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Information bulletin
(September 1950)

Mahoney, Haynes
Child guidance,   pp. 33-34 PDF (1.2 MB)


Page 33

Child Guidance
By HAYNES MAHONEY
Chief, Bad Nauheim Branch, Public Relations Division
Office of Public Affairs, HICOG
SPANKING THE SCHOOL KIDS who were noisy or slow
was common practice to a certain teacher in Fuldia..
And he admitte'd it, according to the Heslsian Elducation
Ministry.
He often spankeid his charges, the teacher said, and was
able to furnish proof that the parents agreed with his
methods.
Brought to trial, the teacher was acquitted. "But hald he
been found guillty," protested a Hessian education official,
"the sentence would not have exceeded six months."
Sixty American and German educators, meeting at the
US Education Service Center 'in Jugenheim, He!ss'e, during
May, heard an account of this case. It illustrated one
aspect of a vital problem, whitch had brought together the
educators in an attempt to plan a long range pro'gram of
solution. The group was comprised of eminent Amelrican
and Ge'rman education authorities, and the directors and
staff members of the Eiducation Service Centers, HICOG-
sponsored institutions, featuring libraries and programs
designed to aid Germans, in developing a democratic
education system. They were concentrating on a chronic
German school problem:
How to develop la -sound program of "chilid guidance"
which necessitates seeing children as individuals.
THE FULDA CASE pointed up the German tradition for
harsh d'iscipline and mass treatment of school
chilldren In genelral, the teacher woirke'd with a cllalss ais a
whole, considering the children as individuals only if they
got behind or crelated a disturbance in the clasis work
schedule. Generally, however, German educators gave
little consideration to the individual child -  why this
one learned very slowly, or why that one was successful,
why another one was a constant trouble makeir, and one
was disinterested.
Teachelrs were not concerned with.developing soc'ially-
constructive personality traits in thee individual pupil -
such as respect for the individual, the ablility to work
together, and tolerance for another's 'ideas - so vitally
important to developing a responsible citi'zenry. For all
problems there was generally the same answer: the stern
word and the birch rod.
An alternative to th'is old-fashioned approach i's what
the pedagogues call "chilld guidance," by which each child
is accorded the individual attention neelded to guide him
to normal adulthoold, and problem children are diagnosed
and remedies prescribed.
In three days of lectures, films and discussions, under
chairmanship of Dr. Fritz Redl, eminent gulidance expert
from Wayne University, the e'duc'ators solught to detelr-
SEPTEMBER 1950
mine what the Education Service Centers and German
education offices were accomplishing in the guidance
field, how to co-ordinate and extend these programs, and
what !support could be obtained from local civic organi-
zations.
T0o AID THE EDUCATORS in planning future guidance
services, Dr. Redl and Dr. Herta Kraus, of Bryn Mawr
College, an outstanding American authority on child
guidance and sociology, cited some of the most moidern
concepts and techniques in this field. Dr. Redl pointed out
the importance of obtaining as complete information as
poissible on each individual chilid, through various tests
and a file of teachers' observation's.
Teaching human relations through practical work in
classrooms is also essential to developing well-adjusted
children. Co-ope!ration of parents and teachers, the
exchange of information land advice between them, is
important to providing gooid guidance for pupils, and
avoiding the development of problem chilidren, he said.
Dr. Kraus described American chiild guidadnce clinic's, in
which la team of four experts - a social worker, a psycho-
lorgist, a psychiatrist and a pe'diatrist -  idiagnoses the
social maladjustment of the so-cialled "problem  chilid"
and proposes a pro'gram to help him find his way back
into the family and community. She pointed to the
necessity of a friendly and sympathetic attitude of -such
counselors, in order that the child will sense, the goo'd
intent'ions of the guidance cl'inic rather than a feeling of
prejudice, and dislike.
Another essential requireme'nt for !improving child
guidance is the collection and collation o'f all 'information
re~sulting from research, an activity con'spicuously lacking
in Germany. Centralizing the findings of many scattered
agencies an'd making them availaible to all was o'ne of the
major problems considered by the Education Service
Centers.
In discussing their currenit activities, th'e educators
found that most of the ESC's and many German officials
had initiated some form of guidance progiram, indicating
that the concept of respect for the individual -  even
children - had begun to take hold in German education.
They learned, for i'nstanc'e, that child guidance clinics
are being established in a number of cities in co-operation
wiith HICOG medical affairs and public health officials.
Mentally handicapped children, juvenile delinquents 'and
problem children of all kinds can be examine'd and cor-
rective measuries devised by a psychologist, a psychiatrist,
a corrective education specialist ;and a social nurse in
these new institutions.
INFORMATION BULLETIN
33


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