Calvin M. Woodward - William H. Kilpatrick - John Dewey - Ellsworth Collings (Originalbeitrag)
Calvin M. Woodward
Wie seine Vorgänger hat auch Woodward sich nie umfassend und ausführlich zur Projektarbeit in der Schule geäußert. Dennoch gehört er zu den herausragenden Vertretern der Projektidee; denn bei ihm war die Arbeit am Projekt integraler Teil - ja, Höhepunkt - des Werkunterrichts. Um das Ziel der Schule: die planmäßige Erziehung und Bildung des Kindes nicht zu gefährden, konnte die Projektarbeit nur Ergänzung, kein Ersatz zum systematischen Lernen und gründlichen Üben sein. Woodward hat früh und pointiert auf die Chancen, aber auch auf die Gefahren des von den Schülern selbstbestimmten und selbstorganisierten Projektunterrichts hingewiesen. Vgl. dazu Michael Knoll: Dewey, Kilpatrick und "progressive" Erziehung. Kritische Studien zur Projektpädagogik. Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt 2011. S. 34-49.
It will be found an excellent plan to give all the boys permission occasionally to make what they like, and to carry away the products. In such cases each should submit a scale drawing (figured) of the proposed article, and should furnish the material for the same. The teacher however should endorse no loose plan, nor permit attempts on too complicated work. And let me caution both teachers and pupils against ambitious undertakings. There is a very homely, but strikingly appropriate, proverb which may occur to the reader, and which I forbear to quote, but it warns against undertaking more than one can execute. Heed is warning. No »extra« or »project« should be adopted, which has not been looked through in every detail, and for which there is not at command not only all the necessary materials, but all the time that may be needed. […]
At the end of the series of regular exercises in a shop, one or two new exercises should be given with a view to develop the ingenuity and inventive talent of the pupils. The drawings should show the finished work, and no clew should be given by the teacher as to how the work is to be done. Every boy should be required to think out and put down in writing and illustrate by drawings: 1. the order of the steps, 2. the tools to be used, 3. the methods of work. These should be carefully examined, criticised, and compared. Good points ought to be fully recognized and commended. The teacher should then select or arrange the best course, and let the project be executed. […]
Projects. When these exercises are finished, a variety of combination pieces may be executed by the members of a class jointly or separately. These projects should be carefully matured, detail drawings of all the parts should be made, often patterns should be made for cast-iron work. Jack-screws, speed lathes, electrical apparatus, and small engines furnish abundant and interesting work on which to combine the exercises into particular shapes. There is great danger, however, of undertaking too much.
Calvin M. Woodward: The Manual Training School. Boston: Heath 1887. S. 49-50, 104, 149.
Project for Graduation. Before receiving a diploma of the school, each student must execute a project satisfactory to the faculty of the Polytechnic School. The project consists of the actual construction of a machine. The finished machine must be accompanied by a full set of working drawings according to which the machine is made, and the patterns used for the castings. Both drawings and the patterns must be the work of the student. The project remains the property of the school.
Prospectus of the Manual Training School of Washington University, St. Louis. November 1879. S. 14.
More and more every year, from what I see in my own school and elsewhere - and my observation has been very wide - do I deplore the waste of opportunity in needless repetitions, and the folly of bad arrangements. I have seen incompetent teachers yielding to the lawless whims and fancies of pupils, when those whims and fancies should have been guided and controlled. The untaught boy has no appreciation of the importance of sequence, nor the necessity of knowledge just how tools should be used before he undertakes to use them in a project. If left to himself, he undertakes what he is not prepared to do; he uses the wrong tools, or the right tools in the wrong way; and his workmanship is invariably bad. His object is not manual training; it is a project; and his estimate of the value of manual training is based upon the value of the completed exercise. Again and again have I stated - and my judgment is confirmed by the judgment of any number of mature students who look back upon their training - that the main thing is the boy and not the article; and that, were all the exercises of the year shoveled into the furnace and burned, so far as they are combustible, all the manual training would survive in the developed brains and trained functions of the pupils.
At the same time, as a justification of the logic of every series of elementary steps, the pupil should be required, under the direction of the teacher, to make what we call a synthetic exercise, in which the elements are combined into an article for use or beauty, or both. Such exercises we call »projects,« inasmuch as they are supposed to be the fruit of a mastery of the elements; and it is desirable that every pupil should be made to understand that when one has mastered the elements he can then be a master-builder. These projects naturally form a large part of a manual-training exhibit, but they should not mislead anyone, as it should always be understood that they are based upon a preliminary mastery of the elements involved.
Calvin M. Woodward: Manual Training in the Secondary Grades and in Colleges. In: Proceedings of the National Educational Association (1905), S. 268.
William H. Kilpatrick
Mehr als jeder andere amerikanische Pädagoge hat sich Kilpatrick zur Theorie und Praxis der Projektmethode geäußert. Seine wichtigsten Schriften sind bekannt und auch in Deutschland zumeist leicht zugänglich. An dieser Stelle sei daher auch kein Auszug aus seinem berühmten Aufsatz »The Project Method« (1918) oder aus seinem projektpädagogischen Hauptwerk »Foundations of Method« (1925), sondern aus einem Manuskript »How Shall We View Method« vorgestellt, das er im April 1917 schrieb und das bisher auch nicht in den Vereinigten Staaten bekannt und veröffentlicht worden ist. Das Manuskript umfaßt 29 Schreibmaschinenseiten, davon werden im folgenden die Seiten 14 bis 19 abgedruckt. In diesem Abschnitt versucht Kilpatrick, seinen eigenen Standpunkt zu formulieren und seine Projektmethode von der „Problemmethode“ Frank McMurrys (How to Study, 1909) und John Deweys (How We Think, 1910) abzusetzen. Zu beachten ist, daß sich Kilpatrick im vorliegenden Manuskript weit weniger stark an Kind, Motivation und Absicht orientiert wie in seinen späteren Veröffentlichungen. Vgl. dazu Michael Knoll: Dewey, Kilpatrick und "progressive" Erziehung. Kritische Studien zur Projektpädagogik. Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt 2011. S.83-144.
It would be well if we had a term analogous to »problem« to describe the act in its unified and generalizing aspect. A term already in use by some, with more or less uncertainty as to its precise meaning, is »project«. This evidently contemplates what elsewhere in this paper has been called the full act. It hardly need be pointed out that the essence of the project is a conscious purpose or end. The etymology of the word meets our need. To project is literally »to throw out or forth, cast or shoot foward«; with the secondary meaning, »to cast forward in the mind«. A project is something projected. Columbus set out upon the project of finding a westerly route to India. Benedict Arnold formed the project of yielding West Point to the British. These boys have a project of building a motor boat. This girl has set for herself the project of committing to memory »The Ancient Mariner«. If I propose to myself to »think through« this question and will to do it, that becomes then a project for me. A girl decides to read Ivanhoe, the reading of Ivanhoe becomes then a project to her. These children decide to play tag, playing tag becomes then their project. Newton set for himself the project of explaining the movements of the heavenly bodies upon the principles of terrestrial mechanics. A project then may be defined as any line of activity which one proposes to himself and accepts for execution. So defined the project is practically the same as the full act and accordingly benefits by the discussion already given under that head. It hardly need be pointed out that the essence of the project is a conscious purpose or end with implicit steps for the attainment of the end. If the project be wholeheartedly entered upon we have in such a project all the functional values claimed above for the »set«. Project teaching would be defined as teaching based upon projects. The character of the projects will evidently vary with the stage which the child may have reached in his growth, as was discussed above. The school procedure on the project basis would then vary properly enough with various ages of the child.
In the light of the foregoing what is the relation of the »project« to the »problem«, the »project method« to the »problem method« »? The relationship assumed several forms. It is at once evident that every problem which is accepted for prosecution in the sense that its solution is willed becomes ex vi termini a project. In this sense every real problem is a project, but not every project is a problem; the »problem method« accordingly becomes a special case - a most important one to be sure - of the »project method«. Yet again it is evident that many projects, most projects, in fact for their successful executive involve an enquiry as to how the project shall be realised, how the movement shall proceed. So intimate is this relationship that many projects - projected schemes of activity - will naturally be stated in terms of the most important element, namely, »How shall this activity proceed«? The ease with which projects can be stated in terms of their essential problems is one reason why the more general term (project) has not been more keenly demanded by those who have thought in this field. [...] The problem as opposed to the (non-problem) project continues the tradition but the project normally demands physical movement on a larger scale than talking and writing. For this reason school men have been quicker to seize upon the problem than upon the more boisterous project. For the same reason this paper is emphasizing the project in the belief that the time has come to remake our school room procedure along lines of larger physical movements - manual and social activities.
Before considering whether there are specific school activities which are projects and not problems it may be pointed out, largely as a restatement of the proceeding thought, that the term problem is primarily intellectualistic in its connotation. It is the statement of an intellectual difficulty. If used exclusively it would tend to over-emphazize the intellectualistic aspect of school work. The importance - even the priority of this may well be admitted; but again be it said our schools need to be remade so as to give more essential place to real life. And actual life consists very much more of purposes sought in terms of physical and social embodiment than in terms of intellectual problem solving. The thinking of our children will be far more vigorous and far better directed if it can be got in connection with the working out of plans which they have projected. Problems will arise - innumerable problems - but being germane to life movements the thinking involved will have a force and a direction and will receive a testing such as the school hardly knows with its artificial situations and its merely reported problems.
It is already evident that the activity of the earlier stages of childhood involve almost exclusively projects that are not primarily problems, that is those concerned with the doing side of life. One of the most fruitful instincts at this time of life (and later) is that of »pleasure at being a cause«. The conception then of project teaching (rather than problem teaching) is particularly pressing in early education. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten education is almost entirely of this type. Probably if the truth were admitted so also would be the education of the first two grades. If moreover we shut our eyes for the time being to the difficulties involved, there are many indications that the work of grades 3 to 9 might well consist largely of projects and their involved problems. Certainly the process of learning for ›transfer‹ to subsequent life situations suggests such a procedure. Beginning perhaps somewhere about twelve or fourteen and increasingly thereafter the more intellectual projects (true problems) would have place. But throughout life primary activity will always be found in connection with projects that involve the embodiment of purpose in physical and social form.
Certain forms of worth-while activities seem peculiarly unsuited to statement in problem form. Nearly all instances of skill and the gaining of appreciation in music, art, and literature belong under this head. Questions do arise in connection with these; and in some instances progress in appreciation may be helped by raising pertinent questions. But these questions often seem rather tricks of device than essential in the process of growth in appreciation. Listening to stories is generally counted to be worth while, and the listener true enough is (or should be) curious as to what is going to happen; but the problem method needs stretching before it fits easily upon story telling. The creative side of activity - the aspect of life most valued as the higher manifestation of culture and the aspect most missing from our traditional school - belongs peculiarly to the project field. Problems abound in connection but they are distinctly subsidiary. Similarly moral training is unthinkable on a problem basis alone. Doing, responding in life situations, alone can bring the specific habit formation necessary. Again problems do arise and their solution is necessary to moral progress; but overt conduct is necessary to any full scheme of moral education.
It seems then to this writer that in the conception back of the word project (he holds no brief for the term) we have a notion general enough to include all the purposeful activities of life and yet specific enough to give real guidance in educational procedure. In saying this the problem is neither ignored nor belittled. I takes its proper place as a most important type of project - probably for schools the most important of all. In a certain true sense the project is the body of activity while the problem is its mind. Both are always present together in life, both should go together in school. In certain experiences the one aspect is more prominent, in others the other; but the child is best cared for if the two are not separated.
William H. Kilpatrick: How Shall We View Method? The Place of the »problem method« in a theory of education. Do we need a more inclusive conception? April 1917. S. 14-19 (Special Collections, Stetson Memorial Library, Mercer University).
Wie Woodward hat auch Dewey die Projektmethode immer nur in wenigen Sätzen und kurzen Abschnitten beschrieben. Dabei war es nicht seine Absicht, ein eigenes Projektkonzept zu entwickeln; vielmehr ging es ihm darum, die Diskussion um den Projektbegriff zu versachlichen und Kriterien vorzustellen, damit der Projektunterricht erzieherisch fruchtbar und in seiner Wirkung weder durch die Vorschriften des Lehrers noch durch die Launen der Kinder beeinträchtigt werden konnte. Die Texte machen deutlich, daß ihm der lehrerzentrierte Ansatz von Woodward ebenso suspekt war wie der schülerzentrierte Ansatz von Kilpatrick. Entgegen der landläufigen Meinung in Deutschland neigte Dewey jedoch Woodward und nicht Kilpatrick zu, wenn er das Projekt als "praktisches Problemlösen" und nicht als "herzhaftes absichtsvolles Tun" verstand. Vgl. dazu Michael Knoll: Dewey, Kilpatrick und "progressive" Erziehung. Kritische Studien zur Projektpädagogik. Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt 2011. S. 145-192.
The problem of the educator is to engage pupils in these activities in such ways that while manual skill and technical efficiency are gained and immediate satisfaction found in the work, together with preparation for later usefulness, these things shall be subordinated to education - that is, to intellectual results and forming of a socialized disposition. What does this principle signify?
In the first place, the principle rules out certain practices. Activities which follow definite prescription and dictation or which reproduce without modification ready-made models, may give muscular dexterity, but they do not require the perception and elaboration of ends, nor (what is the same thing in other words) do they permit the use of judgment in selecting and adapting means. Not merely manual training specifically so-called but many traditional kindergarten exercises have erred here. Moreover, opportunity for making mistakes is an incidental requirement. Not because mistakes are ever desirable, but because overzeal to select material and appliances which forbid a chance for mistakes to occur, restricts initiative, reduces judgment to a minimum, and compels the use of methods which are so remote from the complex situations of life that the power gained is of little availability. It is quite true that children tend to exaggerate their powers of execution and to select projects that are beyond them. But limitation of capacity is one of the things which has to be learned; like other things, it is learned through the experience of consequences. The danger that children, undertaking too complex projects will simply muddle and mess, and produce not merely crude results (which is a minor matter) but acquire crude standards (which is an important matter) is great. But is the fault of the teacher if the pupil does not perceive in due season the inadequacy of his performances, and thereby receive a stimulus to attempt exercises which will perfect his powers. Meantime is more important to keep alive a creative and constructive attitude than to secure an external perfection by engaging the pupil's action in too minute and too closely regulated pieces of work. Accuracy and finish of detail can be insisted upon in such portions of a complex work as are within the pupil's capacity.
John Dewey: Democracy and Education. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education. New York: Macmillan 1916. S. 231-232.
The proponents of freedom are in a false position as well as the would-be masters and dictators. There is a present tendency in so-called advanced schools of educational thought (by no means confined to art classes like those of Cizek) to say, in effect, let us surround pupils with certain materials, tools, appliances, etc., and then let pupils respond to these things according to their own desires. Above all let us not suggest any end or plan to the students; let us not suggest to them what they shall do, for that is an unwarranted trespass upon their sacred intellectual individuality since the essence of such individuality is to set up ends and aims. – Now such a method is really stupid. For it attempts the impossible, which is always stupid; and it misconceives the conditions of independent thinking. There are a multitude of ways of reacting to surrounding conditions, and without some guidance from experience these reactions are almost sure to be casual, sporadic and ultimately fatiguing, accompanied by nervous strain. [...]
The point is also worth dwelling upon that the method of leaving the response entirely to pupils, the teacher supplying, in the language of the day, only the »stimuli,« misconceives the nature of thinking. Any so-called »end« or »aim« or »project« which the average immature person can suggest in advance is likely to be highly vague and unformed, a mere outline sketch, not a suggestion of a definite result or consequence but rather a gesture which roughly indicates a field within which activities might be carried on. It hardly represents thought at all: it is a suggestion. The real intellectual shaping of the »end« or purpose comes during and because of the operations subsequently performed. This is as true of the suggestion which proceeds from the teacher as of those which »spontaneously« spring from the pupils, so that the former does not restrict thought. The advantage on the side of the teacher – if he or she has any business to be in that position – is the greater probability that it will be a suggestion which will permit and require thought in the subsequent activity which builds up a clear and organized conception of an end. There is no more fatal flaw in psychology than that which takes the original vague fore-feeling of some consequence to be realized as the equivalent of a thought of an end, a true purpose and directive plan. The thought of an end is strictly correlative to perception of means and methods. Only when, and as the latter becomes clear during the serial process of execution does the project and guiding aim and plan become evident and articulated. In the full sense of the word, a person becomes aware of what he wants to do and what he is about only when the work is actually complete.
John Dewey: Individuality and Experience. In: Journal of the Barnes Foundation 2 (January 1926), S. 4-6.
Such a succession of unrelated activities does not provide, of course, the opportunity or content of building up an organized subject-matter. But neither do they provide for the development of a coherent and integrated self. Bare doing, no matter how active, is not enough. An activity or project must, of course, be within the range of the experience of pupils and connected with their needs - which is very far from being identical with any likes or desires which they can consciously express. This negative condition having met, the test of a good project is whether it is sufficiently full and complex to demand a variety of responses from different children and permit each to go at it and make his contribution in a way which is characteristic of himself. The further test or mark of a good activity, educationally speaking, is that it have a sufficiently long time-span so that a series of endeavors and explorations are involved in it, and included in such a way that each step opens up a new field, raises new questions, arouses a demand for further knowledge, and suggests what to do next on the basis of what has been accomplished and the knowledge thereby gained. …
While in outward form, these remarks are given to show that the teacher, as the member of the group having the riper and fuller experience and the greater insight into the possibilities of continuous development found in any suggested project, has not only the right but the duty to suggest lines of activity, and to show that there need not be any fear of adult imposition provided the teacher knows children as well as subjects, their import is not exhausted in bringing out this fact. Their basic purport is to show that progressive schools by virtue of being progressive, and not in spite of that fact, are under the necessity of finding projects which involve an orderly development and inter-connection of subject-matter, since otherwise there can be no sufficiently complex and long-span undertaking.
John Dewey: Progressive Education and the Science of Education. In: Progressive Education 5 (July 1928), S. S. 202, 203.
It is fair for an objector to ask what is the substitute, the alternative, to organization of courses on the basis of adherence to traditional divisions and classifications of knowledge. The reply which goes furthest to the left is found in reference to the so-called »project,« »problem,« or »situation« method, now adopted for trial in many elementary schools. I shall indicate later that I do not believe that this is the only alternative. But the method has certain characteristics which are significant for any plan for change that may be adopted, and accordingly I shall call attention to these features. The method mentioned is called a method; it might be taken, therefore, to be only a method. In fact, like anything that is a method other than in name, it has definite implications for subject-matter. There cannot be a problem that is not a problem of something, nor a project that does not involve doing something in a way which demands inquiry into fresh fields of subject-matter. Many so-called projects are of such a short-time span and are entered upon such casual reasons, that extension of acquaintance with facts and principles is at a minimum. In short, they are too trivial to be educative. But the defect is not inherent. It only indicates the need that educators should assume their educational responsibility. It is possible to find problems and projects that come within the scope and capacities of the experience of the learner and which have a sufficient long span so that they raise new questions, introduce new and related undertakings, and create a demand for fresh knowledge. [...]
Nor is the difference that in one procedure organization exists and in the other it does not. It is a difference in the type of organization effected. Material may be drawn from a variety of fields, number and measure from mathematics when they carry forward the undertaking, and so on. But the central question acts as a magnet to draw them together. [...]
Another feature of the problem method is that activity is exacted. I suppose that if there is one principle which is not a monopoly of any school of educational thought, it is the need of intellectual activity on the part of teacher and student, the condemnation of passive receptivity. But in practice there persist methods in which the pupil is a recording phonograph, or one who stands at the end of a pipe line receiving material conducted from a distant reservoir of learning. [...]
In the third place, while the student with a proper »project« is intellectually active, he is also overtly active; he applies, he constructs, he expresses himself in new ways. He puts his knowledge to the test of operation. Naturally, he does something with what he learns. Because of this feature the separation between the practical and the liberal does not even arise. It does not have to be done away with, because it is not there. In practical subjects, this doing exists in laboratories and shops. But too often it is of a merely technical sort, not a genuine carrying forward of theoretical knowledge. It aims at mere manual facility, at an immediate external product, or a driving home into memory of something already learned as a matter of mere information.
I have referred, as already indicated, to the "project" method because of these traits, which seem to me proper and indispensable aims in all study by whatever name it be called, not because this method seems to be the only alternative to that usually followed. I do not urge it as the sole way out of educational confusion, not even in the elementary school, though I think experimentation with it is desirable in college and secondary school. But it is possible to retain traditional titles and still reorganize the subject matter under them, so as to take account of interdependencies of knowledge and connection of knowledge with use and application.
John Dewey: The Way out of Educational Confusion. Cambridge: Harvard University Press 1931. S.30-36.
Conditions to Be Met to Render ›Projects‹ Educative.Constructive occupations have in recent years found their way increasingly into the schoolroom. They are usually known as ›projects.‹ In order that they may be truly educative, there are certain conditions that should be fulfilled.
The first condition, that of interest, is usually met. Unless the activity lays hold on the emotions and desires, unless it offers an outlet for energy that means something to the individual himself, his mind will turn in aversion from it, even though externally he keeps at it. But interest is not enough. Given interest, the important matter is what kind of object and action enlists it. Is it something transitory or is it enduring? Is the interest mainly one of excitement or is thought involved?
Hence the second condition to be met is that the activity be worth while intrinsically. This statement does not signify, as we have just seen in another connection, that its outcome be something externally useful from the adult point of view. But it does mean that merely trivial activities, those that are of no consequence beyond the immediate pleasure that engaging in them affords, should be excluded. It is not difficult to find projects that are enjoyable while at the same time they stand for something valuable in life itself.
The third condition (really only an amplification of the point just made) is that the project in the course of its development present problems that awaken new curiosity and create a demand for information. There is nothing educative in an activity, however agreeable it may be, that does not lead the mind out into new fields. The new field cannot be entered unless the mind is led to ask questions that it had not thought of before and unless the presence of these questions creates a thirst for additional information to be obtained by observation, by reading, by consulting persons expert in that particular field.
Finally, as a fourth condition, the project must involve a considerable time span for its adequate execution. The plan and the object to be gained must be capable of development, one thing leading on naturally to another. Unless it does so, new fields cannot be entered. It is the province of the adult to look ahead and see whether one stage of achievement will suggest something else to be looked into and done. An occupation has continuity. It is not a succession of unrelated acts, but is a consecutively ordered activity in which one step prepares the need for the next one and that one adds to, and carries further in a cumulative way, what has already be done.
John Dewey: How We Think. A Restatement of the Relation of Reflective Thinking to the Educative Process. Boston: Heath 1933. S. 217-219.
Collings ist durch seinen Schulversuch in Bethpage, vor allem aber durch seine Beschreibung des "Typhusprojekts" weltbekannt geworden. Das »Typhusprojekt« soll hier aber nicht, wie üblich und bei Peter Petersen (1935) und diversen Nachdrucken leicht zugänglich, anhand des Berichts aus seiner Dissertation »An Experiment with the Project Curriculum« (1923), sondern in der Fassung vorgestellt werden, wie sie bereits 1920 im »Rural School Curriculum« erschien. Collings beschreibt den Unterricht im „Rural School Curriculum“ als ein von Lehrer und Schülern gemeinsam geplantes Vorhaben. Gegenüber diesem Bericht sind in der Darstellung von 1923 die Unterrichtsphasen vertauscht, die Tätigkeit des Lehrers eingeschränkt und die Aktivitäten der Schüler um wichtige Unternehmungen, wie etwa dem Besuch bei Mary und Johnnie und dem Brief an Mr. Smith, betrügerisch ergänzt. Collings zeigt sich im »Rural School Curriculum« als ein Pädagoge, der einen insgesamt anregenden, aber manchmal auch überraschend formalen und konventionellen Unterricht erteilt. Vgl. dazu Michael Knoll: Dewey, Kilpatrick und "progressive" Erziehung. Kritische Studien zur Projektpädagogik. Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt 2011. S. 193-234.
Third Division [Schüler im Alter von 14-16 Jahren]. Among the various things mentioned for study at the first conference of this group, Community Health was suggested. Inasmuch as there were several cases of typhoid fever in the community at this time, this project appealed to the boys and girls as one worth consideration. After discussing the various things suggested, the group with only one dissenting vote decided to find out how they could help to improve the health condition of the community.
(1) How to improve the health conditions of this community
1. Investigation – In conference with the teacher, the group decided that they would like to find out the different diseases that attack the people of this community, the frequency of each, and the deaths resulting from each. A discussion regarding the best way to find out these things resulted in dividing the group into three teams and assigning each team fifteen families to investigate. In this connection the students planned the following questionaire and used it as a guide in this work. An illustrated folder containing a record of all the investigations was made by each student. Percentage computations were worked out by the students as a part of the investigation. 1. What diseases have you had in your home during each year for the past two years? 2. What time of the year did the disease occur? 3. How many deaths have occurred in your home during the past two years? 4. What was the cause of each of the deaths?
2. Group discussions - In conference, the students under the guidance of the teacher made a study of the facts gathered by the above investigation and discovered that the common diseases of this community are typhoid fever, pneumonia, influenza, tuberculosis, diphtheria, appendicitis, mumps, measles and whooping cough. The investigation further revealed that typhoid fever is the most frequent disease and that more deaths result from it than any other diseases of this community. As a summary of the investigation, the group prepared a large chart showing the diseases that attack the people of this community, the frequency of each, and the number of deaths resulting from each. This chart was explained by one of the members of the group at a night Community Meeting. These discussions naturally suggested a study of the cause of typhoid fever.
(3) What are the causes of typhoid fever in this community? [Bei der Zählung ist Collings (oder dem das Manuskript kürzenden Redakteur) ein Fehler unterlaufen. Anstatt (3) muß es (2) heißen.]
1. Investigation – In conference with the teacher the students discussed the ways of discovering the causes of typhoid in this community. Here some suggested that they could find these causes in the reference books, others objected to this because the reference books had little to say about the actual conditions of the community. The discussion resulted in a decision to visit two families of the community that had typhoid fever, and six families that had typhoid some time in the past and observe the cleanliness around the home, the source of drinking water, care of the milk, and fly protection. They further agreed to use the following questionaire to assist them in what to observe. Questionnaire. 1. Does the home have many flies? 2. Does the home use pure drinking water? 3. Does the home use pure milk? 4. Is the home clean? (manure piles, weeds, and garbage, exposed outhouses and open garbage pails.)
2. Group discussions - The investigation revealed that 60 per cent of the homes visited did not have any screens, and that there were many flies in all of the eight homes; that 50 per cent of the homes had impure drinking water, the wells being located lower than the dwelling and barn; that 62 per cent of the homes had impure milk due to the unsanitary methods used in handling it; and that 87 per cent of the homes were unclean, having manure piles, weeds and garbage, exposed outhouses, and open garbage pails. The students concluded from these facts and from what the reference books had to say regarding such conditions that the causes of typhoid in this community are the fly, impure drinking water and milk, and uncleanliness. They made a large graphic chart illustrating the facts they had discovered, and explained it at one of the night Community Meetings. The students were intensely interested in studying how to eradicate theses causes. The fly was chosen by the students, first, as it appeared to be the most prevalent cause of typhoid in this community.
(4) How to protect people of this community from flies?
Here the students investigated the common methods used in this community in combating flies, and the methods suggested in the reference books. Each student prepared and mailed a letter ordering the following bulletins: 1. Farmer's Bul. 851: The House Fly. 2. Farmer's Bul. 734: Fly Traps and their Operation. 3. University of Mo. Bul. 25: The House Fly.
1. How people combat flies in this community.
a) Investigation – A discussion as to the best way to go about this investigation resulted in dividing the group into three teams and assigning fifteen families to each team to investigate, using the following questionnaire which had been previously worked out by the students under the guidance of the teacher. Questionnaire. 1. Do you use screens? 2. Do you destroy fly breeding places? 3. Do you use fly traps? Kind? 4. Do you use fly swatters? 5. Do you use fly tangle foot? 6. Do you use spraying powders? 7. Do you use poisonous liquids? 8. Do you use any other methods than these?
(b) Conference Discussions – In conference, the students and teacher made a study of the facts gathered by the above investigation and discovered that 75 per cent of the homes used fly tanglefoot; that 33 per cent used spraying powders; that 10 per cent used the fly swatters; and that 25 per cent used nothing. The investigation further revealed that 55 per cent of the homes had screens to the doors, while 45 did not; that 11 per cent had screens to the windows, while 89 per cent had no such screens. In discussing these facts the question arose whether the people of this community use the best methods in combating the fly. This suggested a study of the reference books and bulletins relative to the best methods of combating the fly.
2. How best combat flies?
a) Investigation – Here the students investigated the various methods suggested by the reference books and bulletins. In this connection they used the following questionnaire as a guide in finding out what the books recommended. Questionnaire. 1. What method or methods does each of the books recommend? 2. Why is the method recommended?
b) Conference Discussions – In conference with the teacher the students made a study of the facts gathered and discovered that all of the books and bulletins recommended the following as the best methods to use in eradicating the fly. 1. Screen the doors and windows. 2. Haul out the barn-yard manure. 3. Make the privies fly proof. 4. Clean the yard from all the weeds and rubbage. 5. Keep all refuse and slop in covered garbage pails. 6. Trap the fly during the warm months. 7. Swat the fly during the cool months. 8. Practice clean house keeping. This investigation revealed that the people of this community do not practice the best methods in combating the fly. In a discussion regarding this fact the students decided that the people of this community should know this. Here they decided that the best way to present this information would be to make some of the latest fly traps, swatters, and demonstrate these at one of the night Community Meetings along with illustrated charts and talks explaining the conditions of this community.
c) How to make fly traps and swatters. The students made several fly traps and swatters recommended by the reference books and bulletins. These were placed in the homes of the community. Several requests were made by the patrons of the community for more of the fly traps.
(4) Community Meeting
At one of the night Community Meetings the following charts, fly traps, fly swatters, etc., which had been made by the students in connection with the investigations, were explained and demonstrated by the students of this group. (Community Singing and Grafonola Music) 1. Graphic chart showing the diseases of this community, frequency of each, and deaths resulting from each. 2. Graphic chart showing the causes of typhoid fever in this community. 3. Graphic chart showing the methods practiced by the people of this community in combating the flies. 4. Demonstration of fly traps and swatters. 5. Illustrated talk by one of the students using a set of lantern slides on "How to combat the Fly." (Community Singing and Grafonola Music)
The study of "How to protect people from typhoid" suggested the following projects which were selected and worked out by the boys and girls of this group similarily to the Typhoid Project. 1. How to protect people from tuberculosis. 2. How to protect people from bad colds. 3. How to protect people from pneumonia. 4. How to prevent the spread of children's diseases. 5. How to prevent the spread of contagious diseases. 6. How to protect people from the use of Patent Medicines. 7. How to ventilate our homes. 8. How to clean our homes. 9. How to treat common accidents. 10. How to select our foods. 11. How the County Hospital would improve the health conditions of our county. 12. How the school nurse would improve the health of school boys and girls. 13. How Red Cross helps us. 14. How a department of health would improve the health conditions of our county.
Pryor McBee Collings: The Rural School Community. In: Missouri School Journal 37 (April 1920), S. 173-174, (May 1920), S. 222-224, 227.