MARCH 28, 1958
NEW YORK—An editorial published in a national magazine (Life) and recently reprinted in the New York Times attacks the whole John Dewey philosophy of education.
I found the editorial astonishingly one-sided, and while I never have thought it wise to accept one theory and consider it perfect, I still feel it is unwise to make an attack in such a blanket manner as did this editorial.
The success of parts of the Dewey theory have been phenomenal with certain young people. On the other hand, this theory cannot be said to have proved itself with all types of young people. So it is more a question of wise adjustment of the methods of education to the child than of wiping out one particular method completely.
To rule out home economics and shop work as being unnecessary, for instance, is going a bit too far. These subjects are very necessary for some children.
I would like to think that people will thoughtfully consider the message of this editorial, for there are improvements that should be made in our entire educational system, most important of which is better preparation of our teachers.
I would not want to see drastic changes made in our educational system by people without a real understanding of the values of the old system as well as those of the Dewey ideas.
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Unemployment insurance is becoming important to everyone, and so for the first time I have a note from a reader calling my attention to the fact that people employed by non-profit organizations are not covered by this insurance.
This is a matter which should be considered by all those concerned with fair dealing where our laws are concerned.
This reader, a woman, feels that the law should be extended to include employes of non-profit organizations. She feels that these benefits should not be denied these people simply because they work in charitable, social or welfare agencies, where they often work harder than they would in a well-organized private business.
Her argument seems to be a fair one and I put it before my readers so that those in charge of this type of legislation will think about it.
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I am glad to note that Mayor Robert F. Wagner is taking seriously the discoveries of corruption in government in New York City and promises to do something about it.
Many of us who are really worried about what is happening in the government of the city had hoped that the Mayor would take just this attitude. We hope it will mean a real investigation into possible irregularities in city bureaus.