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DEDICATED TO
THEODORE F. RHODES

WHO LOVES HIS FELLOWMEN AND WOULD RATHER HEAR HIS NEIGHBORS' CHILDREN “SPEAK” AND SING THAN TO HEAR A PATRICK HENRY OR A LILLIAN NORDICA; WHO WOULD RATHER SEE A BALL GAME BETWEEN HOME BOYS THAN ONE BETWEEN ALL-STAR TEAMS; WHO KNOWS THE JOY OF BEING A NEIGHBOR; WHO BELIEVES THAT CREDULITY IS NOT ALWAYS A VIRTUE; WHO THINKS THAT CASH REGISTERS AND COMBINATION LOCKS ARE NOT REFLECTIONS UPON INTEGRITY, AND THAT CAREFUL AUDITING AND ACCOUNTING MAKE FOR HONEST SERVICE; WHO BELIEVES THAT MEN OFTEN BECOME CRIMINAL BY FORCE OF CIRCUMSTANCES, AND THAT THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS WHEN PROPERLY CONDUCTED ARE THE SAFEGUARDS TO GOOD CITIZENSHIP

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PREFACE

In no line of work has there been so much aimless effort for improvement as in the rural schools. It would be unkind and untrue to say that this effort has not always been made by intelligent men and women, but it would not be at variance with truth to say that many who have written in behalf of the rural schools have been those who had little first hand experience with the subject which they set out to improve.

With the belief that a rural school education and nearly a quarter of a century spent in teaching in and adjacent to the rural schools may be a partial preparation for so great an undertaking as rural school improvement, the author offers this work, The Rural School from Within."

Several of the chapters are devoted to actual experiences which are believed to be typical. If the recital of these experiences indicates a love for boys and girls, a knowledge of rural home life of the deep love of parents for their children, and of the great sacrifices that parents in rural communities are making for their children; this love and knowledge were acquired by many years of close acquaintance with a people among whom, and for whom, the writer has chosen to spend his life.

This contribution is made with a hope that it may become a factor in determining the aim of rural schools, in obtaining a recognition from colleges and other higher institutions of learning that education must be universal with respect to interests represented in the course of study as well as universal so far as individuals are concerned.

Before entering upon the construction of a policy for the rural school, the writer gives as faithfully as possible his experiences as a teacher of a Kansas rural school. These experiences were interesting, and dealt with live problems, and throughout their discussion it is hoped that the student of pedagogy will recognize the employment of sound and progressive educative principles and the revealing and elucidating of deep-lying fundamentals of discipline and management, which are knotty problems for thinkers and experts in education, by such concrete illustrations as to be of vital worth to the teacher just entering the profession, and helpful to those who have been long in the work.

This book is a story-a story that repeats the experiences of thousands of teachers, tens of thousands of American parents, and of innumerable children. It is a story plainly but not bluntly told; it is uncolored by things that might have happened.

The mistakes of the teacher himself are given for the purpose of encouragement to the discouraged teacher, and as a danger signal to teachers, parents and school boards. They are given to give publicity to the inefficiency of the untrained teacher and to bring plainly to the public mind the importance of suitable schools for all the people.

For kindly criticism offered and interest manifested in this effort to render a service to the rural schools, the author in appreciation thereof acknowledges the following:

President Henry Jackson Waters, Dean Edward C. Johnson, Professors M. G. Burton, Edwin L. Holton, J. W. Searson, Geo. E. Bray, Wm. H. Andrews, H. L. Kent, Otis E. Hall, H. W. Davis, N. A. Crawford, and W. T. Stratton, of the Kansas State Agricultural College, and Mrs. W. T. Stratton and Miss Elsie Pauley, Manhattan, Kansas.

M. G. KIRKPATRICK. April, 1917

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