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A HISTORICAL STUDY AND CRITIQUE OF THE ACTIVITIES AND INFLUENCE OF THE NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the School of Education University of Southern California In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science in Education hy Phyllis Roberts September 19^1 UMI Number: EP54293 All rights reserved INFORMATION TO ALL USERS The quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted. In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion. Dissertation Publishing UMI EP54293 Published by ProQuest LLC (2014). Copyright in the Dissertation held by the Author. Microform Edition © ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. This work is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway P.O. Box 1346 Ann Arbor, Ml 48106- 1346 8ct +x (i Wt O' T h is thesis, w r it t e n u n d e r the d ir e c t io n o f the . C h a ir m a n o f the cand ida te}s G u id a n c e C o m m itte e a n d a p p r o v e d by a l l m em bers o f the C o m m itte e , has been p re se n te d to a n d a ccep ted by the F a c u lt y o f the S c h o o l o f E d u c a t io n o f T h e U n iv e r s it y o f S o u th e rn C a l i f o r n i a in p a r t i a l f u l f i l l m e n t o f the re q u ire m e n ts f o r the degree o f M a s t e r o f Science in E d u c a tio n . Dean Guidance Com m ittee D. Welty Lefever C hairm an Louis P. Thorpe C. C. Crawford M£ TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. PAOE THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEM............... . . Introduction. . . . . . II. I Statement of the problem. .......... 3 Delimitation of the study .......... 4 Procedure................... .......... 4 Summary 5 ......... RELATED LITERATURE......................... 7 Studies relating to honor societies . . . . 7 Democracy in education................... 10 Character education ..................... 12 Mental hygiene......... 14 Extra-curricular activities Summary . . . . . III. . 1 .. .......... 17 ....................... 18 MOTIVATION................... 20 Introduction........... Definitions of motivation 20 ........ 20 Development of the study ofmotivation. . . 21 Motivation in school. . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Scientific research on rewards and punishment............................. 24 Criticism of awards as extrinsic motives......... 26 ill CHAPTER PAG-E Summary IV. . 30 THE ORGANIZATION OF THE NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY . .. ..... Introduction. . ............... 32 32 The historical development of the society................... 33 The sponsorship of the society. . . . . . . 34 The constitution......................... 36 A criticism of the organization.......... 42 Summary......... 44 . V.. NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY ELECTION AND INITIATION........ . ....................... 45 Systems for selection of members.......... 45 Induction ceremonies..................... 53 ....................... 58 Summary . . . . . VI. THE EVOLVING PROGRAM OF THE NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY TO MEET CHANGING NEEDS............. 60 Two types of chapters . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Promotion of scholarship*.............. * 61 Tutoring activities . . . . . ............ 63 Promotion of citizenship................. 65 Journalistic activities......... 67 Guidance and orientation activities . . . . 69 Summary ......... 71 iv CHAPTER VII. PAGE THE JUNIOR NATIONAL HONORSOCIETY.......... 73 The organization of the Junior Honor Society . . . Summary VIII. ....................... 73 ............................... 79 THE PRESENT STATUS OF HONOR SOCIETIES AND MODERN TRENDS IN AWARDINGPRACTICES . . 81 The present status of the National Honor IX. Society............................... 81 Modern trends in awardingpractices . . • . 83 Summary 86 ......................... SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS.......... Summary . . . . . . . 87 ................... 87 Conclusions.......... .................... 89 BIBLIOGRAPHY..................................... 93 CHAPTER I THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEM Introduction* As long as there has been group edu cation, certain members of the high school student body have excelled others and, consequently, have been singled out for recognition* McKown says * The competitive spirit and consequent demand for special recognition early found its way Into schools and their activities* The ancient Chinese system of education was built upon competitive examination; the early Greeks and Romans held contests in physical activities, poetry, music, and oratory. Honors, prizes, and scholarships in the purely academic field of edu cation are as old as the universities themselves*1 Each year a very large number of high schools through out the United States award letters, pins, or chevrons for outstanding performances in athletics, music, and debate* Many select annually for special recognition in yearbooks and newspapers those students who have been outstanding as leaders. Numerous schools have for years followed the custom of recognizing outstanding scholarship. This practice is emphasized especially at commencement time when valedictorians, salutatorlans and others ranking high In scholarship are given recognition. 1 Harry B* McKown, Extra-Curricular Activities (New York: The MAcmlllan Company, 1939)» P» 502. About the beginning of this century, furthermore, honorary clubs and societies began to spring up over the country. In 1936 the National Survey of Secondary Education announced that ‘’honorary activities in high schools had increased 560 per cent since the year 1910.1,2 For many years these familiar customs of making awards were apparently regarded as natural and desirable by the public. In the past few years, however, school administrators have probably given more thought to the implications of democracy in education than ever before. Hawk says: The amazing indoctrination of youth in other lands to their national idealogles, the challenge of demo cracy on many fronts has caused administrators to re examine the entire progress of the school in relation to the purposes of education in a democracy, to the end that youth will develop a dynamic zeal for the American way of life.3 Educational thinkers and research workers have also been focusing attention on all factors which may stimulate or retard growth of the individual. This concept includes emotional, social, Intellectual, and all types of personal growth. Almost everything in the old order of schooling has been subjected to criticism and change— honors and 2 M. R. McDaniel, "National Honor Society an Essential," Bulletin 20 of the Department of Secondary School Principals of the National Education Association. March, 193^»P* 11* 3 Herbert 0. Hawk, "Democracy in School Life," American School Board Journal. 10:19-20, September, 19^0. 3 awards included. If democracy is a way of life in America, then logical reasoning has brought educational leaders to the conclusion that education in a democracy is an experi ment in democratic living* School life Itself must be a democratic experience, educators feel— an adventure in 4 democratic living. As a result of such thinking, edu cational literature of the last few years has been concerned, to some extent, with the and honors effects and Influences of awards on the schoolsociety* The question literature has presented seems to be this: which this do honor societies have a place in a really democratic system of education? Statement of the problem* This study is a critical analysis of honor societies and award systems in general with the history of the National Honor Society as its basis* By means of a historical study of the activities and influence of one such organization in the light of modern educational philosophy, the answers to several questions are sought* The questions are as follows: 1# What were the causes and purposes in founding such an organization as the National Honor Society? 4 ibid.. p. 9- 2. How was it developed? 3* Has it supplied a genuine need during the various stages of its history? 4. How has it adopted itself to changing conditions? 5* What have been the advantages and faults of this and similar organizations? 6* Has the society's influence been sufficiently worthwhile to warrant its continued existence? 7* Do this and similar honor societies belong to the modern school in a democracy? Delimitation of the study* with the National Honor Society* This study deals only Any conclusions reached will apply to it specifically but may apply to others of like nature* Since this organization emphasizes character, leadership, and service in addition to scholarship, it is different from a number of others. Many schools have affiliated with the National Honor Society in an attempt to further the development of character and the recognition of it among their students. Ordinary scholarship organi zations and honor rolls for high grades are not, therefore, the main subjects of this study* Procedure* The methods employed in securing data for this study have been as follows: 1. The proceedings of the National Honor Society as they appear In the bulletins of the Department of Secondary School l*rinclpals of the National Education Association have been read. 2. 3* Material from various agencies has been collected, a* Induction ceremonies. b. Methods employed In selecting members. c. Activities of the various chapters. d. Copies of constitutions and chapter charters. Related literature dealing with the following topics was carefully reviewed. 4. a. Mental hygiene of award giving. b. Motivation. e. Democracy In education. d. Extra-curricular activities. Important Items of Information were obtained through correspondence with Secretary Church of the National Honor Society* The results of the, study of these materials as summarized In connection with the questions to be answered are given in the following pages of the thesis. Summary. In addition to being a history of the National Honor Society, this study Includes a critical analysis of the activities and Influence of this and similar organizations* A review o* literature related to the subject is presented in order to determine whether sueh practices as making awards and selecting some students for membership In honor societies are suitable and desirable in a modern9 democratic school situation* CHAPTER XX RELATED LITERATURE Studies relating to honor societies* As early as 1924 Hughes1 carried on an investigation for the purpose of showing similarities between honor society and non-honor society pupils. A total of 450 junior high school pupils and 500 senior high school pupils were studied and analyzed* The study dealt, in general, with applications of ratings of individual capacities, interests, and attitudes as well as a consideration of certain scholastic achievements. The results of this investigation revealed some very pertinent data. For one thing, it was found that there was a striking agreement in the set of findings for the junior high school group and for the senior group. The coefficient for each trait was of about the same magnitude, and the order of the traits in relation to intelligence was found to be substantially the same for the two types of schools* The findings showed also that certain desirable 1 W* Hardin Hughes, ^Organized Personnel Research,n Journal of Educational Research. 10:386-98, 1924. trait a are moat likely to be found, among persona having a high Intelligence quotient and least likely to be found among those whose intelligence quotients are low. It was found also that members of the honor society did possess In unusual degree the desirable traits of the rating scale In comparing the honor group with the average non-honor society pupils of high intelligence, it was found that the general intelligence and general scholastic achievement of the honor group were lower. The non-honor pupil of superior intelligence was round to be slightly below average in trustworthiness and obedience but most nearly approached the honor student in quickness of thought, strength and control in attention, and retentiveness of memory. Such evidence seemed to prove that the honor society was fundamentally an honor society but not neces sarily a maximum scholastic achievement society and that teachers' marks for scholastic achievement are based in large measure on the student's possession of desirable traits. Godfrey 2 made a comparison between the pupils of an honor society and a group who were not members in one Edna B. Godfrey, WA Study of the Honor Society," (unpublished Blaster's thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1929), 87 PP* junior high school* The purpose of her study was to deter mine the similarities and dissimilarities existing in each group* An effort was made to see whether desirable or undesirable traits modified marks given for school achieve ment. Both the honor pupils and the control group were selected from the same grades and were of approximately the same age and the same Intelligence. Correlations were made between grade averages and intelligence quotients* between intelligence quotient and each trait rating for each group, between average grades and each personality trait for each of the groups, and between each trait and each other trait for each group. Results of this study showed that the honor group as a whole received much higher -ratings for industry, initiative, and cooperation than did the control group. The main conclusion of the investigation was that there is a tendency, on the part of teachers particularly, to over estimate pupils, who though low in intelligence, are superior in respect for authority and perseverance. A study of factors influencing election to honor societies was made by Hanson in 1936*^ Its main conclusion 3 Marion 0. Hanson, "A Comparison of the Various Factors that Influence Election to the Honor Society in the Pasadena Junior High Schools,H (unpublished Master's thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1936), 88 pp. xo seemed.to be that girl students stand a better chance of being eligible for membership than boys- Boys making the honor society, however, compared very favorably with the girls in all factors studied* Evidence was also presented to show that ability to achieve, as indicated by teachers' marks, is accompanied by desirable character traits, corroborating the conclusions of Hughes A and Godfrey. R Democracy in education* As early as 1921 when the National Honor Society was being organized, Dewey defined democracy as an e^ual opportunity to develop one's personality. Since then It has been called an everlasting experiment in social living as well as a means to an end, which is the development of individuals so that they may function effectively in their physical and social environ ment. The modern democratic school has attempted to create the most natural environment for the child. Its exponents have agreed that all pupils should participate and benefit from their experience♦ 4 They have aimed toward an integrated Hughes, o£. clt. 5 Godfrey, o£. clt. ® John Dewey, Democracy and Education (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1929), pTT^fl 11 and well-rounded personality for each, child. 7 In the years after Dewey wrote his conception of democracy, educators began to place a great amount of emphasis on the inferior student. Problem children were usually poor students, and they made all teachers conscious of their presence and aware of the fact that they were not getting the maximum benefit from their school experience. Studies were made, consequently, and new curricular changes were brought about in order to Increase the school's effectiveness with inferior students. During this time those who belonged to the upper fourth of the school society were left to care for themselves. As a result these pupils, in many cases, were believed to have developed some bad habits and were not thought to be doing their best when they reached secondary school. Between 1900 and 1920 administrators and teachers realized that the schools seemed to be made for average pupils with considerable emphasis on training the subnormal ones. Consequently the superior child had little incentive to do his best. He was undoubtedly bored, and it is possible that he may have developed habits of laziness and carelessness which may have carried over into adulthood. 7 York: William Wetzel, Biography of a High School (New American Book Company, 1937), p7 124. 12 At any rate, schools over the country began to give awards and honors for high marks to stimulate a greater interest in scholastic achievement* The practice of granting such recognition rapidly became very common throughout the country* It now seems doubtful that much consideration was ever given to the factors which should determine whether or not the practice is desirable educationally* If life In a democracy means that each individual is equally important, the schools should give each student democratic experience* If some students are constantly faced with the disappointing fact that they are inferior to others and can never hope to attain a letter, a scholarship, or a place on the honor roll, will they be able to know and appreciate the enduring values of the principles of democracy? It would seem that the answer to this question is a negative one and that the practice of granting honor awards for various kinds of achievements is not truly democratic. Character education* Education in recent years has also emphasized the development of character. Courses in character education have found their way into the curricula of many schools* Dewey has also said that nthe establish ment of character is a comprehensive aim of school 13 O instruction and discipline.11 Citizenship at the present time requires that one possess the kind of character which enables the individual to readjust himself continuously in order that he may have personal growth. Many schools throughout the country have employed such devices as the National Honor Soeiety to help further the development and recognition of character. Some administrators have felt that such organizations have had a significant influence on character development through out the whole school. Ashby, in a recent article, has criticized this opinion: The hope, presumably, is that in the process of seeking an award the pupil will engage in valuable experiences. The aspiration to gain the award is expected to be transferred by strange alchemy into love and knowledge of the subject matter and into strength of character.9 He has doubted this theory, saying that the whole matter rests on an extremely doubtful psychological basis, and transfer of this kind is questionable. 10 It would appear then that there is no positive proof that honor society membership and rewards build character. They may give self-confidence and encouragement ^ Dewey, o p . clt.. p. 402. 9 Lloyd W. Ashby, f,Awards Away.” School Executive Magazine. 59*26-7, April, 1940. 10 Ibid* 14 to some who receive them, hut it is doubtful that awards always serve as a positive means of character development* Mental hygiene* The term, mental hygiene, is defined as» . • • the phase of applied psychology and psychiatry concerned with the prevention and correction of such personality disturbances, be they mild or serious, as are amenable to control and cure.11 The practice of granting honor awards for various kinds of achievements has been Investigated by mental hygiene experts to discover what effects it has had upon students who receive them as well as on those who do not* They have wondered if those who receive them become haughty, proud, and conceited, or if the award is an Inspiration to greater effort* They have been more concerned about those who fail to receive rewards; they have wondered if the last group tend to become indifferent or if they are encouraged to meet life's' problems fighting*’1'2 Whenever awards are given, there are always bitter heartaches among the "near great" who are rated immediately below the honored group. It is extremely probable that 11 L* P. Thorpe, Psychological Foundations of Personality (New Yorks McGraw-Hill Company, 1938), p* 390* 12 Heth G* Smith, "Why We Continued or Curtailed Honor Awards," The Clearing House, 115283, January, 1937* 15 sueh a disappointment might cause inferiority complexes in members of this group* According to Thorpe: A child has certain fundamental emotional cravings sueh as the need for affection and understanding, the need for security, the need for attention and approval, "k*1® for successful achievement . . . If the circumstances of the childrs home and school life are such that they tend habitually to thwart or to deprive him of any or all of these legitimate satisfactions or to over-accentuate any of them, the results show them selves in nervousness, in the development of unhappy personality traits, or In misbehavior.*3 It would hardly be expected that a truly democratic school would desire to foster any practices which would lead to the development of an inferiority complex. A few schools have attempted to Investigate the way students feel about failure or success* No valuable results were found because those who receive awards will not admit they feel superior, and those who fail to receive 14 recognition will not admit their disappointment. Smith reported an investigation made in Richmond, Indiana, In 1937* which resulted in the curtailment of many honor awards in the high school there. He reached the conclusion that there are these three possible reasons for giving honor awards: (1 ) encouragement or motive to do better work; (2 ) recognition of services given the school by the pupil; ^ Thorpe, o£. clt.. p. 407* ^ Smith, op. clt. 16 (3 ) help in developing a school spirit that is necessary 15 for real school success. They decided immediately that the first two reasons are based on false premises. If we consider the scholarship award separately we are forced to admit that about the only factor the pupil contributes to good scholarship is effort. Nature determined his I*Q*, and society furnishes the school. Why then, recognize the gifted pupil who works hard and fail to recognize the less brilliant pupil who plods along, often in the face of discourage ment and always somewhat at a disadvantage? Finding one's niche and fitting into it well is probably the best possible citizenship* Why give an honor award to the pupil whose niche happens to be one of leadership and neglect the pupil who was intended by nature to follow the leadership of others?1® The third reason, onthe other hand, had many to be said in its favor.Because good things school spirit is a very significant factor, it was agreed that anything which fosters it is worthy of consideration. Taking the opposite stand, Hannan quoted the United States Office of Education as follows: His [the pupil's] accomplishment, though apparently small, should be recognized * * * Since a life situation at any age level is rated by individual or public opinion, the earlier a child learns to accept criticism or7evaluation, the better he is equipped for living. ^ ibid. 16 Ibid.. p. 283. Lester T. Hannan, "Twentieth Century Criticism for Nineteenth Century Attitudes^" School and Society. 47:52-3 , January 8 , 1938. 17 On the basis that recognition is constantly given for successful achievement in life, Hannan has further defended the practice of giving awards* He went on to say: T8hile human nature and human ability remain as they are,, we cannot escape the fact that some individuals will, and by right ought to, stand out head and shoulders above the rest of the group in which they may be living or working* In that this is true, there is no valid reason why full recognition should not be given similarly to successful school work*18 It is obvious that no definite conclusions have been reached In regard to the harmful effects of giving honors and awards. Since there is a possibility that the practice may contribute to unhappiness or conceit in youth, this point is one upon which attention Is being focused by students of mental hygiene* Extra-currleular activities* In many places the National Honor Society has been regarded as a single phase of the extra-curricular program. Fretwell, who wrote a book on the subject, defined the extra-curricular phase of school life as "those legitimate activities of the school not otherwise provided for."1^ The high school 18 Ibid.. p. 52. E. K. Fretwell, Extra-Purrloular Activities In Secondary Schools (Cambridge, lifessachusetts: Riverside Press, 1931), P* 8 . curriculum of earlier years followed a set type of program, which was designed largely to prepare all its population for college entrance. When a need was felt for something which the school had failed to provide, a new extra curricular activity was organized to take care of the demand* Many of these activities, for example, publishing a school paper, have become regular courses in the curriculum, while new clubs and organizations have replaced them* The extra-curricular program has been credited with having a strong effect in encouraging some students to remain in school who were not particularly successful in scholastic endeavor. It has appealed to all types of students and still appears to serve a very definite purpose in education. Summary. A consideration of school honor societies has touched many factors connected with education. In the first place, honor societies are often considered part of the extra-curricular life of the school. The extra curriculum has served a worthwhile purpose and, in general, is highly esteemed. In the second place, it seems that a r system of granting awards, which some cannot possibly attain because of conditions over which they have no control, Is not democratic. Awards have been considered in the past as aids to character development, but there appears to be no proof that they serve this purpose. Mental hygienists are interested in the effects of honors upon the child’s emotions. Generally speaking the custom of granting awards may have had an adverse effect on some pupils while it was motivating others to do well. CHAPTER III MOTIVATION Introduction. For a time in the 1920* a American educators were giving most of their attention to pupils of lower intelligence. They were concerned with adapting the school and its methods to the capabilities of the lower I.Q. groups in order to encourage them to remain in school longer. They realized suddenly that the upper 10 per cent of the student body or the gifted pupils had been getting along with little attention, and it was thought that these more able students were developing habits of carelessness and were not doing their best. they needed a motive to work. Educators concluded that As a result of this decision, honor societies and other types of recognition were intro duced to serve as motivation for scholastic achievement. Since the National Honor Society has been considered as a form of motivation, a study of the concept of motivation seems fitting here. Definitions of motivation. The psychological con cept of motivation appears to be definitely connected with the school practice of granting honors and awards. A number of writers have given their definitions of motivation. Fryer ealled it r,a measure of the drive, the 21 urge, the persistence aspect of the reaction.”^* Dewey said, ”A motive is that element in the total complex of a man's activity, which if it be sufficiently stimulated, will result in an act's having specified consequences.** In general psychologists have closely associated their study of motives with that of interest. Development of the study of motivation. Herbart early formulated a theory of Interest. He thought of the mind as "an absorbing force working upon an outside Interesting object.”'* By the beginning of the twentieth century interest as a mental capacity had been given an important place in the doctrine of all educators. They came to think of it as a mainspring of development and were eager to acquire new ways of Interesting and motivating the school society to maximum accomplishment. Hall was interested in the motivation concept from the- industrial education point of view. these phases from the utilitarian angle. He thought of Dewey used these earlier studies as bases for his conclusions in connection _ A Douglas Fryer, The Measurement of Interests (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1931T7 P* 352. 2 John Dewey, Human Nature and Conduct (New York: Henry Holt and.Company, 1922), p* 120. ^ Fryer, o p . clt.. p* 444. 22 with education. 4 Although interests, incentives, and motives have some relationship, they do differ from each other. As Fryer says, “Interest is many-sided in its expression. It is essentially utilitarian, it is attached to a goal idea, and it aids in learning. The English psychologist, Stout, expressed the opinion that interest was motivation or mental striving £. toward an end. A distinction between incentive and motivation was made by Wilson, who wrote: Incentives are superficial and external in relation to one's efforts; motives are vital in determining effort. The incentive Is proposed to the child to stimulate him, while the motive arises out of his own efforts in self-expression and self-realization.» For a long time, according to Dewey, theorists in instruction overlooked or even denied the need of motiva tion. They had assumed those with sufficient force of will and effort would get the maximum benefit from school subjects. When they did become aware of the importance of motivation in education, teachers were urged to make lists * Ibid.. P» 445. 5 Ibid.. p. 446. 6 Ibid.. p. 459* 7 Harry B. Wilson, The Motivation of School Work (Bostons Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916), p. 21. 23 of motives and to find one of these for each lesson but never jba it* 8 The tragio error made by educators for a long time was that they were so interested in the results of growing they neglected the process of growing* Motivation in school* It would appear obvious that the right kind of motivation is of supreme importance in school life as well as in life after school* Overn has said: It is the approach to the building of character and moral Ideals. It is the starting point in developing permanent social interests, appreciations, ideals and attitudes, which In themselves, after they have been developed, serve as further motives for social conduct both in and out of school* 9 Some of the motivations used in school work have been marks, prizes, awards, teacher reproof, teacher praise, publicity, honor rolls and the desire to excel* The latter has been found a desirable and praiseworthy procedure so long as the pupil competes with his own pre vious record. Some of the other methods used have not been so highly regarded in recent years. their prestige as motives for study* School marks have lost Some schools have 8 ^ John Dewey, Interest and Effort In Education (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1913)*p. 6l* ^ A* V* Overn, The Teacher in Modern Education (New York: D. Apple ton-Century Company, 1935), p. 35* 24 dispensed with them entirely while others use brief reports concerning the pupilfs progress. In 1921, Dewey wrote: Records and high marks are at best artificial aims to strive for. They accustom children to expect to get something besides the value of the product for the work they do. The extent to which schools are compelled to rely on these motives shows how dependent they are on motives which are foreign to truly moral activity.10 Scientific research on rewards and punishment. Punishment-reward techniques have been utilized for countless ages in the control of human behavior, especially to impress upon youth those behavior patterns which are prescribed by custom and taboo. A number of experiments on the effects of praise and blame have been made, and the results of these have been made 12 public* In 1924, Hurlock made an experiment on 408 ' children in the third, fifth, and eighth grades of the Hew York City schools. She divided the children into three comparable groups on the basis of age, sex, and native Intelligence. She sought to determine the effects of continued praise or reproof on their accomplishment in arithmetic addition. After carrying on the experiment, Dewey, Human Hature and Conduct, op. cit., p. 153* 11 Paul T. Young, Motivation of Behavior (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1936), p. 315* 12 Elizabeth Hurlock, BThe Value of Praise and Reproof on Incentives for Children,11 Archives of Psychology. No. 71 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1924). 25 she came to these conclusions: 1. Praise and reproof seem to have heen about equal In their effectiveness for a short period of time. 2. Over a longer period praise was definitely established as the superior Influence. 3* Older children tend to respond more to both praise and reproof than younger; this has definite Implications in secondary education. 4. Average and inferior children respond better to praise. 5* Reproof has the greatest effect on children rated as superior. 6. Some incentive is more essential to superior students, but both praise and blame are suitable for this purpose. 3*3 the results of this study appear to give proof that praise and reproof are motives and largely determine attitudes. The study also gives clues concerning the way attitudes may influence learning. Emotionalized attitudes, 14 particularly emphasized by Briggs, is still a virgin field for research. Prom this study it would also appear that students with high I.Q. 's would respond as well or better to reproof as they would to praise, awards, and prizes. Such 13 ibia. (New York: p. 57* H. Briggs, The Emotionalized Attitudes Teachers' College, Columbia University, 1940), 26 results would limit the importance of all rewards in edu cation. The study has suggested also that dull children seem to need praise more urgently than the bright. The dull child is apt to he working up to capacity in school while the bright child is not. It would appear that any teacher , after noting such conclusions as the above mentioned, would do well to remember to take an attitude of looking for and appreciating excellences in a pupil1s work whenever they appear. Furthermore, she would do well to remember that reproof in the way of kindly suggestion is better than simply saying nothing in the way of evalu ation of what the pupil has tried to do. According to Mur sell, MIt is by comments on the success or failure of the pupil's effort that the teacher performs some of his 1*5 most effective services in organizing mental capacities.11 Criticism of awards as extrinsic motives. Most of the literature on awards, prizes, and honors as forms of motivation in education has been based on the supposition that the whole matter rests on sound educational and psychological bases. Of late educational theorists have James Mur sell, The Psychology of Secondary School Teaching (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1932), p. 415. 27 emphasized the Intrinsic rather than the extrinsic satisfactions and rewards. Thorndike attempted to clarify the distinction between these two types when he said: Roughly the former [intrinsic] are thosewhich are due to the activity Itself as engaged in by the person in question, whereas the latter are added to it and would not be present unless brought into action by forces outside the activity and the actor— the material to be learned and the learnee.^ As an ideal awards are intended to be aformof recognition for outstanding work in some special area. Unfortunately their purpose has been misconstrued, and most schools have used them for incentives to encourage good work rather than badges of recognition or reward for work already done. Not many pupils have entered into the life of the school solely for the sake of earning awards. It would seem obvious that no sensible person would argue that the value of football is to be found in the letter earned; however, the letter and sweater, which are usually the reward for participation in the activity, have been 17 known to motivate some students to enter it. Dewey was one of the first advocates of Intrinsic 16 (New York: E. L. Thorndike, Interests and Attitudes D. Appleton-Century Company, 1937)/ P* 152. Lloyd W. Ashby, "Awards Away, 59*27, April, 1940. Sohool Executive. 28 motivation. Commenting on his ideas, Thorndike wrote this i Insofar as the task of education is to develop or strengthen certain interests as more or less permanent features of a person^ make-up, the more intrinsic the interest can he, the less dependent upon outside aids and circumstances the better* Even when the task is to develop an interest purely as a temporary means to get something else learned or done, Intrinsic interests are somewhat stronger and more dependable*1® it H 19 In "Schools of Tomorrow" Dewey has discussed a likely result of extrinsic motivation. It Is what he calls a division of the mind or double-mindedness, a double standard of reality which hampers in most of us integrity and completeness of mental action. In such a situation a split is set up between conscious thought and attention and impulsive, blind affection and desire. School conditions favorable to this division of the mind between avowed, public and socially responsible undertakings and private ill-regulated and suppressed indulgences of thought are not hard to find* Stern discipline and motivation through rewards extraneous to the thing to be done have a like effect. Anything that makes schooling merely preparatory works in this direction.20 Nearly all psychologists have agreed on some aspects of motivation. 18 19 20 The student of motivation, It would seem, Thorndike, o£. cit., p. 152. Dewey, Democracy and Education, op. cit. . p. 209- 29 'believes definitely that behavior and learning are motivated; but he seeks to understand and explain these concepts so that education can make the most of his deductions* A study of some of the most common types of school motivation discussed in this chapter might leave a question in one's mind* That query might be, what is the result of a cessation of this type of motive when the student leaves the direct Influence of the classroom? Grades, the fear of teacher disapproval, or family pride in scholastic success are obviously not operative when the student leaves school and goes away to be independent* Whether or not the school had exercised proper motivation would, undoubtedly, be shown by the manner in which this individual motivates himself after his school days were completed* Allen has considered it Interesting and helpful to note that there are: . * . levels of motivation as well as levels of achievement. Great achievement comes only as a result of great motives stimulated by broad, strong and vital motivation. Great motives are, of necessity, honest and unselfish and have the best interests of world society at heart. 1 ^ M. S* Allen, ''Student Motivation in the Major Social Functions Procedure,w Education. 59*179-82, November, 1953* 30 The old saw that “nothing succeeds like success" is often heard, and the success idea has been considered 22 motivational. According to Dorcas, the old saying is not without merit. He told how this could be proved by pairing children on a basis of ability into two groups and giving them two successive tasks to perform. Those that succeeded in performing the first task correctly are apt to succeed in performing the second correctly provided the results in Task A are known before Task B is attempted. The level of aspiration is modified by success and failure, and experiences of success and failure are relative to the level of aspiration. Summary. Judging from the many ideas and opinions concerning motivation in school, a number of conclusions are reached. They are: 1* Motivation is important in education and life. 2. Educators long thought they had to find motives for school activities rather than in them. 3* Many awards, honors, and prizes have been used for motivation. 4. Both praise and reproof act as incentives to youth. 22 h R. M. Dorcus and K. Dunlap, Aspiration, Interest, and Achievement," The Business Education World, 21:287-91, December, 1940. . 23 Ibid. 31 5* Motives to b© psychologically sound and purpose ful, should be intrinsic rather than extraneous. It would appear that motivation at best is something to be built up by the very agencies through which learning is guided. It must obviously depend on a well-organized school, good instructional procedures, and a proper atti tude on the part of the teacher. The study of motivation in connection with this problem is summed up in this state ment of Allen: If we take it for granted that the sole purpose of education is to make possible richer, more complete living for the student and for social progress on the part of the student, is it not essential that we, as teachers, should examine more searchingly and honestly our instructional procedures for irrelevant motivation— that is, recourse to gold stars, grades, punishments, honor rolls, or anything els© except an acceptance by the student of the fundamental relationships of school activities to the major functions of life and his own dominating interests?*4 Allen, o£. cit., p. 182. CHAPTER IV THE ORGANIZATION OF THE NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY Introduction. Near the beginning of the present century when the great increase in enrollment of the secondary schools of the country stimulated the develop ment of the social aspects of the high school through extra-curricular activities, forward-looking educators felt that scholarship was not receiving its rightful emphasis among the social and athletic activities which already were holding the center of the stage. For a num ber of years incentives to improve scholarship had been part of the administrative routine in the form of honor rolls, special privileges, delivering valedictory and salutatory addresses, letters of congratulation and scholarship awards. At this period in the history of edu cation, administrators believed that it was necessary to provide a motive for every phase of education. Each school had its own system of recognition, and the same routine was usually followed year after year. "Little effort was made to provide social stimulation of scholar ship by having the desire to Improve come from the student body itself. 1 0. C. Harvey and H. E. Patrick, Bulletin 67 of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. 21:7. The historical development of the society* In I9O3 Phi Beta Sigma, the first high school honor society that had as its primary aim the encouragement of high scholar ship, was organized by five girls of high scholastic standing in the old South Side Academy in Chicago, Illinois. Owen, then principal of the academy, acted as faculty director of the group. The organization continued even after the academy became part of the University of Chicago High School in 1904. It still exists as an independent society although it conforms closely to the rules and regulations of the National Honor Society. As high schools in the country were eager to imitate the activities and accomplishments of Phi Beta Kappa in colleges and universities, the new idea spread rapidly* Similar organizations sprang up in various parts of the country; they had slightly different requirements for admission, but the development of scholarship was a primary goal in all. One of these groups was the Cum Laude Society, which was organized In 1906 by Harris at Tome School in Fort Deposit, Maryland. Another was the Oasis Society founded also in 1906 at the Polytechnic Preparatory Country Day School in Brooklyn. In 1910 the Arista Society was organized by Gunnison at Erasmus Hall, a high school in Brooklyn. After these organizations had become more common throughout the country, schools lying in the same area were able to agree on similar standards of scholarship and recognition for the entire group. After the organization of the Mimerian Society in 1910 in the Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles, the movement spread rapidly in California. It culminated in the organization of the California Scholarship Federation of thirty-five high schools in 1921-1922. The Pro Merit© Society was established in 1916 by thirty head masters in western Massachusetts, and in the next year the Ephoebian Society was organized for graduates of Los Angeles high schools* In 1919 the Mareelleans Society was founded in Fargo, South Dakota. the sponsorship of the society* When the successful operation of local and district honor societies had been noted by educators, the newly organized National Association of Secondary School Principals gave consideration to honor societies in general at their Chicago meeting in 1919* Masters, then principal of Omaha Central High School in Omaha, Nebraska, was appointed chairman of the committee on a National Honor Society* Some of the first conclusions 35 of the committee were the following: 1. If the fundamental principle of the National Honor Society is sound, it should be national in its application. 2. A national society ought to be stronger and mean more than any local organization. 3* A national honor society of secondary schools is a logical outgrowth of the wisdom and experience of the past fifteen or twenty years.2 The National Honor Society proper was not organized until after the meeting of the National Association of Secondary School Principals in Cleveland the following year. At this meeting the committee made its report and presented an outline of a proposed constitution. The out line met with the approval of the association, whose members gave their president the authority to name a committee on constitution and organization. The following made up the committee: Chairman--J. G. Blasters, Omaha, Nebraska Merle Prunty, Tulsa, Oklahoma C. B. Briggs, Lakewood, Ohio George Buck, Indianapolis, Indiana H. V. Church, Cicero, Illinois Edward Rynearson, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Eaton of Youngstown, Ohio, and McDaniel of Oak Park, 3 Illinois, were added the next year. 2 Ibid.. p. 461. ^ Edward Rynearson, “Honor Societies in Secondary Schools,11 School Review. 30:456-66, June, 1922. 56 In 1921, Rynearson reported that the committee had * decided that scholarship alone was too narrow a basis for « election to the National Honor Society. After consider able discussion, the committee fixed upon character, leadership, scholarship, and service as the fundamental virtues most useful to society and, therefore, most worthy of encouragement. The constitution. The committee finally made the following constitution which laid down general rules regard ing officers, eligibility and the like, but In the main it left details of government to each individual chapter. CONSTITUTION OF THE NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY Revision of February, 1926 ARTICLE I Name and Purpose Section 1. The name of this organisation shall be the National Honor Society of Secondary Schools. Section 2. The purpose of this organization shall be to create an enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote leadership, and to develop character in the students of American secondary schools. ARTICLE II General Control 37 Section 1. The general control of this organization shall /be vested in a National Council* Section 2. The National Council shall consist of nine members elected by the Department of Secondary Sehool Principals* The secretary of the Department of Secondary School Principals shall be a member, ex officio* Section The nine elective members shall be chosen for a term of three years, three being chosen annually. Immediately after the first election they shall be divided into three classes for the one, two, and three-year terms. Section 4. Five members shall constitute a quorum of the National Council. Section 2* The National Council shall each year nominate three members to be elected by the Department of Secondary School Principals to succeed those whose terms expire. ARTICLE III Local Organizations Section 1. These organizations shall consist of chapters in“the secondary schools of the United States, supported by public taxation or endowment with standards equal to those accredited by such agencies as the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, the New England College Entrance Certificate Board, the Association of Colleges and Preparatory Schools of the Middle States and Maryland, the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, etc. Section 2. Each chapter, before its admission to the National Honor Society, shall have its organization approved by the National Council. Section 2* Each chapter shall, for continued membership, conform to all rules made by the National Council. 38 ARTICLE IV Emblem Section 1. This organization shall have an approprlate^emblem, selected by the National Council, and this emblem shall be uniform throughout the United States. Section 2* This emblem shall be patented. Section 2* The distribution of the emblem shall be under the exclusive control of the National Council. ARTICLE V Dues Section 1* Each chapter of this organization shall contribute whatever amount may be assessed by the National Council, not to exceed five dollars ($5*00) annually. ARTICLE VI Membership Section 1. Members of chapters shall be known as active and graduate. Section 2. Membership in any chapter shall be based on scholarship, service, leadership, and character. Section 2* Candidates eligible to membership in a chapter of this organization shall have a scholar ship rank In the first third of their respective classes* Section 4. To be eligible for membership the student must have spent at least one year in the secondary school electing such student. 39 Section Not more than fifteen per cent of any senior, or graduating class, shall be elected to membership in a chapter. Section 6. The election of not more than five per cent of 'the-!1A class may take place during the sixth semester. The election of not more than ten per cent may take place before the end of the seventh semester. The remainder may be chosen during the eighth or last semester before graduation. ARTICLE VII Electors Section 1. The election of members in each chapter shall be by the faculty, or by the principal and a committee of four or more members of the faculty whom he may select. ARTICLE VIII Officers Section 1. The officers of each chapter shall be a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. Section 2. The secretary shall certify to the National Council the number graduated in each class and the names of those elected to membership in the chapter♦ ARTICLE IX Faculty Supervision Section 1# All meetings shall be open meetings and shall be held under the direction of the principal or by some member of the.faculty selected-by him. Section 2. The activities of the chapter shall be subject to the approval of the principal. ARTICLE X Executive Committee Section 1* The executive committee shall consist of the officers.of the chapter and the faculty sponsor* Section 2. The executive committee shall have general charge of the meetings and business affairs of the chapter, hut any action on the part of the executive committee shall he subject to review by the chapter. ARTICLE XI Amendments Section 1. This constitution may be amended at any meeting of the National Council, or by mail by an affirmative vote of seven members. After the report of the committee had been accepted and the plan approved, the American Torch Society was founded. The name was later changed to the National Honor Society. Although the constitution had been written and adopted in 1921, the organization did little until after the Chicago meeting in 1922 when the form of the charter was approved and the emblem adopted. It would appear that at this time all schools were seeking new motivation for scholarship and other desirable traits so the National Honor Society met with approval among secondary schools of the country and has since had a healthy growth. In 1921 Chapter Number One was granted 41 to the Fifth Avenue High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania* Fifteen years later, in 1937, there were 2,202 chapters with a total enrollment of approximately 250,000 members. Unlike most aspects of secondary education which are constantly changing to keep up with a changing world, in the first twenty years of its history only three changes have been made in the constitution of the National Honor Society. Originally membership in the chapters was limited to the highest one-fourth of the senior class; later it was changed to the highest one-third. At first 5 per cent of the eleventh grade could be. chosen during the last month of the Junior year. In 1936 the model constitution was changed to permit their election at any time during the last semester of the Junior year. In 1936 the model constitution was revised to provide special regulations for small schools. It permitted them to fix the scholar ship average necessary and to admit members of the sophomore class as members on probation, so long as they satisfied all corresponding requirements placed upon members from the two higher classes. The National Honor Society Is directed by a National Council of ten, three of whom are chosen each year at the February meeting of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The Council directs the activities and 42 formulates the policies of the organization. Setting up a chapter in a school has never been difficult if the administration favors such an organization. If the constitution is in the proper form and the school is of approved grade, a charter will be granted. The charter is authority for the school to elect its mem bers. After each election a list of members must be sent to the headquarters. After these things have been done, the school may consider itself a part of the National 4 Honor Society. A criticism of the organization. The fact that the National Honor Society had a membership of 250,000 in 1937 might suggest that it was a faultless organization with only desirable characteristics. Apparently throughout the years many administrators have felt that it was ideal. In the light of modern thinking, the organization and its policies might be considered, to some extent, faulty. In the first place it is generally believed that education in a democracy should consider and provide equal 4 Material giving directions can be obtained by writing the Secretary of the National Honor Society whose headquarters are at the University of Chicago, 5835 Klmbark Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. The application blank, the charter fee of five dollars, and two copies of the constitution must be sent in. 43 opportunity for every individual* Since the National Honor Society has stressed scholarship as on© of its requirements, it would seem that it is undemocratic. Be cause of inherent limited ability, a great percentage of the school population can never hope to earn membership even though they possess all the other desirable qualities. leadership has been used as another requirement of the National Honor Society. Wise leadership has always been desirable in any democratic body, but there are many fine citizens who are excellent followers but not leaders. On this topic Overn has said: It may be a mistake to motivate everyone possible toward leadership if that -Work is understood to mean the leadership of other individuals who are to conform to some personal standards which the leader sets up. Education is supposed to uphold common standards which have been accepted generally in the democracy. The leadership always should simply point everyone to the common ideals and induce as closely as possible a conformity with them. It should not be dominance. It should point the way toward independence toward thought and action, the only uniformity being a harmony with accepted common standards.-* It would seem obvious that some of the world*s problems are the result of selfish and unwise leadership. Motivation of such a characteristic is, therefore, a prob lem with many angles. c J A. V. Overn, The Teacher in Modern Education (New York: D. Appleton-Gentury Company, 1935), p. 4-7. 44 The very nature of the qualifications for election to the National Honor Society have made judging them a difficult task. Ideally it would seem that they would all he determined in terms of the needs of the Individual pupils, and since their needs are legion, any artificial system of awards would he so complicated and cumbersome it would not he practical# Summary. The National Honor Society was an out growth of independent scholarship organizations throughout the United States. In 1921 it was organized hy the Department of Secondary School Principals of the National Education Association and has been sponsored by them throughout its history. Because its requirements are only scholarship, leadership, service, and character, it would seem that it Is not truly democratic. Making a fair selection of members would seem to be a difficult and al most impossible task, because of the character of the requirements. The National Honor Society has changed very little since its organization. Since concepts of education are changing constantly, recent literature has indicated some dissatisfaction with the society and all school awards in general* CHAPTER V NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY ELECTION AND INITIATION As teachers and administrators were feeing called upon annually to make selections of students for the National Honor Society, In attempts to fee fair to all they have tried to develop some objective bases for selection of candidates. In most places only teachers who have had direct contact with the pupils have been permitted to vote on their ©lection. large schools have indicated that the difficulty in rating a student was caused fey the failure of the teacher to remember him. Systems for selection of members. Being aware of the possibility of unfairness and unpleasant results of membership selection, different schools have devised a number of selection systems. These have Included rating charts, committees on qualifications, and score cards* McMurray, in reporting on "A Method of Choosing Members? has said: With such intangible and uncertain bases as we have for grading character, service and leadership, each of which is to be counted of equal importance with scholarship, it seems to me that we should use a system of grading which will most nearly result in a majority decision of participating teachers and which 46 will limit and equalize the power of any one teacher in arriving at the final standings of the various candidates*1 The society^ report in Bulletin 56 . which appeared in April, 1955, pointed out that it was never the intention of the founders of the society to demand absolutely accurate evaluation- 2 Such was obviously impossible in the absence of scientific instruments for measurement. Their purpose was to insist that a student have a more rounded life with scholarship as one of the main objectives. A rating scale was suggested by which a teacher could vote on each student. It was as follows* 5 “ highest 4 - above average 3 • average 2 - below average 1 - lowest^ The same report included an outline of requirements for the three qualifications other than leadership. The character requirements were as followss ^ C. D. McMurray, "A Method of Choosing Members,” Bulletin 58 of the National Association of High School Principals. 195557 December, 1935* 2 Bulletin 56 of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. April, 1935* 3 ibia. 47 1* Meets Individual pledges and responsibilities to school and teachers promptly* 2. Demonstrates highest standards of attitude toward honesty and reliability* 3* Constantly demonstrates desirable qualities of personality. 4. a. Cheerfulness b. Friendliness c. Neatness d. Poise e. Stability Cooperates by complying with school regulations. 4 Upholds principles of morality and ethics. 5* leadership list of requirements Included the following i 1. Demonstrates leadership in classrooms* 2* Demonstrates leadership in promoting school activities* 3* Successfully holds school offices or positions of responsibility. 4. Contributes ideas which improve the civic life of the school. 5* Exerts the type of leadership which directly influences others for good. 5 In the field of service, the following requirements 4 Ibid. 5 ibid. 48 were given: 1. Willingness to render any service to the school when called upon. 2. Willingness to do committee or staff work. 3* Readiness to show courtesy hy assisting teachers, visitors, and students. 4. Willingness to represent the school in interclass or inter-school competition. 5. Willingness to render^worthwhile service to the school and community. The National Council considered these requirements as general and desirable in any school situation. They, at the least, have interpreted the meaning of the terms— character, leadership, and service. The fourth quali fication, scholarship, has always been determined by means of the marking system. It has been understood throughout all the chapters of the Society that if at any time before graduation a member failed to maintain the standing of the society, he should be dropped from membership. Some schools have used the method of allowing all eligible candidates for election to vote on each other. Some have combined this method with a check list system for 7 use of teachers. Fleehor , of Washburn High School in 8 Ibid* 7 L. A. Fleenor, "Methods of Selecting Members," Bulletin 48 of the National Association of High School Principals. §1:21, May, 1937* Minneapolis described this method and stated that final selections were not to be made known by advisers until all were selected. He even suggested announcing the members by starring their names on the commencement program* Advantages he noted in using the above method were theses 1* Selection does not depend upon personal preference of one person or a small group. 2. Selection la rather objective and mathematical* 3* Candidates and faculty feel that fairness and merit usually prevail. 4. A wholesome effect is made upon many pupils early that they may attain merit and recog nition. 5* Parents and unsuccessful candidates understand. 6. Pupils make direct contact with problems in human conduct since they must be rated and inspected.8 There were a few possible disadvantages, however: 1* The method requires considerable preparation and mathematical computation. 2* Rankings are not always of relative weight* 3* In the final analysis it is Impossible to define and measure qualities which are included. 4. Some inaccuracy can enter into the ratings.^ Blackburn, in her book, Our High School Clubs, TO ® Loc* cit* mrnmmmmmm mummmmm Loc* cit* ^ Lura Blackburn, Our High School Clubs (New Yorks The Macmillan Company, 192$). 50 has mad© the suggestion that a Committee on Elections composed of five faculty persons he appointed. These should he chosen early in the year to work the greater part of the year on selections. Their major task is to prepare a tentative list of candidates; this list should he handed to each teacher early in the semester. A questionnaire about each candidate is to he filled out hy every teacher. The following form was suggested: Name Yes No Doubtful How have you known him? The votes of all teachers would he considered and tabulated hy the Committee on Elections who would then announce the selections. Blackburn has pointed out also that: One of the serious problems of the Committee on Elections Is to see that It Is the positive rather than the negative qualities of a student which win for him a place in the National Honor Society.11 In 1934 Bonecutter12 reported on the selection 11 Ibid., p. 141. 0# S. Bonecutter, ^National Honor Society Election and Initiation,*1 The Kansas Teacher» 38*9* January, 1934 * 51 method used in Great Bend, Kansas. In the first place, four faculty committees were selected. Each committee was charged with rating the eligible students on one of the four Honor Society attributes. No one committee was aware of the score awarded each student by any of the other committees* The Committee on Service used as its guide a complete list of all the activities engaged in by each student in the upper third of the class. The Committee on Leadership made use of the activity list also. The Committee on Character was selected carefully with a view to obtaining members best acquainted with the individuals concerned. The ratings given each eligible student by the various committees were then consolidated, and the highest ranking students based on their total score were then elected to the National Honor Society. The judgment of four separate committees, each independent of the other, is a forward step toward objectivity in selecting National Honor Society mem bers. •*•5 One of the reasons for the great variety of methods of selecting members has been that the National Council has never set any definite standards. It has preferred to allow each individual student body to work out its own ^ loc. cit. 52 satisfactory solution to the problem. The reason for this is obviously that no fair and scientific means of election has ever been devised. The large number of systems in use 14 seem to give evidence of this fact. Cannon in reporting the results of her survey said that 50 per cent of the schools were using the point system of selecting honor students. Of the group studied, 25.3 per cent indicated the choices were based only on faculty rating, and 8*4 per 1c cent allowed a combination student-faculty vote. Lynch3*^ criticized the unfairness of honor society selections by case study methods. First, he described Olive Mason, who was the third highest in scholarship in her class of one hundred. She had served as editor of the school paper, secretary of the commercial club, treasurer of the art club and vice-president of the home economics club. She was described as conscientious, dependable and unassuming, and was average In dress and appearance. She was not admitted to the honor society on the grounds of ^ Helen Cannon, ”A Survey of Junior High Rewarding Practices,” California Journal of Education. 16:41-6, January, 1941. Xbld. James Lynch, ‘‘The Trouble with Honor Societies,” Clearing House. 15*339-41, February, 1941. personality and leadership. fourth in a class of 125• Alice Daws stood twentyShe was a cheer leader and a member of the girls* glee club. She had a sprightly atti tude and was very fashionable in dress* She was accepted immediately into the honor society without question. Carl Fox was rejected by the honor society because of low ratings in service and leadership. In scholarship he was first in a class of 125, and he was greatly interested in science. He was president of the science club and had been stage manager for the dramatic club. In contrast, (Jerald S. was seventeenth in a class of one hundred. He was described as tall, dark, and handsome and played the piano in the school dance orchestra. He was also on the track team. He was elected to the honor society at once. Common sense and logic, it would seem, would conclude that, In spite of all the rating charts and devices, such practices are unfair and unscientific. Induction ceremonies. The council has never made any definite ruling regarding ceremonies of induction or initiation. In Bulletin 67. these remarks on the subject appeared: An impressive ceremony of initiation is one of the best methods of instilling the aims and Ideals of the society into the new members and the school at large. These ceremonies should be public. There is no uniform 54 ritual# In recent years the ceremony has been dignified and has tended toward simplicity.1* The following example of an induction ritual is that used in Phillips High School, Birmingham, Alabama: (The curtain rises to soft music, revealing on the center of the stage a large gilded replica of the Honor Society emblem. Pour figures representing Scholarship, Leadership, Character, and Service, dressed in robes of gold, purple, white, and red, respectively, stand in pose about the symbol. Two heralds, appropriately garbed, announce with a bugle call, the Spirit of the Honor Society who is dressed in red and white, and holds a burning torch*) Spirit of the Honor Society: I am the spirit of the Honor Society: The flame of my ideals Has lead men to aspire To sublime heights And spurred them on to rich endeavors. Thru ages many have I breathed into their souls The pureness of my passion For the good, the noble, and the true. To-day I represent the principles Upon which schools are founded The mighty ends Toward which they strive. My emblem is the keystone Which, like the builder, do I fit Into the perfect arch of Education To hold it firm and ever true To the high aims of Life. I forward bear the flaming torch, The symbol of my purpose To bring the gleaming light of Truth Into the shadows of the world Lighting the altars of Youth With the pure fires of Idealism, ^ Bulletin 67 of the National Association of Secondary Schoo1 ft*Incipals. p# 59* 55 The followers of my torch By visions of my noble aims inspired, Shall ever strive to reach The four sublime and lofty goals To which I lead. Come forth, beings four Who form my very essence Come, and now proclaim unto the world Your missions* Scholarship, you first — — Scholarship: (Dressed in gold) I have been the impelling power Of noble minds in ages.past, Who searched for truth in all its forms, And with their golden stores Of knowledge, Enriched the lives of men, Dispelled the poverty of ignorance. I am the inspiration of the present That ever bids the minds of youth To delve with earnest purpose Into the riches of Man’s learning And thence to add Some treasure of their own discovery For the ennobling of the Future. Spirit of the Honor Societys And you, 0 Leadership — Leaderships (Dressed in purple) I am the power of personality That, with the earnest energy Of an inspired purpose, Blazes the new and upward paths Of Progress. I set my seal upon the great, Who, in Statecraft, Art, or Science, Or in any field of high endeavor Have bettered the thoughts and deeds of men. To-day I would my challenge clear To you, the vanguard of the Futures 56 Call forth the noble forces of your race. And lead them from the dark Into the light of day -— Their day of Destiny* Spirit of the Honor Society: Come, speak, 0 Character *— Character: (Dressed in white) I am that firm integrity Of Character, That comes like tempered steel -Hammered, burned, refined, From the glowing forge of Life. I am the priceless total Of all true attempts: The growth of heart and mind And soul O'er countless narrow bounds* More than reputation, Greater than career. I stand, a shining beacon, Enduring to eternity, Who beckon men to build On high and solid rock The dwellings of their souls* Spirit of the Honor Society? And you, 0 Service Speak -Service? (Dressed in red) I symbolize the altar Of altruism By which the richest blessings From the gods to men Pave been given* I form the end and aim Of school and life; The noblest purpose which Inspires the acts of men: 57 The highest calling to which they have listened Rapt, and heeded. Lifted from the planes of selfish labor, Lay your offerings On my altars — Ennoble thus the gift, however small, And thus enrich the race of men. Spirit of the Honor Society: And now I call into my train The students who have proved Their true desire for noble things By past attempts and past achievements. (New members file in, carrying lighted candles. ) Music begins, stops when all members on stage.-Herald, call out the names of those Who have attained this honor Which I now bestow. (Herald reads names from scroll.) I welcome you, 0 followers of my torch, Into this fellowship. Keep bright the flame of high ideals And carry forth into the world The light of wisdom and the light of truth. 18 (Curtain to soft music.) Rynearson, who has been called "the father of the society,” expressed the purpose of rituals and inductions when he wrote: The school at large will judge a society to a great extent by public exercises. The induction of new members is a great opportunity to create enthusiasm for scholarship among those who have not been awakened to the importance of a complete development *]Q Ibid., pp. 42-5 of their powers. On the other hand, those selected for member ship should he made to realize that because of their conspicuous leadership, intellectual achieve ments, loyalty to high ideals and nobility of character, they are not to be withdrawn from the "mass" and form a “class,M but that this added honor carries increased obligation, that unusual ability entails extraordinary responsibility, and that they are greatest who serve the most.3*9 This is the ideal situation, but there is no proof that any good results come from such rituals. Ashby criticized honor assemblies by saying, “They put some pupils on a plane above others. Some are saddened by their failure after great effort has been put forth, and parents often 20 have the greatest heartaches.“ Summary. It is obvious that attempts have been made to make fair selections of membership to the honor society. Many different methods of selection are still in use, and the point system is preferred. The fact remains that there is no scientific method of measuring such qualities as leadership, character, and service, and for this reason it would appear that seleotlon of members will never be entirely fair and democratic. 19 Edward Rynearson, Bulletin 57 of the National Association of Secondary School frinolpala. p. 41. 20 it Lloyd Ashby, "Awards Away, 59*-27, April, 1940. «t School Executive. After the selections have heen made, many schools have elaborate and interesting induction ceremonies* Although some enthusiastic supporters of the society feel that these ceremonies impress and encourage the student body, there is a great possibility that some pupils may become saddened and discouraged* Even though the selection techniques and induction ceremonies were probably designed with the best of in tentions, it would seem that they have not made the National Honor Society a democratic organization. CHAPTER VI THE EVOLVING- PROGRAM OF THE NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY TO MEET CHANGING NEEDS Despite the fact that the constitution of the National Honor Society has undergone very little change in twenty years, the society itself-has broadened its program. The growth it has made has taken place in this way. The scope of its activities, for one thing, has grown broader. The fact that a workable program developed might help to explain the extent of the organization today. In their article, "Special Types of Activities: Honor Societies," In the Twenty~Fifth Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education. Terry and Hagie made this comment: The intention has been to formulate the standards of membership in such a way as to emphasize the development of all, rather than a few, of the virtues of good school citizenship and to avoid any mistakes that might follow too close an adherence to the models of honor societies in colleges.1 Judging from this statement, it would appear that the directors of the society have felt the emphasis of demo cratic educational trends and have attempted to make the 1 Paul Terry and C. E. Hagie, "Special Types of Activities: Honor Societies," Twenty-Fifth Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education. Part II. 61 society extend its Influence toward the school as a whole* Two types of chapters. The chapters of the National Honor Society have fallen into two types of organization. They are: (1) the strictly honorary-scholastic group, and (2) the activity unit which carries on a regular program similar to that of other service groups. The chief function of the first group has been to identify and reward secondary school students whose scholarship Is outstanding and whose presence and personality have a fine influence on the school. The most active chapters have been found In small and medium-sized high schools. The chapters of the activity group have made it clear that they are willing to sponsor any plan of advance ment connected with the school and the community. More than one-ha If of the chapters have undertaken a wide variety of activities. These have so far fallen largely into the following classifications: promotion of scholar ship, tutoring, promotion of citizenship, management of certain school publications, guidance and orientation, and special group studies and research. In fact, as many as 114 different projects have been reported to the National Council. Promotion of scholarship. According to the report t 62 which appeared in Bulletin 67 of the National Association of Secondary School Principals which was published in May, 1937# the society had attempted to promote scholar ship in three principal wayas 1* It had tried to identify student ability through recognition of those students whose work was of sufficient quality to meet standards required for membership. 2# It had fostered chapter activities and projects designed to realize the Ideals of the society which, they hoped, have had a wholesome influence in improving scholarship in the entire school* 3* It had made an effort to teach students the importance of looking beyond the high school courses, seeing and striving toward worthy goals and making the Ideals of the society a means of self-guidance in their higher education and in their daily living.2 Devices which were reported as effective in promoting scholarship were: 1* Helping, encouraging and guiding other students through such activities as tutoring. 2. Compiling honor rolls and achievement lists. 3* Acting as a scholarship committee for the school or its student council* 4. Establishing scholarships. 5* 2 Awarding plaques, medals, banners or certificates to home rooms having the highest scholarship or greatest improvement. Bulletin 67 of the National Association of Second ary School Principals, May, 1937- 63 6. Preparing helps on how to study. 7. Writing letters of congratulation to high rank ing students. 8. Promoting home room programs, assemblies or school forums.3 So long as recognizing high scholarship has always been one of the ma^or functions of the National Honor Society, it would appear only natural that the organization should encourage it. If these devices had served to en courage every student to do his best and to improve upon his own record, they would have served as Intrinsic motivation. If they have encouraged scholarship in order to winfor the student a certain award It would appear that they have not been based on sound psychology. Tutoring activities. Harvey, 4 in an article con cerning the contributions of the National Honor Society has expressed the opinion that tutoring is probably its most significant activity. He also said that this activity was unique with this organization. National Honor Society members, he believed, were selected on the basis of qualities which particularly fit them for such an activity. 3 4 Ibid. C. 0. Harvey, wTutoring Activities of the National Honor Society,” School and Sooiety. 46:637-4*0* November, 1940. 64 Tli© sponsors of the project believe it has served the schools hy making education effective to a greater number of the diverse population of secondary schools. The activity has also been beneficial, they have thought, to the students participating in it because it has given them opportunities to exercise initiative and organization, and to cooperate with the faculty and their fellow students. Harvey believes that it has fostered good will and a spirit of mutual helpfulness. The young tutors have, in most schools, been instructed to aid in helping students to learn to study— never to prepare an assignment for a fellow student, No more than five students were ever assigned to one tutor. After a month the coach has followed the plan of checking with the teacher about the results. If the results were reported satisfactory, the work continued. adjustments were made. If not, new At the close of each semester attempts were made to modify and improve the procedure. West High in Oleveland, Ohio, reported that 110 students were helped in a month*s time. The Ensley Chapter of Birmingham, Alabama, reported that they were able to raise the school*s standard of scholarship in this way. Backward students were aided to become better adapted to school life, they felt, and there were fewer 65 drop-outs. In some places students who were having diffi culty requested help and later expressed their appreciation for it. Enthusiastic supporters of the project believed that the practice has had a tendency to wipe out any feel ing of envy less brilliant members of the student body might have felt when elections were announced. Ihis resulted in members of the society proving themselves willing and eager to help less fortunate students. This plan of tutoring is not without merit, It seems, as long as the tutors are genuinely altruistic and cooperative. It would seem also that some adolescents bright enough to serve as tutors might possibly become egotistical and condescending towards those whom they were helping unless a proper attitude had been developed in the student body. Promotion of citizenship. Education for citizenship has long been one of the objectives of the public schools of America. The National Honor Society has, from the beginning, aimed to provide incentive and recognition for those students who have ability and the desire to do out standing work in their studies. It has aimed to give encouragement to the ones who desire to build character and purpose that will make them an influence for finer and bettor living. The organization leaders have assumed that the activities and projects for promoting citizenship have helped in the building of desirable traits in the Individual as well as in the school community. They have felt that they have contributed to the solution of one of the most significant problems of the modern secondary school— how to open the way for young people to participate in the social# economic, civic, and political affairs of their communities. It is an accepted principle of education that students of the secondary school should be given experience under guidance in dealing with representative citizenship problems. The National Honor Society, which is supposed to be made of those students who excel in the desirable qualities of scholarship, leadership, character, and service, has tried to provide a nucleus around which the school could center a program of citizenship activities which might permeate into the entire life of the school. It appears obvious that a group of the school1s finest thinkers could surely create activities that would give citizenship training. In order to be truly democratic, all the students should have a part in the activities as well as a part in planning and organi zing them* In view of modern democratic education it 67 would seem that such citizenship experience as the National Honor Society has sponsored would he acceptable so long as the entire student body might participate on an equal basis* Journalistic activities* Many societies have found publication projects a significant medium for realizing the cardinal principles of the organization, especially those of service and leadership* School handbooks have been one of the most useful publications sponsored by the National Honor Society. They have ordinarily presented rules, regulations, traditions, scholastic requirements, and activity programs. Officials of the society have re ported that such a handbook has served the following purposes: 1* It is a source of information on school life as nearly complete as can be made* 2. It is an Integrating force in the school* 3- It is an interpretation of the school activities to the community. 4. Through exchange with other schools It serves as a means of exchanging ideas and a source of contact* National Honor Society chapters have served In numerous other capacities such as: 68 1* They have acted as an editorial hoard for the school paper. 2. They have edited the yearbook. 3- They have prepared a school history. 4. They have provided Parent-Teacher Association bulletins. 3* They have provided home room bulletins. 6. They have made directories of school regulations. 7. They have prepared alumni news letters. 8. They have edited books of study helps. 9- They have prepared scholastic bulletins for each grading period.5 Some societies have even assumed the responsibility of starting and publishing a school newspaper. This was done in Wayne, West Virginia; in Gary, Indiana, by the Emerson chapter; in Glney, Illinois; and in Bellaire, Ohio. The Lincoln High School chapter of Cleveland, Ohio, compiled and published a booklet entitled Good Manners. Graduating seniors of one organization prepared for future students a volume of good study habits which they had found useful through experience. The activities of the various chapters have been varied and numerous throughout the years of the Society*s existence. Because of the flexi bility of its program the active chapters have been able 5 Bulletin 67 of the National Association of Second ary School Principals, 21:43. to try to do those necessary and desirable things that no other school organization covers. Guidance and orientation activities* Those who have supervised the organization have indicated their feelings that none of the projects which have been developed in the various chapters of the National Honor Society has re flected the spirit and ideals of the organization better than those connected with guidance and orientation* Student handbooks, how-to-study helps, and home room bulletins earlier mentioned as journalistic activities have served as orientation material. The society members in many schools have tried to do a great deal in orienting new students to school environment and in guiding them into wholesome social relationships* Some groups have made collections of material about colleges and vocations* Others have conducted information bureaus and school forums and have served as Mbig brother” and Mbig sister” com mittees* The Crofton, Pennsylvania chapter sponsored a col lege night program in cooperation with the Parent-Teacher Association* The meeting was designed to further the mutual acquaintance of the colleges, parents and students in regard to such things as entrance requirements, 70 curriculum offerings, and the like. Vocational Day at Elkino Park, Pennsylvania, found members acting as hosts to representatives of trades and industries who came to discuss with students and teachers regarding vocations. Schools in resort towns such as Gulfport, Mississippi, with many new students entering during the year have used members of the National Honor Society as guides, hosts, and friends for the newcomers. The Hamburg, New York chapter has had as its aim the encouragement of continuation of education after graduation from high school. The members have made it their task, therefore, to Investigate scholarships, loan funds and opportunities for earning part of one*s college expenses. The Sheridan, Wyoming chapter has sponsored an annual Freshman Day when the incoming students— for the most part from ranches— were given an opportunity to be come acquainted with the school. Since this plan has been followed, school authorities have noticed a decrease in the number who drop out because of unhappiness or embarrass’ ment. Members of the society in Lincoln, Nebraska, have been given the opportunity to help with registration of new pupils. The Minot, South Dakota chapter has sponsored a series of programs on "Problems That Young People Face in 71 Adjusting Themselves to Live with Others.,f The purpose of this series, as the members have outlined it, is to help develop the whole personality. The national sponsors have felt that the extent of the services rendered by the chapters of the National Honor Society has been almost unlimited. They have also stated that the purpose of the programs carried out by many chapters has been to foster in young people the desirable qualities that lay a foundation for success in a profession, in getting along with others and in whatever zr other activities an Individual may have a part. Summary. Of the two types of chapters, the honorary- scholastic group and the activity unit, it would seem that the latter is the more serviceable in a school situation. The activities of such organizations have touched several fields; namely, promotion of scholarship, tutoring, citizen ship promotion, journalism, and guidance and orientation. In spite of the fact that the National Honor Society, on the whole, does not appear to be a democratic organi zation, it would seem that the broad, evolving program of its activity units tends toward the direction of democracy 6 p. 123. 72 in education. Since the activities of the group may possibly reach the whole school, the entire student body may profit from its program. According to modern educational beliefs it appears that the activity-unit type of chapter would be more nearly worthy of a position in a modern school than the other. CHAPTER VII THE JUNIOR NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY At the time when the National Honor Society was being established in the secondary schools of this country, the custom of granting awards of various kinds was almost a tradition. School authorities apparently thought they had found the ideal type of motivation for pupil accomplishment and for building desirable personality and character traits. Without any scientific research as basis, educators pro ceeded to establish a schedule of awards in the junior high schools of the country. The organization of the Junior Honor Society. Less than a year after the Senior National Honor Society had been launched, chapters in various parts of the country had extended Honor Society activities by forming organizations that would include underclassmen.1 Hagie 2 In 1924, Terry and undertook a survey of practices of local chapters. One phase of their survey was a discussion of replies to 1 0. 0. Harvey and H. E. Patrick, Bulletin 67 of th National Association of Secondary School Principals. 21:160"3, May, 1937. 2 Paul W. Terry and 0. E. Hagie, "Special Types of Activities: Honor Society," TwentyHFifth Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education. Part II. 74 the question, "Should membership privileges be extended to pupils of the lower classes?" According to Society authorities the study showed that ten schools had already organized junior chapters in some form, and more than twothirds of the schools that were questioned believed the plan desirable* At the 1925 meeting of the National Council the president was instructed to study the question of the junior chapter and report on it in 1926* In the same year Willis of the Maryland State Normal School made the following statement in an article in the School Review: The underclass honor group seems almost an inevitable adjunct to a successful chapter of the National Honor Society. It carries the ideas and ideals down among the underclassmen until actual membership is within the time perspective even of a freshman; it provides a group large enough for effective action even in a small school; it puts the "stimulation of success" within the reach of a very much larger percentage of pupils; and it opens the possibility that the honor society may be a really vital factor in the lives of the pupils. With a junior society to do the active work, membership in the National Honor Society might well be conferred late in the senior year, an honor similar to graduation it self in recognizing the successful completion of a course of preparatory training . . . The basis for membership in the junior society might well be somewhat different from the basis for membership in the senior group; character, a measurably high standard of scholarship, leadership, and service. Such qualifications are harder to measure in the younger pupils; they may be latent in a boy or a girl who does nothing but study; they may be threatening to ruin the scholarship of those other capable pupils who are temporarily intoxicated by the feeling of power and popularity. Cannot the junior society be flexible 75 enough to include the talented and try to bring out their undeveloped qualities This statement indicates the attitude of most edu cators in 1926* It would seem that at that time they were giving most of their attention to extrinsic types of motivation* Willis* remarks are obviously Indicative of her enthusiasm, but she has failed to prove the truth of her statement* Frunty^ reported a recommendation of the Council urging that the Junior National Honor Society be in no way connected with the senior society* Being in the Junior Honor Society did not guarantee one’s later election to the Senior Honor Society. The constitution of the Junior Honor Society had conformed cloaely in its provisions to those of the senior society, but there has never been a direct connection between the two* It was decided that prospective members were to be chosen from the upper 10 per cent of the class in scholar ship* Members were to be voted into the society by the school principal and a committee of faculty members. They ^ Margaret Willis, ”The National Honor Society,” School Review, 34:134-5, February, 1926. ^ Merle Frunty, ”The National Honor Society vs High School Fraternities,” Junior-Senior High School Clearing House, 4:263-5, January, 1930* 76 were to be selected on the basis of positive qualities of good citizenship, scholarship, service* leadership, and character. To be eligible the student must have spent at least one year in the school electing him to the society. Any member who fell below the upper 10 per cent scholastic standard or who exhibited unworthy qualities of citizen ship, scholarship, leadership, service, or character had to forfeit his membership. The Junior Honor Society and the senior society have always been similar in organization and purposes. It would seem, then, that there would be the same criticisms and objections to the junior group that there are for the other. It is interesting to note that most of the schools that have curtailed awards have begun with the Junior High. In January of 1941 » Cannon^ made a survey of awarding practices by sending a questionnaire to 166 junior high schools. Results of her research showed that the most consistently awarded item in 1941 was superior scholarship which fact is in line with traditional practices* Teachers who answered the questionnaire indi cated that the generally accepted reasons for award ^ Helen Cannon, f,A Survey of Junior High Awarding Practices.n California Journal of Education, l6:4l, January, 1941. 77 systems were: 1* Motivation of better work. 2. Hecognition of good service. 3* Development of school spirit. According to Ashby: Award systems seldom function in this manner. Since they are known in advance, they become Incentives for participation in good work rather than badges of recognition or reward for work already done.® Certainly good school spirit is desirable and any thing which fosters it is worthy of consideration, but Smith' has indicated that there is no proof that granting awards does tend to develop good school spirit. 8 Cannon from her survey noted a definite tendency toward group awards rather than individual ones. Some reports Indicated that their honor societies had been dis continued for these reasons: 1* Wrong emphasis and discontent. 2. Motivation for wewards, not work at hand. 3. Ill feeling. Lloyd Ashby, 11Awards Away,” School Executive, 59:26, April, 1940. 7 Heth Smith, MWhy We Discontinued or Curtailed Honor Awards,” Clearing House, 11:283, January, 1937* 8 ,* Cannon, o£. cit., p* 45. 78 4. Many ©motional and physical upsets. 5* - Few benefit; many hurt. 6. Too great a strain on adolescents. 7* Artificial. 8* Impossible to rate fairly. •Q Ashbyy and Smith TO both reported on abandoning awards in the junior high schools of Richmond, Indiana. Their decision to discontinue awards was not reached hastily. Their problem was such that they could see three possible solutions. They were to allow the system wjust to grow,11 to arbitrarily (and probably unfairly) limit the scope and influence of the award system, or to discard entirely the policy of granting awards. They decided on the latter course, and after three years have reported these results: 1. Students still wish to participate in activities of all kinds* 2. The scholastic record is as good as formerly. 3. Boys and girls have good reasons for wanting to participate in various aspects of school life. ^ Ashby, op. clt.» p. 27* Smith, op. cit., p. 283. 79 a. They participate on the judgment of actual merits* h. They participate because they think they can contribute something to the organization, and it can contribute something to them. c. They participate because they expect to enjoy the activity. 4. School activities are of a better quality. Summary. After the senior National Honor Society was established, school authorities, apparently under the impression that honor societies were the ideal type of motivation, decided to organize a Junior Society for junior high schools. Because there seemed to be sufficient enthusiasm for the junior group, the National Association of High School Principals assumed the sponsorship of the second organization. Obviously aware of the fact that adolescence brings many changes in youth, the Council made it clear that election to the junior organization did by no means Insure election to the older group two or three years later. Although the junior group was well established in some schools, it has never been so well known as the original National Honor Society. It is interesting to not© that curtailment of awards and honors has begun In the Junior high schools- It seems that some critics have concluded by now that emphasis on extrinsic awards is especially unwise among younger pupils- CHAPTER VIII THE PRESENT STATUS OF HONOR SOCIETIES AND MODERN TRENDS IN AWARDING- PRACTICES According to educational philosophers, the function of education is, ostensibly, to guide pupils into whole some and worthwhile social relationships, to direct the behavior of youth in the light of clearly perceived per sonal values and into those avenues of activity which lead to successful and happy adjustment. Even though educators have agreed that they endorse this philosophy of education, many available reports have shown that they do not follow it in their school procedures.*1' Fairing has said: Even with the influx of progressive education theories, the practice of establishing rewards has Increased rather than decreased. The newer emphasis on positive appeals in contrast to negative appeals; namely punishment, has fostered the growth of reward systems.2 The present status of the National Honor Society. - A recent report from Church, secretary of the National Honor Society, has stated that in June, 194-1, this ^ Robert Fairing, "Rewards That Defeat Themselves,M American School Board Journal, 53:79> April, 194-1. 2 Lae. clt* Letter written by Mr. Church on June 21, 19^1* 82 organization included 2,933 chapters* The chapters are located in every state in the Union as well as in Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. About six hundred thousand persons comprise the membership of the Society. Ghurch also reported the addition of 125 new chapters between January, 1941, and June, 1941* He did not, how ever, report on the number of schools that have dropped their membership in the organization and it is known that some have done so.^ A recent bulletin issued by the Society’s national headquarters has listed what its sponsors consider as the chief advantages of the organization in a school* They are as follows: 1. It creates an enthusiasm for scholarship through out the school. 2, It encourages a desire on the part of the pupils to render service to the school and to the community. 3* It causes a pupil to evaluate himself and to see if there are elements of leadership within ^ him. 4* It is a stimulus to the student to watch those acts that develop character. ^ Hastings, Nebraska, and Burbank, California high schools have dropped out. 83 5* It makes a chapter member eligible for loans of money to continue his career in an insti tution of higher learning. These so-called ”advantages,n it would appear, are, in reality, hopes or aims. Since the organization has never proved by scientific investigation that a chapter of the Society really accomplishes all these objectives, it is not possible to believe that these contentions are true advantages. The last named advantage Is the only real one. The Society’s revolving scholarship loan fund has enabled some members to secure aid in financing higher education. This activity of the organization, it appears, is one of its few genuine contributions to members. Modern trends in awardIng practices. The use of rewards and honors as a means of motivation has been a time-honored, universal practice. When an award system begins in a school, it would seem that its extent is almost unlimited, since there are innumerable traits and characteristics that might be awarded. Just recently educational literature has indicated a noticeable tendency toward dissatisfaction with awards and the eventual curtailment and elimination of them. In 1939, McKown made this statement, f,Kilpatriek, 84 Spaulding and others have all pointed out the weaknesses in giving these recognitions. will have disappeared.*1^ Possibly in time all such awards McKbwn’s prediction may appear radical to some, but the trend of recent literature on the subject seems to indicate that the elimination of awards is a definite possibility. Concerning extra-curricular activities, Jones wrote, l,Extrinsic motivation, such as credit awards, is not neces sary to the development of the interest and effort of youth in these activities.”^ Another comment concerning award trends was given in this statement, ‘’Material rewards and penalties are playing an increasingly smaller role in the modern, wellgoverned school.”^ After her survey of junior high awarding practices, Cannon came to this conclusion, ,fA noticeable tendency exists to de-emphasize rewarding and to stress pride in Q service.” It is obvious that these comments are 5 Harry B. McKown, Extra-Curricular Activities (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1939)'> P • 5^3* ^ Galen Jones, **Extra-Curricular Activities in Relation to the Curriculum,11 Teachers * College Contri butions to Education, No. o67» 1935* 7 H. A. Riebe, M. J. Nelson, and C. A. Kittrell, The Classroom (New York: The Cordon Company, 1938). ® Helen Cannon, ”A Survey of Junior High Awarding Practices," California Journal of Eduoatlon. 16:46, January, 1941. 85 indications that there is a tendency to break away from extensive awarding practices. Some literature has Indicated attempts on the part of certain schools to replace present practices with a more democratic system of service awards. It would seem that such an award is superior to the traditional ones based largely on scholarship* The service award is within the reach of every pupil irrespective of special talent. It is democratic insofar as it may be earned by everyone in the school who desired to put forth the effort re quired.^ Ashby’s report on the results of reward elimination in the junior high schools of Richmond, Indiana, seems to indicate that rewards are really not necessary. He believes• Elimination of them tends to place emphasis on reflective thinking, cooperation, and participation rather than on competition, which leads to defeat for some as well as victory for others. We believe that the elimination of awards tends to create a situation more in line with what must be achieved if democracy is to be meaningful in or out of school.10 Even though comparatively few schools have gone so far as to eliminate awards entirely as yet, current ^ Jesse Rathbun, "School Service Awards," Sierra Educational News. 34:20, May, 1938. 10 Lloyd Ashby, "Awards Away," School Executive, 59:27, April, 1940. 86 literature in general does seem to point to these common objectives: 1. Teachers are still aiming at' legitimate intrinsic motivation for participation in various activities* 2. They desire democratic recognition of students of varying abilities* 3* They hope that each student can have an allaround development* 4. They are eager for the encouragement of felicity between the school and parents. Summary. Although the headquarters of the National Honor Society have reported a continued increase in member ship, they have not indicated the number of schools that have discontinued their chapter activities. Recent edu cational literature has indicated dissatisfaction with present award practices and has described attempts to replace them with more democratic procedures. The service award has been used by some schools, and a few have eliminated awards entirely, especially on the junior high school level. CHAPTER IX SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS Summary. The problem undertaken in this study was a critical analysis of honor societies and award systems in general with specific emphasis on the National Honor Society. The National Honor Society came into existence in 1921 under the sponsorship of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. It was the result of a desire to have in the secondary sehool an organization similar to Phi Beta Kappa in colleges and universities. In addition to scholarship, It also was designed to recog nize the qualifications of character, leadership, and service. Although the National Honor Society has had chapters throughout the United States It is but one phase of the custom of granting awards in education* Because of recent emphasis on democracy in education, the traditional practices of granting awards are among those now under going critical scrutiny by mental hyglenists and school authorities. Traditional educators have long sought motivation for every phase of school life. They have tried to find a motive for every lesson rather than in it. Although Ideally election to membership in the National Honor Society would be recognition for work well done, it has been used as a motivation for better work. Because of the requirement of high scholastic rating, a large percentage of the school population, through no fault of their own, can never hope to attain membership in the Society. For that reason, if for no other, the organization is un democratic. Schools have long tried to work out democratic, fair methods for selecting members of the organization. Many different techniques are in use, but none are entirely satisfactory because it is obviously impossible to measure scientifically such qualifications as character, leader ship, and service. Even with the best methods available today some students who might be called "near great*1 are made unhappy because of their failure to be selected, while some who are selected as members might tend to be come conceited. Mental hyglenists are especially concerned with the effects of such award systems on those who do not receive honors as well as on those who do. Some schools have worked out elaborate initiation ceremonies while others merely announce the selection or give special recognition to new members at the time of graduation. The chapters of the National Honor Society seem to 89 have fallen into two classifications, the strictly honorary-scholastic group and the activity unit. One of the most noteworthy phases of the work of the Society seems to have heen the contributions of the actlvity-unit chapters. They have tried to be of use to the whole school by attempting to encourage better scholarship, to promote citizenship, and to carry on guidance and orientation activities* A study of their program reveals that it has been flexible and changing throughout the twenty years of its existence to meet the needs of a changing society* After the National Honor Society had become established in the secondary schools of the country, a junior society was organized on very similar lines. It has never been so well known nor widespread as the older organization, but a number of junior high schools have had chapters. Current literature has revealed that when schools have begun to limit awarding practices, they have started in the junior high school. A junior high school National Honor Society, therefore, would undoubtedly be eliminated before the older organization. Conclusions. A critical study of the history of the National Honor Society as well as literature relating to the activities and influences of such organizations 90 has revealed many things and suggested a number of problems for research. In the first place, the founding of the organization seems to have been the logical outgrowth of a general trend of the times. Educators, as a result of their belief that everything had to have a motive, desired to motivate better scholarship in high school. Prizes, awards, and honors for outstanding achievement in school were the custom of the times; so one more honor group seems to have been a normal development. The National Honor Society attempted to take a step toward bein& a democratic organization when it recognized three qualifications in addition to scholarship— leader ship, character, and service. The main fault with this basis is that these characteristics are qualities which the school does not develop. Furthermore, there is no accurate scientific method of measuring such traits. Any organization whose membership came to include about six hundred thousand persons was, without doubt, influential in the schools where its chapters were located. Beyond that, the numerous activities of the activity-unit chapters obviously must have made the organization's influence felt throughout the entire student body in the schools having such types of chapters* The National Honor Society seems, therefore, to have been organized to satisfy a demand; and it probably, in part, owes its 91 twenty years of existence to its flexible program of activities. Although the sponsors of the Society have claimed that having a chapter in a school is very advantageous, there is no proof that the organization accomplishes all the things they have claimed for it. Being selected for membership in the organization undoubtedly brings happiness and pleasure to many persons. Many other fine citizens deserving of recognition fail to receive this honor because their grades are not quite high enough or because of numerous possible reasons. Failing to be selected may bring very great sorrow to some worthy people, and this experience may do considerable harm to their personalities and future lives. All awards and honors which each pupil can never hope to attain are, according to modern theories of edu cation, undemocratic. If there is to be perfect democracy in education, such organizations as the National Honor Society cannot be expected to remain in existence without change. As long as the National Honor Society requires high scholarship, membership in it cannot be attainable by all, and any organization which continually points out to some that they are inferior to others has no place In a school which is genuinely democratic. For this reason, it seems that curtailment of all undemocratic awards in 92 education is advisable; and if there must he awards, service awards which can he earned by all who wish to work for them should be developed. Interesting and worthwhile results would undoubtedly be obtained if research could be made to determine the amount of encouragement election to the National Honor Society gives to people. It would also be interesting to compare over a period of years the success of a group of Honor Society members with that of a similar group who just failed to be selected as members. Because of the fact that recent educational literature has indicated that there is considerable dissatisfaction with award systems now in existence, the future will undoubtedly see consider able research and study of these traditional practices as well as ultimate elimination of many— and even all of them— the National Honor Society Included. BIBLIOGRAPHY 94 A. BOOKS Briggs, T. H. , The Emotional Attitudes. Hew York: Teachers1 Goliege, Columbia University, 1940., Blackburn, Lura, Our High School Clubs* Macmillan Company, 1926. .... Hew York: Coe, Oeorge A., Educating for Citizenship. Charles Scribner1s Sons, 1934.- . .. . Dewey, John, Democracy and Education. Macmillan Company, 1929. . Human Nature and Conduct. and Company, 1922. Hew York: Hew York: Hew York: . Interest and Effort in Education. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1913* The The Henry Holt Boston: Fretwell, E. K., Extra-Curricular Activities in Secondary Schools * .Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1931* Fryer, Douglas, The Measurement of Interests. Henry Holt and Company, 1922. Johnson, Edgar £., Point Systems and Awards. A. S. Barnes and Company, 1930. Hew York: New York: McKown, Harry B., Extra-Curricular Activities. The Macmillan Company, 1939* Hew York: Meyer, Harold M., A Handbook of Extra-Currleular Activities in High SehoolT New York: A. S. Barnes and Company, 1927. Mursell, James, The Psychology of Secondary School Train ing. Hew York: W. W. Horton and Company, Inc., 1932. Overn, A. V., The Teacher in Modern Education. D. Appleton-Century Company, 1935. Hew York: Riebe, H. A., J. M. Nelson, and C. A. Klttrell, The Classroom. New York: The Cordon Company, 1938* Thorndike, E. L., Interests and Attitudes. D. Appleton-Century Company, 1937* New York: 95 Thorpe, L. P., Psychological Foundations of Personality* New York: McGraw-Hill .Book Company, 193^ Wetzel, William, Biography of a High School. American Book Company, 1937* New York: Wilson, Harry B., The Motivation of School Work. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1931* Young, Paul T., Motivation of Behavior. New York: Wilen and Sons, 193S. . B. Boston: John PERIODICALS Allen, M. S., ‘'Student Motivation in the Major Social Functions Procedure," Education. 595179-82, November, 1938. ~ Ashby, Lloyd, "Awards Away," School Executive Magazine. 39:26-7, April, 1940. Bonecutter, 0. E . , "National Honor Society Election and Initiation," The Kansas Teacher. 38*9, January, 1934. Cannon, Helen, "A Survey of Junior High Awarding Prac tices," California Journal of Education. 16:41-6, January, 194l. Dorcus, R. M., and K. Dunlap, "Aspiration, Interest, and Achievement," The Business Education World. 21:287-91, December, 194-0 , Engle, T. L., "A Personality Study of a Group of High School Honor Pupils," Journal of Applied Psychology. 28:293-6, April, 1934. Fairing, Robert, "Rewards That Defeat Themselves," American School Board Journal, 53 579, April, 1941* Fleenor, L. A., "Methods of Selecting Members," Bulletin 48 of the Department of Secondary School Principals. 21:21, May, 1937* Hannan, Lester, "Twentieth Century Criticism of Nineteenth Century Attitudes," School and Society. 47:52-3, January 8, 1938. 96 Harvey, 0* C., and H. E. Patrick, "History of the National Honor Society," Bulletin 67 of.the Department of Secondary School Principals. 21:7. Hawk, Herbert C., "Democracy in School Life," American School Board Journal. 10:19-20, September, 1940. Hughes, W. H., "Organized Personnel Research," Journal of Educational,Research, 10:386-98, .1924, . "Strong and Weak Points in Honor Societies," American Education Digest, 42:354-6, 1922. Hurlock, Elizabeth, "The Value of Praise and Reproof on Incentives for Children," Archives of Psychology. No. 71* New York: Columbia University Press, 1924. Jones, Galen, "Extra-Curricular Activities in Relation to the Curriculum," Teachers* College Contributions to Education. No. 667, 1935* Dynch, James, "The Trouble with Honor Societies," Clearing House. 15*339-41, February, 1941. McDaniel, M. R . , "National Honor Society an Essential," Bulletin of the Department of Secondary School Principals, 20:11-15, March, 193^ McMurray, C. D., ”A Method of Choosing Members," Bulletin 58 of the National Association of High School Principals. 19:62. December, 1935* Prunty, Merle, "The National Honor Society vs High School Fraternities,11 Junior-Senior High School Clearing House, 4:263-5, January, 1930* Rathbun, Jesse, "School Service Awards," Sierra Educational News. 3^:26, May, 1938. Rynearson, Edward, "Purpose and Organization of the National Honor Society," School Life. 15*24-6, October, 1929Smith, Heth, "Why We Discontinued or Curtailed Honor Awards, Clearing House. 11:283-6, January, 1937. Terry, Paul W., and C. E. Hagle. "Special Types of Activities: Honor Society," Twenty-Fifth Yearbook of National Society for the Study of Education, Part II. 97 Willia, Margaret, llThe National Honor Society,’* School Review, 3 4 :129r36, February,. 1926. C . UNPUBLISHED MATERIALS Godfrey, Edna B., HA Study of the Honor Society.” Unpublished Master’s thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1929* 93 PP* Hanson, Marion 0*, ”A Comparison of the Various Factors That Influence Election to the Honor Society in the Pasadena Junior High Schools.” Unpublished Master’s thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1936* 88 pp. Personal Correspondence with H. V. Church, June 12, 1941.