ID# 816:
"Summary of the discussion at the conference on education and eugenics"
Pages: (1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8)
American Philosophical Society, AES, 57506: Am3

&quote;Summary of the discussion at the conference on education and eugenics&quote;

[page number] -3- [end page number] in the public schools, and are valuable to the proper development of attitudes which should have an eugenic effect. Mr. Frank said that the Commission of Human Relations has in preparation several volumes: "Am I Normal?' "The Understanding of Human Behavior", and "The Family." All these will offer authentic material which will prevent confusion in the teaching in the high schools. Dr. Holmes then pointed out that there was little use in teaching boys and girls things they are not ready to hear about or interested in. We should ask, "What are we giving these children which will direct their growing interests?" For teaching of this kind, the schools should have teachers who are interested in children and who themselves lead normal married lives with children of their own. Some years ago he was associated with an attempt to introduce a social wage among school teachers, that is, a wage based on the number of children. To his great regret, he found that existing teachers in the public schools were more interested in the slogan, "Equal pay for equal work", than in such a social wage. There is something for the Eugenics Society to work on. For the example of teachers would have an important effect towards making children feel that a large family is a high honor. Dr. Benjamin C. Gruenberg, representing Mrs. Sidonie M. Gruenberg, Child Study Association of America said that he had taught biology for many years on the basis of the family histories of the Jukes and Edwards, but he knew now that these histories were not true in the sense that he had taught them. It was fortunate, therefore, that the interest of eugenics has shifted from the strictly biological view which too often meant "our kind". Certainly, young people carry over from their parents not only a biological inheritance, but also a complex of social and family-personal inheritance, all of which must be taken into account. He then raised the question as to whether eugenics should be taught as a separate subject. For some time the schools have been teaching sex education and character education at first as separate subjects. It is increasingly recognized that these subjects should be integrated with training for life, for a unified personality and the attainment of maturity and happiness. Probably eugenics should be instilled in the same way. Before we get to the question of teachers' salaries we must have some more concerted thinking as to the type of teaching we want. Our ideal here is that of a teacher who lives a complete, well-rounded life, including a family and children, but this is not the ideal held in the normal schools. Eugenics should be taught in the normal schools as something which should be lived rather than something which should be taught. With this, Dr. Holmes assented, saying that the greatest lack of teachers is their lack of understanding of human nature, their own or that of the children they teach. Unless teachers can free themselves, how can they be taught to free others? Dr. Stearns agreed, and expressed regret that there were such great difficulties in the way of giving teachers a decent economic status. This must and will be done so that we will have teachers to whom we can properly trust our children for influence and information and example, particularly in so difficult a matter as eugenics. Mrs. Martha P. Butterick, Supervisor of Nursery Schools and Parent Education, W. P. A., Montpelier, Vermont, said that in the selection of W. P. A. workers for parent education work they had been able to get highly selected mature married people, with excellent results.

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