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busy seasons. The experiences of city pupils on the farm have not always been satisfactory either to themselves or to the farmers. Usually the boys come with incorrect and distorted conceptions of country work, and are therefore cruelly disillusionized during the first days; and, again, the farmer does not always have a correct conception of the city pupils' feelings and outlook. In participating in the work of the country it is best for the pupils to be accompanied by teachers and responsible persons who see to it that the stay in the country becomes profitable to their charges as well as to the farmers. There may not always be the needed accommodations, in which case the village schoolhouse could be used as a dormitory. Here the work group could be kept busy at some form of lesson during rainy days. The help should not be rendered gratis, but should be compensated by a wage; even though nominal, it would be an encouragement. The substance of the above suggestions, taken from the published instructions to Swiss teachers, is supplemented by information telling of the actual endeavors to carry them into effect. Instances are cited of individual farmers who spoke highly of the efforts made by the city pupils to help, adding that some of them rendered very material aid in harvesting the rye. The pupils from a certain modern school exceeded the expectations placed upon them. One result of these experiments was that an organization of teachers at Basel determined on a plan for carrying them further by making them a permanent school endeavor. To that end they invited pupils—boys and girls—to take part. The press was asked to assist by urging the farmers to avail themselves of the pupil's help at the next harvest. To get the farmers themselves interested was regarded as most important." As the schools of Switzerland are closely identified in their work with the practical affairs of life, they were closely touched by the economic disturbances of the war. One immediate effect, already mentioned, was to organize for productiveness; another was the necessity for augmenting the salaries of teachers. Where the burden of this emergency increment should fall was at first a matter of uncertainty. The Federal Government looked for a solution which would make the increase 400 francs, instead of 600 as asked by the teachers, and apportion it equally between the Canton and the Commonwealth. Temporary increments were granted until 1919, when permanent salary improvements will undoubtedly be made, arrangements which appeared to be entirely satisfactory to the teachers. Despite the opportunities for more remunerative work, few teachers left their posts of duty for other employment.
1 Based on various issues of the Scluweizerische Lehrehrzweitung from Nov. 30, 1918, to Feb. 9, 1919,
Some dislocation of the work came about through the general economic stress. School boards received many applications from pupils for dismissal before the expiration of the required time, be: cause the parents wished them released for remunerative employ. ment. In the interests of both the pupils and the schools, these requests were granted only in cases of extreme urgency. Considerable interruption of the work took place, however. In the spring of 1919, for instance, the irregularity had become so extensive that many schools concluded the year's work without the usual semester examinations. Exercises of another kind were then substituted, but in no case did these have the character of tests. These arrangements were so much the more necessary as the influenza epidemic had, in many districts, compelled the schools to be closed for periods from weeks to months. Increased opportunities for wage earners so diminished the school attendance in some districts as to make it difficult to maintain the school as usual. In the Canton of Zürich this led to the consolidation of several smaller districts, with the result of relieving somewhat the financial straits of each. In almost all these instances, the accounts state, the amalgamation, besides effecting a more equitable distribution of the school burdens, has been an advantage educationally. Hence there is a growing tendency to bring together a still larger number of school groups into consolidated institutions. The union of two schools is often effected by making one primary and the other of higher grade. Even districts and schools denominationally different from one another have in this way been satis. factorily brought together. In view of the ample supply of teachers the movement has not been in their interests, but its justification is upheld by a fairer distribution of the expenses, better equipment, better general instructional facilities, better utilization of the teaching force, a more ample supply of teaching material for each school. Again, it strengthens the community spirit and extends it into larger circles, widening the outlook by fuller sympathy with the people outside of the immediate circle. Among the more permanent effects of the war is the desire to overcome the tardy processes of carrying out school reforms obviously needed. The procedure now in vogue in Switzerland and elsewhere is delayed by deliberations on petty objections until the needed legislation is postponed for years, by which time the social order has moved on toward new horizons. An instance of how the usual delay can be overcome was presented when, in response to requirements arising out of altered conditions, vocational selection was brought into the courses. The same conditions also gave rise to a new inquiry into the educational significance of the manual labor that pupils and teachers voluntarily performed
during the war. So favorably have educators been impressed with it that they are unwilling to take the backward step of having it discontinued, hence prompt enactments may be expected that will provide for its continuance and expansion. The direct practical aims that the schools set up insist on a corresponding directness on the part of the school authorities in making provisions for the new endeavors. The more independent of books the instruction becomes and the closer it draws to everyday life, the clearer becomes the necessity of a prompt response to the call for buildings to accommodate the new activities—suitably equipped rooms for girls’ work, for boys' industrial courses, school exercises in chemistry and physics, pupils' lunch rooms, gymnastic rooms, playgrounds, and school gardens. Years ago some arrangements were begun for the cantonal and community control of supplies and instruction material. The plan was gradually adopted by the Cantons of Solothurn, Baselstadt, St. Gall, and Thurgau; they effected joint contracts with publishing houses to furnish books at prices which became lower through consolidated purchases. Other Cantons cautiously adopted the same plan, though modified in details. Recently some form of the general plan has been adopted by almost all the Cantons; traditional objections have been more easily overcome, and it is now recognized more fully than before that the movement toward a socialization of the schools in this way is in perfect accord with the democracy of the people of Switzerland. The democratic trend of recent events is shown in the efforts to bring the problem of school inspection to a solution. When the schools of Switzerland became free from the church they came under the direction of secular inspectors who were governed by rules and directions which many teachers considered vexatious in their character. The argument that such State inspectorship is necessary to maintain uniformity among the schools is not regarded as valid by the Swiss teachers as a body. The defects, they argue, now remaining in the schools can be remedied at least as readily by the associated teachers as by the official inspectors. Through their associations, therefore, teachers are urging that the inspection be taken over by their own organization to relieve the schools from some of the features of the State inspectorship that are objectionable to them. In the sessions of the school convention at Zürich in September, 1918, the political and social outlook created by the war obviously colored the educational deliberations. There was strong pressure in the direction of opening a still greater number of avenues toward practical work that could be taken up by pupils differently gifted. But the question of the manner in which the school organizations could best be adapted toward these ends gave rise to conflicting views. It was maintained that if an early segregation toward vocati
aims be made possible, the selections could be made from fuller numbers and on a broader basis. The trades would thereby gain many pupils who under the present organization are encouraged to go on to the middle school, though they are able to follow its courses only in part. By an early choice of calling the crowded middle schools would be relieved from the influx of a great many pupils whom neither gifts nor aims justify in going on with higher studies. On the other hand it was argued that an early departure in the direction of a chosen calling can not be made from the safe basis of sufficient data on the pupil's endowments and aptitudes. Such early choice is therefore likely to be influenced by the social and economic position of the parents. The children should be encouraged to travel the same school highway, so far as possible, under the same teachers doing the same work, subject to the same tests for segregation toward special lines. An obligatory folk school with a lower division of six classes, and with these an organically united division of two classes— the latter adapted toward specialization of studies—would safeguard all interests of pupils and of society. Here would be room for manual work, real productive labor, which all pupils would be required to take up. The prestige work would attain by its elevation in the schools to a plane with other subjects, and the mutual participation in it by the pupils, were regarded as the most efficient way in which the schools could combat the notions of caste. It is realized that when pupils get together in the manipulation of actual things for industrial, productive, and, as such, patriotic purposes, social demarcations and cleavage tend to become obliterated. Subjects having much to do with criticism and scholastic achievements are a more favorable field for the growth and maintenance of distinctions among classes. Within its organized outlines it was insisted there must be scope for types and school units to specialize in industrial direction and at the same time to preserve coordinated interaction. These aims lie in the direction of decentralization and differences in administrative regulations with the view of adapting the work to fit the pupil’s calling and endowments and the wishes of his parents. In brief, the present complicated administrative system should be made simpler and more elastic, so that it can more readily respond to the expanding activities of the schools. At a teachers' meeting in January, 1919, the discussion seemed to show that new conceptions are beginning to crystallize into definite and positive forms. While due regard will be given to the many new and useful activities that claim admission into the curricula, the teachers of Switzerland are not disposed to neglect the old and established branches. The fundamentals of the system have not been disturbed by the war. The classroom instruction will, hereafter as before, comprise reading, writing, figuring; it will train the
memory and the judgment of children; it will give them constant practice in the analysis and the combination of thought processes. The schools will put forth their best endeavors to help lift the youth to a point above the narrow prejudice of egoism to sympathy with the world in which they live, out of limitations and seclusion, out of contempt for the concerns of the world, to a knowledge of actual life and to a participation in its struggles. Though there will be earnest attempts to remove the handicap which through birth or station may weigh upon a pupil, there will be no enthusiasm for the dead levels of mere equality. The social and educational values associated with manual labor as a required part of the school program will be fully recognized. In the future as in the past, there will be steady efforts made to attain results, material as well as spiritual; but the Swiss teachers will continue to bear in mind that they must compensate for the material things which must come from abroad by spiritual values within their own borders. The war has enhanced the fundamental values by stressing courage, energy, vitality, intelligence, and the love of freedom. In the interests of these values considerations of a merely scholastic character are, temporarily, at least, pushed into the background. The interaction of school units as a system will be subordinated to these ends. The sessions at the January meeting stated that the school system must never be permitted to assume the character of a business department of the State, with mechanical functioning and consequent deterioration of its spiritual life. The schools must be relieved from routine, fixity of form, and officialdom. Lesson plans and methods should not impose a rigid scheme of instruction material to be mastered or memorized; the aim should rather be to adhere to whatever material or combination of material, or means, further the growth of the human intellect, and encourage its own early and spontaneous activity. Freedom, therefore, within the school régime is a dominant idea which recent events have made insistent. Human feeling begins loudly to protest against the thought that the most youthful, most original, and inherently most joyous period of life should be repressed by official formality. Again, the teachers advocated Government aid for students, artisans, and teachers, to pass some time in travel to study their respective callings so as to attain a mastery of what was best in usages prevailing abroad. This was one of the most direct ways fully to utilize whatever resources their own country afforded, and thereby rise to a position where they could worthily and efficiently help to rehabilitate the countries devasted by the war. While the teachers as an organization could advise in matters that the steady progress and the enlarged responsibilities of the schools now required, it remained for the Government to heed the full edu