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ERIC Number: ED540283
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1922
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
Preparation of Teachers of the Social Studies for the Secondary Schools. Bulletin, 1922, No. 3
Dawson, Edgar
Bureau of Education, Department of the Interior
Education is the process of handing down to the rising generation the wisdom and experience of the generations that have gone before. Now, as mankind is hesitatingly turning into new paths here and there it is all the more necessary that the most careful attention be given to the points of departure and the reason for departing from the old ones. If the new generations are to think about industry, government, and society in general in terms of the new democracy, it is of the utmost importance that the definitions of this new democracy be explained to the growing youth with all the care, and thoroughness of which we are capable. However new the principles to be taught, the need of teaching the bases of the society in which one lives is certainly not new. It has been recognized by every seeing man since history began. Aristotle says: "But of all things which I have mentioned that which most contributes to the permanence of constitutions is the adaptation of education to the form of government." In our day this principle is universally neglected. The best laws, though sanctioned by every citizen of the state will be of no avail unless the young are trained by habit and education in the spirit of the constitution. One might very well think it is the voice of a twentieth century leader. From the earliest writers to the most recent the demand has been reiterated that the youth be trained in order that the state may be safe: and from the earliest times to the most recent, the demand has been ignored. This was true before the enormous difficulties which democracy brings became so pressing. How much more urgent is civic education now! Education in citizenship is so universally demanded now that the reader will ask why this effort to prove the obvious. Everyone is saying that the youth must be educated in the duties and responsibilities of democratic citizenship. Like those of old who cried "Peace, Peace," when there was no peace, our contemporaries cry for education in citizenship when there is but little of it to be found. This may seem an unwarrantedly pessimistic statement but the reader is asked to be patient in forming his judgment as to its truth. If it is true that there can be no education where there are no teachers; and if it is true that teachers are persons who are trained for their tasks; then the statement is not as pessimistic as it sounds. The argument of this paper is simple and elementary. It accepts the course of study which is already backed by the support of the leading students of the problems involved in the making of curricula. The tasks of these students are already difficult enough, made so in part by the fact that specialists fail to recognize that all the various academic interests can not make separate courses of study and impose them upon the schools. All that the paper hopes to do is to play the part of the sunglass and to collect such rays of knowledge as we have and direct them with some concentrated force on one small spot. This spot is the question: "Why are the universities not training teachers of the social studies for the secondary schools?" First addressed is the question, "What are the social Studies?" So long as it is assumed that history is all of the social studies the elements of the others will be neglected as they are now. After an effort at the definition of these studies as it is formulated in educational practice, the present neglect to present the subject matter of these studies to prospective teachers is reviewed. Then follows an examination of training in the methods of teaching. Finally, some space is given to one grave defect in the practice of the school administrators--the granting of what are called blanket certificates which certify to little or nothing. Some conclusions are appended and a brief statement is offered as a concrete illustration of a well developed system of teacher training. Contents include: (1) Introduction; (2) What Are the Social Studies: (3) Failure to Prepare Teachers in Secondary Schools; (4) Training in Methods of Teaching; (5) The Blanket Certificate; and (6) Conclusion. "A Hopeful Example of Teacher Training" is appended. [Best copy available was provided.]
Bureau of Education, Department of the Interior.
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers; Administrators; Researchers; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of the Interior, Bureau of Education (ED)