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ERIC Number: ED540972
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1918
Pages: 37
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Moral Values in Secondary Education. Bulletin, 1917, No. 51
Neumann, Henry
Bureau of Education, Department of the Interior
The purpose of this bulletin is to stimulate the thought of teachers in discovering their innumerable opportunities for quickening the conscience and clarifying the moral vision of their pupils. The attention of teachers is here directed also to the other reports of the commission, in which are elaborated many of the ideas presented in this report. No series of reports, however, could compass the rich opportunities of the secondary school for developing the ethical life of young people. To consider moral values in education is to fix attention upon what should be the paramount aim. A schooling that imparts knowledge or develops skill or cultivates tastes or intellectual aptitudes, fails of its supreme object if it leaves its beneficiaries no better morally. In all their relationships present and future, that is, as schoolmates, as friends, as members of a family, as workers in their special vocations, as Americans, as world citizens, the greatest need of boys and girls is character, the habitual disposition to choose those modes of behavior that most do honor to human dignity. Not simply to learn to tell the truth or to respect property rights, but to realize in ever more vital ways that the worth of life consists in the endeavor to live out in every sphere of conduct the noblest of which one is capable--this it is which gives education its highest meaning. Stated in terms of national service, the aim of the secondary school should be to equip pupils as fully as possible with the habits, insights, and ideals that will enable them to make America more true to its best traditions and its best hopes. To strengthen what is most admirable in the American character and to add to it should be the goal toward which all the activities are pointed. Hence the best contribution that any school can offer is to enrich the understanding of what is required for right living together in a democracy, to encourage every disposition toward worthy initiative and cooperation, and to provide all opportunity for the practice through which these habits and attitudes are most surely ingrained. It would be a mistake for the high school to place its main reliance upon any single method, as if character could be developed chiefly by imparting moral wisdom or even by instilling special habits or holding up lofty ideals. Intelligence, habits, ideals, all three, are required. Without habits, ideals degenerate into sentimentalism; without moral understanding and ideals, habit becomes dead routine incapable of growth into new and better ambitions. Any one of these without the other two would leave important aspects lacking. (Contains 20 footnotes.) [A report of the Commission on the Reorganization of Secondary Education, appointed by the National Education Association. Best copy available has been provided.]
Bureau of Education, Department of the Interior.
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of the Interior, Bureau of Education (ED)