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PROBLEMS OF CITIZENSHIP
For some time there has been a growing sentiment toward the establishment in the colleges of introductory courses to the social sciences. These courses have varied in treatment and scope, but in general they have attempted to interest the student in the social sciences, to stimulate his concern in the big problems of the day, and to arouse him to independent and constructive thinking.
The problem method has offered a vivid and successful means of accomplishing these objects. Problems of moment to intelligent citizenship are selected. Each contains in itself elements of history, sociology, economics, and political science, weighted according to the character of the problem. While an exhaustive discussion of the problems is impossible, enough material must be given to indicate their nature and importance, to show how streaked they are with bias, to present different points of view, and to increase the background of information from which the more advanced work in the social sciences may benefit. This necessitates a limitation of the number of problems and avoids one of the greatest dangers of a problem course-attempting to cover too extensive a field in too superficial a way.
The selection of questions of immediate concern, questions discussed in newspaper and periodical, places the student on ground with which he is in a degree familiar. Few persons enter college without some opinion or interest in regard to such questions as race and immigration, the relations of capital and labor, or war and peace. In a problem course this interest is capitalized. Clash of opinion is secured through the controversial nature of the problems. Class-room discussion is provoked. The student is asked to examine many points of view, to discard prejudices, to think for himself, and to form his own opinions after studying the data and considering the opinions of others.
Four years of teaching experience in a problem course has shown that of all the questions considered the woman movement is accorded the least measure of tolerance. Persons willing to examine the aspirations of the Negro, the laborer, or the radical desiring to change the existing political and economic system, are often unwilling to consider the feminist's point of view in the same unprejudiced spirit. Possibly this is partly due to the fact that the woman movement is a subject ordinarily neglected in school and college. It also bears such a close relation to the life of