scope. In the Roman occupation of Britain it 
is Rome that is important, not Britain. In the 


AND THE CITIZEN 127 

Danish invasions, England is part of a bigger 
story. The same is true of the beginnings of 
the British Empire. Yet historians have 
pandered to the posturing vanity of nations 
by putting their own country in the centre of 
every scene. Accounts of the Battle of Waterloo 
in French, English and German school his¬ 
tories hardly seem to refer to the same 
engagement. 

The more history concerns itselfiwith social, 
economic, intellectual, artistic and spiritual 
developments, the more impossible does it 
become to stick to a national standpoint without 
barefaced lying. For one thing, as Dr. Power 
points out, ‘the likenesses between different 
nations engaged in the pursuit of the normal 
are infinitely greater than their differences’. For 
another, these great lines of development are 
essentially international. They are world history, 
for the real heritage of our race is the co¬ 
operative achievement of many nations and is 
enjoyed by many nations. Nationalism in 
history is the counterpart of the Ptolemaic 
system in cosmology.* 

I could quote from text books of other 
countries some astonishing examples of narrow 
nationalism, patriotic conceit and hostility to 
their neighbours. At the present time Germany 
and Italy make it their policy to inculcate a 
fervent nationalism (combined in Germany with 
racialism) by means of a thorough-going falsifi¬ 
cation of facts, j' It will be more wholesome for 
us, however, to see what some English text¬ 
books do. To name those which I have 
examined would be unfair, for they are certainly 
not unique; I shall merely summarize some 
common faults. 

One mischievous trick is to apply a double 
standard of morality to similar actions, accord¬ 
ing to who did them. This is especially frequent 
in discussing the acquisition of territory. 
When others do it (e.g. the Partition of Poland), 
they are called ‘robbers’ or described as actu¬ 
ated by greed; when we do it, we are ‘com¬ 
pelled to assume political power by the bad 


* Mav I recommend two stimulating pamphlets: The Unity of 
Civilization, by Dr. G. P. Gooch (Ethical Union, 12 Palmer Street, 
S.W.l, 2d.), and Syllabus of Lectures on International Relations, by 
Dr. Delisie Bums (League of Nations Union, 3d.). 

t cf. A Nazi School History Textbook, with a foreword by Pro¬ 
fessor Ernest Baker (Friends of Europe, 122 St. Stephen’s House, 
S.W.l, 3d.). 



THE NEW ERA 


128 

native administration’. Harshness and cruelty 
are also judged differently. International law is 
generally mentioned to reprove some other 
country. For instance, interference with neutral 
shipping by ourselves during the Napoleonic 
wars and by Germany during the Great War is 
very differently judged. 

The causes of even remote wars in which 
this country was engaged are often given one¬ 
sided treatment. Quite a number of books 
make no question, in detailing the causes of 
the Hundred Years War, of the validity of 
Edward Ill’s claim to the French throne. 
Several books put a wrong complexion on the 
renewal of hostilities in 1803 by omitting to 
say that the British were at fault in not 
evacuating Malta as they had agreed to do in 
the Treaty of Amiens, and that the declaration 
of war came from England. The causes of the 
Boer War and still more the Great War are 
often unfairly stated. A large number of books 
assert explicitly that ‘Germany willed the war’, 
and proceed to a highly inaccurate account of 
the weeks following Sarajevo, omitting such 
facts as Bethmann Hollweg’s desperate efforts 


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from July 28th to restrain Austria and promote 
Austro-Russian negotiations, and the general 
mobilization of Russia. The excuse may be 
offered that some of these books were written 
when passions were high and many facts 
unknown. This is true, but why do publishers 
reprint these books uncorrected and why do 
teachers use such defective material ? 

These two types of fault occur chiefly in 
connection with wars and are the natural 
consequences of obsession with war. Unfortu¬ 
nately this obsession is not realist enough to 
include a description of the suffering arid useless 
destruction caused by wars, nor yet the cost 
of them. The story of the Great War is incom¬ 
plete without the bill, which we shall be paying 
for years to come. 

Another fault is the practice of generalizing 
about the character of other nations. Strangely 
enough they seem to vary in virtue according 
to whether they are for the time being our 
enemies or our allies. We, on the other hand, 
are consistently remarkable for our fine quali¬ 
ties—‘the dogged courage and resourcefulness 
of our race’ and so on, not to mention that 
silent modesty which our press and public 
speakers so eloquently eulogize. Of course, all 
such generalizations are nonsense. The fact of 
the matter is that nations do not differ in 
character from one another anything like so 
widely as individuals differ from one another 
within any one nation. No one has the right 
to label another nation ‘brutal’, ‘cunning’, 
‘grasping’, or his own ‘noble’, ‘courageous’, 
‘upright’. These things are done for a purpose, 
and that purpose is neither noble nor upright. 

T hese faults in history books are bad educa- 
cation for citizenship. They are inimical to 
truthfulness, modesty, generosity, a sense of 
proportion and a sense of humour. True history 
serves the cause of true patriotism, which can 
learn from blame as well as from praise. A true 
patriotism will labour to destroy the evils from 
which we suffer — ignorance, disease, poverty, 
exploitation, ugliness, hatred; a false, will 
labour to cloak them. A true patriotism will 
face facts, including the favourable facts about 
other nations and the unfavourable ones about 
our own; a false, will select the pleasant facts 
and add a generous admixture of flattering 








May 1937 THE HISTORY BOOK 

fictions. A true patriotism will welcome the 
contributions made by other nations to the 
advance of humanity; a false, will belittle or 
deny them. 

To be precise, what principles must guide 
the writer of a school history? 

(1) There must be no demonstrable false¬ 
hoods, including the indirect falsehood of 
suppressing uncomfortable facts. This 
demands study of up-to-date authorities 
and recent research. 

(2) There must be no ‘double morality’. 

(3) General judgments of national charac¬ 
ter must be avoided, and moral valuations 
must be based on relevant juridical prin¬ 
ciples. 

(4) On war the whole truth must be told, 
‘scars and all’. There must be no glorification 
of conquest. 

(5) There must be no chauvinism, no 
attribution to one’s own country of infalli¬ 
bility, a monopoly of any virtue or a 
monopoly of great men and achievements. 

(6) Special care must be taken to be exact 
and impartial where the prestige of one’s 
own country is involved, e.g. for England, 
the Hundred Years War, the American War 
of Independence, the development of the 
Empire, the Great War. 

(7) In the selection of facts prefer those 
events which resulted in progress for 
humanity, thus giving most space to the 
history of civilization. Some wars have 
indeed promoted international contact, but 
the chief advances have been made in peace 
and under civil government. 

(8) In the choice of persons judge their 
importance by their influence on later history 
rather than by contemporary estimate. 

(9) Beware of attributing progress solely 
to the deeds of outstanding men and women. 
All forms of honest work have contributed 
to the advance of humanity. 

In the years following the war many persons 
concerned themselves with the purging and 
improvement of school textbooks — teachers’ 
organizations in various countries, Trade 
Unions, women’s organizations, the League ol 
Nations, the Carnegie Endowment, etc. \ alu- 


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able inquiries and proposals were made, some 
of them issuing in tangible results. It is pleasant 
to recall that in Germany, where Article 148 
of the Constitution of Weimar included ‘the 
cultivation of the spirit of international recon¬ 
ciliation’ among the aims of education, one of 
the most thorough and impartial inquiries of 
this kind was made by the distinguished 
historian, Siegfried Kawerau. 

To-day, amid a general reaction, such work 
is pushed to one side almost everywhere. But 
that it will be resumed when saner times come 
again, there can be no doubt. The responsi¬ 
bility of the individual teacher remains none 
the less, to choose well the instruments which 
will help to make good citizens of the world. 


Select Bibliography of Inquiries. 

A Bibliography for Teachers of History, with an introduction by 
Eileen Power (Women’s International League, 1919. Methuen, 
1921). 

EnquSte sur les livres scolaires d’apris guerre (Carnegie Endowment 
for International Peace, 1924). 

J. F. Scott The Menace of Nationalism in, Education (Allen & 
Unwin, 1926). _ . 

Siegried Kawerau, Denkschrift iiber die deutschen Geschichts- uttd 
LesebUcher (Hensel, Berlin, 1927). 

La Revision dies Manuels Scolaires (League of Nations Institute of 
Intellectual Co-operation, 1932). 













Economics and Citizenship 

R. L. Hall 

Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford 


E veryone will agree that a good citizen is 
one who collaborates with the members of 
his group, be it his city or his nation or 
the rest of mankind; one who pulls his weight. 
But there are many possible opinions both as to 
how he ought to collaborate towards reaching 
a given end, and as to what that end should be, 
so that a man who is a good citizen to those who 
think as he does will be considered a mis¬ 
guided or malicious meddler by his opponents. 

Economic actions are those which are 
directed towards freeing us from the pressure 
of scarcity; for most of us it is a pre-requisite 
of all desirable activity that we should have an 
adequate supply of food, shelter, and leisure, 
and some access to the material accessories of 
self-development. The character that is able to 
lead a full and satisfying life in conditions of 
poverty is unusual, and it may be assumed that 
we all wish to see everyone assured of enough 
material comfort to allow of his making what he 
can of himself in whatever direction he wishes. 
What can the individual do towards bringing 
about this state of affairs? He has a double 
responsibility; in his own everyday actions, 
and in the public policy which he supports, a 
responsibility involved indeed wherever colla¬ 
boration is required. 

As regards our own actions, we depend on 
the common stock of wealth, and should 
contribute what we can towards it; the idle 
man is taking out without putting in. We 
are likely to contribute most efficiently when 
we do the work for which we are best fitted, 
and there is some presumption that in a 
capitalist society this will be the work for which 
we are best paid. But we shall not be contri¬ 
buting as much as we are receiving if we take 
advantage of the weakness or the ignorance of 
others: and since incomes do not correspond to 
needs, it is likely that we shall contribute more 
by satisfying the wants of the many than of the 
few. If we can be sure that we are really helping 
others and not imposing our ideas upon them, 


we can do a great deal by doing for them what 
they could not afford to do for themselves at 
all, as is plain from the work of voluntary 
agencies which assist or educate the com¬ 
munity. 

The wealthier the individual, the more 
influence will his actions exert on his fellow- 
citizens, both in the getting and spending of his 
income. If he is an employer, his first duty is to 
be successful, for otherwise he will be ruined 
and cease to give employment: but he has great 
responsibilities to the public who consume his 
products and to his employees who have the 
conditions of their lives determined by him to a 
large extent. Yet it is usually good business to be 
a good citizen, for the public support those who 
do well by them, and the good employer is 
likely to have efficient and hence profitable 
employees. The employee, as has been already 
observed, should try to find that occupation in 
which he will use his own abilities best: and 
once there, he should do his best, in the 
interests of the community as well as because 
this is an implied term of his contract. If he 
belongs to an organization within the State, 
such as a Trade Union, he should not lose 
sight of his general responsibilities as a citizen 
in his loyalty to his immediate group. In our 
economic, as well as in our other activities, we 
have often to face this problem of conflicting 
loyalties. 

The rich man who chooses to do nothing at 
all depends on the labour of others for the 
means of his idleness, and leads a useless and 
generally empty life. But he has a special 
opportunity to contribute some unpaid service 
to the community, though in the absence of 
the monetary test of demand it is more difficult 
to know where to be of most use. Finally, there 
is the possibility for all with large incomes of 
using them to produce more equality, since 
we get more from a given quantity of wealth 
if it is distributed more or less equally: though 
here too some discrimination is necessary , and 


May 1937 ECONOMICS AND citizenship 131 


it should not be assumed that all charitable 
causes are necessarily beneficial. For example, 
it is now realized that extreme caution is 
necessary in introducing what we should 
regard as benefits to native races, if their whole 
balance is not to be seriously disturbed. Or 
when we move people from slums, we should 
be sure that they will not then be under¬ 
nourished as a result of the higher rents they 
have to pay. 

All this is obvious: the good citizen will make 
his contribution, whether he earns his living or 
not, by going where he is most wanted and by 
doing as much incidental good and as little 
incidental harm as possible. But his responsi¬ 
bilities are not discharged by his immediate 
contribution, and he must also choose a policy, 
and advocate either the continuance or the 
modification of the economic system in exis¬ 
tence. It must be admitted that he will find this 
extremely difficult: he will be bewildered by the 
variety of the arguments of those who wish 
for his support, and by the differences of 
opinion among the experts whose advice he seeks. 

From an economic point of view, the state 
of the world can be improved by making 
economic goods more plentiful, and by sharing 
them out more equally; there is a strong 
presumption that equality will allow us to 
realize more of the potentialities of wealth than 
inequality, whether as between individuals or 
nations. Thus we ought to aim at a policy 
which will make for greater efficiency of 
production and distribution, instead of sub¬ 
mitting to the argument that these are incom¬ 
patible because the stimulus of inequality is 
necessary to make us do our best. 

As for the individual, so for the community: 
we should do whatever we do best, and co¬ 
operate as much as possible. The world to-day 
is very efficient technically, and is capable of 
producing enough in a modern country to 
provide everyone with the means of an adequate 
existence. But we do not use this knowleage at 
all efficiently, and our present economic system 
is a wasteful one. For various reasons there are a 
great many restrictions on the use of resources, 
through monopolistic practices, misrepresenta¬ 
tion, barriers to trade, and the periodic alterna¬ 
tions of boom and slump which lead to mis¬ 
directed production and the under-employment 


of labour and capital. We should be well 
advised, then, to support every effort towards a 
more intelligent control of our system: towards 
the removal of restrictions on production and 
trade except where these are in the general 
interest, and towards securing a more even 
course of industry. 

The old ideal of no restrictions has been 
discredited and the state to-day interferes in 
economic life at every turn, protecting the 
weak against the strong, doing things for us 
that we cannot or will not do for ourselves, and 
redistributing income through taxation and the 
social services. Changes in the underlying 
conditions of demand and supply cause dis¬ 
turbances while they are taking place: if con¬ 
sumers are buying more cars and less pianos 
the piano making industry will be depressed, 
although it is advantageous to us all that we 
should have what we want now rather than 
what we used to want. But in order to alleviate 
disturbances of this kind, there is now a 
tendency to restrict the course of industry in a 
way which benefits particular sections at the 
expense of the community as a whole and there 
is always the possibility that those who gain 
directly will argue that the national interest 
requires more interference than is actually the 
case. We should scrutinize with care any 
proposals for giving to any bodies of individuals 
the right to impose on us what terms they 
consider desirable. 

Governments nowadays, including our own, 
sometimes give the impression that they believe 
that everyone should be guaranteed a profitable 
price for whatever he chooses to produce or an 
adequate wage for whatever work he feels 
inclined to do. This can be seen very plainly 
in England in the case of milk and other 
agricultural products, in the coal and in the 
road transport industries. Under the milk 
marketing scheme, for instance, tne price of 
milk to the ordinary consumer is fixed at a 
figure which is very profitable to farmers, who 
naturally produce milk as a result. This 
increases the supply to more than can be sold 
at the price, and the surplus is sold at a much 
lower price to manufacturers than that fixed 
for the general consumer. Y et milk is a necessity, 
especially to children and to expectant and 
nursing mothers. The Ministry of Agriculture 





132 

and the farmers interpret their loyalties in too 
narrow a sense. 

Nor ought we to regard only our national 
interests. The principles of doing what we do 
best and of equality, both lead to the view that 
more international trade would be of immense 
benefit to the world, through raising standards 
of living and indirectly because nations would 
be more content as a result. At present we are 
all bad neighbours in the international sense, 
and we all suffer through losing the advantage 
of specialization. But the poorer countries, and 
those badly off for natural resources, suffer 
most and constitute irritating elements from 
a political point of view, ft is not necessary 
for every nation to control its own markets, as 
- is suggested by those which have no colonies: 
but it is important that everyone should be able 
to buy and sell in the markets of the world on 
equal terms, and rich countries, like “ rich 
individuals, have duties which arise from the 
fact of their wealth. 

Lastly we have the most difficult problem of 
all, that of altering our system so as to give a 
more equal as well as a more intelligent use 
of what we have. Some individuals, like some 
nations, are much better off than others: and in 
order to have anything like equality of oppor¬ 
tunity, an almost fundamental change in the 


May 1937 

social order is needed. We are continually 
making changes in this direction, and the worst 
evils of poverty have been overcome: we have 
compulsory education, health and unemploy¬ 
ment insurance, and old age pensions. But it 
cannot be doubted that we are efficient enough 
to do more than this, and the good citizen 
should try to find some way in which our 
productive mechanism could be used to the 
advantage of the community in a more equal 
way than is at present possible. Yet we cannot 
just get rid of our present system, for if the 
result were chaotic, as it might be, we should be 
even worse off than at present. We have to keep 
the economic machine running while we are 
altering its design, and construct at least as fast 
as we destroy. The spirit of competition and the 
rewards of inequality do provide an incentive 
which makes the individual efficient, and ill- 
considered effort might send us back instead 
of forward. Perhaps the most urgent economic 
problem of the future is to substitute the motive 
of co-operation for that of competition, to 
give to succeeding generations the will to do as 
much for the common good as this one does for 
its own. We all have social instincts as well as 
individual ones: but somehow in our present 
environment we tend to get the emphasis in 
the wrong place. 


THE NEW ERA 


Education for Citizenship 

Norman Bentwich I * 


Exile 


Honorary Director for Emigration and Training, Council for German Jewry 


I N the last chapter of his History of Europe , 
Mr. H. A. L. Fisher observes that one of the 
outstanding features of our time is the exile 
of masses of citizens from their country on 
political and racial grounds. There has been 
nothing of the kind since the expulsion of the 
Jews and the Moriscos from Spain in the 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and the 
migration of the Huguenots from France a little 
later. To-day it is estimated that over one 
million men, women and children have been 
torn up from their homes and are refugees in 
a strange land. Most of them are Russians who 
fled or were expelled from the Soviet Union; 


but there are also over 100,000 Armenians who 
fled from massacre at the end of the World 
War, tens of thousands of Germans, Jews and 
non-Aryans, who fled from the National 
Socialist State since 1933, and lastly, some 
thousands of fugitives from Totalitarian domi¬ 
nation in Italy, Spain and other lands. There 
was, indeed, in the post-War period, a larger 
migration of population than any of these; 
the transfer of the Greeks in Asia Minor to the 
Greek Kingdom. But though they were 
exiled from their homes those fugitives turned 
to what was spiritually a fatherland, and had 
not to suffer the hardships of statelessness. 


May 1937 

What is peculiar to the refugee problem of our 
day is that these large groups are in a stateless 
condition, deprived of the legal and social 
protection of any State, of the security of 
a home, of the associations of their families. 
Juridically, they are in the condition of outlaws 
of the Middle Ages, at the mercy of any gust 
of national passion in the country in which they 
sojourn precariously. But the moral difficulty is 
still greater. They have no roots. They feel 
themselves strangers, they are self-conscious, 
and their sensitiveness is inevitably exaggerated 
by the knowledge that they are often unwanted 
guests. All too often they have to pass from 
one country to another, the waifs and strays 
of the international society. 

It is obvious that the education of the 
children of this abnormal society offers peculiar 
problems. There is a grave danger that, unless 
some element of large humanity enters into 
the upbringing of the children, they will, 
when they grow up, cherish subversive ten¬ 
dencies, feeling themselves the victims of an 
unjust society. This danger has, indeed, been 
recognized by the international society organ¬ 
ized in the League of Nations; and that great 
citizen of the world, the late Dr. Nansen, 
moved the Governments’ members of the 
League to adopt a statute which assured to the 
Russian and Armenian Refugees a minimum 
of human and social rights. In practice, then, 
most of the Russian and Armenian children 
who were scattered among the nations have 
been able to attend the State schools of the 
countries in which they reside. Several coun¬ 
tries, too, have recognized the value of absorbing 
the alien element into the body politic, and 
eased for them the conditions of naturalization. 

The more recent problem of exile, however, 
that of the hundred thousand who left Ger¬ 
many, has offered special difficulties, both 
because it was composed of those who had 
reached in Germany a particularly high level 
of social and intellectual life, and also because 
it was recognized from the beginning that most 
of them could not expect to be absorbed in the 
country of temporary refuge, but must there 
prepare the children for a new life in some 
country overseas. On the other hand, the 
German refugees had two advantages over the 
other bands of exiles. First, they found in the 


*33 

countries of their sojourn Jewish and Christian 
communities which felt special responsibility 
and sympathy for them; and secondly, they 
included many educationists of large experience 
and ideals who founded schools that should 
meet the new needs of the homeless young 
generation. Some of these teachers brought 
with them ideas ot an education designed to 
foster a sense of world citizenship, as well 
as to fit boys and girls for a simple productive 
life. Several schools have been founded by 
them in this country, not only for the children 
in exile but also for English children whose 
parents welcome the possibility of an education 
with that special bent. One, which is for boys, 
has been planted in the north of Scotland. 
It is directed by a teacher who in Germany 
was famous for his efforts to combine the best 
of the English Public School system with 
modern German ideas as they were developed 
before the Nazi Revolution. It is one of the 
features of his outlook that public schools 
should turn themselves into strongholds of 
fitness for the counties in which they are 
placed. Applying the saying of Jaures, that 
nations are the treasure-houses of humanity, 
he declares that counties are the treasure- 
houses of nations. With this idea he proposes 
to attach a day school to the boarding school, 
to throw open training facilities and training 
instruction to every boy who wants to avail 
himself of them; to run a school-farm with 
courses for bovs who have left school and wish 

m/ 

to become farmers, and to develop a centre 
for sea scouts open to day-boys from the 
district. That is a new conception of the Public 
School, which, if it is achieved, will bring it 
into closer relation with the life of the people 
and also fit the boys more fully for citizenship. 
It is another feature of his outlook that the 
boys should be in touch with wild nature. 
‘The life of high hills and the life of the sea are 
guardian angels in the period of adolescence. 
He who has tasted the conquest of mountains 
and rough seas loses the taste for that kind of 
conquest which is bound up with the ruin and 
humiliation of others.’ 

Another school for boys and girls is planted 
in the heart of the County of Kent. A third, 
also for boys and girls, is placed in another 
lovely setting of the English countryside, in 


EDUCATION FOR CITIZENSHIP IN EXILE 




THE NEW ERA 


*34 

Surrey. Here in these characteristic British 
landscapes the German exiled children, ming¬ 
ling with the children of the country, should 
be able to imbibe the sense of freedom, and 
acquire also some sense of membership of the 
larger human society, that will fit them for life, 
whether in the country in which they are 
educated or in some other land of emigration 
and adventure. Other schools have been 
established in this country by English and 
German teachers together, and attract a certain 
proportion of German children. But far the 
largest part of the children of German refugees 
are distributed in English schools in all parts 
of the country. They go to public and private 
schools, and share the life of the school com¬ 
munity. They have to assimilate the ideas of 
the new environment. In that there may be 
some loss of their own special characteristics; 
but on the other hand they adjust themselves 
to the new conditions in which their life is to be 
lived, and contribute qualities of method and 
discipline which are so highly developed in 
their native country. 

The contribution which was made by the 
Huguenots to the intellectual as well as the 
economic life of many countries is remarkable; 
and it is likely that the historian of social con¬ 
ditions in the future will be able to record an 
equally notable contribution made by the wide 
distribution of German and other exiles. The 
very fact that this German offshoot is in and not 
of the country to which it has turned for a new 
home will endow many among them with 
a clearer outlook on national and international 
questions than is common amongst boys and 
girls whose youth has been more tranquil. 

Special schools have been started by German 
educationists in several countries in Europe as 
well as in England. Notable among them is 
one conducted with a Socialist and international 
outlook, according to the ideas of Professor 
Nelson of Gottingen, which has been trans¬ 
ferred from Germany to Denmark. Of wider 
scope is the distribution of German children, 
for whom life with their own family in Germany 
was impossible, in sympathetic homes in other 
countries, to be fitted there, it is hoped, for 
permanent settlement. But the educational 
movement which affects the greatest number 
of exiles is the vocational training that is 


May 1937 

organized for German Jewish boys and girls 
and young men and women both in Germany 
and abroad. It was apparent from the beginning 
that a great part of the young generation in 
Germany would have to emigrate if it were to 
have any chance of a free self-respecting 
life, and would have to be prepared to engage 
in simple productive occupations in the country 
of emigration. The marked intellectual and 
commercial bent of German Jewry, which 
induced concentration in the liberal and com¬ 
mercial callings, had to be radically corrected. 

Since 1933 some thousands of young men 
and women between the ages of 18 and 35 who 
were previously engaged in these callings have 
undergone courses of retraining in land work 
or in artisan trades. In each year, too, a con¬ 
siderable and growing proportion of boys and 
girls finishing the elementary school have been 
drafted into training centres where they remain 
for two or three years until they are fitted to 
emigrate. Another considerable but diminishing 
group have been apprenticed with peasants 
and with industrial masters to receive a prac¬ 
tical training. That group is diminishing 
because it has become more and more difficult 
for an ‘Aryan’ farmer and master in Germany 
to receive non-Aryan apprentices. The end in 
view is always emigration, because there is no 
prospect of absorption in Germany. Besides 
the vocational training the students receive 
courses in the language and history of the 
country in which they hope to settle. For the 
great majority that country has been Palestine; 
and there has been an extraordinary enthusiasm 
in the young generation, training and retraining 
for acquiring a knowledge of Hebrew and of 
Jewish history and literature. That, however, 
cannot be regarded as an education of exiles, 
because of the deep moral and spiritual attach¬ 
ments which bind Jews everywhere to the land 
of their ancestors and their history. The feeling 
for Palestine, the consciousness of belonging to 
the Jewish people, had indeed been weakened 
in German Jewry. But the feeling was resur¬ 
rected with extraordinary rapidity and intensity 
in the moment of trial. Yet for a certain number 
of those who are looking for a new life outside 
Germany, not Palestine, but another free 
country is the chosen goal. That is pre¬ 
eminently the case for those young men and 


EDUCATION FOR CITIZENSHIP IN EXILE 


r 35 


May 1937 

vomen who reject the national ideal and aspire 
o an international outlook. They fear that in 
Palestine they might be changing one exag- 
r erated nationalism for another, and so thev 
vish to go to the United States or a British 
Dominion or South America, where they may 
oster their outlook without national pro- 
)osessions. But with them, too, the ideal of 
)ack to the land and back to the hand is strong; 
ind at the same time they are anxious to retain 
1 kind of German corporate life in exile by 
emigrating as a group. 

The activity of training and retraining for 
:he simple life is pursued outside Germany by 
:he young German generation with the same 
:horoughness and ardour as within Germany, 
[t is most signally achieved in Palestine itself, 
vhere during the last four years some 40,000 
)f those driven from Germany, that is, about 
me-tenth of the German-Jewish community, 
lave found a home. Of that large number 
iver half are children and young men and 
women below thirty years of age, and of them 
again a large proportion are training in schools 
and in agricultural groups to be the pioneers 
in a new fatherland. The change of place is 
accompanied by a spiritual regeneration; and 
one may hope that the hard experience in their 
country of birth will give them a broad and 
tolerant outlook in their country of adoption. 

Nearly 1,000 young men and women 
lhave, too, been placed by the Organizations 
in Germany as apprentices or in training 
centres in European countries of refuge. For 
some of the groups life is hard and Spartan; 
when they are placed with the peasants in 
Luxembourg, Italy and Jugoslavia, and share 
their simple standard of life. For others the 
lines are cast in more pleasant places when 
they live with the more civilized and better 
educated farmers in Holland and Denmark, 
and imbibe there the practice of cleanliness, 
orderliness and co-operation which dis¬ 
tinguishes the landworkers of an equal demo¬ 
cratic civilization. Others again carry out their 
training in a special centre for German Refugees 
such as is established in Holland in the training 
village of Werkdorp in the reclaimed land from 
the Zuyder Zee, or in a farm on the borders of 
Luxembourg and France at Altwies, which 
was once a place of sojourn of Victor Hugo. 


Each number of 

SCIENCE AND SOCIETY 

edited by Pryns Hopkins, with the 
assistance of William Stephenson 
and Alexander Farquharson 

considers one human problem from a 
variety of aspects. It appears three times 
a year. In the June to September number, 
sex-reform will be thus discussed by 
Dr. C. V. Drysdale, Professor Alfred 
Meusel, Miss Barbara Lowe, Mrs. Janet 
Chance, Mrs. Stuart Mudd, Dr. Reed 
O. Brigham and Dr. Denys Harding. 

Subscribe now, at I Os. for six 
numbers or 2s. per single copy 

London: THE MERCURY PRESS 
BUSH HOUSE, W.C.2 


In all these places they not only acquire the 
professional knowledge which they will need 
in the land of emigration, but they should at 
the same time be endowed with a stronger 
understanding of a common humanity from 
which they have benefited. They enjoy by 
force of circumstance that education in a foreign 
country which is usually the privilege of a small 
section only of the wealthier classes; and they 
enjoy it in a manner more intimate and more 
impressive than is usually vouchsafed to those 
students of the wealthier classes. They will 
often have been part of the family in the foreign 
country; they will have experienced the gen¬ 
erous response which is evoked by unmerited 
hardship and by persecution. Those influences 
in their education should remove any sense 
of bitterness which they may feel towards the 
Government which sought to frustrate their 
chance in life; and more than that, it snould 
give them that more generous outlook towards 
peoples of all nations and all creeds which 
must in the end be the basis of a peaceful 
international order that in our day is so elusive 
and yet so essential. 
















Intelligence and Citizenship— 

A Prospect 

Raymond B. Cattell, M.A., B.Sc., Ph.D. 

Psychologist to the Leicester Education Committee; 
Darwin Research Fellow, 1936. 


T he teacher is the only artist who ignores 
the quality of the raw material with which 
he has to work. In the task of fashioning 
the good citizen he is prone to think most of 
the educational techniques to be employed, 
indeed he may positively resent the suggestion 
that heredity should be heeded, since that 
suggestion often seems to him to detract from 
the importance of education as such. 

This emotional attitude is as foolish as the 
antithesis of education and heredity is scientifi¬ 
cally misleading. The cloudy idealist who is 
incapable of taking his eyes from the educational 
goal overlooks the close organic connection 
which must exist between the nature of that 
goal and the heredity endowment of the raw 
material with which he begins. 

Here and there in the field of education the 
‘ pleasure-principle’ idealist is brought sharply 
into contact with the reality of this connection. 
Such a salutary encounter occurred nearly a 
century ago, for example, when the pious 
hopes which were entertained regarding the 
development which education could bring to 
mental defectives were shown to be wildly ill- 
founded. Perhaps the Freudian advances in 
psychology, which have been the ultimate root 
of some of the most important new move¬ 
ments in education, are responsible also for a 
disservice to education, in so far as they have 
belittled the part played by inheritance or 
disguised it as an environmental influence of 
the earliest years. If this is so, it is time for the 
more slowly progressing laboratory branches of 
psychology to remind the educator of the 
hereditary characteristics of which he must 
take stock before settling educational methods 
and goals. 


The matter is of acute importance at the 
moment because it is suspected that marked 
changes are taking place in the distribution of 
intelligence in our population—and intelligence 
is the mental dimension most determined by 
innate endowment. 

So much of what follows depends upon this 
generalization that we ought momentarily to 
digress into the evidence regarding the parts 
played by nature and nurture in fixing mental 
capacity. It is of little value to cite instances of 
brilliant fathers having brilliant sons, or of the 
converse, for biographical evidence is shot 
through and through with unknown influences, 
but the results of precise measurement and 
statistical analysis during the past twenty years 
yield the following conclusions :— 

(1) The feeble minded (who are not, like 
imbeciles, a pathological type apart, but 
‘normal’ variants of intelligences) remain 
feeble minded whatever influences of 
environment, through mental stimulation 
or nutrition, are brought to bear. 

(2) Among children in widely different 
physical and mental environments the 
Intelligence Quotient of each individual 
child remains equally constant. 

(3) Children brought up in the very same 
environment, e.g. orphanages, shew as big 
variations of intelligence as any other 
children (except when the parents are 
selected from one class). 

(4) Identical twins have practically the same 
intelligence quotient and even when 


136 



May 1937 INTELLIGENCE AND 

reared apart no marked difference of 
I.Q. arises. 

(5) Groups of children given ‘intensive edu¬ 
cation’ or special feeding shew the same 
‘normal’ rate of intelligence growth as do 
control groups lacking these advantages. 

(6) The cessation of intelligence growth at an 
early age, long before environment has 
had its maximum effect, points to an 
innate basis of development. 

Further we must take account of such facts 
as that at least 75 per cent, of the children 
resulting from the marriage of feeble minded 
parents are themselves feeble minded, that a 
correlation of about plus 0.5 is found between 
mental capacities of brothers and sisters and 
of 0.73 between the average of the parents and 
the average of the children. In orphanages the 
intelligences of the children correlates positive'lv 
with the intelligence demand of the parental 
occupations, whilst among children in the 
uniform environment of the elementary schools 
the classification of children according to 
parental occupation yields the same marking 
order as is obtained from testing the fathers 
directly. 

It would be unnecessary to labour these 
points and the unavoidable deduction that 
intelligence is largely inherited, were it not that 
the strongest political prejudice and counter¬ 
prejudice are all too frequently evoked by a 
simple statement of the view-point naturally 
accepted by the vast majority of psychologists. 

The reader may have begun to wonder what 
the bearing of all this may be upon the educa¬ 
tion for citizenship. Let us pause for one last 
brief digression before answering. The school 
of to-day is becoming increasingly child- 
centred rather than subject-centred. It pays 
far more intelligent attention to the real 
desires, interests and capacities of the child. 
Although the process has gone farthest in the 
experimental private schools, it has un¬ 
doubtedly gone a long way in our elementary 
schools, which classify their children into 
‘A’ ‘B’ ‘C’ divisions by intelligence tests, and 
modify the curriculum so that each grade of 
intelligence is concerned with activities in 


CITIZENSHIP — A PROSPECT 137 

which it can be most naturally interested. 
Roughly, the ‘C’ classes have more concrete 
studies, and more limited objectives, the ‘A’ 
classes deal with more abstract studies, take 
them to more advanced stages and include a 
w r ider, more ‘liberal’ range of subjects. 

The principle has its extreme instance in the 
special schools adapted to dealing with the 
feeble minded, who barely learn to read or 
write, are incapable, even at sixteen years of 
age, of doing the simplest problem arithmetic 
and who spend most of their time in simple 
handwork. All this is w r ell-known; but what is 
not so widely realized is that the child centred 
school and its educational ideals is bound to 
the vagaries of an irresponsible birth-rate. The 
nation may require more citizens w r ith an ‘A’ 
class type of education, but if more ‘C’ class 
and feeble minded children are actually born 
it follows that the next generation will be 
increasingly composed of citizens having only 
the inadequate and shoddy accomplishments of 
the ‘C’ class leaver or the special school 
graduate. 

That is why it is almost incredible to the 
psychologist that no body of teachers, no edu¬ 
cation authority, no department of the Board of 
Education has ever troubled to enquire into the 
birth rates extant at various intelligence levels, 
and this in spite of such danger signals as the 
common clinical observations that the more 
able children are often ‘only’ children and that 
dull children are frequently produced in 
families not limited to what has elsewhere 
become a ‘normal’ size. Social surveys do not 
dispel these indications; the differential birth 
rate everywhere continues to favour unskilled as 
against more skilled callings (a positive, if low 
correlation of intelligences with social status is 
unquestionable) whilst surveys of one particular 
group, the feeble minded, as in the Wood 
Report, provide figures which, taken at their 
face value, indicate that feeble-mindedness has 
doubled between 1905 and 1929. 

Fortunately the Eugenics Society has recently 
undertaken the long delayed direct survey of the 
relation of birth rates and mental capacity. The 
results, published last month, are such as to 
justify considering this problem to be the most 
urgent and vital of our time. Throughout the 
whole range of intelligence variation the size 






138 


THE NEW ERA 


May 1937 



2 35 PER FAMILY 
(61 FAMILIES) 


2-92 .. 

(112 F’s) 


2-76 

(291 F's) 


300 

(848 F’s) 


3 60 

(1160 F’s) 


413 „ 

(368 F’s) 


3 93 
(28 F's) 


MEAN SIZE OF FAMILY IN URBAN AREA = 3 36 
DIAGRAM 11 a .—Urban Area: Size of Family and Intelligence Quotient. 


of family is larger among the less intelligent. 
The diagram above illustrates the findings in a 
typical city of 240,000 inhabitants in which all 
the ten-year-old children were tested for the 
purpose of this survey. 

The gifted and the able sections of the 
community, in whatever economic status, are 
not maintaining their number; while the dull 
and the border-line feeble-minded are going 
to constitute a larger proportion of the next 
generation. The rate of replacement of brighter 
by duller types is such that the average intelli¬ 
gence quotient of the nation as a whole will fall 
be approximately one point of I.Q. every ten 
years. 

Those readers who desire to study more 
closely the actual evidences, both in regard to 
the innateness of intelligences and the calcula¬ 
tion of distribution changes will find the original 
publication of interest : here we are concerned 
rather with glancing at the effects upon the 
social and cultural life of the citizens now 
growing up in our schools. 

In the first place we may expect some 


decline in scholastic standards both as a direct 
consequence of a declining average of in¬ 
telligence and as a consequence of im¬ 
poverishment through the increased cost of 
educating the dull. The feeble-minded child 
costs about three times as much as the normal 
child to educate, even though there is little to 
show for it at the end. As the feeble-minded 
are likely to increase in number by about 
25 per cent, during this generation, it follows 
that unless the grants for education are in¬ 
creased, other sections of educational endeavour 
will have to be impoverished. 

Already teachers complain that, disdaining 
the parable of the talents, we lavish more 
attention on the dull than on the bright child. 
Yet the brute fact remains that unless the dull 
child is given more attention he is likely to be 
not only backward but also delinquent. Every 
analysis of child guidance referral shows that 
juvenile delinquency is quite disproportionately 
contributed to by the dull group. And the 
same appears to hold for adults: it is the duller 
section of the community, incapable of enjoying 


































May 1937 INTELLIGENCE AND 

the substitutes which civilization offers for 
direct emotional expression, which most 
easily revolts against civilization by non-co- 
operation and persistent delinquency. 

By education for citizenship we mean, in 
this country, education for democracy, and, 
since the success of democracy depends upon 
our maintaining a good level of education and 
stimulating individual powers of judgment, the 
modern educator has rightly put in the forefront, 
of his programme the cultivation of reasoning, 
the development of social feeling and the 
training of the individual in the use of free¬ 
dom. In his little book ‘The School’, W. B. 
Curry claims that it must be one of the main 
aims of education to develop the capacity to 
make independent judgments. 

Regarding these two main props in the plat¬ 
form of the progressive school — goodness of 
judgment as a goal, and freedom of choice 
as an educational method — the psychologist is 
bound to remark that the first is more a matter 
of mental endowment than of training and that 
the second will not work with children of 
defective endowment. 

Power of judgment in particular fields may 
be given by increased knowledge and scientific 
habit of thought, but that wider judgment 
required for situations which have never 
occurred before — ‘adaptability to new situa¬ 
tions’ — is the essence of intelligence, and 
without it all the progressive movements of 
to-day are doomed to failure. One may seek 
to educate a dull citizen to a progressive out¬ 
look, so that on all occasions he cries ‘Ring out 
the old; ring in the new’ but he is no better off, 
and decidedly less safe, than when he clings 
pathetically and with equal obstinacy to out¬ 
worn traditions. 

Practically every promising reform struggling 
for expression in the social life of to-day, has 
more freedom as its first essential. As we have 
said above, the progressive education seeks 
to meet the situation by giving the child more 
freedom of choice and by subjecting him less to 
authority and tradition in his behaviour and the 
formation of his opinions. 

Those who have seen the success of such 
methods are often naively surprised and indig¬ 
nant that three-quarters of the educational 
world remains ‘irrationally’ resistant and con- 


CITIZENSHIP—A PROSPECT 139 

servative. Yet the psychologist is bound to 
admit that, among children in the I.Q. 70-85 
range, more progressive systems are imprac¬ 
ticable in the main. In social conduct as in 
arithmetic such children cannot be left to their 
own devices. Nor do they themselves appreciate 
this freedom even if they have experienced it 
from early years. Intuitively, or from the 
accumulation trial and error of experience, they 
seem to realize that their greatest happiness in 
group life lies in a benevolent dictatorship, a 
tradition of simple, binding rules of conduct. 

A fall in the national intelligences average 
and a bulge in the distribution curve at the 
lower levels of I.Q. therefore means a check to 
progressive movements and a stiffening of the 
court of habit and custom. When the ideals of 
citizenship themselves become modified in this 
way, the methods of education for citizenship 
must become, retro-actively, affected. There 
is not space here, however, to follow up, as 
has been done in the original work,* the 
effects of dysgenic and eugenic trends in 
intelligence level upon the quality of recreation, 
culture and morals, upon employment and the 
distribution of wealth. We must direct our 
attention rather to the means whereby the 
eugenist can hope to transform the present 
decline into a steady upward progress. 

In the first place we may notice that the 
large families produced by parents in the dull 
category, are not desired by them, that they 
destroy what meagre standard of living the 
wage-earner could hope to set up and contribute 
no compensatory happiness. Consequently the 
flood of low ability could be arrested at its 
source in two ways :—(1) By giving to 
all such a standard of living that its 
loss through unrestricted breeding would 
be distinctly felt, and (2) by supplying the 
means of family restriction to those who 
through deficient intelligence or poverty are 
unable to acquire them. For persons who are 
too defective to manage their own affairs, 
institutional care or sterilization may be 
unavoidable. In this connection it may be 
noted that social progress would be greatly 
aided by a new definition of the mental defec¬ 
tive, in which ‘managing one’s own affairs’ 


* Op. cit. pp. 39-109. 






140 

shall be taken to include the restriction 
family to accord with economic prospects. 

The second task of eugenics in providing the 
foundation of good citizenship—that of in¬ 
creasing the birth rate of the more intelligent— 
is not so simple. Economic measures such as 
increasing the income tax allowance for 
children, increasing scholarships or providing 
scholarships available only to third or fourth 
children may do much. In the long run, 
however, we may find that psychological 
incentives such as arise from love of children, 
the prestige of child rearing and even a sense 
of duty maybe more powerful. The last is not 
to be despised. If we introduce a new definition 
of a mental defective we may also need to 
introduce a new conception of an anti-social 


May 1937 

individual — that of the delinquent who, al¬ 
though of excellent inheritable consitution, 
refuses the responsibility of parenthood. 

It must not be supposed that intelligence is 
the only thing which concerns the eugenist in 
his attempts to bring about a basic improve¬ 
ment in citizenship through improving the 
individual citizens. Obviously there must be 
equal concern for many other mental and 
physical characters, but we are not so sure 
what they are, how far they are unqualified 
desiderata, or in what way they are altering 
at the present moment. With regard to intelli¬ 
gence we do know enough 1 to act and there is 
already an accumulation of work waiting to be 
done by that Ministry of Evolution which 
Bernard Shaw demanded thirty years ago. 


THE NEW ERA 
of 


Growing into Citizenship 

W. R, b6cl£rOV6 Headmaster of NormansaS, Seaford, Sussex 


W hat do we mean by a good citizen? 

Do we mean that busy man who has 
little time to enjoy himself because 
every minute of his spare time is filled up with 
this or that committee, whose sense of duty 
drives him to every election poll just as his 
sense of duty insists that he show an interest 
in the city corporate life? Or do we mean the 
fussy little man who enjoys the importance of 
office and carries out most zealously all the 
appointed tasks of an official citizen, hoping 
one day himself to become Mayor? Or do we 
mean the University student with a ‘first’ in 
Political Science? 

Or do we mean just the man who is a good 
citizen because he is a citizen in the fullest 
sense; the man who takes his place naturally 
in his bigger unit, and who, because he feels 
a part of that unit and the unit an extension of 
himself, plays his part and takes on responsi¬ 
bility, from no compulsion or sense of duty, 
nor in the hope of bettering his social position, 
but because he enjoys it, just as in his small 
family circle he enjoys keeping his house and 
garden in order. He is ready to discuss, criticize 
and suggest with an open mind in his search 
after truth, justice and beauty. If such is our 
good citizen something more than instruction 


in duty or teaching of civics will be needec 
while the child is becoming a roan. 

Many boys of twelve and thirteen show the 
promise and characteristics of the good citizen 
They have a strong sense of justice; they are 
energetic, tolerant, sympathetic; they appre¬ 
ciate natural beauty in art and music; they are 
frank both to themselves and to others about 
what they like and dislike, often exercising 
a clear judgment because unprejudiced; anc 
above all they have a capacity for enjoying 
both their own and their community life 
And let it be clear that they enjoy life, noi 
because life is made easy for them—an eas) 
life rather produces the sophisticated anc 
querulous—but they enjoy hard work, seem¬ 
ingly indifferent whether this work is mental 
physical or even menial. The responsibilities 
and problems that come along they seiz* 
because they enjoy feeling that they are ; 
working part of this community machine. 

Life to the child is not naturally divided uj 
into work.and play, as it so often is later on 
If in the past a broad line between work anc 
play has been emphasized, perhaps it has beer 
the fault of those in authority over the boy o 
twelve. To him the real dividing line lies 
rather between the time when facts, ideas anc 


GROWING INTO CITIZENSHIP 


lay 1937 

minions are thrust ruthlessly upon him and 
ie time when he is allowed opportunity to 
)llect his own facts, build up his own ideas 
id begin to form his own opinions. The 
>rmer he feels as something superimposed 
pon him. It irritates and humiliates him. He 
:els a hot-house plant being forced into preco- 
ous bloom. Rather than that he will flee into 
fie weeded wastelands. But to him reality 
les in the latter, which is life to him, because 
1 it he feels his own movement, his growth, and 
great contentment. He must be interested 
1 himself and his growing, for at this age he 
egins to look forward to the widening out of 
[ie community, with himself still working 
i^id moving happily in that community. But 
e must move step by step feeling his way 
irefully as he rises. It is all experience and 
ither exciting for him and he knows how fast 
p go. Therefore, if an adult comes and lifts 
im bodily up a flight, his irritation and humilia- 
lon are natural. If left to himself he is only too 
fnxious to seek instruction and follow it, so 
hat he may grow more quickly. Given this 
hance to grow, the boy approaching adoles- 
ence is the good citizen in miniature: happy 
nth his companions, laughing with the 
ommunity, discussing seriously the problems 
A himself and his fellows, quick to notice and 
lispel disharmony, ready to pull down any- 
hing ugly because it is ugly, anxious to right 
rrongs when he feels there is injustice. There 
s no suggestion of duty or a puritan urge to 
>ring light to a decadent world. It is all so 
latural to him. The community should be 
. happy place, therefore ‘let us make it so’. 

With the coming of adolescence a new world 
►pens up before him, a world which seems to 
:ome closer to him personally, bringing with it 
greater difficulties and problems. If, in addition, 
it this time he finds himself entering a new and 
)igger school, the strangeness of his world is 
urther increased, unexpected ideas, a new 
tandard of values, new experiences pour in 
lpon him in confusion. He may be unlucky 
ind find himself at a school whose standards of 
ruth and justice have strayed away from those 
vhich he has hitherto observed. He is surprised 
it an over emphasis on games, or at the 
neticulous care over funny little customs of 
)bsolete value, or he may be puzzled to find that 


141 

a school will put its own glory so far above 
that of the individual that it will ruthlessly 
expel a boy whom it fails to keep up to its 
arbitrary intellectual standard. Or he may just 
find some unexpected interpretation of truth 
in some individual master; like the boy of 
fourteen who was asked at his new school 
whether he would like to do a voluntary essay, 
and when he replied, truthfully, that he would 
not, he was told roughly that it was time he 
put aside his Prep. School manners. 

If the confusions are too overwhelming they 
may seem to drive out the boy’s confidence in 
himself, so that for the moment he seems 
inadequate to face his new life naturally. He is 
thus often easily influenced by those near him, 
to that his judgment becomes artificial and 
unsound. If therefore he adopts some pose, 
it will be as a protection to his self-respect, 
so that others shall not witness his confusion. 
After a period of silence he may give vent to 
violent criticism and prejudiced opinions on all 
manner of subjects. He may pose as a rabid 
Communist or Fascist, with little real basis 
for his extreme views. He may just come up 
against authority. He may find solace in the 
worship of games and a contempt of the scholar, 
or in a hatred of games and a worship of 
intellectuality. Or he may show an unexplained 
unjust cruelty towards weaker boys. 

His whole attitude may seem to have lost 
its sense of perspective. He seems to have 
moved back from his earlier standards, so that 
his reasoning, his judgment and his sense of 
justice seem warped and unbalanced. 

As we have seen, the boy because of his age 
is necessarily more sensitive and confused, 
apart from his environment. But more than 
likely he is amongst others who are equally 
confused and groping. Perhaps now, more than 
at any other time, the boy needs to live in an 
atmosphere which is controlled by experienced 
adults, even though he as an individual still 
needs independence of movement. It is ironical 
that so often at this very age the adult lessens 
his control of the atmosphere in which the 
adolescent is expected to develop, and the 
adolescent’s independence of movement is 
denied him by the petty tyranny of the un¬ 
controlled group among which he finds himself. 

And yet the boy still has that same capacity 













142 

which showed itself earlier and which will re¬ 
appear later on, provided he is allowed time to 
adjust himself to his new world. He is like the 
lawn tennis player who has been brought up in 
the seclusion of his club and for the first time 
finds himself playing at Wimbledon. Outclassed 
from the start, he finds his average good drives 
contemptuously returned well out of reach. He 
then deserts his own style and tries to copy that 
of his opponent. Strangeness and nervousness 
make his poor play become even poorer, so that 
he plays quite unlike himself, making returns 
which he knows to be uncontrolled and ridicul¬ 
ous. The boy is not asking for a soft easy time 
with no opposition. He is asking for time to 
think. He is asking to be spoken to naturally and 
in a language that he can understand. 

The ordinary orthodox school, if it is doing 
its job, can educate the boy to citizenship, 
provided the boy is allowed to feel his way 
systematically both in ordinary school life and 
in individual subjects. Whatever may be said 
for treating History as a series of abstract econo¬ 
mic movements, this seems hardly the age to 
treat it so. Such treatment is too unrelated to 
the boy himself. He is interested in people who 
like himself, live, move and have their problems. 
(Just as in Geography he asks where they live 
and what they do.) It is about men and women 
that he wants to know, and through them he can 


May 193 

be interested in their communities and thein 
laws and customs and so he can pass on the; 
study of Civics which is now based on some- s 
thing related to him. 

Even the boy of twelve is developing 2 
critical faculty in literature. It is not unusual foi 
a boy of this age to read and enjoy writers suclj tl 
as Dickens, provided he comes to it independ- s 
ently. Many older boys appreciate Shakespeare, 
but many also will not admit their appreciation 
when it is forced on them as a school subject!b 
How different if the boy can first meet a 
Shakespeare play as a play in which he himsell 
is taking part, when it is something to be en¬ 
joyed rather than studied. In other subjects too 
where there is a suggestion of adventure in which 
he can share, he will come forward gladly, 
asking many questions and passing judgments 
on the way, out of his experience. 

Thus the boy grows into a man and a man. 
becomes a good citizen not because he is 
intellectual or talented, not because he went tc 
B—School and H—University, but because at 
B—School and H—University, he was given 
facts and allowed to ponder over them and then 
pass judgment on them ; he was allowed to 
taste life bit by bit, digesting the flesh and 
discarding the pips, so that his good citizenship 
is less a manifestation of what he does than of 
what he is. 


THE NEW ERA 


Teacher Training 

Report of the Internationa! Commission on Teacher Training by the Secretary 
of the Commission, Dr. Ruth McMurry, Assistant Professor of Education, Teachers 

College, Columbia University. 


T he International Commission on Teacher 
training held its second series of meetings 
during the Seventh World Conference of the 
New Education Fellowship at Cheltenham. The 
Commission had a fine background on which to work. 
Originally organized for the Elsinor Conference in 
1929, the first regular meetings were carried on at 
Nice in 1932 according to plans which had been 
worked out by a committee composed of Dr. Thomas 
Alexander (Chairman), Mrs. Beatrice Ensor, Dr. 
William Boyd and the writer, who acted as secretary. 
A small but influential group of eductors interested 
in the problems of teacher training was invited to 
attend the Commission meetings and to take part in 
the discussions. Memoranda on ideal systems of 
teacher training were prepared by Professor Harold 


Rugg and Dr. William Boyd, and were circulated to" 
all members of the Commission. Professor Goodwin 
Watson acted as chairman. The great experience and 
broad vision of the leaders in the field of teacher 
training who came from many countries to attend the 
Conference, made the work of the Commission very 
stimulating. A recent analysis of the reports of both 
lectures and discussions at Nice showed what a 
wealth of valuable material was presented on all 
aspects of teacher training. 

The great social, political and economic changes 
that have taken place in all countries since 1932 have 
have had their effect on the membership and on the 
organization of the Teacher Training Commission. 
Many of the original members, however, have con¬ 
tinued their work on the Commission, new members 








lay 1937 

ive been added and the meetings at Cheltenham 
ere able to take place under very favourable 
mditions. 

Careful plans had been laid for the work of the 
ommission. In view of the reports recently pub- 
ffied by the Bureau International d’Education of 
eneva, which contain much valuable information 
)out systems of teacher training in the various 
mntries of the world, no effort was made to study 
r stems of teacher training as such. The members of 
te Commission were asked instead to send in short 
atements about recent problems in teacher training, 
ressures tow r ard reform and new experiments that 
ere being tried in their countries. Much of this 
laterial was made available to the members of the 
ommission before the meetings at Cheltenham, and 
le rest has been distributed since. In order to give a 
>mmon basis for discussion two memoranda were 
repared, one by Professor McClellan on the 
reparation of the Primary Teacher , and one by 
rofessor Fred Clarke on the Relation of the ‘Acad- 
niP to ‘Professional Studies' in the Training of 
econdary Teachers. 

The first meeting of the Commission was devoted 
rgely to plans for the preparation of an interim 
:port which will review the training of teachers from 
1 international standpoint, bringing out the main 
rogressive ideas on teacher training, indicatingthe 
tore significant pioneer developments in systems or 
[dividual colleges, and giving a statement of the Com¬ 
mission’s views on certain of the more fundamental 
sues, both educational and administrative. The 
diting of the report, which should be ready before 
te next world conference, w'as entrusted to Professor 
flarke and to Professor McClelland. 

The programme is an ambitious one and the 
lembers of the Commission recognize great value in 
le interplay of different cultural points of view and 
re showing a fine spirit of co-operation. A large 
mount of material is ready for analysis and nearly 
very mail brings additional information sent in by 
lembers of the Commission, all of whom are rap- 
orteurs for their respective countries. 

The report will contain the following sections: 
The first section w T ill give an account of the main 
arieties of training systems, and will be written by 
rofessor Robert Ulich, of Harvard University. In 
iew of the publication of the recent Reports of the 
nternational Bureau of Education, this will be con¬ 
ned to the brief indication of the main types of 
iructure found in the systems of the different 
ountries of the world. 

In the second section, which wfill be written by 
)r. Ulich in collaboration with Professor Clarke, of 
le University of London, a survey of problems and 
endencies of opinion will be given. 

The third section will give accounts of pioneer 
mrk in teacher training and of the ideas that lie 
>ehind such developments. It will be prepared by the 
/riter, who has also, with the co-operation of the 
lembers of the Commission, undertaken to compile 
bibliography of outstanding works on teacher 
raining published in the different countries. 

The remaining two sections, which will be pre¬ 


H 3 

pared by Professor McClelland, will consist of a 
statement of the Commission’s views on the main 
educational and administrative issues of teacher 
training. 

During the next two years, while the report is 
being prepared, the relationship between the officials 
and the members of the Commission will be one of 
mutual help with a constant interchange of points of 
view on some of the main problems of teacher 
training. The members will send in their contribu¬ 
tions and statements of their views. In turn an effort 
is being made to have such of this material as seems 
interesting and helpful duplicated and sent out to all 
the members in order to make the work of the 
Commission of real value to them. 

The discussions of the four closed sessions dealt 
with certain fundamental educational issues which 
were raised in the two memoranda which had been 
circulated to all members before the meeting. In the 
relatively short time at their disposal it was not pos¬ 
sible to cover the whole field nor was it possible to 
hear the views of all the members of the Commission 
on each issue. According to the report made by the 
chairman at the final open meeting of the Teacher 
Training Commission, any attempt to formulate the 
findings of the Commission would, therefore, be 
premature. When one takes into account the records 
of the meetings at Nice and the reports of the Chelten¬ 
ham discussions, it becomes clear that there is rather 
general agreement on certain broad principles but 
there is a conflict of opinions on many of the problems 
on which dogmatic pronouncement seems neither pos¬ 
sible nor desirable at the present stage. In order to 
give an idea of the kind of topics to which the Com¬ 
mission devoted its attention, Professor McClelland 
attempted to indicate in a provisional and tentative 
way some of the lines of agreement and disagreement 
that seemed to emerge from the deliberations both at 
Nice and at Cheltenham. 

Professor McClelland’s analysis continued as 
follows: 

‘One of our preliminary problems was that of 
deciding as to the type of school education — 
present or “new” — for which we ought to prepare 
the teacher, and as to the attitude wffiich the young 
teacher ought to have towards the existing school 
system, and indeed towards society as a whole. 

‘On this point, certain of our members would 
prepare the teacher definitely for the “new” educa¬ 
tion, but the general opinion appeared to be that 
we should give him a preparation which would en¬ 
able him to understand and appreciate the present 
— one which would enable him to work success¬ 
fully in the schools as they are — but yet a prepara¬ 
tion which would produce an adaptability to 
changing conditions, a sense of social responsi¬ 
bility, and an orientation towards the new schools. 

‘In realizing this aim the importance of two 
things was emphasized by various speakers, namely 
the properly conducted study of the history of 
education and the necessity for giving the student 
adequate experience in practising or experimental 
schools. 


TEACHER TRAINING 








144 


THE NEW ERA 


‘In the discussions on the personality of the 
teacher, there was general agreement that an aca¬ 
demic culture, even when combined with a mastery 
of professional techniques, was no sure guarantee 
of success, particularly in the new schools. We all 
felt that, in our training institutions, greatly in¬ 
creased emphasis should be placed upon the culti¬ 
vation of certain personal qualities in the student, 
and that to do this, the present structure of our 
colleges would have to be radically changed. The 
suggestion was made at Nice, for instance, that the 
class and lecture system should be replaced by 
some kind of community life, where staff and 
students live together in true cultural groups. 

‘It is realized, of course, that many of the per¬ 
sonal qualities which are essential to success in 
teaching, are matters of original endowment; and, 
in this connection, many speakers stressed the im¬ 
portance of improved methods of selection of en¬ 
trants to the training institutions. This is one of 
the points on which we hope to throw some light 
through the comparison of the experience of 
different methods which is now being gained in 
various countries. 

‘Coming now to the teachers’ general culture— 
which I think we all took to mean the sort of thing 
that one is supposed to get at a university—there 
was, in the first place, general agreement that the 
primary teacher should have a full course of 
secondary education, and that he should thereafter 
have a further course at a higher institution of at 
least four years. While this further course would 
include special professional preparation as well as 
general culture, it appeared to be the general feeling 
that the primary teacher’s culture should be of the 
level of that of a university degree, though not 
necessary taken at the university. This would cer¬ 
tainly be a fair statement of our finding if we take 
into account the trend of the discussions at Nice; 
and, on the same understanding, we might add that 
it was felt that the primary teacher’s culture should 
give him two things. In the first place, it should 
enable him to understand the social order of to-day 
and face its problems; and, in the second place, it 
should give him what Professor Rugg called “a 
self-made philosophy of living.” 

‘Some speakers pointed out that our present 
university degree courses do not always give a cul¬ 
ture of this kind, and that there were other difficul¬ 
ties in the present relationship between the stu¬ 
dent’s work at the university and his work at the 
training institution. And, while there was full 
realization of the necessity for the university to plan 
its curricula in relation to its own special aims, 


May 193; 

the hope was expressed that, in the future, thd 
universities might become increasingly disposed tc 
have regard to the needs of prospective teachers 
not only in the planning of their courses, but als( 
in their methods of teaching. 

‘Many speakers paid tribute to the value to thd 
primary teacher of participation in the wider life o 
the university, whose atmosphere is culturalhj 
more cosmopolitan than that of a training institu¬ 
tion could normally be; and, there was considerable 
discussion as to whether, when provision is made 
for this, the university course should be completec 
before the special professional preparation begins 
Professor Clarke made a strong plea for a con¬ 
current “interlaced” course, with cross-fertilizatior 
between the two sides. With a complete and under¬ 
standing partnership between the university anc 
the training authorities, this, he thought, offeree 
the best solution. But if, in certain cases, practica 
considerations made such an arrangement im¬ 
possible, more might be made of the “consecu¬ 
tive” system, than is presently done. 

‘Many other important problems were touched 
upon in our discussions. For instance, particularly 
at Nice, great emphasis was placed upon the neec 
for unity in the preparation of the teacher. It was 
felt that we should not treat the teacher’s person¬ 
ality, his culture, and his professional preparatior 
as separate bits, that have to be reassembled; bu' 
that his preparation should be envisaged from the 
start as a unitary whole. 

‘Many speakers deplored the division betweer 
primary and secondary teachers; there was con¬ 
siderable support for the suggestion that both 
types should be trained together and have part o: 
their training in common.’ 

To one who has followed the work of the Teachei 
Training Commission almost from, its beginning, the 
present outlook seems very favourable. Definite plans 
have been made for a constructive programme which 
is quite possible of realization, and which shoulc 
make a really valuable contribution to the progress ol 
teacher training. The fine qualities of leadership anc 
the reasoned judgment of the members of the Com¬ 
mission, who in their own countries, are attacking anc 
solving the problems of teacher training in such 
interesting ways, give every reason for confidence ir 
the findings of the Commission. As the chairman 
suggested, it is surely no vain hope that we may be 
able to make our knowledge and experience effective 
in the fertilization of thought on problems that are 
recognized to be central, not merely, in the advance 
towards a new T education, but in the realization of a 
better social order. 


The June issue will be a continuation of the current number 
on Citizenship 

The July issue will be a special number on Nursery Schools 












Designed and drawn by Leila Barford 


A Schoolmaster's Testament. By J. H. 

Badley, M.A. (Published by Basil Blackwell, 
Oxford, 7s. 6d.) 

In this important book Mr. Badley, the founder of 
Bedales, gives a reasoned account of his educational 
tvork and principles. 

We have been waiting for such a book, a book 
written by one with authority to show the real basis 
and beliefs of the New School Movement — a book to 
?ive to strangers who enquire ; a book to silence 
enemies (often unconscious) who father false rumours 
an the New School concerning their motives, and 
above all a book in which educationalists will find the 
principles and philosophy of the New School 
Movement set out clearly. It is not startlingly 
written for popular amusement. It deals with all the 
major educational problems of our times in a quiet 
confident spirit that appeals to the serious reader but 
does not impress the flippant who seek catch phrases 
or material for gibes. 

Mr. Badley begins with an account of life in big 
Public Schools in the later part of the nineteenth 
century. (A grim picture, now changing rapidly in ex¬ 
ternal appearance but only slowly in the spirit of most 
Public Schools.) From this he shows why the New 
School ‘revolt’ arose and what its main aims were. 
He describes the starting of Abbotsfield by Dr. 
Reddie and his own founding of Bedales a few years 
later. This clear historical account is very welcome — 
it gives one a feeling of the rightness and fire of those 
beginnings. 

Then he traces the growth of his own school, 
Bedales, the importance of co-education, the later 
changes and consolidation of the school. It is often 
rather irritating to find schools, new and old, claiming 
as startling innovations thing such as ‘out door work’ 
avoidance of mark systems and form orders, care in 
diet, frank sex education, insistence on the need for a 
happy school life and so on, that have been common¬ 
place at Bedales and other new schools for years; so 
it is consoling to have this record of what Bedales has 
done. 

Then follow chapters on the problems with which 
the New Schools (and I hope all schools) are concerned 
to-day: problems such as, curriculum, examinations, 
discipline, punishment, co-education, social life, 
religion. Mr. Badley does not provide mere ‘answers’ 
—no wise educationist pretends these problems are 
fully solved or even supposes that unique solutions 
are possible — but he discusses them with the practical 


knowledge and sympathy and skill of one who has 
faced them for many years in building up his own 
school. These chapters are first-hand accounts of 
educational principles and practice in the making. 

His chapters on discipline, his remarks on examin¬ 
ations and his discussion of the social values of school 
life are particularly good. The co-education chapter 
may seem too reserved (judged by articles in last 
month’s New Era) but it must be remembered that 
this chapter records the view's underlying the 
working practice of a pioneer in co-education. It does 
not boost mere hopes and theories. 

In these days when the New^ Schools are so w'ell 
known and so often called in question: when the 
virtues of rigid discipline and the training value of 
the classics are still commonly proclaimed — even in 
an article in a prominent ‘left’ journal — this book is 
welcome. It gives a clear defence of the New r Schools; 
no fanatical cry but a carefully argued discussion 
illuminated by the experimental results of forty 
years’ w'ork. 

How many of us in visiting Bedales have wished w r e 
could prolong our ten minutes in the Headmaster’s 
study, so as to gather all we could of Mr. Badley’s 
wisdom and experience. Now at last he has written 
this book giving what w r e sought, so far as written 
book can carry living thoughts. I hope no serious 
reader wfill be misled by its balanced and restrained 
style into thinking it unimportant. It is the story of a 
life-work, compressed into some 200 pages. It is a 
testament of the New Education written by a great 
man. 

Eric M. Rogers 


That Dreadful School. By A. S. Neill (Herbert 
Jenkins, 5s.) 

With the possible exception of Dora Russell’s, 
A. S. Neill’s co-educational school is the most radical 
school in existence. The chronological history of the 
school has been told in his books The Problem Child 
and its successor The Problem Parent. His latest 
book, That Dreadful School, sets out to answer the 
numerous questions which are always being asked 
concerning the methods of the school, the handling 
of special and everyday problems of child-life w'hich 
the school encounters, and to correct some of the 
false impressions current concerning the school as a 
place where the children break windows all day long 
and all the children are ‘abnormal.’ (In point of fact, 


145 




























146 


THE NEW ERA 


May 1937 

HANDBOOK OF VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE; 

By C. A. OAKLEY, B.Sc. (Eng.), Nav. Arch., Ed. B., Scottish Divisional Director of the National Institute 
of Industrial Psychology, and ANGUS MACRAE, M.A., M.B., Lately Head of the Vocational Guidance 
Department of the National Institute of Industrial Psychology. This Handbook, containing features 
not previously appearing in a psychological work on this subject, has been prepared for the use 
of teachers and others when advising pupils leaving Secondary Schools on the choice of their 
careers. With Half-tone Illustrations. 336 pp. Cloth Boards. I Os 6 d net. 

CLINICAL STUDIES IN SPEECH THERAPY 

By ANNE H. McALLISTER, M.A., Ed.B., Lecturer in Speech Training, Jordanhil! Training College, 
Glasgow. In this work many types of speech defects are discussed, such as those resulting from 
defective hearing, defective speech organs, language difficulties and emotional disorders. As 
the presentation is for the most part non-technical, the book should be of value not only to the 
scientific worker in speech therapy, but also to the parent, teacher, and the lay-worker. 

With Diagrams and Half-tone Illustrations. 376 pp. Cloth Boards. I Os 6 d net. 

CREATIVE EDUCATION AND THE FUTURE 

By OLIVE A. WHEELER, D.Sc., Professor of Education, University College, Cardiff. A systematic 
attempt to apply recent discoveries in the biological and psychological sciences to education 
in order to endeavour to solve the chief social problems of modern times. 

Large Crown 8vo Cloth Boards. Price 8 s 6 d net. 

Full details of the above books will be forv/arded post free on application 


UNIVERSITY OF LONDON PRESS, LTD., 10-11 WARWICK LANE, E.C.4 



as Neill points out, in nine years only six panes of a 
fine glass-house in the school have been broken, and 
the percentage of problem children is no higher than 
obtains at Eton or Roedean.) 

In this admirable little book Neill explains the 
workings of the school, after briefly indicating what 
he understands by freedom in education and in the 
handling of children generally. He makes the point 
which, as he says, so many parents seem unable to 
grasp—the difference between freedom and licence. 
At his school, Summerhill, everyone, children and 
adults, have equal rights, which applies rigidly to the 
school-government, which makes the rules and metes 
out the punishments to those who offend against 
these rules which they have had a part in making. 
This chapter should be of immense interest to 
the people who are always saying, ‘Yes, but—’ to the 
idea of a school run without adult discipline and 
domination. The book, in short, answers all the 
questions which either the sceptic or the interested 
person is likely to ask about the school, questions 
concerning routine (meals, bedtime, lessons, etc.) and 
questions concerning the psychological aspect. It 
tells about the Summerhill Theatre, where the 
children write their own plays and act them (and 
how good is both acting and production, and what 
vitality there is in the plays! I speak from the 
privilege of personal observation) and takes the 
reader through a Summerhill day, with its sports and 
games and lessons and manifold interests, and by the 


end, dull must be he of soul (and of wit) who fails 
to see that Summerhill is the happy, healthy (mentally, 
spiritually and physically) place it is because its aim 
is to cast out fear in the child, and thus abolish the 
hate which sets up conflicts and thwarts the natural 
development of happy self-confident individuality. 
‘I am convinced,’ writes Neill, out of sixteen years 
of free education, ‘that if a new generation of parents 
and teachers will give children freedom from outside 
fears, hate will gradually disappear from the world.’ 
I myself have known Neill and the school intimately 
for twelve years, and heartily echo the publishers 
in their claim that ‘this is by far the most important 
book A. S. Neill has written’. It reveals ‘that dreadful 
school’ as The School of the Future. 

Ethel Mannin 


A History of the Education of Young 
Children. By T. Raymont, M.A. ( Longmans, 
7s. 6d.) 

This is a book with an ambitious title, for in all 
countries and at all times there have been children. 
It is written by a Master of Arts who has had a 
specially close connection with the Froebel Society 
and the National Froebel Union and has held 
distinguished positions in training colleges. He has 
delved into old books and reports and has provided 









lay 1937 

iuch interesting reading. As history is based on 
election and we need to know the point of view 
om which the selecting has been done, it might 
ave been well if the words ‘by a Dewey-ite Froebe- 
an’ had been appended to the title. This would have 
^plained some of the gaps—why he omits for 
istance all reference to the work of Charlotte Mason 
3r children from six upwards. 

As a keen though not uncritical admirer of Froebel 
naturally applauds the enlightened attitude 
awards children which he finds in Maria Montessori 
nd he is honest enough to acknowledge the great 
lfluence she has exerted, an influence which would 
ave been greater but for the diversion of the 
'roebelians towards the American Dewey and the 
mdency of Montessorians to consider themselves a 
ect. He comments on the slow progress of the 
roebelian method at first. In 1906 strict adherence 
a Froebelian tenets was given up. Those familiar 
dth Kindergartens were always aware that the 
rolonged postponement of learning to write and read 
, r as neither in conformity with the desires of the 
arents nor of the children themselves. I notice that 
’rofessor Raymont does not mention Froebel’s 
iteresting account of ‘How Lina learnt to write and 
ead\ 

What Dr. Montessori did was to make it possible 
or children to learn to write and read in a spontaneous 
nd individual way entirely suited to child nature, 
t can only be the emotional reaction against the 
tupidity and cruelty of compelled mechanical drill 
a the three ‘R’s’ that prevents people like Professor 
taymont from acknowledging the greatness of the 
oon she has conferred. 

It is surprising that he should accuse Dr. Mont- 
ssori of the ‘fallacy of formal training’. Professor 
ipearman, the psychologist, defended her from this 
imputation as long ago as 1919. The idea of ‘refining 
he senses’ is sound psychologically, yet Professor 
laymont writes: ‘formal exercises in training of the 
enses by means of prepared material are not likely 
d be adopted in our infant schools. Our best teachers 
/ill take care that the child is busily occupied with 
aried material such as arises in everyday life, 
onfident that the senses w T ill then look after them- 
elves.’ 

Thus speaks the Master of Arts who has not 
sted and examined for himself, as a scientist does, 
/ho is contented to hand over the little child to be 
ept busily occupied by the teacher at what she, not 
e happens to choose, instead of being surrounded by 
laterial which makes a direct appeal and which he 
an work at when the right moment arrives. The 
hild becomes aware of the fruits of such work, he is 
iding his own development, he is prepared to become 
discoverer in a wider environment. He comes to 
spect the work of others and thus fits himself to live 
a social community. His natural impulse to love 
unobstructed. 

Had Professor Raymont seen all this, he would 
ave had a different vision for the future, and 
light have helped to win allegiance to a real scientific 

edaSOgy ' Jessie White 


BOOK REVIEWS 


H7 


The Fight for our National Intelligence. 

By R. B. Cattell. ( London, P. S. King & Son, 
Ltd. 1937. 8s. 6d.) 

This book is half an account of a very detailed and 
interesting investigation, and half a polemic. 

Dr. Cattell has investigated the correlation be¬ 
tween the intelligence quotients of children of ten 
years old, and the size of the families from which they 
come. He has taken for this purpose two areas, one 
urban and one rural, and has examined 2,873 
children of the former and 861 in the latter. 

The urban area he investigated was Leicester, 
which he considered to be ‘average in tone between 
London and the industrial cities of the Midlands and 
North,’ and the rural area a part of South Devon 
which he considered to offer typical unspoilt con¬ 
ditions. His results are plotted on the diagram 
reproduced on another page of this journal. 

An interesting point, possibly of some importance 
in view of the results, is that the average intelligence 
quotient of all the children in each group is somewhat 
below the average for the whole country. 

He has shown, and nobody can deny that he has 
conclusively shown, that the more intelligent are at 
every level reproduced in smaller families than the 
less intelligent. In those areas which he has in¬ 
vestigated there is, in fact, a dysgenic trend in the 
birthrate. 

His main conclusions about the reason for this 
are as follows :— 

1. That the less intelligent breed more than the 
more intelligent, and that since intelligence is almost 
entirely hereditary, a dysgenic trend is produced. 

2. That we are blinded to the dangers of this by 
our illusions about the extent of present social 
progress. 

3. That our national press is ignorant of, or reluct¬ 
ant to stress, the dangers of the situation. 

4. That most of us take the laissez-faire view that 
‘Nature’ will find a way out. 

5. That we think we can shape hereditary con¬ 
stitution by environmental reforms (he quotes Dr. 
Julian Huxley’s Galton lecture of 1936 as an example 
of this). 

6. That charitable practices encourage dysgenic 
trends in the population. 

These conclusions are governed by two very 
important hypotheses :— 

a. Environment is scarcely, and inheritance almost 
entirely, responsible for the I.Q. of the child. This 
he substantiates by a mass of documentary evidence 
of investigations of all kinds. There is no doubt 
that while the effects of heredity and environment 
seem superficially to be most clearly separable in the 
study of I.Q., yet the dangers and risks in basing a 
generalization on the distribution of human intelligence 
on this are very great. The responsibility borne by a 
people who started stringent eugenical measures based 
on the operation of present statistical technique would 
soon become unbearable. That we are not yet able 
to separate the influence of nature and nurture in 
human intelligence can be seen by the extent of our 
difficulties even when confronted by those problems 




THE NEW ERA 


148 

of animal genetics which have been clarified by the 
description of Mendelian genes. It is bold to claim, 
as Dr. Cattell quotes, that ‘measurable environment 
does not shift the I.Q. by more than three to five 
points’. Does the present state of our knowledge 
really enable us to measure environmental effect and 

I.Q. itself within such narrow limits of experimental 
and diagnostic error ? Do we really know enough 
about human genetics to be able to distribute the 
products of empirical intelligence tests among the 
pigeon-holes of heredity and environment ? 

Our population shows dysgenic trends undoubtedly 
and these trends are clearly shown by Dr. Cattell’s 
investigation. But the results must still be treated 
from a sociological point of view, since the basis of a 
biological point of view cannot be truly laid without 
genetic foundations that are still to be discovered. 

There seems to be no doubt that malnutrition, for 
instance, affects I.Q. to a much smaller extent than 
might be supposed ; yet in view of the difficulty of 
its diagnosis, and the fact that Dr. Cattell can quote 
a 5! per cent. L.C.C. figure, while Drs. McGonigle 
and Kirby can quote a general figure of 40 per cent, 
for the whole country, many misgivings must arise 
as to the validity of measurements of its effect. 

b. To a very large (but not complete) extent in¬ 
telligence is correlated with economic status, and that 
in particular the unemployed represent that section 
of society with the lowest average I.Q. One question 
must be asked. To what extent does Dr. Cattell 
attempt to correlate I.Q. with economic class levels ? 
The answer is that he considers them to be more or 
less correlated up to the income level of about £240 
p.a. Further questions at once arise. Does the law 
of supply and demand, if indeed it exists, apply to 
free labour ; is its action so quick that the most able 
and intelligent sections of the unemployed are always 
snapped up by industry ; does industry necessarily 
want intelligent workers ; is intelligence always the 
quality that ensures employment ? The answers to 
these questions are often not governed by a knowledge 
of objective fact, but by the political orientation of the 
answerer. It would be interesting, for instance, to 
make a comparative survey on Dr. Cattell’s lines of 
the unemployed in the ‘special’ areas and in a normal 
area where unemployment presumably might bear a 
closer correlation with lack of intellect. 

What does the writer suggest that we should do ? 
Let us quote his proposed measures directly. They 
comprise :— 

1. Recognition of the sub-cultural social defective. 

2. Making the able child an economic asset. 

3. Increasing the income-tax allowance for child¬ 
ren. 

4. Extending conditions of steadiness and security 
of income. 

5. Regulation of marriage and celibacy. 

6. Provision of child allowances in ‘above average’ 
groups. 

7. The universal availability of birth-control. 


May 1937 

8. Mental hygiene applied to social attitudes 
governing sterility, which includes a number of sub¬ 
headings, the most important of which are proposals 
for the encouragement of what he calls the true use of 
patriotism, in which we are told that biological 
competition with other nations is desirable, and 
proposals for the establishment of a Ministry of 
Evolution. 

How far can reforms of this kind be brought about 
within the existing social structure ? There seem to 
be two schools of thought on this subject ; those who, 
like Dr. Cattell, think that to postpone eugenical 
measures until the environment has been made more 
equitable by a social transformation, would be foolish, 
and those who think that the planned breeding of 
intelligence, and the measurement of hereditary 
values that would be essential for it, must be post¬ 
poned until most differences of social environment 
have been eliminated. 

To support his side of the question, Dr. Cattell 
has quoted facts about the Soviet Union which, he 
claims, show that there is, even in that classless 
country, a difference in the birth-rate in different 
social statuses. This may possibly be true, but there 
is by no means enough evidence on which to base a 
definite case. He relies on a quotation from Dr. 
Gantt, who claims that 16 professors and scientific 
workers had only five children between them, and 
from Blonsky, who found that Russian only children 
were of more than average intelligence. 

It might seem unnecessary to make such a point 
of this lack of evidence, but the importance of a 
comparison of conditions in capitalist and in classless 
societies is very great in view of the two alternative 
cures that propose themselves. There are no national 
statistics in the Soviet Union on differential birth-rate 
in the various occupations, neither have any investi¬ 
gations like Dr. Cattell’s yet, been made, as far as I 
know. Until we know the effect of the abolition of 
class, the industrialization of peasants, and the 
emancipation of women in the U.S.S.R. on the birth¬ 
rate in that sixth of the world, we shall not safely be 
able to decide whether the cure for our dysgenic 
trend lies in social reform or in social revolution. Can 
we abolish dysgeny now, or do we have to abolish 
class first ? 

If eugenical measures are started in a class society 
such as ours, there is no doubt that the working-class, 
organized as it is, would resist them. A campaign 
based on reality would have to have the support of the 
organized working-class which would probably have 
little interest in the liberal biologically-competitive 
nationalism that Dr. Cattell advocates. And it is not 
surprising that in Fascist countries ‘eugenical’ 
measures such as sterilization of ‘certain elements’ 
in their society have as their avowed objects the 
purification of Nation and Race. 

To conclude by quoting Professor Lancelot 
Hogben :—‘In so far as a balance-sheet of nature and 
nurture has an intelligible significance, it does not 
entitle us to set limits to changes which might be 
brought about by regulating the environment.’ 

James Fisher 


May 1937 book reviews 

FLhrungslehre des Unterrichts. By Peter 
Petersen. ( Beltz , Berlin and Leipsig.) 


The chief interest in this book, is that it describes 
an approved theory and practice of education in 
Germany for children of 6-14 in state elementary 
schools ; and this “Jena-Plan” is enlightened. 

It replaces the old class-room, with its rigid desks, 
rigid children and rigid teaching, by the school¬ 
living-room with movable chairs and small tables 
suitable for group-work, to which about a quarter 
of school-time is given. 

Now for the ‘spirit’ of the school. Since October 
24, 1934 ‘the school must become the school- 
community, a cell of the Volksgemeinschaft (com¬ 
munity of the people).’ At present this means that 
the school reflects the German outside world as it is 
and not as it might be. Traditional religion, presum¬ 
ably on a Cowper-Temple basis, is taught compul¬ 
sorily, and German manners and customs are 
inculcated. 

This educational ‘holism,’ training the whole life 
of the child, includes regular visits by the teacher 
to each child’s home, and a careful study of the child’s 
activities at home and in the street. 

The philosophy on which the Jena-Plan is based 
is the North-German-Reality-Philosophy, and the 


H9 

author has several philosophical writings to his 
credit. Its ‘three self-evident data’ are God, Man, and 
the external world. ‘Self-evident’ is a strong word 
applied to the idea of God ; divine revelation or faith 
rather than self-evidence is usually considered to be 
the source of the idea of God. 

Of natural science the author says that it cannot be 
an object of knowledge, but can only be put into 
formulae and figures. On the other hand, ‘there is no 
limit to what we can see into Nature.’ Irreverently 
there springs up in the mind, the ‘seeing’ of a twin 
lamp-post. 

Leaving this pre-Baconian philosophy, we look in 
this book in vain for a psychology. There are a few 
practical home-made recipes and tips, and nothing 
more. Wundt (R.I.P. about 1900) receives one 
mention ; Freud, Adler, Watson, Kohler, Piaget, 
McDougall apparently receive no mention (there is 
no index). 

There are scattered critiscims of modern educa¬ 
tionists and methods. The Jena-Plan is eclectic 
and contained nothing original in pedagogy. Montes- 
sori, Dalton Plan, Lietz-schools are hastily and super¬ 
ficially criticized ; but the author and his Jena-Plan 
probably owe much to Decroly, and he receives a just 
measure of praise. 

D. J. Gordon Jones 


Fellowship News 


GREAT BRITAIN 
Cheltenham Report 

The book of the Cheltenham Conference, entitled 
The Freedom we seek , and edited by Mr. Wyatt 
Rawson, will be ready in the course of May. Price 
55. 6 d. post free. 

“Separated Family” Conference 

The N.E.F. is co-operating with the Over-Seas 
League, the P.N.E.U., the Home and School Council 
and other bodies in a one-day conference to discuss 
the problems of the family separated by the residence 
of parents overseas. The difficulties of this situation 
are familiar to members of the armed forces, the 
Indian Civil Service and the Colonial Service, to mis¬ 
sionaries and others, but this is the first attempt to 
bring together parents, teachers and those who direct 
holiday homes for an exchange of views and experi¬ 
ence. The Conference will be held at Over-Seas 
House, St. James’s, S.W.i, on July 3rd. Further 
particulars from the Secretary, Over-Seas House. 

Dr. Adler’s Visit 

During his visit to this country, Dr. Adler will 
hold three vacation courses: Edinburgh, June 19th to 
July 3rd; Liverpool, July 6th to 17th; Exeter, July 
17th to 31st. Full particulars may be obtained from 
the Hon. Secretary, Adler Vacation Courses, 46 Lex- 
ham Gardens, London, W.8. Dr. Adler will deliver 
one lecture in London, at the Queen’s Hall, on the 
evening of June 17th, when his subject will be 
Social Interest: A Challenge to Mankind. 


AUSTRALIA 

We understand that free hospitality is being 
offered to members from other countries who attend 
the Australian N.E.F. Conference. Those who are 
planning to do so should write to Miss Soper, 
International Headquarters. 

AUSTRIA 

The Austro-American Institute of Education, 
Vienna, which is a Service Member of the N.E.F., 
has issued a report of its first ten years’ work, 1926- 
36. The purpose of the Institute is to facilitate inter¬ 
national contacts in the educational sphere, more 
particularly betw T een Austria and the U.S.A. It has 
arranged numerous exchanges of students, provided 
regular German courses for English-speaking stu¬ 
dents in Vienna and lectures on American for Aus¬ 
trian audiences, it has built up a valuable library of 
English w T orks, organized exhibitions of the w-ork of 
American artists in Vienna and of Austrian work in 
America and England, conducted an Entrance 
Examination to American Colleges, and maintained a 
centre of information and advice. We offer our con¬ 
gratulations to the Institute and to its Director, Dr. 
Dengler, on this fine record of service, and our best 
wishes for the future. 

INDIA 

Central Provinces 

In January the Jubbulpore Group held its third 
exhibition of school w r ork, which was visited by over 
3,500 boys and girls and about 400 adults. The Akola 




THE NEW ERA 


May 1937 


150 

Group has also adopted the same method of stimulat¬ 
ing interest in education and its first exhibition was 
seen by 700 children and some 200 adults. 

Gujerat 

The New Education Association of Gujerat, 
which has 750 members, has joined the N.E.F. as a 
body. A few months ago it held a conference to study 
and discuss the Dalton Plan, and in May it is holding 
another, on Ideals of New Education. It publishes a 
monthly journal in Gujerati, bearing the name Nutan 
Shikshan —yet another way in which our members 
say ‘New Education’. We welcome this new group 
to our Fellowship and look forward to hearing of 
their work in the future. 

Mysore 

The Mysore Section reports that during the past 
year its members have numbered nearly 150. They 
have a many-sided record of activity to their credit. 
An interesting programme of lectures has been 
carried out and study circles have met to discuss the 
Teaching of English in Middle Schools, and the 
Vernacularization of Studies in High Schools. Both 
circles have published reports. The Section possesses 
a Club Room, which includes a library and reading 
room, and a fortnightly Reading Circle has been 
started. A custom has been established of holding an 
annual retreat for recreation and the discussion of 
educational problems at some place in the neighbour¬ 
hood of Mysore City; the third retreat took place in 
January. The Section’s vernacular monthly journal, 
Vidyadayini , which aims especially at helping teachers 
in primary and middle schools, has reached a 
circulation of 1,420 copies. 


NEW ZEALAND 

The N.Z. Educational Institute, one of our Service 
members, has published a Report on Reorganization 
of the N.Z. Primary Education System. The recom¬ 
mendations cover a wide field and include many 
points of general interest where the problems and 
needs of the Dominion coincide with those of other 
countries. The Institute recommends, for instance, 
the raising of the school leaving age to fifteen, with¬ 
out exceptions, and with maintenance allowances for 
cases of hardship; the provision of nursery schools 
and child guidance clinics, itinerant child guidance 
advisers, and a scheme for the dissemination of 
information on child welfare; smaller classes and as 
liberal staffing in primary schools as in secondary 
schools; the abolition of the Proficiency Examination 
(for entrance to post-primary schools) and the sub¬ 
stitution of internal tests for external examinations; 
full and continuous dental treatment up to the age 
of fifteen; compulsory “follow-up” treatment for de¬ 
fects diagnosed by school medical officers; the intro¬ 
duction of educational films into primary schools; a 
well-organized scheme of vocational guidance; the 
affiliation of the Training Colleges with the Univer¬ 
sity Colleges; the provision of up-to-date (and earth¬ 
quake resisting) school buildings with up-to-date 
equipment. This last point is amplified in nineteen 
admirable and detailed suggestions. These are but a 
few of the recommendations. It is encouraging to read 
that, since the recommendations were presented, the 
authorities have given effect to several of them. A 
copy of this interesting report may be seen at 
International Headquarters. 


Drama as an Educative and Social Force 

CITSZEN HOUSE, BATH 


I T is a curious paradox that at a period when the 
commercial theatre seems everywhere to be 
declining and losing in its uneven battle against 
the cinema, the creative community theatre multiplies, 
and groups, largely run by the inspiration and energy 
of a few individuals, are springing up. Their places 
of meeting .are frequently schoolrooms, institutes, 
army huts; but their art and enthusiasm triumph over 
every difficulty, until at last, many, like the Bath and 
Bournemouth Dramatic Groups, are able to build 
a permanent Little Theatre of their own and rest 
secure in the knowledge that they have added a 
distinctive feature to the life of their township and 
enormously increased the appreciation of art of their 
fellow citizens. 

It is true that the pioneers of these dramatic groups 
start with unlimited enthusiasm and very limited 
financial support, but if they are prepared to do their 
own work of scene-designing, costume-making, etc., 
as well as the actual hard work of painting and 
decorating their own little theatre, barn or hut, they 
can soon achieve a measure of self support, though 
they can never hope for affluence. Enthusiasm is 
intensely communicable, and every member of an 


audience will support a venture small enough to 
make him feel that he has a personal stake in its 
welfare. Moreover an enormous amount of un¬ 
expected talent will be discovered for such handi¬ 
crafts in unexpected people. 

Undoubtedly the increasing value set upon 
dramatic art by the Board of Education and all 
educational and social agencies lies in the fact that 
it is creative, and as such, offers a direct challenge to 
the overwhelming materialism and mechanism of our 
age. Moreover dramatic art is essentially a synthetic 
art. To it must be brought the writer’s sense of 
literature for the proper appreciation of the play, 
the artist’s eye for colour as an expression of the 
main symbolism of the theme, the musician’s ear 
for sound, the architect’s sense of line and proportion 
which must be apparent in the scene set, however 
simple the designer’s sense of beauty and fitness 
in the costumes, the dancer’s knowledge of movement 
and rhythm, the producer’s sense of vital inter¬ 
pretation and of poise. All these elements are 
required if the stage picture is to be satisfying, 
sincere and complete, and it is just here that the 
latent possibilities of members in any group are 

continued on page v. 



continued from page 150. 

usually discovered, and it is this that gives to 
Community Drama its psychological and social 
significance. 

The majority of members undertaking dramatic 
training are doing so with the definite intention of 
turning it to good account in recreational, educational 
and social work. To the teacher of English, entrusted 
with the production of the School Play, such a 
training is invaluable, for he or she is suddenly called 
upon to undertake a work of great aesthetic im¬ 
portance, to organize large groups of players, and 
to bring the work to the ear of public consciousness, 
which daily becomes more and more critical in the 
person of every member of the audience. County 
organizers are needed in exactly the same way to 
organize local pageants in the summer and to 


keep alive the community spirit during the winter. 

For many years Citizen House has loaned cos¬ 
tumes, play copies, properties, curtains and scenery 
from its gigantic stores to all who undertake social 
and educational w T ork, and its advisory bureau, which 
deals with every problem of the choice of play and 
play production, is famous throughout the world. 

Both in Bath and London continuous Drama 
Schools are held throughout the year and the most 
comprehensive training for actors, producers and 
dramatists is available under the best professional 
producers at a nominal cost. A special feature of 
this work is the correlation of the Bath and London 
theatres and the fact that both theatres possess 
a most interesting and interested audience, whose 
criticisms are of value to dramatist and player. 


Directory of Training Centres 


STAFF APPOINTMENTS DEPARTMENT. 
Well-qualified women staff available. Special details 
given of candidates interviewed, on request. 

ADVISORY DEPARTMENT. 
First-hand information given to parents, free of 
charge, on schools and trainings. 

CICELY C. WRIGHT, Ltd., 

50 Great Russell Street, W.C.i. Holborn 9984. 

ST. GODRIC’S SECRETARIAL COLLEGE 

18 ARKWRIGHT ROAD, HAMPSTEAD, N.W.3. 
Principals: Mrs. Warren Loveridge, B.A., Mrs. 
E. E. R. Thorp, M.A.(Cantab.), assisted by a dis¬ 
tinguished staff of graduates and business executives. 
Posts offering scope and suited to their individual in¬ 
terests are found for all students. Scholarships 
available. Residential hostel. Moderate fees. 

SWAN LEY HORTICULTURAL COLLEGE, 
Kent. Trains women for responsible posts in Horti¬ 
culture, Farming, and as Biology Teachers in 
Training Colleges and Schools. 

For details of scholarships and prospectus apply : 
The Principal. 

SCHOOL OF HANDICRAFTS, 2 North Grove, 
Highgate, N.6. Training for Handicraft Teachers and 
others. Pottery, Weaving, Basketry, Bookbinding, 
Carpentry. Ten week terms and holiday courses. 
Preparation for N.F.U. Teachers’ Handwork 
Diploma. Principals: W. E. Harrison. M. A. Taylor. 


THE TRIANGLE : SECRETARIAL TRAINING 
COLLEGE. (Founded 1910). Individual tuition 
and personal interest are outstanding features of 
this training. 59, 60, 61 and 7 (Annex) South 
Molton Street, London, W.i. May. 5306 (3 lines). 


RUDOLF STEINER SCHOOL OF SPEECH AND 
DRAMATIC ART AND GOETHEANUM SCHOOL 
OF EURYTHMY 

(A uthorised for Dr. Steiner's teachings) 

Private and class tuition for advanced students. Schools 
visited. Beginners and children. 

REGULAR MONTHLY PERFORMANCES 

For Prospectus apply: Secretary, 20th Century Theatre, 
Archer Street, W.I I. PARK 6870 


MISS DOROTHY MATTHEWS, B.A. (formerly 
secretary English Section N.E.F.) 32 Primrose 
Hill Road, London, N.W.3. PRI 5686. Classes 
and Lessons by visit and correspondence in 
Writing, Poetry, Speaking. English for foreigners. 
Special help for teachers in creative English 
teaching. 

DRAMA COURSES. Play Production and Acting, 
held continuously at EVERYMAN THEATRE, 
HAMPSTEAD, and BATH. Schools visited. Crea¬ 
tive work. Self-expression. STAGE COSTUMES. 
Scenery loaned. Fees moderate. Apply CITIZEN 
HOUSE, BATH. 


Europe and America 


L’AVENIR 


HOME-ECOLE NOUVELLE 

An open-air mountain school for boys and girls, where 
modern methods in education are combined with the 
advantages of family life. 

Camping. Winter Sport. Altitude 4,100ft. 

John Hamshere, M.Sc., Ph.D., Cambridge. 
Germaine Hamshere, Infirmidre dipl., Lausanne 

CHESIERES SUR OLLON, SWITZERLAND 


Edgewood, Greenwich, Connecticut. 
A Boarding and Day School for Boys and 
Girls from Kindergarten to College. Twenty- 
acre campus, athletic field, skating, ski-ing, 
tennis and all outdoor sports. Teachers’ 
Training Course. Illustrated Catalogue describes 
activities and progressive aim. 

E. E. LANGLEY, Principal, 201 Rockridge 


V 




























T H E N E W E R A 

IN HOME AND SCHOOL 

A Monthly Magazine for Parents and Teachers 

Entered as second class matter, September 23rd, 1930, at the Post Office at 
New York, N.Y., under the Act of March 3rd, 1878 (Sec. 397. P.L. & R.) 


Vol. 18, No. 5 


6d. ( 8d. post free'); 250 (550 post free) 


*\\ All editorial communications should be addressed to the Editor. The Editor can take 

responsibility only for MSS. submitted on request. 

Business communications, including Advertisements, should be addressed to the 

Business Manager. 


SUBSCRIPTIONS 


Annual Post Subscription: 8s. ($2.00). 
Single Copy 6d. (8d. post free). 
Foreign cheques are accepted, but 30c. 
should be added to cheques drawn on 


foreign banks. Receipts for amounts under 
1 os. or $3 sent only on request, which 
should be accompanied by a stamped and 
addressed envelope. 


CLASSIFIED ADVERTISEMENT RATES 


Rates: is. 3d. per 6 words. Minimum 
18 words. These charges must be prepaid 
and copy received by the fifteenth of the 
month preceding publishing date. 


All ‘copy’ and remittance for advertise¬ 
ments and box number replies should 
be sent to The New Era (Advertising), 29 
Tavistock Square, London, W.C.i. 


MAY, 1937 

Contents 


OUTLOOK TOWER ... 121 

HISTORY AND CITIZENSHIP .A........ M. Charles 123 

THE HISTORY BOOK AND THE CITIZEN..:... Vivian Ogilvie 125 

ECONOMICS AND CITIZENSHIP ... R. L. Hall 130 

EDUCATION FOR CITIZENSHIP IN EXILE 7. Norman Bentwich 132 


INTELLIGENCE AND CITIZENSHIP—A PROSPECT 

Raymond B. Cattell, m.a., b.sc., ph.D. 136 


GROWING INTO CITIZENSHIP ...IT. R. Seagrove 140 

TEACHER TRAINING ........ A... 142 

BOOK REVIEWS... 145 

FELLOWSHIP NEWS .... i 49 

DRAMA AS AN EDUCATIVE AND SOCIAL FORCE . ico 


vi 




















IN HOME AND SCHOOL 


Education for 

Democratic Citizenship 


John H. Nicholson 

T he fascist States and Soviet Russia educate 
their children deliberately for fascism and 
communism. Democrats call this ‘bias’, 
and claim that their own schools are unbiassed. 
Is this true, and if so, is it wise? 

The easiest way to avoid bias is to teach facts 
but not opinions. Is this possible? In science, 
yes. No reputable scientist would ‘twist’ the 
facts to fit in with his opinions. In the arts, the 
answer is probably : No. Literature as taught 
to-day is both a science and an art; it deals in 
facts (which must be verified) and in ‘values’ 
(which are matters of opinion and cannot be 
checked). A teacher of the humanities cannot 
avoid questions of value. Then what about 
bias? The nearer we approach to politics, the 
more difficult the problem becomes. Political 
propaganda is rightly excluded from English 
schools. Must we exclude every kind of political 
education? If so, what becomes of education for 
citizenship? 

Since we cannot help dealing with questions 
of value in school, we must face the problem of 
bias. We ‘bias’ children in favour of honesty, 
truthfulness, cleanliness, punctuality and per¬ 
haps courage and self-sacrifice. No one objects 
to this, because these are commonly accepted 
as desirable virtues. We teach them loyalty 
too; later, they find that there is often a conflict 
of loyalties. We recognize bias only in matters 
where there is a marked difference of opinion, 
especially in religion, politics, history and 


Principal, University College, Hull 

economics. We may call a teacher of literature, 
music or the arts ‘sound’ if his taste falls in 
with accepted standards, or ‘cranky’ if it does 
not, but he is not usually called ‘biassed’. In 
morals, the innovator is described simply as 
‘immoral’. 

The attempt of the dictators to control not 
only political and religious thought and econo¬ 
mic life, but also literature and art and music, 
has met with derision. Yet it is perfectly logical. 
Political institutions cannot be separated from 
the social basis on which they rest. Art and 
literature won their freedom from ecclesiastical 
control at the Renaissance; freedom of con¬ 
science led to freedom of thought; political 
freedom came last. We think of freedom too 
narrowly, because we have forgotten the earlier 
struggles. Freedom, like peace, is ‘indivisible’. 
No one can really think freely, except perhaps 
in some narrow specialized field, if his emotions 
are bound by values accepted at second-hand. 
No society can long remain politically free, 
unless its citizens are also free to create new 
social values — and to express them in art, 
literature and conduct. 

D iscipline and freedom are often contrasted 
as if they could not be found together, 
either in school or in society at large. Some of 
the earlier experiments in free education 
certainly went astray because they under¬ 
estimated the need of the young child for 













THE NEW ERA 


152 

support from outside his personality — support 
against his own ‘fantastic’ interpretations of the 
real world. To train the child to observe 
accurately and to reason logically is not to 
curtail his freedom, but to enlarge it: provided 
that one does not then try to set bounds to his 
thought. The next great task of education is to 
do for the intuitive sense of value what we have 
learnt how to do for the intellect. At present 
most of us either impose our own moral and 
aesthetic standards on the child, or leave him 
without any real guidance in moral and 
aesthetic matters, lest we should spoil his 
natural sense of value; or perhaps we com¬ 
promise, thinking in terms of the amount of 
discipline rather than the kind. We learn to 
think, partly by trial and error (‘does it work’)— 
partly by watching other people think, partly 
by having to choose between rival explanations 
presented to us. We must learn to value in 
much the same way—by making trial valua¬ 
tions, which when tried out may fail to satisfy, 
by seeing what value other people set on 
things and on our own actions, and by choosing 
between rival valuations. We do this already; 
but while, in the sphere of thought, all the 
best teachers encourage a child to experiment 
and to verify, in the realm of values far too 
much stress is laid on the second method 
(learning by imitation), far too little on the 
effort to value at first hand. Perhaps this is 
because experiments here are apt to be ‘dan¬ 
gerous’—to lead to innovations which are not 
socially acceptable. There is certainly a point at 
which we may have to interfere: ‘if you do that, 
you will find . . .’; or even ‘don’t do that’ (far 
better no reason than a false one). An appeal to 
reason is always legitimate, where it is possible; 
so is an attempt to put before the child a 
different valuation from his own, provided that 
he is not asked to accept it on your authority. 
The adult has a natural prestige in the child’s 
eyes which he cannot abdicate, except by 
forfeiting the child’s confidence; it is a useful 
educational means, but it should not be abused. 

O pinions are far less important in their 
influence on conduct than the ‘set’ of the 
personality. Most convictions that are deeply 
held have emotional roots — they do not 
merely satisfy the intellect (they may even be 


June 1937 

largely irrational); they answer to some need 
which may lie beyond the reach of conscious 
thought. To form them, or to change them, an 
emotional adjustment must be made. That is 
why it is so difficult to argue people out of their 
convictions, or into fresh ones: they have to 
re-value their experience. A ‘pig-headed’ man 
is one whose power to value has died, or has 
never been awakened. Something has gone 
wrong with his education—perhaps at home, 
long before he came to school. He is still 
resisting some early attempt to violate his 
personality—to impose values against his will. 
He is never a co-operative personality. He is 
generally a bad colleague, a troublesome 
subordinate, an inconsiderate chief. He is 
always a poor member of a democratic com¬ 
munity. Some people seem incapable of 
forming convictions: perhaps they were never 
allowed to do so, until it was too late. They 
generally pride themselves on their open- 
mindedness. Their intellect moves freely, but 
their emotion cannot back it up. They are 
often full of isolated prejudices, the refuge of a 
sense of value which has no other function. 
They too are poor democrats. 

The most important part of education for 
democracy is the building up of the kind of 
personality without which democracy cannot 
work—independent, tolerant, co-operative. 
Some natures grow more easily than others 
into the democratic virtues. Democracy must 
recognize and value the variety of human 
nature, and find scope for differing gifts. 
Every good schoolmaster helps his pupils to 
find themselves, as well as to learn to live as 
members of a community—to live and work 
with people whom they do not necessarily like! 
—all of whom they cannot like, or like equally, 
if they are honest with themselves. We do not 
‘like’ for reasons, and when we hate, it is often 
quite irrationally—unless we set some private 
injury above the general good. Most ‘enemies 
of society’ have been made so, either by ‘bad’ 
homes or by ‘bad’ schools—that is, by homes 
or schools which have mishandled them. Some 
people sublimate their private grievances into 
a passion for social justice; to the best of 
them, society owes much; but it is a dangerous 
way of creating social reformers—it seldom 
works. 



line 1937 EDUCATION FOR 

r ^F course, democrats should know about 
*-/the community of which they are to be 
Ipitizens, and if possible they should share its 
love of liberty and have a sense of responsibility 
for it. They cannot love liberty well unless they 
understand it and have some real experience 
of what it means. There are various devices 
which schools use, with varying success, to 
achieve this; most of them are helpful, if the 
headmaster or headmistress and the staff really 
believe in liberty and are active citizens them¬ 
selves; but a self-government scheme or a 
course of lessons on citizenship are of little 
use if they are ‘tacked on’ to a school life which 
is essentially unfree — a school in which inde¬ 
pendence of thought and character is dis¬ 
couraged, or an attempt is made to turn out a 
‘type’. The best schemes grow naturally out of 
school work and activities: they are adopted 
because those responsible find that this is the 
best way of achieving their educational 
aims, and they are modified as experience 
grows. 

Boys and girls, and especially adolescents, 
are keen to share the interests of older people 
whom they admire. The danger is that they 
often take over not only enthusiasm but ready¬ 
made opinions and tastes. The best teachers 
discourage this, but it is not easy to avoid it 
altogether. A mild degree of dependence is 
easily outgrown. But many people carry with 
them through life convictions accepted un¬ 
critically from parents, teachers or older 
friends. Children should learn at school that 
good men often differ widely in their views. 
The modern world is very bewildering to those 
who have not been prepared for conflicting 
convictions and loyalties. 

M an’s social instincts are more deeply seated 
than his self-regarding instincts; they are 
infinitely older. When the group is threatened 
(as in war) group-loyalty wins easily over self- 
preservation. There is much anti-social con¬ 
duct, but the pressure of society on the indi¬ 
vidual is very strong. In a sense altruism is 
natural — it does not need to be taught, but it 
needs to be educated. As with all forms of 
activity that are rooted in instinct, its force 
probably cannot be increased or diminished, 


DEMOCRATIC CITIZENSHIP 153 

but its direction can be influenced. Most of us 
respond readily to the claims of the ‘partial 
herd’ — our family, our own ‘set’, perhaps our 
party or our class. We conform, even in trivial 
details of manners or dress (‘is it black tie or 
white tie?’) Most schools act on the belief that 
loyalty and ‘the team spirit’ can be cultivated 
through school activities, and then transferred 
at will to the groups to which adults belong. 
1 doubt this. If children are to become good 
citizens, they must learn something of the 
society which claims their loyalty and their 
affection. They should learn too that societv 
needs not only loyalty but constructive criti¬ 
cism. The claims of the ‘partial herd’ must be 
withstood, when they conflict with wider 
loyalties. 

Education for citizenship must be concerned 
with the emotions as well as with the intellect. 
We do educate the emotions; but too often 
the training we give aims simply at enlisting 
the emotions for the ideals and institutions 
which we ourselves regard as valuable. It is 
right that we should place our experience at the 
disposal of our pupils, and that we should 
say frankly what value we set upon it. But we 
must learn how to do this without preventing 
them from making their own valuations—in 
fact, we should teach them that it is their duty 
to do so. 

In another sense, bias in education is 
inevitable. A school is a society with a ‘tone’ 
(as we are never allowed to forget!). The tone 
may be free, or unfree; it cannot be both. Self- 
government schemes may give useful experience 
in choosing and following leaders and in the 
handling of problems of conduct. A study of 
contemporary society may awaken interest and 
prepare for active citizenship. Our main aim 
should be to educate so that our pupils will 
grow into free and responsible adults, fully 
mature in intellect and in emotional develop¬ 
ment, capable of the various kinds of judgment 
which democratic citizenship requires. If the 
tone of the school is right (from the democratic 
point of view) it will be easy to foster a spirit 
of free inquiry. It will not be so easy to educate 
the emotions without tying them irrevocably 
to accepted values. But unless we succeed 
here too, thought itself cannot be really 
free. 








The Citizen and 

His Education: U.S.A. 


Katherine Taylor Principal of Shad/ Hill School, Cambridge* Mass. 

I 


T here is no short-cut to good citizenship 
in a large democracy. There is no en¬ 
listing of the emotions of youth under a 
single banner. A single-minded, universal 
response to a specific creed or leader is not to be 
expected. Adult opinions and actions are formed 
under the stress of protest or habit, deprivation 
or sense of privilege, hope or injustice, ideals 
or practical emergencies. There are, of course, 
the viewpoints of extreme conservatism and 
extreme radicalism. But people holding these 
two crystallized forms of conviction are a very 
small minority, as compared with the vast 
numbers of people whose convictions have not 
become a fixed creed. Some of these follow 
whatever leadership speaks the loudest, or 
promises the most, or best meets the idiom of 
the listener. Others follow the more consistent 
and articulate leadership of their special 
groups, such as political parties, or labour 
unions. Others, this time a definite minority 
but a minority including many of the most 
thoughtful and the most sincere citizens 
from all the different groups in the .country, 
try to feel their way to independent convictions 
and thence to alliance, often temporary, with 
whatever action-group seems to come the 
closest to expressing these convictions. 

Yet, despite the strenuous confusion of the 
whole political and economic scene, and the 
healthy differences of viewpoint, certain deep 
concepts and feelings are prevalent. There is a 
strong sense, derived from the history of the 
founding of this country and from the hopes of 
immigrants who later settled here, that the 
individual has a right to earn a living, and a 
right to his own thoughts. There is a sense of a 
reciprocal relationship between the individual 
and the State: the State owing to the individual 
protection of these rights and furtherance of his 
welfare; and the individual owing to the State 
support for its major activities and purposes, 


and a definite contribution, through repre¬ 
sentation in government, toward the forma¬ 
tion of its policies. In between the State and the 
individual, and useful in raising issues, moulding 
opinion, or putting a strong shoulder to the 
wheel, there are vast numbers of organizations 
of all sorts—with social, economic, or political 
purposes and with voluntary membership of 
like-minded people. This description is 
naturally over-simplified almost to absurdity. 
Yet these are definite characteristics of Ameri¬ 
can citizenship persisting through many changes 
in government and in economic conditions. 

In a national life such as ours there is the 
danger of prostration of civic action before the 
complexity of the problems. The individual 
citizen cannot grasp the tangled elements of 
even a local question, much less a national or 
international one. He must rely on leadership. 
Yet in the choice of leaders, as in the judgment 
of issues, it is easy for him to feel so ineffective 
that he sees no reason for making an effort. 
Votes are counted by the tens of thousands. In 
campaign talk, issues are plausibly ‘settled’ in 
contradictory ways by opposite camps. A 
candidate is a hero in one newspaper, a villain 
in another. How is the citizen to find his way? 
Partly by a deliberate defining and limiting of 
his function, and a strengthening of it within 
these limitations. 

The individual citizen’s value relates to 
certain personal qualities. He must be able to 
find common ground with others. To do this he 
must be able to realize the situations of others, 
their lives and their needs. He must go beyond 
his own familiar group in this, and must 
consider the lives of those who are very 
different from himself, in economic or social 
status, in racial heritage, in education and 
culture. He must also be flexible enough about 
his own life and his own needs to be able to 
work with these others toward a common 
purpose, even if that purpose does not exactly 

*54 


June 1937 THE CITIZEN AND 

match his own. Intelligent co-operation and 
intelligent following are as important as good 
leadership in a democracy. 

Into his perception of others must enter his 
sense of values in life. These do not depend 
upon the affair of the moment, but they grow 
slowly with the growing person, from child¬ 
hood on, through experiences and through 
interpretation. Is he out for himself alone? or 
for a better world for humanity, even if pro¬ 
gress toward it is terribly slow? If progress is so 
slow, is he going to give up all social effort and 
turn cynic? or continue to put in his effort, 
throughout his lifetime, for whatever it is 
worth? For what purposes will he be ready to 
make great personal sacrifices? What choice 
would he make between unrewarded honesty 
and rewarded duplicity even in its more 
shadowy forms? What human actions or con¬ 
ditions is he to refuse to tolerate for himself 
or on behalf of others? The individual’s response 
to questions such as these can come only out of 
his whole life. They are not decided by the 
logic of the current problem so much as by his 
total sense of values and his attitude toward all 
experience. The inference for education is clear 
but very complicated. The citizen is the total 
person, with a realization of his part in the life 
of the State. 

There is an increasing need of effective local 
citizenship. The government of towns and 
cities is easily taken over by predatory groups, 
and the inhabitants are often taken unawares by 
such political raids. To know the problems and 
the leaders in one’s own locality, one needs to 
rouse oneself from inertia, and really give time 
to civic study and work. Although the pressure 
of life to-day makes this very difficult to do, 
there is no other way. The very concreteness 
of such work makes a good stepping stone to 
citizenship in the equally fundamental but 
less accessible problems of national and 
international significance. The mixture of 
discipline and resourcefulness and realism 
that comes from first-hand experience in 
local problems is vital training for world 
citizenship. 

All these things we need in our citizens. And 
we need, besides, a power to understand social 
change, not to be floored by it or blinded by it, 
but to participate in it and to help steer it 


his education: u.s.a. x 55 

toward a future that approaches one’s ideas of a 
civilized world. 

II 

I N discussing education for citizenship in our 
schools — and I am here touching upon only 
school efforts in this field — it is necessary to 
look backward before looking forward. The 
extremely rapid growth of this country, the 
absence of a centuries-old, sustaining tradition, 
and the ideal of education available to all, put a 
tremendous strain upon the organization of 
school work during the nineteenth century. 
Wave after wave of immigration from the 
various countries of Western Europe during the 
same century greatly complicated the problem 
of education. The masses had to be dealt with. 
University work could be carried on in a 
scholarly way by educated faculties. Teachers 
for elementary and secondary schools, how¬ 
ever, were trained by wholesale procedures and 
were sent into their work bulwarked by methods, 
devices, and examination systems. Few of these 
teachers had the chance to develop depth and 
thoroughness of scholarship, and very few 
really stopped to think about education as 
related to civilization. Yet, because training for 
citizenship was a major issue in the growing 
republic, it was an explicit part of school 
curricula. 

The dusty piles of obsolete textbooks in 
civics bear witness to what went on. They 
emphasized on the one hand the organization 
of government, its branches and their sub¬ 
sidiaries, and the laws controlling its various 
functions. On the other hand they dealt with 
the allegiance and the duties of the citizen. But, 
partly because of this emphasis on framework 
rather than on content or motive, and partly 
because the teachers had very little real back¬ 
ground to bring to their work, the net result 
from this early teaching of civics was meagre 
and lifeless. Facts and emotional appeals are 
not enough—not even when accompanied by a 
required daily salute to the flag! 

The lack was felt, and schools began to 
answer it by means of concrete experiments in 
student government. It was thought that these 
first-hand attempts to deal with the problems 
of their own school community would help the 
children to acquire the powers needed for adult 
citizenship. The student life of the country 








THE NEW ERA 


156 

to-day bristles with by-laws, committees, and 
resolutions. It is certain that these organiza¬ 
tions help the children to meet at first-hand 
many situations similar to those of adult 
citizenship. They come to realize all sorts of 
character problems in the individual citizen: his 
love of evading rules, his desire for power, his 
interest in what society owes him rather than in 
what he can contribute toward society. They 
also come to respect the real leaders among 
them, who can see things objectively, whose 
words are respected because their attitudes and 
conduct ring true, and who are able to untangle 
social tangles and to understand their fellows. 

Yet there are danger signals for citizenship 
training in student government. There is the 
lack of vital and compelling interests—for 
often the really important issues of the young 
person’s life simply are not within the scope 
of student government. He feels the emptiness 
of an elaborate time-consuming structure of 
student government, ‘just to keep the study 
hall quiet’. He becomes aware of the subtle 
hypocrisy in faculty-controlled organizations 
going under the name of student government. 


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June 1937 

He becomes fascinated by detail of organization 
and often loses sight of the real issue in the 
midst of the red tape with which he and his 
peers have enmeshed it. And, most dangerous 
of all, this immature person, through the 
demands of his organization, is put in the 
position of having to pass formal judgment, 
involving penalty and punishment, upon the 
actions of others of his own age. As we realize 
more and more about the deeper emotional 
insecurities and disturbances in children, we 
grown-ups hesitate to deal with them merely 
formally on the level of their behaviour symp¬ 
toms. The symptom is often very different 
from the cause, and it is important to deal with 
the roots of the matter, not merely the surface 
manifestations. We want to use, and we want 
them to learn to use, discernment and imagina¬ 
tion about human beings. Yet many student 
government organizations, even though their 
aims and their principles are beyond question, 
really become obstacles rather than avenues to 
the development of these powers, because of 
their insistence upon judgment of others, 
systematized punishments, and a show of 
action. The danger lies in their rigidity in 
dealing with the deeper and more subtle 
springs of human action, in their emphasis upon 
organization rather than interpretation, and in 
their class conscious separation of the younger 
members of society from some of the very 
people who might be of the most use to them. 

In this quick sketch I have confined myself 
to the broad outline of school procedure, 
omitting any mention of the many ways for 
education in citizenship outside the schools— 
scout organizations, social settlements, labour 
unions, civic centres, the adult education 
movements—to discuss each of which would 
alone take more time than is permitted here. 
I have not touched upon the many interesting 
things that the universities are doing. There is 
no mention of the distinguished examples I 
know, of history teaching, civics teaching, 
student government, and individual guidance 
plans, which would controvert much of what has 
just been said. Some of these movements and 
incidents have greatly helped to direct both 
children and adults toward real social under¬ 
standing. We have learned, through them, that 
in school life organization is meaningless 







THE CITIZEN AND HIS EDUCATION: U.S.A. 


*57 


June 


1 937 


vithout interpretation, and that in history and 
fivics teaching, the ways of thinking are more 
mportant than any particular collection of 
'acts. They have helped to show us what is 
leeded in the education of citizens. 


Ill 

I N recent years, realizing acutely the inadequacy 
of our training for adult living, we have been 
looking freshly at the whole procedure of 
elementary and secondary education. Many 
former practices are now being questioned, 
and many new ideas are being tried out. There 
is little unanimity as yet, but there are a number 
of interesting experiments which are beginning 
to form a unified current of influence. A 
generation or tw r o may have to live their lives 
before these movements can be truly assessed. 
Yet the tendencies are noteworthy. 

The recent deepening of knowledge of 
people’s emotions in relation to their actions 
has made us less sure about wholesale methods 
and more eager to guide children through 
individual understanding. This is a long, slow 
route toward citizenship. Active adult educa¬ 
tion is necessarily a corollary of it. Another 
corollary includes various constructive organiza¬ 
tions of young people leading toward participa¬ 
tion in a variety of adult community problems. 
It seems to us important to help a child year by 
year to understand himself, his neighbours, 
his experiences, his own problems, and those of 
others. We want him to learn to act with 
imagination, sympathy, and responsibility, 
rather than blindly, selfishly, and ruthlessly. 
We realize that we are looking toward a remote 
goal. But it is more consistent with our values, 
and it may be of more use in the end, to help 
him develop in these ways than to provide him 
with a certain kind of social efficiency through 
an exclusive form of indoctrination. The out¬ 
come is less spectacular for to-day, and 
probably less immediately effective, but it 
seems more in keeping with one’s idea of the 
civilized life we hope the w T orld may reach in the 
future. In actual school relationships at this 
time it takes such forms as these: more careful 
individual guidance of children; a more open 
and friendly relation, and more sharing of 
experience, between grown-ups and children; 
the endeavour to permeate school learning, 


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discipline, and government (whether student 
controlled or faculty controlled) by interpreta¬ 
tion; school sharing, in such ways as are 
feasible, in adult community life. 

There is a deliberate breaking down of the 
scholastic seclusion of school life and studies, 
with the idea of giving children a chance to 
understand more and more of the world about 
them, and where possible, to share some of its 
activities. This movement takes several forms. 
There are practical studies of the immediate 
community. Through these the students are led 
to discover some of the facts and unsolved 
technical and social problems of this civilization. 
In the classroom they study these questions 
further. They work back toward earlier forms 
of the problems, in history and anthropology, 
and study the efforts of other peoples in other 
times to solve them. They compare the con¬ 
ditions and mores of those times with those of 
the present, and discover new factors, such as 
the effect of mechanical invention upon the 
employment problem, or monopolized radio 
propaganda in politics, or the current influences 
undermining family security. They realize that 



















158 

they can only touch the fringes of such prob¬ 
lems, but they are awakened to the need of 
studying them further as they, the students, 
grow up toward adult citizenship. The study 
of history is much less often a survey of a 
sequence of events, and much more often a 
careful, detailed study of certain significant 
issues or episodes in the history of human 
experience, with all their implications. 

This type of history study, or ‘social studies’, 
which includes the approach to civic problems 
of to-day, and which looks at the present in the 
light of the past and at the past in relation to the 
present, offers much scope both for training in 
thought and for the development of social 
attitudes. The facts are analysed from various 
points of view; the social problems and issues 
emerge, the relation of the individual and of 
organized society to these issues is considered 
Through such study it is hoped that the student 
gains the power to analyse, power to organize 
his thought, power to deduce and to apply 
his deductions to new situations. It is also 
hoped that by considering this material not 
just as a chapter to be learned but as living 
problems that living people all about him have 
to meet, the student may see that his sympathy, 
his will, his intelligence, and his effort must be 
actively related to his membership in human 
society. And if, in addition, he has grown up in 
a school emphasizing constructive attitudes in 
day-to-day human relationships, he may per¬ 
haps go one step further as he matures, and 
do what he can, even though it be little, to help 
solve the problems of his town or his country, 
or the mutual concerns of all countries. 

One of the problems for teachers in all this 
is to make sure that this kind of study develops 
the mental powers as well as the social attitudes. 
For goodwill, without trained intelligence, is 
too easily victimized in civic life. And it is 
fatally easy for a teacher to assume that because 
a class shows interest it is developing mental 
power. Modern social material is very difficult 
to organize for learning purposes, and the school 
pupil has as yet very little background against 
which to place social or political events. Yet a 
beginning may be made in training young 
students to think honestly, thoroughly, syste¬ 
matically, and objectively, with full realization 
that their thought is necessarily fragmentary 


June 1937: 

and inexperienced. And in the early years as 
well as later, students must be taught to 
distinguish between fact and opinion. 

The recent expansion of the study of science 
in school curricula in this country has its 
bearing on this problem of social understanding. 
Science lends itself especially well to the 
training of the thought habits I have been 
mentioning, and is far less susceptible than 
social material to emotional misrepresentation. 
If the objectivity of mind which science re¬ 
quires can, through the continued study of 
science along with the other educational pro¬ 
cedures that have been indicated, become part 
of a person’s attitude toward experience, is it 
not possible that some of that objectivity may 
in the end characterize his attitude toward 
human relations and citizenship, now so at the 
mercy of unrealized or unguided forces? Here, 
too, the time sense is important. It is a matter of 
generations rather than months or years. Yet 
no single generation can take lightly, or 
fatalistically, its part in the job. 

This glimpse of what some of us are thinking 
about is in no sense to be construed as inclusive 
or official. It merely shows some of the ten¬ 
dencies of thought on the topic, in this country. 
Moreover, it may disappoint readers who are 
looking for specific accounts of units of work. 
But it is perhaps truer to the whole picture than 
such samples of practice would be. For many 
of us are now in the stage of redirecting 
our own thinking about education, in the light 
of contemporary social needs and our know r - 
ledge of past failures and our understanding 
of young people. Education for citizenship 
cannot occur as an isolated phenomenon. It is a 
tacit element in the whole of education and in 
the total life of a nation and of the world. 
Despite all efforts to strain its essence for 
purposes of instruction or politics, it eludes such 
simplification. For evidence of this fact one has 
only to notice how citizenship emerges in 
unpredicted ways at difficult moments in the 
lives of nations. Although citizenship can at 
times flow in defined channels, it is made up, 
as is the quality of life, of intangibles. I have 
tried to indicate the nature of some of these 
intangibles in citizenship, in the education of 
young people, and, by inference, in the educa¬ 
tion of their teachers. 


THE NEW ERA 


Education for Citizenship: 

Eva M. Hubback, M.A. England 

Honorary Secretary, Association for Education in Citizenship 


I wish in this article to try to give an account 
of the different forms education for citizen¬ 
ship may take, and the extent to which these 
orms of training or methods of teaching are 
n fact being used in the schools in England. 

First of all let us be quite certain as to what 
ve mean by ‘education for citizenship’. To 
ome, the word ‘citizen’ is synonymous with 
he word ‘individual’, and these think of 
:ducation for citizenship as co-extensive with 
he whole range of education ; to others, on 
he other hand, the term is limited to the ac- 
juisition of facts concerning institutions of 
fovernment given in a lesson called ‘Civics’. 

The meaning given by the Association for 
education in Citizenship is much narrower than 
he first and much broader than the second 
)f these definitions. It covers the education 
)f the individual for his civic, political and 
:ertain of his social relationships—that is 
or his responsibilities as a citizen of a demo- 
:ratic community. 

It is inevitable that the children of any com- 
nunity should be brought up in the atmosphere 
)f its own faith or ideals. Teachers, also 
nevitably, reflect the prevailing attitude of 
he community amongst which they live; 
md thus, as long as democratic ideals hold 
he field in a country, so long will teachers 
mdeavour to bring up the next generation 
o love and follow these ideals. 

Before we can enquire how training for 
iemocratic citizenship should be undertaken, 
t is essential to ask what are the moral quali- 
:ies and intellectual attributes we consider 
essential to the citizenship of a democratic 
;tate. 

First among the moral qualities comes one 
vhich is not confined to the citizens of a demo- 
:ratic state, but which is found to an even 
greater extent in the authoritarian states— 
:his is the desire to serve the community and 
i keen sense of social responsibility. Next 


comes a passion for truth and for liberty, 
vital for the democrat but neglected or despised 
by the authoritarian. The passion for truth 
must carry with it, if it is to be effective, the 
power of clear and unprejudiced thinking. 
In addition, it is necessary that the citizen 
of to-day should have a sound basis of know¬ 
ledge of the facts of the world around him. 
We can, perhaps, sum up the essentials of 
democratic citizenship in three words — caring, 
thinking, knowing. 

What contribution can be made in the course 
of school life to encourage the development of 
these qualities and the possession of the neces¬ 
sary knowledge? Such training can be given 
in a multitude of different ways. These can 
be conveniently grouped under three heads — 
indirect , direct and incidental respectively. 

The indirect method, which has been relied 
upon ever since schools have existed, postulates 
that training for citizenship will follow from 
the usual activities within the school, and from 
a curriculum which has been evolved for general 
moral, cultural or vocational ends. 

As regards the curriculum, the indirect 
method does not aim at dealing with contem¬ 
porary affairs and the methods of thought 
necessary to handle them adequately, but 
relies on the principle of transfer, viz., that 
habits of clear thought induced by the study 
of Latin prose or the correct use of one’s own 
language can be applied to any situation which 
may arise in later life ; that the use of scientific 
method in mathematics or the physical sciences 
will be applied later automatically to the social 
sciences ; that the study of the world in the 
past is the best preparation for the subsequent 
comprehension of the world to-day. 

The direct method, on the other hand, goes 
straight for its objective and tries to make the 
boy or girl immediately sensitive to the needs, 
not only of the school itself, but also of the 
community outside and their responsibility to 

*59 









THE NEW ERA 


160 

it. It attempts to achieve this by such means 
as school visits, journeys, acts of social service 
for the town or district and visits to the schools 
by outside speakers. In the classroom the 
study of the contemporary world is stressed 
and treated as thoroughly as the age of the child 
permits, either by the use of relevant aspects 
of subjects already in the curriculum, or by 
the inclusion of the social sciences, such as 
economics or public affairs, as new subjects. 

Those who support the direct method hold 
that, in order to teach clear thinking in political 
and economic matters, where emotion inevitably 
enters in and where both causes and effects 
are complex, the best training is that given 
in connection with the subjects themselves 
and not with others, different in character 
and content. 

The incidental method can perhaps best be 
described as a small instalment of the direct 
method. It consists of references, as they 
occur, to the responsibilities of adult citizen¬ 
ship and to the facts of the modern world 
and the way of handling its affairs. In the hands 
of a teacher who is keenly alive to his respon¬ 
sibilities and anxious to make use of whatever 
opportunities arise, this method can be of 
considerable value. But in hands less skilful 
or less conscious of the need for training in 
citizenship, it can be practically worthless, 
and can, moreover, give rise to the regrettable 
idea that the political and social problems of 
the modern world do not require the same 
patient and methodical study as do the other 
subjects, and can be adequately dealt with in 
an evening’s debate or a casual discussion. 

Adequate training for citizenship requires 
undoubtedly the simultaneous use of all these 
methods. No one of them is complete by itself. 
The relative value of each will vary according 
to the age of the child and the particular aspect 
of training which is involved. Thus the younger 
the child, the greater the need for indirect 
training, since his training for citizenship 
can at most be on the ethical side. The small 
child can have very little idea of the world 
outside his home surroundings or his school. 
The outer world does, it is true, enter in through 
figures such as the postman, the shopkeeper, 
and the policeman, but it is the community 
of school which must give him his idea of his 


June 1937 

own social duties. He is, moreover, too much 
occupied with acquiring the necessary tools 
for learning to be able to be much concerned 
with their application in any direction. 

With the older child and adolescent, however, 
something more is required. An effort must 
be made so to deal with his loyalty and desire 
to serve the school, that it can be later transferred 
to the community outside. It is perhaps be¬ 
cause this transfer has not been deliberately 
stimulated that there are so many citizens 
to-day who are completely apathetic as re¬ 
gards their civic responsibilities. Similarly, 
the older child usually longs to know how' the 
economic wheels go round and to find out more 
about the political affairs he hears discussed 
or sees in the papers. It is desirable that this 
interest in his own times and in his own en¬ 
vironment should be encouraged. ‘Why did 
they not teach us these things at school instead 
of the Wars of the Roses ?’ asked a group of 
sixteen-year-old girls, who w T ere being given 
a somewhat dry lecture on unemployment 
insurance. The need for this basis of knowledge, 
which can serve as a peg for whatever informa¬ 
tion may be subsequently acquired, is urgent 
when one remembers how few people, once 
they leave formal education behind, have the 
time or energy to acquire methodical founda¬ 
tions with regard to any complicated subject. 

More important than anything, perhaps, 
is the need for direct training in clear and un¬ 
prejudiced thinking in politics and economics. 
Educational psychologists are to-day pretty 
well united in thinking that the transfer of 
training in methods of thought from the 
physical to the social sciences, for example, 
is very limited and will in fact only be effective 
if the need for such a transfer is deliberately 
made conscious and if the material handled 
is sufficiently similar. It is perhaps to 
the absence of training in the scientific 
approach to the social sciences that is due the 
familiar phenomenon of the famous scientist 
who loses his sense of the necessity for evidence 
and allows prejudice to cloud his reason, w'hen 
embarking on current political controversies. 
For generations our educated classes have been 
receiving indirect training in clear thinking. 
Surely experience of the level of public opinion 
shows us that this is not enough. 


June 1937 EDUCATION FOR CITIZENSHIP: ENGLAND l6l 


Can we get any clear idea of the extent to 
which these various methods and aspects 
of training for citizenship are in fact being 
tried out in this country today? 

The indirect method is universal. Every 
school will claim that it is training for citizen¬ 
ship by means of the education given by the 
life of the community. Some see to it that every 
child and not only a chosen few have to 
perform some responsible job in the school. 
In a small minority of schools, the children 
themselves select their own leaders and obey 
their own disciplinary rules. 

(The type of leadership which exists in the 
prefect system is more of the authoritarian 
than the democratic type, and though no doubt 
this gives the leader practice in habits of leader¬ 
ship, it gives little training other than that of 
docility to the led.) 

Although, in the indirect method, no place 
is given in the course of the curriculum to 
the modern economic and political world, 
the future citizen is trained in all schools in 
the clear use of his mother tongue (and in 
the secondary schools of other languages) ; 
he is given a knowledge of the past which will 
help to make him realize on what the present 
is based, and—where the need for this transfer 
is made conscious—he may ' learn to apply 
at least a measure of the scientific method, 
learned through mathematics and the physical 
sciences, to his daily life. 

To consider next the incidental method: 
There are few schools where this method is 
not in use already, and it varies from the most 
casual reference to contemporary affairs to 
a degree hardly distinguishable from the 
direct method itself. The celebration of such 
occasions as Armistice Day, the Coronation, a 
General Election and other outside events, 
brings the realization of the outside community 
into the school. School visits to places of local 
interest are becoming every day more frequent. 
In many subjects in the curriculum, especially 
history, geography and arithmetic, references 
to contemporary affairs are hard to avoid. 

It is difficult to try to determine how many 
schools practise the direct method. My own 
view is that although the number is growing, 
it is still a small minority of the whole. Inter¬ 
esting experiments are, it is true, being tried 


in practical citizenship, i.e. trying to give young 
people still at school some practical experience 
of the needs of the outside community and 
opportunities of social service to meet this need. 
These include the co-operation given by some 
schools in running boys and girls clubs, 
nursery schools, unemployment centres and 
camps. 

There are a certain number of elementary 
schools in which knowledge of the con¬ 
temporary world is given as a considered part 
of either the history, geography, arithmetic 
or English course, or is given under such head¬ 
ings as Current Events or Citizenship. But 
the fact that such teaching is not expected to 
play a large role is indicated in the recent 
‘Suggestions to Teachers’, published by the 
Board of Education, in which—out of six 
hundred pages—not half a dozen paragraphs 
indicate the aspects of the various subjects 
in the curriculum which can give any adequate 
training for citizenship. 

Next, as regards the secondary school, 
there are a few schools where in the lower 
forms lessons are taken in current events or 
citizenship. Work for the school certificate, 
however, usually cuts this short. It is true that 
the great proportion of secondary school chil¬ 
dren take history as a subject in this examina¬ 
tion, and that about forty per cent of these 
take the modern period ; but it must be remem¬ 
bered that, with one or two exceptions only, 
this period stops at 1914,—nearly a quarter 
of a century ago. The great bulk of the pupils 
of the secondary schools leave school after 
taking the school certificate, and of these, 
therefore, only a small proportion have had 
the opportunity of any training with regard 
to matters with which, as citizens, they will 
have to be concerned. Even for the small 
minority who stay on until eighteen, little 
more is usually achieved. A few schools, it 
is true, have modern courses which may in¬ 
clude economics and political theory, but 
these are generally confined either to boys 
and girls likely to enter business, or to the few 
who try for a history scholarship or to those 
who are considered not sufficiently intelligent 
to try for any scholarship or examination at all! 

In a large number of schools talks are given 
on current events, but these are apt to be 



162 the new era June 1937 


uneducational and ‘spotty’ in their approach, 
unless backed up by some methodical training 
in the social sciences. It appears to be true, 
therefore, that few among our secondary school 
population are being equipped either with the 
facts or the methods of handling them that 
a citizen will require. 

If these conclusions with regard both to 
secondary and elementary schools are correct, 
and they are not based on lack of evidence, 
we must enquire why the direct method of 
training has so far made so little headway. 
Undoubtedly the chief reason is the professional 
conservatism of the average teacher. This 
conservatism has made him fight each new 
subject as it has come along. The reluc¬ 
tance during the last century to introduce 
the teaching of English and history in the secon¬ 
dary school, and the teaching of science, art, 
music and physical training in all schools, 
is now being repeated in the case of the social 
sciences. 

In addition there are many difficulties such 
as the overcrowded timetable, the tyranny 
of public examinations, the difficulty of finding 
adequately trained teachers, and last but 
by no means least, the fear of biased teaching 
and of ‘bringing politics into school’. 

To consider first the question of time, it is 
fortunately true that, whatever may be the 
difficulties of the present system, in those 
schools where the head or his staff have a real 
enthusiasm for direct teaching, the time is 
in fact found. In the teaching of every subject, 
selection of material is bound to occur, and 
where it is found possible to stress those aspects 
which bear most directly on the modern world 
and its needs, it follows that some of the more 
academic aspects are reduced or absent. 
For instance, in the teaching of history, the 
choice has to be made as to whether the in¬ 
evitable gaps are to occur in the history of the 
past or in contemporary affairs. In geography 
are the gaps to be in its human or in its physical 
aspects? But although much is possible within 
the present curriculum, it is probable that in 
order to obtain a satisfactory training in citizen¬ 
ship, the curriculum of the secondary school 
will require some modification and that the 
proportion of time given to languages and ad¬ 
vanced science or mathematics will have to 


be reduced, except for a few specialists, to allow 
space for the modern humanities. 

The supply of adequately trained teachers 
is at present a real difficulty, and one which 
will be only slowly overcome as future teachers 
have, already at school, had their interest aroused 
in the social and mental sciences and have 
studied these subjects at universities. With 
regard to the teaching of younger children, 
however, where not so much is required of 
actual knowledge, the chief need is that, every 
school should attempt to have some at least 
on their staff interested in public affairs, 
just as every head endeavours to see that a 
certain proportion of his staff is particularly 
interested in games, music or art. 

Lastly comes the question of bias. This is 
being dealt with, I believe, in an article by 
Professor Nicholson. 

I would merely like to point out that if a 
school boycotts subjects on the grounds of 
their being controversial, it leaves its pupils 
unprotected against propaganda of every kind, 
which they continually meet outside. The 
child’s mind is not a blank slate—his home, the 
papers he reads, the organizations he may be¬ 
long to, do not attempt to be unbiased, and. 
unless he learns in the calm atmosphere of the 
classroom to recognize prejudice in contro¬ 
versial issues and to try to reach the truth 
by scientific methods, it is unlikely that he 
will ever recognize these ideals. 



Association for Education in Citizenship 

(Minimum Membership fee 5s.) 

A Conference on 


“THE CHALLENGE 
TO DEMOCRACY” 

will be held at 

Ashridge College, Herts 

From JULY 8th to 14th 

Speakers include The Rt. Hon. The Viscount Halifax, Lord 
Privy Seal, The Marquess of Lothian, The Rt. Hon. C. R. 
Attlee, M.P., The Rt. Hon. Oliver Stanley, M.P., President 
of the Board of Education, Sir Arthur Salter, M.P., Sir 
Walter Layton, Professor Clarke, Professor J. H. Nicholson, 
Professor Godfrey Thomson. 

Full particulars from — 

The Secretary, 10 Victoria Street, S.W.j 













National Socialist Education 


towards Citizenship 

A Student at Berlin University 


Franz Schulzki 

I f on£ tries to calculate the riches of a nation 
and estimate it by these, it is impossible not 
to mention one item: youth. A state which 
only takes care of the voting citizens’ pros¬ 
perity and neglects the younger generation will 
be charged with their loss by History. A nation’s 
future destiny depends entirely upon the health 
and ideals of its youth. Therefore the national 
socialist state has made education one of its 
principal tasks, to be systematically built up. 
Its goal is a conscious and active German 
citizen. 

The first great phase in the new T procedure 
of education, beside family and school, is 
Hitler-Youth, divided into two great groups: 
the younger ones (from io to 14) form the 
‘Deutsche jungvolk’, the older ones (fromi4 to 
18) the proper ‘Hitler-Jugend’. Which are the 
principal characteristics of Hitler-Youth, com¬ 
pared with foreign or past youth-organizations? 
Firstly, it is a single and unique organization, 
and, as state-youth, has more educational possi¬ 
bilities than had private or confessional leagues. 
Another characteristic is the application of 
the principle: ‘Youth must be led by youth!’ 
The leaders of Hitler-Youth formations are of 
the same age or scarcely older than the boys 
they command: they don’t lead by virtue of 
their age but by virtue of their character and 
their performances. I think that this principle 
is one of the essential characteristics dis¬ 
tinguishing Hitler-Youth from the youth- 
militias of other states, partly led by officers, 
partly by professional pedagogues. It is an 
appeal to the creative forces of youth, and 
a way of strengthening character and sense of 
responsibility, for a leader who has not these 
qualities will not survive as a leader. Character 
and sense of responsibility: are not these two 
educational aims similar to English ones? 

Those who have been scouts will understand 
why Hitler-Youth wears a simple and practical 
uniform; this uniform is the same for older 


and younger boys, for poorer and richer ones, 
and unites them in the spirit of discipline and 
real socialism; they learn to judge a man by his 
capacities and not for his riches, active leaders 
in the Hitler-Youth coming just as w r ell out of 
the youth of the working classes as out of the 
ranks of the High School boys. Another 
difference from other youth-organizations: 
there is no weapon in the Hitler-Youth. 
Pre-military instruction with arms is, in our 
opinion, of very little use and of positive danger. 
Maybe that foreign newspapers affirm that 
Hitler-Youth bears arms: this can only be 
propaganda against Germany, based upon the 
fact that ninety-nine per cent of the readers can¬ 
not go abroad to see for themselves and blindly 
believe in the Press Gospel. Perhaps it is 
a very old German feeling that bearing arms is 
not the duty but the right of free and proud 
virility; the younger ones have to prove if 
really they are worthy of it. We recognize the 
right of youth to develop its own forces, but 
only within certain limits, in order not to 
become dangerous. 

Hitler-Youth, builder of the coming state, 
must be educated in view of that goal. The 
citizen of the present and of the future has 
to know a great many things in order to become 
a useful and conscientious contributor to his 
nation. Therefore the youngsters in the Hitler- 
Youth receive political instruction and instruc¬ 
tion in race theory and the ideas which have 
brought us to the point where we are. Every 
boy has to discuss politics, cultural and 
economic problems in order to understand 
Germany’s policy. 

Here arises the difficulty of strictly separating 
the tasks of school and Hitler-Youth, tasks 
which cannot be exaggerated in a strong and 
centralized state. As regards cultural education, 
it is clear that Hitler-Youth has many and other 
possibilities than school, merely because the 
boys will show themselves more active among 





THE NEW ERA 


164 

their companions of the same age. I will give 
only two examples of cultural education: by 
journeys through Germany, organized by 
Hitler-Youth, a boy learns how to look at 
a landscape and how to understand it; these 
trips combine cultural education and physical 
training. Another example: Music is an 
important factor of German culture; musical 
evenings, with the boys’ initiative will do a great 
deal for the revival of folk-songs and the 
creation of new ones. 

Naturally, Hitler-Youth will take a special 
interest in sports, in order to restore or to 
keep up the health-standard of German youth. 
Special doctors are regularly controlling the 
health of every boy; the general health is, in 
any case, more important than the brilliant 
performances of a few boys. Therefore we 
prefer team-fights to individual ones and our 
goal is a good average in sporting performances 
rather than a few overwhelming records. 
Considering all these tasks of Hitler-Youth 
one may ask if really these youngsters have 
enough time and interest left for their pro¬ 
fessional work. The ‘Reichsberufswettkampf’ 
(Reich’s professional and trade competition) is 
an annual competition, patronized by Hitler- 
Youth, for all branches of professional and 
trade activity. The apprentices who, in this 
competition, have the best results, get prizes 
in the form of travels, etc. Students also join 
in this competition. Students and apprentices 
make many travels together and often go 
abroad; a look at the statistics will show that 
in the last years many visits to foreign countries, 
patronized by Hitler-Youth, have been made 
by groups of young boys and girls. Girls have 
their political organization, the BDM (Bund 
deutscher Madel) corresponding to Hitler- 
Youth. Here the educational aims are quite 
different, although politically they are the same. 
Girls need to learn to be able to help their 
husbands later on, to become real comrades; 
BDM-girls have their sort of sports too, and 
many active social interests, thus developing 
one of women’s essential qualities: the faculty 
of unselfish and understanding assistance. 

T hese are the principal tasks of our youth- 
organization. The State has another one, 
very important too, for the education of 


June 1937 

German youth: labour-service. Labour-camps 
are in all parts of Germany, in the Alps, at the 
seaside and everywhere in the plains. Every 
German has to spend six months here, away 
from his parents and his native town. Every 
student has to spend these six months before 
beginning to study. Such a labour-camp, with 
all its life, is difficult to describe; one must 
have been there, watching the brown bellies in 
the sun, at work or at play, one must have 
woken up before sunrise, lived all the day in 
this strong, disciplined atmosphere and felt 
the healthy tiredness of the evening. I was born 
in Berlin and had very modest knowledge about 
country life until I came to a labour-camp 
built up in the north-plains of Germany, with 
neat birch-fences contrasting with the dark 
background; endless, breezy and vaulted pine- 
forests. Clean and solid barracks, with no 
luxury, but gay and friendly with homely 
decorations of model ships and pictures carved 
or painted by the boys themselves: a beautiful 
dining-hall, a library; lawns and spruce 
gardens toilfully built up on naked sandy 
grounds. Every morning the trumpet called 
at five, in July and August at four o’clock. 
Then we immediately began gymnastics for 
about ten minutes in the open air, just to 
loosen the muscles and to awaken our sleeping 
limbs. Quickly everyone prepared his toilet 
(and his bed), took breakfast, until one hour 
later the whole camp stood erect, greeting 
the labour-service flag as it was solemnly 
hoisted. The way to our working places led 
by cycle for six or ten miles through narrow 
paths in the fresh though mysterious pine- 
forests. We generally constructed ditches by 
which the soil was greatly ameliorated, not a 
very easy work; but nobody got too much for 
his forces, the strongest boys often helping 
the weaker ones. This work was the best 
education, for it brought students and appren¬ 
tices working together in the same service to 
their country. Back at the camp, we had our 
simple nourishing dinner and one or two hours’ 
rest. In the afternoon we often had instruction 
about politics, history, measures to take in case 
of fire, and so on, and sports. In the evening 
we were free, organized musical evenings or 
stayed together in our barracks, carving, 
writing or singing. 


June 1937 NATIONAL SOCIALIST EDUCATION TOWARD CITIZENSHIP 


Our work on the open field was specially 
chosen, so that we couldn’t take away a man’s 
living. Ditches were constructed on roads the 
achievement of which in ordinary circumstances 
would not pay because of the high uneconomic 
cost. Although labour-service’s work would 
not be economically feasible in ordinary circum¬ 
stances, it is a very useful one. New villages 
have grown by the efforts of our working youth 
in Silesia and in the Emsland, settling hundreds 
of healthy young families and leading them to 
prosperity in areas, the barrenness of which 
formerly frightened the newcomer. The young 
men working at these tasks are proud in the 
feeling that for the first time they are taken 
seriously and that their country expects them 
to do their duty. 

Many people will say that this is only a 
means of removing unemployment, and no 
more. No, that is not the case. It means much 
more. It is the beginning of a new economic 
point of view, it is changing the capitalistic 
way of thinking altogether. The point is that 
not the unemployed, but that everyone has to 
go to labour-service, with the exception of those 
who are not physically fit for it. Thus during six 
months everyone is working without getting an 
income out of it (threepence a day can’t be 
called an income); a new economic point of 
view arises: we are not working in the sweat 
of our brow mainly in order to earn our 
bread but to create values for the welfare of 
our nation and humanity. That was the artisan’s 


philosophy in the middle ages who took his 
profession as a divine service, and the philoso¬ 
phy of all great men since that time. But it 
wasn’t the majority’s point of view in the 
capitalistic era, and labour-service will contri¬ 
bute to the opinion that any sort of work, well 
done, is a title of nobility and not a punishment. 

Labour-service work has always to deal with 
the soil; a man who for several months has 
worked on his soil will not forget his attach¬ 
ment to it and the ancestors who lived upon it, 
and will never betray it. In this way labour- 
service creates a new order united by a never 
resting pioneer’s spirit. 

Beside labour-camp one can’t neglect the 
value of the education every man receives 
during the period of military service, which 
has always had, in Germany, educational aims. 
As for University education, things are not 
quite settled because the traditional German 
student type has become old-fashioned and the 
new student’s education has not yet the desired 
tradition and experience. We can say that our 
students to-day, having all passed through 
labour-service, ignore class privileges and class 
fooleries of past generations, and that they are 
getting more active in political as well as in 
scientific work. I am glad to have an oppor¬ 
tunity of asking English men or women inter¬ 
ested in problems concerning Germany to 
correspond with young Germans. They will 
find it valuable, contributing to a deeper under¬ 
standing of German-English problems. 


Education for Citizenship: 


Martha Nemes 

Principal of Csaladi Iskola, Budapest 

argely thanks to Alexander Imre’s work, 
the idea of the fully developed ethical 
individual takes now a central place in the 
theory of Hungarian National education. We 
strive to realize this ideal within the same 
limitations that are to be found in other 
continental states. Serious self-ruling ex¬ 
periences are still rare, but little by little they are 
taking root even in crowded proletarian 
schools, where conditions are more or less 
disadvantageous. 


Hungary 

Certainly self-government cannot reach its 
best results until it permeates the whole life of 
the child. Good citizenship is encouraged by the 
fact that Juvenile Red Cross Clubs work very 
intensively in our Elementary schools and that 
our Secondary schools are in close relationship 
with the Scouts. A great number—still not 
great enough — of Juvenile Associations and 
Settlements are providing excellent means for 
social education. 

Since the Settlements are of Anglo-Saxon 




THE NEW ERA 


166 

origin, there is little to report on them which 
would be new to readers of the New Era , but a 
brief account of one of them may help to show to 
what extent the radiation of ideas acts upon the 
lives of remote peoples and nations. 

The People’s House Settlement has just 
celebrated its 20th anniversary, to which almost 
all our members came in double numbers, for 
our ‘girls’ brought their husbands and the 
‘boys’ their wives. Many of us had not met one 
another during these 20 years, but we shook 
hands as if we had been together the day before 
at a Club meeting. It was splendid that those 
who came as guests, the husbands and wives, 
did not seem to be strangers. It was as if they had 
lived along with us during those years. It was 
obvious that members of the Club had brought 
into their married life not only the ethical 
serenity—so characteristic of the club’s outlook 
on life—but all those thousands of trifling 
remembrances too which made the atmosphere 
so jolly and homely. That is real success. 

The growth of the settlement was a slow 
process. In 1911 a ‘People’s House’ was built 
where many things were to be found, but 
social sense and human feeling were lacking. 
Still there were three or four of us who in our 
hearts always wanted to turn it into a Settle¬ 
ment. The first years were passed in experiment. 
Then came years of War-Service, after which I 
posted up very anxiously a notice:— 

‘Will those who are interested in a Juvenile 
Club about to be founded come on Saturday 
evening at 7 p.m. to the Club Room.’ 

There came 12 to 15 young men full of 
expectation and interest and ready to act. We 
began to discuss matters and to search into one 
another’s deepest thoughts. It is one of the most 
thrilling moments of life when men who trust 
each other meet and begin to explore together. 
Those who came awaited something great and 
sublime, otherwise they would not have come. 
That was the first link. On it was founded our 
first discussion and as its result we parted 
calmed and satisfied in spirit. 

Soon this Juvenile Club became the axis of 
the People’s House Settlement. The aim of our 
Club was—but of course we could not announce 
that—to show how men could live in a greater 
social community and with understanding love. 

How did we do it ? Let us be sincere. We had 


June 1937 

to grope about. There were no rules which could 
be copied. We had to sound the right tune, we 
had to feel—with a sixth sense—what there was 
to be done. We agreed concerning the House- 
Rules and we elected our officers-staff. The post 
of the notary became one of the most important; 
he has to enter the Club’s life-events in a book 
which we named ‘The Club’s Mirror’. 

At the beginning, having dealt with practical 
problems, we read together Ibsen’s ‘Throne 
Pretenders’. It is not by chance that we chose 
this book. We go together to theatres, after 
first reading together the chief parts of the plays, 
immense material for discussion and clarification 
of ideas. We follow the scientific courses of the 
People’s House. We go to Philharmonic 
Concerts, but not before some expert friends of 
of ours have played through the more import¬ 
ant parts of the programme. 

The boys themselves give performances. 
Their knowledge is highly superficial. Their 
education is much influenced by the street, the 
point of view of which-—as in every great city— 
is in many respects cynical. How much trouble 
we had to make them consider seriously certain 
facts, until they gave up their assumed unkind 
attitude towards others; till they became in¬ 
clined to look for the essentials and not to act 
superficially, not to utter careless criticisms, 
thoughtless judgments but to watch and examine 
the facts of human life. 

The club has great dignity. To be its member 
means rank. The inhabitants of the proletarian 
quarters in a circuit of about 5 km. take into 
account who is admitted and who is not. Boys 
and girls alike feel the commands of noblesse 
oblige ; they try to do their best. 

Others join us, it may be a well-known 
sculptor, a chemist who has travelled all over 
the world, a famous writer, a great scholar, a 
botanist, an expert in art. They do not patronize, 
they come in as equals. To make an excursion 
with our youngsters means for these highly 
cultured people, recreation, comfort, strengthen¬ 
ing of their faith in the development of humanity. 
Our pupils become human beings in the best 
sense of the word, ethical beings, social men, 
such as we imagine the members of the future 
community will be, though in our generation 
not everybody can reach this human level. 

The juvenile movement is striving to ease 


June 1937 EDUCATION FOR CITIZENSHIP: HUNGARY 


understanding between city people and villagers. 
We decided to try to bridge over this distance 
between the ‘two worlds’ in early childhood. I 
want to give a short account of such an ex¬ 
periment in the ‘Csaladi Iskolah 

We were very happy when it was known that 
our little correspondent-comrades from the 
country were coming to Budapest. Recently we 
had performed a play, let us play it again for 
them. The thought was followed by the deed. 
Costumes and decoration were somewhat 
lacking. All the better! Our boys and girls 
performed their parts with enthusiasm; but the 
performance created disillusion. The peasant 
children sat there with suspicious, blank 
expressions. Did they listen to it? Did they like 
it? None of us knew. Teachers and children 
alike, we felt as if a cold frost had smitten us. 
It was the hostile feeling of an alien folk. 

One felt the gap between the city and the 
country. The gulf between us could not be 
denied and we felt we must alleviate it somehow. 

The first understanding took place when the 
country children and our children had lunch 
together. One of them offered some of his meal 
to his neighbour. Others followed his example. 
There was among our children a lily-white 
little girl, the only child of her parents, the 
kind who would refuse food even at her aunt’s 
house, saying ‘Thank you, I am not hungry.’ I 
myself was a little taken aback when her 
neighbour offered her in his rough way a taste 
of his bread and bacon. But she felt that it was 
not the time for squeamishness and ate 
heartily with the others. 

Two years later a more important event took 
place. The same children came to Budapest for 
the Trades’ Fair and some of them were lodged 
at our pupils’ homes. They were there only in 
the evenings and to sleep, nevertheless this ex¬ 
perience left a deep mark in the children’s souls. 


One of them paid us a visit last Spring. He is 
now a well-built sturdy fellow; when first he 
came to the city he hobbled badly and had a 
bad limp. The city woman, although the boy 
stayed only for a night, felt herself to be his 
foster-mother and took him to a clinic. ‘He will 
die,’ said the Doctor, ‘if he doesn’t soon get the 
right treatment. He ought to remain here for 
weeks and then come back for years of after- 
treatment.’ The city-mother did not forsake her 
protege. But that is only one outstanding 
example. 

During the excitement before Christmas¬ 
time I mentioned to our pupils in what miserv 
their country-children friends live. Thereupon 
the little folk founded the ‘Association for 
helping the poor’. Everyone could be a member 
of it on condition that, if you have two pencils 
of the same colour, you have to pay to the 
common cash the price of one. Many clothes, 
toys, sweets were gathered together with a warm 
heart. 

To give to the poor is a joy but often to accept 
kindness oppresses. Still the children did not 
feel oppression as everything was given with 
such a large heart. In the farm-school there was 
also a collection for the poorer ones. They 
understood that it was still a greater deed to 
give if you are poor yourself. 

We got many thanks for the presents and 
some really beautifully made toys in exchange, 
including wood-cravings and the like, which 
our children would not have been able to make. 
‘They can make things which we cannot’, was 
our children’s idea. The same thought occurred 
to the peasant’s children. But the knowledge of 
this difference does not separate, it is a sound 
foundation for mutual esteem. Lessons such as 
these are not learned for the moment, but for 
life, they lay the true foundation of good 
citizenship. 


THE NEW ERA—JULY 

The July issue will be a special double number on Nursery Schools. Expert assess¬ 
ments of the physical and psychological needs of the child from two to seven are 
followed by first-hand accounts of how these needs are being met in many countries, 
including France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy and Russia. 










Practice in Citizenship: Scotland 


Headmaster : Technical and 

Commercial School, ASloa 


Charles I rvine, M.A. 

I will set down something of the challenge 
of education for citizenship, and show how 
it is being answered in this mixed day school of 
pupils between twelve and fifteen years of age. 

So long as a citizen keeps out of the courts of 
justice, he may be as neglectful as he pleases 
of the duties of citizenship without being 
dubbed a bad citizen. This is an uninspiring 
example to youth. The case for direct training of 
children in the art of community life seems very 
strong, and opportunities for rendering un¬ 
rewarded public service in a spirit of amity and 
good fellowship should be frequent, indeed 
continuous. Dictatorial, authoritarian rule in 
schools must lose a great deal in failing to 
allow for adequate expression of the great 
desire of children to serve. 

In any community, rules must be made. By 
whom? It would be interesting to find how long 
it takes the average young person to realize 
that neither the policeman nor the judge makes 
the rules, and that it is the citizen, in a demo¬ 
cratic state, who is ultimately responsible for 
the rules that he employs these men to enforce. 
A realization of that fact at school may prevent 
a certain amount of minor delinquency. The 
pupil should see himself as a rulemaker, or as 
one who elects rulemakers. 

Rules must be obeyed. To children educa¬ 
tion may appear as tiresome correction of 
natural impulse, but self-discipline comes 
easier when responsibility is accepted. There is 
much truth in the remark of Professor Winifred 
Cullis that the people who best discipline 
children and teach them self-control are other 
children. It is the adult’s business to ease the 
transfer of service from school to the larger 
community. 

The attitude to people in authority is 
important. The more frequently a pupil is 
brought into individual conversation with his 
teachers, the better should he learn the good 
manners and sincerity, and appreciate the high 
motives and enthusiasms of a responsible 
person. 


What society requires in its members is a 
positive creative spirit. High achievement in 
knowledge and skill is of great importance, but 
it seems that instruction becomes education 
only when it imparts the impersonal enthusiasm 
that lets loose energy. How can the school 
create an impersonal enthusiasm for local 
committee work on which so much of any 
town’s life depends? 

Enthusiasm isn’t enough. There is need for 
people with some training in organizing, with 
initiative, courage, and perseverance to carry 
an idea into practice in spite of difficulties and 
disappointments. Can schools give such train¬ 
ing or must children have just the negative 
virtues of docility, adaptability, obedience? 

Citizenship cannot be learned nor character 
formed except in actual experiences. In this 
Alloa school since 1933 I have been gradually 
easing away from the authoritarian principle of 
school management, which implies that the 
headmaster knows all that needs to be known 
about children, hoping that if, with their co¬ 
operation, a situation were created that called 
aloud for initiative, leadership, intelligent 
criticism, power of discussion, shrewd estima¬ 
tion of character, power of organization, willing 
co-operation for the public good, willing public 
service, and better adjustment to the rules of 
community life, these positive virtues would 
show themselves in the children. And thev 

<j 

have, in varying degree. 

Alloa Technical and Commercial School has 
a roll of 300-400 boys and girls of twelve to 
fifteen years of age, who come up from seven 
Primary schools. It is a Three Years Advanced 
Division school with practical subjects in place 
of foreign languages. There are 5 boys’ and 
5 girls’ classes and 2 mixed classes, and 25 
sections for practical work. Pupils vary widely 
in intelligence. All the teachers are specialists. 
Benchwork, Domestic Subjects, Gymnastics 
are taught in different buildings, each of which 
is six minutes from the main school. Office, 
Engineering Shop, Mill, make strong demands 

168 


\June 1937 

on our pupils at the leaving dates, and com¬ 
paratively few remain for the Third Year. In 
spite of all these difficulties something definite 
has been achieved. 

On admission, the pupils are allocated to one 
of the four groups into which the school is 
divided. Each class elects a leader from each 
group; in a mixed class there are eight leaders, 
and in an unmixed class, four; from 50-60 
, leaders are thus chosen by the pupils. There is 
• a Boy and a Girl Captain for each group and 
| two School Captains are elected by the second 
jand third year pupils. 

These elections are by ballot and are annual, 
i By-elections take place frequently. A teacher 
I acts as returning officer, and is in a position 
j to link up with municipal, county, and parlia- 
[mentary elections. The only direction given to 
i the pupils is that they should select people with 
! gumption to be their leaders. An election to be 
i effective must be free from interference by 
anyone in authority. At the be- 
| ginning of a session, two months 
I have to elapse before elections 
jean be held in First Year classes. 

: This session the headmaster 
! nominated arbitrarily certain 
; First Year pupils to do the 
i routine duties during that period. 

: Scarcely any of these nominees 
! w 7 ere successful at the elections. 

: Teachers remain strictly neutral. 

Before being admitted to 
! leadership, a pupil must promise, 

> in public and individually, to do 
j his best in work and in play, to 
w T ork with others for the good of 
all, and to put his school before 
himself. Many are rather vague 
j about the meaning of the second 
and third promises, but experi¬ 
ence very soon makes it clear. 

This session, two boys out of 60 
j declined to make the promises. 

They were quite honest about 
it. We knew that they had not 
reached the stage of willingly 
bending their wills so far as to 
accept any but the most element¬ 
ary rules. They were a nuisance, 
for example, in -a game of 


169 

football. But both were quite strong and had a 
good following in the class. No surprise was 
shown at the refusal and a re-ballot was pro¬ 
ceeded with. Since that time a by-election 
again threw up the name of one of these boys 
and, rather to our surprise, he made the 
promises. He is now a person responsible in 
some ways for others, and with opportunities 
for service. 

Misbehaviour or indifference returns a 
leader to the class that elected him. The class 
becomes the jury, the teacher the judge. The 
verdict of the class is shown in the result of the 
by-election. There are implications there, but 
as they are still hypothetical they need not be 
discussed here. Leaders who like to feel respon¬ 
sible without doing any work may also be 
returned, to stand another election, either by 
request of the class, the Group Captain, or the 
headmaster. 

Leaders meet every eight days from 3.30- 



PRACTICE IN CITIZENSHIP: SCOTLAND 


An Election 
















THE NEW ERA 


170 

4.15 p.m. This is the only interruption of the or¬ 
dinary curriculum in the interest of self-govern¬ 
ment. At the Leaders’ Meeting school business 
is discussed, reports are made by convenors 
of the various committees, complaints are dealt 
with, and decisions made as to what rules are 
necessary. All findings are submitted to the 
headmaster. I have no doubt a pupil will 
ultimately take the Chair. Minutes are kept 
by one of the School Captains. 

The duties of leaders are threefold. (1) They 
are delegates. (2) They do routine duties for the 
school community. (3) They are asked to 
encourage orderly, decent behaviour. They 
represent their group and class at the Leaders’ 
Meeting, and are responsible for reporting to 
the class the business there transacted. This 
excellent piece of real life practice in public 
speaking is part of the English work each week. 
Routine duties are necessary to give the leaders 
confidence and standing. All the practical jobs 
that teachers had previously to find time for are 
now quite satisfactorily done by the leaders. 
For example in winter they run the service of a 
hot-drink at 10.30 a.m., wash the beakers at 
4 p.m., keep cash books for weekly payments, 
and allow credits for absence. 

The most important duty of all is indefinite. 
By force of personality alone they must 
strengthen resistance against anti-social be¬ 
haviour. One of the best debates in the Leaders’ 
Meeting was on ‘Whether a leader should give 
punishments’. When it was finished and before 
the decision, the headmaster put forward his 
own views against their giving punishments. 
The school would not profit greatly by the 
creation of sergeants or bosses. The great need 
was for leaders, people who saw the way and 
showed it to others, and did what they asked 
others to do. The leader must try to understand 
each person in his group and class and endea¬ 
vour to get the best out of him. Leaders may not 
report pupils to the teachers or headmaster 
except in very special circumstances and then 
only when they have failed in their own action 
and in conjunction with other leaders, the Group 
Captains, and the School Captains. 

At regular intervals all the leaders of each 
Group meet under the Group Captains. These 
meetings are held after 4 p.m. Next day the 
Captains meet the Headmaster to report on 


June 1937 

leaders’ difficulties. Leaders in a class may call 
a meeting of the class after school with the 
School Captain as chairman. Class Ib.b. has 
had several meetings, mainly because there are 
some girls who behave in an objectionable 
fashion. 

So much for leaders. How are the rank and 
file of pupils trained in citizenship? They are 
the electors, and judgment of leaders is in their 
hands as well as in the hands of teachers. Thev 

■j 

are expected to co-operate wherever possible 
in any undertakings. Once a year every pupil 
hands in an unsigned sheet of suggestions, 
criticisms, complaints likely to add to the 
happiness and efficiency of the school. The 
suggestions may deal with the conduct of 
pupils, lessons, time-table, general arrange¬ 
ments, work of leaders, and any other matter 
whatsoever. The average sheet contains about 
twelve statements. The executive committee of 
the Leaders’ Meeting classify the suggestions 
and give the number of pupils who set each one 
down. This method gives each child a stake 
in the fortunes of the school. His suggestions 
may be adopted by the Leaders’ Meeting, be 
accepted by the Headmaster, and pass into 
the code of the school. 

There then is the situation. Pupils feel the 
call in varying degree but the opportunity and 
the training are there. What are the results so 
far? One or two very interesting examples of 
initiative, co-operation, and organizing ability 
have been seen recently. A Second Year boy, 
not a leader, founded an orchestra that received 
permission to practise after school. The instru¬ 
ments were mouth organs, drums, etc. A 
branch of the Junior Division of the S.S.P.C.A. 
complete with chairman, treasurer, and secre¬ 
tary came into being with 30 members, badges, 
pledges and magazines, and monthly meetings 
conducted entirely by themselves at which they 
welcome interested adult speakers. In March of 
this year the pupils were challenged to do 
something to increase the school fund. The 
response was £53, of which £20 was made by 
individual efforts of pupils before the sale of 
work. The lie boys’ orchestra received per¬ 
mission to organize a children’s concert on 
condition that all rehearsals were after school 
hours and that the janitor would be able to find 
no fault. They were allowed complete respon- 


June 1937 practice in citizenship: Scotland 


Ability for success or failure. Members of the 
staff who turned up were unobtrusive and had 
no duties. There were no hitches, nothing had 
been forgotten, and they were justifiably proud 
of the £ 2. 65. 6 d. that they handed in for the fund. 

Probable delinquents are thrown more clearly 
into notice, and in such an atmosphere may 
more readily find their true way. I feel that if a 
pupil savours responsibility, leadership, trust, 
and respect for public service at the age of 12-15 
he may very well carry away with him a deep 
interest that will greatly influence him in his 
prime and make him a good citizen. 

The following modifications have been 
gradually made in classroom practice to fit in 
with the general idea of training citizens. 


Letter to 

Oldfeld School, 

Swanage. 

Dear Editor, 

I read your recent number on ‘Some aspects of 
Co-education’ with great interest but felt that some 
important points — such as the new position of co¬ 
operative equality between husband and wife in the 
modern family — were hardly mentioned by your 
contributors. 

There are few schools that have not modified their 
views as to the amount of intercourse desirable 
between boys and girls of all ages, though there are 
still girls’ schools that do not countenance their 
pupils’ receiving letters from any male except a close 
relation. And, in spite of the emancipation of women, 
the general tendency of the century has been to 
intensify the segregation of the small boy and all 
girls by the growth of the Boys’ Preparatory and 
Girls’ Public Schools. 

Now, if education is to be for a Democracy 


HOLIDAY ADVENTURES 

Empire House, St. Martin’s-le-Grand, London, E.C.I 

Organisers of Children’s Travel 

Co-educational holiday parties in England and at 
our Paris centre, with experienced leaders, at 
very moderate fees. Modern ideals, with freedom 
and opportunities for initiative and enterprise. 
Individual girls and boys, aged approximately 
8 to 14, and groups from schools, are welcomed. 
Please write for full particulars, references, 
and details of summer programme. 


Assignments of work are issued in most subjects 
for three weeks at a time. These allow for class 
work and individual work and frequent con¬ 
versation with the teachers. 

Classes correspond with two merchant ships, 
an archaeologist in China and a Berlin Girls’ 
school. Dramatic work is part of the curriculum, 
and a Play Festival is held every term’s end 
with no loss of time from the main subjects of 
the curriculum. A Boys’ Club meets on one 
evening a week from November to March. A 
cinema projector is in regular use to show the 
world at work, and the interrelation of countries 
and occupations. Teachers are asked to make 
their exercises relate as often as possible to the 
many real life situations available. 


the Editor 

formed of free families, it must grow out of, and 
form a background for, the family. The pre¬ 
adolescent boy and girl of all ages should spend their 
school life in a community that possesses a family 
background and the type of relationship obtainable 
in the ideal family. The holidays are not enough to 
supply this essential background to life, even if ideal 
conditions are obtainable—and in the modern small 
family they so rarely are. The children need this 
environment if they are to develop a sense of security, 
poise and understanding of life. 

The reason that I do not include the adolescent 
boy in this community is that he should at this stage 
go out from the family circle into a more segregated 
life among men, where he develops the essential 
characteristics of the family founder. If a young boy 
is put into a pseudo-adolescent environment, as is the 
case in the segregated Preparatory School, it pro¬ 
duces a precocity with its attendant tendency to fix 
development and retard natural growth. 

For the girl the segregated life offers so many 
difficulties to normal development that I am sur¬ 
prised that anyone should contemplate it except as a 
preparation for celibacy. 

Yours, etc., 

A. T. L. Hickson, 

Headmaster . 


ERRATUM 

We apologize sincerely for a printer's error 
in the May issue. In the review of ‘A School¬ 
master’s Testament’ (page 145, line 24) 
‘Abbotsfield’ should, of course, read ‘Abbots- 
holm’. Editor. 












Escuela del Mar 


Education for 

Citizenship 

in 

Catalonia 

Norma Jacob 


B arcelona at the present time* is largely 
in the hands of the Anarchists, and 
education for citizenship has been a vital 
part of Anarchist philosophy since the time of 
Francisco Ferrer y Guardia, the great educa¬ 
tionist, shot in 1909 for alleged complicity in a 
popular rising. Certain developments in Barce¬ 
lona now recall the ‘lay schools’, to the building 
up of which Ferrer devoted a great part of his 
life. In the Anarchist Utopia every citizen 
enjoys complete personal liberty and must 
therefore be made worthy of this tremendous 
responsibility. (Strictly speaking, no doubt, 
both ‘citizen’ and ‘citizenship’ are terms which 
would be repudiated by the theoretical Anar¬ 
chist as representing the very things which 
he hopes to supersede, but they must serve 
in the absence of any more precise term). 

A few members of the Anarchist Youth 
organization have drawn up an ambitious 
scheme of free popular education designed to 
fit the individual for freedom. He is to be 
encouraged to study a wide range of subjects, 
from typewriting and grammar to the history 
of the universe. So far only part of this scheme 
is actually in being—the Libertarian School 
briefly described in the April number of the 
New Era. When we visited this we were shown 
round by an enthusiastic young man who in 
each room of the building gave us a lecture 
on the particular type of excellence expected 
of those who studied there. Thus one room 
which contained a number of sewing machines 

* i.e. May 1, 1937.— Ed. 


was the excuse for a discourse on the accom¬ 
plishments and duties of the ideal wife, and in 
another we learnt the supreme importance of 
Culture in the good life. Culture (or what we 
in our old-fashioned terminology might call 
‘spiritual values’) is greatly prized by Anar¬ 
chists, who are far from imagining that men 
can learn to be happy and free entirely by the 
light of nature. The library, laboriously 
amassed from all sorts of different sources, 
showed that they are conscious of the 
value of their cultural heritage from the 
past. 

The school also organizes free public lectures, 
and we were presented to an elderly man of 
mild appearance who was to give the lecture that 
very day, the subject being ‘Man is a Timid 
Animal’. He solemnly assured us that he could 
and would teach those who came to his lecture 
to be less timid; I am sorrv now that we did not 
accept his invitation to come and see for our¬ 
selves. Before leaving, I said to our young 
guide that though I admired the work of the 
school and shared most of its ideals I was 
myself a member of a religious community. I 
rather expected him to be shocked, but instead 
he shook me warmly by the hand and exclaimed 
something to the effect that religion —real 
religion—was what we all needed to help us to 
live better lives. Knowing the tendency of any 
Spanish conversation to lose itself in clouds of 
metaphysics, I took leave of him without going 
any further into the question of what he 
understood by real religion. 

172 




Yune 1937 EDUCATION FOR CITIZENSHIP IN CATALONIA 

A rather different institution, and one which 
r\has the distinction of having survived all 
he changes of the last few years in Barcelona, 
s the Escuela del Mar, founded fifteen years 
igo for the benefit of city children who were 
specially in need of sea air. It is built actuallv 
)n the beach in one of the very poorest quarters 
)f Barcelona. The school is housed in a two- 
story building on piles in the sand; with its 
central block and two wings it forms an arc, the 
chord of which is the Mediterranean itself. In 
he enclosed sandy space the children (chosen 
by the health authorities of each district) spend 
the greater part of their day swimming, sun¬ 
bathing, running, jumping and doing lessons. 

In the building itself the classrooms are large 
and airy, with tall windows looking out over 
the open space. Here and there we saw groups 
gathered round a teacher, but nothing in the 
way of formal classes. In one room a little boy 
of about six was sitting on a low stool sur¬ 
rounded by a number of even smaller children; 
he appeared to be giving a lesson or telling a 
story, and was quite undisturbed by the 
entrance of the party of visitors, even when one 
was uncivil enough to take a snapshot of him. 

In talking afterwards with the Director (whose 
enthusiasm was all the more impressive for 
being controlled) we realized that this scene was 
typical of the methods of the school. The aim 
is to encourage the children to think and work 
for themselves and to accustom them to taking 
responsibility. Each class has an elaborate 
system of self-government, and it is real self- 
government, not merely a device for getting 
some of the duller jobs done by those who are 
not in a position to refuse. 

Great care is taken to allow the children to 
develop freely on the artistic side. In one room 
we saw the marionette theatre, and a boy of 
about fifteen showed us with pride the dolls 
which were being dressed for a play which was 
then in preparation. The children choose their 
own subject from some book in the school 
library, modify it to suit theatrical require¬ 
ments, and make up the parts as they go along, 
so that the play is never the same twice running. 

This comes easily to the Spanish child, who is 
usually a born orator, and likely to owe what¬ 
ever success he may achieve in life to his power 
of talking fluently and entertainingly for any 


*73 

length of time on any subject which may come 
up. This kind of training in spontaneous speech 
is thus a valuable preparation for life. We were 
also shown the backcloths painted for earlier 
productions and were impressed with the 
vigour and imagination shown in the design 
and choice of colours. 

The same room houses the school library, 
which contains most of the children’s classics 
of ail nations. The children are encouraged 
to write down their opinion of each book read 
and any reflections suggested by it, and these 
critical essays, which often show keen powers 
of criticism and appreciation, are kept together 
in loose books. 

Another activity of the school is the meteoro¬ 
logical record, scrupulously kept up by officers 
appointed from each class, and sent regularly 
to the city’s weather experts. The dining room 
is also regarded as an educational influence: 
many of the children come from the very 
poorest homes, and those in charge of the 
school firmly believe that the effect of eating 
one meal a day off a table laid with a clean 
cloth and attractive china and vases of flowers 
will raise not only the children’s own standards 
but indirectly also those of their parents. 
Unfortunately the dining room is not in use at 
present as it has been found too difficult to 
guarantee the supplies of food for such large 
numbers. 

Each child entering the school has his 
complete physical history entered on a large 
card, together with details of his previous 
school record, if any, and notes on his home 
surroundings and general moral state. His 
progress each term is noted on supplementary 
cards. Nearly all show remarkable improve¬ 
ments in health under these exceptionally 
favourable conditions. 


P 


articularly interesting just now are the 
children’s colonies which have sprung up 
all over Catalonia to house refugees evacuated 
from the war areas. Some of these are run by 
private voluntary associations appealing to the 
public for funds (one for instance is named 
after the Barcelona broadcasting station which 
gives it free publicity), others by political 
parties, municipal authorities or even large 
firms, which by recent decrees have now been 








THE NEW ERA 


174 

placed entirely under workers’ control. All 
appear to be inspired by the same idea—the 
wish to make up to the children, by extra 
affection and care, for the loss of their own 
homes and parents, and the determination to 
avoid a post-war generation stunted in body 
and warped in mind. Heroic efforts are made 
to keep the colonies supplied with food, though 
in country districts the burden placed on the 
local authorities is often a very heavy one. 
The most significant feature of these colonies 
is the extraordinary care taken in the choice of 
environment. Large numbers of splendid 
country houses, abandoned by their owners, are 
at the disposal of the authorities and some are 
already well furnished and decorated, but 
others are unexpectedly dilapidated and have 
evidently been unoccupied for years. In these 
cases the redecoration is done either by 
amateurs or voluntarily by local workmen, and 
some of the effects produced, though necessarily 
very simple, are remarkably pleasing. The 
furniture, for instance, is of the plainest, but 
it is all uniform and painted in cheerful 
colours. Some of the children in these colonies 
have come from slum tenements where they 
slept on the floor and ate their food with their 
fingers, and the effect of finding themselves 
in such surroundings must be considerable. 

It is safe to say that not the richest child in 
Spain ever had more loving thought bestowed 
on it than is lavished on these children of the 
war, on whom will fall the task of rebuilding 
their country. The children obviously appre¬ 
ciate the atmosphere in which they find them¬ 
selves, and willingly co-operate in keeping the 
houses tidy and clean; they also help in the 
kitchens, and each has a tiny garden in which 
he proudly grows two or three vegetables for 
the table. In one seaside colony our attention 
was called to a potato patch which happened 
to be near the gate leading down to the beach. 
When a gardener came to tend this patch the 
children were continually taking a short cut 
across the corner. When it was given them to 
look after for themselves they spontaneously 
took to walking round rather than across, and 
the potatoes flourished. The same thing can be 
observed in every aspect of the life in these 
colonies; given responsibility and encouraged 
to take care of his own property, the wildest 


June 1937 

street arab will respond. Some are receiving 
definite vocational training; one colony, for 
instance, runs a small farm cared for entirely 
by the colonists, boys from Madrid between 
the ages of fifteen and eighteen. After eighteen, 
unfortunately, their education is liable to be 
brought to a sudden end by mobilization. 

T here appeared to be nothing in the way of 
political education (though ‘Viva Rusfa!’ 
was, perhaps naturally, a common theme of 
the children’s drawing and essays). This 
absence of definite guidance may be due to the 
diametrically opposed conceptions of the State 
which are now being preached in Catalonia. Of 
specifically anti-religious teaching there was 
not a sign; convent chapels were preserved for 
use as cinemas or store-houses, and their con¬ 
tents, if they had artistic or historical interest, 
were to be found in museums. The impression 
is that the Spanish people simply do not feel 
it worth while to innoculate their future 
citizens against doctrines so hopelessly dis¬ 
credited as those of the Church. 

Catalonia just now is in an educational 
ferment. This is partly due to the enormous 
influx of refugee children, most of them with 
their teachers; the existing educational frame¬ 
work has had to be rapidly enlarged to deal 
with them, and it is announced that more than 
250 Grupos Escolares (the ordinary State 
schools) have been opened in the last three 
months. Every village displays its new school, 
often housed in the church or built of the 
materials of some ecclesiastical building which 
has been pulled down. But chiefly this great 
expansion, and the extraordinary purposiveness 
of all that is being done, is due to the creative 
energy released by the revolution. People like 
our young Anarchist friends, who for years have 
cherished dreams of the kind of education they 
would like to see provided for themselves and 
others, have suddenly found themselves free of 
control from above and in a position to go out 
and appropriate suitable buildings and equip¬ 
ment. The Catalans are in many ways the most 
advanced of the Spanish peoples, and nowhere 
is this more clearly shown than in their longing 
for education and their realization of the 
important part it must play in building the 
citizens of the future. 



Travel 
and the 
Future 
Citizen 


J. Richard Traynor 


Founder and Co-organizer of Holiday Adventures 


T his article is being contributed to a series 
which deals with education for citizenship, 
and there is no doubt at all that travel, 
[I if it is done under the right conditions , does much 
to develop just those characteristics which will 
make our children good citizens. The qualifica- 
: tion in the preceding sentence is important. 

Every Easter, in Paris, I see hundreds of 
English schoolchildren being conducted round 
the city in parties, and as I watch them I 
cannot fail to notice the w 7 ay in which the 
atmosphere of their school has been brought 
across the Channel with them. Not one of 
them is an individual; she—girls seem to be in 
the majority where these expeditions are con¬ 
cerned—is a member of IVa, or Vb, or Upper 

: Sixth, of-School, and here she is, 

wearing (often literally!) her old school tie, 
with her familiar mistresses in attendance, 
going w 7 here she is told to go, doing what she is 
told to do, saying what she is expected to say, 
and having no chance at all to express herself 
naturally. How much of Paris will those 
schoolgirls know when they return from their 
holiday—how much they will have added to 
their store of experiences! To my way of thinking, 
almost nothing. 

In ‘Holiday Adventures’ we have evolved a 
quite different manner in which children may 
go about their sight-seeing. Eor one thing, it is 
seldom that all the children and all the leaders 
are to be found at one place at the same time. 
We prefer to explore in small groups and then 
meet for a nightly after-dinner pow-wow. On 
these occasions the children and leaders com¬ 


pare notes on the day’s adventures, swop bits 
of knowledge they have picked up, and discuss 
programmes for the following day. 

I cannot picture those girls of IVa, Vb, and 
Upper Sixth planning a Paris project like that 
carried out by some members of one of our 
recent parties. A small girl had come to Paris 
determined to learn all she could about the 
mysterious fate of the boy King Louis XVII. 
She was joined in her quest by a number of 
other children, and their enquiries took them 
all over the city and, of course, to Versailles. 
The leader who accompanied them on their 
explorations — it happened to be myself — 
became as interested as they were. The children 
succeeded in gaining entry to places which 
were closed to the public, they carried on the 
most amazing conversations w r ith people who 
knew 7 no English, they translated with great 
effort and the aid of a dictionary documents 
which they unearthed at the National Archives, 
and they made many drawings and took many 
photographs. Altogether, they acquired much 
knowledge of Paris, its topography, its buildings, 
and its history. Other members of the party 
preferred Luna Park, the Eiffel Tow 7 er, rowing 
on the lake in the Bois de Boulogne, and 
learning the geography of the ‘Metro’, but 
when the groups met in the evenings to talk 
over their experiences it was evident that they 
all were thoroughly enjoying the holiday which 
they were planning for themselves. 

The influence of what is called the New 7 
Education grows wider every year, and those of 
my readers who spend their working days with 


*75 













176 

children who live in an environment which 
allows them freedom of thought and activity, 
and those readers whose own children are being 
educated in such an environment, may find it 
hard to realize that the majority of our girls and 
boys are still living in an environment that is 
deadening in its lack of adventure. Childhood 
ought to be permeated with the spirit of 
adventure, and all learning should be a process 
of re-discovery. It is the character we build in 
our girls and boys that will make them succeed 
or fail as citizens. So many children find that 
their lives at school and at home are organized 
from morning till night by grown-up people. If 
children are to become self-reliant men and 
women, they must be given opportunities to 
acquire experience, to develop judgment, and 
to show initiative. Where these opportunities 
are lacking in the school and the home, travel 
offers a very fine way of supplying them. 

‘Holiday Adventures’ was inaugurated in the 
first place with the object of arranging travel 
for children under conditions similar to those 
existing in the newer kind of school, and we 
attracted mainly the parents whose children 
attended those schools. This still constitutes 
the principal part of our work, but the fact that 
we are able to offer freedom, the companionship 
of children of the opposite sex, and oppor¬ 
tunities for initiative and enterprise, to children 
who are spending so much of their time in the 
torpid atmosphere of the conventional school 
seems to me to be immensely important. 

I have been associated with children’s travel 
for upwards of ten years, journeying with 
parties of girls and boys all over Great Britain 
from Loch Lomond to Land’s End, and in 
seven countries on the Continent—France, 
Belgium, Holland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, 
and Italy. We have travelled by bicycle, car, 
train, ship, aeroplane, donkey, and shanks’s 
pony, sleeping in tents, cottages, railway camp 
coaches, humble inns, and luxury hotels. We 
have climbed mountains, trudged the length of 
Hadrian’s Wall, walked across trackless moors 
and through deep forests, swum in sea, lake and 
river, explored caves, and examined the works 
of man in every period of his history, his art 
from the Altamira paintings to the Louvre, and 
his architecture from Avebury to Broadcasting 
House. We have seen the dwelling-places of 


June 1937 

men and women, contrasting the great mansions 
of England with a peasant’s hovel which we 
saw in Spain two years ago, where at night the 
single apartment sheltered the peasant and his 
wife, his grown-up son and daughter-in-law, 
several children of two generations, a cow, a 
dog, a cat, two pigs, and a number of chickens 
(for whose accommodation wire netting had 
been stretched round the legs of the table!). 
I maintain that to see different kinds of natural 
beauty and people living under varying condi¬ 
tions, provided that the children are able to 
make personal observations, as and how they 
will, gives these girls and boys a sense of 
perspective, and a background of reality which 
will not be without its effect in the making of 
the future citizen. 

My experience has led me to form certain 
definite conclusions as to the age at which 
children’s travelling should be undertaken. I 
have travelled with girls and boys from five to 
eighteen, and it may surprise some of my 
readers when I say that it is between the ages 
of nine and fourteen that travel has its strongest 
appeal and its greatest value. They want to 
‘see everything’—to roam, explore, and make 
contact with interesting and unfamiliar things. 
At that age the child is more observant than he 
will be for many years afterwards, while his 
intelligence (distinct, please, from intellect) is 
at its keenest. With the advent of puberty and 
adolescence young people become absorbed for 
several years in themselves and in other 
individuals rather than in outside things. Later, 
when travel would again be of the utmost 
value, usually it is out of the question for 
financial reasons. This belief has caused us, 
in a world where specialization is necessary, to 
direct our activities towards children of this 
particular age. 

The organizing of the daily routine, in the 
way our children do it, helps in the making of 
good citizens. For so long as the holiday lasts, 
each one of us—children and leaders alike—is a 
citizen of the little community of the party, 
with equal rights and equal responsibilities. 
Such matters as the times of meals, which vary 
from day to day, and which are always arranged 
by the children themselves the night before, 
require reasoning and directed thought before 
a decision is reached. The obligations to those 


THE NEW ERA 


June 1937 TRAVEL AND THE 

'esponsible for the preparation of meals must 
rot be forgotten. (In practice, attendance at 
neals is not compulsory. If a child is more 
nterested in what he is doing than in eating, 
ie is able to continue with the activity that is 
ibsorbing his attention, but he must not 
;xpect to have a meal provided at any time 
vhen he feels ready for it. He must weigh the 
;wo alternatives in the balance—shall it be the 
neal or the occupation? Such decisions, which 
lave to be made from time to time, are valuable 
lids to character building. The provision of 
: resh milk, lemonade, fruit, cake and biscuits, 
Much are available for the taking at all 
lours of the day and night, solves the 
question of empty bellies at awkward 
noments!) 

Again, we have no set bedtime, and certain 
regulations must be drawn up to ensure that the 
:omfort of others—ourselves and our neigh- 
lours, if such exist — receives consideration. A 
'easonable hour for the cessation of singing, 
noisy games, and wireless music is decided 
upon. Obviously, children must not leave the 
ocality after dark, unless with one of the leaders. 
In the drawing-up of these regulations, which 
is done in the course of consultation with the 
children, I have always found girls and boys 

Notes on the Co-Ed 

Barbara Low 

T he Editor of the New Era has kindly given 
me a little space in which to comment 
upon the other contributions to ‘Aspects of 
Co-Education in England’. I am glad to take 
this opportunity, for the various writers in this 
number have provided material of much interest. 

I find myself in the greatest agreement with 
Miss Sharpe, and very much in sympathy with 
, the views expressed by Mr. Grace. 

In respect to the other contributors, I feel 
there is one general criticism to be made, and 
one of considerable importance; namely, they 
all tend to reiterate, without further proof, the 
very points which are under discussion, and 
often put them down as proved facts. I his does 
not seem to me to advance the argument in any 


FUTURE CITIZEN jyy 

to be most sensible and reasonable, and they 
themselves are very strict in their adherence to 
them, and alarmingly ready to pounce upon any 
breach of them by the leaders! (Although the 
statement that the children go to bed when they 
like may seem startling on the face of it, in 
practice, again, we find that, leaving aside the 
first couple of nights — when the sudden release 
from home routine often results in exceedingly 
late hours being kept — the children, tired after 
a strenuous day’s adventuring, seek their beds 
very soon after their evening meal, which as 
often as not they take in their pyjamas, if we 
are not in company. Getting up to time in the 
morning is not insisted upon, unless it is 
necessary owing to some excursion having been 
planned which requires the absence of all the 
leaders from the base.) 

When the conventional atmosphere of chil¬ 
dren being ‘taken’ on a tour is entirely absent, 
when good sense is substituted for enforced 
discipline, and good fellowship for artificial 
barriers between the children and their escorts, 
travel is a most useful extension of what is 
being done in so many of our newer schools. 
To the less fortunate children who attend 
conventional schools, its value under these 
conditions must be incalculable. 

ucation Number 

(April, 1937) 

way, and it tends to suggest that the writers 
have not thought it necessary to investigate the 
subject very deeply. 

For example, Dr. Laura Hutton says: ‘this 
assumption of an inevitable homo-sexual phase 
(in boys and girls) seems to me questionable’. 
But has Dr. Hutton made the very extensive 
and intensive researches that have been carried 
out during the past thirty years by a very large 
band of workers investigating on Psycho¬ 
analytic lines, which enable them now to state, 
not as an ‘assumption’ but as a fact, that there 
is to be found universally a homo-sexual phase 
at a certain stage of human development? If 
she has not done so, it is surely useless merely 
to reiterate an opinion. If she has evidence based 







THE NEW ERA 


178 

on a different line of research, should it not be 
supplied? I would bring the same criticism to 
her statement (page 96): ‘Adolescent girls and 
boys have an infinite capacity for sublimation’. 
Now Freud has shown, from most profound 
and patient research, extending over at least 
thirty years (and his work has been continued 
by many other workers in the same field), that 
the capacity for sublimation is limited and 
highly variable, and will be found to exist 
always in proportional relation to the strength 
of the ego-development, so that only at grave 
risk can the individual be called upon for 
sublimation beyond a certain degree. Dr. 
Hutton, presumably unaware of this discovery, 
prefers her own conclusions, to which, of course 
she has the perfect right, but she can hardly 
expect acceptance for them merely on her own 
assertion. 

When I turn to the article by the Bedales 
School Staff—a most interesting and in 
some ways convincing statement—I still find 
something of the same tendency to assert 
without pointing to evidence. On page 97 we 
read: ‘It is desirable, however, that this sex- 
stimulus should be minimized, so long as this 
does not involve active repression. There are 
several ways in which this can be done. First, 
through proper sex-instruction.’ Now it is a 
problem, so far quite unsolved, as to how far 
instruction on sex-matters can be given at all, 
with value, in the earlier years of the School- 
course, and further, how far, even if such in¬ 
struction has been given satisfactorily from an 
intellectual standard, it can affect powerful 
emotional urges. Analysts, at all events, have often 
to deal with adults who have spent their edu¬ 
cational lives in co-educational schools and yet 
find themselves every bit as much in the grip 
of emotional and sexual difficulties and conflicts 
as those educated otherwise. I do not want to say 
for one moment that this entitles one to condemn 
the co-educational system, but it does make one 
wonder at the facile acceptance, the ‘all is best 
in the best possible world’ {i.e. the co-educational 
school) attitude, of these advocates. 

I repeat what I said in my article. I (and I 
think I can speak for my Analytic colleagues) 
am not out to ‘down’ one system or support 
another, but rather to try to discover the 


June 1937 

problems involved, and it is disappointing to 
be met by arguments from those presumably 
in the van of progress who do not even stop to 
look at these problems. Again and again, it 
emerges that those who have had as children 
and adolescents instruction on sexual matters, 
often very excellent in content, still find their 
own natures so divided, or their problems so 
intricate, that the past instruction gives little 
or no assistance. Is it not better to realize these 
difficulties if we are genuinely seeking a solution. 

With a great deal that the Bedales Staff 
write, I am in much agreement, especially 
their arguments on page 98, and in the first 
column of page 99, notably those referring to 
the aesthetic development, voluntary control, 
and a wide outlook on the matter of sexual 
intercourse. But their references to the Cas¬ 
tration-complex prove that they do not com¬ 
prehend its significance and their idea that such 
realization leads only to ‘ a fatalistic acceptance 
of a world in which women concentrate on the 
bearing and mothering of children, and men 
concentrate on the destruction of human life’, is 
purely fantastic. Why, we must again ask, do 
they not take the trouble to find out what these 
terms mean, and so avoid plunging into such 
strange error! There is much in the Bedales 
article which calls for comment—for appre¬ 
ciation as well as disagreement. I have no 
space to take up further points, except to stress 
my previous opinion. 

That is to say, I feel every one genuinely 
interested in education—in its wider and more 
limited sense, must feel under obligation to the 
initiators and workers of Bedales and to other 
educational experimenters, for their courage, 
sincerity and devotion, but that is precisely the 
reason w r hy we may look to them to go forward 
again and to welcome more knowledge and 
understanding wherever it is to be found. On 
that ground, Psycho-Analysts may rightly ask 
for their co-operation in carrying on the pro¬ 
foundly illuminating researches of Freud in a 
scientific spirit. 

The articles of Mr. Curry of Dartington, and 
the very refreshing dialogue of Mr. Paul 
Roberts of Frensham Heights, both call for 
attention, but there is no space to deal 
adequately with them. It is a little surprising 
to find Mr. Curry frequently saying: ‘If what 


une 1937 NOTES ON THE CO 

Miss Low says on such and such a point, is 
true’, then certain conclusions follow. Surely 
the head of a school run on a very individual 
system in which he appears to place complete 
confidence, might be expected to have first 
thought out for himself some of the inherent 
problems, and not to be saying as though he 
were faced with quite new ideas for the first 
time, ‘Such things may he true’. 

I must conclude by repeating that I found 


Book Reviews 

Youth Serves the Community. By Paul 
R. Hanna. ( Appleton-Century Co. Price 
7s. 6 d.) 

The material for this survey of what children are 
doing to improve social conditions has been compiled 
from questionnaires sent to teachers and social 
workers in America and abroad by the research 
staff at the Teachers College of Columbia Uni¬ 
versity. Activities which are considered to have 
educational value to the individual child and signifi¬ 
cant value to the community are described under the 
categories of public safety, civic beauty and art, 
health, agricultural and industrial improvement, 
local history, surveys and inventories. One has 
grown, since the rise of free education, to think of the 
child as a consumer, not as a producer, so that this 
catalogue of economically valuable work done by 
children is more impressive now than it would have 
been fifty years ago. These young people have 
organized museums and co-operative stock buying, 
cleaned rubbish dumps, taught their parents to read 
and write, entertained their fellow lodgers with loud 
speakers, exterminated rats, spread knowledge of 
disease, reared pigs and poultry, and formed safety 
patrols to see their schoolmates are not injured on 
the roads. 

There is no question but that many of these 
activities must have been great fun for the children 
and useful to their fellow citizens; their educational 
value is not so obvious and calls for a good deal of 
special pleading in the introductory chapters. If 
education be regarded as a training to equip the 
child to survive in an economically inter-dependent 
community wherein self interest can only be served 
by its subordination to the welfare of the community, 
such activities assume a specious importance. But 
those who do not adopt this somewhat sardonic view 
of the educational aims of the democratic state may 
question the desirability of encouraging children to 
spend too much of the their short period of play and 
growth in winning the approval of their elders by 
their useful labour. 


EDUCATION NUMBER ijg 

the contribution by Mr. W. A. Grace, Head of 
Halesowen Grammar School, full of valuable 
and suggestive ideas, and I am grateful for its 
help. 

As a last word, could not we people who have, 
at least, genuine common interest, and certainly 
some kindred ideas and hopes, perhaps begin 
to work together on some specific problems 
which need solution. Any suggestions to this end 
might, I think, be acceptable to the New Era. 


Child ren in the Family. Harold H. Anderson, 
Ph.D. (D. Appleton-Century Company. Price 
7s. 6d.) 

For those already familiar with the vast literature 
concerning the upbringing of children this book will 
offer little that is new. It is useful more for its 
good sense than for its originality. 

The need to remember that children are individuals 
and that standards must be flexible is stressed, and 
interspersed through the book are anecdotes of real 
children which are lively and ring true. The descrip¬ 
tion of the rapidly increasing complexity of the infant’s 
world is convincingly, almost dramatically, told and 
the discussion on punishment is clear and sound. 

One feels that the adult is asked to take too positive 
a place in the child’s voyages of discovery. Too much 
stress is laid also upon the danger of adult fears being 
‘caught’ by children. This can only add to the anxiety 
of the grown-ups, forcing them yet further into the too- 
concious behaviour which is so prevalent, and adding 
to that lack of self-confidence which has done as much 
harm as any other one thing in the homes of to-day. 

The tables of ‘activities’ for different ages is inter¬ 
esting but indicates certain rather arbitrary standards 
with regard to cleanliness and manners. The diets are 
sound and simple though the advice at the head of the 
first two that ‘If baby is asleep, awake it’ might be 
questioned. I have an uneasy feeling that Dr. Ander¬ 
son’s extreme ‘common’ sense about everything from 
sex and death to feeding and health gives little 
indication of awareness of the very subtle implications 
behind these everyday matters. It is perhaps well not 
to distract the ordinary reader with theories, but one 
wonders how much the author himself takes these 
into account. The handling of sex, for instance, is so 
matter-of-fact that no inkling is given the child of the 
deeper meanings behind its outward manifestations. 
The issue of death, is also, rather shelved. To 
explain death to the intelligent young questioner 
merely as being ‘all through’ would scarcely satisfy, 
might, in fact, be rather frightening, and is not even 
biologically true. 


Marjorie Sisson 


Audrey Munro 








i8o 

Adolescent Psychology. By Ada Hart Arlitt, 
Ph.D. (Allen & Unwin, 6/-). 

This volume covers a wide field. It relates much 
of the psychology of to-day to adolescent problems, 
dealing with the physical, emotional and intellectual 
development as well as with disturbances in adolescent 
personality and moral and religous difficulties. The 
reader is likely to find much material with which he 
is already familiar, but its treatment is often fresh 
and interesting. The result of researches in con¬ 
nection with the height and weight of children and 
young people are recorded while due regard is given to 
sex differences. It is somewhat surprising that the 
waiter should frequently fall into the error of using 
the word ‘child’ for the adolescent. The fact that it 
is hard to avoid it cannot be considered sufficient 
excuse, and the situation is considerably complicated 


June 1937 

by the frequent allusion to boys and girls in the pre¬ 
adolescent stage of development. 

The chapter on Intelligence and Mental Growth 
will not be of much use in Britain, especially as the 
statement that ‘it is impossible to make an I.Q, of 
over 150 beyond the age of thirteen’ does not hold 
good on some British tests. Apparently the author’s 
remarks in this connection relate to the Binet tests, 
which should be generally recognized as unsuitable 
for adolescents who are above average in ability. 

Like many American volumes the book is a mixture 
of thorough and superficial study, thorough in that 
it covers a great deal of ground and superficial in 
that the ground is not always sufficiently covered. All 
the same it contains much that is valuable and 
stimulating. There are many interesting anecdotes 
used effectively to drive home important points and 
quite a number of tables and diagrams to illustrate 
the text. E. M. Nevill 


THE NEW ERA 


Notes 


New Cultural Films 

The film ‘Living in the Netherlands’ is the first 
of a series of films illustrating the life and struggles 
of other countries. It is called a ‘British appreciation 
of the Dutch people’ and the idea of the projected 
series is to forward a better understanding betw r een 
the nations. 

The film gives an interesting picture of Dutch life, 
showing the fishermen and their boats, the washer¬ 
women and their houses, the cattle being trans¬ 
ported in canal boats, the windmills and the docks. 
It gives one a very clear idea of the lowness of the 
land and the continual fight against the sea. There are 
some most interesting shots of the completion of the 
mole which enclosed the Zuyder Zee and reclaimed 
it from a stretch of sea into fertile grass lands. All 
this is particularly interesting to English people in 
view of the fact that in the recent fen-floods Dutch 
experts came over to give advice and help. 

There are also some beautiful scenes of flower 
growing, with speeded-up shots of daffodils and 
irises unfolding and beds of hyacinths wakening into 
life. 


The running commentary is perhaps a little too 
continuous; instead one could have wished for one 
part at least—say the children at play, with which the 
film opens—to have been sound-recorded on the 
spot. There are apparently regulations in many 
countries which make this difficult, but if these could 
be overcome it would give even more life to what 
promises to be a very interesting and valuable series. 

Dr. George Green, a member of the N.E.F., has 
co-operated in the production of the film. J.W. 

‘Alio’ 

This is the name of a new children’s monthly 
newspaper which has been strongly recommended to 
our notice. It is written in French, but its intention 
is to be an international paper, ‘un journal mondial 
de la jeunesse’. The copies we have seen are highly 
interesting and contain stories and articles on all 
kinds of subjects, written in simple, straight-forward 
French. We think that many schools will be glad to 
know of it for their reading rooms. Specimen copies 
may be obtained from the editorial office, 61 rue 
du Cherche-Midi, Paris, VI. 


Directory of Training Centres 

STAFF APPOINTMENTS DEPARTMENT. ST. GODRIC’S SECRETARIAL COLLEGE 


Well-qualified women staff available. Special details 
given of candidates interviewed, on request. 

ADVISORY DEPARTMENT. 
First-hand information given to parents, free of 
charge, on schools and trainings. 

CICELY C. WRIGHT, Ltd., 

50 Great Russell Street, W.C.i. Holborn 9984. 

THE TRIANGLE: SECRETARIAL TRAINING 
COLLEGE. (Founded 1910). Individual tuition 
and personal interest are outstanding features of 
this training. 59, 60, 61 and 7 (Annex) South 
Molton Street, London, W.i. May. 5306 (3 lines). 


18 ARKWRIGHT ROAD, HAMPSTEAD, N.W.3. 
Principals : Mrs. Warren Loveridge, B.A., Mrs. 
E. E. R. Thorp, M.A.(Cantab.), assisted by a dis¬ 
tinguished staff of graduates and business executives. 
Posts offering scope and suited to their individual in¬ 
terests are found for all students. Scholarships 
available. Residential hostel. Moderate fees. 

MISS DOROTHY MATTHEWS, BVA.”(W^Ty 

secretary English Section N.E.F.) 32 Primrose 
Hill Road, London, N.W.3. PRI 5686. Classes 
and Lessons by visit and correspondence in 
Writing, Poetry, Speaking. English for foreigners. 
Special help for teachers in creative English 
teaching. 


(Continued on inside back cover). 





THE NEW ERA 

IN HOME AND SCHOOL 

Outlook Tower 


work of preparing this issue of The 
New Era has been peculiarly pleasant. 
a In the young child’s material needs lies a 
subject which escapes both controversy 
and that tolerant indifference which is 
accorded now-a-days to most uncontroversial 
matters. It has therefore been possible to 
collect articles from various countries whose 
representatives do not often meet on a common 
platform. The material is not, nor could have 
peen, in any sense complete. There is no 
account of the admirable work done in many 
parts of the world, notably Austria, Belgium, 
Canada, the Scandinavian countries and parts 
of South America. But, incomplete as it is, it 
offers food enough for thought. 

The young child has become the object of a 
passionate and serious regard throughout the 
civilized world — though, admittedly, still to a 
minority of people — partly by reason of his 
own growing scarcity, partly because of a 
tenderer social conscience about the depriva¬ 
tions that economic distress brings upon so 
many innocent heads, partly because the 
psychologists, more didactically than the poets 
or philosophers, have shown that the child is 
indeed father to the man — partly, too, because 
the discouragements of the present generation 
Shave caused us to seek a golden age in a more 
generously nurtured future. 

The young child needs only such things as 
any reasonable world would rain into his lap 
—clean, simple food ; peace and air and 
sunlight ; space and the simplest of toys ; his 
fellows in the offing, and growing closer as he 
grows himself, and adults who will trust him 

181 


and whom he can trust. The last need might 
be expanded as : adults who will help him to 
lose as little as possible the serenity of healthy 
infancy and who will see to it that ‘that which 
a child fears is tenderly explored and is associ¬ 
ated with something he enjoys, until fear 
disappears and the necessary physical or 
emotional controls are established’, as Miss 
Dabney Davis phrases it. 

Further, he needs some guidance as to the 
usages and purposes of life. Monsieur Verel 
makes out a very good case for an infinitely 
sensitive but quite definite training in the 
social virtues. This is quite different from 
the strong and conscious moulding of the 
young citizens described in the Russian and 
Italian articles. Yet many teachers would 
deprecate any systematic interference with the 
aggressive and ‘anti-social’ propensities of the 
average nursery scholar, under the plea that, 
unless lived through and self-discarded, these 
tend never to be truly outgrown. Correspon¬ 
dence about this, and about many other points 
raised in this number, will be welcome. 
(Letters reaching us not later than September 
5th will be considered for publication in the 
next issue of The New Era.) 

O ne point upon which we especially invite 
comment is the proper duration of Nursery 
schooling. In Soviet Russia, formal schooling 
does not begin till the child is eight years old. 
In most other countries, with the singular 
exception of the TJ.S.A. and Great. Britain, it 
begins not earlier than six. In the last two 
countries, however, the nursery school shuts 
















THE NEW ERA 


l 82 

its doors to its young pupils when they are five. 
The infant schools then take up the work, and 
the best of them carry it on admirably. One 
can see as much free, self-directed and happy 
activity in a well-run infants’ school as the 
most exacting child-lover could desire. But 
the nursery school regime, with its nourishing 
and well-served meals and its quiet rest time 
ends abruptly at five. The five-year-old, who 
has not yet shed his milk-teeth, who has only 
begun to find his feet with his fellows and to 
lose his baby dependence on grown-ups, is 
thrust out into an alien world—hard enough 
on much older children—where he scrambles 
home, or to a feeding centre, for dinner, rests 
anywhere, or far more likely nowhere, and is 
back at school again before he has had time to 
catch his breath. 

This abrupt change of regime seems to us 
to be indefensible and cruel. Infant school 
teachers tell of tears of bewilderment and rage 
from their ex-nursery school children when 
they are turned out at dinner time. The sense 
of injustice, insecurity and frustration that 
these tears betoken must go a long way to 
undoing the confidence so carefully built in 
the nursery school years, just as the abandon¬ 
ment of a planned dietery and rest is a setback 
to carefully tended physical growth. What 
the child needs is an unbroken five years, from 
two till seven, of nursery-cum-infant school, 
under the nursery school regime. In our 
opinion, schools on these lines should be 
established now , when a bare 6,500 children 
are in nursery schools in England, not later, 
when rapidly increasing numbers will have 
made the change-over far more difficult. 

[In England, at any rate, the Board of 
Education is not unsympathetic. They have 
allowed one Bradford school to run on these 
lines for three years as an experiment. It is 
up to all those who care about child nurture to 
insist that such experiments are multiplied and 
prolonged till they become the normal regime 
for all children until they have cut the bulk of 
their second teeth.] 

W e should like to thank the many people 
who have helped in the preparation of 
this issue—our contributors, as always, and 
also Miss Hawtrey, who first suggested the 


July-August 1937 

number a year ago, and who, with other 
members of Lady Astor’s Ten Year Plan, has 
helped to collect much of the material, and 
The Save The Children Fund, and the Nursery 
School Association for the loan of blocks and 
for much valuable help and advice. 

Finally, any effort to further Nursery School 
education is an implicit reference to the work 
of Margaret McMillan, who said that nurture 
is ‘the organic and continuous process which 
is the major part of all real education. This 
great truth, ignored in the past, should not, 
we are confident, be obscured any longer. 
For lack of its admission our best efforts have 
been foiled and crippled. Again and again 
we have seen how learning of any kind becomes 
barren under conditions that ignore the health 
and sanity of the learner. There is no reform 
that is not rendered more or less negative by 
the persistent tendency to ignore the needs of 
happy and continuously nurtured childhood.’ 

This might be called a propaganda number 
on Nursery Schools. We hope to publish a 
‘research’ number about a year hence. 


THE GROWING CHILD 

and its Problems 

Edited by EMANUEL MILLER 
Contributors : 

Paterson Brown : Laura Hutton : 
C. L. C. Burns : Gwen E. Chesters : 
Clifford Allen : Constance Simmins : 
Emanuel Miller 

6s. net 

Uniform with ON THE 
BRINGING UP OF CHILDREN 

KEGAN PAUL 









Physical Care of Children 

in the Nursery Years 

Dr. Ethel Dukes London 6 , ct EngiInd the lnstitute of Chi,d Psychology ’ 


O ne afternoon, a future citizen of this 
great Empire was sunning himself on a 
doorstep. In 16J years he would be 
entitled to use the vote and to produce offspring 
of his own who would eventually succeed him. 
In the meantime, society was preparing him 
ifor his future responsibilities, a preparation 
:concerning which he had no power of choice. 
The doorstep belonged to an old slum tenement 
house near one of the larger stations, where 
heavy motor traffic had supplemented with 
splashes of mud the grime that is usually found 
on the fabric of property near a London 
railway terminus. The day was sultry, and 
the embryo citizen, having nothing to do and 
being intensely bored with life, was playing 
with his genitals, a habit which had won for 
him the disfavour of the neighbouring mothers. 
It is true that he might have indulged in the 
more exciting adventure of running into the 
road amongst the traffic. But he was slowly 
recovering from rickets and his legs quickly 
tired of their burden. He was dirty and 
weary and it was no use crying because nothing 
ever came of it. His father was in prison, and 
his mother, a daily ‘char’, left him in the care 
of a neighbour on the same floor, who had too 
many concerns of her own, what with cleaning, 
cooking, shopping and gossiping, to pay much 
attention to him. When his elder brother and 
sisters came home from school they were not 
very helpful. He was so far behind them 
owing to the retarding effects of rickets that 
he was not accepted as a playmate. Either 
they tormented him or neglected him. So he 
consoled himself as best he could. 

Had there been a near-by nursery school in 
which this boy could have spent his days, such 
methods of consolation might never have 
occurred to him. Regular hours of play, rest 
and exercise, together with fresh air, abundant 


and appetizing food, and the accessory vitamins 
and minerals found in milk and cod liver oil, 
would soon have changed his outlook on life. 
His physical recovery would have taken place 
much earlier. His intelligence would have 
quickened, and his psychological development 
proceeded along more normal lines. It would 
not have been necessary for the social worker 
who found him sitting on the doorstep to send 
him to the Institute of Child Psychology for 
treatment. Undoubtedly, the Nursery School 
regime is of great value as a curative factor in 
many cases of diseases or ill-health in young 
children, particularly those needing a healthy 
regime over a long period with or without 
specific medical treatment. 

Yet a much more important function of the 
Nursery School is that of prevention of disease. 
Children of the educated or well-to-do classes 
are usually under the care of experienced 
nurses or other intelligent persons who watch 
every phase of their development. At the first 
sign of anything wrong the family doctor is 
called in and, if necessary, the services of the 
appropriate specialist, whether dentist or 
paediatrician, for example, are requisitioned 
at once. Generally speaking, such children 
emerge from childhood sound in body, the 
most damaging ills having been prevented and 
the minor ones corrected or removed. How 
different is the lot of thousands of less fortunate 
children ! Many an Infant Welfare doctor 
has groaned inwardly when Tommy, aged \\ 
years, whom she last saw a healthy bouncing 
baby of 18 months, has paid a return visit 
because his mother has eventually realized that 
something is seriously wrong. Dental caries, 
adenoids and infected tonsils, chronic catarrh, 
chronic constipation, chronic cough, imperfect 
chest development, flat feet, crooked spines, 
enuresis, rheumatism and debility, are a few 











The only ‘ garden ' too many homes can provide. 


of the complaints that afflict so many of our 
pre-school children who have not had the 
advantages of early preventive nurture and 
medical attention. 

In the United Kingdom 52,000 children die 
before the age of five, largely from preventable 
diseases ; 27 per cent, of the children killed in 
traffic accidents are under five years of age. 
95,000 children on entering school at the age 
of five are found to be in need of medical 
attention. These figures are taken from the 
1935 Report of the Ministry of Health. Sir 
George Newman said : ‘The defects which 
commonly develop during the first five years 
of life are entirely preventable’. 

Our population is declining, and the large 
family of the past is unlikely, for many reasons, 
to become again a factor in our national life. 
How important therefore that we should 
conserve the child life we do possess, rather 
than squander it in the afore-mentioned ways. 
The great majority of babies are born healthy, 
and if only a concentrated campaign by all 
concerned in the protection and rearing of 
children could be begun and continued, what 
a different nation we should become. We 


July-August 1937 

might, for instance, 
make it compulsory 
that every individual 
should be educated 
for parenthood, be¬ 
ginning with instruc¬ 
tions concerning the 
constituents of a 
healthy dietary and 
other hygienic meas¬ 
ures without which 
the parents themselves 
cannot produce 
healthy o ff s p r i n g . 
Efforts for the solution 
of the housing pro¬ 
blem and the adjust¬ 
ment of wages to the 
cost of living might 
be speeded up. 

For normal devel¬ 
opment the young 
child needs safety, 
protection, love and 
understanding, 
a healthy and harmonious environment, 
regular hours of rest and exercise, sufficient 
sunlight, a suitable diet, interesting occupation 
by means of play material and games and the 
companionship of his equals. All these factors 
are bound up together, and the lack of any of 
them may be the cause of future bodily suffer¬ 
ing. In psychotherapeutic circles it is well 
recognized that, in certain types of children, 
psychological maladjustment, consequent upon 
a sense of deprivation or unsuitable environ¬ 
ment or other factors, may be as likely to 
produce medical complaints as those that are 
more strictly termed neurotic or behaviouristic. 
Often the two kinds of complaint are co¬ 
existent and each encourages the persistence of 
the other. At the Institute of Child Psychology 
it is found that a large proportion of the children 
referred for psychological or behaviourist 
disorders are also suffering from some kind of 
bodily complaint. 

The Nursery School is the answer to many 
of the modern problems of early childhood. 
The victims of ignorance, poverty, overcrowd¬ 
ing and slum conditions, the child in danger 
from traffic, the little flat dweller with no 










Illy-August 1937 PHYSICAL CARE OF CHILDREN IN THE NURSERY YEARS 


185 


itlook but bricks and mortar, the only child, 
tie child whose mother is at work all day, may 
ich find in the Nursery School all that is 
seded to encourage normal development, 
he presence of trained nurses and the fre- 
uency of medical inspections preclude the 
ossibility of any bodily complaint developing 
eyond the initial stages. The ideal regime 
nder which the children live is the best 
leans by which ill-health may be avoided 
together. 

I The Toddler’s Clinics of the Infant Welfare 
:ntres have done much to help in this national 
eventive work amongst young children, by 
riodical medical inspection, by giving advice 
the mother and by helping to check disease 
its earliest manifestations. But these clinics 
2 hampered in two respects. After the 
cessity for obtaining advice and perhaps 
eap supplies of baby food during the earliest 
d most difficult period of the baby’s life has 
ssed, the mother may consider that she has 
longer an incentive for regular attendance, 
he has a healthy little toddler with a full set 
f teeth, who has mastered the initial stages of 
talking and talking and can live on the 
rdinary mixed diet of the household. She is 
piorant of the slow and insidious effects of a 
eficiency diet and a wrong environment, 
he may not realize how seldom it is that her 
oung child is able to obtain an adequate 
mount of sunshine or how she is neglecting 
3 train him in regular habits or to give him 
nough rest during the daytime. The toddler 
nay never again visit 
le Infant Welfare 
Centre unless he is 
1 a state of ill-health 
•r there is a new 
>aby to be brought 
3 r regular advice, 
n many cases, the 
oddler’s next 
horough medical 
overhaul is after his 
ntrance into school 
.t the age of five. 

"hen it is too late to 
mdo much of the 
nischief. 

The second dis¬ 


advantage of the Toddler’ Clinic is that 
it does not provide a Way of Life. A 
doctor may reiterate her advice concerning 
the ideal regime and diet, but if the 
mother is uneducated or careless, or is 
hampered by poverty, overcrowding, ill-health 
and other depressing conditions, the child is 
not likely to benefit much from, the advice. 
The doctor cannot do much to change the 
environment or the daily diet in the majority 
of cases. But the Nursery School can provide 
a Way of Life, a place wherein not only the 
correct diet may be administered, but where 
our deprived toddlers of every kind may enjoy 
those benefits which Nature intended for the 
production of healthy men and women. Even 
Nursery Classes do not attain to this ideal, for 
most of them are not concerned with health, 
but only with education. In the opinion of 
the most enthusiastic doctors, the Nursery 
School regime should continue until the age of 
seven for all children. Thus, in the most im¬ 
portant period of his life, the future citizen will 
have an environment and away of life that will 
ensure the means of full development, and that 
will prevent the majority of those ills that 
cripple so many adults at the present time. 



A Nursery School garden in the same district. 

[Both Illustrations gratefully acknowledged to the Save the Children Fund.] 








Learning the Social Virtues 

in the Nursery Schoo 


Inspector of Primary Education, Chamber/, Franc 


Louis Verel 

I t may seem pretentious perhaps to speak of 
social education in a Nursery School. The 
little pupil is malleable, but so fluid and so 
young. Innumerable influences, some of them 
conflicting, will be brought to bear upon his 
young head before he can participate in the 
activities of adult society. What trace will 
remain by then of his nursery school education ? 

By all means let us try to avoid presumption, 
but one might also err by being too sceptical. 
The younger the child, in point of fact, the 
more possible is it, by means of example, 
persuasion, suggestion, trust and love, to 
influence profoundly his tender personality. 
That is why the impressions received in early 
childhood are often indelible and decisive, and 
it is to them that the child will return in later 
life for refreshment, nourishment, enrichment. 
The small society of the Nursery School where 
the child spends its life from two to six years 
can therefore help to awaken and form his 
social sense, can furnish him with the social 
habits which appertain to a civilized human 
being, thanks to which the relationships 
between individuals can be gradually perfected. 

On his arrival at the Nursery School the 
child is above all an individualist. If he has 
been living in the society of his parents and of 
other young children he has gained from them 
the satisfaction of one chief need, that of a 
sort of animal warmth—a confused desire for 
protection. But he does not really know 
either the benefits or the demands of social 
living. Children of two or three years old are 
glad enough to play alongside of one another, 
but they very rarely play together, for they are 
hardly capable of organizing a common game. 
Therefore, in order to ease the child’s intro¬ 
duction to collective living, the Nursery School 
has devised activities which derive their whole 
point from being performed in common : 
rhythmical exercises, children’s orchestras and 
singing. Small newcomers do not long hold 


out against the attractions of a round and tt 
rhythm of a march. They soon begin < 
themselves to join in with their little comrad< 
and, without knowing it, to take part in tl 
general activity. If the teacher is telling thei 
a story, one can see these little individualist 
who do not yet know how to work or pla 
except alone, drawing up their chairs an 
forming a semi-circle through which flows or 
single current of emotion. They take n 
notice of each other, their eyes are fixed on th 
eyes of their teacher or on the little anima 
which she is moving about. Yet they do fe< 
obscurely that the presence of the othei 
intensifies their individual sensations an 
emotions. This collective exaltation, which : 
born from the coming together of individual: 
has doubtless played an important role in th 
genesis of primitive societies and of the group- 
a recognition which shows itself gradually b 
the substitution of the word ‘we’ for the won 
T. 

This participation in the life of a group shouL 
serve as the starting point in the long proces 
of social education. Very soon, in contac 
with the others, the child will understand tha 
certain things cannot be allowed because the 
hinder or annoy the others and that therefor 
the liberty of each must be limited. The bab 
filled with a spirit of destruction should no 
destroy for his amusement the work of th 
older children, and the teacher should feel tha 
obstinacy and self-will in the littlest ones call 
from her greater powers of watchfulness am 
patience. 

Discipline which is at first mechanical shoul< 
become—as the child grows—a reasoned an< 
willing obedience. The education of the wil 
is perhaps the most useful form of socia 
training in the nursery school. The adult, ii 
his own world, is constantly called upon t< 
conform , and to prepare a child for life is, ii 
essence, to forge ‘the springs of the will whicl 


1 86 


lly-August 1937 LEARNING THE SOCIAL VIRTUES IN THE NURSERY SCHOOL 187 


ill make obedience acceptable as an inescap- 
)le condition of social living’. The education 
the will has various forms in the nursery 
hool, but it always comes back to the curbing 
anti-social and the development of social 
ndencies in the child. 

The acquisition of certain social habits, 
derliness, cleanliness, politeness, is the result 
perseverance on the part of both teacher 
id taught. The social behaviour of nursery 
hool children might be a lesson to those 
own-ups who are incapable of adapting their 
ffiaviour to the time or place in which they 
id themselves. 1 

It is sometimes touching to see a small child 
iplying in the street or in its own home the 
ays of politeness and friendliness learnt at 
hool. 

The nursery school also takes pains to help 
e child to be persevering. For the small 
hild, perseverance means finishing the business 
hand instead of throwing it up through 
Lprice ; it means completing a piece of work, 
hether sense-training or some creative activity, 
hich requires a great deal of application ; it 
eans repeating some sort of physical exercise 
itil it is performed adequately. Perseverance 
the source of industry — a rare and precious 
lality, in life as in the nursery school. 

Thus, thanks to collective exercises which 
icourage the child to discipline, thanks to 
e games which teach self-willed and 
rannical children that they must not assert 
emselves over others who have rights equal 
their own, the nursery school in all its 
:tivities is shaping the young child’s will. It 
welops in him a certain negative virtue — the 
•urage of renunciation 2 and respect for other 
X)ple. He realizes in so far as he is able ‘that 
cial justice which is the balance between the 


1 ‘I can claim, with a small sense of pride,’ one nursery school 
icher wrote to me, ‘that no one has to do the job of clearing up 
ter in the courtyard or playground, for our children have learnt 
^er to throw things down. They have learnt to respect the 
:en lawn where they sleep in summer time. No fences are 
2 ded— the children run and play in the garden with due respect 
• its contours’. 

2 ‘Marcel (3 years 2 months) was entrusted with the job of 
ading round red sweets to each of his little comrades, a task 
ich he carried out with charming gravity. But when another 
lid was chosen to give out the green sweets, Marcel refused the 
; offered to him and sulked in spite of his teacher’s help. But 
must have felt vaguely that his refusal had been graceless for 
: next day he himself suggested a candidate for that so desirable 
ce. He took the sweet offered to him, and, as if to try to justify 


rights of the individual and the rights of the 
group’. 

But apart from this negative virtue, the 
nursery school sets out to furnish the child with 
positive social virtues, by fostering the growth 
of seeds already in him. In this way a skilled 
teacher will awaken in the child a passion 
which will make him help and protect ‘the 
little ones’, whose smallness and dependence 
are pointed out to him, whereas the good sense 
of ‘the big ones’ in carrying out their careful 
tasks is commended. In numberless little ways 
the observer can affirm that mutual help and 
fellow feeling are living factors in the small 
world of the nursery school. First to please 
the teacher, and later of their own wish, the 
children lend one another their toys, share 
their biscuits at meals, do little things for one 
another, avoid making a noise while the little 
ones are asleep. A happy collaboration is 
built up, and sometimes commented on by 
the teacher herself. The big ones sometimes 
prepare the drawing or sewing materials for 
the little ones, who in their turn model beads 
for the counting games of the older ones. And 
this collaboration appears even more clearly in 
common enterprises which develop the powers 
of initiative of the group and to which each 
child contributes his personal aptitudes, 3 the 
decoration and care of the classroom, the 
organizing of fetes and sales, arranging games, 
collective acts of kindness, and so on. 

This play of the group sense gradually 
flowers into good will. The baby at the 
nursery school learns to love others than those 
in his immediate family — his teacher and his 
fellows. Moreover, with their eager and 
sensitive imaginations, they learn with their 
teacher’s help to realize the unhappiness of 
other children, and the action of Zizi (a much 


his refusal, he explained that just now (i.e. yesterday) the sweet 
had given him toothache’. (Mme. F.) 

3 ‘ One summer’s day we wanted to play in the courtyard, 
which a heavy shower had turned into a miniature lake. One child 
asked me if they might take their spades and dig a canal up to 
the water gutter. I said they might. The children organized the 
work themselves under the directions of the child who had had 
the idea. The strongest ones dug the channel ; others heaped 
the earth into wheel-barrows ; the most dextrous took the loaded 
barrows and piled the earth in a corner of the courtyard. They 
even allowed the smallest ones to bring back the empty barrows. 
Thus each was busily at work, according to his capacity, in carrying 
out a collective task, and the discipline necessary to this small 
group, working in liberty, was exercised by the children them¬ 
selves’. (Mme. M.) 










THE NEW ERA 


188 

loved little girl who brought her baby toys for 
Eliane, the last but one in a family of eight) is 
far commoner than one would believe. Those 
feelings of gentleness and active love can also 
be awakened and strengthened by the care of 
animals. 1 

Thus by degrees the child learns that he is 
not the centre of the universe, and that there 
is a very real joy in giving happiness to others. 
This attitude is very favourable to the cultiva¬ 
tion of good judgement, for the child, who has 
not much ability to judge between good and 
ill in most of his actions, likes to appeal to his 
teacher’s sense of values. He comes to her 
freely with small problems—moral or social— 
and awaits her summing up, her praise or 
blame. And, little by little along these lines, 
he accustoms himself to assess his own acts, 
those of his comrades and his teacher. 
It is thus that he accustoms himself to 
reflexion, and to discernment as regards good 
and ill. 

The nursery school aims therefore at ‘assuring 
the child’s adaptation to a certain pattern of 

1 A group of very boisterous little boys used always to lower 
their voices when their play brought them to the foot of the plane 
tree. ‘Why are you talking so softly ? ’ I asked them, and one young 
rowdy whispered back, pointing up to a nest, ‘You see, Miss, 
they’re perhaps asleep up there’. (Mme. F.) 


July-August 193' 

social life’. It initiates the child into languag< 
‘the supreme instrument of social relationships’ 
but above all it develops in him a social sense 
It is for the small child a first apprenticeship 
in social living. And this apprenticeship, ir 
the hands of a true teacher, will leave its mark 
in spite of the sometimes conflicting influence: 
of the family, the streets and of other groups 
In his first school the child learns to lov< 
communal living, but he also learns to submi 
himself to a rule, to bridle his anti-socia 
instincts, to place the interests of the group 
before his personal desires. This little work 
fosters the growth of innate qualities : th( 
spirit of fellowship, of mutual help, of loyalty 
justice and charity. 

Yet the nursery school does not stifle persona 
characteristics, and the methods that an 
honoured there tend to develop the child’: 
individuality, his powers of judgement, hi: 
confidence. Nursery school education aim: 
at finding a happy compromise betweer 
individual and social aims, in the interest of c 
conformity which yet does not exclude origin¬ 
ality. This is why this education, as ar 
initiation into social living, is particular!) 
appropriate to the needs of the future citizen: 
of a democracy. 


Play in the Nursery Schoo 

D. E. May 


P lay has often been thought of as a simple, 
unimportant activity which need not be 
taken seriously. An opportunity to observe 
more closely, however, reveals the exceedingly 
complex nature of the play of little children. 
It is the serious business of living which the 
little child is investigating in play, and it would 
be difficult, if not impossible, to draw any 
hard or fast line between work and play. 

The two-year-old child, leaving the safety of 
his own home, probably for the first time, enters 
a Nursery which to him must appear to be 
swarming with other babies. Perhaps these 
babies are to be feared as rivals for his mother’s 


love ; maybe she will take another baby home 
by mistake ; maybe she will not even come 
back. One can easily imagine the fears of th( 
two-year-old on first entering the Nursen, 
School. Does he find anything there to com¬ 
pensate for such anxiety and to help to alia) 
these fears ? x 4 pparently he does, for after £ 
week or two, a few days, or even a few hours 
he shows by his behaviour that he is findim 
compensation in play. 

It is interesting and perhaps significant that 
for some of our new, anxious babies, the firs 
delight in play seems to be related to th< 
disappearance of Mummy. They find grea 



PLAY IN THE NURSERY SCHOOL 


July-August 1937 

delight in the ‘posting-box’, for there, wooden 
shapes can be made to disappear through holes 
in the lid ; they make an exciting rattle as 
they fall into the box, and the finding of the 
shapes within the box when the lid is taken 
off may help them to imagine that Mummy 
will be found outside the school door when it 
is eventually opened. 

It is impossible for even the trained observer 
to say with certainty how far a little child has 
any conscious memory of experiences in the 
early months of life and what imaginings he 
may have about them. He certainly cannot 
express them in words, nor to any great extent 
in actions, but certain kinds of toys have a 
universal appeal, and it seems fairly safe to 
say that this is because such toys express 
to a lesser or greater degree, his imaginings 
about early feeding, even perhaps early training 
in cleanliness, and here one should mention 
the increasing joy taken by the little child in 
making sand or mud pies, in playing with 
water, and in making messes with paints. 

In a careful selection of such kinds of play 
activities, there is a subtle use of the concrete 
expression of these early primitive interests of 
the child’s inner life, and a subtle guidance 
towards a greater contact with the world 
outside. The Montessori cylinders are graded 
in size, and the surprise at finding the cylinder 
too large or too small for the hole leads to 
investigation — blind investigation at first, but 
becoming experimental by degrees — and the 
child has started on his way over the bridge 
from the inner world of phantasy to the outer 
world of reality. This does not mean that he 
has not already begun to find his way over 
the bridge, for from the first few months every 
situation which has had an element of learning 
in it has been a step towards the realization of 
reality. His discoveries in his home, however, 
have been to some extent accidental : in the 
Nursery School they may still be accidental, 
but here is the opportunity for prolonged 
experiment, and the discoveries made form, to 
some extent, the basis of his later education. 

The use of the word ‘education’ will, I hope, 
suggest that in these experiments the little 
child is educating himself, and as, in the 
education of children over five in the Infants 
School, the expression ‘tool’ subjects is often 


189 


Each number of 

SCIENCE AND SOCIETY 

edited by Pryns Hopkins, with the 
assistance of William Stephenson 
and Alexander Farquharson 

considers one human problem from a 
variety of aspects. It appears three times 
a year. IntheJuneto September number, 
sex-reform will be thus discussed by 
Dr. C. V. Drysdale, Professor Alfred 
Meusel, Miss Barbara Low, Mrs. Janet 
Chance, Mrs. Stuart Mudd, Dr. Reed 
O. Brigham and Dr. Denys Harding. 

Subscribe now, at 10s. for six 
numbers or 2s. per single copy 

London : THE MERCURY PRESS 
BUSH HOUSE, W.C.2 


used for the acquirement of the skills of Read¬ 
ing, Writing, and Number, so also one might 
refer to the self-education of the two-year-old 
as a discovery of the use of tools in a wider 
sense. His delight in trotting to and fro. 
pushing any wheeled toy, climbing up and 
down steps, lifting, dropping, throwing, is 
largely the discovery of his own body as a 
useful tool. 

The two-year-old’s absorption in the dis¬ 
covery of his body and of objects and materials 
in the world around as tools, and in discovering 
their uses, may to some extent account for the 
lack of real and prolonged social contact at 
this age. He certainly becomes aware of 
other little investigators when they interfere in 
some experiment of his own. His first reaction 
to such interference may take the form of 
frightened screams ; a little later, he may 
respond aggressively. But such experimental 
interference between two-year-olds leads even¬ 
tually to the discovery of other children as 
‘tools’ in the environment, and then a new 
world lies open to the little child. It is 
probably when this great discovery is made 
that we realize a sudden change in the older 











THE NEW ERA 


190 

two-year-old or the young three-year-old, 
which marks the passing over from babyhood 
into childhood. 

The change when it comes is subtle but 
unmistakable. We find him entering on a 
different stage. Having a good foundation of 
various skills which he has learned in his 
experiments and investigations in the ‘baby 
room’, these skills now seem to be used ex¬ 
pressly as tools for the investigation of problems 
which may be described as social, emotional 
and intellectual. I have purposely placed 
‘social’ first, for the newly discovered use of 
other children as tools in the environment is 
of tremendous importance in the developmental 
life of the child. Casual social contact may 
merge almost accidentally into the formation 
of the first real social group-— i.e. two children 
actively playing together. One may even see 
this happen as a result of interference—a 
tower of bricks knocked down aggressively by 
one child, greeted by the other with laughter 
and shouting, the repetition of the building 
up and knocking down being now undertaken 
by two children or perhaps even more. An 
element seems now to have entered in which 
plays an increasingly important part in social 
development : this is a correspondence between 
two individual phantasies, or perhaps an over¬ 
lapping of two or more individual phantasies. 
Merely to call it ‘interest’ is to ignore the deep 
unconscious motives underlying the child’s 
play activities. 

Two simple examples will serve to 
illustrate this. John (2 J years) was play¬ 
ing a solitary imaginative game, capering 
about with head down, arms clawing the 
air, and blowing as if he were the north 
wind. He appeared to be quite unaware 
that three or four older children were 
using his individual phantasy in their 
own group phantasy of ‘old daddy long 
legs’ or ‘old daddy witchie’, and who ran 
away screaming and shouting every time 
they found John near them. On the 
other hand, when Peter (qf- years) is ‘old 
daddy long legs’, he enters actively into 
the group phantasy, chasing these children 
who creep up to him, and who then race 
away as he waves his arms at them and 
makes ugly faces. 


July-August 1937 

A particularly striking example of the way 
in which the overlapping of two individual 
phantasies led to social contact occurred a few 
months ago and recurred again just recently. 
Gary (4) who had been entirely wrapped up 
in his own phantasy life, making no satisfactory 
social contacts, played for weeks at ‘bonfires’. 
This consisted of piling all the chairs in a heap 
in the middle of the floor. Peter (q|), who 
was also wrapped up in a phantastic world of 
his own, and whose play was generally so 
destructive and aggressive that he rarely made 
any satisfactory social contacts, suddenly joined 
in this bonfire play. This accidental discovery 
of their overlapping phantasies led to close 
social contact and really co-operative play. 
Suddenly, after weeks of bonfire play, they 
discovered the possibilities of bricks. (These 
had been suggested before but had been 
refused.) At first they began to build together, 
but as Gary became more interested in his 
structures and began to concentrate on them 
for longer periods, he tended to prefer to work 
alone. Some weeks later the recurrence of the 
bonfire play, begun by Gary and Peter, quickly 
drew together a group of eight children, who 
for about twenty minutes piled the chairs up 
and with excited shrieks climbed, stood, jumped 
and crawled over them. Almost as suddenly 
the group dissolved, and this period of 
rough noisy play was followed by one of 
particularly concentrated and useful construc¬ 
tive work. 



‘Lack of real social contact .’ 


















July-August 1937 


PLAY IN THE NURSERY SCHOOL 


J 9 r 


It is generally recognized that there are in 
'oung children strong urges, both to des- 
ruction and also to construction, these 

I mpulses having their roots in the depths of 
he child’s unconscious. Sawing up wood, 
vhen it is done not for any particular purpose 
■xcept the satisfaction of controlling the saw 
ind the delight of seeing the pieces of wood 
all to the ground, is an almost wholly des- 
ructive action. Was it not significant on the 
norning when six or seven children had taken 
urns with the saw, that the jig-saw puzzles 
vere in great demand by those same children ? 
[t seemed to me that, after the destructive 
preaking up of wood, there was an urge towards 
|he putting together of broken pieces to form 
a whole. Would we find, by close examination 
)f children’s play and a wider choice and use 
>f materials, a complementary element in¬ 
volving a swing between these destructive and 
instructive forces — a swing which provides 
vet another means to the realization of the 
eality of the external world, by resolving in 
ictual life the problems of emotional life ? 

For reasons such as these, the value of 
ahantasy play and the need for opportunities 
or free play in the Infants School as well as 
n the Nursery School, cannot be too strongly 
emphasized, for it is as if, in such play, a 
videning channel is provided for self-expres- 
fion, and for self discovery through self- 
expression. But at the same time there seems 
o be a narrowing channel for certain kinds of 


intensive sell-development, when energy and 
interest are concentrated on what one might 
superficially call ‘intellectual problems’ — for 
example, colour-sorting and matching, the 
making of patterns and designs — though they 
still have as their basis fundamental urges and 
desires as in the earlier years. 

Reference has already been made to the 
attraction every child seems to find in holes 
which have to be filled. The peg-in-hole 
apparatus makes as great an appeal to the 
four-year-old as to the two-year-old, but, while 
the activity is the same and is, one would 
imagine, still invested with unconscious mean¬ 
ing, it is obvious by the way in which the older 
child places the pegs that they have also 
acquired a meaning more closely related with 
reality. Whereas the pegs are treated by the 
younger child as single units, by the older child 
they are regarded as parts of a whole—the 
whole being some kind of pattern in which the 
colours have acquired meaning and significance. 
So also, making messes with paints develops 
into a delight which prompts discrimination 
in the use of colour. In those activities where 
the problem demands concentration and effort, 
social contact is at a minimum, for the urge 
to complete the work in hand, unaided and 
according to one’s own idea, is so great that 
interference or even help will not be brooked, 
except occasionally by children nearing the 
age of five who will together work out a design 
or even make a co-operative drawing. 

To help the child in the ways I have 
indicated, to see the value of this co¬ 
operative investigation of problems, is to 
have given him the best preparation for 
his later development. But at the age 
of five the ability to maintain satisfactory 
relations with other children in the 
investigation of problems is only just 
beginning to emerge, and it is vitally 
important that this young ‘growing point' 
should not be damaged by sudden change 
of environment and method. Only by 
continuing to help the child to see the 
value of this co-operative investigation 
of problems, by giving him time and 
freedom to experiment, to learn, to grow, 
will he be able to achieve stability in his 



‘This co-operative investigation of problems.' 


social relations. 


A 3 











The Education of Parents 

through Nursery Schools 

G. M. Berryman The Rommany Nursery School, London, England! 


T he education of parents is a very impor¬ 
tant part of the nursery school’s true 
function. Fortunately, however, no grim 
determination is needed to ensure that this 
part is carried out. The parents are in closer 
and more natural contact with the nursery 
school than with any school that their children 
will attend later—if only because the children 
are too small to come to school alone. And 
the parental lessons that are to be learned 
have a more natural incentive (the young 
child’s good) and a more direct demonstrator 
(the young child himself) than most lessons 
learnt in this life. Thus a good nursery school 
acts as a natural object lesson to parents, and 
can later and by slow degrees build consciously 
on to the unconscious lessons which it gives. 

The school in which I work serves a poor 
district. The fathers are chiefly casual workers 
whose wives have to supplement their income 
by working as charwomen and laundry workers. 
Their circumstances make it impossible for 
them to maintain a reasonable standard of 
living, and their own upbringing, in most 
cases, has given them no foundation upon which 
to build their children’s standards. 

When children first enter the school an 
effort is made to help parents to see—by word 
and example—the goal of the school’s work. 
When they can spare time to do so they are 
encouraged to remain on the premises to see 
the school at work. As we have always 
numbers of visitors, neither children nor 
parents become self-conscious, and from the 
time of their arrival parents can see how every 
detail of the day is planned to train their 
children’s senses and minds and habits. A 
notice in the cloakroom requests parents not to 
take off their children’s outer clothes, but to 
allow them to fend for themselves. They see 
the routine of putting on overalls, washing (if 


necessary) and general toilet before they enter 
the play room. The day is planned to train 
the children through play to be self-reliant, to 
shew initiative, and to take an unselfish part 
in the small community. 

One of the early incidents in our Nursery 
School day is the exchange of news between 
superintendent and children, while seated in a 
circle. This daily ‘ring’ brings to light many 
facts concerning the children’s home life which 
otherwise would remain undiscovered. Re¬ 
cently, Norman, aged three and a half, returned 
to us after a few days absence and contributed, 
as his news, this story : ‘I’ve been ill ; I’ve 
been in bed. My Mum brought me a cup of 
tea, but d’you know she brought it in ’er ’and, 
an’ I said to ’er “You must never carry cups 
in yer ’and, you mus’ put them on a tray”.’ 
(All this, of course, in broadest Cockney.) 
Fortunately, we afterwards learned, Norman’s 
mother treated this incident with good humour, 
and she tells us that Norman is always most 
anxious to see their table properly laid for his 
meals at home. 

In itself this is, of course, a trivial incident, 
but it serves to illustrate how parents can be 
educated by example. There is still a very 
great deal to be done, but we have achieved 
some success by practising constant patience 
and by being content with only slow but 
steady progress. 

At midday, a carefully chosen meal is served 
(by the children), and parents who visit the 
school frequently are quick to notice the 
variety and quantity of the dishes served. To 
impress upon mothers the importance of a 
varied diet, copies of the diet sheets are always 
to be seen on the school notice-board. 

A short interval of play after this meal is 
followed by at least one hour’s rest before a 
second play period closes the day. 


192 


July-August 1937 THE EDUCATION OF PARENTS 

It is probable that these details would be 
most marked in the average parent’s first 
impressions of the school’s day, and we know 
that many important mental notes have been 
made by our visitors. Thus play materials 
such as simple manipulative toys have been 
copied in preference to mechanical toys ; the 
continued prominence of fresh fruit and vege¬ 
tables in the diet sheets has been noticed, and 
many items of news told in ‘the ring’ have 
shewn that shy parents have often been the 
most observant. 

Far more difficult than inducing parents — 
especially fathers — to remain to see the school 
at work has been the task of enticing them to 
attend lectures. Mothers were first persuaded, 
by means of informal social evenings, to meet 
periodically at the school. Soon, visitors were 
invited to talk to the mothers, and, once this 
custom was established, it was not long before 
we began a series of lectures upon diet. At 
the end of this series a friendly ‘test’ was held, 
when the mothers submitted papers describing 
their proposals for summer and winter menus, 
based upon an income similar to their own. 

At about the time this point was reached 
our school met one of its periodical financial 
crises, and, among the means to raise funds, 
came the inevitable whist drive-and-dance 
suggestions. Several were held, a few of the 
fathers attending, and little by little the parents 
were encouraged to take upon themselves the 
organization of these occasions. Almost before 
they knew it, fathers began to think of them¬ 
selves as having a real interest in the school, 
and soon felt more at ease in meeting at the 
school premises, which were no longer a place 
for women and children only. 

One father, during his wife’s illness, regularly 
brought his children to school, and almost 
every day he was asked (as numbers of others 
had been asked) to remain to inspect the 
school. His reply we had already heard from 
every other man : ‘What if I’m the only man 
there !’, and it appeared to be a hopeless task 
to interest the fathers in the school itself. 

A little later, however, we were able to 
secure a man to lecture, and most of the men 
who had attended our whist drives were per¬ 
suaded to attend. After the lecture — a very 
short one — these fathers were shewn around 


THROUGH NURSERY SCHOOLS 193 

the school and inspected various pieces of 
apparatus and equipment used by their chil¬ 
dren. The school day was described to them 
and, in the telling, stories of their own children 
were recounted. Other evening lectures 
followed, and for these we secured a lecturer 
who was able to invite (and answer !) numbers 
of questions and who succeeded in making the 
parents discuss among themselves certain 
topics concerning the school’s work. Eventu¬ 
ally a father was persuaded to preside at these 
lectures, and another to propose a vote of 
thanks to the lecturer. 

By this time parents were anxious to try 
other means of raising money, so a dramatic 
club was formed. This venture aroused more 
enthusiasm than any previous effort, and 
several very successful performances were given. 

Unfortunately, royalties and other expenses 
swallowed a large portion of the money raised 
by this means, but we still consider it to be 
(with our lectures) a very valuable part of the 
school’s efforts to benefit the parents. Any 
means of widening the parents’ interests must 
improve their standard of citizenship and must 
make them better fitted to co-operate in the 
work which is being done for their children. 

Our annual country holiday has been 
turned to account to do more teaching by 
example. One year we were able to take the 
children away for three weeks, and certain 
mothers undertook to spend in pairs one week 
with us to help with laundry work, cleaning, 
etc. By the end of the holiday they were 
zealous propagandists who lost no smallest 
opportunity of telling (and putting into 
practice) how every hour of a child’s day should 
be spent. 

We have found that the periodical medical 
inspection is another important educational 
means. We are fortunate in having as our 
school doctor one who is also a skilled psych¬ 
ologist, and she manages to find many oppor¬ 
tunities of pointing out to mothers any mis¬ 
treatment of their children. The mother is 
present at every examination and, as tonsils 
and teeth and other physical matters are 
discussed, it is brought home to her that 
ill-health can warp her child’s behaviour and 
development, and that her treatment of the 
child can easily have as lasting ill-results. 




THE NEW ERA 


J 94 

The results we have achieved have been 
relatively small ; in fact, we can say that we 
have done only enough to make us realize how 
much there is to be done. We have discovered 
in our attempts a few means within the reach 
of every school, and we hope to do more. 

It would appear to be only wasted time to 
attempt any direct means of educating parents ; 
once let them hear even very faintly that old 
phrase ‘It’s all for your own good’, and they 
are scattered as easily as blown thistledown. 
Judging by our experience, a better means is 
to encourage them first to meet and to gain 
confidence in themselves as one group of the 


July-August 1937 

Nursery School circle. When they are at ease 
in meeting each other and outside visitors it 
will soon follow that each will be ready to 
give something to the group and to learn 
from it. 

They will give and learn most willingly if 
they are brought to give by reason of their 
real interest in the school’s affairs, and if they 
are brought to learn by example and by any 
indirect means which the school can provide. 
They will learn, too. more than a smattering 
of dietetics, or child management, or popular 
psychology, for once their interests widen they 
will wish and try to widen them more. 



A Communal Swing. 


T he first nursery school in Egypt, as far 
as I have been able to discover, is as yet 
on a very small and experimental scale. 
It came into being to supply a vital missing 
link in a piece of pioneer work undertaken by 
the Church Missionary Society among women 
and girls in the slums of Cairo. This particular 
slum is known as Boulac, and the name Boulac 
has the same connotation in Egyptian ears as 
Whitechapel has in ours. Boulac is an area of 
only ij sq. miles, but carries a population of 
162,000. The majority of the families live in 
one room. There is no water supply, and no 
sanitation. Water has to be fetched by the 
women and girls from a distance, and paid for. 

The C.M.S. Social Centre is in the middle 
of Boulac, in a building used in the mornings 
for welfare clinics, and in the afternoons for a 
free school called a club, for some seventy girls 
of the neighbourhood, who would otherwise 


A Nursery 
School 
in an 

Egyptian Slum 

M. C. Liesching 

C.M.S,, Cairo 

get no education at all. There is no compulsory 
education yet in Egypt, and payment is asked 
for pupils at the small kuttabs —somewhat of 
the equivalent of our old dame schools. These 
are far too few to cater for the enormous 
population, and, alas, the slum parents are too 
poor to contribute anything towards what is 
to them still the doubtful benefit of girls’ 
education. 

We cannot remove the blot of Boulac, 
though the Government has a rebuilding 
scheme which, let us hope, will take effect in 
the not too distant future. Neither can we 
take the women and girls out of Boulac ; so 
our purpose is to equip them, physically, 
morally, and spiritually, in order that they 
may become transformers of their environment 
from within. This of course means beginning 
with the homes. We started with the babies, 
and the education of the mothers. Hence the 









July-August 1937 A NURSERY SCHOOL 

Clinics. Then we set about the training of the 
future mothers. Hence the club. They can 
enter now at six years of age into the kinder¬ 
garten department, and we may hope to keep 
them until they leave the Senior Department, 
at sixteen, to be married. At seventeen they 
are probably back again at the clinic with 
their first baby. 

So it came gradually to be that the cycle of 
a girl’s life could have the helpful influence of 
the C.M.S. Social Centre at every period, 
except the most formative of all, — the years 
from two, when the baby leaves the clinic, 
until six, wTen she may enter the Club. We 
saw all our careful work with our babies at 
the clinic being undone directly each one 
became an ex-baby. Even if we could have 
kept a child in the clinic through the toddler 
stage, its needs were now far wider and more 
exacting. Attention purely to the physical side 
could not meet these needs. The growing 
child needs space in which to play, scope for 
formation of character, interests, and perhaps 
most of all, opportunity to see and experience 
cleanliness, order, beauty and happiness — a 
Kingdom of Heaven in fact, where a wise and 
watchful love gives opportunity for free indi¬ 
vidual development in social surroundings. So 
came into being our nursery school. 

We turned a small unused yard in our 
mission buildings into a garden, erected a 
wooden shed, with simple toilet arrangements, 
for twelve children, made pretty school uni¬ 
forms, provided a sand heap and a community 
swing, holding 
about eight at a 
time, and safe for 
even the tiniest 
children. Most 
important of all 
we installed our 
nursery school 
superintendent. 

She is a young 
Egyptian girl of 23, 
trained for welfare 
work, and with a 
real gift for small 
children. Helping 
her are two of the 
elder club girls, 


IN AN EGYPTIAN SLUM 195 

learning by this daily first-hand experience how¬ 
to encourage and respect the toddler’s in¬ 
dependence ; how to answer his many 
questions ; and how to avoid that bugbear 
of the home — ‘don’t’. 

We actually ventured to hold a baby show 
this spring for babies from one to three years 
old. This is almost an unheard of thing in 
Egypt, where popular superstition believes that 
even casual admiration of a baby, much less 
weighing it and generally apprizing its merits, 
will encourage the Evil Eye. Our clinic and 
nursery school mothers, illiterate thougfl they 
still are, have got beyond this, and took great 
pride in watching their baby’s weight charts 
for months beforehand, learning and practising 
their recipes for toddlers’ foods, studying their 
diagrams of balanced diets, and making three 
toys to be exhibited with their own baby. A 
nursery school baby of two years and four 
months won the prize, and when he sat himself 
down duly bibbed, and started to feed himself 
most tidily with a spoon, the examiner was 
quite delighted. 

We keep in very close touch with the homes, 
and have regular gatherings for the fathers as 
w r ell as the mothers, to explain our aims, and 
to get their co-operation. Quite often it is the 
father who brings the toddler to school. The 
following incident may serve to show what the 
children learn at the nursery school, and their 
influence at home. 

Fayza, aged four, had had chicken pox, and 
the superintendent, Sitt Linda, had gone to 

her home at the 
end of quarantine 
to supervise her 
disinfection. 
Fayza’s mother, 
who happens to be 
the most well-to-do 
of the nursery 
school mothers, told 
her the following 
story : 

‘After Fayza’s 
recovery, I felt out 
of sorts one morn¬ 
ing, with a little 
temperature, and 
was lying on my 






THE NEW ERA 


196 

bed. In trotted Fayza, who looked at me with 
concern, and enquired “What’s the matter, 
my child ?” I explained that I was not feeling 
well. “Now I’m well”, said Fayza, “and you’re 
ill. Then you are my child, and I must look 
after you. We must send for Sitt Linda at 
once.” I told her that it was the Easter break, 
and that Sitt Linda would not be at school, 
nor be likely to come on her usual visiting 
rounds. “Oh ! well”, replied Fayza, “she will 
come soon, and, anyway, I know what to be 


July-August 1937 

doing meanwhile. You must stay in bed and 
keep quiet and warm, and we must give you 
a dose. Father can get it for us. You must 
only eat boiled food, boiled kusa and soup, 
and then you’ll soon be well.” ’ (All food in 
Egypt is fried, even vegetables.) ‘Fayza then 
took the precaution of trotting off to the little 
servant girl, and told her to keep the kitchen 
door shut, “so that my mother shall not smell 
the stew you’re frying, and want to have 
some”.’ 


Notes 

Margarete 


on Child Welfare 
M Work in Hambu 

Hansen 



T o this day, the Kindergarten in Germany 
is based on a series of truths first recog¬ 
nized by Friedrich Froebel. It was he 
who first used the word Kindergarten, and the 
young women who to-day devote their time 
to the pre-school training of children are still 
known as Kindergartnerinnen, each one aspir¬ 
ing to attain to Froebel’s ideal, namely, that 
since the development of the child begins in 
its earliest youth, training should be early and 
gradual, that the natural inclination to occupy 
himself should be fostered under all circum¬ 
stances, and that the atmosphere of the 
Kindergarten be that of a home, not a school¬ 
room. Accordingly, the Kindergartnerin is 
less a teacher than a mother in the fulfilment 
of her duties, which duties are not so much to 
teach as to care for and train the children. 

The name ‘Kindergarten’ is now applied in 
Hamburg only to those institutions to which 
children go for the morning hours. Where an 
all-day sojourn is deemed necessary, the 
Kindergarten is replaced by what are known 
as Day-time Homes. Separate institutions were 
originally established for social work among 
pre-school children and school children res¬ 
pectively. Our present Day-time Homes now 
hold both groups, under a system which has 
proved the most successful in meeting the 
general need. Thus children of varying age 
from one family can be cared for in the same 
Home. 


Before describing the activities of such a 
Home I propose to make a few general remarks 
on the status of the social work covered by the 
term ‘halboffene (semi-official) child welfare’, 
by which is meant day-time care of the little 
ones. The expense in Hamburg is borne by 
the State, the Department for Social Welfare 
and Private Relief work. The entire organiza¬ 
tion, which is a statutory body, is known as 
the Association of Hamburg Children’s Homes. 
Go-operation between State, Party and private 
bodies is evident from the fact that the Chair¬ 
man of the Association is appointed by the 
Chief of the above-mentioned Department, 
with the approval of the State Commissioner, 
and also by the fact that the State accommo¬ 
dates the executive in a section of the Jugen- 
damt or Juvenile Board. The Association 
comprises some 58 Homes scattered over the 
city proper, though naturally more numerous 
in the poorer districts. The day-time homes 
step in where parents are unable to give their 
children the necessary care and attention. 
They thus provide a substitute for home life 
during the day. They are for the little ones 
whose mothers are at work, sick, absent, or 
otherwise handicapped, as well as for children 
whose development is endangered by obstacles 
of a social or educational nature. The main 
aim is to give children of racial value a chance. 
No child with good hereditary qualities is to 
be allowed to suffer neglect and become 


July-August 1937 NOTES ON CHILD WELFARE 

tunted because outward circumstances retard 
lis development. 

It is not the intention of the National 
socialist State to deprive the children of family 
nfluence nor to take them away from their 
parents and, by creating community establish- 
nents, render their upbringing at home 
iuperfluous. Hence every sign of self-reliance 
)r of a sense of duty in the family is carefully 
tioted and fostered in the day-time homes. 
Systematic efforts are made to remedy in¬ 
difference or the absence of a sense of responsi- 
oility on the part of the parents. Regular 
evenings are held for parents. Courses for 
aiothers, individual consultations and visiting- 
are all important features in the work of the 
iDay-time Homes. 

The bringing of the children to the Homes 
is done partly by the parents themselves, partly 
by official welfare workers, or by members of 
the National Socialist People’s Welfare Move¬ 
ment (N.S.V.), or, in the case of schoolchildren, 
even by the teachers. Only those children 
who are in need of a home are admitted. The 
matron examines the merits of each case and 
the question of how much the parents are to 
contribute. 

And now we come to the description of the 
day’s round in such a Home, the manifold 
tasks, the busy life of such a big family. Let 
us take one of the largest of our Homes situated 
in a densely populated district. The building 
is a large three-storeyed house in the heart of 
the city. The yard behind is not big enough 
to accommodate 140 children at play, so that 
for the summer months at least the Home has 
acquired a large garden and playing field in a 
neighbouring park. 

As early as six in the morning the first 
mothers drop their children on their way to 
work, glad in the knowledge that they are in 
good hands for the day. These tiny tots, 
some only a few weeks old, the oldest two and 
a half years, have the third storey all to 
themselves. A roof garden does yeoman 
service for this group. This Home is the only 
one receiving the very young along with the 
older ones for, in general, because of the 
danger of infection, there are special creches 
for infants. The doctor comes regularly every 
week and the feeding and care of the infants 


WORK IN HAMBURG 197 

JUNIOR HANDWORK 

Our new JUNIOR catalogue offers simple 
apparatus, materials and books of instruction 
for all branches of craftwork in the junior 
school. It offers suggestions and practical 
forms of handwork for children between the 
ages of 5 and 12 years. It will be sent post 
free 4d. or free to schools on application to 
Dep. 30. 

DRYAD HANDICRAFTS 

London Showroom : 22 Bloomsbury Street, W.C.I 

ST. NICHOLAS STREET, LEICESTER 

is in accordance with his instructions. Im¬ 
mediately on arrival the little ones are bathed 
and dressed in clothes provided by the Home. 

On the second floor the larger children 
from two and a half to six years of age have 
their own domain. Each of the three Kinder- 
gartnerin in charge, who by the way are 
called ‘Aunty’ by the children, has some 20 
children to look after. By nine o’clock they 
are all assembled. In special wash rooms their 
hands are washed and teeth brushed before 
they troop into the common room for a snack. 
The sandwiches which the children bring from 
home are supplemented by fruit, a glass of 
syrup or milk. In winter, when the playground 
is not in use, they are taken for a walk through 
the town, where there is much to be seen and 
heard. The larger ones are particularly keen 
on going down to the harbour or to the railway 
siding near by, where they can watch the trains 
passing by. ‘Aunty’ is also fond of taking her 
charges to a public park where they can play 
around to their heart’s content. Then between 
12 and 1 p.m., all washed and brushed, they 
can be seen sitting at table which has been 
laid by others of the group in their absence. 
The ‘please, may I help’ is one of the special 
favours to be granted always. After dinner 
one of the children is allowed help wash up, 
another with the drying up, a third feeds the 
pets or waters the plants at the windows. 
Then they all settle down for their midday 
rest. Each child soon finds his own long chair 
complete with rug, by means of his own photo 
tacked into the corner. 

While the little ones are having their two 
hours’ sleep, things have come to life down 
below on the first floor, where the school 












THE NEW ERA 


198 

children have come in one by one. A few early 
birds are able to get their home lessons done 
before dinner. Lessons are a trying business 
for many, and the Kindergartnerin has quite 
a job in helping them to concentrate. Natur¬ 
ally, they prefer playing with the many 
attractive things in the playroom to doing 
arithmetic and writing, and many a restless 
little spirit watches with envy some more 
fortunate playmate who has finished his home 
lessons early. The larger girls lend a hand in 
the kitchen as a rule, where matron’s assistant 
is busy preparing healthy fare for all, under 
the tried precept : plenty of vegetables and 
fruit, with little meat and soups. Dinner 
brings all the school children together. This 
is the highlight of the day when everything 
must be harmonious, neat and tidy, as in a 
well-run household. Once the homework is 
done and household duties completed they go 
out to play. The boys seem to like football 
best and the girls quieter pastimes. In line 
with the school and the family, the Home must 
provide opportunities for the child to go in for 
the things that take its fancy. The little girls 
may like to play with dolls, the larger ones 
with a book or musical instrument ; the larger 
boys try their hand at making things in the 
workshop, modelling or experimenting. Once 
a week the children are taken to the public 
baths both for reasons of cleanliness and to 
learn swimming. The Kindergartnerin is 
particularly gratified when her charges, after 
passing out of her hands, retain the good habits 
they have learned. 

Quite unconscious¬ 
ly, in this way, 
children can edu¬ 
cate their parents 
by convincing them 
of the necessity of 
this and that 
practice acquired 
at the Home, which 
is not in vogue at 
home, either from 
slackness or 
ignorance. 

In the late after¬ 
noon small and 
large partake of 


July-August 1937 

supper in the form of fruit or something 
similar, with a wholesome kind of biscuit, and 
butter. Towards five o’clock the children are 
called for by one or other of the parents, the 
school children ieaving about 6 p.m. The 
Kindergartnerin then has odds and ends to 
attend to in the common room ; perhaps a 
sick child must be visited or a difficult case 
discussed with Matron, which calls for assistance 
from the State Welfare Organization to remedy 
this or that distress. Matron’s sphere is 
immense. In addition to supervising the 
various activities indicated above, she is res¬ 
ponsible for the housekeeping side as well. 
Under her guidance, too, the training of the 
future staff from the Froebel School proceeds. 
It is she, also, who keeps in touch with other 
departments, welfare workers, schools and 
private welfare centres of her district. To be 
qualified for such a post. Matron has gone 
through a thorough training both in theoretical 
and practical work, first at the Froebel School, 
subsequently at the Training College for Youth 
Leaders. She can only make a really good 
matron, however, if she is endowed with a 
warm heart, womanly tact and a generous 
spirit. 

In conclusion, mention should be made of a 
special aspect of our work, namely, local 
summer recreation. This covers all efforts to 
provide air, sunshine and contact with nature 
for all those city children who are not sent 
away on holiday to the country. In the 
course of the past five years the majority of 

our day-time homes 
have managed to 
acquire their own 
grounds, with 
garden plots, play- 
ing fields and 
summer houses, 
somewhere on the 
outskirts of the city, 
for the children to 
come to each day 
as soon as the 
warmer weather 
sets in. The few 
homes that are still 
without, take their 
charges to the 



f Once the homework is done .’ 


\ 


July-August 1937 NOTES ON CHILD WELFARE WORK IN HAMBURG 


larger day-time colonies lor outings and 
recreation. These recreation grounds are 
reached either on foot, by tram or motor bus. 
The Homes in the city proper and on St. Pauli 
(down by the harbour) are in the fortunate 
position of owning land on Waltershof, an 
island in the river where there are innumerable 
allotment gardens. As early as 8 a.m. the ferry 
boat takes the merry crowd across at minimum 
fares in charge of the ‘Aunties’, the school- 
children following at midday. At the end of 
the summer, Thanksgiving is held in 


conjunction with a lantern procession, which 
closes the Waltershof ‘season'. Passengers on 
the ferry boats enjoy the sight of the healthy, 
happy children, singing folk songs lustily as 
they wend their way home, to be met at the 
St. Pauli Quay by their delighted parents. 
This work is endless. It is one of the most 
gratifying and happiest spheres of child wel¬ 
fare work, which, as a preventive movement 
for city youth, occupies an important place in 
the entire welfare system. 


A Note on 

Nursery Schools in Holland 

J. E. Schaap Inspectress of Nursery Schools of the town of Rotterdam 


T here is no legal regulation of Nursery 
Schools in Holland. Owing to the 
general tendency to economize, Municipal 
care of the nursery school child is decreasing 
rather than increasing. Nevertheless, schools 
for infants in our country are in a flourishing 
condition and the movement is extending. 
There is a marked improvement in the quality 
of the instruction given, and the conviction is 
constantly gaining ground that it is the needs 
of the child which should direct any advances 
made. Montessori’s injunctions are receiving 
attention and Froebel’s aims are being more 
and more realized. Right thinking in these 
matters does not only show itself in school 
buildings and equipment but also in the 
attitude of the teachers towards the infants, so 
that many a school, though carried on in an 
old building, may be called a modern institu¬ 
tion. 

We find in Holland both Montessori and 
Froebel Schools, the latter forming a majority. 
But not all schools boasting the name of 
Froebel are institutions such as he himself 
would have planned. Division into classes is 
however gradually being given up in the infant 
schools. In the real Froebel and Montessori 
schools, free work takes the first place. Then 
the children sing and do rhythmics, stories are 
told, plays are performed, either with or 


without the help of a teacher, in the large 
play room, or, weather permitting, in the 
garden. As a - rule no meals are taken at 
school, but in many schools arrangements are 
made to accommodate those children who are 
obliged to stay for lunch. 

The morning periods are two and a half 
hours or more, and there is an afternoon period 
of two hours, with the exception of Wednesday 
and Saturday which are half holidays. 

In most places the children are admitted at 
the age of four. Unfortunately, younger 
children may no longer be accepted in muni¬ 
cipal or subsidized schools. As a rule children 
pass on to the elementary schools at the age of 
six. 

Parents are becoming increasingly aware of 
the fact that impressions gained at a very early 
age are decisive for later life, and consequently 
there is a growing demand for good nursery 
schools. 

The infant school in Holland is no longer a 
mere day-nursery as it used to be, where only 
the children of less well-to-do parents are 
received ; it is more and more becoming an 
institution which offers possibilities of develop¬ 
ment for every child, no matter from what 
surroundings it comes. Thus the Dutch 
nursery school has grown from a form of social 
service into a recognized part of child education. 









The Day-Nursery School— 

an After-war Problem 


Experiences in a Nursery School in Budapest 


Rose Marie Vajkai 

I n a large town the home background of the 
nursery school children is always a source of 
difficulty, because conditions vary so in each 
district. The chief justification of the nursery 
schools which have been called forth by post¬ 
war economic depression is that they are 
adaptable to local conditions. Even in a 
country like Hungary where nursery schools, 
inspired by the noble mind of Teresia 
Brunswick, have existed since so long ago as 
1849, the old type of Kindergarten proved 
inadequate to cope with present-day require¬ 
ments. 

In a country where no legal system of 
unemployment insurance or dole exists, the 
whole burden of the family falls upon the 
shoulders of the unfortunate mother, in times 
of unemployment. She takes the necessary 
steps to obtain the scant assistance provided by 
the authorities and private organizations and 
earns a few farthings by charing or odd jobs. 
The regular work in a shop which she might 
have performed before was far less fatiguing 
and harassing than such hunting for oppor¬ 
tunities. 

The constant material and spiritual strain 
has come to sap the very roots of family life. 
It is not only the lack of material necessities 
which impedes the education of children within 
the family ; in addition to this the vital forces 
of the mother break to such an extent that she 
is no longer able to create the atmosphere of a 
real home. Yet the impressions gained at an 
early age are lasting ones and of utmost 
importance in the formation of habits and 
character. Unemployment, distress and indi¬ 
gence—all features of post-war conditions— 
necessitated the installation of institutions 
which could secure to the small child that har¬ 
monious and well-balanced atmosphere which 
its tender age demands and which the home 
had ceased to provide, for reasons outside its 


control and power. For this reason, in 
Hungary, just as in other countries, the solution 
of this problem became an urgent necessity. 
We all know that it is impossible to ‘replace’ 
home life, yet an expedient had to be found 
to provide the nearest and best substitute in 
the scheme of the nursery school. 

The first radical change effectuated in the 
old nursery school system was the transforma¬ 
tion from part-time to full-time care. Needless 
to say, all that which was considered good in 
the old system was maintained ; for example, 
the excellent syllabus prescribed by the Public 
Instruction Office. Newly added were aspects 
of hygiene. Moreover, the activities of the 
Kindergarten had to be extended so as to 
cover all the occupations and games which 
would normally figure in a happy home. 

Manifold are the resoonsibilities and duties 

jl 

of the modern nursery school. Therefore the 
teacher must know thoroughly and at first hand 
the conditions in the district in which she is 
working. She must consider the individual 
circumstances of each child and avoid making 
the conditions in the nursery school surpass 
the standard of life which the parents could 
provide for their children in normal times. 
The policy of the nursery school has to be 
adjusted to local conditions. This adjustment 
is the decisive point in the existence and 
success of each nursery school. The teacher, 
besides being a trained nursery school teacher, 
must have a thorough knowledge of general 
social work. 

Kindergarten education holds immense possi¬ 
bilities as a social factor. However, it should 
be borne in mind that if necessity arise for a 
child to leave the family hearth for the day- 
nursery at this tender age, it is the duty of the 
day-nursery school to build a bridge between 
the family and itself, thus easing the life of a 
child when it first ventures into a community. 


200 


THE DAY-NURSERY SCHOOL - AN AFTER-WAR PROBLEM 


201 


[July-August 1937 




Paris slums as much as they differ from 
those of Budapest. This particular kind 
of slum does not consist of overcrowded 
garrets or cellars in dingy streets, as in 
most other large towns. The slums in 
question are the very consequences of 
war-time conditions in a ‘peace-stricken' 
country, suffering severely from the blows 
of a lost war. The conglomeration of 
this peculiar type of hut characterizes 
the field of activity of this nursery school. 
We must work in the midst of this 
environment. We must keep our doors 
open, yet without being disturbed in 
the routine of the day-nursery school. 

The children arrive in the morning in 
small groups ; they are taught to hang 
coats and caps on their little pegs, marked 
with small pictures so as to enable each to 
tell his own peg from the others. Then comes 
inspection as to cleanliness, the child being 
induced to perform for itself the small tasks 
involved. Clothes with holes in them are 
pointed out and the mother is told of them. 
At this age education can only mean practical 
instruction. The habits of physical and moral 
cleanliness formed in these years will have 
a decisive influence. Yet however important 
hygiene and physical culture are, they must 
on no account displace moral and mental 
education. 

The day begins with prayers, including first 
of all prayers for father and mother. Breakfast 
follows, the children being seated round small 
tables, each of which is headed by one child. 


‘It's great fun to dabble with water.' 


‘Little Ladies' (to quote Margaret McMillan ). 


Relationship between the educator and the 
parents should be established here. If this 
| co-operation turns out favourably the child 
will benefit from it all through his school 
years ; it may even benefit the whole course 
of his life. This co-operation is enhanced on 
one hand by the frequent meetings between 
teacher and mother, when bringing and fetch¬ 
ing the child, on the other hand through the 
irresistible charm of the child at this age. 

Family feeling is often not well developed 
in people living under desperate conditions. 
Their interest in their children must be aroused. 

, The charm of these little ones, clean and well 
cared for, engaged in their small daily affairs, 
: is so great that it cannot fail to impress the 
■ most indifferent parents. Perhaps it is due to 
the drabness of their miserable and hard lives 
that they never had a chance to know 
j what joy the child means. Gradually 
they are helped to realize this joy and 
they recover consciousness of their love 
for their children. 

May I be permitted to illustrate the 
fundamental principles laid down above 
by giving brief glimpses taken from our 
experimental work. The home in 
question, founded and maintained in 
Budapest, Hungary, by the Save the 
Children International Union, is in a 
district in the outskirts of the town, 
where living quarters consist of a 
peculiar type of huts. Every town has 
its slums. London slums differ from 








202 


THE NEW ERA Julv-AugUSt 193 7 


They serve each other. One hour in the 
morning and afternoon is devoted to regular 
occupation, half an hour to mental, the other 
half to manual occupation, according to the 
above-mentioned plan of the Public Education 
Office. The interval between occupation and 
mid-day dinner is filled with homely play and 
games, as far as possible out of doors. On the 
whole one may safely say that the remaining 
time is spent as if it were in the family home. 
The teacher stands for the mother, always 
guiding and directing the children to do small 
household duties and superintending their 
plays. Thanks to her efforts a home is created, 
where every child feels himself to be a member 
of a large, happy family. They are also 
taught to lay the table, to put flowers in 
twopenny pots, to use a fork and a spoon. 
They love to wash up after meals. It is great 
fun to dabble with water ! 

A baby from three onwards certainly wants 
to do things ; it has common sense, and space 
must be given to its instinct of activity. The 
children have three meals a day, very simple, 
but nutritious, with special attention to vita¬ 
mins. Here again we have to be careful not 
to surpass the possible dietetic standard of the 
parents in normal times. Milk and bread in 
the morning ; two dishes for mid-day, with 
bread ; for tea, bread with jam or dripping. 
The furniture of this nursery is simple, solidly 
built, yet light to carry, so that the children 
can move it about when doing their small 
household tasks. There is a little garden, 
always considered an asset, because it allows 
children to learn to love trees and flowers and 
to grow vegetables. A rest follows mid-day 
dinner, on small bunks supplied with blankets, 
each of which has a little picture corresponding 
to one on the pegs. A regular medical in¬ 
spection is secured for the children, whose 
registration is preceded by a thorough enquiry 
into home conditions. Medical observations, 
as well as those of mental development, are 
kept on record. 

It has already been mentioned that the 
social importance of day-nursery schools lies 
not merely in the education and care of the 


child itself. Its influence extends over the 
child’s home environment as well. We must 
show how things can be improved by simple 
means within the attainment of the family. 
For example, the lack of decent drainage and 
water supply need not cause uncleanliness. 
Every mother can fetch water from the well 
and thus keep the house clean. 

Our aims can hardly be regarded as achieved 
without taking into consideration the education 
of the parents. We found that the most 
effective way to this end was to hold meetings 
for the parents at which theoretical lectures 
were illustrated by practical demonstrations by 
their own children. The topics of these 
meetings are in keeping with our aims, namely 
education, hygiene, moral and ethical training. 
The performances of the children after such 
meetings often bring immediate results. After 
one meeting a child boasted about his daddy 
having ‘promised to buy us a tooth brush each, 
for Christmas’. Another said : Tf Daddy 
does overtime at the factory this week, he will 
buy a brush on Saturday and I will brush my 
nails every day at home.’ Young as they are, 
they already know that daddy can only afford 
such luxuries if he can obtain extra work. 

It is important to see to it that every single 
child should take an active part in these little 
representations, not barring the backward 
child, so that every parent may see that his 
own child is capable of achieving something if 
properly guided. 

As to the results of our work, we can state 
that these are partly of a practical—partly of 
an ethical order. Many a touching example 
could be quoted if I had the space. Yet we 
cannot omit the general conclusion, drawn from 
fifteen years’ experience, namely that the 
majority of parents cling to our day-nursery 
homes because—as they confess themselves— 
they are obtaining encouragement to recon¬ 
struct their own homes through our co-opera¬ 
tion. With our help the loosened ties of the 
family are strengthened and feelings of res¬ 
ponsibility towards their children are aroused 
in the parents. This we count our most 
important achievement. 



A Nest School — Mothers and Babies. 


I N order to bring about what Signor Mussolini 
defined as the ‘reclamation of the race’, it 
was necessary to deal with the problem of 
linfant welfare in all its aspects. The Fascist 
regime, inspired not only by biological and 
health considerations, but also by ethical 
conceptions, created an Institution known as 
the National Organization for the Protection 
of Motherhood and Infancy, to w r hich it has 
entrusted the task of helping and advising 
mothers in the care of their children. 

Both in the larger cities, where industrializa¬ 
tion has created special conditions of life, and 
in the remote country villages, throughout the 
94 provinces of Italy, the Organization carries 
out its humane and social work. In the Italian 
people, family feeling is exceptionally strong ; 
but it was felt necessary to give the fullest 
assistance to mothers and to care for children, 
both materially and morally, during the vital 
period from infancy to adolescence. 

The Organization begins to operate through 
the medical aid centres for expectant mothers 
and the refectories for mothers, thus providing 
for children about to be born. When they are 
born they are cared for in the ‘Nest Schools' 
(asili nido) until the age of three, when they 
are transferred to the infant schools (asili 
infantili) ; at the age of six they are admitted 
to the elementary schools. 

The activities of the Organization do not, 
however, end here. Throughout the period 
from infancy to adolescence, until 18 years of 


Infant Schools 

in Italy 

Aurora Beniamino 

age, the Organization provides for the moral 
assistance of minors, supervises their employ¬ 
ment and looks after their physical health and 
moral development. 

The Organization came into being some 
twelve years ago, by the end of December 
ioth, 1925. The results obtained have fully 
rewarded the vigour, intelligence and devotion 
which all the provincial branches of the 
Organization have shown in carrying out the 
great task entrusted to them. 

The Organization operates through a series 
of institutions, each of which deals with one 
aspect of the problem. 

‘'vtest schools’ are homes for new-born 
1 > children whose mothers, being obliged to 
work for their living, cannot devote their whole 
time to their care. Infants are admitted to 
these homes as soon as their mothers have 
recovered from childbirth and are able to 
return to work. They are kept there every 
day from morning to evening until the age of 
three. 

As a rule, a ‘Nest School’ is attached to a 
Casa della Madre e del Bambino (Home for 
Mothers and Children), i.e. the premises where 
the Social Welfare Office, the Child-raising 
Advisory Centre, the Obstetrical Advisory 
Centre and the Refectory for Mothers are 
located. But in some cases it is isolated, 
especially on factory premises. If more than 50 
women are employed, the owners are bound 
by law to provide a room where infants can 
be nursed even if there is no regular ‘Nest 
School’. 

Artificial feeding is here provided ; cereals 
and other foods are added to the milk ; and 
three daily meals are given to children who are 
already weaned, one at 9 a.m., a second at 
noon, and a third at 4.30 p.m. These meals 









THE NEW ERA 


204 


July-August 1937 




‘ Mentally following the flight of the Swallows.' 


consist of milk and 
barley coffee, 
macaroni, pap, veal 
croquettes, bread 
and jam, varying 
according to the age 
of each child. 

An adequate staff 
looks after the health 
and cleanliness of 
the children, who 
are inspected every 
day by the Director 
of the Child-rearing 
Advisory Centre. 

Nothing is neglected 
which may contri¬ 
bute to their healthy 
bodily develop¬ 
ment ; appropriate 

food, daily baths, and sun-ray treatment 
strengthen their organism. At the same time 
their mental growth is cared for, by creating 
an atmosphere of gaiety and brightness which 
cannot fail to influence them in after life. 

The knowledge that the children are thus 
being properly looked after gives their mothers 
a sense of security and satisfaction, and dispels 
any animosity they might otherwise feel at 
being unable to have them by their side during 
working hours. 

‘My child is so happy and well in the Nest 
School’, a mother employed in a factory 
recently said to the present writer ; ‘he seems 
to be living in a doll’s house, in a fairy home.’ 
These Nest 
schools, with 
their little 
tables and 
chairs and their 
minute equip- 
m e n t, are 
indeed like 
fairy houses. 


health cared for, 
but the first elements 
of education are 
imparted to them. 
The general prin¬ 
ciple applied is that 
the heart and mind 
of the child must 
now be developed, 
and this task is 
entrusted to women 
teachers who are 
also experts in 
gardening. 

It is a well-known 
fact that the first 
impressions on the 
sensitive mind of 
Meal Time. the child are those 

which bear the most 
lasting effect, and for this reason the beginnings 
of education must be undertaken in an 
appropriate fashion at a moment when 
the child’s curiosity and intelligence are 
first being formed. The infant schools, by 
creating a framework and atmosphere 
suited to the child’s mind, can avail 
themselves of all those aesthetic features which 
have a real importance in its development. 

The gardens attached to the infant schools 
are not merely used for sun baths, but serve as 
open air class-rooms. There the children are 
not expected to learn regular lessons. The 
gardens are enclosed places where the teacher, 
taking her examples from the trees and flowers, 

teaches her 
pupils the 
fables of the 
most beautiful 
of all poems— 
the poem of 
nature. Thus 
the children 
learn the 


I N THE INFANT 
SCHOOLS, for 
children from 
three to six 
years of age, 
not only is their 


names, struc¬ 
ture and col¬ 
ours of flowers 
and plants, 
acquire some 
knowledge of 
bird life, 




July-August 1937 


INFANT SCHOOLS IN ITALY 


Nursery School Association of 
Great Britain. 

(Minimum subscription 5/-) 
open to all interested in early education of children. 

SUMMER SCHOOL at TEMPLETON. 
ROEHAMPTON 

26th July—7th August, 1937. 

Very few vacancies for residents remain. 

Lecturers: Dr. Emanuel Miller, Dr. Olive 
Wheeler, Dr. Ruth Griffiths, Dr. Cadman, 
Miss Grace Owen and others. 

Full particulars from 

The Secretary, 29 Tavistock Square, W.C.i. 


and by mentally following the flight of the 
swallows are taught something about the 
distant countries to which the swallows fly. 

At the same time the teacher begins to tell 
her pupils stories of brave deeds of young 
boys, such as the Genoese boy Balilla, whose 
heroic act roused the people of his native 
country against their foreign oppressors. In 
this way the first lessons in patriotism are 
imparted. 

The love of God and the love of country 
ar<^ instilled at an early age in the minds of 
children attending the infant schools. Every 
day the child who has behaved best receives his 
or her reward, by being entrusted with the 
task of placing a bunch of flowers before a 
sacred image and another before the portrait 
of a national hero. Thus the twin concepts of 
religion and patriotism are impressed more 
vividly on the child than could ever be done 
by means of precept. 

The moulding of the mind, together with the 
first elements of education, effected in the 
infant schools, is an invaluable introduction to 
the regular elementary school curriculum. We 
have only to compare the mental condition of 
the children who, before going to school, have 
attended an infant school for a few years with 
that of children who have not done so, to 
realize the immense advantage conferred by 
these institutions. 

T he fascist regime does not aim at eliminat¬ 
ing parents in any field, and it has left a 
wide measure of freedom in the organization 
of infant schools. Some of these have, in fact, 


205 

been created by the municipal authorities, 
others by private bodies, by the Women's 
Fascist Groups (as is the case in Rome), or by 
the Congregazione di carita (public organiza¬ 
tions for co-ordinating charities and other 
benevolent activities). 

The National Organization for the Protection 
of Motherhood and Infants intervenes, not only 
by means of financial contributions, but also 
by various forms of assistance and supervision. 
Children are admitted to infant schools after 
a medical examination certifying their good 
health, and every day they are submitted to a 
visit to ascertain the state of their bodily 
cleanliness. Those who are not perfectly clean 
are handed back to their mothers for that day, 
while those who are sick are dealt with by other 
institutions. 

Infant schools are provided with the most 
up-to-date didactic equipment, which enables 
the children attending them to acquire through 
their games the first notions of figures and 
arithmetic. There are also special appliances 
for developing the child’s patience and atten¬ 
tion, and for imparting a sense of colour and 
symmetry. A great deal of care is devoted to 
the teaching of singing, so as to develop in the 
child a sense of melody and harmony. 

The great idea inspiring the Organization 
is to develop the child in every way—physically, 
mentally and morally—in order that it may 
grow to-morrow into a man or woman sound 
in body and mind and thus become a good 
citizen. 


Educational Conference in Switzerland 

A Conference for English Teachers and all those interested 
in Education will be held at : 

THE GOETHEANUM, DORNACK, nr. BASLE, 

from August !lth to 15th, inclusive. 

Programme includes : (a) Lectures by Teachers of the 

Waldorf School and others on Rudolf Steiner’s pedago¬ 
gical methods with practical examples (in English) ; 
(b) Dramatic Performances including Goethe’s Faust, 
Part I complete (in German). 

Fee for the Whole Course £1 .0.0 

For full particulars apply to : The Secretary, 

RUDOLF STEINER EDUCATIONAL UNION, 

54. BLOOMSBURY STREET, LONDON. W.C.I. 

(The Goetheanum is beautifully situated in the Jura hills, 
accessible by Tram from Basle.) 











Nursery Schools in 

the United States 

Mnn/ Phkn^/ Senfor Specialist, Nursery-Kindergarten-Primary 

! la ry L/aDrl0y L/3.V ! S Education, Office of Education, Washington 


N ursery schools in the United States 
serve many capacities. They act as 
laboratories for child study and for the 
preparation of teachers in colleges and uni¬ 
versities ; many are organized for tuition as 
privately-operated schools ; others are a part 
of the program offered by such philanthropic 
organizations as social settlements and day 
nurseries ; and a few are maintained regularly 
in public school systems. In addition there 
are nursery schools operating under public 
school sponsorship throughout the United 
States as part of the government’s program to 
aid the unemployed and to protect young 
children from the difficulties incident to the 
economic depression. 

The nursery school receives children from 
two to five years of age with the average age 
at three years. In many instances the nursery 
school is the first unit in an elementary school 
program, which includes a kindergarten for 
children four and five years of age, and six 
elementary grades with six-year-old children 
in the first grade. The day in the nursery 
school ranges in length from a little more than 
three hours in some schools to eight hours in 
others, which includes the noon meal and 
afternoon sleeping period. Some schools offer 
both half and full day programs to supplement 
home care or to meet the special needs of the 
children. 

In all nursery schools the education of 
parents occupies a place secondary only to the 
guidance of the children’s development. This 
close co-operation between parents and teachers 
and the sharing of responsibility between them 
helps to assure continuity in the way the 
children are guided during the full 24 hours 
of the day. Such consistency is essential in 
the formation of desirable habits in the develop¬ 
ment of social adjustments, and adequate 
behaviour patterns. As a result of this close 


co-operation between home and school, the 
nursery school is not a substitute for the home 
but it helps parents understand the importance 
of each aspect of their children’s physical, 
mental and social development and helps 
them use constructive techniques of guidance. 
Records kept in the nursery school of the 
children’s physical health, home background 
and behaviour help both teacher and parents 
in studying the children and in noticing 
progress and growth. 

Because of the responsibilities placed upon 
them, nursery school teachers require a highly 
specialized type of preparation. The extent 
of this training is indicated by the fact that a 
much larger proportion of the nursery school 
teachers hold master’s degrees and the degree 
of doctor of philosophy than do teachers in the 
elementary and secondary schools throughout 
the public schools of the country. 

The following description gives some notion 
of what constitutes a day in a nursery school : 

The visitor’s first impression of a nursery 
school is one of a homelike, colorful place 
where a small group of children are indepen¬ 
dently, definitely, and happily busy with alert 
but inconspicuous supervision from the teachers. 
Though programs vary greatly among nursery 
schools according to the length of their day 
and the services which they are called upon 
to give, the program provides periods for 
occupational activities and for the care of 
physiological needs such as routine bathroom 
activities, eating, and sleeping. The day starts 
at about 8.30 with a physical inspection at 
which the parent or the person who brought 
the child to the school is usually present. 
There generally follow in sequence outdoor 
morning play, mid-morning fruit juice or 
water, short prone rest, toilet, indoor play, and 
at 11 preparation for lunch. Most of the 
schools include lunch, and following this the 


206 


NURSERY SCHOOLS IN THE UNITED STATES 


207 


{ uly-August 1937 

hildren have an afternoon two-hour nap. 
ust before 3, a light meal is served, and then 
he children go home. 

If the visitor arrives with the children and 
heir parents he will see that a- physical in- 
pection is made at once by a nurse or other 
rained person. This inspection is given as the 
:hildren enter the school and before they have 
oined the group, so as to make sure that all 
ire well and free from contagion of any kind 
ind to have those who show signs of possible 
llness return home with their parents for 
ipecial care. At this time parents report to 
;he teacher any unusual incident that has 
occurred since the child left the nursery school 
;he day before — incidents of unusual excite¬ 
ment, temper outbursts, food refusals, or 
disturbed sleep. These morning reports of 
nurse and parent largely determine the daily 
nrogram for each child. Frequently specific 
:ypes of play are encouraged to strengthen 
muscular co-ordination, to activate sluggish 
muscles, to encourage social co-operation, or 
increase skill in handling materials. Additional 
rest periods may be arranged, changes in diet 
may be made, quiet play away from the group 
may be planned, or the period ol attendance at 
school shortened or lengthened as required. 

After the morning inspection the children 
join a play group in the fresh air on playground, 
terrace, or roof. Here they find an assortment 
of play apparatus that invites a wide variety 
of physical and social activities. 

There are many opportunities for the teachei 
to help enlarge the children’s vocabularies and 
to help them speak in phrases or carry sequence 
in their conversations. The innumerable 
questions are often bids for conversation as 
well as a thirst for information. Experiences 
comparable to those in adult life help the 
children learn how to get along with other 
people. The ‘child who is not wanted in a 
group of other children is not protectingly 
imposed upon the group, but is helped to find 
his place where he is needed. I he over- 
boisterous, dominating child learns to temper 
his energy and to wait for turns at the swing 
or to ask for toys instead of snatching them. 
The timid child is given a feeling ol security 
and confidence, and that which a child fears 
is tenderly explored and is associated wit 


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something he enjoys until fear disappears and 
the necessary physical or emotional controls 
are established. 

Luncheon procedures vary from school to 
school. In some schools it is customary for 
the entire group of children to be seated for 
lunch at the same time, while in other schools 
the children enter the dining room in small 
groups at time intervals sufficient to allow each 
group to be served before the next group of 
children enters the room. In some schools 
one child from each table is elected to be the 
one to serve for the day. He carries the plate 
of dinner from the serving table to each child 
and the small group around his table wait 
until all are served before they begin eating. 
In other instances the teacher of each group 
acts as hostess and serves the meal at the table. 
In still other situations the children never 
leave the table but are served by the nutritionist 
or other staff member. The luncheon servic e 
is gay and colorful, and the food daintily 
served. The diet is a simple one comprised 
largely of eggs, meat, or meat substitute, green 
leafy vegetables, fruit, milk, wholewheat bread, 
and a simple dessert. The maximum amount 
of food is not offered on the first serving, but 
second servings are encouraged. Depending 
upon the climatic location of the school, and 
upon the parents’ desire, cold liver oil is served 
during the winter months. Some instruction 
is given in training in table manners. However, 
success in building right eating habits is ol 
greater importance than the acquisition ol 
social forms. To some extent, the luncheon is 
a social affair, but when conversation tends to 
interfere with normally quick and hearty 
consumption of food it is discouraged. 

Some of the objectives for nursery school 
education recently published by the National 
Association for Nursery Education indicate the 
specific care being given through the nursery 
school for young children at the period ol hie 





THE NEW ERA 


208 

when they are most susceptible to the influences 
surrounding them. 

‘Nursery education, like all good education, 
is essentially a friendly enterprise. It is pro¬ 
viding for an individual whatever he needs 
each day to reach his own best possible life for 
that day. 

‘Many child-needs are interdependent. 
Fully meeting one need frequently has the 
fortunate effect of facilitating the meeting of 
another need. Adequate nursery education 
will meet all of the needs of a child stated 
below : 

‘It is essential that a child be provided 
with an environment in which he can find 
enjoyment, an environment which shall 
maintain and promote physical health and 
vigor and provide for learning habits of 
healthful living. 

‘It is essential that a child have language 
experiences, and that he develop a feeling 
for beauty. 

‘A child should have opportunity for 
drawing accurate conclusions from his ex¬ 
periences with things and people. 

‘A child should have opportunity to 
develop willingness and power to face 
difficulties and disappointments with con¬ 
fidence that a solution in which he 
has an active part can be worked 
out. 

‘A child should be provided with 
an env