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"Men go to books not-Heaven forbid-for
instruction, but for warmth and light, for a thousand new perceptions that struggle inarticulately within themselves, for the enlargement of their experience, the echo of their discords and the companionship of beauty and terror for their troubled souls. They go to literature for life, for more life and keener life, for life as it crystallizes into higher articulateness and deeper significance. The enlargement and classification of men's experience—that is the function of literature."-Ludwig Lewisohn.
THE VALUE OF LITERARY SELECTIONS IN THE
It took a great deal of time to get any expert thought on adult and immigrant elementary education. Finally the war helped to focus some attention in that direction, with the result that programs of instruction suddenly began to be devised throughout the country. Outlines of study of every size and shape were written for the adult immigrant. Text-books were turned out in such numbers that all in all a good city library could afford to have a respectable little nook devoted entirely to "teaching the foreigners." And every one of these books and pamphlets emphasized one point in common, though they might have differed radically in method of presentation. All agreed that the immigrant must be taught a practical English which he could put to immediate use. But here ended the argument. No one of these authors could see any place for or value in literature, nor the influence that good literature has on the life and temperament of a people. They even discouraged any attempt to add anything of literary value to the curriculum, saying that it was a pure waste of the time of the immigrant who pined only for the phrases of shop and business. He was not given credit for having a thought for the beautiful, the romantic, or the adventurous. Thus he left night-school as starved as he came in. Contact with large numbers of immigrants in the night-schools has proven to the authors that the students not only come with a craving for lit
erary expression, but many of them in their native tongue have a keen and lively appreciation for the best in literature. If America hopes to educate the immigrants for better participation in American life and institutions, it can do no better than to initiate them as early as possible into the reading of good literature in the English language.
The literary material included in the Appendix will serve as a guide to the various types of literature which can be effectively presented to adult groups in elementary classes. Samples of selections from the following types of material are included: excerpts from immigrant autobiographies, short stories, fables, poems, maxims, anecdotes, miscellaneous language content, and paragraphs for dictation.
Note: The texts listed below contain splendid literary material in units of appropriate length for use in the evening school for the adult. These have been used successfully in very advanced groups of both foreign-born and native-born adults.
Lyman and Hill: Literature and Living," Books I, II, III.
EXCERPTS FROM IMMIGRANT AUTOBIOGRAPHIES
THE LETTERS OF FRANKLIN K. LANE
(From letter to James M. Cox, Democratic nominee for President, New York City, July 25, 1920.)
WHAT WE WANT
A greater America-that is our objective.
We want the farm made more attractive through better rural schools, better roads everywhere, more frequent connection between town and farm, better means of distribution of products.
We want more men with garden homes instead of tenement-houses.
We want our waters, that flow idly to the sea, put to use; more stored water for irrigation, more hydro-electric plants to supply industries, railroads, and home and farming activities. There should be electric lights upon the farm, and power for the sewing-machine and the churn. It can be done because it is being done on the best farms of the far West.
We want our streams controlled so that they do not wash away our cities, farms, and railroads, and so as to redeem the submerged bottom lands for the next generation.
We want fewer boys and girls, men and women, who cannot read or write the language of our laws, newspa
We should dignify the profession of teaching as the foundation profession of modern democratic life. .
We want definite and continuing studies made of our great industrial, fiscal, and social problems. The framing of our policies should not be left to emotional caprice, or the opportunities of any group of men, but should be the result of sympathetic and deep study by the wisest men we have, irrespective of their politics. There should be industrial conferences, such as those recently inaugurated, to arrive at the ways by which those who furnish the financial arm of industry and those who furnish the working arm of industry may most profitably and productively be brought into co-operation. . . . Through the study of what has been done we can give direction to our national thought and work with a will toward a condition in which labor will have recognition and be more certainly insured against the perils of non-occupation and old age, and capital become entitled to a sure return, because more constantly and productively used.
Then, too, we need a study made of the health conditions of our children-of the reason for the large percentage of undeveloped and subnormal children who are brought to our schools, and the larger number who do not reach maturity. . Underfed boys and ignorant boys are the ones who turn to Bolshevism. We cannot stand pat and let things drift without their drifting not to the "good old days" but to bad new days.
Why should not our system of taxation be subject for the profoundest study? . . . We must find ways by which the individual may have tools for production which his skill and foresight and thrift have created and yet