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What the Schools Teach and Might Teach   By:

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FRANKLIN BOBBITT Assistant Professor of Educational Administration The University of Chicago



The Survey Committee of the Cleveland Foundation Cleveland, Ohio

Charles E. Adams, Chairman Thomas G. Fitzsimons Myrta L. Jones Bascom Little Victor W. Sincere

Arthur D. Baldwin, Secretary James R. Garfield, Counsel Newton D. Baker, Counsel Alien T. Burns, Director


This report on "What the Schools Teach and Might Teach" is one of the 25 sections of the report of the Education Survey of Cleveland conducted by the Survey Committee of the Cleveland Foundation in 1915. Twenty three of these sections will be published as separate monographs. In addition there will be a larger volume giving a summary of the findings and recommendations relating to the regular work of the public schools, and a second similar volume giving the summary of those sections relating to industrial education. Copies of all these publications may be obtained from the Cleveland Foundation. They may also be obtained from the Division of Education of the Russell Sage Foundation, New York City. A complete list will be found in the back of this volume, together with prices.


Foreword List of Tables Prefatory Statement The Point of View Reading and Literature Spelling Handwriting Language, Composition, Grammar Mathematics Algebra Geometry History Civics Geography Drawing and Applied Art Manual Training and Household Arts Elementary Science High School Science Physiology and Hygiene Physical Training Music Foreign Languages Differentiation of Courses Summary


TABLE 1. Time given to reading and literature 2. Sets of supplementary reading books per building 3. Weeks given to reading of different books in High School of Commerce 4. Time given to spelling 5. Time given to handwriting 6. Time given to language, composition, and grammar 7. Time given to arithmetic 8. Time given to history 9. Time given to geography 10. Time given to drawing 11. Time given to manual training 12. Time given to science, physiology, hygiene 13. Time given to physical training 14. Time given to music


For an understanding of some of the characteristics of this report it is necessary to mention certain of the conditions under which it was prepared.

The printed course of study for the elementary schools to be found in June, 1915, the time the facts were gathered for this report, was prepared under a former administration. While its main outlines were still held to, it was being departed from in individual schools in many respects. Except occasionally it was not possible to find record of such departures. It was believed that to accept the printed manual as representing current procedure would do frequent injustice to thoughtful, constructive workers within the system. But it must be remembered that courses of study for the city cover the work of twelve school years in a score and more of subjects, distributed through a hundred buildings. Only a small fraction of this comprehensive program is going on during any week of the school year; and of this fraction only a relatively small amount could actually be visited by one man in the time possible to devote to the task. In the absence of records of work done or of work projected, unduly large weight had to be given to the recommendations set down in the latest published course of study manual.

New courses of study were being planned for the elementary schools. This in itself indicated that the manual could not longer be regarded as an authoritative expression of the ideas of the administration. Yet with the exception of a good arithmetic course and certain excellent beginnings of a geography course, little indication could be found as to what the details of the new courses were to be... Continue reading book >>

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