Posts Tagged ‘Berkeley CA’

John Dewey Self-Rule School

September 6, 2012

NO DON’TS, NO BOSS IN NEW PLAN SCHOOL

Thirty-five Youngsters Being Instructed Under Self-Rule Plan; Students Make Own Laws, Inflict All Penalties

A school where there are no “don’ts,” where the teacher is not “boss” and where the child solves his own problems with the aid of his small companions, is the innovation in education which has just been launched in Berkeley.

Mrs. Paul Eliel, well-known graduate of the University of California, is responsible for the deviation from the set paths of education. Through her interest and with the aid of a group of Berkeleyans has been started in the college city, at 2731 Bancroft way, the John Dewey school, “a co-operative effort in progressive education.”

Mothers as well as children are pupils at the school and weekly classes are held for parents to “educate” them in modern child-raising.

Although the first “project” school established in the bay region and the second one in the state, the John Dewey school gains its inspiration from the famous Lincoln school, operated in conjunction with Columbia university in New York; from a similarly well known “progressive” school of its kind in Dayton and from less than a dozen such institutions which have pioneered the way in new educational practice in the nation.

OUTDOOR CLASSES.

As much as possible classes are held outdoors at the John Dewey school. The rooms, however, are bright with cheerful paint, the walls hung with illustrations of fairy stories and with little low green tables and chairs scattered about.

There is not a nail anywhere to hold the furniture to the floor. Neither are there any “no whispering” laws at the schools by a dictatorial teacher.

Neatness and consideration of the feelings of others are part of the school curriculum.

Never are children punished by the teacher. There is an unwritten code of ethics among the 35 pupils in which punishment is meted out by the children themselves.

“One of the children used bad language on the school grounds the other day,” explains Mrs. Eliel. “A conference of the children was called in which the teacher played the role of onlooker and the youngsters discussed the seriousness of the offense and voted what should be done in the matter. They finally decided that the guilty party should sit in a chair for 15 minutes. The wonderful thing about the system is that the offender never seeks to escape punishment as so often is the case when the teacher in the chastiser.”

CITIZEN-MAKING.

Citizen-making is the real object of the “project” or “progressive” school, declares Mrs. Eliel, who placed her children in such an institution while she was studying for a master’s degree at Columbia and became so enthused with the plan that following her return to Berkeley she interested friends in establishing the John Dewey school.

“Two important factors in developing useful citizens are the ability to reach independent judgments and to reason clearly” explains Mrs. Eliel, who has the role of executive secretary of the school, the duties of which position she fills without compensation.

“These cannot be gained through the enforcing of discipline by one in authority nor from the solving by the teacher but must come to the child through the learning of self-control and through effective experience. By fostering situations that will comfort the children in everyday life in later years and that will demand thoughtful reactions, the school believes that these powers can be developed.

ADULT METHODS.

“When a grown person is given a problem to solve is he placed in a seat nailed to the floor and told to get busy on it without moving from his place or talking out loud to anyone near him? No, of course not. That is why we have no nailed-down seats in our classrooms, why our pupils are free to move about and to seek information and counsel where they will. It is by discussing problems with other children that they reach their conclusions.

“Furthermore in a class of 35 children, interests are not all alike. Consequently we do not say that all must do one thing. The child is allowed to develop the problem that especially interests him and from that problem we guide him to other things. We are teaching children to be independent thinkers and reasoners, to solve each problem as it comes up. Naturally it is the thing in which the person is most vitally interested on which he works the hardest.

STIMULATE INTEREST.

“It is equally true with children. If we can stimulate that interest and reach out from it to other things, have we not accomplished much for the child and at the same time given him a joy in his work? There are no truants at our school; the children are all anxious to come to classes and loath to leave. That they are learning the necessary fundamentals of life is evident, also.”

Dolls, paint boxes, work-benches, blocks and other playthings are among the “text books” used at the school. That there are other real text books, too, is evidenced by the fact that the “Three R’s” are not neglected in any way. So far kindergarten, first and second grades comprise the school but a further development is anticipated. Interest in the movement has been taken by leading educators of the bay region and the work is being closely watched by school experts.

Sponsors of the school include Mrs. Warren Gregory, Dr. Jessica B. Perxotto, Mrs. Louis Bartlett, Mr. and Mrs. J.S. Lamson, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Stetson, Jr., Miss Ralph Merritt, Mrs. W.W. Douglas, Mrs. F.C. Turner, Mrs. Maurice Lombardi, Mrs. Frederick Athern, Mrs. Harold L. Leupp, Mrs. H.F. Jackson, Dr. V.E. Dickson.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Sep 18, 1921

[Excerpt] Google Book Link

 Perhaps his greatest joy is his “doll” who calls herself grown-up now. She has dolls of her own and out in Berkeley, Calif., has come into existence this year, a school for the dolls of Harriet J. Eliel and a “group”. It is called the John Dewey School. That is surely some name to live up to. Berkeley is a hot bed for progressive education, judging by the numbers who join from that city.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Apr 8, 1925

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OAC on Harriet Eliel:

Harriet Judd Eliel was born in 1890 in Evanston, Illinois. She attended the University of California, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Health and Social Welfare in 1913. After the birth of her second son in 1916, she completed her Master of Arts degree in Education, also at the University of California. Between 1921 and 1924, she established and directed the experimental John Dewey School in Berkeley, California, which her sons attended.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Aug 25, 1925

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Wikipedia on William John Cooper:

William John Cooper (November 24, 1882 – September 19, 1935) was an American educator who served as US Commissioner of Education from February 1929 to July 1933. According to the New York Times: “His fundamental theory of education, which he often repeated, was that the ultimate goal of teaching should be, not how to make a living, but how to live. Nevertheless, he believed that the system of education in this country should break away from the older traditions of Europe and seek to express the cultural developments of the New World. In one of his last public addresses Dr. Cooper urged a complete reorganization of the education system in this country to bring the schools into closer harmony with modern conditions.”

Charming Oakland

March 22, 2012

CHARMING OAKLAND.

If you’re weary of a region
Where the blinding blizzards blow,
And are looking for a refuge
From the chilling frosts and snow,
If you’re tired of deadly cyclones,
Tired of lightning’s lurid glare,
Hurricanes and wild tornadoes,
Dealing death and dire despair,

If you seek a home where songbirds
Sing sweet carols all the day,
Where the climbing roses blossom
In December and in May —
Seek a home where balmy breezes
Gently blow, and skies are clear,
Where the springtime verdure fades not
All throughout the livelong year,

Where the silvery waves of ocean
Gently kiss the golden sands,
And where kindly heaven dispenses
Choicest gifts with lavish hands?
Words must fail, and fancy falters,
Vain are efforts to convey
Thoughts that far transcend description,
Scenes no language can portray.

Come to sunny California,
Come at once — make no delay.
Build your homes in charming Oakland,
Gem of San Francisco bay.
When you’re come you’ll join with Sheba’s
Far-famed royal queen of old
And proclaim in words of rapture
That the half has not been told.

— J.W. DUTTON.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, Califorina) May 1, 1907

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Apr 18, 1907

OAKLAND GOOD ENOUGH.

EDITOR TRIBUNE: I have read with interest many of the arguments for and against the changing of the name of Oakland, and many of them carried weight, but the “againsts” more when I listened to this one advanced by W.C. Moody of the State Savings Bank of your city:

“If we had spent,” said he, “twenty million dollars in advertising the name of Oakland we could not then have accomplished what has been accomplished by the free advertising we have received as a result of the fire and earthquake. Fancy spending twenty million to advertise a name and then changing it.

“The people of the world know that it was Oakland that saved the day. Most of them do not know that beautiful Berkeley is on the map.”

Don’t you think this a good one?

Add this to the “againsts” and convince others as I was convinced.

A FORMER RESIDENT.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Apr 25, 1907

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) May 1, 1907

OBJECTS TO RENAMING THE CITY.

EDITOR TRIBUNE: I read with much interest the view of the “Former Oaklander” in regard to keeping the name of Oakland as it is. I heartily approve of retaining it.

When those busy banqueters in the town to our north emerged from the hall with rosy beaks from the over-indulgence in cork-popping, smoke and torrid atmosphere they firmly believed that annexation of their southern suburb would be accomplished and their stock would soar like some Tonopah stock. Nay, nay, Berkeley! Nip it while in its infancy.

My estimate of the weight of reasons pro and con are as follows:

Alameda — On the fence with a hankering for Alameda for head and front as a name.

Berkeley — Sober citizens for Berkeley and Oakland as second choice; banqueters of Berkeley, blind pig patrons, pinheads, crack brained politicians afraid of missing a political plum, the kind which Francis J. Heney is using to stuff San Quentin, and lastly those Berkeleyans who will be haunted in their padded cell to their last faint breath with “name it Berkeley.”

Emeryville — Any old name so long as we can have our race track and saloons with no keys to their doors.

Fruitvale — Would like to annex, but shy at the thought of politics which would go with it.

Piedmont — Assure the politically ambitious that they can have a plum now and then or a bit of pie and they will say, “Annex by all means.”

Oakland — Retain the name of Oakland because you will find in the records at Washington and Sacramento the name in connection with important matters — past, present and for the future — which are yet to be solved. Other reasons are many and equally weighty.

Yours truly, AN OAKLAND CITIZEN.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) May 2, 1907

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Apr 19, 1907

A NEW COMBINATION IN NAMES.

EDITOR TRIBUNE” The discussion as to the name of our rejuvenated city is entertaining, and as a matter of pure sentiment may in time lead to something beneficial. May I venture to suggest, in behalf of the self-constituted Committee on a Name, that the possibilities of acceptable nomenclature are not yet exhausted, and to recommend the consideration of such designations as Al-ber-oak, which is made up of the first (and therefore the most worthy) syllables of the names of the three towns which it is sought to combine (or embroil) together? If it becomes a matter of doing honor to the most deserving we can give the muse still freer play. To render immortal the names at once of him whom we revere as the father of his city, and of him to whom our town owes doubtless more than to any one else of its past or present inhabitants, I suggest the name of Motthaven — a designation not new among American towns, but none the less fitting for all all that.

While we are about it and in the mood for poetical invention, why not combine the names of some of our foremost citizens, all of whom are hungry, no doubt, for fame that costs nothing. Let us bestow, without further discussion, the title Rick-mott-ford upon the new triple city. Nothing could be more harmonious, naught more appropriate. This felicitous cognomen is quite the thing, embracing, as it does, the essential part of the names of the mayors (or perhaps the ex-mayors) of the three places, namely, Mr. Rickard of Berkeley, Mr. Mott of Oakland, Mr. Forderer of Alameda. How could we do greater or more deserved honor to three men who we all esteem? Net to their present suite of names I prefer Rickmottford.

Yours, S.A. RALPH.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) May 3, 1907

Oakland Takes Another Step in Advance

San Francisco Call, November 18.

Oakland has taken one more long step forward, following up the line of progress indicated by the virtually unanimous vote to borrow large sums of money for the improvement of its water front, the erection of public buildings and the installation of modern municipal apparatus.

Things are moving at a rapid pace in Oakland and the impetus inspires admiration as well as confidence. The united spirit of the citizens moves with tremendous force on the goal. The city has now by the vote of Tuesday added an impressive area of valuable territory to its charter limits with a corresponding gain of population and taxable property.

Oakland thus becomes a city of the very first rank in name as well as in fact. Of course, this is only the natural accretion of affiliated territory. The real Oakland was just as big in point of population as it is today by reason of the annexations. The extension of the charter line only includes communities that naturally and geographically have belonged to Oakland from the beginning. The extensive annexations are merely a phase of legitimate municipal evolution.

Again The Call offers congratulations to the people of Greater Oakland for the united spirit of progress of which this week’s elections have given such striking evidence.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Nov 18, 1909