ERIC Number: ED542626
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1939
Reference Count: 0
Forum Planning Handbook. Bulletin, 1939, No. 17
Studebaker, J. W.; Williams, Chester S.
US Office of Education, Federal Security Agency
Plans and programs come in response to need. Citizens of our democracy have need of greater opportunities for truth-seeking under competent guidance. The people are hungry for increased understanding of the problems which beset them and their communities. They have a right to expect their institutions of education to give them help in their study and discussion of public affairs--of their problems. The idea of lighting up America's school buildings at night for the conduct of forum meetings where citizens may come to a better understanding of public affairs has caught the imagination of our people with particular force in the last few years. Our citizens have seized upon this idea, (and it is not by any means a new one, having its roots as a matter of fact, in our Revolutionary period) and have recognized in it one important way by which public education and private initiative might safeguard our democratic way of life. This popular enthusiasm in public forums is a matter of public record. Popular recognition of the importance and significance of free public discussion lies behind this handbook and motivates the planning of school-managed forums. During the last 3 years 580 local communities in 38 States have conducted public forum demonstrations. To assist in the conduct of these demonstrations, Federal emergency funds were made available by the Office of Education. The local systems contributed to the cost of the demonstration program and submitted detailed reports on the work accomplished and the problems encountered. The funds were spent in relatively few communities not to "get done" what is obviously a long-term job in adult education, but to demonstrate practical ways of doing the job. The success of the enterprise is to be judged in part by the extent to which local public education builds up community-wide programs of adult civic education based upon the body of experience created by the demonstrations. The authors have tried to put into brief and readable form that body of practical experience on which our agencies of public education may build permanent and growing programs for improved citizenship. Behind the handbook are thousands of pages of reports, the described experiences of hundreds of American educators who have experimented with tens of thousands of school-managed forums, and the recommendations of educators and civic leaders engaged in the Nation-wide program of demonstrations. Behind this handbook are records of some 36 State Forum Conferences conducted by the State Departments of Education. Into these pages goes material based on many thousands of letters, thousands of columns of newspaper editorial comment on local demonstrations, and scores of magazine articles. Appended are: (1) Index to forum demonstration centers; and (2) Reading list with annotations. Individual sections contain footnotes. (Contains 3 figures.) [Best copy available has been provided.]
Descriptors: Educational History, Guides, Federal Aid, Federal Programs, State Departments of Education, School Districts, Public Schools, Annotated Bibliographies, National Programs, State Programs, Reading Lists, Reading, School Buildings, Citizenship, Civics, Democracy, Conferences (Gatherings), Demonstration Centers, Private Financial Support, Costs, Legislation, Federal Regulation, State Regulation, Planning, Rural Areas, Urban Areas, Program Implementation, Program Administration, Attendance, National Surveys, School Role, Role of Education, Agency Cooperation, Current Events, Meetings, Democratic Values, Program Descriptions, Program Development, Educational Principles, Educational Philosophy, Discussion Groups, Political Issues, Public Affairs Education, World Affairs, Social Problems, Economic Factors, Library Materials, Public Libraries, Outreach Programs, Publicity, Program Effectiveness, Board of Education Policy, Board of Education Role, Boards of Education, Public School Adult Education
US Office of Education, Federal Security Agency.
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: Federal Security Agency, US Office of Education (ED)