Volume XXVIII January 1920 Number 1
Hang Up Your Thermometer
Ida E. Roger Grade Supervisor, Mt, Vernon, N. Y.
Question V (not a mistake, question IV is not in the original)
What of “efficiency, or the power to do,” the fifth criterion named by Dr. Butler? Such ability is the result of all education received from all experience through all life. Yet as school is one of the way-stations of life’s period, the question may be narrowed so as to set aims for even our elementary pupils who have not at this time become classified under a vocational heading. Efficiency in the tool subjects then becomes a very definite aim of our elementary schools.
Such standards as the Courtis and Thompson efficiency tests in arithmetic, the Hillegas and Harvard-Newton standards for written composition, the Kelley, the Thorndike, the Gray, and the Fordyce scales for measuring reading ability, the Ayres spelling basis, and minimum standards in pen manship should aid us in determining where our results stand in comparison with other schools of recognized standing which have used these same means of examination.
The final question, of course, in making decision to adopt any new course or plan should not be, ” Is this the easiest thing for me?” but rather, “Have I the courage to keep growing?” And again, “Where should I begin to graft new life into my work?”
In this case hang up Dr. Butler’s five questions for your thermometer — unless you believe there is no need of a new diagnosis because you still have old pill boxes on the shelves! But having chosen a new “point of departure” let us not cast all of “the old” aside, for in each of us there should have grown something of the genius of adjustment which will help us in feeling our new way as we graft the new and the old together, culling from each to answer our growing vision. The success of such selection will once again prove the old words, ” Perseverance isn’t Everything, my son — have a little talent!”