Archive for Thursday, February 23, 2012

100 years ago: Governor speaks out against one-size-fits-all education

February 23, 2012


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 23, 1912:

  • "'Here in the west the university men are coming more and more to the front in the daily affairs of their community. You find in university men the leaders of the community and here is the soil from which you are to derive the life of the nation.' This is the tribute which Woodrow Wilson, Governor of New Jersey and ex-president of Princeton, paid to university men in his talk this morning at Robinson gymnasium."
  • "Governor Stubbs speaking at the Y.M.C.A. banquet last night declared that one of the most needed reforms in the affairs of Kansas today is a change of the system of the public schools that would be more practical and do away with the present day waste in this department.... 'The idea of running our 500,000 school children all through one mill. Some of them are to become farmers, some mechanics, some doctors, some will be merchants, some professors, and yet in our public schools each of these is sent through the same mill, given the same training. Their plans for their future occupations are very different and yet their education is the same. It is one of the big questions of today and one that every good citizen should investigate and endeavor to remedy.... Take a large per cent of the girls who spend four years in high school, after which they retire into the home of some business man, mechanic or man in other occupation. What good does her hard study of Latin, Greek, Algebra, Astronomy and like studies do her? They are of no value to her whatever and yet she is obliged to spend long, fatiguing hours studying these subjects which are distasteful to her and from which she derives no good. Further than this she has learned nothing that is of real value to her. Students are obliged to study a varied collection of subjects, with the result that they don't know any one thing well.... The boys who go to school with the purpose of becoming mechanics have no need of Latin, Greek, French or German, but they must spend their time studying them. It does not make a good mechanic out of them, it even injures them for they are putting in their time on a subject from which they will derive absolutely no good. He ought to be given practical work in the common schools, work that will be of benefit to him in his chosen business."


weiser 6 years, 2 months ago

Interesting how the Governor percieved women and education.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

It didn't matter, because they couldn't vote yet.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

"the girls,,, retire into the home of some business man, mechanic or man in other occupation."

I was told that taking care of the kids, cleaning the house, and cooking is not retirement.

Was I misled?

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