A world order based upon justice and co-operation, in which the individual may find freedom, is the end for which the labor movement is working; and for which certain educators, philosophers, and idealists hope. Before this goal can be attained, fundamental changes and adjustments must be made in our social and industrial life. In the reshaping of these conditions, education is one of the most potent factors. But it must be education that will truly equip men and women with the knowledge, inspiration, and power necessary to rebuild institutions and mold ideas.
The New Education. The new education movement envisages this type of education,-education which will be free, experimental, bound by no worn-out traditions, limited by no fixed procedures, not preparation for life, but life itself. The movement is rapidly growing, and in response to it new schools are springing up the world over, which embody in varying degrees this philosophy of freedom and co-operation. Among these educational laboratories, here and abroad, which foster the growth of individuals freed as much as possible from inherited errors of the past, Manumit School takes its place.
Educational Policy. Manumit School is based on the principle that children grow best intellectually and socially when they learn in an environment characterized by happiness, creative activity, educational understanding, and mutual service, and that such learning becomes more effective in proportion as it springs from the whole-hearted purposing of the learner.
Manumit School is, however, to be distinguished from other creative activity schools in one important respect. It aims to equip individuals with the knowledge, inspiration, and power necessary to establish a social order based on a proper appreciation of labor, to interpret the new education movement to the American labor movement, and to interest it in a revaluation of child education. In other words, it aims to become a laboratory school of the American labor movement.
In pursuance of the purposes thus set forth, Manumit School proposes to apply the following educational policies:
1. To acquaint children with the realities of life: with due regard to the maturity of their understanding.
2. To make the daily community life a part of the educational process by broadening the range of experience, and by the mutual sharing of duties.
3. To maintain between the students and teachers a relation of comradeship and joint experience.
4. To utilize group or community processes, in which both students and teachers share, and the spirit resulting there from, as the basis of discipline.
5. To develop initiative and self direction among pupils by encouraging them to assume individual and group responsibility.
6. To use the creative approach to learning, realizing that students learn through doing, and that subject matter is most effectively introduced in relation to specific needs, and not according to an a priori sequence of knowledge.
7. To. utilize to. the full the educational possibilities inherent in the natural environment of the school and the care of living and growing things.
8. To. encourage esthetic expression through play, drawing, designing, painting, modeling, sculpturing, music, dancing, drama, and other forms of art, as well as through ways of living.
9. To. cultivate in the students an independent, scientific habit of mind, critical, yet tolerant of new ideas and the opinions of others.
10. To. keep students in touch through discussions and actual contact, with the broad environment of American economic life in which they will some day be called upon to take their places.
Community Life There are no. servants at Manumit. The faculty and students share in all of the work essential to the running of the school. Inside and outside work duties are part of the daily routine. Children participate in the care of the animals, in gardening and domestic science, and often assume complete responsibility for some particular job, such as the care of a horse or pony, milking a cow, or plowing a field, when such responsibility is justified. The children soon learn the importance of being good co.-operators. Cooperation is the keynote of Manumit community life.
Recreation. Manumit seeks to surround its children with happy, homelike associations, and stresses all recreation which is joyous, playful and sane,-in other words truly re-creative. Hiking, picnicking, winter sports, such as skating, sledding, skiing, logging and wood cutting, baseball, touch football, horseback and pony riding, care of pigeons, dogs, cats, chickens and ducks as well as the larger farm animals and swimming when the weather permits are the most important forms of outdoor recreation which Manumit’s ideal location provides. For the winter months, and during indoor hours, community singing and reading fireside poetry parties, dramatic productions, dancing, orchestra work, moving pictures, as well as basket ball and other gymnasium games, are all popular and valuable assets in Manumit’s community life. Outdoor construction projects also furnish a valuable form of constructive recreation. Last year during recreation time, the children with faculty initiation and help built two concrete dams, one furnishing an admirable swimming pool for summer, the other damming the lower meadow for a winter skating pond.
The Curriculum. The children are divided into age groups under the supervision and guidance of teachers who take as nearly as possible the place of mother or father as well as of teacher. The group work where possible focuses on projects or activities aimed to concentrate and retain the interest of the child’s mind. But there is a frank recognition of the existence of bodies of human knowledge which are studied in the process of attaining an academic objective.
Manumit is not primarily a college preparatory institution. But it meets the requirements of the University of the State of New York (Regents) as well as those of the College Entrance Examination Board. The fields in which formal work is done are the Social Sciences the Natural Sciences, Language and Literature, Mathematics, the Arts and Crafts, Music, and Agriculture.
Group I. Anna F. Gifford. B. A.. M. A.. Columbia University. formerly instructor at Antioch College. Ohio. and Fellowship School. Gland. Switzerland. Sarah N. Cleghorn, Radcliffe College.
Group II. Margaret Thompson. Westchester Normal School. John F. Murphy, Ph. B.. Providence College.
Science and Engineering H. Richard Taylor. B. S.. Young University. formerly instructor at Grantsville High School. Utah. Wilfred Thomas.
Carpentry and Athletics Donald Stephens. Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts. School of Industrial Art.
Craft Work and Agriculture George Hamilton. Ph. B.. Wesleyan College, Teachers College. Columbia University.
Music Doris Kingsland. New York University.
Dietitians Afton Taylor. Jenny Taylor. Mabel White.
Secretary Margaret D. Brown
Director Nellie M. Seeds, B. A. Bryn Mawr College. Ph.D.. University of Pennsylvania .
Location . Manumit School is located two and one-half miles from Pawling. Dutchess County, New York, on a fertile farm of 177 acres. It lies at an altitude of over 600 feet in a little valley, through which for’ more than a mile runs a lively trout stream containing numerous swimming holes. The plant consists of a main building in which are located the Dining Room, Kitchen. Library, Social Room and some of the classrooms. and in which are housed also a number of the faculty and students; a gymnasium. above which is a boys’ dormitory; the home of the director, containing the school office and the music studio, and dormitory accommodations for younger boys; a cottage for arts and crafts, and another for carpentry work. In addition, there are the various barns, implement sheds. garages and chicken houses, belonging to the farm. Each building is equipped with electric light, and adequate heating facilities.
Admission Manumit offers a special rate to the children of trade unionists, and accepts a limited number of such boys and girls between the ages of nine and fourteen at a minimum rate of $360 per year. This includes board. tuition and laundry. & the number of applicants is always greatly in excess of accommodations. the school reserves the right to select students on the basis of as wide a geographical and racial representation as possible, as well as of a high educational standard. Other children are accepted at the actual cost rate of $800 per year. Fees are payable strictly in advance. Psychological tests are made of each entering scholar and his subsequent progress or retardation carefully noted. The school reserves the right to discontinue the attendance of any child, who, after a reasonable opportunity, fails to profit by the advantages which the school offers.
Health . The health of the children is a primary objective. but preventive rather than curative methods are stressed by the director and school nurse. An adequate amount of sleep. and a daily rest hour; the calming influence of green-clad Cobble Hill. and the gray outlines of the distant hills; a diet scientifically planned. and careful supervision of eating; fresh vegetables when possible from our own garden. obviating the danger of an over starched or over protein diet; these are all included in our health program. Parents are requested to co-operate in maintaining the health of the children by sending no packages of candy or food. A health examination is required before entrance, and monthly health records kept. A well-trained physician resides in the village of Pawling, where his services are always available.
Clothing The children require no elaborate equipment of clothing. but must be provided with adequate protection against cold and inclement weather. This includes sweaters, and rubber boots, water-proofed shoes or overshoes. Each article of clothing must be distinctly marked with the child’s full name. In addition each child should be provided with a darning or mending equipment. The school assumes no responsibility for the safe keeping of all such articles, although reasonable and regular supervision over them is maintained.
Calendar The winter term opens on September 23, 1929, and lasts for nine months, with Christmas vacation from December 21st to January 5th. and one week’s vacation in the spring. The summer session during July and August, has no academic objective. Correspondence should be addressed to the Director. Manumit School. Pawling. Dutchess County, New York. Telephone Pawling 17.
MANUMIT SCHOOL is directed and controlled by the Manumit Associates, a voluntary group of labor men and women, of educators and cooperators in various movements for social reconstruction.
A. J. MUSTE. Chairman Brookwood Labor College
HELEN HAMLIN FINCKE, Vice Chairman
HENRY R. LINVILLE, Vice-Chairman American Federation of Teachers
NELLIE M. SEEDS, Sec’y-Treasurer and Director Manumit School
Board of Directors
JACOB M. BUDISH Cloth Hat, Cap and Millinery Workers’ International Union
FANNIA M. COHN Int’l Ladies’ Garment Workers
SOLON DE LEON Delaware Cliff Camps
ALEXIS C. FERM, formerly of the Modern School, Stelton, N. J.
LAURA GARRETT Hoasatonic Camp
American Federation of Teachers
Nat. Women’s Trade Union League
PHILIP UMSTADTER Int’l. Pressmen’s Union
WM. H. KILPATRICK. Columbia University
Educational Advisory Committee
ELIZABETH GOLDSMITH, Walden School
JOSEPH K. HART, University of Wisconsin
E. C. LINDEMAN, School of Social Work
HARRY C. OVERSTREET, College of the City of N. Y.
REXFORD G. TUGWELL, Columbia University
Membership in the Manumit Associates is open to those engaged actively in any of these fields.