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The Boy And The Sunday School by Alexander of Cappadocia

II THE PUBLIC SCHOOL AND THE BOY

Of the primary institutions that are cooperating in the life of the boy today, without a doubt the public school is the most efficient and most serviceable. Today the school offers and compels a boy to get certain related courses of study which will make him a better citizen by fitting him in a measure for the procuring of an intelligent and adequate livelihood. The school by no means is perfect in this matter, and as long as over fifty per cent. of the boys fail to graduate even from the eighth grade in the grammar school, and but one per cent. go to college, there will be great need of a reconstruction of its methods of work. Without question, the curricula of the public school should be modified so as to meet the needs of all the boys in the community and vocational and industrial training should have larger place in our educational plans. The boy who is to earn his livelihood by his hands and head should receive as much attention and intelligent instruction as the boy who aims at a professional career. However, with all its limitations, the public school is the only institution which has a definite policy in the education of the boy. The leaders of the public school system know whither they are going and the road they must travel to reach the goal.

Perhaps the greatest weakness of our public school system today is the inability, because of our division between church and state, to give the boy any religious instruction in connection with what is styled |secular education.| For the first time in the history of the world has religious instruction been barred from the public school, and that in our free America. Most intelligent Christian men now realize that, because of the division between church and state in our country, religious instruction in the public school is impossible, as the school is the instrument of the state in the production of wealth-producing citizenship. The men who with clear vision see these things also see this limitation of the public school system and recognize that the church has a larger mission to fulfill in America than in any other country, it the education of the boy is to be symmetrical and well balanced.

Perhaps the problem of our public school system of education which has not yet been solved is the vast possibility of the directed play life of our boys. It is well known by students of boy life that the character of the boy is very largely determined by the informal education which comes from his part in sports and play. In some cities the public school has sought to give partial direction to the play life of the boy through public school athletic leagues, but even these leagues touch but a small part of the boy life of any community. Besides the injection of industrial and vocational training in large quantity in public school curricula, more thought and place will have to be given to the expression of the boy life in play than is now provided for.

In addition to this, the home and the church must render a united cooperation to make the school life of the boy what it ought to be. The Parents' and Teachers' Association in the public school is doing much to bring this about between the home and the school, and it may be that a Teachers' Association, consisting of officials and teachers of the public school and the officials and teachers of the Sunday school, might bring about a closer cooperation in the secular and religious education of the boyhood of the community. Both these associations, if fostered, would certainly tend to create a wholesome school atmosphere, which would render a tremendous service in safeguarding the moral life of the boy.

BIBLIOGRAPHY ON PUBLIC SCHOOL

Baldwin. -- Industrial-social Education ([USD]1.50).

Bloomfield. -- Vocational Guidance of Youth (.60).

Brown. -- The American High School ([USD]1.40).

Crocker, -- Religious Freedom in American Education ([USD]1.00).

-- Religious Education (.65).

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