Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 13: Education


TAGS:  Pine Mountain Settlement School; curriculum; curriculum committee; students; staff; educational planning; work programs; service; Georgia W. Ayers; residence living; housemothers; teachers; industrial trainers

This educational review was drafted by the student Curriculum Committee and is a series of suggestions for better integration of the educational program at the school.  It suggests a revised program of integrating the work program, classroom, and the dormitory responsibilities. The underlying concern is with too much “departmentalization” particularly regarding supervision of the student. The paper suggests that the distinction between work and classroom and house (dorm) be minimalized and that a written statement of purpose be requested from each “distinction” — work program, house, and classroom. It suggests that evaluations by the various supervisors vary widely.

Curriculum Committee Recommendations


[Student] Statement Concerning a Broader Definition and a Broader Practice of Education at Pine Mountain

We agree that the education of the student commences when he rises and continues until he retires at night; that the entire staff is, or should be, working with this thought in mind; and that the student may or may not realize this.

It is suggested that, due to conflicts between education and accomplishment of work on the job, and between education and living in the dormitory, all staff members may not realize the educational possibilities of the various situations arising outside of class; or, if they dom are unable to handle the situations directly,

It is further suggested that at least a part of these difficulties are due to our present method of departmentalization of activities into school, work, evening program, and house. The only agency functioning at the present tie as a coordinating agency is the Student Counselor, whose primary objective should be to handle student problems rather than to act as an inter-departmental correlator.

The question to be considered is not whether there is any need for closer coordination between these different departments, but whether any method exists by which this coordination can be secured.

The function of the present Curriculum Committee is to suggest methods for making the present formal educational system more effective. It might be suggested that the scope of this committee might be broadened to include the whole educational program as stated in the first paragraph.

The next suggestion would be that of breaking down so far as possible in the minds of the students the distinctions between these departments. The academic — work distinction could be minimised by treating the work program as a laboratory program in connection with the students’ studies. The house-work distinction could be abolished in many cases by having minor repair work in and around the house take care of by one or more students of the house, during the work period, but with the initiative coming from the student or house parent rather than from the work supervisor. This has been done with excellent results at Boys’ House.

The distinction in the minds of the Workers between these departments and the conflicts arising between the departments might be at least partially eliminated by two things: first, a written statement of our purpose of education  — in work, school house, etc; and secondly, by having the Workers of these departments meet together as the teachers do at the present time, for the purpose of getting together and discussing with the director, or some suitable group of three persons, the problems relevant to that particular group of students.

GWA  [Georgia W. Ayers ? for the Curriculum Committee]