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at Eton

for some centuries, I was told, for fear they might rub from the walls the names of some of its earlier students House-cleaning who in their later years have made England famous. Probably no boy ever scrawled his name on a schoolhouse wall without at least a vague hope that some day he might make that name illustrious; that in due time in some way he might make it a beacon for those who were to come after him. The men of England performed a distinct service to English life and education by merely scratching their names on Eton's walls. The luster of those names alone renders dear to the hearts of young Englishmen a musty and gloomy old room which to an American schoolboy, unacquainted with its traditions, would be but a place of durance vile. These instincts of childhood which hitherto have been allowed to express themselves only in punishable offenses are the most subtle as well as the most vital sources of character. When teachers and parents become wise enough to recognize them properly, these early impulses, directed into channels of service for the school, will then become the root of a true social organization. As their lives gradually become absorbed in its service the pupils will naturally forego the more primitive pleasure of merely defacing the walls of the school.

Subtle Instincts Not Insignificant


The kinds of service that are possible to the school are not all indistinguishable from those usually assigned to the janitor. Besides those which relate to sanitation and order, it is most important that the pupils should actively participate in every effort made to render the house and premises more beautiful. The schoolhouses and grounds in this country, as a rule, are notoriously unattractive. Money could hardly hire parents, no matter what the intellectual feast might be, to sit day after day amid surroundings as barren as those found in the average school. Yet they consign their children for a series of years to such conditions, and by force and cajolery endeavor to make them like it. This, too, in the face of the fact that as a depraver of the aesthetic sense and as a corruptor of public taste there is nothing to beat the average American school-house!

Everyone of them, however, might be redeemed and be made

a Chance

attractive, if the children themselves were free to work on the problem. The instinct which impels a little girl to Give the Pupils trim and decorate an old store-box for her playhouse, if allowed its legitimate exercise in the schoolrom, would soon transform it, too, into something at least childishly beautiful. With children's well-known fondness for trees, shrubs, vines, and flowers, it is simply monstrous that school-yards should remain as unplanted as Sahara. This arid school environment of the young is chargeable directly and only to the colossal ignorance of both teachers and parents as to what constitute the essentials in character-building.

the School Period

The compass of school life includes years of fine feelings, high aspirations, and great physical vigor. It is a period that Potentiality of should be marked by considerable actual achievement. In the home this is frequently recognized, and the demand is made for helpful service in some form which the child can understand. If a bed which he should make up is left unmade, that is a fact that stands out for itself. The disorder and the discomfort which he inflicts upon the

in School
and Home

family place him at once in the focus of their attention, perhaps displeasure; and as this is repeated he gradually acquires a just measure of his worth to his social unit, the household. But in school, if he fails to recite well, it is very rarely that he charges it up to his own unworthiness. It is, indeed, difficult to prove that he should do so. It is not easy for him to see how anyone, even himself, is either benefited or injured by the character of his recitation. The teacher's measure of his worth is expressed thru a rattan or a mark or a frown or a smile. The inevitable outcome of this state of uncertainty is indifference, distaste, and hatred of the whole scheme of learning as set up by the schools-hence the truant officer and the juvenile court!

The relationship of service to knowledge is palpable. The loftiest service requires the highest skill and the most learning Accomplishment means exactness of knowledge Servicea nd when both doing and learning are controlled by motives pointing to useful service.


Schools, therefore, should be regarded as workshops. They

should be equipped with simple means for pursuing some phase of every craft that bears upon human welfare. One cannot overestimate the boon that such arts and crafts as clay-modeling, pottery, woodwork, textiles, metal-work, book-binding, printing, drawing, and painting are to children whose artistic tastes are stimulated and whose efforts are booted and spurred by a worthy purpose. By these means our schools some day will be made beautiful thru the work of the childrens' hands, and their lives will be made fair thru their consecration to the school's service. W. S. J.

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