age. and the high birth rate will mean
that there will be a need for about 400,-
000 additional classrooms by 1960—or
a total of 770.000 classrooms more than
we have now. The estimated cost of that
is five billion dollars.
And that doesn't include the cost of
providing new schools for those that are
now firetraps or antiquated. As it is.
(here's a fire in a school building every
three hours! And the National Board ol
Fire I nderwriters has issued a statement that nearly half of the schools of
America are not firesafe.
The problem is so great that it is beyond the financial capacity of the states
or the local communities to meet it—
particularly in those rural states and the
southern states where there's relatively
little wealth that can be taxed on behalf
of the schools.
SHORTAGE OF TEACHERS
Prof. Norton: I don't object t"
some federal funds to meet this emergency situation as it affeds school
buildings. However, if I bad to choose
between having | r teachers or poor
buildings I and I don't think we need to
choose). I'd rather have the good teachers. And the fact is that American education has been so severely affected b)
inflation and other factors that we now
have a shortage of al leasl 110,000
teachers per year.
I'd like to see a floor of financial
support, without control, put under the
education of every American child.
From there on, the individual states and
localities will build.
Gen. Howley: I agree that we should
do something to increase salaries of our
teachers- all teachers. They're dedicated
people, but they still have to raise their
families. The average salary—as near as
you can get to an average all over the
country of schoolteachers below college level is $2,800 a year.
And just by contrast, we had many
students graduated from our College of
Engineering last year who received over
$5,000 a year on their first job—more
money in many cases than the teacher
who teaches them receives. But I don't
think the answer is federal support of
lhe teacher, because right with it will go
specifications as to what the teacher
will teach or won't teach, what color
his hair will be, and so forth.
Prof. Norton: I favor federal aid
because it has worked so well in the
past. First, there were the very substantial grants made to help found our original public school system, which I think
is one of the great institutions of our
\incriiaii heritage. Later on. President
Lincoln signed a federal bill that established a land-grant college in every
state, which has done a great deal to
make our farmers upstanding men instead of peasants. Later on, the federal
government initiated a program of voca-
tional education which stood us in very
good stead as this technological age has
More recently we've not thought out
this problem so well; we've talked too
much in cliches, such as ''federal aid
means federal control," although we*
had 175 years of experience where >
hasn't meant control. I think whal
need to do most is to apply some w
eral aid to the slum areas of AmeriC
Progressive Education - Good or Bad?
"I lliink progressive education is
bad," asserted Fordham University Professor Godfrey Schmidt during his recent guest appearance on Facts Forum's
ANSWERS FOR AMERICANS program.
Law Professor Schmidt, also an attorney, lecturer, debater, continued.
"While- 1 have never seen a satisfactory
definition of progressive education, as
nearly as I can understand it, it seems
to be a form of education that relies
upon the budding genius of the individual student, which must not be im-
paired by any of the artificialities of
the student or by any of the rigidities
of the traditional form of education.
"And I think il has resulted in a kind
of diffidence about intellectual and
moral principles — a kind of fear of
taking positions — and a failure to understand thai moral training is just as
important in education as intellectual
training. You can't have either intellectual or moral training without certitudes and principles and therefore
without a philosophy and ultimately
without a theology."
Regular panelists on the program of-
(ered a wide variety of opinions both
as to the definition and value of progressive education. The distinguished
trio were: Mr. Devin Garrity. President
of Devin-Adair Publishing Compan) ;
Professor Charles Hodges of New York
Definition from the
Progressive education, movement in modern education. It was
developed in Europe by Froehel,
Pestalozzi, and Montessori and in
the United States by Francis Way-
land Parker and John Dewey. Postulate'- of the movement are that
tti*■ child learns leest iii those experiences which have vital -ell-in
terest, and modes of behavior are
most easily learned by actual performance. Therefore, education must
he a continuous reconstruction of
living experience based on activity
directed hy the child. The recognition of individual differences Is
crucial. Progressive education opposes the formalized authoritarian
procedure and fosters reorganization
of classroom practice, curriculum,
and attitudes towarel the individual
student. . . .
I niversity, world-traveler and forii*
newspaper correspondent; and Geolf
Hamilton Combs, network ra<lio-te"
vision news commentator and for"*
Democratic Congressman from Misso'j'
Strongly opposing Professor Schmfl
views was Professor Hodges, who f
fered this definition for "progress!'
education": "I'd say it's education »
living. I would say that is does b*
principles back of il—that indeed ""
of the education in the United St*
today is progressive." Speaking 9
his own observation of student-. I
fessor Hodges asserted that "prodi*
of progressive education have a ^1
liant college record."
Still another definition was I'm
leered by Mr. Garrity, who finds fl
progressive education is comprised)
two objectionable characteristics: J
is thai they presume to own the "J,
child; they presume to tell that 1
how to adjust to his parents, '"
Inline, and to what is called 'soci
acceptable' behavior, rather lha" I
old-fashioned absolutes of rigb' j
wrong under the Ten CommandBB
The second thing they do is to i's('
schools as a sounding board or &■
means of reforming society at"'
world, instead of leaching 'chaaj
ism' as they call patriotism-
Garrity concluded, "We arc now
eating little citizens who will take I
places in Ihis great 'one-world' °
Mr. Combs declined to label |''"'
sive education as either good "r
"because I don't know what school.
are referring to" and defined lhe
as "thai system which places ew?.,
on the greater freedom of the ind'vl.
slu,I,ail and the relaxing of. Id ""
classic or arbitrary disciplines
older patterns of instruction. 0>^
ing with Professor Schmidt's ''"""
on theology, Mr. Combs went °
say: "In our country, theology '"',.
plan' whatever in our public s,(
system. Who is lo judge whal ibj
is to be preached? Who is lo dd1'.''
what children shall be indoctrlj
with which theologies:'" Moral l'"'1,
i- the prerogative of parochial •*■
than public schools, asserted J
Combs, and not "I'll,-Willi lee tl"'
purposes of education, which ;l,t
•d on I
FACTS FORUM NEWS, February'