The Dixon Bush Project
Last Spring the Boad, at the suggestion of Dwight Rogers, authorized the faculty to consider forming a partnership with Dixon Bush in having the active research for his Doctor of Education dissertation from New York University carried on at Manumit School. Alfred Stern, Dwight Rogers and Peter Blos spent a long evening of exploration, planning and discussion with Ben Fincke and Dixon Bush, after which Dixon Bush had met with the Manumit faculty in two meetings, and then with the student body in two meetings. Dwight’s original suggestion was made in answer to our appeal to the Board for suggestions as to a modest costing protective way in which we could meet the urgent problem of bettering our facilities for staff living, student living and added space for education and recreation. Bush, who incidentally, is the husband of a former Manumit teacher and who has himself been a counselor at Manunit’s summer Work Camp, is a member of the faculty of the Intercultural Workshop at New York University. His dissertation proposes to explore the hypotheses that by using a completely democratic dynamic of group planning, immediate and practical, but striving to take in long range considerations,, the students and faculty of a school community working together one afternoon a week preceded by an evening of planning and followed by a social gathering can:
- Improve their facilities for housing, study and recreation to a degree which they could in no other way afford.
- Improve their interpersonnel [sic.] relationships at the same time and
- Through zest and confidence released, not only maintain their academic standards and their expression in art and cultural recreation, but even find them actually improved.
It has become clear to the faculty and students at Manumit that by teaming up with Dixon Bush in this research that Manumit will be able to do two exciting things: Take a long step toward the improvement of our facilities in the only way in which we could possibly afford to do so, and secondly, do what is the bounden job of duty of an independent experimental school to do, make a fine contribution to the larger field of Education as a whole