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Page 7 of Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal v.21 n.2

Part of Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal

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tion has furnished an acceptable basis for such growth in public education, and a national committee is now working on this important problem. According to Ex-Commissioner Studebaker, data, in 1939, showed that of the 76 million adults in this country, 64 million did not finish high school and 32 million of these did not finish the eighth grade of elementary school. These figures reveal a major educational problem which is not being solved by legisla- tion nor by establishing cardinal principles-setting up socio-economic goals and designating areas of influential experiences as common patterns for all. The solution suggests articulation and indicates the need of inaugurating a policy of offering in a few years all the practical education possible in order to enable under-prepared students to meet the practical situations of life. In addition to this major problem of occupational adjustment, which is com- mon to all groups and communities, including Kentucky and the District of Columbia, there are additional educational problems which are complicated by social and economic restrictions over which the school has no direct control. For example, it is a known fact that any given community draws on many other communities and their educational systems for its workers, and that few parents work long in the community in which they receive their education. As far back as 1914, E. P. Ayres discovered that in the public schools in 78 cities of from 75,000 to 200,000 population, only one father out of six of thirteen-year-old boys was born in the city in which he was then living, and that thirteen-year-old boys were born elsewhere. In light of these and similar facts, the practical solution of occupational life expectancy for that portion of our youth represented in the now larger numbers than the 64 million adults referred to by Ex-Commissioner Studebaker, suggests, in accordance with needs, interests, and abilities, (1) a sound basic preparation for the areas of occupational levels where entrance into employment is reason- ably assured; and (2) a sound basic preparation for opportunity-Yes!-prepara- tion for even such an emergency as was started at Pearl Harbor, and may now be in the making behind the "Iron Curtain." Let me emphasize this in another way. It is now generally accepted that a definite sociological foundation for the curriculum aims should always exist. In light of any sane social economic philosophy, the adjustments in curricula offer- ings in publicly supported schools for our youth should facilitate their prepara- tion not only for those occupational opportunities that exist, but also for those that may be created by the demand for prepared and competent workers. I shall not attempt to indicate in detail the direction of curricula changes on any educational level. I shall briefly specify the general trends and areas involved. The commonly accepted formula for employment is E=MS+RTK+ SIR. Where E notes employment in any skilled, technical or professional area, MS the manipulative skills involved, RTK-the related sciences or technical knowledges that condition these skills; and SIR-the social industrial relation- ships. There you have the hand, the mind, and the heart involved. Since World War II, curriculum offerings in secondary vocational education have been materially increased, but for all groups in segregated areas, such de- velopment has been entirely inadequate, both in the quantity and quality of shop offerings, as well as in the areas of organized related technical knowledges. 7

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