TO MEET PUPILS' NEEDS
By WILLIAM M. COOPER
Director of Adult Education, Hampton Institute
To the Principals and Supervisors of the Negro Schools in Kentucky:
It is'a pleasure to bring greetings from Hampton Institute and from Virginia
where we, too, are concerned with the major problems confronting youth, namely
how to equalize educational opportunities for all the children of our respective
states. You are to be congratulated for the splendid effort you are making in
this direction and you must realize that we, over in Virginia, are thoroughly
in accord and are pulling with you toward the early realization of your dreams.
Today we, who are school administrators, are confronted with a number of
new significant developments in public education. We must pay attention to
them because they are the components of the new program of public education
which is just evolving and which we will be called upon to administer. Within
these new developments are to be found the following:
The first of these late present-day developments is that of studying the child
as well as the subject matter.
The second is that of home-community study and resource use.
The third emphasis in education today is on world understanding and appre-
ciation whereby we will not only acquaint our children with the locality, the state
and the country in which they live, but also with people who live in other coun-
tries, to the end that they may understand these people and appreciate their
contributions that they have to make; particularly those contributions that
come with human progress because of the diversity of cultures of people in differ-
ent parts of the world.
The fourth emphasis is that of adult education in which we are realizing
for the first time that it is impossible to pre-educate a person for life. In other
words, changes are taking place so fast and so drastic these days that even if
a person were given the fullest education he could take before he entered the
world of work, he would not have enough to meet the new conditions which
require new understandings, new knowledge and new skills.
The fifth phase of education that is receiving a tremendous amount of atten-
tion is that of guidance of pupils in the light of the child's nature, in the light
of the community in which he lives and in the light of the world in which he lives.
The sixth emphasis is that of evaluation. Criteria and principles are being
worked out whereby we can continuously evaluate what is being done in the
schools to the end that we can know whether we are achieving our purposes or
not and then revise our programs so that the pupils' learning will be improved.
Now all of these developments are important. It is for us who are educators
to organize them in a compact, workable plan that we can use in working with
our teachers and in helping them to improve the opportunities of the pupils.
However, there is one basic element which must underlie all of the foregoing
emphases; that element is, the sincere desire of the teacher and adminis-
trator to see their pupils grow into the very best of which they are capable.
Does this sincere desire lead us to study the pupils? Yes, but in terms of poten-
tials rather than in terms of limitations, in terms of appreciation for what the
pupil is and has rather than condemnation because he is not what we thought
he ought to be.
It is only human that teachers and parents respond better to praise and
encouragement than to scorn and denunciation. Both teachers and parents
are what they are and do what they do for very good reasons. It is our job as
administrators to understand them sympathetically and with this understanding
to help them obtain their best as they work directly with the children.
SPECIFIC ADMINISTRATIVE MEASURES RECOMM3IENDED
FOR MEETING PUPILS' NEEDS
A. The Investigative Measures. These measurf's consist of finding in-
formation about conditions in the community in which the pupils live and mnak-