undated, circa 1905-1919
This manuscript is very likely a public high school commencement address. Earl Davis discusses three serious issues he finds with public education. (1) The tend to crush the child's innate desire for adventure, a desire Davis sees as seminal to the achievements of history. (2) They do not support a child's interest in doing real work -- because real factories are too dangerous and inhuman, and this undermines the emerging adults appreciation for labor. (3) They do not support the healthy idealism that young adults can bring to clean up the messes of their elders. Through all of this, there is an interesting discussion of "the labor problem." Davis thinks vocational education is a kind of faux substitute, although perhaps in the current world the only route towards a solution to the labor problem. He is clear that a child's personality is the most potent force in the universe.
The primary downloadable document contains the original document followed by the transcription. The bottom of each item page also features the primary document as an embedded pdf for browsing.
Transcription by Davis Baird. Item description based off writing and context provided by Davis Baird.
Earl Clement Davis, minister, Unitarianism, religion, philosophy, children, education, labor
Davis, Earl Clement, "The Relation of Public Schools to Life" (2022). Manuscripts. 36.