Handbook of Child Guidance

Handbook of Child Guidance

Handbook of Child Guidance

Handbook of Child Guidance

Excerpt

Were Horace Mann living today, I believe that he would be one of those forward-looking educators who consider the development of child guidance our most important task. It was he who, a hundred years ago, stood for an education which would not only advance knowledge in any field but which would train and mould youth to strong and healthy personalities for the various tasks of life.

It is unfortunate that our educational development during the past hundred years has not followed the lines set forth by this leader of American thought. With the advent of new problems brought about by the increase in scientific and technical processes our system of education has become progressively less able to fulfill the task of preparing the child for life in its many aspects and in the various relationships which bind it to the modern community. Instead, modern education, as a social institution, is mostly confined within the walls of the classroom and considers its tasks predominantly that of imparting the elementary facts of scientific knowledge which, in written and printed form, present the basis of our modern existence.

It would be contrary to the spirit of this volume to deliver a bill of complaints against our modern academic education or with the training received in the family, the church, or the community. Our task is rather to point out the manifold ways and means by which to solve the main problems in establishing a well rounded system of education. But, while omitting any brief against modern education, we must recognize that the existence of so many neurotic and despairing young people has forced medical men who feel responsible for society's mental health to overstep bounds in order to treat mental disease. This calls for an educational system so ordered and planned as to serve as a prophylactic for the mental health of the rising generation. The present ever changing conditions demand sound and far reaching social and mental preventive measures. We can no longer afford to call for the psychiatrist only after our youth has been harmed by fear neuroses, or lamed and mentally twisted by uncontrolled unfortunate conditions. Even our exaggerated rationality revolts at such waste. We must seek the hygiene and the prophylaxis necessary to preserve the inborn, innate sanity of our youth through a broad program of educational and cultural development similar to that of Horace Mann.

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