xt7bnz80p93d https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7bnz80p93d/data/mets.xml Kentucky. Department of Education. Kentucky Kentucky. Department of Education. 1941-02 volumes: illustrations 23-28 cm. call numbers 17-ED83 2 and L152 .B35. bulletins  English Frankford, Ky. : Dept. of Education  This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. Educational Bulletin (Frankfort, Ky.) Education -- Kentucky Educational Bulletin (Frankfort, Ky.), "Problems in the Improvement of Instruction", vol. VIII, no. 12, February 1941 text Educational Bulletin (Frankfort, Ky.), "Problems in the Improvement of Instruction", vol. VIII, no. 12, February 1941 1941 1941-02 2021 true xt7bnz80p93d section xt7bnz80p93d  

0 Commonwealth of Kentucky 0









A Sun “av nf(knfierencesluddiNOvii2¥Ié;14;1521940



N u
:7, Published by Order of the

Miss E


Superintendent of Public Instruction








Entered as second-class matter March 21, 1933, at the post office at
Frankfort, Kentucky, under the Act of August 24, 1912.

Vol. VIII February, 1941 No. 12







During the first part of November 1940 Conferences on the
Improvement of Instruction were held in eleven centers .in Kentucky.
An entire day was spent in listing and discussing problems vitally
related to making the schools serve better the people of the Common—
wealth. Persons from every school level and from every type of
position in the schools attended these conferences and entered
earnestly into the deliberations. I have never seen any group of
persons work more sincerely upon our common problems.

The purpose of this bulletin is to present a composite report of
the eleven conferences. Attempt has been made to select the problems
proposed and solutions suggested in each of the conferences and to
organize the proposed problems and solutions according to the phases
of the total school program. The bulletin was prepared by a com—
mittee of staff members of this Department. It is my hope that these
suggestions made by school people throughout the state may be useful
to you in your work.

Cordially yours,

SupM'i’IL'l‘cndent Public Instruction







Purpose and Functions. Conferences on the Improvement of
Instruction were held for the purpose of examining cooperatively the
program for the improvement of instruction sponsored by the Superin-
tendent of Public Instruction. The functions of the conferences were
to discover through group thinking, (1) what we believe the schools
should do, (2) what part of its defined functions the school is perform-
ing, and (3) what problems are involved in making the school per-
form the functions for which it is established.

Location of Conferences. The State was divided into eleven
districts for conference purposes and each conference was held in the
city in which the annual district education association is held each
year. The places and dates of conferences follow: i

Richmond November 12
Elizabethtown November 13
Louisville November 14
Newport November 15
Bowling Green November 13
Murray November 14:
Madisonville November 15
Hazard November 14
Ashland November 15
Somerset November 14:

Barbourville November 15

Persons Attending Conference. Those attending the confer-
ences represented every school level, elementary, secondary, higher;
and every administrative level, teaching, principal, supervisors,
superintendents and attendance officers.

1. Classroom teachers
a. Elementary
b. Secondary
0. College

2. Administrators
a. Elementary principals
b. Secondary principals
c. Superintendents







d. College deans
e. College presidents
f. College registrars
g. Directors of teacher training
3. Others
a. Department of Education staff members
b. Directors of research
c. Educational association officers
d. Federal agency representative

More than four hundred persons representing the above groups
attended the conferences.

Major Conference Problems. At the first conference held,
Superintendent Brooker stated the scope of the program for the
improvement of instruction, and the five problems relating to the
scope of the discussion became the point of departure in each of the
conferences. He stated that the program should include the following:

1. Methods, ways, and means of pre—training selection of persons
who will teach.

2. Methods of enriching teacher education programs offered in

3. Increased care in the selection of teachers by superintendents
and boards of education.

4. In-service program for the improvement of teachers on the

5. Evaluation of the present curriculum offered in the public
schools to determine whether it is measuring up to the needs
of life, and to enrich the curriculum so that young people may
be prepared for the democratic way of life.

The above statement represents the broad limits of the total prO—
gram. The conference dealt only with one or two of these problems.
Not enough time was available to discuss all the issues. However,
every person present felt free to express himself upon any problems
of major concern to him.

Summary of Conference. There follows a statement of prob-
lems and suggested solutions, as revealed in a study of all the confer-
ence reports. It represents what is felt to be a composite report of the
consensus of all the groups. This statement does not purport to say
that all the people in all the conferences agreed upon all the things
reported here. On the other hand, it does represent what is thought
to be the significant outcomes of the conferences.




Report of Regional Conferences

I. Aims, Purposes, Functions, and Scope of Education and the

School Program.

The View was taken in each of the conferences that if we are to
do all the things we should in making the school function we should
get clearly in mind the aims, the purposes, the function and scope
of the school’s program. What direction are we going, why we are
going in that direction, what we need to do, and the limits of our
actions, should be clearly set out.

The Aims and Purposes of the School. The aims and purposes
of the school it was generally agreed are to meet the educational needs
of all the people for whose education other agencies of society do not
provide. This means that all the people, in the community, of all
ages must be given consideration when the school program is planned:

1. Normal children of public school age.

2. Children of pre—school age.

3. Children who are handicapped in any way.
4. Adults whose needs the Schools may serve.
5. All people of all races.

It was the belief that an investment in education for any or all.
of these groups yields dividends since it tends to preserve and promote
our institutions—social, governmental, economic, and religious.

There are many agencies of society which contribute to the
educational growth of people. A person begins to learn soon after
he is born. The home provides many experiences and all of these
experiences affect the lives of people. The education of the parents,
their economic condition, their social habits, their spiritual attitudes
are sources from which children must learn before and after they
come into the school. The school cannot do a great deal about these
home backgrounds in a direct way, but they must be taken into con-
sideration when the aims and purposes of the school in each com-
munity are defined in terms of the needs of those to be served.

The school is not obligated to do for the child those things which
are ordinarily done by other agencies. The first step, therefore, in
setting up aims and purposes in each school is to take each child when
he enters school and (1) find out how much the home and normal
every~day life have done for him in a constructive way, (2) what
these two agencies can still do for him, (3) what needs he has
Which the home and every—day life are unable to meet, and (4) on the
basis of this information formulate the aims and purposes of the
school. '




Objectives of the School. Each conference recognized the fact
that if the school is to meet the needs of pupils, and avoid duplication
and waste of time and money, those who direct the schools should get
definitely in mind the things the school must do, and how far they

must go.

Out of the discussions of the different conferences came

statements of objectives which should guide in formulating the school’s
program. The following is a composite statement of what seems to
be the things for which the people in the conferences thought each
school system and each school should work:






Each person should develop desirable health habits.

Each person should acquire the ability to use the mother
tongue with reasonable effectiveness.

Each person should develop desirable work habits.

Each person should be given the chance to develop good
citizenship habits.

Each person should be taught how to earn a living and to
work effectively in some vocation.

Each person should develop the elements of good character.
Each person should be helped to make desirable spiritual

Each person should develop desirable social attitudes.

Each person should develop desirable religious attitudes and

Each person should be taught a proper sense of values.
Each person should be taught adequate recreational attitudes
and habits.

Each person should develop desirable personality traits.
Each person should learn to appreciate the arts.

Each person should be able to appreciate and practice the
American way of life.

Each person should develop intelligent self-direction.

Each person should develop his aptitudes.

Each person should develop a sense of good manners.

Each person should develop world-mindedness.

Each person should be able to do creative thinking.

Each person should understand and practice morality.

The above objectives were set up as a guide in evaluating the
present school programs in the communities throughout the state.
Each person concerned in the improvement of his program may
well take these objectives and use them in examining his own pm-
gram. Those desirable things which are not being done, or done
effectively, should be inaugurated.







Defining the Functions of the School. Education and the
schools are provided for through legal action taken by the legislature.
Under legal provisions, local boards of education set up rules and
regulations for establishing the schools. They provide for employment
of the personnel, erect buildings, purchase supplies, and through
taxation finance the educational program. This action, however, does
not go to the heart of the matter. There still remains the task of
defining the functions of the school and setting up the objectives.

In these conferences discussions were entered into in an attempt
to locate the authority for setting up the school objectives and pro-
cedures. Certain tendencies in practice were revealed as follows:

1. There is a tendency in many localities for school authorities
working alone to prescribe what goes on in the school.

2. In many instances superintendents and principals do not
have adequate freedom to adjust the school program to pupil
and community needs.

a. Rules of the board may interfere.

b. Restricted finances may prevent changes.

0. Accrediting regulations may cause principals and
superintendents to feel that they do not have adequate

3. There is a tendency on the part of the public to feel that
education is found only in books and that it does not have
the broad aspects assumed by the modern educator.

1f the schools are to meet the needs of all of the people in the
community, then all of the people should take part in selecting the
Objectives of the school, in defining the functions of the school, and
in evaluating the program of the school. It was generally agreed that
in planning the school program the following persons and groups
should participate according to the needs, experiences, authority, and
1. The pupils should be consulted in order that their aptitudes
and interests may be discovered.
2. The teachers should participate in order that they may bring
to the authorities the needs of the children.
3. The parents should be consulted, since they have information
which will help to locate pupil and community needs.
4. The principal should take part in order that he may bring to
the head of the school system the needs of the school.
5. The superintendent, after fortifying himself with the
information collected from the pupils, the parents, the



teachers, and the principals should take the lead in present-
ing the program to the board of education.

6. The board of education should participate by providing the
facilities through which the legal recommendations of the
superintendent may implement programs in the interest of
the children.

7. The lay organizations and business men should participate
(a) through furnishing information concerning community
resources for education, (b) through furnishing information
as to vocational and employment needs in the community.

8. The superintendent of Public Instruction and his staff should
furnish leadership and advice in the organization of pro
grams and should prepare courses of study and learning
material to help carry out the program. _

9. Staffs of colleges in Whose service area a particular school
system is located should cooperate in formulating school
programs and in helping to adjust these programs to the
needs of the pupils.

II. Attacking the Problems in the Improvement of Instruction.

In every conference a great deal of emphasis was placed upon
ways and means of approaching the solution of the problems in the
improvement of instruction. Methods of attack were presented both
by giving opinion upon how they may be solved and by giving
examples of how certain problems are being attacked in different
school systems.

Administrative Leadership. The superintendent will be the
key to any program designed to inaugurate a new program or to change
any existing program. In many areas of the State significant pro-
grams are under way designed gradually to make the schools more

1. Superintendents are freeing themselves more and more from
routine tasks which may be done by others, and are devoting
more of their time to an evaluation of their programs.

2. They are spending more time in summer sessions, and in
conferences, in an attempt to increase their effectiveness.

3. Superintendents are exercising more freedom, and are trying
to select good teachers for the classrooms.

4. They are insisting that the principals they employ for the
schOols are educated and have the qualities necessary for
educational leadership.



5. They are bringing teachers more and more into the planning
of changes in the school activities.

6. They are inaugurating; traveling libraries for the county
elementary and high schools.

7. They are insisting that teachers visit the homes of the pupils
in order to improve the services of the schools.

8. They are insisting upon closer cooperation between pupils
and teachers in planning pupil work.

9. They are encouraging teachers to use community resources
and materials in the learning program.

10. They are encouraging teachers to play——and to play with

11. Some schools are encouraged to cooperate with churches in
moral education.

12. School authorities are encouraging the better high school
graduates to take teacher education courses.

13. One superintendent is providing supervision by employing
a traveling teacher who goes into the classrooms and helps
the teachers.

14. It was recommended that superintendents cooperate with the
nearest teacher training institution in providing facilities for
directed teaching.

Planning the Program. The following suggestions were made
concerning methods of attacking the problems:

All problems should be dealt with from a realistic viewpoint. This
means that the democratic processes should be involved. The teachers
and principal should talk things over; pupil-teacher relationships
should be so realistic that the pupils’ problems may be found, and
teachers should be free to give opinions and advice in all matters of
school policy.

There are times when teachers, patrons, principals, and superin-
tendents must work together in groups, in order to get the benefit of
group thinking. Time is not lost if the teacher calls on parents to
come to the school to help her plan; time is not lost nor is the prestige
of the superintendent lowered if he asks teachers in particular fields
to come in and advise with him on school problems in their fields.

In planning the school program there is a tendency to do more
for the high school than the elementary school. This should not be
so. The school program as a whole should be examined without

The vocational opportunities in the community should be located
and listed. The areas of work in which pupils may be employed when




they leave school should be known. The teacher and pupils should
study together in order to discover what the child can do best and in
what he is interested. This should be done for every child. Every

child should have a plan of action which he has helped to formulate
and with which he agrees.

Programs of Improvement. The teachers of Home Economics
and Agriculture have employed realistic procedures in programs of
instruction. The very nature of these courses, as well as other courses
in vocations, makes them readily adaptable to the use of community
resources. It was the common belief of persons attending the confer-
ences that sciences, social sciences, English, and others of the traditional
subjects lend themselves to adaptation to the community needs and
to the use of community resources just as do the so-called practical

After all, any program of improvement must take into considera-
tion the leadership qualities of teachers as these qualities have
manifested themselves through the specific training and experiences
they have had.

The program of improvement must be both pupil-centered and
community-centered. The pupils should have their learning activities
selected in terms of their aptitudes and interests. The pupils should
learn those things which will help them participate in the life of the

To find the needs of the adults in a community the principal
and teachers should study with the adults those problems which
education will help them in solving.

In Little Rock school in Bourbon County the teachers, principal
and pupils have worked out a health and physical education program
which brings into use the gymnasium every period in the day, and
into a coordinated health and physical education program for every
pupil in the school. Such a program is possible only in those com-
munities where all the people, laymen, school people, and pupils, think
together and work together toward goals which they have planned

Teachers must be susceptible to change if learning is to be
effective. Supervision will help the teacher to see the real social
purposes underlying the factual material which she is trying to get
the children to experience. It will help teachers in securing
information which is related to the problems which they must face.
In the absence of supervision in a system those teachers must be
employed who have already developed a high degree of individual
efficiency. In rural areas ‘there is a definite need for supervision



which will help teachers adjust the program of learning to pupil

In Boone County reading aids are furnished teachers and a
system of circulating libraries is provided for the rural schools. Knox
County has inaugurated the circulating library system, also.

The Fort Thomas High School has inaugurated a program for
teaching Americanism. A handbook along with a study outline has
been developed. Scholarship and information are basic to the pro-
gram, and emphasis is placed upon bringing social and business
activities into the classroom activities. Happiness in work is the
keynote, and this is made effective by making pupil interests a part
of the school program.

Fort Thomas has also a guidance program based upon a survey
of pupil needs. There are pupils who will travel different educational
roads, one group leading toward college, and the others leading
toward occupations when high school is finished. Curricula and
home-room programs are organized to meet the needs of each of these
groups. Child interests, parent wishes, and factors of environment
are taken into consideration before a child finally chooses his road.

The State Department of Education. [t was agreed in the
conferences that the State Department of Education through its staff
members should take the lead in the State in:

1.. Developing in the State a program for the improvement of

2. Bringing groups together for purposes of making plans of

3. Helping superintendents in working out, with the professional

staff, problems dealing with curricula.

Finding source materials for school improvement.

Helping to provide better educated teachers.

Helping to promote the economic welfare of teachers.

Evaluating school programs.

Setting up standards for elementary schools.

Helping to get one or more supervisors in each county.

10. Encourage school museums.


Teacher Education Institutions. Colleges can and should use
adjacent schools for supervised student teaching to supplement
campus training schools. Colleges should make provision for Satur-
day classes and Summer workshops where teachers and principals
may come to work on their problems. Colleges can place greater




emphasis upon health and physical training for those teachers who
go into rural communities to teach, and encourage elementary teach-
ers to complete four-year courses before they begin teaching.

Some Major Problems to be Faced. Some of the problems
which seem to be of major concern are,







Not enough of the most promising high school graduates
prepare for teaching.

Too many persons think of the high school curriculum in
terms of college entrance.
The love of America is not effectively taught, that is,
Americanism is not taught through a program of action.
Too large a percentage of the health and physical education
courses are formalized and too few of the children have
health and physical education built around their needs.
Very few schools have guidance programs, and too few schools
have the guidance point of view in their educational programs.
More books and learning materials should be furnished those
children who are unable to buy them.
Too many pupils stay away from school because they do not
have adequate food and clothing, and there is not adequate
cooperation between school and relief organizations.
Not enough consideration is given to the aptitudes and
abilities of children in working out curriculums.
Not enough respect is accorded to those who work with their
hands, therefore, more emphasis should be given to helping
the child respect what he can do well regardless of the
employment level in which it will place him.
Too much emphasis is placed upon formal commercial work
in the high schools, and not enough emphasis upon consumer
education. -
Text-book teaching does not touch the life of the child as it
There is too little appreciation of the fact that the school
owes it to the child to help him prepare to do something
and to help him adjust himself to the changing ways of life.
The textbook law does not lend itself to meeting pupils’
reading needs adequately, since it does not permit the pur-
chase of reading material of different grade level for a single
grade. Sets of books of varying levels are needed in each

The recreational program does not have proper emphasis

















in all the schools. Better leaders in wholesome and varied

recreation should be employed in each school.

Character education as an objective is not emphasized
adequately in the organization of our learning programs.
Definite steps should be taken to find desirable ways for
conducting programs of religious and moral education, and
to get desirable cooperation among those directly concerned
in this program. '

Education against crime needs to be more effectively

The schools are not enough concerned with the problems of
employment, and have not placed adequate emphasis upon
the relation between employment and good citizenship.

Not enough emphasis is placed upon the use of community
resources in the educational programs.

Parents and pupils have not been made to feel that they
have a definite part in planning and in implementing the
educational programs.

Too few schools have available the services of school
physicians and school nurses.

We need to get those who believe in pupil-centered schools
and those who believe in community-centered schools to see
that they are not actually in conflict, but that the two points
of view are merely two aspects of the same thing.

There is a need for getting the public to understand its
responsibility for meeting the educational needs of the pre-
school child, the handicapped child, and the adult who needs

We need a wider use of the public forum as an agency of
public information and group thinking.

We need to popularize “being a good citizen” among both
young people and adults.

How can we get boards of education to understand the need
for supervision to the extent that they will provide for the
employment of good supervisors?

We need to build our programs, and to change those pro-
grams now in operation in terms of child needs instead of
basing them on hunches.

III. National Defense.
A great deal of time was Spent in each of the conferences upon

discussions of the program of national defense and its implications
for the school program in Kentucky. It was generally agreed





That American democracy can stand comparison with any
other form of government, and therefore young people should
be given an opportunity to compare the democratic way of
life with those existing under other forms of government

That since democracy is our accepted way of life, we should
so teach it that children would in a fact become endootrinated
with it, just as people under other forms of government are

That the best way of getting a clear understanding of the
democratic way of life is to use the democratic processes in
all of our relationships.

a. Pupil-teacher relationships should be democratic.

b. Parent-child relationships should be democratic.

c. Teacher-administrator relationships should be democratic.
d. Employer-employee relationships should be democratic.

That in setting up the school curriculum, definite emphasis
should be placed upon the introduction of those materials and
experiences as will tend to give children opportunities to
practice the ways of democracy.

That special emphasis should be placed at this time upon
such activities as:

a. The development of a strong and healthy body

b. The development of skills based upon aptitudes, which

skills have promise of usefulness in the current program
of national defense

c. Emphasis upon the historical development of our coun-
try and its implications for our present-day life
d. Understanding of the significance of the institutions
established in this country which are used in emphasizing
and emotionalizing the American way of life, such as
understanding of the flag, and understanding the mean
ing of holidays
e. Emphasis upon the development of consistent work
f. Emphasis upon providing opportunity for the develop-
ment of creative thinking and creative action
Experiences designed to promote in each individual
intelligent self-direction


6. That teachers, in order to function in such a program,
must have abroader understanding of the problems of social



life, more intensive and extensive experiences in their special
fields of work, and a greater understanding of children and
how they behave in learning situations.

IV. The Scope of the School’s Program.
Very soon after the opening of each conference the discussion
entered into the necessity of preparing young people to earn a


It was the general consensus that too little attention has

been given to this important phase of education.

Training for Vocations. There was general belief in all the



That to be able to live fully as citizens young people must
learn to make a living.

That every child should learn how to carry on a gainful

That increased emphasis should be placed by the schools
upon preparation. in such vocational areas as agriculture,
home economics, commerce, trades, shop work, and distribu-
tive occupations.

That salesmanship and typing should be more generally
taught than is now the case.

That before training for any vocation is introduced into a
given school system there should be a careful study made to
(a) find out what are the opportunities for employment in
that vocation, and (b) 110w many pupils have aptitudes
which offer promise of success in that field.

That vocational experiences should be given all pupils in the
everyday activities of the school, such as the business phases
of sports, clubs, school paper, school lunches, and experiences
involving thrift, budgeting, etc.

That eternal vigilance be practiced by teachers in study of
pupil needs, pupil desires, developed skills, etc., as a basis
of guiding pupils toward goals which offer reasonable promise
of success.

Physical Education. A great deal was said in all the confer-
ences about the inadequacy of our program of physical education and
recreation. The shortcomings were voiced in the following terms:


Relatively too much emphasis is placed in many systems upon
competitive athletics and too little emphasis upon recreational






Schools think of a physical education program in terms of
winning teams.

There are not enough persons employed in our schools who
have a deep appreciation of, and highly developed leader-
ship in, a well-rounded program of physical education and
recreation which reaches all the children in the school.

Unless the gymnasium is used by all the children it is doubt
ful if we are justified in spending such large sums in their

That teachers in their programs of preparation for teaching
should learn to enjoy play so they may play with the pupils
in the schools.

That the recreational program of the school needs to be
extended so it will reach out into the community.

There was general belief that physical education should be taken
from the area of extra curricular activities and placed in the school
as a regular part of the curriculum. This will involve some of the
following changes:


The person in charge of physical education and recreation
will be as well prepared for his work as is the English teacher
or the mathematics teacher.

The program will be organized in terms of the recreational
needs of all the pupils.

Recess periods will in fact become periods of wholesome and
enjoyable recreation.

There will be such a variety of activities that pupils may have
some freedom of choice in the kind of recreation in which
they will engage.

No child will be neglected.

There will be cooperation between the school and other health
agencies in the matter of attacking health problems and in
providing community recreation.

Moral Education. In many of the conferences the question of
organizing the program of moral and religious education was discussed.
Some of these discussions included descriptions of types of programs
now under way. The following problems were raised:



What is the best way to emphasize moral education?

How can we best get the community and the school in realistic
cooperation in the solution of this question?



3. How can we get the educational workers and the religious
workers to come together for the purpose of working out a
sound program?

Citizenship Education. In looking over the reports of all of the
conferences, it is significant that the word “Citizen” or “ Citizenship”
was used probably more than any other word. It was evident that it
was the common