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with the advance in his work. These are some of the general qualifications discussed in reference to the professions.
Then we treat, in some detail, the principal professions, such as law, medicine, teaching, engineering. We treat engineering in some detail because so many high-school boys have ambitions in that direction-some, who, so far as their success in school would show, have no talent for the profession. We try to show that the basis for success in engineering lies in mathematical and mechanical skill. Prospective students of engineering are asked to look over such a book as McCullough's "Engineering as a Vocation."
Just this year a couple of boys who were thinking of engineering came to me and asked for information along that line. I asked them to take this book and read it in the light of the discussions we had had. They both came to me a little later and said: "We have come to the conclusion that we would not care for engineering as a vocation. We had no idea that it involved taking higher mathematics, physics, and things like that." This is a practical illustration of the guidance work.
We now come to the second part of our work in guidance, which the program calls personal characteristics, but which I like to think of more as applied ethics. In this part of the work it is impressed on the students that certain qualifications are needed in whatever line they may enter, because they are fundamental to success. These things are attractive personality, practical efficiency, upright character, loyalty. I call their attention to a card which says: "The face you wear at 60 depends upon what you do to-day." Now, what is the reason for this statement? The reason is that youth is the plastic period. This is the period in which we acquire and absorb. It is the period of education. We can make ourselves now very nearly what we desire. A little later our habits will be fixed and we shall find it difficult to change them. It is worth while, then, to have some ideals of personal qualifications and to endeavor to make ourselves like our ideals.
Personality is treated as involving voice, dress, manner, courtesy, tact. In talking to students about courtesy we use this little card, which reads: "Politeness is like an air cushion; there may be nothing in it, but it eases the jolts wonderfully."
When you apply for a position, how do you act when you enter the office? If there is but one seat left and several people are waiting, do you take the empty seat, without considering the others? When leaving the office, do you allow your employer to go first, or do you step ahead of him? On the other hand, suppose some of you go to college instead of into business. You think perhaps your manners will not be observed. Here is what the college editor wrote about the freshmen whom he noticed on the campus: "They do not know better than to walk around with toothpicks in their mouths; they do not know enough
to tip their hats to a lady; and they gurgle when they eat their soup." You see, you are being judged in this matter, whether you are in college or whether you are at work.
I often have the experience that for the next two or three days after talking to a class I find the pupils exceedingly polite when they meet me. They bow deeply; and if I happen to come to the school door with one of them, with great courtesy I am allowed to step through first. This is a small item, to be sure, but it seems to me that they are applying some of the things that have been said to them.
After personality we consider efficiency. What is meant by efficiency to-day? Efficiency is much more than physical; it is largely, if not chiefly, mental. As a striking example of mental efficiency attention is called to the president of one of our great industrial companies. Here is a man who has achieved great success because of his wonderful mentality, his ability to recognize conditions and to do things skillfully, quickly, and accurately.
Then we go a little deeper into our problem of practical ethics. It is pointed out that, besides a pleasant personality and efficiency, there is a demand for certain elements of character. As a basis for talking to them about the elements of character needed in business, the rules that Cyrus Simmons used are read to them. Most of you are familiar with them, no doubt. They contain some moral truths in epigrammatic form. For instance: "Don't lie; it wastes my time and yours." "Don't do anything that hurts your self-respect.” "It is none of my business what you do at night, but if dissipation affects what you do the next day, and you do half as much as I demand, you will last half as long as you hoped."
I offer this experiment in vocational guidance not as a panacea, but as an effort to solve the problem in the average high school. I believe it is working effectively to some degree, because we have saved some students from places where they were misfits, and we have helped others to places where they fit. We have guided some boys out of blind-alley jobs. We maintain a sort of an employment bureau in the school and encourage employers to call upon us for help. A few months ago we had a call for a draftsman. Our records showed a boy working as an errand boy who had developed considerable skill as a draftsman while in school. We secured the drafting position for this boy, and he is one of the happiest boys in town because of his success in his work. He has been promoted twice since he obtained the position, and he recently came to school to tell me that this is the greatest thing the school had done for him. He can not get over the fact that we helped him after he had left.
Again, from the character side, I believe the work is worth while. We get a certain amount of school pride in this way that we have not been able to get in other ways. It seems to me we must introduce
our ethics in some concrete and vital way, so that the ideals will take hold. I believe this instruction in personal characteristics accomplishes the work.
C. GUIDANCE BY THE DEVELOPMENT OF PLACEMENT AND FOLLOW-UP WORK.
SOPHONISBA P. BRECKENRIDGE,
I bring a very limited contribution to this discussion. I come to report upon an undertaking in Chicago having to do with a very definite group of children. They were limited in number, since we have never had more than five workers, but it is not the small number served (2,186 between October 1, 1912, and October 1, 1913) which is significant here; it is the definite limitations set about the kind of child to be served, for the group of whom I speak consists of 25,000 children between 14 and 16 years old who have left school to go to work.
I do not think that on that account the report is less important. I think, in fact, that the subject will gain and not lose by being presented in relation to well-defined groups of children. It is impossible, in my judgment, to discuss profitably together the college student who looks forward to a professional career, the high-school pupil about to graduate whose uncle might be a director of nine corporations or even of one corporation, the eighth-grade graduate from the home of the skilled artisan, and the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade children from poor homes who leave school at the earliest moment allowed by the law and try to find employment. The discussion of the first two groups may possibly be a discussion of an educational problem, involving choice of career and organization of course of study; the discussion of the third group may be a discussion of new sources of information to be tapped by the school in readjusting its curriculum to the needs of the children in a modern industrial community. The discussion of the fourth group in relation to their employment is no discussion of program of study or choice of career. It is neither present organization of curriculum, nor pedagogy, nor guidance. It is a proposed guardianship of children for which the school is the best agency at hand.
Obviously as conditions of living become more pressing and more complex, the school to whom the community entrusts the child for from seven to nine years by its compulsory attendance laws is going to be called on to perform more and more of these services which are services of guardianship and not of instruction. The proper classification of the children in accordance with their mental qualifications (child-study departments), and the maintenance of an adequate
physical well-being (school medical service and school nursing), are services related to education but easily distinguishable from education; they represent services growing out of the position of the school as suitable guardian rather than out of its narrower educational function.
I say nothing of the high-school pupil, nor even of the eighthgrade graduate; but in serving the children who leave before completing the eighth grade to go to work the school is rendering this kind of service. I believe that the school, which is supposed to have its eye single to the well-being of the child, is the proper social agency to exercise this guardianship. It can not, however, exercise it alone. Industry must be called on to cooperate, and the general public, which is concerned for the well-being of the child, concerned for the continued prosperity of industry, concerned for the protection of family integrity, must cooperate. But in my judgment the school should take the initiative and retain the lead in this cooperative effort. Such has, I know, not always been the case. In London the "skilled apprenticeship committees," which inaugurated the effort there, devised the method afterwards adopted by the juvenile labor exchanges, which have themselves extended its use in London and inaugurated similar efforts in other English cities; but in Edinburgh it came from the school, as it should in any community where the work is yet to be begun. This does not mean that the work should be done by teachers, any more than that the nursing, medical inspection, mental testing, all of them dependent on the teachers for cooperation, but performed by independent professional staffs, should be laid upon the teachers. The better the teachers the less should they be diverted from their own profession to tasks for which they are not qualified.
To turn, then, to the experiment which we have been working out in Chicago, it has been made in the effort to serve the children who leave school at the earliest moment allowed by law, to go to work. Each year about 12,000 of these 14-year-old children take out their "working papers," the age and school certificates prescribed by the child-labor law. During the year 1912-13 there were 12,583 of these children; so that we have always about 25,000 children under the age which the law names as the upper limit of the compulsory attendance age. The Illinois statute says that children between 7 and 16 years of age must be in school unless out of school for some one of several recognized excuses, one of which is, if the child is between 14 and 16, being necessarily and lawfully employed. Now, we claim that if this necessary and lawful employment is accepted as an alternative to school, the school should make sure that it is as nearly as possible a true substitute in what it means to the child. That involves supervision of the child in finding his first work, and supervision of the child in his early working life. This means, of
course, placement-the placing the child in what one would like to call the best job available, and what one must call the least demoralizing job available. No one thinks that there are suitable jobs for these children. No one thinks that children under 16 years of age should be in the labor market as industry is organized to-day. Everyone knows that many of the positions are connected with blind-alley and dead-end trades. No one thinks that at the present time the thing that should be done for every child in the community can be done for even a small fraction of these children-enable them to spend these two invaluable years either in a school or at a trade which is more educational than the school and educational in many ways besides industrial efficiency. It is an easy solution of the question to say that since we can not do all we would for these children, we will do nothing; it is perfectly simple to adopt the maxim of the law, "What should be done will be presumed to have been done." Since children under 16 should have been removed from the labor market, they will be presumed to have been removed from the labor market. That presumption seems to me to be possible only to one who knows nothing by actual contact with these children's lives. The question is not whether we can do all that we would for these children. The question is whether we can do more for them than they can do for themselves. If we can, they have a right to demand that we do all we can. Because, however, we can do so little compared with what should be done, we in Chicago were unwilling to call our experiment by an ambitious title like vocational guidance. Instead we selected the title "Employment supervision," which indicated our supervision, not their choice.
The problem then has to do with children whom the law permits to leave school; whose parents are very poor; who come from a group which has never before been either held up to the standard implied by seven years of schooling nor indeed suffered to raise themselves to that standard, and therefore expects its children to stop school as soon as possible and to begin to earn. This does not mean that the members of this group are unworthy as parents, nor that they are dependent in any way. It means only that they are forced by the compulsory education law to a higher level of child care than before. With these children and these parents there are, too, the jobs-only about half enough of them if they were all good—and many of them are most undesirable. By hunting, however, some can be found which are not so bad as jobs, and others which, while bad as jobs, are under good foremen, who will help the child to wring at least discipline, responsibility, and regularity out of the experience.
Placement work of this kind is clearly very different from the guidance that selects the child for the job. Here the child must,