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the whole, the kind of information given under the latter régime is more useful and interesting than that required earlier, but it is still quite remote from the civic problems most likely to press themselves upon youth.
Persisting disappointment in the results of civics teaching has caused considerable experimentation, and out of these new failures and successes well-defined principles have been evolved. These constitute the standards for selecting concrete materials for instruction, special methods of presentation, and modes of transition from one topic to another. These controlling principles or considerations it may be well to state.
(1) It is now clearly perceived that the initial point of departure must be a study of those particular phases of our group life which fall well within the intimate circle of the child's personal affairs. It is in the active concerns of child life that those habits of critical investigation and active coöperation, so important in mature civic life, are to be established. The opportunity for vital instruction is to be found in those activities of children which originate in their spontaneous interests — in their sociable play, in their group games, in their competitive athletics, in their student organizations, in their government of the
school grounds, and in their coöperative activities of every sort. Here the relations of individual participation and group coöperation, of social function and political control, are easily made clear, because they are seen in connection with interests and necessities immediately stirring in the lives of the children.
(2) Once the experiences of children have been fully utilized to develop better social attitudes and more competent coöperation in connection with their own vivid interests, the foundation for further growth is provided; the teacher has only to follow with patience the gradually expanding civic relations of children. The margins of the child's life are always extending; he is constantly becoming aware of a larger world through the conversations of his family, the comments of his neighbors, and his daily readings. It is easy for the teacher to enrich the pupil's interest in the neighborhood's effort to maintain cleanliness and beauty, in the municipality's attempt to keep peace and order, and in the State's effort to regulate industrial relations. If the teacher will only invoke it, the child's understanding of the need of collective action in his own small affairs can be made to interpret the larger group responsibilities of neighborhood and town. Comprehension
of his part in still larger units — in State, Nation, and world - remains as a natural later step.
(3) The teacher's task will neither begin nor end in mere intellectual appreciation of civic relations. The end of good teaching goes beyond understanding; it involves sensitiveness to obligation and the development of a willingness and ability to act with other men for the common good. From the beginning to the end of teaching, the chief aim should be to get the child to perform his part in civic life. It will be a small and fragmentary part at first, simply because life starts with few and small contacts. But whatever need the teacher can get the child to feel and understand, that need he must seek to realize. Action is the goal of civics teaching.
(4) Meanwhile it must not be forgotten that real activity is one of the best resources in the teaching of children. In the teaching of civics it is used both as end and as ways and means. The child who has tried to participate in any given situation will have a sense of reality about it that can never be had from conversations or books. He comes away from it with an accurate understanding that indicates the meaning and value of details which otherwise would be dull and formal to him. His actions have pointed his mind so
as to observe pertinent truths, and he comes to the classroom ready to have his problems discussed, his knowledge augmented, and his intentions better controlled. Because he has been participating in life itself, he will want to take an active part in every classroom activity which flows from it, - in discussion, reading, or investigation at first hand.
(5) It is inevitable that a conception of civics teaching which makes action rather than knowing the end of teaching will greatly enhance the educational value of all school activities outside the classroom; indeed, of all the child's institutional memberships outside the school. Home, playground, and neighborhood life will be the laboratories where civic truths are to be experienced, learned, and tested out. The classroom exercise will occupy a supplementary if not a secondary position. It will be a formal meeting where children gather to discuss their social affairs, much as citizens go to a club or a town meeting. Here they will report their problems, exchange information, propose solutions, and assign parts, emphasizing the constant common obligation of each little citizen and designating the special committees with particular tasks. Throughout these stated classroom meetings, the
teacher will be the natural leader. Out of his superior wisdom he will stimulate and supervise the group, suggesting methods and appraising achievements.
To aid teachers in the application of these vital principles of the new teaching of civics, a volume of very concrete suggestions is here offered. It has been prepared by a teacher of unusual scholarship in the command of materials needed for interesting and competent study, one whose insight into the mental life of children has been gained by actual contacts that make her psychology and pedagogy sure.