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- Sociology and Modern Social Problems - 45/45 -

instead of being a socializing agency and the chief instrument of social regeneration, became an individualizing agency dissolving the social order itself.

Very slowly our educators are becoming conscious of the fact that this type of education is a social menace, and that our educational system needs reformation from bottom to top in order to become again equal to the social task imposed upon it by the more complex social conditions of the twentieth century. Hence the demand for a socialized education, which is proceeding, not only from sociologists and social workers, but from the progressive leaders of education itself. What this socialized education of the future shall be is not the province of this book to discuss, but a few of its essential characteristics may be noted. As has already been said, such education will aim, first of all, at producing the citizen before it aims at producing the lawyer, the engineer, the physician, or any other professional or occupational type. No doubt, this means, for one thing, that all individuals shall be taught to be good fathers and mothers, good neighbors and members of communities, even more than they are taught the accomplishments of life. No doubt, also, the socialized education of the future will emphasize the adjustment of the individual to the industrial order of society, because it is necessary that individuals shall be producers if they are to be efficient citizens. The necessity and value of industrial training in our system of education has already been emphasized in discussing other social problems. Such training has its place and that place, as we have already seen, is a very important and fundamental one; but it must not be forgotten that the relations of men to one another are more important than the relations of men to nature. In industrial training, the element which is apt to be emphasized is the relations of the individual to the physical facts and forces of nature; but this is only a beginning of the training for citizenship, because good citizenship consists essentially in harmonious and efficient functioning in the social group. Therefore, the study of the relationships of men to one another must be the final and crowning element in a system of social education. Such studies as history, government, economics, ethics, and sociology must occupy a larger and larger place in the education of the future if we are to secure a humanity adjusted to the requirements of its existence. Historical and sociological instruction should lead up, moreover, to direct ethical instruction. If the industrial element in the social life is important, the moral element is even more so, since it is, as we have already said, the ideal aspect of the social. In some way or another, our public schools, from the kindergarten up, must make a place for social and ethical instruction of a direct and explicit character.

In the higher education, the social sciences must be especially emphasized, because it is those who receive higher education who become the leaders of society, and it is important, no matter what occupation or profession they may serve society in, that they understand the bearings of their work upon social welfare. They must know their duties as citizens and understand how society may best be served. In other words, our higher education should put to the front the ideal, not of individual power and success, but of social service; and this means that, in addition to the technical or professional education which the more highly educated are giving, there must be a sufficient knowledge of social conditions and of the laws and principles of social progress given them to enable them to serve society rightly. Intelligent social service cannot exist without social knowledge.

All this implies that the older idea that education can be given regardless of content is, from the social point of view, a great mistake. Social knowledge is necessary, as we have just said, for efficient social service, and a socialized education can have no other end than social service. Therefore, sociological knowledge in the broadest sense should be required in the education of every citizen, and particularly those who are to become social leaders. Professor Ward has ably argued that if sufficient information of the facts, conditions, and laws of human society could be given to all, that alone would bring about in the highest degree social progress. Whether we agree or not that the mere giving of information will of itself lead to progressive or dynamic action in society, it must be admitted that right social information is indispensable for right social action. As Professor Cooley has said, "We live in a system, and to achieve right ends, or any rational ends whatever, we must learn to understand that system." Hence, the commanding place which sociology and the social sciences should occupy in the education of all classes, and especially in the training of the teacher himself.

It is not unreasonable to believe that the development of the social sciences will show us the way to remove many, if not all, social evils; and it is also not unreasonable to believe that the knowledge which these sciences will furnish will stimulate in the vast mass of individuals an impetus to remove these evils. Moreover, training in the social sciences will check many of the most menacing tendencies of our present civilization. For one thing, training in the social sciences will lessen the practical materialism of modern civilization, for it will throw the emphasis on the relations of men to one another rather than on the relations of man to nature. The social sciences, aiming at the control of the social conditions and of social progress, necessarily emphasize the higher life of man, and they therefore set before the student as the goal, not material achievement or individual success, but the service of man. Again, training in the social sciences will check the exaggerated individualism, which, as we have already seen, is one of the most menacing tendencies of our time; for the social sciences show the solidarity of the society and the interdependence of its parts. They show that no individual lives to himself, and that his acts evidently affect the whole of society. Finally, training in the social sciences will insure the development of true moral freedom in our social life, for these sciences involve a searching but impersonal criticism of social institutions and public policies. Now the very breath of life of a free society is intelligent public criticism of its institutions and policies. Without this, there can be no change, no progress. But intelligent criticism implies scientific criticism, that is, criticism based upon adequate scientific knowledge and without personal bias. This means the scientific study of institutions and social organization. If the American people are to perfect their institutions, they must maintain and develop their moral freedom; and to maintain true moral freedom, they must encourage the scientific study of social conditions and institutions. To secure an unbiased attitude toward social and political problems, to train every citizen for social service, to reconstruct social organization along scientific lines, it is necessary, therefore, to give the social sciences an honored place in the education of all classes and professions.


_For brief reading_:

WARD, _Applied Sociology_, Chaps. VIII-XII. WARD, _Dynamic Sociology_, Vol. II, Chap. XIV. HORNE, _The Philosophy of Education_, Chaps. IV and V. DEWEY, _The School and Society_.

_For more extended reading_:

DAVIDSON, _History of Education_. GRAVES, _History of Education_. MONROE, _History of Education_.

Sociology and Modern Social Problems - 45/45

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