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Page 2 of Mountain Life & Work vol. 07 no.4 January, 1932

Part of Mountain Life and Work

Page 2 MOUNTAIN LIFE AND WORK January, 1932 ciples to classes in Berea's secondary schools, and brought hundreds of these students to see with their own eyes the lessons of the laboratory. Nurses in the accredited training course in the College Hospital have laboratory studies and practice included as part of their curriculum. Major students in Education have based their independent studies on observations. Arrangements have been completed for students in Psychology to share the use of the laboratory. The experiment, at first a small beginning in a specialized group, has begun to permeate the institution, and its laboratory to serve several college departments. THE STUDENT COOK REPORTS TO THE COOKIE MAKERS Fifteen little children, ranging in age from eighteen months to four years, come every day to the Pre-School to stay from eight-thirty until one o'clock or until their naps are over. They come from homes of the college staff, of business people, of farmers on the edge of town, of the day-laborer. Their parents may be conscientiously following theories of the well-directed studyclub, or may be using common sense and mountain customs in their training. Upon arrival, the children are striking products of their respective types of home. Housed at first in a section of the college Home Management Practice Home, the laboratory soon outgrew in size and importance its small quarters. This year it has attained a commodious building set near the practice school of the Department of Education, facing the lovely mountains beyond the fertile gardens. The house, formerly the old Music Hall, has been remodeled to contain a sunny, spacious place for play, rooms in which to eat, to sleep, to experiment, to live. The sloping locust grove which is the playground, and the well-placed rooms are all equipped with furniture and apparatus conveniently and attractively arranged to suit the little users. College physicians and the staff of the Department of Physical Education insure the health of the group through frequent measurements and examinations. The children as laboratory material are there to play and grow as naturally as they can in an environment as perfectly suited to their needs and tastes as science and interest can produce. There they visibly form habits of obedience and orderliness, of sharing and "taking turns." They eat the food before them, care for their physical needs with independence, and rest as a matter of routine. Their tastes in literature, art, and music have full sway both in appreciation and in creation. Their self-initiated enterprises involve group adjustments and adaptations of materials with surprising range and ingenuity. This is the "set-up." Its use requires genius. Casual guests are likely to exclaim over the "charming little angels so blissfully at play." They rival in thoughtless admiration the proverbial young mother who dandles and coos over her baby at every slightest cry, who sees nothing in his frets but irritating inconvenience or perverseness, who watches his happy play only to admire his cunning ways, and in him sees no virtue clearly and no fault. To lead the students of today to observe the little child with intelligent understanding, to give them some technique by which to gauge his progress and develop his best possibilities is the delicate task of the Laboratory director. A Junior student, chart in hand, unobtrusively watches little John. John cries when Billy takes away his train; she checks the chart. John then runs for fear of a pet dog; another check goes down. By the end of her period, the student has checked his absorption in a picture, his ability to put on his own shoes, to put his wraps in his own locker, to show sympathy for another child.

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