Perhaps the one word that best expresses the trend of education at the present time is the word life-likeness. The trend is toward more and more life-likeness in organization and methods. The effort toward diversification which has resulted in putting manual training into courses of study, in multiplying courses in high schools, in providing ungraded and other special rooms in elementary schools, in breaking grades up into groups for teaching and promotions, in keeping playgrounds and shops open afternoons and Saturdays, in opening the school buildings evenings for social centers or socialized evening schools, - which has resulted in all these changes and others that might be mentioned, - is simply an effort to make the schools like life. The theory behind this is that if a school is like life, children will like school for the same reason that they like life, and the theory is sound. Before these changes were introduced, our public schools were a composite structure, made up nearly altogether of two elements, neither of which was in any degree life-like. These two elements were the medieval monastery, for order, and the 19th century factory, for process.
Kite-making in connection with schools is in line with this trend toward life-likeness. As the ideas and plans contained in this book have been worked out and carried into execution in the schools of Los Angeles by the author, they have demonstrated a wonderful socializing power. By recognizing kite-season in the schools and carrying the discussion of it into the shop and classrooms, ending with a great kite-tournament each year, not only have very many boys been reached who would not have responded to other influences, but the whole community has been stirred to sympathetic interest in the schools. This is the kind of influence which causes children to feel that school is life, and therefore makes tremendously for wholesome education. If the ideas and plans of the author can be carried out elsewhere as they have been in Los Angeles for several years, they must prove a help to the cause of education.
M. C. Bettinger, Assistant Superintendent of Schools.