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Character Education Methods

Excerpt from Character Education Methods The restriction of interest to public school methods does not mean that the Donor and the members of the Institution do not sympathize with the great service which private and church schools render the Nation, but it does mean that they appreciate the fact that the public school is the only public expression of direct interest on the part of all the people of the Nation in the preparation of the Nation's boys and girls for their life as citizens of the republic and of the states of which it is composed. In all fields of education, save that of religious education, which is assigned to the churches (each church furnishing in its own way the religious sanctions for conduct to its own children), the public schools should strive to be complete in their service; but the national system of public education is not now complete, because, while intellectual education is fairly well developed, vocational and physical education are only partly provided, and character education on human motives, covering the wisdom of human experience, although recognized by school authorities and by parents as the supremely important phase of public education, is undeveloped and often neglected. The right to compete was limited. For the purpose of this research and competition there was formed in most of the states of the United States of North America a group of research educators to be designated as "Character Education Collaborators," not to exceed nine in number. All other persons interested were privileged to cooperate by means of advice. Keen, discerning, thorough, constructive thinking is the highest kind of human action. "Group thinking" of this character, by people organized to think together, which utilizes the best insight of each member of the group, is the highest form of this highest kind of human action. This form of thinking is necessary when an effort is made to solve the problems of character education of children, because the facts of the moral life of children are hidden away in personal memory. A compilation or accumulation of the memories of childhood and of observations is essential to an adequate basis for thinking out the general principles of character education. In order to give the 432 collaborators in this research a good start in their thinking, another offer was made by "The Donor," namely, that he would pay for the compilation of a volume of extracts from educational literature having a bearing on character education. One copy of this volume was for the chairman of research in each state, and at the close of the year was deposited as a gift in the office of the state commissioner or superintendent of education. The fifty extra copies were put on loan to collaborators during the research, and will be loaned now to any educator who may be making a special study of principles of character education. This volume contains six hundred pages of condensed extracts, done under the editorship of Dr. Harris L. Latham, and is called "The Donor's Library on Character Education, Volume I." Only one hundred copies could be printed, and the cost of editorial work and printing was about $5,000. The Executive Committee suggested to the collaborators that their study of the problems of character education of children be as complete and thorough as possible so that they would be likely to discover and combine in their plans all the elements essential to success in character education. A full explanation of the moral ideas to be inculcated was not necessary, because this was the problem of the National $5,000 Morality Codes Competition, 1916-1917. Methods of character education in their application to kindergarten, elementary school, junior and advanced high schools, and the preparation of teachers for character education were to be included in the researches of the collaborators.
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