1940 General Statement of History and Philosophy of PMSS for Staff

This brief, eighteen page document was produced by Glyn Morris in 1940, just two years short of his departure from the School.  It was developed to meet the need for a general statement of purpose based on the history and philosophy of the school, for members of the existing and in-coming staff. When reviewed against administrative documents created within the decade before Morris, the emergence of a new institutional philosophy may be seen.

Glyn Morris brought to the school a palpable encounter with the world outside the narrow valley of Pine Mountain. Young, but world-wise, Morris introduced a strain of Progressive education that attempted to integrated the most current views on education, agriculture, economics, and religion.  His preparation was at Yale’s Union Theological Seminary where he studied under such progressive luminaries as the Christian Realist and pragmatic theologian Reinhold Niebuhr,  Also, strongly influenced by the work of the leading progressive educator, John Dewey, Morris worked hard to shift the school and its growing body of young adults to the contemporary world of work and civic responsibility.  He championed the development of the individual while insisting on a community consciousness.  His institution of a “guidance program” in 1935 brought Morris and the school national recognition. The historic programs at the school were adjusted to a formalized work, service and learning regimen. Accommodation was made in the curriculum for a “Community Group” a cohort of students who were charged to

(1.)   Give practical experience and bring more realism into the school program.

(2.)  Provide the community with a much needed service.

(3.)  Bridge the gap between the culture of the School and that of the community,

94.)  {Provide youth with responsible part in bringing about better living.

He then proposed a revised Pine Mountain’s purpose, which he noted was “subject to change.” This purpose was to include a “thoroughgoing guidance program, vocational training, an agricultural program, work with crafts, and “right attitudes,” within the students at the school. He also carefully spelled out rules and guidelines for behavior and the institution’s non-denominational stance with regard to its religious teaching.

GENERAL STATEMENT OF HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY
OF PINE MOUNTAIN SETTLEMENT SCHOOL
FOR MEMBERS OF THE STAFF,  
SEPTEMBER , 1940.

TRANSCRIPTION

GENERAL STATEMENT OF HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY
OF PINE MOUNTAIN SETTLEMENT SCHOOL
For Members of the Staff
September 1940