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Page 6 of Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal v.21 n.2

Part of Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal

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We then came to a realization that something was wrong; we found we were failing too many children. We discovered that schools were losing their holding power, and that drop-outs were far too numerous. Truancy was a recur. ring and rather general problem. Then, very belatedly, individual differences were discovered. We were shocked to learn of the spread in the range of the I. Q. at any grade level. We discovered significantly that the mental age range showed Ao homogeniety whatever in terms of the mental development of students who were working together. Finally, convinced that children actually are different, we came to three very important conclusions: (1) that we must dis- continue our former unsuccessful efforts to make the students conform to a rigid highly mechanized school program; (2) that we must instead adjust the school program to the varying abilities and interests of students; and (3) that since the student is a complete and complex mechanism, and since he must live in a highly complex world, we must respect the wholeness of the individual student by broadening the school program far beyond the drilling check-filing procedures of the past. Taking a point of departure from this briefly stated panoramic background of educational development, I shall attempt to briefly outline some 6f the basic principles involved in articulating a full program of vocational guidance. I agree with the thesis that "Vocational Guidance is the full process of acquainting the individual with the various ways in which he may discover and use his natural endowments, in addition to special training from any source, so that he may live and make a living to the best advantage to himself and country; that this process begins with life and continues throughout its duration." Articulation-the process of joining together the elements of such a program, is necessary, therefore, if the objectives of self-realization, human relationships, civic responsibility, and economic efficiency are to be realized. Articulation, I repeat, is necessary in a full program of vocational guidance if we are to ac- complish a continuous process designed to help the individual to choose to plan for, to enter upon, and to make progress in any occupation. It is commonly agreed that public education should prepare for life as well as for entrance into college; and that the standard three or four year high school curriculum does not satisfy all needs. In our democracy the education of the child will eventually continue through high school and probably through tech- nical institutes as well. There must be a reorganization of the high school to accommodate its curricula to these needs. Also, there is common recognition of the need for the mastery of basic intel- lectual skills-reading, writing, arithmetic, and perforce thinking. You might add an additional R-Respect-respect for constituted authority and the right of others. In fact, educational trends seem to have taken a decided shift toward a curriculum which will actually prepare all students for society, and for economic efficiency in an American Industrial Democracy. Any consideration, therefore, of some of the problems resulting from the established conception of general education as it exists today, should not be con- strued as criticism; but rather as an approach to the process of Articulation- the joining together of theory and practice into a functional program of educa- tion for optimum contributions to community life. The recent Prosser Resolu- 6

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