ID# 817:
"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} -4- [ end page number] A general discussion developed on the status of teachers and the effect of proper personnel on the development of personality. Professor Folsom, returning to the subject of larger families, said that there were some very recent bits of evidence to justify the faith that college graduates are beginning to have more children than did graduates from the same college some years ago. Mrs. L. D. Rockwood, College of Home Economics, Cornell University, said that in a questionnaire reporting on interviews with some three hundred Cornell girl students, the girls indicated a desire for between four and five children and also realized acutely that economic conditions would be likely to limit the size of their families. A great deal of work had been done at Cornell on the training of girls for home-making and the girls respond with great interest, but the attitude of the teaching profession to some extent offsets the things that are taught there. Professor F. H. Hankins, Smith College, said it was not only financial pressure which limited the number of children but the pressure of the whole scheme of life on the level in which college graduates are expected to live. In Germany the bearing of children has come to be related to the life of the race, the survival of national power, and to patriotism, and this relationship has had some effect in increasing the birthrate. In this country the eugenic movement should be connected with high moral values rather than with national aspirations. Dr. Ellsworth Huntington, President of the American Eugenics Society again emphasized the necessity of cutting across group and class lines to reach the individual couples at every level of society who are personally superior to the average of the group among whom they live. The Conference had stressed the necessity of developing sound attitudes towards family life and balanced personalities. Could they make specific recommendations as to how this should be done in the high schools of the country? Dr. A. K. Aldinger, Director of Health Education of the Public Schools, New York City, replied that the job is not yet completed. In New York they are still working, trying to correlate health with personality and other things. The program of health and physical education apparently has a great deal to do with the formation of character and all that goes with it. The high schools cannot move very much more rapidly than public opinion will let them. The schools need behind them a national point of view regarding eugenics and a broad understanding of how that point of view should be expressed. As soon as public opinion says to go ahead, then the schools can succeed in their function. No individual head of a school can start new things without the approval of the superintendent and the superintendent cannot proceed with them unless public opinion is with him. Dr. John Brown, Jr., said that we must develop something in the area of home-making and home-building that is comparable to the hero worship on the part of youth for the movie stars, the athlete, or the successful business man. He must learn to think: "I would like to be that kind of a Dad. I would like to have that kind of a home. I would like to have enough boys and girls so that we would have brothers and sisters in our family." Apparently such a conception of the large family is becoming common in Germany.

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